August 25, 2013
I am hospitalized with a nasty lung issue.
Last year when I circled the country, I began coughing and had an irritating tickle and/or scratching in my throat I ignored it for the most part because I almost NEVER get sick. I treated it with cough drops and throat spray. When I arrived in Chicago, it got bad enough so that I went to a Doc-in-the-box at a clinic. She diagnosed it as acid reflux and prescribed Prevacid. Well, I returned to Kentucky and the Prevacid did nothing, but the cough eventually subsided to a low, infrequent irritating throat tickle.
I toughed it out through the winter and into May of 2013 when I left again for California. The cough still cropped up but wasn’t irritating until shortly after arriving at my friend’s home in Ventura county. During my visit, the cough got worse, and even violent at times. I still wrote it off as dry air … pollen … dust … road fumes, etc.
After I returned to Kentucky in Mid-July 2013, I began to cough a lot. August 1st was the start of sleepless nights, coughing up phlegm of assorted colors and consistencies. I tried the cough drops and sprays and nose sprays but it got so bad I finally went to see a doctor. He was a nurse practitioner actually. His approach was to throw a myriad of pills and antibiotics at it, without ever determining what “it” was. After several days I decided I needed a specialist, an internist.
I found a good doctor in Bowling Green. She is a top-rated internist and she wasted no time admitting me into the hospital for tests. Well, 29 vials of blood drawn now in three days, countless pills, O2 “up my nose with a rubber hose”, dozens of shots, tests, cat scans, ultrasounds, and such later, they still don’t know what it is. I have blood clots in mu lungs and I am having trouble breathing.
So my riding days are done (for now) while I sit in a hospital bed and type away. I am texting and emailing friends because I cannot talk well. Talking triggers the coughing fits that get very violent sometimes. I honestly thought I ruptured my stomach at one point, from the pain.
Of course, hospitals and sleep are mutually exclusive. I am lucky to get two hours of sleep (if I don’t awaken coughing) before someone comes in to inject something into me, draw something out of me, or have me swallow something, take my vitals, etc. Time is standing still. The blinds are drawn, so if it weren’t for the clock on the wall and the computer, I wouldn’t know what day or time it was.
I hope they find out what this is soon, because I am quickly growing tired of this circus. The hospital staff is fantastic. I am receiving VERY good care here at the Medical Center in Bowling Green. However, I am tired of this bed, and this routine. I have a lot to do and no energy to do it.
Death doesn’t frighten me at all, but a life of incapacitation scares the Hell out of me.
June 25, 2013
I have accomplished a lot in the past few weeks. I helped a friend to install a new bathroom fan, and then I knocked a BIG hole into the wall of his house to install a new vinyl sliding glass door. Up here in Camarillo, I am staying with Jim and Judi. I am keeping myself busy by constructing a new patio cover after tearing down the old one on a whim. It was 26 years old and needed to be replaced.
Meanwhile, I decided that the old “gold crowns” I got when I was 16 after knocking out my two front teeth were a bit dated and worn. So I visited Jim’s dentist and decided to take the plunge. After a couple of visits, and with one visit to go, I am going to have a new, bright, Hollywood smile! My dental insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic work, so the $6,500.00 bill is coming out of my pocket. The old caps really needed to be replaced, and I just thought this would be a good time to do it.
Later, I will drop back into L.A. to visit with my sister, and then down to “Sandy Eggo” area to visit friends, stop by the grave of my mom and step-dad, and take care of a few other things.
While at the bicycle rally in Paso Robles over Memorial Day Weekend, I bought a used Cannondale bicycle. I wasn’t looking for one but I test rode this one and decided that it was something I would probably ride around Kentucky.
I am staying on the west coast a lot longer than originally anticipated but I am getting a lot done! I am still looking into remodeling two bathrooms in a friend’s house. They really need to be done.
“Frankenbarn” or “Barnzilla” is on hold until the funding comes through to finish the project. The basic structure is there, but it has no electric, plumbing or HVAC installed yet. Hopefully by the time I return to Kentucky, the additional $100K mortgage loan will be approved and I can finish the building.
May 19, 2013
I left my house Sunday morning around 10:30 after a thunderstorm passed over Franklin, KY., and pulled into a Motel 6 on Monday morning around 8:30, after 1,200 miles of riding. I rode through Shawnee, Ohhhhh-klahoma. shortly after the tornado tore that town apart. Dodging rubble in the streets, I found a gas station with power and filled up.
Just 1/4 mile short of the San Jon, New Mexico off ramp, I ran out of gas. I called my old friend Casey at MTS Motorcycle towing, and after a few phone calls, I got someone to bring me a gallon of gas to make it to the off ramp and to the Vallejo Gas Station where I topped off the tank.
So the answer to the question, “How far can a 2012 Gold Wing travel pulling a trailer?” is 210 miles.
I rode out another tank of fuel and pulled into a Motel 6 is whatever town this is in Texas. After 9 hours of sleep, I am now going to get back onto the road and finish the last 1,000 miles to CA. I prefer to ride at night. It is cooler, the sun isn’t beating down on you, and the traffic is far less. I should roll into CA. tomorrow afternoon around 4:00 PM. .
May 17, 2013
Well, I am ready to leave. I HOPE I will pull out of Kentucky tomorrow. I was able to make out my Will, which was a BIG step for me. Now if I am crushed by a speeding semi-truck, all will be handled by my friends and attorneys! I am still fighting to pack everything on my bike. i am trying so hard to NOT take my trailer along this time. Stay tuned!
April 28, 2013
It is looking like I will take the trailer along. I want to bring more than I can pack on my bike alone. Current plan is to pull out on the morning of May 15th
April 09, 2013
I am preparing for another short road trip. I will be leaving for Commiefornia in Mid-May to attend the Great Western Bicycle Rally in Paso Robles, CA. over Memorial Day Weekend. After the rally, I will return to Kentucky to continue the barn project. This time, I am going to really TRY to make the trip without towing the trailer. I will try to pack everything into the three luggage compartments of my Gold Wing. If I can’t do that, then I will bring the trailer along.
March 01,2013 – My 2013 Project!
I tore down an old tobacco barn and now I am replacing it with a new workshop, or “FrankenBarn” as I like to call it. The original plan was for a 24′x32′ wood shop, but now it has grown into something far greater. Bookmark the link to the FLICKR page and check back now and then to watch the progress!
February 14, 2013
Hi folks. I am settled back in Kentucky and working on a new project. I recently tore down an old tobacco barn on my property. Now I am constructing a new workshop/guest house that will have a storm shelter in the basement, a workshop on the ground level and guest bedrooms above. Spring is approaching.
I am not sure if I will take another motorcycle tour this year, but I MAY get out to CommieFornia for a few days near the end of May for the Great Western Bicycle Rally which is held over Memorial Day Weekend in Paso Robles, CommieFornia.I have attended the rally 27 times over years passed, but it is a chance to visit my friends who cannot escape to Free America, and an opportunity to ride my 2012 Honda Gold Wing across the country one more time.I will post any plans for such a trip here. Thanks for checking in!
December 15, 2012
I am settled back in Kentucky now, and working on new projects. I am tearing down an old tobacco barn and replacing it with a new building that will be a storm shelter, a workshop and a place for guests to stay when they visit.
I’m settled back into my home now. I have lots of work to do. The trip was enjoyable, but I was sad to see it come to an end. I am riding my bike now without towing the trailer. I am once again enjoying the nimble response and terrific power of the bike! I can’t seem to find enough hours in the day to get everything done. Time sure flies by!
September 3 – Labor Day
Today I am going to leave Maine and ride south. I have not been taking as many photographs as before. Much of the scenery along the roads in this part of the country is just corn fields and such. Pretty to look at, but not photo worthy. The ride is going well. I am really enjoying touring the country by staying off of the Interstates and major highways. It is taking longer to get anywhere, but there is so much more to see!
I am heading for the north most point of the USA in Maine.
Narrow roads on the way down from Mt. Washington in Maine!
I rode into the Chicago area on the 14th and connected with my second cousin, Gail. She put me up at her place for the night, a really NICE “suite” in the basement of her home. Today, I went to a local clinic to see about a hacking cough that has been pestering me for some time. I was going to just ignore it, but this morning, while clearing my throat, a fair amount of blood came up in my throat. The doctor decided that it was probably some version of acid reflux. She gave me a cough medicine with codine for sleeping soundly at night (We’ll see about that) and suggested Claritin for allergies, and PrevAcid for the stomach issues that were causing the scratchy, burning throat. I’ll let you know if this “cures” the nightly coughing spells.
Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to have lunch with my Uncle Paul. He is a character! It was a nice munch, and we will get together tomorrow (Paul, Gail and myself) for a lunch to spend some family time together.
Tomorrow night, I’m having dinner with an old grammar school friend, Al Kabak. Most of you do not know Al, but he has always been like a ‘Big Brother’ to me. We went in separate directions when my family moved to California, but I still consider Al to be a very close friend.
Right now I am in a laundromat doing the clothes again.
There is a rain storm passing over me at the moment. I could ride through it, but why? I decided to stay a second night in the Mo Rest Motel here in Mobridge, South Dakota. According to the weather report, the storm should pass later today and I’ll have clear riding weather tomorrow,. There isn’t a lot to do in this town, so I guess I’ll try to catch up on updating this site, and get the photo album sorted out.
I finally made it to Sturgis, South Dakota. the rally was basically what I expected, but I did learn a lot. First, you cannot possibly experience “Sturgis” in one visit. It is simply too BIG! Second, most things are very expensive. Hotel rooms at the Holiday Inn Express were going for $450.00 per night. I camped at “Hog Heaven” for $29.00 per night, including hot showers and a nice, shady campsite. I am glad I attended, and I wish I had a lot more time to really get involved in the activities there. However, in three days, I basically got just a small taste of the event.
Tonight I am in Mobridge, South Dakota. I will continue east tomorrow. I checked into the Mo Rest Motel and got a nice room for $47.00. It is currently midnight, so I can’t do a full report now. Enjoy the photos I uploaded to the FLICKR site, and check back now and then for updates.
I am camped in “Hog Heaven” in Sturgis. The ride into Sturgis was great. We stopped at a motorcycle dealership in Laramie so David could get a new tire mounted to his BMW. When that was done, we hit the road and rolled into Sturgis around 5:00 PM.
Today I am doing laundry and running a few errands. I will spend the afternoon walking the vendor booths (HUNDREDS of them) while looking for some of the accessories I desire for my Goldwing. Sadly, this is a HARLEY event, and I haven’t seen a vendor yet that has anything for a bike other than a Harley. There must be 1/2 million people here. Bikes are everywhere.
Of course, you know me! I am already formulating ideas for thigs I could do here at Sturgis to make a few bucks. I see LOTS of room for improvement.
There is no helmet law here, so I am enjoying the freedom of choice, unlike when I lived in California where you HAD no choice. No one in town is moving fast enough to crash anyway, save losing one’s balance during a slow maneuver.
I am certainly glad I came to experience Sturgis. I might even come back again! (More later …)
On the way to Sturgis, I ran across ten guys also taking the same route to Sturgis.
Roger is the leader of the group, in that he organized the group ride to Sturgis, made the reservations, and sort of kept the group moving until the flat tire on David’s bike occurred.
One of the men, David, riding a BMW, picked up a screw in the center of his front tire. I stopped to help. We first tried the tire plug furnished by BMW. It was simple to install, but it didn’t seal the tire. Then we inserted some liquid tire sealer. At first it held, but then several miles later, David pulled over again. the plug failed and the liquid was leaking out. So the rest of the group circled back to
see where David was.
Another rider pulled out his “Bull C**k Tire Plugs, which are the thick, sticky rope plugs that are inserted into a hole and snipped off at the tread. This one seemed to work. David was able to ride with us to Laramie, Wyoming.
The group pulled into the Fairfield Inn (Marriott) and I just assumed they had reservations here, so I went to the front desk and got a room. Then when I came out, I thought, “Gosh … I hope they weren’t just stopping for a bathroom break!” As it turned out, they did have rooms reserved, so I am staying in the same hotel tonight.
In this little town, there is a Harley dealership and a Honda dealership. We will check in the morning to see if they have ANY tire that will fit the BMW. I am guessing that they will not. The next option is to CAREFULLY ride the plugged tire to Sturgis, or have a new tire FedEx shipped to the hotel overnight, and replace the tire on Wednesday. We will know by tomorrow morning whether David can ride out of here or not.
After checking in, we met at a local restaurant in town, the “Altitude” which was a nice place. I had a chef’s salad and some rolls. Now I am back in the room and wrapping up things for the night.
Tomorrow: STURGIS! I hope I can find a place to pitch a tent. I’ll get a room if one is available, but that is highly doubtful.
I had a nice long chat on the C.B. with Scott Beach, a water truck driver for a local company. He was fun to chat with, and he verified that my C.B. was working adequately.
I only took a few photos today. I’ll post them to the FLICKR account.
Today’s ride was fast and smooth. Much of it at the very tippy-top of the speed limit.The scenery was not too good at keeping my attention, and combined with the HEAT, I found myself guzzling water from a gallon container and pounding down the AMP energy boost drinks to keep me awake.
Once north of Price, there was more to look at, but the landscape was Sirius-XM Satellite Radio! It kept me entertained while I blasted through this stretch.
At one point, on a stretch of road lined with guard rails, a large moving van was approaching from the other direction. He was climbing a grade, and I was rolling downhill. He had his lane, and I had mine. The lanes were marked with the double yellow line, meaning NO PASSING. Suddenly, a black SUV darted out from behind him, on the UPgrade, and tried to pass the truck. I hit my brights (and my brakes!) but it was clear he wasn’t going to make it past the truck before I reached the truck. So thankfully, I was on a motorcycle instead of driving a car. I rolled over to the far right, the big truck rolled over to his right, and the SUV flew past me with about a foot of space to spare. If I were in a car, it would have been a head-on collision. I seriously thought about turning around and … talking … to the guy driving the SUV with the large chrome wheels and the blacked out taillights, but after a moment I thought, “No harm done” and kept riding northeast.
The heat and the dry air took all of my energy out of me. I got to Price, but wanted to ride a lot further, since Sturgis is still some 800 miles away. Well, I rode for another hour, reaching Vernal, and flat ran out of energy. Fortunately, this Super-8 Motel was here and had a room. I’ll get a good rest tonight, and tackle some real miles tomorrow.
Saturday August 4
OUCH! The ankle is warning me to take it very easy today. It isn’t visibly swollen, but I can tell that it is sprained, which isn’t difficult, as this ankle has been sprained at least a dozen times over the years. you know what “they” say … “If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of my body!”
It is 7:30 A.M. I’m going to pack up and head for Bryce Canyon today.
I rode through Bryce Canyon and the Capitol Reef National Park. Both were certainly worth the ride! I started heading north toward Sturgis, but I ran across a motel along the way and decided to stop for the night.
Friday August 3
I headed for Bryce Canyon National Park today, but decided that since I had to kill some time before going to Sturgis, I could also run down an additional 40 miles and ride through Zion National Park. So I passed by the turnoff for Bryce and continued southwest.
Nearing the entrance, I stopped at the Best Western to make sure I would have a room for the night. I checked into the Thunderbird Hotel, but the room wasn’t ready yet. The housekeepers had not changed out the bedding from the previous guest. Bummer! Anyway, I got the key to the room, stopped for a quick snack and headed to Zion.
I had been to Zion many years ago. When my Mom purchased her first car, a 1967 Ford Falcon, and only one week after learning how to drive, she packed my sister, Lynda and myself into the car and headed out for Colorado. I didn’t have much of a memory of Zion, (or anything else from my childhood for that matter), so it was all new again for me! What a beautiful park! The road is only 12 miles from end to end, but I still managed to wring out nearly 1,000 photos from the journey! I whittled them down to a respectable amount, which I uploaded to the FLICKR account.
Once in the park, it didn’t take me long to learn my first lesson about Utah roads. They have really SOFT SHOULDERS! I pulled to the right to allow an RV to pass me, and the bike sank into what appeared to be solid pavement, but turned out to be 6″ of red sand and pea gravel. Thank God the bike tipped to the left rather than to the right, which would have been far more difficult to lift.
The electric reverse could not pull the bike out, so I had to straighten up the Wing, get the side stand down, mount the bike from the high side while trying to NOT topple it over into the hillside and extend my right leg enough to touch down while the bike was still balanced. Once started again, I very slowly eased the bike forward, hoping that the shoulder would not give way and dump the whole rig into the ditch. Thankfully, the bike was able to climb out of the gravel by moving forward ever-so-slowly, allowing the front wheel to bite the pavement and then the rear wheel eventually catching something solid.
This morning, I have a slightly sprained left ankle. The bike landed on that ankle when it tipped over, and at the time I knew my foot had been pinned, but I didn’t think there was any damage. Well, I’m able to walk and ride, but I’ll have to nurse it for a few days until it bends again without pain.
I rode the length of the park, and then turned around to come back through, to return to the hotel. At the far end, I was treated to a rain shower that wasn’t intense, but I SWEAR the raindrops were the size of grapes! I kept getting hit with what felt like tiny water balloons. I donned my Frog Togs for the return trip, but as Murphy would have it, I didn’t see a drop of water on the way back.
Perhaps out of frustration, I had dinner in the Thunderbird Hotel’s restaurant. I ordered the prime rib dinner, but it was more than I could finish. Oh well, live and … learn?!?
Thursday August 2
I rode to Mt. Pleasant today after leaving the Hogan’s house around 10:30 AM. I am still avoiding the Interstates, so the ride was a bit slower, but more scenic and a VERY lonely road.
Neven was in Denver! Too bad. I really wanted to see her! Anna was running the store,but when I introduced myself, I was disappointed to learn that Anna did not remember me. She was such a fun child, swinging on my arm when I’d deliver Ryder trucks to her parents’ dealership. Now, I was just a stranger to her. Still, she seemed to be in good health and doing well. She is happily married with two children now.
Wednesday August 1
I really enjoyed riding down through Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons National Park! The scenery was terrific! I decided to ride down to Payson, Utah and “crash” at the home of my family friends, the Hogans. Josh and Lisa were in good spirits. We ate dinner at the Chuck Wagon Buffet.
They were fun to visit, and I had a chance to get to know their grandchildren, Addelynn and Maddison a little better. I also learned that a 4-year-old knows a lot more about playing “Sorry!” than I do! She was really good at “Go Fish” too. Tomorrow I’m heading to Mt. Pleasant to visit with Denise and her daughter, Anna. Denise, now “Neven Hannon” runs a really BIG thrift store there, and I hope to get a chance to visit with her.
Monday July 31
Up here in the wilderness, Internet access is spotty, at best. Even with my Verizon Mi-Fi card and my AT&T Broadband USB card, I still find places where it is impossible to connect. I left Yellowstone and continued south, finding myself at the entrance of the Grand Tetons National Park. The route through the park is my chosen path on my way to Utah, where I will visit with the Hogans and my friend Neven Silvere. The ride was beautiful through the Grand Tetons. I took lots of photos and some video as well.
When I left the park, I continued south toward Payson, Utah. the ride was smooth, and the scenery in that part of Utah was rather ordinary and not very conducive to photography. Wyoming has a wide variety of terrain. I saw the most beautiful parts, and then cruised through the more boring areas.
At the Utah state line, I met Florencia and Daniella. These two charming young ladies had bright, bubbly personalities. I would have enjoyed taking either one of them along for the rest of the tour. Of course … I’d have to ignore the fact that I was old enough to be their father. They posed for a photo (taken with their camera) so I hope they remember to sent it to me, so I can post it here. I shot a photo of them in their car as they were leaving.
I landed here in Evanston, Wyoming tonight. I have a VERY nice room in the Best Western Hotel. After camping for a few days, I decided to treat myself to a nice room tonight.
Sunday July 30
I stayed in Yellowstone again tonight. The park is simply too big to see in one day. I took a boatload of photos, so be patient! I will upload many of them to the FLICKR account as soon as possible.
Saturday July 28
Today I rode southeast toward the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Much of the ride was at speeds of 70+, with only one three-mile section of road being repaired, which slowed me down over the gravel and sand. I had a delicious burger at The Buckhorn Bar in Augusta, Montana, and moved on to settle into a hotel in Ennis, Montana. I have a nice room at the Fan Mountain Inn! I checked in around 5:00 PM. I wanted time to upload photos and such, and to catch up on some things. I will leave early tomorrow morning for Yellowstone, which is only 75 miles away now.
Friday July 27
I got a late start, but I WAS able to ride though the Glacier National Park today. I am so glad I decided to turn north. the ride was phenomenal, and the views were breathtaking. Portions of the road were gravel and/or mud, because workers were busy clearing away recent mudslid. There was one section which was a one-lane road, and we had to sit there for a while while flagmen directed traffic around a very narrow passage along the rocks.
I stopped in Choteau (“Show-Tow”) Montana, and set up my tent at the Choteau RV campground, which is a former K.O.A. location. The first impression was that the park was in dire need of maintenance. However, I set up in one of their “Tent Villages” and the site actually was the BEST tent site I have had thus far. The shower building was clean and working, and there was ample hot water for a shower. The price for the night: Only $16.00 including an electric hook-up so I cold charge up my electronics.
The two motels in town were booked! Apparently, I stumbled onto a Fiddler’s Convention being held here.
The storm that passed over us during the night was more wind than rain, but we got a great lightning show, and the winds nearly uprooted my tent stakes! I still fell asleep to the sound of distant thunder, and when it passed, the fresh air and the cool breeze made for a restful night’s sleep.
I am heading for Yellowstone tomorrow.
Thursday July 26
I intended to ride to, and THROUGH Glacier National Park today. However, I ran across the Miracle of America Museum near Polson, Montana, and I just had to see it. I posted photos to give you a sampling of what it contains, but this is a MUST SEE tourist spot. You won’t believe the huge and varied collection of all things American that Mr. Gil Mangles has gathered together. Tthe $5.00 admission fee is more than reasonable! I highly recommend seeing this place when you get the opportunity!
After the museum, I rode just a bit further and checked into the Econo-Lodge in Kalispell, Montana. I will ride through Glacier National Park tomorrow, and then head for Yellowstone!
On a side note, I stopped at a laundromat to clean my clothes. In the course of a conversation with another person, I left with all of my socks still tumbling in a dryer. 126 miles later, I realized that I had not taken them out! So I dropped into the local Wal-Mart and purchased new ones.
Wednesday July 25
MY! How time flies! I am in (or near) Misoula, Montana tonight. I checked into a small motel on the outskirts of town. The last few days have been nothing but great riding! Sadly, I have not had Internet access until now. Even my Verizon MiFi unit and the ATT USB broadband unit would not find enough ‘bars” to make a connection.
I left Washington state and rode through Idaho along the Clearwater river, which runs for a LONG distance. I rode alongside the river for most of today, virtually all of yesterday, and a bit on the 23rd. There are a few videos to watch. Check the Videos link at the top of the home page.
Eastern Washington was the first time I saw the sun in days. The coast was intensely beautiful, green, plush and alive. However, the non-stop drizzle made it less than completely enjoyable. Once I headed east, the sun came out, I shed the cold weather clothing and slapped on the sunscreen! The wide fields of wheat (?) in eastern Washington were pretty, but boring. I blasted through them until I hit Idaho. Then the scenery began to become interesting again.
I stopped in a small Federal park in Idaho for the night (July 24th). The campsite was nice, but they didn’t have showers! I freshened up a bit with the pop-up wet towels and went to sleep. In the morning, I left for Montana, intending to ride toward the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park. At a decision point, and while eating lunch in a restaurant, some people convinced me to ride NORTH to see Glacier National Park, since I was only 100 miles south of it.
So I stopped in town for a motel room, and to upload images, charge camera batteries and relax. Tomorrow, I will head toward the west entrance to Glacier, but I may not actually enter the park for another day. I want to take my time and actually SEE and PHOTOGRAPH the park, since I will probably not get back to it again in this lifetime.
Sunday July 22
After spending the night in the guest room at Tina’s house in Woodinville, I headed north. I arrived at the Peace Arches Park at the U.S./Canadian border around 2:30 PM. I shot some photos which I uploaded to the FLICKR.COM account. I had lunch at a diner in Stanwood(?) Washington. The owner’s wife, Yvonne, sings to the customers as they work. She is a lot of fun! Look for the video in the You Tube videos link at the top of the home page.
I made it to Baine, Washington, and rode into the parking lot of the Peace Arches National Park. Odd, that a patch of grass a couple hundred feet wide constitutes the northern border. No metal fences, no one selling cheap plaster statues, no one trying to illegally enter our country. Quite a bit different from the southern border I’d say!
I left Baine, and headed east, but again, the dark, wet cloud overhead convinced me to check into a hotel for the night. I am staying at the Three Rivers Inn, in Sedro Wooley, Washington. I got a nice room for a fair price.
The restaurant next door, “Alfy’s Pizza and Sports Bar,” was my dinner spot. The entrance made it look like a swanky restaurant and their prices reassured me of a great dining experience. I walked in and took a seat, waiting for the waitress to come and take my order. No such luck. When she finally got to me, she said, “People usually order at the counter and pay for the food before it is served.” So this was just a pizza joint, despite the upscale appearance! I ordered the Hawaiian Pizza and a soda. The pizza seemed to take forever to get to me, but maybe I was just impatient. It was rather ordinary. I kept thinking I had ordered from Little Caesar’s. The pizza was … okay, but I think a frozen D’Giorno’s would have tasted better. I left the “waitress” a $1.00 tip, even though I had to order my own food, get my own drink, pick my own silverware, and find my own table. Essentially, I paid her a dollar to carry my pizza to my table for me. If they had called my number, I could have fetched it myself. I would rate Alfy’s as a “pass” for riders who are looking for an exceptional meal after a long day’s ride.
Saturday July 21
I woke up early today an got moving before 9:00 AM. That makes a difference! Now I am sitting at the Bremerton/Seattle Ferry entrance, waiting for the boat.
UPDATE: I met Tina on the ferry. She crossed with me. In Seattle, we went to a Denny’s for a lunch. I know! I didn’t want to eat at any place I could eat at while at home. Well, I made an exception. She is a nice woman who likes to ride! I reluctantly accepted her invitation to stay in her guest room tonight. We headed out and saw the new Batman movie. Now I’m turning in! Good night!
Thursday July 19
I woke up early. Rebecca made a great egg breakfast, and I polished off the other half of last night’s lasagna dinner. It was delicious! I’m hoping to head out today, but I am waiting for a call from the shop to see if they can resolve the cell phone/headset hookup issue that has not yet been addressed. If they can, I’ll head back tot heir shop. If not, I’m heading north again!
Wednesday July 18
I received an E-mail stating that the error “We Have a Problem” is still popping up with the GPS tracking page. I will work on correcting that. Meanwhile, just close the error message window by clicking on the red “X” and you should be logged in, or LOG IN with “joejones” as the username and password. This should get you into the page.
It is just after 7:00 AM. I’m up, so I’m going to get some things done this morning. Tonight, I believe I will visit a good friend, Rebecca, who lives in Beaverton, Oregon. That will give me a chance to hit the Honda dealerships along the way for the headset cord, and then I’ll probably circle back toward the coast.
I headed to Rebecca Noel’s house. She offered to let me crash at her place for the night. Rebecca is a sweet spirit with a lot of energy! We visited, and she watched me eat my first meal of the day, dinner, at a local Italian restaurant. She is careful about what she eats, and nothing in my food repetoire appealed to her! We visited though, and watched “Wrath of the Titans” on her TV before turning in.
Earlier in the afternoon, I headed to a motorcycle shop that had the headset cord I needed. I had to replace the entire headset though, because the one Honda sold to me is … outdated. The new one sounds much better, and it has a sturdier cord.
Tuesday July 17
Today, I’m going to try to get some miles in. I have been progressing too slowly, due mainly to the scenery and the winding roads along the California coastline. Now I should be able to make better time.
I settled into a little motel called the Captain Cook Inn. Located in Lincoln City, Oregon, this place is just great! The room is amazing! Wood floors, a large closet, TV, microwave, DVD player, fridge, coffee maker, and a radiator for heat. I haven’t seen one of these in working condition in 40 years! There are photos and a video of the interior of the room. All of this for only $49.00 for the night. WOW!
It is a bit wet and foggy here, with an ever-present drizzle making things a bit soggy. Typical for Oregon’s coastline, I guess. I bought a tarp to cover the bike tonight. When I find a motorcycle cover, I’ll get one, but for now, the tarp will have to suffice.
Monday July 16
Happy Birthday to Me! Today I turned 54. UGH! I woke up to the sound of the URAL motorcycle starting up outside of my room. Kevin and Amy invited me to join them for breakfast in the diner next to the Motel Trees. The food was good! The restaurant’s ceiling was unusual. It had the bottoms of ducks stuck to the ceiling, and it was painted to look like the surface of water from below. It gave the illusion of being at the bottom of a deep pond. Sadly, I was distracted when leaving, and failed to capture photos of it.
I stopped in Crescent City to have my bicycle packed up and shipped home. I wanted to ride it … maybe … through the Redwoods and other places, but time has proven to be a worthy adversary, and it became apparent that there would not really be any time to take a ride on the bicycle. So I stopped at a bicycle shop and had him pack it into a box. He will take it to the FedEx/UPS center (conveniently located only a few doors away) and they’ll send it home. I also sent a box containing several T-shirts I wasn’t wearing. They don’t have pockets, so they are less utilitarian than the pocketed shirts. Along with them, I packed the broken (but repairable) shock absorber, my cycling shoes and garb, and a few other things.
I rode to Coos Bay, Oregon today. I’m staying in a nice motel at the north end of town. The rooms are a little pricy, but I arrived at nearly 8:00 and thought I’d better settle in somewhere. I’ll try to camp tomorrow.
Sunday July 15
Today I woke up early, but took my time getting my things together. I left the Redwoods River resort around 10:30 AM. Heading north along highway 101, I headed for the Avenue of the Giants, the most beautiful and peaceful place i have ever been. I set up a camera to take photos and a video of the ride through the park. I only rode aobut 100 miles today, but it took all day, because I kept stopping for photos!
This evening, I happened upon the “Motel Trees” which is a nice little motel on 101. It is directly across from the Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox wood carvings. This room is nothing shirt of fantastic! It is clean and fresh, newly remodeled too. I will post photos on the Flickr Site. I met Kevin and Amy, two riders on Ducati Motorcycles, who are heading for Seattle. Also, Ray and Marguerite Hull, of Paso Robles, Ca. They are riding a Russian “URAL” with a sidecar!
I must tell you, I believe I had the best sub sandwich I have ever eaten, today, purchased from a deli in a small grocery store. “Murphy’s ” in Trinidad gave me a Beef, Turkey and Ham sandwich that was so good that I was temped to order a second one, just because I didn’t want it to end! They used an old-fashioned Dutch bread. “Catalina” made the sandwich for me. She was really cute!
Tomorrow, I cross into Oregon!
Saturday July 14
I got some good sleep and woke up around 9:30 AM. I didn’t want to shower, because I was anxious to get rolling. As I broke camp, a man came by looking for my campsite tag. I paid him the $20.00, which I was going to do in the store after my vehicle was packed. I guess he thought I was going to skip out on the fee! Anyway, we chatted briefly, and then I hit the road.
I rode north along highway 1 for a while. Twisties! Gosh, they talk about “The Tail of The Dragon” in Tennessee. That road pales in comparison to riding Highway 1 along the northern California coastline! When I finally hit Highway 101, I was a bit relieved to be able to travel faster, without so much concentration. It would be very easy to ride right off of a cliff on Highway 1, because the scenery is breathtaking!
My goal was the Avenue of the Giants, but I was still fatigued from yesterday’s ride, so I pulled into The Redwoods River Resort and Campground. this is a nice place, covered with huge redwoods and sequoia trees. The campsites are okay. Right now, I have Mexican music hitting me from a neighboring campsite, but what the heck! It is only 7:48 PM now.
I decided to stop early because I needed electricity to charge the cameras and phone and … and …, and I wanted to get caught up on this site before it got too dark.
Right now, I am dumping the images and videos from the cameras to the hard drive. then I’ll sort through them and post a few for your viewing. Be patient! This is a lot of work!
Friday July 13
I am waiting for UPS to deliver the new shock absorbers for my Escapade Elite trailer. Supposedly, they will be here by 10:30 AM. When they arrive, I’ll install them and try to get going. If I am delayed, I’ll stay here in Santa Cruz for one more day, and leave on Saturday morning.
The shocks arrived at 9:00 AM. I installed one of them to get me on the road. The other one will be installed later on. I rode into San Francisco to a store that sells the Drift camera. The ride up to the store was … interesting. I wasn’t sure about the area I was riding through. The people on both sides of the streets resembled extras for AMC’s Series, “The Walking Dead.” It was one, big circus!
The architecture in San Francisco is amazing. Most of the buildings are in disrepair, but their style tells stories of a grander time, when picturesque buildings lined the streets. Part of me wanted to stay for a day or so and photograph the city, but another part of me wanted to get moving! So after picking up what I needed, I rode north.
I figured that I would save some money by finding a cheap motel or a campground 10 or 15 miles north of Frisco. Was I WRONG! The Inns, Lodges and Resorts all wanted in the neighborhood of $200.00 per night! I wasn’t going to pay that, so I just kept riding… and riding … and riding. Going north on Highway 1 out of Frisco, one quickly learns that there is nothing affordable until you are well away from the city.
I left the store at 6:30, and rode until 12:30 AM. FINALLY, I came upon a private campground with a $20.00 fee. A guy met me outside of the store and told me to pitch the camp, and pay the fee in the morning. I had the whole “Group 1″ are to myself. It was fairly quiet. They only had porta-potties, and coin operated showers, but I decided to just sleep in and deal with things tomorrow.