When I arrived at the Bucksnort pub just before 10:00AM to get things ready for registration for the Dice Run, I had a really wierd feeling about the run. The first reason was because the Bucksnort wasn't open yet, and the second was mine was the only bike on the street. It really seemed like this could turn out to be a big flop. Especially when the manager of the Moose Lodge stopped and asked if we were ready for the big Spaghetti Feed they were putting on for us after the run.
But within a few minutes, the owner of the Bucksnort came out and opened up the pub. It turns out his bartender was just running late due to a sick kid. By the time she arrived, the other bikes had begun to show up. There were even two riders, Scott and Eric, that made the 230 mile round trip all the way up from Astoria, Oregon just to help make the run a success with us.
|Scott & Eric|
After everyone was registered, and we hit the road at 11:00 AM, and headed out towards our first stop.
Some of us had been doing runs together for so long that without thinking about posting 'Road Guards' at intersections, so that the entire group can make it through stop signs without getting all stretched out. When we pulled out, Dave and T without thinking twice took their normal spots and blocked the highway as we turned north from the Bucksnort, and again as we turned left after crossing the bridge in Elbe. Dave just got hired on for at least a two year job in Utah, and this is probably going to be one of the last rides we get to go on together for a while. I will miss riding with you Brother, but we will ride again, I am sure. We all made it to the Pour House Grub & Pub in Eatonville without a hitch. Enjoyed their beer garden as all the riders had their shot iwht the dice before moving on to Uncle Sam's American Grill in Spanaway.
We went inside Uncle Sam's and hit their 'Backyard Amphitheater'. Listening to some jamming guitar players in one of the big tents while rolling dice, or outside enjoying the sunshine before hitting the road and heading for Walt's Place in McKenna. Which for some reason I didn't take a pic of the building, but I did of the bikes in the parking lot. Go figure...Walt's is one of those OLD local bars. The building has to be at least 100 years old, and welcomes bikers with open arms.
At Walt's the heat and the cold beverages began to spread the group out into several little groups. Nobody was having any problems, it was just that some folks wanted to hit the road before everyone else. No big deal to me, because I had the dice and nobody could roll without them. So we took off in our own little group of four bikes for the half hour ride to the Elbe Bar & Grill. Since I knew Scott & Eric had never ridden up through the canyon between LaGrande and Alder, I had Dave take a right onto Mountain Highway when we reached it. That stretch through the canyon is great on a bike. The road snakes back and forth along the canyon wall a thousand feet or more above the bottom. Nice tight twists and turns before reaching Alder and the highway getting straightened back out as it rolls along the shore of Alder Lake. The old highway lays at the bottom of the lake. The town of Alder, and all that old style road design that hugged the terrain instead of plowing straight through it was drown during WWII when they built the Alder and LaGrande hydro-electric dams.
We made it to Elbe without a hitch, and did a quick dice roll, had a drink of two, and some even grabbed a quick burger before finishing back at the Bucksnort in Morton.
When we left Elbe it was only a 20 minute run over 'The Divide' and back into the valley where Morton is nestled. Back at the Bucksnort we had our last dice roll, tallied up the scores, and even raffled off some donated swag. The winner of the Dice Run was Ray with a score of 106. He won $40, and Mike won $15 for low score with 78. The 50/50 raffle was worth $85 to the winner. When Lorianne won, she took the money, held it in her hands for an excited few seconds, and then announced she was donating the entire amount back to the fund for the Rally At Morton. Way to go Lorianne!!
After the drawings were all done, folks began to mosey down the block to the Moose Lodge for the Spaghetti Feed. They had a saldad bar for us. Then served a heaping plate of spaghetti with garlic bread. A very good filling meal for the end of the days ride. Dave's wife Kayla met us at the Moose with their week old daughter Aleighsha Jo, and everyone enjoyed getting to see the newest member of our little riding family.
|Godfather T & Goddaughter Aleighsha Jo|
It was a blast riding with everyone. What's even better is that virtually everyone wants to go on another soon. So I'll be figuring out the details on at least a couple of more dice runs covering different roads and stopping at different places this summer. At least one a month if I can work it out. This one run raise over $400 towards making the premium payment for the $1,000,000 liability insurance the City wants before we can have the Rally At Morton. After that, they want a 'small percentage' of the gate money from the bike rodeo and band. Which isnt bad, since it is the city's arena we'll be using. I'll keep everyone posted as I work things out.
Catch ya on the road sometime...