Oregon State Rep Gerri Jenkins sat peacefully by herself at a picnic table on a misty Thursday afternoon under the tall pines doing her cross-stitch. She waited for me so we could begin setting up the club canopies, camp kitchen, tables, chairs, signs, banners, and flags. I rode straight in from work, but didn't arrive until nightfall through heavy fog and rain. We cozied into our new Ford Club Wagon and drifted to sleep.
Late Friday morning after the sun burned through the moisture and dampness, we begin setting up. We anticipated a big turnout; by Saturday we got one - 39 bikers and a baby.
The first to arrive was Guzzi true-blood Jason Westlind, followed by the always distinguished John Warren. Surprisingly, ex-Northern California State Rep Randy Dawes pulled in next (he and his wife Judy had a great time here last year). In total, about twenty people showed up by the end of Friday.
Gerri got the grill hot as people set up their tents and came over for sausages, hotdogs, chili and potato salad. We had plenty of firewood thanks to new member Jake Heilman and his wife Laura (Jake now rides his Uncle Jim Brandes' T-3). Frank Hebbeln and Mary Franko also brought more wood to see us through the next evening's campfire. And, of course, Oregon club mascot Gizmo was there too, scampering about and making new friends as usual.
So with bellies full and the group campfire blazing, those of us who were settled in, kicked back to enjoy each other's company. Frequently, as we heard the unmistakable sound of a Guzzi motor 'round the last curve into camp, some of us would mosey over to greet the latest arrival. Other friends and riders who came in on Friday included: Oregon coaster Lee Furtwangler; Layton and Tanya Rosencrance, who brought along Gizmo pal Rusty; Wayne Wakeland, who rode his newly purchased Honda Pacific Coast (turned out to be the most attention getting bike there); Don and Debbie Hopkins who came for the day; Kevin and Leal Morris on their classic Convert, and who for the first time brightened the club campfire with their presence.
The aroma of Gerri's Saturday morning breakfast omelets aroused the late sleepers out of their tents. Steve Ford was at her side preparing the made-to-order ingredients as Gerri entertained the hungry, flipping the omelets skyward and back into the pan. All were fed and more than a few had seconds. Gerri had more than enough clean up help with Jake and Laura volunteering for KP duties. Saturday was off to a good start.
Three states were represented at Humbug this time. From Washington: State Rep Dick Guthrie and his son Gordon, who brought along his girlfriend Kristy; Richard Calkins; and John Ousterhout from Moses Lake. Riding from California: Randy Dawes (we missed you Judy); Al and Lydia Lofton and their friend Steven Graham (who is restoring an Eldorado and Ambassador). In fact, Al and Lydia enjoyed themselves so much, they joined our Oregon club!
The Oregon contingent was rounded off by: previous Guzztte editor and "2003 MGNOC National Rally Youngest Guzzi Rider" award winner Tyson Brandes; 2004 Oregon State Rally committee member Dennis Hoisington; Gizmo buddy Paul Kolehmainen; the Franklin brothers Matt and Andy; Breva riders Steve and Vicki Presley, who also brought and shared their traditional delicious pastries (thank you very much); Stacy Timm; who volunteered to help in any way; long time member of good standing Don Stowe; master motorcycle painter Gregg Isley; high miler John Cruthcher; Bryan and Heather Toller, who invited their visiting friends from Germany, Beate, Andreas, and baby Gregor.
So, with the Saturday sun beaming above, we all looked for fun. Some took off to ride the mountain twisties, some hiked down to the river, others relaxed around camp to enjoy the company of friends and talk Guzzi. And remember, as Saturday rolled on, so did the Guzzi riders roll in. They may have missed a tasty breakfast and a great campfire the night before, but the best was yet to come.
Mary was at Gerri's side as they prepared the spaghetti feast. Having fun all day can make a rider hungry. As we all gathered back in the late afternoon from our rides, hikes, and campsite conversation, dinner was on the way. While waiting for dinner, Frank entertained us with his Potato Canon, shooting spuds over the tops of the highest trees. The electric gathering of Guzzis parked along the campground perimeter was our informal bike show. Mingling about the bikes, and up over our shoulders tracing the potato fire, we waited for supper. "Come and get it," Gerri yelled. We did. We did in a big way - and we still got seconds!
How good can it get? Well, with Jake tending to the campfire, Gizmo on Frank's lap, a contented group of friends sitting in a circle around the flames, a star-filled sky framed by tall pines, and a brilliant moon shinning down, Gerri began the Closing Ceremonies.
She announced the door prize donations first. Among some of the winners: Appropriately, new member Jake was presented a year membership to the MGNOC courtesy of Frank Wedge; baby Gregor's dad, Andreas, won the Guzzi jacket contributed by the MGNA (he graciously gave it to his good friend and long time club member Bryan). Al and Lydia Lofton earned "Long Distance Rider" recognition and were presented with Italian Day T-Shirts. John Ousterhout won the 50/50 raffle. Generously, he donated his winnings back to our Oregon club. Thank you John!
Sunday - time to pack up and return home - but not before we filled up on scrambled eggs and pancakes, courtesy of Gerri and Mary. And not before we have to ride miles through gorgeous mountain scenery. From what I've heard everyone had a safe ride home. Hope to see you at Humbug next year - bring a smile and an appetite.