The Dalles, Ore., Sept. 23—Saturday was a grueling combination of blowing winds and dust, hight anxiety and anticipation topped of by elation and gratitude for the exhausted riders. Will 99 riders still in the game, there was concern over the possibilities of breakdowns over long, steep grades and the stretch between gas stops had riders pulled over on highway shoulders for roadside top offs. Riding through the farmlands during harvest in the onion fields outside Walla Walla, Washington, caused dense dust could to engulf the group and by the time they arrived for the street party in The Dalles, Oregon, everyone was spent. The energy from the locals helped to elevate the mood and riders were served hot-off-the-grill smoked salmon and chicken and all the fresh salad and desserts they could eat. A live band kept toes tapping and the feeling of celebration for a job well done permeated the place. The cool little Ferris wheel added a bit of nostalgia to the festivities and the warmth of the crowd would have made Cannonball Baker just as proud as we know Lonnie Isam Jr., Motorcycle Cannonball founder, would be.
The group’s last ride will leave The Dalles from the Fairfield Inn at 11:00 a.m. and arrive at Skamania Lodge in Washington at 2:30 p.m. Come on out to watch riders waved in by the checkered flag and congratulate the weary warriors on an amazing, arduous journey of accomplishment.
Standings for Stage 14:
For complete information on the Motorcycle Cannonball, go to www.motorcyclecannonball.com