By Sasha Johnson
Every year the grass-roots throwback Orygun Run promises new routes, picturesque campsites, and the best moto-parties you’ve ever experienced. After my first time on the run June 28th to July 1st, I can honestly say it’s all of those things and so much more.
The Ultimate Road Trip
Our weekend-long vacation in Oregon began with a mad dash to flee the Las Vegas desert. Spurred on by eagerness to beat the heat, Michael and I managed to forego spending the night in Reno to rest, as originally planned, and made it all the way to Bend, Oregon, before calling it a night. The rain and the possibility of coming across a rogue deer on the road while it was dark were the deciding factor to finally call it quits for the day.
Tightening Our Belts
Thursday morning, we were well-rested and ready to get back on the road to join the group in Portland. Unfortunately, the bike had other plans. A short trip around the corner told us there was definitely something not right with our ride. Sure enough, removing the side panel revealed that our belt was dangerously loose. Luckily, the great mechanics at Sixfold Garage were able to get us up and running in no time at all.
Ride. Party. Repeat.
Early Friday morning, freshly tuned, we gathered with all the other riders and mischief-makers at The Jupiter Hotel in Portland. All 150 of us gathered in the courtyard to register and meet our head Gunrunners: Adam Alesky, Jessica Alesky, Seth Paddock, Adam Smith, Corey Fox, and Stuart Young.
Once the opening ceremonies were said and done, we hit the road again, on our way to the first campsite in Coos Bay. Storm clouds threatened to break open until we cleared Portland lines. Thankfully, we made it through without a mere sprinkle.
The road to the first site was well hidden within a sprawling forest, that looked like something straight out of a fairy tale. All of a sudden, the trees parted and the most epic piece of property was before us. Each rider was promptly handed a beer upon arrival, and then it was time to set up camp.
After a great meal, some gathered around the bonfire while others milled about the various campsites. We opted for a stroll around to visit with our fellow riders. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Bob Marshall, author of American Road Runner, was among the 150 riders. And he was traveling on his bike with a typewriter from his extensive collection. Just in case inspiration struck him on the road.
From Forest to Coast
Though each night ended with an old school biker bash, complete with unlimited beer and amazing food, almost everyone was up and ready to do it all over again the next morning. The second day took on a serene vibe, with ocean views and awesome seafood. On Saturday, we teamed up with some friends from Spoken Moto and switched from the dreamlike forest scenery to the coastline. We visited the sea lion caves and ate delicious Dungeness crab-filled omelets by the beach.
The Last Ride
On the last night of the event, we found ourselves in yet another stunning private campsite area. It came complete with a dirt racing track that was taken full advantage of by Gunrunners all through the night. Even though we ended up riding about 2,500 miles in a weekend’s time; and every night ended with a party, it was actually one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever been a part of.
Riding through Oregon and seeing all it has to offer; rolling through the forests and along the coast brought on such a state of meditative serenity that simply cannot be matched or duplicated.