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Newport, Oregon to Klamath Falls, Oregon

August 24, 2011

It’s a 300 mile ride, give or take a few miles.  At this point I had ridden over 7000 miles.

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I packed the tent and gear up in bright Oregon sunshine.  It’s amazing  that a few hours of cloudless sunshine can make a miserable night of rain and cold seem like a distant memory.  I really enjoyed my time on the ocean at Beverly Beach State Park, but there were times when I was really cold, wet, and sick of the rain. 

I checked the tire pressure.  The front tire was worrying me as it was constantly losing a few pounds of air a day.  If I forgot to check it could go down about 10 pounds and that would significantly affect tire wear.  As usual, it was low.  I added a few PSI with the compressor and with the pressure right, rode off towards the town of Newport, Oregon. 

I had originally planned to ride west from Newport and begin the turn back for Vermont.  But after seeing a few pictures of Crater Lake, I knew I had to make the trip south and pay a visit to this singular destination. 

I rode through Newport and passed without stopping, for the first time, at the Starbucks that I had spent so much time in keeping warm!  When it was cold and raining (as it seemed to do almost every night) I would ride into town, and hang out there until they closed.  I gave a nod with my head in thanks, and began the westward part of my ride. 

As I said before, the weather today was absolutely spectacular.  The temperature was in the low 80’s and there was not a cloud in the sky.  My travel notes claim this was the best riding day of the trip.  I continue to be amazed at the various climates in Oregon.  The state seems to have everything.  Great skiing, surfing, you can grow just about anything there and very pretty scenery.  Also, if I ever have garage space for an old pickup truck  – Oregon is the place to find one.  I passed dozens of candidates that were priced right and rust free.   ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRG, I’m still bummed out about seeing a beautiful Sinatra era Ford T-Bird convertible for sale for FIVE GRAND. 

Just great roadside signs. “Open 24 HRS” about twenty years ago.  Now it’s a deserted wreck on the side of the road in an empty town.  Must have been fantastic in it’s day.

Rolling through the warm Oregon sunshine.

It seems that it is impossible for me to travel and escape ski areas and snow…..

Great looking sign near Crater Lake.

There are plenty of stretches like this along the route. 

Coming into Klamath Falls along the water.   Very pretty.

Downtown Klamath Falls.  By six in the evening on a Saturday the entire town was closed for business.  There was maybe one bar open and nothing else. 

I ended up having a bite to eat at the local TGI Friday’s.  While having a beer, the waitress as a matter of “corporate get to know the customer” would ask your name and write it on your tab.  There was a white haired, bearded, fat man sitting next to me who absolutely took offense to being asked his name.  He proceeded to ask “why the hell do you need my name” and so on and so forth until he was absolutely frothing at the mouth and seething with rage.  It was mildly amusing until I realized he was carrying what appeared to be a Colt Python snub nose .44 magnum in a belt holster.  I better drink up I thought, this might get interesting.  Thankfully, he paid his tab and stormed out.  Hopefully, not to get whatever else he may have in the way of weaponry in the trunk of his vehicle.

I ate my Jalapeno poppers and got the hell out of there. 

I rode back the three or so miles to the “motel”

Did I say it was a perfect day for riding?

Beautiful scenery, the bike was running perfectly as usual, and no rain!  Fantastic.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Oregon Motel 8.  What a charming find!  Thank you Priceline!

This was one of the more colorful stays of my trip.  Indian owned (South East Asian, not American) and maintained by an assortment of what appeared to be meth users and Vietnam draft dodgers.  This place was, as Ron Burgundy says, “CLASSY”.  I guess I was asleep at the switch when I booked this place.  I paid something like $50.00 for Priceline’s lowest rate guarantee only to be greeted with a permanently mounted $39.99 sign at the entrance. 

THIS is the list of “AMENITIES’ from the Oregon Motel 8 and RV Park. 

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Continental Breakfast – NO, Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool – OUT OF ORDER, Wireless Internet – DIAL UP LIKE SPEED,  Cable TV & HBO – TV DID NOT WORK, Whirlpool Tubs -  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? WHAT ARE THEY SMOKING?, Complimentary News Paper – I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH JUST TO HAVE TOILET PAPER!, and the rest, who cares.   

Cheerful insight from Trip Advisor:

1 helpful vote

“Not Recommended”

1 of 5 starsReviewed July 7, 2011

Checked into this motel only to find mold in bathrooms, hot water leaking from shower, carpet musty, dirty, and full of holes, A disgusting general odor in the room. cigarette burns in furniture and bedspreads, (a non-smoking room) and ants crawling along walls.
Management was happy to take my money until issues brought to their attention and then became instantly surly and unco-operative. I have stayed in Motels from the Yucatan to the Yukon and this is one of the all time worst experiences I have ever had in 35 years of road travel. Oh, by the way, good luck trying to get an adjustment on your bill or your money back from them for a room that is not what it is advertised to be. If you insist on checking into this place I highly recommend you inspect your room before you give them your money.

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2 of 5 starsReviewed June 28, 2011
Take a second to read the reviews others have left. Now stop and think if you would use the same sort of language and write a glowing review of their "Clean Rooms" and "Prompt Housekeeping." I’m thinking they don’t have much to do there but sit and write reviews to boost their ratings…
For my "real person" review check it out. We got there around 11pm and the night manager, who also turns out to be the day manager was cool, happy to see me and check in was easy. We got to our room, just 100 feet from the office and found the room numbers are just pieces of paper taped to the doors, cool, whatever.
We got inside and the place had a funk to it. The wonderful wallpaper that you see in the pictures is curling at the edges and the floors have stains, I didn’t even want to touch the bedspreads and of the two beds one had a giant stain on the top blanket, not the comforter, the blanket and the other looked less disgusting so we slept there, with our own blankets…
I had a hard time getting the door to lock, actually I had to lift up on the door to get the deadbolt securely in place. The microwave door wouldn’t shut so it served as our nightlight. That is about all it is good for though because it was so filthy I wouldn’t have popped popcorn in it.
We woke up to get ready for the wedding and the water pressure was pretty good, shower tile was fine but there was a hefty amount of mold growing in the grout. The towels are so old one of them started to rip in half, they were clean though.
Oh, I almost forgot… the smoke detector which, could come in handy in a place where the electrical is questionable did not have a battery and the door was proudly open showing that it wasn’t going to work. I would think that would be illegal, but whatever.
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Almost to the point of comedy every single “Amenity” did not function or was non-existent.  The ice machine was in a key access area.  You unlock the door with your room key to gain access to the ice machine – except, it did not work and appeared not to have been functional when Carter was in the White House.  Why keep it behind a locked door?  Who knows.  On and on it went, nothing in the entire place worked properly or functioned as promised.  It was pure comedy, painfully so. 

I started a small panic after the laundry machine ate $2.00 of my coins.  I fed the laundry detergent machine four quarters for laundry soap.  The first pull of the handle yielded nothing.  Well, I thought, maybe that side is out.  So I put another dollar in coins into the vending slot on the other side of the machine and pulled the lever – nothing. 

At this point there was much cursing, pounding on the machine, teeth gnashing, name calling and general bad behavior.  I failed to notice a grizzled, toothless, RV’er sitting in the “TV Lounge” watching what appeared to be old episodes of The Rockford Files.  With a stained wife beater t-shirt and a few wisps of hair in disarray on his sun broiled noggin, he wandered to the door wide eyed and wondering if he should run in terror or wait until I destroyed the machine in hopes of scoring a bounty of change and laundry soap.

“Damn thing took my money” I sheepishly said and wandered off towards the highway.  I guess laundry would have to wait. 

Across the street was a gas station that closed promptly every night at 6:00.  How that makes sense I’ll never know.  The picture below is from an “American & Mexican Restaurant Motel”  Never seen that one before.  What surprised me, was after walking past the place several times and assuming it was closed and abandoned, and had been for years, was that it was OPEN for business!

Just past the lovely Klamath Travel Inn was a small diner/bar.  Later that evening I walked across the street and went into the bar. I expected to see a lively small town scene with colorful folks and interesting stories.  This was not to be.  I was the only person at the bar – or for that matter, in the restaurant either.  What caught my eye was the “bar food”.  Check out the white sign below.

I’ve been many, many places and spent serious time in dive bars but this was a first.  Microwave Chicken Alfredo and Chicken Marinara at the bar!  Yeehaw, that’s got to be good eating. They also have playing cards and soup.  I bet there are parts of Rikers Island with better amenities.  That was it for me, I drank up and went back to the “motel” wishing I had a can of  spray paint and a paper bag………………

Next up – CRATER LAKE

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. B Hawkins permalink
    August 24, 2011 7:43 pm

    I get a kick out of reading your postings, they keep me satisfied until the next time I am able to take a trip. Looking forward to your next adventure, take care and be safe.

  2. January 19, 2012 3:13 pm

    RE: Oregon Motel 8. Well it was a nice place till the Indians took it over about 4 years ago. They’ve taken over all of the low budget motels in town and turned them into dumps. If your in town again head down So. 6th St. You’ll find all the chain motels along there and far more places to eat ! Oh the gas station closes early because they were robbed in the early evening once and the restaurant is closed again! should have tried their bacon cheese burger, best I ever had.

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