Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Get Togethers

We had a fun filled weekend, probably the last time we will get to enjoy our good weather.

We were invited to a garage party at our friends the Butterfields. All we had to bring was a side dish. I had already told Kitty that we would be bringing a cheese and cracker tray. Since we went to Tillamook Cheese Factory, Gary was able to get ahold of his distributor and he now stocks the garlic chili pepper cheddar cheese. Very yummy. We didn't have to be in Billings until 6:00 pm, but Kitty did ask if I could come early to help her set up for the party. No problem, the least I could do since they insist that we spend the night at their place, which means we will be drinking.

In the morning I baked two loaves of zucchini bread, got some house work done and then got my tray ready for the party. Got five small bricks of cheese to cut up. For crackers we took Town House and Club. The different cheeses were the garlic chili cheese, pepper jack, marble cheddar, colby, mild cheddar and smoke cheddar.

We got the the Butterfield's house around 4:30, they already had the tables and chairs set up and Kitty pretty much had it set up, not much for me to do. People started arriving. There were 17 in all and had a great time. Kitty had made two pitchers of mojito's and they were very tasty. Only the women were drinking them. Since the others had to drive home, Kitty and I finished off one pitcher of mojitos, not to mention the other drinks I had. Had a beer right away at their house, then Gary and I were drinking Jack and diet coke. Good thing we didn't have to drive home.

While the women visited the guys got together and decided to go on a bike trip in the morning. The chapter was having their Northern 500 run anyway, so our group went on their own run. It was decided to go to Sheridan for lunch by way of Decker.

Gary and I took the Butterfields out to breakfast. At first Kitty said she would fix breakfast but we convinced her to let us since she went to all the trouble to feed us the night before, she didn't need to cook for us in the morning.

We ate at the Burger King where the rest of the group were going to meet. Gary and I came on home to get ready to go. We didn't wash the bike from the last ride we went on and it was just covered in bugs, but didn't have time to wash it.

We met the group at the Exxon station in Crow Agency. That is where they wanted to gas up, instead of Hardin. That was a disaster getting gas for them. The station didn't have any premium gas. Some did fill their tanks with the medium grade, while most decided to get gas in Sheridan.

There were 12 of us riding to Sheridan for lunch, we took the back road through Decker to get there. Very pretty ride and with the fall colors I will need to take another trip to get photos.

Gary was asked how far Sheridan was from gas station and it is about 90 miles. Our leader who goes by the GPS said that it is 105 miles according to the GPS. Well, what does Gary know, he patrolled the highways for 20 years. It's actually about 85 miles from the Crow gas station.

Off we went, we were the last bike in the group. About 5 miles from Sheridan we turned off to get back on the interstate. Didn't figure that one out until it was pointed that the GPS said to turn there to get to Sheridan. We could have just continued on and arrive in Sheridan too.

Got gas then it was decided to eat at the Chinese restaurant. Gary was to lead because he knows where it is. I was asked by the GPS leader what the name of the restaurant is. I don't know I just know where it is and how to get there. What street is it on. Don't know that either. The GPS people just don't have any reasoning, they go by what the GPS says. Very frustrating. Gary is so glad that we didn't buy one. The one on my phone works great and I only use it to get me around big cities.

We only lost two bikes getting to the restaurant. We just got back on the interstate, took the last exit into Sheridan then you turn right at the first light. The restaurant is in the little shopping center across from Wal-Mart and the Holiday Inn, next to Albertson's grocery. One found their way, the other bike not sure where they went but they found us.

Had a great lunch with good company. Most of us then came home. Two of the bikes decided to ride through the Big Horn Mountains to get back to Billings. It was a very nice day and got hot once we got out of the mountains.

The trees are starting to change colors. Will have to go out in a couple weeks and get some photos.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mystery Ride

Sunday Gary and I rode in the chapter mystery ride. It was also a chapter meeting so I had to go since I'm the secretary of our chapter. The end of the ride we get free food, so it brings out alot of people. Free food always does.

The mystery rides we don't know where we are going or how we will get there. This year the mystery ride was that we all rode as a group and it was an observation ride. We had to ride to places find puzzle pieces. Once we got the puzzle pieces we would know where our final destination place will be.

First Gary and I went to our friends the Davis's to change the oil in his bike, we were there bright and early at 8:00 am. It was a bit chilly but not too bad. That didn't take long then we went out to breakfast. Who knows when we will get a chance to eat again.

We all met at the dealership, there were 30 bikes and about 45 people who went on the ride. A very large group to be riding together, but we made it work. This year the mystery ride was an observation ride, stopping at places picking up puzzle pieces.

The route took us to Roundup, Lavina, Ryegate, Harlowtown, Two Dot, Checkerboard, White Sulphur Springs, Townsend, Three Forks and then Belgrade. However, we may not make every stop once we get enough puzzle pieces together we would be able to figure out our final destination.

Off we go, we made stops in Roundup, Lavina, Ryegate, Harlowtown, Two Dot, Checkerboard and White Sulphur Springs. We had a gas stop in Harlowton and that took half an hour to get all the bikes gassed up along with the regular traffic that flows into Harlowtown. While Gary was waiting in line for gas, I ran into the convenience store for a pop and some snacks.

It was windy all day and we had a head wind the whole way since we turned to head to Lavina from Roundup. We took Highway 12 all the way to White Sulphur Springs. I did see some scenery that I haven't seen before, I have never been to Two Dot and west to White Sulphur Springs, so was able to cross off some highways.

By the time we arrived in White Sulphur Springs it was getting late, around 3:00pm. Decided to start putting the puzzle together and try to figure out where we need to go. I was nominated to put it together as Gary said I was good at puzzles. We got the sign together and all I could make out was that we were going to someplace called Oasis Steakhouse and Lounge. One of the guys make out the rest of the name Sir Scott's and he knew exactly where that was, in Manhattan. Gary had the idea to call the place and to confirm that our group is supposed to be there. One other guy did.

Now what to do. By the time we arrive in Manhattan it would be around 4:00, have a meeting eat dinner it would be dark when we get home. Quite a few people did leave after White Sulphur Springs.

The group decided to take Bridger Canyon into Bozeman then we can take the interstate for the 20 miles into Manhattan. When we made the turn off to take Bridger Canyon that is where about 14 others decided to go on home by going into Livingston.

Gary wanted to go home because by the time you factor in the time it would be very late. I reminded him that I sort of have to be at the meeting because I'm the secretary, but he could do what he needed to do. We ended up going to the meeting, partly because of the way we were in the pack, he couldn't break off in a safe manner. The rest of our friends headed home.

We arrived in Manhattan about 4:15 pm. Got settled in, read the menu. There was no limit on what we could order just as long as we ordered off the bar & patio menu. We both ordered the chicken dinners. While were waiting for the food to cook we all went outside for the group chapter photo, then back in for a short meeting.

We left Manhattan around 6:20 pm, by the time we got back on the bike and gassed up. We made it home at 8:50 pm. Gary was not pleased because it was dark by then, we did pass up some others who had left 20 minutes before we did and there were still quite a few who were still there when we left.

Our friends who left earlier were quite concerned and left Gary messages that he returned. The friends who left later than we did got to their homes aroudn 9:30 pm. I did post on facebook that we go home, as quite a few biker friends are on there.

Gary has informed me that he will never do another mystery ride again unless he can be assured that he would be back in Billings by 4:00 pm. Don't have to tell him where the ride will end, he just wants assurance that we will get home before dark. Our friends also said that they won't go on a mystery ride either. There were three women who are new riders and it just wasn't safe to expose them to that kind of riding. In fact one woman did lay her bike down at the gas stop in Harlowtown, she was so embarassed.

I may have to go in the car if that is the case. I knew that Gary wouldn't be going on any more after this one. He is not a fan of not knowing where he is going, he wants to know all the particulars.

There was another couple from Hardin who went and broke off at White Sulphur Spring and a couple from Colstrip who went the whole distance. I had told some people that we have that extra 50 miles that Billings people don't and that the Colstrip couple have further to go than us.

I have heard complaints about this ride, not the route but the time issues and will have to bring it up at the officer's meeting in October.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Collars & Chrome Poker Run

Last Saturday Gary and I rode in the Collars and Chrome Poker Run. The Harley dealership sponsors this every year, in fact this was the second year. The Humane Society in Billings will receive all the proceeds. We had the opportunity to adopt a dog, which we didn't. They also had stuff where dog owners could get vaccinations and other veterinary services.

For $30 we got our poker hand, a t-shirt and a meal ticket, for $5 more I bought an extra meal ticket for Gary. Old Chicago in Billings was catering the meals.

The highlight of this poker run was that Dan Haggerty of Grizzly Adams fame participated. He does a bunch of things for animal welfare. We got or photo taken with him. At the end of the ride a group photo was taken of all the poker participants with him. For $10 I bought the cheap poorly taken 4X6 photo with his autograph.

Dan Haggerty was a very nice celebrity, he was sure in his element and he didn't put on any airs with anyone. I fit right in with the group, just a regular guy.

The poker route took us to Columbus, Absarokee, Red Lodge, Roberts and back to Billings. Not a very long route just enjoyable. In Red Lodge we had two stops, one in a bar and the other at the dealership's t-shirt shop. The shop is where we were fed snacks and had the opportunity to buys some clothing on sale. We ate the food, had sandwiches, chips and brownies. Very yummy and it didn't cost.

At Red Lodge is where our group broke off, we went ahead to Roberts. As we left Roberts, there was an ugly rain cloud overhead at Joliet which we hit. Not very long, just enough to say it rained. We got to Billings and turned in my poker hand. The group that was with Dan Haggerty got caught in hail at Joliet. Dan didn't wear a helmet and he just got beat up. One of our friends said that if they had just kept going on instead of waiting out the storm, it wouldn't have been bad.

Some of the bars had prizes and at the Roberts stop I won a Harley t-shirt and also a $15 gift card at the Lost Junction Saloon. I bought a round of drinks for the people who rode with us and I still have $4.50 left on the card. Will have to go back and get a beer. The t-shirt I was able to trade it in for a smaller size at the Billings dealership. The design on the back is the same. The first shirt had a wolf head on it, the one that fits has a wolf head but different. I like the second one better. Gary has been eyeing my shirt, but I have it safe and sound. The poker run shirt will be kept in a drawer as that is the one that Dan Haggerty signed.

We ate our meal with the tickets and was not impressed. You got your choice of either a plateful of chicken wings or a turkey sandwich with salad. Had to pay for your beer. We shared our meal, Gary got a plateful of wings and I got a sandwich.

When we finished up at the dealership, we ran over to watch Tristan's football game. We got there for the second half. What an exciting game for the little guys. Tristan's team was behind but at the end of the game they tied. The league doesn't do overtimes as that would create a problem with time issues. His team scored just as the buzzer went off to end the game, but they got the opportunity to score the extra point and that would make them win. Unfortunately they had two penalties called on them and missed their extra point by about a yard.

Monday, September 19, 2011

9-11 Memorials

We participated in two 9-11 memorials. The first one we rode with the BASTARDS on their poker run. The proceeds from this go to the Laurel Hometown Troops. This groups mails care packages to Montana soldiers. We rode in this last year and had fun. We didn't participate in the poker run as we had to get to the College of Technology for the memorial there.

There were 200 bikes riding in the BASTARDS run, we made our way from Laurel to the Yellowstone County Courthouse for a short presentation. What a sight that was to see all those bikes. We were towards the back of the procession and we never did see the front. It was fun and you should have seen the motorists when bikers were stopping traffic in the city of Billings. In fact one woman motorist was on a mission to confront a biker who stopped her. We didn't stay to see how that went, not pretty I'm sure. Apparently the Billings PD wouldn't cooperate except when we got to the courthouse. In fact we were told that we violated the noise ordinance.

If it wasn't for the bikers there wouldn't have been anyone at the ceremony at the courthouse. There may have been about 10 people besides bikers there. We had to leave the group here to make our way to the college.

The ceremony at the college was for the piece of the World Trade Center that we escorted back in May. Gary was the ride captain for this event with the Patriot Guard Riders. Had a good turn out about 25 people participated.

First we set up our flag line at the entrance to the college, then we set up behind the military and emergency services personnel during the actual ceremony. We were there for 2 2/1 hours and it got pretty warm out.

Gary bought a case of bottled water for our group, it was a welcome relief. There were alot of people out for this event and they did keep things rolling. I have my photos of this on picasa.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Missoula MT to Hardin MT

Headed home today, the last leg of our trip. It was an easy route as we hit I-90 all the way home, no side trips this time. The Butte Harley shop was closed, at least no one answered the phone when Marty called.

The further east we went the warmer it got. We ate lunch in Livingston at a McDonald's and it was pretty busy. Traffic too. We had to remember that is was a holiday.

After eating and getting gas, we said our goodbyes. Will be peeling off when we got to Billings.

We got home around 4:00 pm, time to relax for a bit before getting back to our work routine in the morning.

All in all we had a good trip, traveled 3400+ miles saw alot of beautiful scenery. Will definately have to take another trip back, there is just too much to see that we missed.

I got all of my photos posted on picasa, now I just have to get busy and get them on a cd for Vickie and Sandi.

Now we get to sit back and wait for our next trip in October. This time we are flying and it will just be us.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Colville WA to Missoula MT

By this time we are exhausted from riding 300+ miles for the past 10 days. We had two days that were under 300 and only 1 1/2 days of being a tourist. The rest of the time was spent on the bike getting from point A to point B.

Gary was pretty tired and driving on these narrow, twisty mountain roads was beginning to take it's toll on him. All he wants to do is take the fastest and shortest route to Missoula.

That didn't happen. We ended up going to Sandpoint ID, then on up to Bonners Ferry and take the scenic route into Missoula, it was only 350 miles. At least the mountain roads weren't too twisty this time.

We ate lunch in a bar in Trout Creek and arrived in Missoula to our delight. Got checked in without any problems. We weren't too hungry since we ate a late lunch, so we went to Makenzie Pizza next to the motel and drank beer. It was very good.

Once we got into Montana the weather warmed up quite a bit. On this trip Gary brought two flasks and a pint of whiskey, which we drank the whole time. I did drink at least one beer, then I just drank diet coke or pepsi for the rest of the night. I admit that I did spike the diet coke. We drank the last of the whiskey in Colville.

We did eat something, just to eat so Gary and I shared a dessert called Mack Lovin. It is a pazookie. Very yummy.

Looking forward to getting home and to be able to sleep in our own bed. Gary told our friends that he is going to go straight home, not making any stops. Our ride home is 400 miles and he has to work bright and early the next morning. Our friends wanted to stop at the Harley shop in Butte.

Oak Harbor to Colville WA

Leaving Oak Harbor and traveled through the North Cascades National Park. There is no entry fee to this park, so we didn't save any money on our park pass that we bought this year. We have only used it twice since we bought it in July. Good thing that it is good for a year, so will have to get some use out of it.

This park is just scenery, not very many pull out places to good views.

We got into Colville in the late afternoon, got checked in. Again we ran into problems with reservations. The front desk said that they did not have any reservation down for us. Wonderful, here we go again. Fortunately they had rooms for all of us, which is surpising considering that it was a three day weekend. Sandi did go out and find her paper with the confirmation numbers. I did call the motel in Missoula to confirm the reservation that Sandi had made, since twice we have run into problems. Missoula had us down.

We had to drive to eat dinner, so this time we chose Chinese. It was good food, however the waitress did spill food down my back. As she was placing the food, some sweet & sour chicken fell off the plate and down my back. At first I thought that it hit my jacket, but pretty soon my back felt warm. She apologized profusely, got me a glass of club soda to clean off my shirt. She rinsed out my jacket. It was an accident so what are you going to do. Fortunately I was wearing a black t-shirt. My meal was not comped and we did leave her a good tip. I felt at least my meal should have been comped, but I didn't complain. The waitress is working for minimum wage and my meal would have been taken out of her check. Now I move out of the way from a waitress.

Seaside OR to Oak Harbor WA

This is the day that we had to catch the ferry by 4:00 pm, so it was a riding day. We didn't stop for lunch just gas stops. This is also the day that Vickie heard that her two uncles had passed away within days of each other.

We made it to the ferry at Port Townsend just in time. We bought our tickets, got in line where we were told to go. We had to wait 5 minutes before we had to get loaded on the ferry. All the motorcycles were loaded first, there were two other motorcycles besides us.

The ferry ride was only 30 minutes but is was a very nice ride. I stayed out on the deck taking pictures. Soon is was announced that we had to head to our vehicles to be unloaded.

First the pedestrians were unloaded, then the bikers then the rest. They don't waste any time getting you on or off the ferry, you need to pay attention and be ready. The fee for us was $10, we were charged for our vehicle and two people. The fee is based on how big your vehicle is and the number in your party. I would hate to pay was the family did who was towing a travel trailer.

We found our motel and it was a very nice one. It was called the Coachman Inn, rooms are very large and roomy. Of course anything would be better than the postage stamp sized one we were in yesterday.

While we were at the Tillamook Cheese Factory we bought some garlic chili pepper cheese and crackers, which we shared with our friends and had appetizers and cocktails before supper. We ate at a Greek restaurant which was next to the motel. It was very tasty food and we got alot of food. Had a great time and our friends Marty & Vickie were able to relax after received their sad news. The highlight of the restaurant was the urinal in the mens bathroom. Very contemporary, you should have seen us when the men were escorting their wives to see the men's bathroom.

While we were standing around, there was an accident on the corner. The guys were the ones who called it in, they didn't witness the accident but it wasn't hard to figure out. One man pulled out in front of the lady and they hit. Fortunately no one was hurt, but the guys thought the womans vehicle was on fire as they saw alot of smoke inside her car. Turned out the smoke was the gas from the air bags.

After supper we went back to the motel, this time we had fudge for dessert and more cocktails.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Reedsport OR to Seaside OR

Today we are traveling up the coast and we get to see more stuff today, actually get to be a tourist.

We saw the Oregon Sand Dunes, Sea Lion Caves, Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Sea Rock, Haystack Rock and other sites in between.

Our favorite stop was in Newport OR. It was time for a coffee break so we headed into the historical section of Newport. There was a nice harbor and we met with a local crab fisherman. He was so nice and explained to us that fishing for crabs was so easy and very relaxing. He had is crab baskets in the water, so we watched him bring one up. He told us that all the female crabs had to be released and the male crabs has to be a certain size to keep. He showed us how we could tell which crabs were male and female and also was the penalty was if you are found with a female crab. You can rent the baskets and stuff and fish for a day, which a family was doing. I even held a crab, but had to throw her back. Vickie took the picture of that and I will be getting a cd of her photos.

It was a nice and relaxing time, we walked along the harbor, saw a commercial fishing company deal with shrimp and saw the sea lions. They lay along the harbor next to the commercial fishing places. I suppose they get to eat the fish stuff that is throw out, but we didn't see any of that.

The one thing that I wanted to do was see a lighthouse, so we stopped at Yaquina Head. This is a national park area so we got to use our passes and the ranger was originally from Hamilton MT. She was excited to see Montana people. I didn't go tour the lighthouse, just walked around. The rest of the party wasn't interested.

We ate lunch in Lincoln City at a place called Mo's. The claim to fame here is the clam chowder, which was good but I liked the chowder in Gold Beach better. This little chain of Mo's serves over 600,000 pounds of clam chowder a year.

We finally made our way to Seaside, found the motel and ran into a snafu. Sandi had made all the reservations for this trip, so when she went to check in the front desk told her that they only had two rooms and a note that Sandi changed the reservations last night. Sandi was upset and kept telling the lady that that is wrong. I ran out and grabbed our sheet with the confirmation numbers. When I went back inside, the front desk lady very rudely told Sandi that she could keep saying no, but the computer says that there were only two rooms reserved. She changed her tune when I showed her the confirmation numbers. We did get rooms, but not the ones that were reserved. Gary and I took the single queen room and it was no bigger than a postage stamp. Had to crawl into bed and we didn't have room to move around without bumping into each other. No place to put our bags either. Pat & Sandi ended up in a room that is a pet room, which she wasn't too happy about. At least we got rooms even though we were spread out all over the hotel. Our room didn't have hot water either. When we checked out I told the girl at the front desk about no hot water and she asked me how long did I run the water. Give me a break. I told her a long time. I do have a survey to fill out for this motel and they are not going to like my answers.

I was able to get some sunset photos on the ocean here at Seaside. When we checked in we were given a coupon for 15% off either dinner or breakfast at the restaurant in the hotel. We chose to use it for dinner. Good thing because when we went down for breakfast at 7:00, the restaurant wasn't open yet. We ate breakfast at this cute restaurant nearby and I had the most delicious blueberry pancakes. Couldn't eat it all though.

Garberville CA to Reedsport OR

We are now starting to make our way back home, heading north. Stopped in a grove at the Avenue of the Giants that we missed yesterday. It was nice walking on the trail looking at these huge trees. This was the stop that Mom and I walked through 9 years ago. We left Grandma in the car.

Today we are meeting back up with Pat & Sandi, their bike is fixed and they are ready to travel again.

We ate lunch in Gold Beach and had the best clam chowder I have ever had in a restaurant along the Rogue River. Our little boat that we saw yesterday is now flooded since high tide. Didn't think to take photos.

We stopped in Coos Bay at the dealership for a break and to look around. I bought some pins here. Before the trip we had mentioned stopping at the Coos Bay dealer and Pat just wrinkled his nose and said that they don't like Coos Bay. Now I know why, this is the second time that they had their bike repaired in Coos Bay. I guess I wouldn't like a town if I was stuck there. The Harley dealership in Coos Bay is the most western dealership.

We arrived in Reedport and now our group is back together again. Ate supper at a Mexican restaurant just down the street.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bandon OR to Garberville CA

This morning is when our party had to go separate ways. Pat & Sandi headed up to Coos Bay to get their bike fixed, we won't see them until tomorrow when we meet back up in Reedsport. The rest of us headed south to Garberville CA.

It was a nice sunny day, but riding along the coast a bit on the windy side. We made some stops along the way to get photos of the ocean. We made a quick stop in Gold Beach for something and saw this boat. The boat was covered in moss so had to get photos. It was a very nice stop, learned the history on the boat.

Our first stop was in Eureka CA at the harley shop. We bought some t-shirts and other trinkets. The girl at the shop gave us some pointers on what to see and also where to get the best lunch in Eureka. It was a brewery, we found it, had to park in the back. This was in the downtown area and didn't look very nice. Alot of homeless people were milling around just a block over. We found some parking spaces, put our money in the meters when it was decided to leave right away.

There was a homeless man milling around the parking lot and had his eye on the bikes. We left as we had our bags just strapped on top of the tour packs and we wanted our clothes for the rest of the vacation. We did find a fast food place to grab a quick bite to eat and it was in a nicer part of town.

Making our way south we drove through the Avenue of the Giants. Stopped at the Immortal Tree for some photos and shopping for souvenirs. We then drove to the drive through tree. Our original plan was to make it to Leggett as that is the tree I remember, I don't remember thiss one. We went through this one instead saving at 50 mile ride. It was fun, there were also some treehouses there that we wandered through. Gary was the only one that would fit into the upper story of one treehouse.

We made our way through the Avenue of the Giants. Since we have to travel back this way, will catch what we miss. While at the Eureka Harley shop the girl did tell Marty not to trust his GPS. In fact his GPS got excited and wanted us to get back on the highway.

Made it to Garberville and got checked in. There was a nice pizza place next door to the motel that we could go and drink beer. Wandered around a bit, nothing much to see. We got a pizza to go and ate at the motel. All of our rooms had a small balcony, very nice.

Got news from Pat that his bike will be fixed in the morning. They ended up renting a car and then driving to Eugene to pick up the part. That way the part would be at the dealership. The bearing in his transmission went out and they were surprised that he made it all that way like it was.

Hood River OR to Bandon OR

Woke up to a cold morning, it was cloudy and windy out. Pat had a chest congestion when we started and it was just getting worse, he asked if I could find the hospital in Bandon, he really needed to get his chest cleared up. I found the community health center for him.

We got ready to go and we looked on our GPS (rand mcnally) for the route, no problem. We were taking the interstate anyway. I told Gary that we would take the bypass to avoid the Portland traffic. We are headed down the road with Pat leading and he missed the exit for the by pass. Hit the morning rush hour in Portland, was not fun. At the gas stop we heard complaints about the traffic in Portland. I said that we could have taken the bypass to avoid all the traffic but was told that according to GPS, the route we took was shorter.

We arrived in Bandon to sunshine which was a welcome sight. Found our motel, it really wasn't a motel more like a bed and breakfast without the breakfast. It was located right on the harbor. Pat started having problems with his bike, it wasn't shifting right. Pat and Sandi went to the hospital so that gave the rest of us time to scout out Bandon.

We were staying in the historic part of town. Marty and Gary talked to a local and ended up in the local bar while Vickie and I checked out the cute shops in Bandon. We didn't buy anything, too hard to pack home on the bike. Looked at alot of stuff, stuff that you can buy up here.

Met up with Pat & Sandi, Pat is going to be fine got some antibiotics to take care of his congestion. The guys were looking at Pat's bike trying to figure out what the problem is. Pat thought that it was the transmission. We ate supper on the harbor at a crab shack. I tried a fish taco. Didn't really care for it. Talked to the owner of the crab shack as he was cooking crab for the fishermen that were coming in.

Later on we went back to the local bar that Marty & Gary went to for drinks. That's where I saw a sign for Hemp Ale made with hemp seeds. Just what a person needs marijuana beer. It was $4 a bottle. The bartender let us pose in front of the sign holding hemp beer. None of us tried it.

It was decided that Pat & Sandi would go to Coos Bay in the morning to the dealership there. It was only 20 miles. We would head on to Garberville CA and then meet up with Pat & Sandi at the next motel in Reedsport OR.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Orofino ID to Hood River OR

Woke up to a beautiful morning, had breakfast by the river and got a free bottle of water on the bike. This is where the guys with the GPS decided that we needed to take the scenic route to Hood River, not the most direct route. We dipped into Washington and drove on twisty mountain roads in Hells Canyon area. It's pretty but had alot of curves and hills.

We stopped in Enterprise for a short break, there was another couple who arrived that live in Hood River. Talked to them for a bit and found out all the information of road construction and what exit to take to get to our motel.

It was getting warm in Enterprise when we left headed to Pendleton, ate lunch here then made our way to Hood River. Very hot on this leg. The speed limit in Oregon is very slow. 55 on the two lanes and 65 on the interstate. Also in Oregon you are not allowed to pump your own gas. At gas stops in Oregon we had to wait for the attendant, the attendant would hand the pump to the guys and then they could gas up.

We were so glad to get to Hood River, very hot along the Columbia River. Good thing we listened to the couple in Enterprise about the road construction, who knows where the GPS would have us go. Got checked in. We stayed at the Best Western here and it is along the banks of the Columbia River. We didn't have river view rooms those were a bit more expensive, but again just had to walk around the corner to get a great view of the river.

We all met in the motel bar for some drinks before dinner. Four of us were drinking Bud Light beer, then it was time to get to our dinner table. A man came up to me and said that he noticed our party was drinking Bud Light and he wanted to buy everyone a Miller Lite. Turns out that he is a high up at the Miller Brewery and he wanted us to change over to Miller Light. Gary and I sure liked Miller Lite over the Bud Light, so he made converts out of us. We had the waiter take a photo of us with our Miller Lites, then showed it to the man. Free beer tastes so much better anyway, but we really did like it. We drank Miller Lites for the rest of the trip.

The restaurant in the motel was Italian and we had some very good meals. I had lasagne and it was so huge that I couldn't eat it all. Sandi ordered a creme brule for dessert and it was huge. Most creme brule that I have seen come in custard size cups, not this one. It would have feed all six of us without any problems. She couldn't eat it all.

When we checked in the motel we received coupons for dinner and breakfast. Dinner was order one entree and get the other one for half off and for breakfast we had a choice of 5 different items for free. It was all good.

Again Gary and I woke up very early, not adjusted to the time change yet so we walked around. Got a cup of coffee at Starbucks which was right next to our motel at 5:00 am.

Butte MT to Orofino ID

Saturday morning arrived. The rule on the road is breakfast at 7:00 on the road at 8:00. The motel had a fabulous breakfast, alot of choices. Then it was time to check out and pack up the bike.

At Anaconda we turned off and took the Pindler Scenic route, that took us to Georgetown Lake. We got back on the interstate at Drummond and made our way to Missoula. In Missoula we stopped for a cup of coffee before heading on through Lolo Pass.

Lolo Pass is a very scenic drive and we have not been on before. Stopped at the top of the pass for a lunch break which we just ate snacks. I picked up an Idaho state map. As we came off the mountain the temps were really hot. It was 100 degrees when we reached the bottom. At one gas stop we just enjoyed the very nice air conditioning in the gas station. I was so hot that I drank a liter of water in nothing flat. Got out my neck scarf and got it wet with cold water for the rest of the trip. It helped, but got dried out in 5 minutes.

We arrived in Orofino and checked into the Best Western motel. This motel is on the bank of the Clearwater River and a very beautiful location. Got checked in and the front desk lady told us to park the bikes out in front. In the morning there was a bottle of water and a bike rag on them.

Gary and I hit the pool to cool down and it felt wonderful, then we got dressed and met our friends at the restaurant next to the motel. It was too hot to eat outside, but we had a very good meal. Once the sun went down we then went out on the balcony overlooking the river for some drinks.

Once we had crossed into Idaho, the time changed. It took a couple days to get adjusted. Gary and I both woke up at 2:00 am, mainly because the people upstairs had young children who apparently couldn't sleep and it sounded like they were jumping up and down on the floor. We took a walk around the motel. Went back and took a nap before waking up at 5:30. I took advantage of the exercise room for a short workout.

For breakfast we were able to sit outside on the deck by the river, that was very nice and relaxing. Soon it was time to pack up the bikes and head on down the road.

Hardin to Butte

We left Hardin on August 26 at 2:00 to meet with our friends Pat & Sandi Breckenridge and Mary & Vickie Davis. They ride trikes too. We met them at the gas station off of Zoo Drive. Left Billings at 3:00 and made a straight shot to Butte.

We left on Friday to get that first 300 miles out of the way. We got to Butte at 6:00, made good time. We were outrunning a storm that was chasing us. Never did get us though.

We stayed at the Best Western in Butte. Gary doesn't have a GPS but Pat and Marty do, they programmed the motel into their system. We saw the signs as we headed into town and you can see the motel from the highway. Once we turned off the highway had to turn left, but the GPS said to turn right. Sure enough Pat & Marty turned right while we turned left. Both of them said that the GPS told them to turn right.

We got checked in and received a bag with a bottle of water, some almonds and coupons for the motel bar. One coupon was for a free drink and the other was for $1 in machine play. We all met at the bar, got our free drink and the $1. The bartender was very nice, he used the coupons for the most expensive drinks. That was mine, as I drank a tall beer while Gary had a bottle. We didn't play the machines but used the $1 towards our bill.

For supper we ate at the Mexican restaurant next to the motel. Turns out that the manager of the restaurant is friends with the owners of the restaurant in Hardin. The children of the Hardin owners take classes from us so we know them well.

After supper and quite a few drinks we all went to bed, the rule on the road is breakfast at 7:00 on the road at 8:00

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Motorcycle Trip

We got back from our motorcycle trip to the Oregon coast and more yesterday. We traveled 3400 miles and was exhausted when we got home. Saw alot of beautiful scenery from the back of the bike. Had two days where we were able to get out and see things, otherwise it was nothing but a riding vacation.

It was not planned out to be like this, but that is how it ended up. Out of 11 days only two were under 300 miles, the rest were 300 plus. It was a challenging trip, had to bite my tongue alot.

We went with our friends Pat & Sandi Breckenridge and Marty and Vickie Davis, they ride trikes also. Spent many months planning the vacation had short riding days planned. The main goal was to see the redwood trees but only got half a day there.

Pat and Marty planned the routes every day since they have a GPS, Gary doesn't so he wasn't consulted on the route. We won't be getting a GPS either. Not once did their GPS take us in the right direction. Our GPS (Rand McNally) did so much better, but again wasn't considered.

The trip was without some problems either. Pat ended up going to the ER one day and then the Breckenridges bike broke down for a day. Vickie had two uncles pass away within days from each other.

I will be blogging about each day to let you know what we did and the disasters with GPS.