Life has a way of throwing us unexpected curves. As motorcyclists we often live for that moment on the road; lean and believe! We relish the chance to amp up the adrenals and take it on using our perceived skill level, experience and personal hardware of choice.
Life sometimes has other plans, and nothing short of a sudden stop and directional change will rectify the situation or simply allow us to deal with it. In the early ’90s this is what confronted Doug and Gloria Watt, a California power couple who received their curve in the form of a serious medical diagnosis for Gloria of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Long-range plans quickly rushed forward into “we better do this while we can” mode.
Leaving California for Oregon, Doug and Gloria relocated to the densely wooded and beautifully landscaped town of La Pine, where they established the DiamondStone Guest Lodge. (My two years of junior high school French came in handy, as La Pine translates loosely to “The Pine”.) Located smack dab in the heart of dormant alpine volcanoes, stunning vistas and year-round outdoor activities, this first-class B&B-type venture was sure to be a success.
The Watts as a couple had long been keen motorcycle enthusiasts, so moving their personal fleet of bikes was only natural, and apparently relocating to a place with a “real” winter season did not negatively affect a motorhead like Doug. The collection continued to grow to include dozens of historic, benchmark and rare specimens, and even the odd icon of two-wheeling.
Motorcycle overload occurs quickly by just looking briefly inside the main garage: Honda CBX, BMW R100S…a Purple Paso?! Eyes do not deceive. One of the most recent additions is a 2015 Norton Commando 961 with the carbon package, a truly lightweight and beautiful piece of hardware from the U.K.
Now this is where the story takes another turn…er, curve. Around 2010, Doug and Gloria decided to launch MotoFantasy: premier lodging situated among thousands of miles of twisty roads surrounded by breathtaking scenery…let’s rent any motorcycle we can! Fly, drive or ride in, pick a steed from their stable and then “twist back and relax.”
The purpose-built MotoFantasy lodge can accommodate groups from intimate couples to large parties bent on revelry. The second-floor open area has modern sound and video equipment and is often rented out for meetings or music events, such as the annual Newberry Music and Art Festival to Defeat MS.
Doug has a palpable passion for his machines–or any motorcycle it seems–and his storehouse of moto-knowledge and fascinating road tales combined with a truly generous and hospitable character can pass any number of non-riding hours in pure pleasantry.
After a day or days of riding the region’s paved playgrounds, the lodge’s setting is one designed for reflection and relaxation among the pines with a soothing pond and river just off the back deck.
The official MotoFantasy après ride drink is tequila, and many brands have been tested here–as the empty bottle collection can attest. A variety of dining options exist in the area, yet the MotoFantasy lodge has more than ample kitchen facilities in which to get creative or just socialize.
The surrounding area of La Pine has all the other amenities visitors may need without the sprawl and hassle of the much larger city of Bend, just north a bit on U.S. Route 97, but you are the master of your experiences here.
On almost any given day worth riding, the lodge will see local and visiting riders pop bye for a chat, ogle the collection or at least honk and wave as they ride by; there appears to be an almost magnetic vortex pull that draws in the faithful and fellow aficionados of our sport.
If your personal “Moto-Reality” has anything to do with two wheels, this is one place in Central Oregon that is well worth the time and travel to get to. You never know who you may meet or what amazing surprise may great you around every curve…it is a fantasy after all.
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