Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
I pack up and ride out of the park to Winthrop. I'm stopped in the library parking lot for a drink of water when up pulls a woman on Honyamakawazaki thing, looks like about a 600cc, lowrider style. The woman is from Brittish Columbia, out for a ride to Montana and back to meet friends. She immediately pulls out a pipe and starts smoking dope. It's legal here in Washington, anybody can walk into a store off the street and buy it. She extolls the virtues of legal marijuana... even shows me the package the pot comes in. It looks like a bona-fide, well-marketed product with a catchy name and a contents label that shows percentage THC, etc... I never thought I'd see a day when it would become this mainstream. Corporate America is not far behind, I suspect... I tell her I smoked morning, noon, and night for two years and at the end of it I was completely paranoid. I woke up one day and said fuck this; never to smoke it again. Legal or otherwise, it doesn't tempt me.
Today is a shortish ride down the Columbia River to Wenatchee. I'm just looking for a city that has motorcycle shops where I can fix my switch and get help if something goes wrong. I didn't dare do it in the campground in Cascades on the off chance that I would break something and be stuck up there with the potential to lay out some serious cash to be rescued.
It's hot as hell. I stop for something cold to drink at a gas station and get talking to a local. We compare notes on being ageing motorcyclists. He has a 1960's era Harley shovelhead. I tell him I knew I was getting old when people started passing me. That never used to happen...
I go for dinner at a Mexican restaurant and eat at the bar. An authentically Mexican restaurant, full of Mexicans. The bartender is from Chiapas. We chat about Mexico and life in Wenatchee. He used to work in the orchards. They are out in the fields at 4am and finish at noon to avoid the heat as much as possible. The sun is relentless here. Technically it's grasslands but it sure feels like the desert. I have a bunch of tacos washed down with agua de jamaica.