Palm trees and a moto lady. Hannah Johnson riding a Ducati Hypermotard in Miami, Florida. Watch the “Lean In” video from Puma.
The Dream Roll Women’s Motorcycle Campout
The first year of the the Dream Roll women’s motorcycle campout in August was rainy, but an absolute blast.
I picked up a brand new MotoGuzzi V7 from MotoGuzzi Portland on thursday and headed to my house in NE Portland to drop it off before heading off to hang out/catch up/drink with friends that evening. Friday morning I took care of errands around town, including picking up bungees and net from Cycle Gear, before heading home to pack up. This was my first time motorcycle camping where I carried all my stuff on my own bike (last year Misty carried a lot of our stuff to Babes Ride Out on her Bonneville) and it took me a while to get it right. After some staring and contemplating, I found the right way to attach everything thanks to my Chrome Industries Motor Barrage bag (including my cowboy hat) and took off for South Eastern Washington to the Dream Roll campsite at the base of Mt. Adams. Oh, the MotoLady blanket harness and strap helped out a lot too.
By the time I hit the country roads, it was basically dark. My own fault for leaving so late- but hey, adventure has no schedule. Choosing not to take I84, a grooved out freeway that forms pretty massive puddles and gets blasts of wind, I took highway 14 on the Washington side all the way out to the turnoff to head toward the mountain. I stopped once to double check directions before heading into the twisty mountain roads and ended up syncing up with a group of ladies for the last bit.
Upon arrival my only real need was to find Trinia and Jolene from Hinterland Empire (the fabulous duo that screenprints all the MotoLady apparel) because they were kind enough to offer up space in their tent. It was easy to locate them even in the dark of night because well, Trinia’s BMW is pretty obvious, and also because it was a bright full moon.
That night there were many shenanigans- after I tore all my stuff off the bike in case of rain and made my way to the giant geodesic dome and tipi structures I was immediately handed a beer. There was free marijuana ice cream for the taking, a DJ spinning live music, beer, liquor, and food for the taking. It wasn’t long before the grooves turned to old school dance tunes and everyone was on the dance floor. You could count women with their tops still on with one hand. A dancefloor of boobs under the full moon, that’s right.
Dancing died down around maybe 2am and hanging out continued into the wee hours. The domes were furnished with couches, pillows, and hammocks, so they provided a great space for chatter. There was basically a giant boot cuddle puddle happening between women who knew each other for ages, and others who had just met that night.
Some ladies found it comfortable enough to sleep in for the evening. Malary Lee took this photo of Staci Wilt just before we covered her up with a blanket.
At maybe three or four in the morning I found my way to the giant tent which would be my home for the weekend and crashed hard. At dawn, all four of us sat up to the sound of rain and heavy wind beating against the rain fly. Trinia and Jolene climbed outside to cover up their bike just in time to save them from being drenched. Being an old BMW, it was a good idea. The Guzzi however… I let it take a bath and went back to sleep.
Bright and early the next day we woke up to sounds of motorcycles and went looking for food.
Breakfast was served next door at the lodge- it wasn’t amazing (I didn’t even eat the ham I paid $3 for) but it was hot food, and that hits the spot when you’re camping. Especially when it’s wet outside, hoo boy.
Shortly after, the blue skies started to show and the sun peeked out for us. Group rides were organized, coffee was drank. There was a great buzz around the campground, folks either taking off for a ride, coming back from one, or waiting to see which way the weather would go. A lot of folks were sadly unprepared for the rain- while I was one of them, I also knowingly accepted that it would probably rain. It is the Pacific Northwest, afterall. My Dainese GT400 waterproof jacket, Elsinore boots, and Uglybros USA riding jeans would be enough for me. Worst case… I get wet.
Lana made more megaphone announcements to keep everyone informed about the day’s schedule.
Even bong water was recycled at the Dream Roll.
I hung around camp for a while with Trinia and Jolene at the Hinterland Empire tent, waiting to see if the dark clouds were going to rain us out or not. They were nice enough to bring some of my apparel with them to have available.
After a while, the drizzly piss rain drizzled on, so Chelsea Nicole Taylor and I decided to walk the mile into town for photos and wifi.
We saw lots of ladies passing by on the way, coming back or leaving the camp.
More shenanigans later, we made it to the cute one road downtown area and got ourselves some gatorade and wifi.
On our walk back, Chelsea tried to sneak up on horses, and I saw the lovely Liz Horton from Denver.
Upon our return the guys from Brigade Visual Support asked if I’d be their first subject for the Dream Roll video, so I stood in light rain for a while doing that and hoping my hair would stay put in the wind (in didnt).
The photo the guys did is much nicer than my behind the scenes dorkiness.
The MotoGuzzi performed pretty decently in slick grass and dirt, even with ‘meh’ front suspension and street tires by the way.
After the lil mini shoot Chelsea and I decided to take advantage of the break in rain to head out and try to find some twisties. We geared up and headed out, turning left away from the little town and where we came in to see what we could find. About two miles later it started to rain, but hey, we were already on the road. So we pushed on for maybe ten miles and voila, the sun starts shining and the roads are dry. We come around a gentle curve and see a curves sign that says some 30 miles and both celebrate on our bikes as we open throttle to get into it. The V7 is super light, and while it’s not crazy torquey or powerful, it’s fun as hell to ride. I got comfortable with it in corners and felt happy carving out my little lines, looking in the giant mickey mouse ears and seeing Chelsea on her Yamaha Bolt right behind. Finding other ladies who like ‘spirited’ rides is always a big bonus and pleasure. The road offered some amazing chicanes, sweeping turns, and amazing views of the river below.
When we broke out of the 30 mile twisty section, we turned around for lack of gas and maps, hit the same awesome turns, and stopped to enjoy the view.
As we came back around that same gentle bend, the rain began again, and we sailed as quickly back to camp as we could. Somehow, the rain lifted as we rolled back to base.
The sun started to set behind layers of cloud cover, sustenance was retrieved, and ladies joined together again.
It was a pretty large group of women- from all over the West Coast and beyond (like Lucia Braham all the way from Australia). Friends of mine from Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as Seattle and Tacoma. Each woman with her unique style and riding preferences found common ground here, we were all inviting and there to enjoy ourselves and stay positive.
The raffle included tons of cool items donated from a variety of sources, including Icon gear, artwork, and of course, a MotoLady Braap tshirt. The band played inside one of the domes to stay out of the rain, people danced and partied all over again. More clothes this time, though.
Once the raffle had finished and band was a blasting, some of us wandered off to find warmth aside from the bonfire. It got a lot colder Saturday night, so we found ourselves in one of the cabins that a few ladies had so intelligently reserved with the heat blasting. More shenanigans. And blackberry beer, because I have a soft spot for blackberries.
As the night came to a close, the entrance sign reminded me of what an awesome trip this had been so far.
And sunrise was even more magical.
Sunday morning it was soggy everywhere- tents were being packed up in haste to avoid more rain. A lot of the campground was empty by 8:30a.
I wandered around camp and found coffee before starting my least favorite part of camping. Using the tailgate of a nearby truck, I managed to wrap my gear up in the spare utility trash bags I brought, bungeed it down and was ready to head out. As I was rolling out through the front parking lot saying goodbye to stragglers parked to eat breakfast, Chelsea ran up and asked if I’d wait for her to grab her stuff and come with. The rain was starting to fall again, so I hurried her a bit, turned the Guzzi off and waited for a few minutes while she put her gear on and got ready to roll.
We blasted- fast- back to Portland on the 14 highway the same way I came. It rained the whole time, at points a light drizzle and at others a full on downpour. We didn’t stop until the NE Portland offramp to my house to get gas on the way to home base. We were soaking wet when we finally got home, and had to blow dry out our boots and throw our gear on fluff in the dryer.
But despite the bits of rain (which you have to expect in the Pacific Northwest even when it’s not expected) it was an amazing trip. Chelsea and I dried ourselves off, rested for a bit, and then headed off to gorge ourselves on food in Gateway. We went to Roscoe’s at 81st and Stark where you can get liquor, bar food (including Southern goodies), and even Sushi from the joint next door… all delivered to your table. Four plates of deliciousness later, we played some pool and headed home to crash. Chelsea took off for her hotel and I snuggled up in bed.
The next day I packed up all my stuff and waited for my Mom to come meet me for breakfast. We loaded up on Country Cat brunch, put my luggage in her car, and took the MotoGuzzi to the dealer to drop it off. It was fun, and sad to say goodbye.
And, on my way back to SoCal, I saw this lovely sunset. A great end to a great trip.
Go to dreamroll.com for more info on the event.
Photos by Alicia Mariah Elfving, copyright themotolady.com 2015 unless otherwise captioned.
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