This is Snow Fun!

The stairway was narrow, turning toward the top before opening into the upper car of the Coast Starlight, an Amtrak train that travels from Seattle to Los Angeles. We boarded around 9:30am, planning to be in Portland in the early afternoon. Our objective was The One Motorcycle Show, a now twice annual gathering of custom built bikes and the people that play with them. This would be our third year.

An excuse to escape one city in exchange for another, this year's show was held in an otherwise unused warehouse on the south side of the city, a space that can house more than 150 motorcycles. Snow showed up the day before the show, though. A cold front moved into the area, leaving the city of Portland covered in more than eight inches of winter wonderland. Hence our decision not to drive.

Our friend Chris had offered us both a place to stay and a ride to and from the train station. His two-wheel drive Chevy creeper van, equipped with chains, was "unstoppable," or so he said. The train ride, my first since I was seven or eight, was a slow experience; albeit better than risking the well being of our automobile. By the time we crossed the border into Oregon, the windows on either side of the train looked out onto snow covered trees, farmland and tiny little towns I had never seen before. We wondered how well Chris' cargo van would handle what lie ahead...

Chris was waiting outside the train station. His Xtreme edition Chevy van, with which he hauls motorcycles to race tracks, was warmed up and waiting. Assuming the snow would not cease, we headed straight to the show. The streets of Portland on this particular day were all but empty. And so we slid sideways through every intersection, Chris and I commenting on apex's and appropriate entry points as we went. Unlike other years, there were very few motorcycles sitting outside the show. We wandered in, past a crowd of cigarette smoking showgoers, and began what would be our first and only night of attendance.

Click here to read about our experience at last year's show.

Click here for more motorcycle stuff.

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