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keithbob

Memorial Stone Placement For Rich Merrill

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Cool.. really cool. Nice tribute. I'm sure He's smilin up there. ( and riding kick ass roads forever)

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Very nice Keith - and my condolensces to you and Jalene on the loss of Darrel.

I cannot believe it is over 3 years since Rich's passing. He was truly one of the coolest guys I have ever met. He is sorely missed by all who had the great pleasure of meeting him.

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Now about that 'wing.... :beer:

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- both equally quirky and absolutely nuts about motorcycles. Both of them were taken from us without warning, and both of them I miss terribly.

gallery_3463_5005_102757.jpg

Forest view, memorial stone at lower left

That is an incredible statement that carries great meaning to me. I was talking to a coworker maybe 6/7 years ago about another coworker and I described him as "weird". The guy looked at me for a moment and then said "You know what, I think we are ALL weird". He made the comment in jest but I thought about it for days - well, evidently years because I think of that comment every time I think of someone as being different in some way. And after some introspective thought, I think that is exactly why I love fellow motorcyclists as much as I do. We ARE all weird or quirky in our own way but these damned machines bring us together like brothers and we DO care deeply when we loose a fellow rider, even when we never met them and they were hundreds/thousands of miles away. Thanks for the photos of the site. That last pic looks like a great place to just sit quietly and watch/listen for hours on end.

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I'll have to get back up that way and see that stone. I still remember riding with Rich and everyone on the '06 meet, and that amazing ride up to the peak. Here he is clowning around hugging his bike.

PNWVFRDMeetII_063a.jpg

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Thanks for the photo's Keith. I need to ride down that way so you can show me where the spot is.

I first met Rich at the gathering in Newport. I'd ridden my Vulcan down to Nevada and back the month before and had decided that long distance on a cruiser wasn't for me. I was thinking sportbike/standard, wondering if the VFR was the bike for me, and talking to Rich about would a sportbike be what I wanted. Would it be more comfortable, would my dirtbike background translate to a sport or standard bike the way I thought it would. He had me sit on the RC while he held it upright and gave me helpful hints and pointers on how to turn the thing. :blink: He was so easy to talk to and and one of those people you feel like you've known forever after knowing them for 5 minutes. His encouragement and riding lesson convinced me that yup, I needed a different style of bike. I sent Keith photo's of the 750 after I bought it, he sent them on the Rich, who sent word back through Keith that it was a darned fine choice and I would enjoy it immensely. He was right, but I never got to show him the bike in person.

It's about time I dropped by to show him where his encouraging words led me.

Last summer I was down in TN and found myself at a dealership with a group of friends. Jimmy has the soul of a sport tourer, but was riding a Shadow. I had him sit on the Concours and the FJR and basically repeated the riding lesson from Rich. Jimmy is now the proud owner of an ST1300, and is loving the bike. So Rich is still having an impact on peoples lives. What a legacy. smile.gif

GypsyCat

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Fantastic, Keith! The coffee cup belongs there! I wish I could have joined you, but I was in Colorado in cages for a long weekend... :blink:

It's about time for me to go up too and visit my buddy.

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I rode up to Mary's Peak yesterday but did not know the location of this memorial and did not see it. I asked the ranger at the summit parking lot but he was not familiar with it. If I knew the location I'd take an updated photo of the site. The summit road had gravel down the center of the lanes in places so it paid to be careful.

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I rode up to Mary's Peak yesterday but did not know the location of this memorial and did not see it. I asked the ranger at the summit parking lot but he was not familiar with it. If I knew the location I'd take an updated photo of the site. The summit road had gravel down the center of the lanes in places so it paid to be careful.

The marker itself is down off the road, and there is no marker to tell you where to look. And things have changed a little since they re-paved a section of road there. Next time I'm up there I'll note the landmarks on the road by it, and maybe put a secret paint mark on the edge where you go down to it. It's quite unofficial, so the ranger would have no knowledge of it. I'll post up again with how to find it. Maybe the GPS coordinates, too.

Thanks for thinking of Rich. I still drop in to VFRD from time to time, even though the VFR was sold quite a while ago. At least I still have the Saber in the garage to give me that old V4 feeling.

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We now have a perfect marker for finding the stone we set that marks where Rich came to rest!

Head up Mary's Peak Road off of Hwy 34 until you come to Parker Creek Falls. Turn around and go back down maybe 150-200 yards. Exactly where he left the road, there is now an "ELEVATION 3000 FT" sign. In the photos below, you can see the sign, and my GS is parked directly above where the stone was placed, about 30-40 feet down from the road. You will see a large log, maybe 4' dia., lying at the base of the tree that it snapped off of. From the elevation sign, angle down to the left and you will find the marker stone just above the log. Pretty neat.

There's even room to park a few bikes in the grass by the signpost.

The forest is always changing, and the pine needles and duff have built up around the coffee cup and shoes, which are taking on a nice green from the moss. I cleared away the sticks and such, but left the natural buildup of things. It doesn't seem like 8 years have passed, but they have.

As for me, I'm doing just great out here, and continue to have adventures on the GS, aka Shrek or The Horse or The Big Pig depending on what I'm traversing at the moment. I continue to check in here from time to time, and it seems things are carrying on in fine order, typical fashion. I may have to show up at another VFRD event to check in with old friends. One of my great memories is having 33 VFRs parked in my driveway when we had you all here in Newport in 2006.

So if you go up to Mary's Peak and you were a friend of Rich's, or even if you never met him, now it's easy to find his marker. Remember, he loved his coffee, so if you pack a thermos, spare him a drop or two in his cup.

Afterwards you'll need to go down to Alsea and have pie at Deb's.

Parker Creek Falls

Elevation sign

How the stone looks today-

Rich

You really owe it to yourself to have lunch here. It's a regular stop for us locals.

Deb

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Nice job !!!

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Keith, thanks for the update and the email. Great that Rich's spot is now marked and easy to find. I still remember Rich vividly - what a great guy.

Like you, I may need to attend a VFRD event just to say hello - it has been too long.

I am now on a Triumph Tiger 800 XC - great bike for exploring backroads but still very capable and comfortable on long highway jaunts.

I haven't logged on here in ages - I will be back more frequently and see if the crumpet can 'invade' a VFRD event soon,

Tony.

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Thanks for the update Keith!

I was actually just thinking about Rich a few days ago. Looks like I'm going to have to do a Mary's Peak ride this summer.

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Only been on VFRD for a couple of years and never would have found this thread. What a great tribute! We will try and do the coast trip this summer so I'll see if I can track this spot down.

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 05:41 PM

We now have a perfect marker for finding the stone we set that marks where Rich came to rest!

Head up Mary's Peak Road off of Hwy 34 until you come to Parker Creek Falls. Turn around and go back down maybe 150-200 yards. Exactly where he left the road, there is now an "ELEVATION 3000 FT" sign. In the photos below, you can see the sign, and my GS is parked directly above where the stone was placed, about 30-40 feet down from the road. You will see a large log, maybe 4' dia., lying at the base of the tree that it snapped off of. From the elevation sign, angle down to the left and you will find the marker stone just above the log. Pretty neat.

There's even room to park a few bikes in the grass by the signpost.

The forest is always changing, and the pine needles and duff have built up around the coffee cup and shoes, which are taking on a nice green from the moss. I cleared away the sticks and such, but left the natural buildup of things. It doesn't seem like 8 years have passed, but they have.

As for me, I'm doing just great out here, and continue to have adventures on the GS, aka Shrek or The Horse or The Big Pig depending on what I'm traversing at the moment. I continue to check in here from time to time, and it seems things are carrying on in fine order, typical fashion. I may have to show up at another VFRD event to check in with old friends. One of my great memories is having 33 VFRs parked in my driveway when we had you all here in Newport in 2006.

So if you go up to Mary's Peak and you were a friend of Rich's, or even if you never met him, now it's easy to find his marker. Remember, he loved his coffee, so if you pack a thermos, spare him a drop or two in his cup.

Afterwards you'll need to go down to Alsea and have pie at Deb's.

Keith,

Thanks for the location! I will definately get down there soon, meeting and talking with Rich was a pleasure that I am grateful to have had. That was a very memorable meet!!

PNW VFR Meet 06 016

Gary

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I love this... thanks for posting... Rich and I were like brothers...

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post-3131-0-60911000-1400792835.jpg

post-3131-0-50629100-1400792811.jpg

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I rode up to Mary's Peak yesterday but did not know the location of this memorial and did not see it. I asked the ranger at the summit parking lot but he was not familiar with it. If I knew the location I'd take an updated photo of the site. The summit road had gravel down the center of the lanes in places so it paid to be careful.

Judi just reminded me that we put the stone down off the road (and the Ranger's won't know about it) because we did it on our own without permission. So it's best not to ask anyone official about it and draw attention. Not to seem selfish, but it's really just for us who know where to look, and who had a connection to Rich (that's all you VFRD folks, whether you met him or not).

But they did put up that great sign for us!

Thanks everyone, for the kind words and memories. And if I wasn't hosting a BMW campout the weekend of the Oregon Trails thing, I'd have to crash it and say hi to olds friends. I'd love to show you what tuned aftermarket suspension on a GS allows you to do to a front tire - amazing!

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Good to hear from you Keith. It's really special looking at the picture that V-Fore posted of your garage and daydreaming about the magic of that meet at your place.

I often think about that weekend. It seems so distant sometimes but I remember so many little details and It's been too long since I've been up to see Rich.

I definitely need to make time to visit this summer.

Cheers,

-T

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