Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 9: the ride home

Being without internet for a few days at the beginning of my journey meant that I could not do daily ride reports, as was my original intent. Day 8 was a short riding day for me to transport myself from Waldport to Corvallis . I had made arrangements to meet up with Troubadour and Trobairitz for Thai dinner at the same restaurant where they took Richard


I do not easily accept offers for accommodation but I am glad that I accepted their kind invitation for a place with a warm room, a mattress and free WiFi for the night before I headed home the next morning . We had a most excellent meal



and I made a big mistake when I ordered my meal. I didn't need that "extra" stuff I added on an impulse. It was Snap Peas with Tofu. I love tofu and always have. The sauce was very tasty

Bobskoot's meal

My plate was full to the brim and there was more food than I needed, but because it has this "extra" stuff on it I didn't realize that as Vegans, the leftovers could not be shared by them so I had to overeat, not that I haven't done this before

My room for the night

Here they are fussing over me, blowing up the air mattress when I could have just used my own sleeping pad but I really appreciated it

I try very hard to be a low maintenance visitor and not get in the way, especially on a work day so I was issued a time slot for the washroom and set my alarm for 5:31am. Then I went about packing my bike for the final leg home.

We were set to leave at 7:30am and I followed Troubadour on the long twisty way to work. There is very little traffic as compared to what I am used to

I wish to thank the both of them very much for making me feel at home. I felt very comfortable with them and they are great hosts.

It was time to say goodbye to Troubadour


Our reflection in Troubadour's office window


in his serious pose. I wished that I could have stayed the weekend and made it for Saturday morning coffee but my travel medical only covers trips of 10 day durations and I had to be back into Canada by Midnight Saturday night.

The ride home was uneventful. There were a few things I had to do before I got underway. I gassed up, had a quick breakfast and headed to Walmart to buy another digital AM/FM radio for bike use. On long trips like this riding solo I find that a bit of music would break up the monotomy. I didn't leave Salem, Oregon until around 9am.

I arrived home just after 7pm Friday evening, counting a 2 hour stop just north of Everett to meet a Blogging legend, writer and photographer from Cincinnati, Ohio who rode across the country on his V-strom

Here he is showing off his shy pose

I am honoured that he sent me a message for a possible meeting. More photos coming . . .

This was the second iMBC meetup. Our first meeting was held during July 2010 in Bend, Oregon. We have determined that our next meeting will be sometime during 2014, perhaps farther EAST to be more central for our Eastern Blogging contingent.

I managed to put on just over 1,800. miles with 2 non-riding days, and a few short mile days during my time alone on the Oregon coast.


and here we are. Participants of iMBC2012 we had a great weekend of riding


and comaradarie. And also a down day to get to know each other better


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Shivering cold in Waldport, Oregon

It was late after I rode the Aufderheide National Scenic Byway and I ended up much farther south than I expected. My plan was to ride half way down to the Box Canyon sign, but I must have missed it and passed the point of no return. It was my intention to turn around but then I had travelled so far that it was more expedient to just continue to the end where I was rewarded with my first Covered Bridge at Westfir. I am happy to report that I am no longer a Covered Bridge Virgin


This bridge looks like it was recently restored with new timber. It goes nowhere except to a small parking lot and park with flush toilets. Perfect ! Just what I needed. You are not able to see how long it us until you ride pass, so when I noticed it in my rear view mirror, I turned around for this photo


I was lucky to find one where you could still drive across. I finally reached Hwy 58 and headed West to Eugene, Oregon for the night. I was tired and homeless and I made use of the WiFi at McD's to find my temporary home.

The next day I made my way to Florence, Oregon and wrote about it HERE

As mentioned before it was a cool night in the tent. I was set up for the warmer temperatures of Eastern Oregon. I had no cold weather gear and I wasn't prepared for temps in the mid 60's °F. Being in a campground you go to sleep and rise by the light of the sun. Marine mist was rolling in but I felt cozy and warm in my meagre sleeping bag which is rated down to 45°F, but it wasn't enough. At 3:19am I couldn't take it any more. My teeth were chattering. I needed to find a washroom and put on everything I had. Lucky I brought along a nylon convertible pants, the ones where the legs can be unzipped to reveal a pair of short pants, and I layered with two T-shirts and a silk thermolayer

I managed a few more winks but then I awoke naturally and it was now 7:30am. I had survived the night, but still chilly. I made my way to the washroom/showers and warmed myself up in the shower. I let the water drizzle everywhere until I felt normal again.


It is rare to see me without shorts and a tank/T-shirt but here I am wearing my bundle of clothes. I have really never camped before so luckily I bought that green microfibre drying towel and had soap along as they don't supply anything other than provide the facilities

Richard recently made a comment about using my MSR Whisperlite Internationle stove so here I am getting it ready to make morning coffee

MSR Whisperlite being primed for use

This is the 2nd time I have used it on this trip. The first time was in Baker City at the Mountain View RV campsite where I stayed on my first night and was lucky to have a photogenic neighbour who is much wiser in the camping ways

V-Star Lady

With body temperatures nearly back to normal I change back into my trademark shorts as I savour a hot cup of coffee to start the day and start packing up


I don't really have a system and I fumble trying to figure out where to put everything. The tent is wet from the Marine Fog but


soon enough I manage and I am nearly ready to leave without a trace that I was even here


I leave my side case to the last and drink the last drops of my now cold beverage and go in search of a hearty breakfast to start the day


I leave my campsite and ride over the Alsea bridge into Waldport and there is nowhere to have a meal, except for the Subway, so I head East on Hwy 34


hoping to find a meal and at the next corner what do I see ?


but Carol's place. The place is packed and when I enter all eyes focus on me. I felt humbled by all these locals. This seems to be the only place in town and I order a hearty breakfast to start the day, unlike previous days where I just starved until my stomach started to hurt


I am a creature of habit. I seem to always order the same thing where ever I roam. This is a ham and cheese omlette with a small stack of pancakes. I should have deleted the coffee as my Vietnamese brand which I had earlier makes most other coffees seem bland and tasteless.

so with a FULL bulging belly (want to see it ? don't dare me or your wish may come true) I head eastbound on Hwy 34, which in spots is very challenging. As I ride alone I tend to travel at "scenic" speed which is at or under the posted speed. Today I was much slower as I was just enjoying the day and the new sights along the way. Not too many photos as I didn't stop. The road was melodic with gentle curves and I was in the groove. I noticed many cows and pastures along the way and soon I got guilty for not stopping for a photo for You Know Who . I mumbled to myself in my helmet to stop at the next opportunity


I don't think we have any oreo cows here. They are all dark and the one on the left started to walk away so I MOOED as loud as I could many times. MOO, MOO, MOO until he turned his head in my direction. If there were any people around they would have thought that I was nuts

This morning I didn't have the desire to explore the chilly Oregon coast anymore preferring the warmth of the valley. I noticed the sign for Newport 14 miles, gave it a 2 second consideration and decided to go the other direction

I did a quick drive through downtown Corvallis and I like it. It is a compact small town. I needed a snack as it was now past noon. I thought it was getting a bit warm, especially having to wear full riding gear so I thought about going to a park and just vegetate. I know that once I relax it is hard to get motivated again and the thought of having to put on my riding gear again made me rethink my options. So I decided to just go to my destination for the night and set up camp. I also checked my oil, lubed my chain and dressed down to my usual summer outfit and relaxed under the shade of the trees. I felt very relaxed and the neighbours didn't blink any eye


It felt good to feel the sun and relax in my new Monarch Chair Contented in Paradise, food & friends, what else is there ?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Back on the Grid

Attention: iBMC2012'ers

I am not intentionally ignoring any of you. Being off the grid and without internet was like going through drug withdrawal. We had no internet in Joseph and it seems that the cheaper places I have been staying had marginal service which would drop off. I even tried to tether my iPhone as a WiFi spot but it was very cumbersome and slow and in the end I gave up. I am getting caught up on many of your recent posts but it seems silly to comment on "non-current" events which in some cases are several posts behind. The past few days I was either visiting or tired from being on the road by myself. I didn't turn my computer on nor did I even download images from my SD cars.

This particular trip for me was a journey of self discovery. I had time to do a lot of thinking while riding. I also did many "Firsts", things that I have not done before, and would surprise people that know me if they found out.

I met a few other riders while on the road, and will feature them in upcoming posts. I also met a "LEGEND" yesterday who rode all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio and the first words uttered from his lips were something like, "Finally I have gotten to meet the famous BobSkoot, it was on my bucket list". I mean I am only an ordinary person.

When I first started this blog it was my second attempt. I couldn't figure out how blogger worked and gave up. I was secretive, I kept personal things private. I actually changed my format a bit which you may not have realized to make things more personal. I changed the comments section so my replies would be personally directed to the commenter. I have been revealing more details into my life, not that anyone would be interested

I know, I post a lot of feet photos. Did you know that I was always a shy person. I never showed any "skin" nor did I ever NOT wear shoes. Even in the heat of summer I wore hot smelly running shoes. Then one day I snapped. I started to wear the minimum, you know, tank tops, shorts , no shoes or sandals. I mean, I am at a point in life that I do what I want, wear what I want . . . I worry less about what people think, hence the Pink Crocs which were introduced to me by Mr Conchscooter (Key West Diary). I have even worn my Pink Crocs to Bike night BBQ's and not one person said a word. Another thing you may not realize that after I started to post feet photos I gained a further 100 hits a day on this blog, so I continue.

I tried to meet Cesar the other night where I was staying in Eugene. So to Cesar, NO, I do not usually wear High Heels, though I don't think there's anything wrong with that either. Perhaps our paths will cross "next time"

When I was packing up to leave Joseph, OR after our iBMC2012 was over, I had everytbing loaded up on my bike ready to go. At the last moment I remembered that I had a drink in the fridge. Yes, my drink was there but someone had left another one for me. It had an unusual name and I chuckled when I saw it. I actually smiled to myself. The one who left this for me knows who he is. I have been challenging my brain thinking of a rebuttal. I think "au naturelle" is the only way that this beverage can be consummed.

Thursday morning found me shivering in my tent. After warm weather in Hell's Canyon of nearly 100°F, the Coast was a numbing 60°F . I brought NO cold weather clothes with me, no fleece, no sweaters, no insulated liners. Marine air is like a drizzly, raining mist. Everthing was wet and damp. I only brought a minimally rated sleeping bag with me rated to 45°F but it was not enough. As has been my lifelong practice to sandwich my naked body under my duvet, or in this case sandwich myself with my sleeping bag


I was shivering and at 3:19am I had to wake up and put on all the layers that I brought

It was short riding day for me


how did I end up here. Details to be revealed soon. BobSkoot arrives in Corvallis, Oregon

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Short relaxing day, On THE Coast

Again it was a lazy day. I washed my anklet socks and I only brought one pair on this trip. I do have longer ones but they make me sweat more in the heat so while I was all packed and ready to go, my socks were still damp. I tried putting them in front of the air conditioner and then I brought them outside to air dry. While I was waiting I took another shower and waited, and waited

All geared up with nowhere to go, waiting for socks to dry

Again I made another mistake. I forgot about the continental breakfast again, but it was meagre. I had two cups of coffee and 3 mini danish because I had time to kill waiting for my socks to dry. I should have stuck to my plan of not eating at the hotel and stopping for breakfast somewhere while "on the way".

I kept looking at my paper map and I wasn't sure where to go, but eventually decided to take Hwy 126 to Florence, OR. I knew it would be cold on the coast and I didn't have any warm gear with me. It was chilly so when I arrived at Florence I zipped in my rain liner and it helped a lot.

It was now close to 11am (remember I started late), so I decided to have a proper lunch as my stomach was hurting. One thing I noticed when I am by myself is that I don't stop to eat or rest. I just keep rolling on and don't notice the fatique until I start to make riding mistakes, like cornering wide . . . then I open my visor and try to yawn and it does help a bit.

I passed up many photo opps but then I forced myself to pull over at a viewpoint


where there was this historic bridge. I have stopped here before

About 20 minutes later I was on Oceanside Drive in Yachats where I believe is the same place that Cesar had lunch a while back. I thought that if he ate here, then it would be okay for me


Nothing fancy for me, just a BBQ pulled pork sandwich with salad and a lemonade

Just down the street is Yachats State Park. I have been here before and it was good to just watch the waves and breathe in the ocean air


From here you can see the sandy beach below


It feels great to ditch your shoes and frolick in the sand and on the logs


There wasn't much warmth in the air and it was very windy


It felt good to just sit and ponder . . .


I had no plans to go anywhere, so I didn't . . . but I was homeless for the night


I still wasn't sure if this was a smart move to come to the Oregon coast or not because I left behind temperatures in the mid 80's when I left Eugene, and now have to settle for something in the mid 60's. It was a bit chilly if you factor in the gusty winds

Soon I would have to tear myself away from this beautiful view and find a home for the night.


Notice that the marine mist is starting to roll in again, which means a chilly night. I was now in search for a home for the night. I left Yachats and headed north on Hwy 101. I didn't stop but saw lots of ocean views worthy of a photo but when I ride alone I find myself not stopping so much. It must have been the hypnotic feeling of the twisty roads going back and forth, left and right in smooth arcs, just leaning left or right to the rhythm, you and your bike in harmony. I was sometimes hard to handle the gusty winds, esp when you weren't expecting them. Soon I crossed the famous Alsea bridge (the new one)


Then, out of the blue, with no warning my search for a home for the night beckons me


The last tent site is mine. I have been carrying all this camping equipment for hundreds of miles and now I get a chance to use it again. I am wishing that my teacher was here to give me more wise advice in the camping ways


Like a PRO I set up camp and soon it is operational and I have to go to the local store to find an extension cord, as well as something to stave of my hunger. I am slowly learning what I need and what works

So here is a photo of my blog command centre for tonight. Without warm clothes I could not use the picnic table outside.


It was a short day today, not many miles but lots of relaxation. Tommorrow I tackle Hwy 34 and head East back to warmer temperatures

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In the land of NO Semis, Curvistan (not Flatistan)

Today was a lazy morning filled with errors, non-planning and a FIRST.

It started off as a normal day. My alarm went off before 6am, I poked my toe outside and thought that there was too much chill in the air for me to leave. My plan was to head towards Sisters and ride Hwy 242, which is a narrow road through the forest up and down a mountain and through the lava flows. I knew it would be much cooler in the trees so I made use of my time by taking a shower, washing my hair and my plan was to have a quick breakfast

With my bike, overpacked I mounted up and headed to the driveway and as rolled out of the driveway, I made an immediate U-turn back to the office because I forgot that they offered a continental breakfast. This turned out to be a big mistake as the selection was so meagre that I only had a toasted crumpet, small muffin and two cups of apple juice. Now it just seemed silly to have another breakfast even though I wasn't full. I continued onward to Sisters but most of the eateries appeared not to be open so thoughts of buying a sandwich/fruit to have later didn't happen either.


The road starts just outside of Sisters and generally heads East. It starts out straight and Flat, not unlike most of the roads in Eastern Canada, particularly in the Kingston, ON area I am told. As you can see from the sign, no trailers and no Semis are allowed


It was easy to find a flat spot with the Sisters (mountains) in the background. I think that may be a meadow on the other side of the fence. Lately I have been looking for meadows and I thought I saw another one later in the day


The road is straight and flat for miles so I thought that it would be a perfect road for my V-Star buddy

Before long, the flatness is gone and the road becomes continuous curves, left and right in a smooth rhythm with small drop offs, no shoulders and did I say that the road is narrow ?

I eventually round a corner to a viewpoint and the vast view of the lava fields which continues for miles


This road is known as the McKenzie/Santiam Pass Scenic Byway (Hwy 242). It is not a road to be racing around as one error will put you off and down a cliff. It took me two hours not counting photos at the Dee Wright Observatory


The road is narrow as it winds its way through the lava and eventually you get to the summit


It is getting warm so I shed my clothes and put on my hiking sandals


and walk up the flights of stone steps to get to the top


You can look out the stone window frames


I even managed to get into a shot


I had no timetable and spent too much time here. It was getting late and I was getting hungry and I was miles from anywhere. It was also getting very warm


I was relaxing and just enjoying the day. If only I had some fruit or snacks to stave off my rumbling stomach


Eventually I had to leave and the twisties on the East side were more intense than the first, and this was the downhill section. It made me a bit anxious as many of the locals mentioned to be careful and take it easy. I recorded lots of video but it will have to wait until I return home

I have more things to say about the day and the other motorcyclists I met along the way and it is always enjoyable to hear about the travels of others, especially motorcyclists from far away on extended journeys

I also did something else today which I have never done before. Perhaps it is because we are in groups that we stop to re-gather, or we plan lunch or rest breaks.

I also rode the famous Aufderheide Scenic Byway (Hwy 19). Because I got a late start, I think now that it was a bad thing to do as the shadows of the late afternoon were hard to see road ahead on the curves. It is a melodic road with very little traffic, no cell service, narrow in spots with drop offs. There were no scenic pull outs and this was just a twisting, paved forest service road which started at the Cougar Reservoir and headed South to Westfir. It took me over 2 hours to ride this section and I didn't take any photos nor recorded any video which is a first for me. I caught myself off my line a few times and I was lucky there was no traffic coming from the other direction. I only passed a handful of cars on the whole stretch from start to end. I think it is foolish to ride the Aufderheide alone, you should bring a riding buddy

AND the jewel at the end of this rainbow was . . . The first time I have ever seen one in person . . .


My first covered bridge