Sunday, June 16, 2013
I near departure for a tour of the West. All winter I've been scooting around so Cal and AZ while I worked through some medical details at the VA and got the truck motor rebuilt in Tucson while I attended an ARAMCO Brat reunion there. Meanwhile in San Diego I was having the wr250r motorcycle prepped as an adventure tourer. All is ready and I just have to pack up and go.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I ground to a stop three times today. It was just starting to mist when I left my cousin's house near Hwy 92 and continued to the coast at Half Moon Bay. That's a beautiful ride and I would have enjoyed it if the road were dry. I fought condensation and rain on my visor to the coast and on south. Feeling freaked by the rain and hoping to outrun it southward, I passed the last gas stations before Hwy 1 and thought those stations would be challenging to get to across congested traffic and through U-turns in the rain. I thought that surely there will be gas right on 1 and I could glide in on my right side. Hmmm. No gas. But wait, there is a distance sign... Davenport just 38 miles. Sure, I can do that. The adage for TW owners of never passing a chance to refuel whispering in the back of my mind, I continued and there ahead was Davenport. Whew. Or so I thought. There was no gas and I had another 11 miles to Santa Cruz. My trip meter was at 110. opps. I turned around and rode past all 8 buildings and parked to start asking people for gas. After the highway prospects were eliminated, I started up the residential street. The first house had a guy and his wife near their pickup and after discussing the options (none) he offered to siphon gas from his truck. He cut off a length of his garden hose and worked it into his tank. I found some empty drink cups, wiped them out and had the precious liquid in hand. He, however had gotten a more gas in his mouth than he intended and some in his eye as well. I felt so bad for him, especially remembering the swigs of gas I had as a teen. He came back out of the house with his eye and around it red and swollen. Well, just a little puffy. He clearly had gotten the worst of the transaction. He wouldn't take money or an invitation to lunch, just glad to help someone in need. Just then his mom pulled up, saying that there had been a head on collision on the way to Santa Cruz and the road would not be open for a couple hours. I had lunch and rode down to see if I could get through. Of course not. The LEO at an intersection was directing traffic through a detour and it would be an extra ten miles. But there was a town with gas in the hills through which the detour went, but I had to make several turns to get there. Naturally, I could only remember the first turn and couldn't stop to write anything down in the rain. Soon lost, I pressed on until the bike died and coast to a stop in a driveway. No one home there and I went back down the road to an intersection with a bank of rural mail boxes. The 4th person I asked offered to go home and fetch back a can of gas. As I was pouring it into my tank I asked "May I empty it?" "Sure, please do." There was nearly a gallon and I was so grateful. He gave me directions to the closest gas station and I was on my way after profuse thanks and good wishes. This new road was narrow, twisty, and oh so wet. After several stretches of signed one lane pavement, I was beginning to wonder if I would need to repeat my begging further down the road when suddenly I was on Hwy 9 and in Ben Lomand, going into a gas station. Now this seemed survivable after I had wiped clear my glasses and visor. Back out into the misting rain, I was soon passing Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park campground. I debated; push on or camp in the rain. Onward I went into Santa Cruz to find creeping traffic on Hwy 1. For the better part of an hour I crept along, thinking it would break soon and I could stay with my plan to camp south of Monterey if only I could out run the rain. Actually, I wasn't thinking clearly at that point. Traffic stretched on ahead disappearing into the rain. I saw a motel from the highway and gave in, getting off at the next ramp and checking in. 66 bucks, but I'm warm and dry. I'll find the Youth Hostel here in town and wait out this rain through the weekend. Monday will be good to ride Big Sur, dry and less people.
Saturday October 23rd Atascadero
On this trip through Big Sur I went faster than any previous time. Landmarks where I had stayed and hiked before clicked by quickly and soon I was near sea lions basking on the beach. It was easy to tell where they were by sense of smell as I rode past them. I stopped to eat at San Simeon with a watchful eye on the clouds to the west; it was 1:30 and I was expecting the rain to be on time. In fact, it did not rain at all until the evening in A-Town. I’m glad I didn’t stay in the motel believing that it would rain all weekend.
Thursday Oct 28
I'm headed for Bakersfield today. Looking forward to seeing friends and family.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
FLASH! – Lightning lights up everything in the tent like I’m surrounded by paparazzi and less than a second later – KRAKA BOOM! Thunder shakes me and I can feel the sound go through my body. I’m camped on BLM land with the closest people 7 miles away. Rain is pummeling the tent and I’m laying on my sleeping bag and pad. If the tent takes a hit, maybe the aluminum poles will shunt it to the ground. Just an hour before, I had decided to not ride 20 miles to Rangley for food – the overcast sky had turned darker and I could see the gray out of rain under clouds in several directions. I raced back to my campsite up 5 miles of pavement and 2 miles of dirt road with the first drops hitting my face shield during the last ½ mile. With the bike covered, rain fly tied to it and my gear thrown inside, I had made it just in time. Celery, a handful of trail mix and a cup of yogurt would be dinner tonight. Tomorrow I can get food in Vernal, UT on my way to Flaming Gorge.
This has been a fun day of riding into the
(click on this picture to see the petroglyphs)
… Going back to the last 3 weeks, I was at Robin’s much longer than I had anticipated. I was only going to stop and say hello, but it turned out there was a project for me to do there. Her father, who was a famous wildlife painter, had left several thousand prints of his work as her inheritance and I volunteered to photograph them for her so she could sell them on line. I set her up with an eBay seller’s account, PayPal and posted them on Flicker as well. We had to go to
Montrose every other day and fiddle with it on the library computer, but finally we finished about July 25th and I was ready to go. But, a friend of hers, Andras had arrived about a week or two before and he wanted some similar help. So, on the 26th I was off on my journey again, taking a scenic route to
Monday Aug 2 Dinosaur to
Waking up with the scent of wet sage, I packed feeling hungry. I was eager to get to Dinosaur and buy anything they had to eat. I had to rest between stages of packing like Survivorman conserving his energy to keep from boinking. This was a laundry day in Vernal, meaning that I was wearing just a tee shirt, swim trunks and moccasins during the process. I could charge my phone while I waited. After a quick stop at the Forest Service office to get a suggestion for a camp spot and I tore off to get to a cooler altitude. Too soon, as it turned out. I was just in time to get wet the last 2 miles before my camp site. I guess I should have taken the time to look at the museum in Vernal – lots of dinosaurs. Just as I got the tent up, the rain stopped. I was in a beautiful spot, though. Aspens, fur trees and flowers everywhere. Sorry, little lupine. I had to put my tent somewhere and you got squashed. Pollination should be no problem for the rest of the flowers, there were plenty of flies. None made it into the tent, but I could watch them from inside where they were trapped between the mesh top of the tent and the rain fly. I’m easily entertained.
Tue Aug 3
The tent fly was wet inside and out this morning but I couldn’t wait for it to dry. I need to ride about 220 miles to get to the next forest. I stopped at a scenic turnout and almost dumped the bike turning through some gravel on the road. Both feet were out like training wheels and if the bike had been heavier, I might not have been able to stay up.
I was at a pretty view of Flaming Gorge. Later I stopped at
I saw my first moose cow and calf in a field as I left
Aug 5 & 6 Thur Sheffield camp ground.
I stopped at the
Yellowstone Urban Wilderness was predictably crowded on my way through, with the camp grounds full and lines going into parking lots to see the geysers. The cheapest food to be seen at
There was an Old Time Photo studio there and I chatted with Holly as I waited for the storm I could see to the north to blow by. She recommended a for-pay CG that I went for. It was the first time I used my mosquito headgear as I sat at a picnic table eating an apple.
I nearly ran out of gas before
147 miles today, with rain off and on up US93 to
Aug 10 Tue West Shore State Park CG
I had a great ride up
Aug 11 Lost Johnnie Point CG USFS $13 for 2 nights.
I stopped by the Post Office in
Aug 12 Thur Lost
Rode Hwy 2 to East Glacier – another beautiful day. I was going to take the circle route and go through Glacier on the way back, but it was too cold, windy and wet, so I came back the same way and still caught a little rain. Back to the supermarket in
I stopped at Cherry Haus for the 3rd time. The first 2 were for 2 lb of cherries each time. Well, these were about the best cherries this side of
Aug 14 Sat Tiger, WA
Stopped in Sandpoint for library computer access, shopped for a frying pan in the thrift stores, but could only find a pie pan. It works with my pliers for a handle. I got a 7” kitchen knife and sharpened it on a rock after dinner. I stopped at Walmart for a spatula, ground beef, tortillas, taco sauce and eggs. I’ve used my backpacking stove only once on this trip and I thought I’d start. I found a good spot by a FS tree nursery and dump for chipped wood and branches. It smells like a cedar closet and there are few bugs. Dinner was quick to cook and I could hear bulls bellowing several hundred yards away. A deer walked past my site and stopped to look. I stayed still and she was there for about 30 seconds. Deer hooves make a distinctive clop. Eventually that night the cedar closet smell became a little much.
Aug 15 Sun Lake Wenatche 280 miles
Happy Birthday! I’m 65; feels like 64. I was going to stop sooner, but it was too hot and I had plenty of daylight left. Saw some deer by the road both alive and dead. One of them was a freshly killed fawn. L I treated myself to dinner out: jambalaya and Hostess cupcakes.
Aug 16 - 20
I’m staying with a fellow ARAMCO Brat, Danni for about a week. I slept in a bed the first time in about 2 months. It’s great to get laundry done and caught up on sleep and post my blog. We went to the Seattle Aquarium and then had to have fish and chips. My replacement phone doesn’t work right either, so after 2 hours with T-Mobile, they decided to send a new one.