Motorcycle heaven: a place with good roads, modern amenities, almost no traffic, spectacular scenery and friendly locals. It is an ill wind that blows nobody good and the fact that the population in most of eastern Oregon has been dwindling for most of the last century means that there are more highways than drivers. In the 1950s highway 26, the main east-west higway in Grant County was the main route for traffic from Portland to Boise. Now most traffice goes on I-84. It's mostly high desert so (according to wikipedia) Grant County has an estimated 200 days of clear sunny or mostly sunny days, or an estimated 300 days of clear sunny, mostly sunny, or partly sunny days each year. As a result eastern Oregon is host to a number of major motorcycle rallies each year. These include the ABATE Annual Fossil Campout, the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally, The BMW Riders of Oregon Chief Joseph Rally, and the Bronze Bike Motorcycle Rendezvous. I stopped by The BMW Riders of Oregon Chief Joseph Rally in John Day this weekend to admire the bikes and talk to some of the riders. I was impressed by how many people told me that they hab been coming back for years. The day may come when the population is too thin to maintain the highways and support our restaurants and motels. It will still be there for the off-roaders and campers and not so ggod for the rest, but for this brief and shining moment in the history of the world there really is a motorcycle heaven.
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