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Found 25 results

  1. Every year I take at least two long out of state trips - usually associated with vfrd in some fashion or another, this last year 2011 was no exception. August is usually the time sombody organizes a PNW rally, usually in Canada or in Oregon - Superfunk, Choco, or Didit being the characters most involved with that in the last 3 years. I try to come when I can, time and money are the only thing holding me back, and usually those things are not so bad. I am thankful to have a decent job with lots of Personal Time (PTO) as they call it - I usually dont take time off for other things at all so it accrues rather generously for me for the most part, and I love my motorcycle adventures across the USA and Canada - perhaps in the future that will expand to other places as well, I have still a lot of the USA to explore, and Northern California was on that list for this trip. I decided in this blog entry to just write about the "getting there" part and include the video above of the Old Spiral Highway to show you all why I wanted to go! The roads in the Pacific North West are simply superb - and along the way too. The company I keep is second to none - most of this is true about VFRD members I have met, but this group is special to me since we have one hell of a good time together. http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/videos/491/osh11.mp4 I did all my usual getting ready to ride stuff, oil change, new tires, check over the bike, do any scheduled maintenance, and pack - then unpack and remove any crap I don't really need and then do it again, (because most of the time you don't need half the stuff you bring). I remember meeting a guy on an Aprillia a few years back, stock seat, full leathers, did not even bring a back pack, just stuffed some underwear under his seat and brought his phone - he borrowed my charger even - NOW THAT IS SPARTEN sport touring. I have not yet come to that - no I bring at least 3 changes of clothes, cameras, mini lap top, phone, extra gas - (veefalo she has such a small tank), walking shoes, and shaving kit - OH AND TOOLS. So well I have not made that jump just yet! However I have come along way! He was riding from Oregon to Laguna Seca with lots of places to get stuff along the way, me I usually have to travel across some great expanse to get to where I am going with hundreds of miles between gas stations. Well anyway back to the story - I called my buddy Jack, a guy I met in the winter who rides a Connie 1998 vintage and hes a real character, perhaps not the fastest guy around but fun to hang out with for sure, and long in the tooth and gray as hair can get. I like him. He tells me meet up in Cripple Creek so we can take advantage of the $2 casino breakfast - Cripple Creek Colorado is about an hour away from my house in the mountains behind Pikes Peak and its a gambling town. So Jack and I sit down and bullshit over ham and eggs and an orange juice from a can (hey it was $2!) and then we take off toward hwy 50 to go ride the Black Canyon. Its an easy day, nice and sunny and a bit hot actually, Jack is riding close enough and I am not pushing it so we are having a good time, up and over Monarch Pass - its a good thing we were going slow cause a rare state patrol officer was on the pass in full patrol mode. My radar went off just as I had slowed down to get behind a car, I was ready to pass at the first opportunity so I got lucky. I did not say I was riding like a saint, I just said I was not riding as fast as I normally do, I had a bit of fun going up and down the pass. The thought of Jack behind me rolling along kept me from really burning it up and perhaps getting a ticket, I am not used to seeing State Patrol on the pass, usually they are in the plains down below and close to Gunnison. We stopped in Gunnison for a sample of brew at the Gunnison Brewery (eww not so good) and a bite to eat and took off cause it was so so to not so good! Cant say I enjoyed that meal but Jack kept me entertained as usual with his stories. Hes got a lot of them and they are pretty good ones, the dude knows motorcycles thats for sure. Then we hit the Black Canyon and had an awful time there too cause well they just chip sealed the damn thing and left all this loose chip all over the place and so it was more like a dirt bike ride then a sport ride. Oh well we decided to forgo the Grand Mesa when we got to the stop at the half way point and just turn around and make up some time, the road was not much fun in that condition and to keep on going at that pace would have had us in Grand Junction at 9pm. The first 3 miles of the Canyon were good but after that NO. So we just slabbed it from the Black Canyon on over to Grand Junction, we found a cheap motel and Jack talked the guy into $25 bucks apiece, and it was worth about that HEH. Oh who cares I slept good, and we went and got a great steak at wwpeppers, it was incredible - my boss told me about that place and it was worth the $$! Cheap room = good meal money! Then we walked over to the local brewery and had some excellent beers and talked up the sassy bartender, she was a hoot. Jack was in his element, funny as usual. In the Morning we took off early, I split with Jack and headed to Utah, I decided to make a morning trip into the Colorado National Monument right there on the west side of Grand Junction I thought I had gotten there early enough not to pay but they got me on the other side! Then speeding over the Interstate to get off and do Douglas Pass at incredible speed, I was having fun, but boy there was a lot of cars on it? One every minute it seemed but no cops! Most going the other way, so I did not have to pass too many cars. Into Utah I grabbed some lunch in Vernal and enjoyed the stuff on the walls, some really nice guns on display. Then I took off over the Flaming Gorge and had some fun riding up and down that, its really pretty the sand stone rocks and the cool blue water. I shot over the pass and around that road all mired in RV's and Harleys. Shot past so fast those RV's with that big 12k cc engine pounding out the miles one by one - passing was just a matter of rolling on the throttle in 6th gear even up hill it was more then enough torque to get around those RV beasts, but the HD took a shift down to do that. It is mostly slab from then on, until I got to the Sawatch mountains, I was rolling into Mountain View Wyoming, just in the Utah notch there coming in and out of Utah, you got to go through Wyoming a bit - anyway the Radar was blasting so I slowed it down to a crawl and sure enough the local sherrif deputy was sitting in a ditch were you cant see him and hitting everything - he pulled out and followed me till I pulled in for gas and and just wanted to see the bike. Turns out he owns a 2006 vfr and wanted to see the new one, never heard of vfrd though? Jeez the word is not spreading! I dont think he is an internet type of guy anyway. So I pushed on over I-80 into Utah again and turned off Evaston to go ride the Sawatch. I took no pictures from here on to Ogden UT cause I was pushing for time and really really enjoyed coming down why 39 it is a fun road in the mountains east of Salt Lake, mostly nice sweepers and good chip seal. I like chip seal when its done right - its grippy as all get out when done right. Ogden is not my favorite place, big bad uncle sams bankers work there and its sort of just a strip mall with no so great resturants, well I haven't found any yet to put it more accurately, I found a decent motel and camped out for the night. I was on my way to Boise, and to spend a day with my Uncle Lonnie there, but on the way I would stop in Albion Idaho to my favorite resturant in Idaho - the Sage Brush Inn It was a slow day so the owner came over and sat with me for a half an hour and shot the breeze very nice guy and he told me about this place called the city of rocks about 10 miles south of Albion I should go an visit, it is a rock climbers dream, world class climbers come from all over the world to scale the rocks there he said so I went and took a look! It was mostly hard packed dirt road - that is untill I climbed out of the park and into the valley below then it was chipped rock spread out over hard packed dirt road and slippery and slidy for 20 miles. I had a death grip on the bars cause it would slide out way too easy - but after 10 miles I relaxed and got used to the loose feeling a bit but damn dont let off the gas or use the brakes cause then you were tank slapping your way though 2 inches of loose rocks! I was glad to be back on the interstate after that and just cruised up to Boise and there my I met my uncle at his door, he let me in and we spent a good day catching up on things. The next part I will continue later, the ride to meet my Canadian riding buddies!
  2. Last summers August adventure had already started, (see previous blog post) I had made my way to my uncles house in Boise after spending a restless night in Ogden UT, a place I am not so impressed with - being that it is the home of the IRS, or at least that is the place where I sent my tax returns? I was surprised at how pedestrian the place was - not nearly as nice as SLC just south of there, but not ugly by any means - its just the opposite of Colorado the mountains are on the east side! I am used to them facing the other way, but mountains none the less, I dont quite feel grounded without mountains within sight. After a ho hum meal at the restaurant next door, I decided to forgo any evening entertainment and just hit the sack and get up early and get to my uncles place in Boise, shoot I already wrote about that part - Albion Idaho - I should note the restaurant I like in Albion is called the Sagebrush Grill, I got it wrong about 20 times on my last blog post. In any case I made to my Uncle Lonnies place and we spent a day together catching up with the goings on in the Mayo clan, him? ~ not so great just another one of the many many folks in the "land of the laid off" currently looking for work, hes an IT professional who formerly worked for the state of Idaho as a contractor, that's the worst part about contractors - the contracts run out. So we went over to his favorite bar and shot the breeze for several hours and I met most of buddies. It was nice hanging out with Lonnie, I have never really spent that much time with him before other then Christmas and Thanksgiving surrounded by everybody else in the family. So the next day I had one more solo trip up to Coeur d'Alene. Thats a name I cannot spell to save my life. I always have to google it first! Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d"Alene - freaking frenchy names get me every time! Just like the Cache La Poudre in Colorado, just means lots of snow! They can make a turd sound good, or Grand Tetons - you can guess what that means! French place names always seem to resolve to something usual. Oh but NOT Coeur d'Alene, that was a name given to the local indian tribes by French fur traders and it means simply Heart of an Awl. Hey for once a name that has some thing a bit more interesting, it means "heart of an awl"? They found the locals to be shrewd traders apparently, but the indians they called themselves by the name the Schitsu'umsh which brings us back to stupid names again, it means (The people who are found here) aww jeez! I might as well be called "fat dude on a bike"! So I found every twisty road that lies between Boise and Coeur d'Alene on the map and took it, I headed a bit backwards at first going up to Idaho City on hwy 21 a great twisty road that finds the tightest twisties just south of Lowman Idaho. The road is a bit bumpy and in need of repaving on spots, lots of repairs but I took it fast, catching and overtaking several bikes along the way RV's and what not, I was having a good time on that road - then I turned west at Lowman and headed along a river bank, winding along with even more cars and RV's - it was the weekend and it seems all of Boise turns out to go to the mountains - that road was too short and soon I was on hwy 55 heading north to McCall, a good road if it where not for all the traffic! Thats the main road north in Idaho so there really is no getting off it, just plug away - I found it useless to pass the cars since there was so much traffic up ahead I was just wasting energy, it was more then I could see, once out of the mountains and onto the high plains the highway department slapped up 30 mph signs all over the place for 40 miles as they chip sealed the road - of course not on the weekend so NO CONSTRUCTION CREWS OUT but the cops were - handing out tickets for speeding over 30! I just sat behind a car that had gotten fed up and took off, I hung back far enough to save myself if the cops should see and well a rabbit is a rabbit is a rabbit, let the coyotes get the first one out of the gate! It was like this all the way from the point I turned off to McCall, all 64 miles of crawling along at 30 miles per hour, I was going insane! Finally in McCall I pulled off for gas. At gas stations the Veefalo seems to be a draw with its beautiful lines or some say ugly lines! I had to talk to every idiot who had never seen a bike before in their whole lives! Already irritated by the 2 hour ride up there - the obvious questions and idiotic warnings from total strangers about how "dangerous motorcycles are" - proved to be more than I could take. I retreated into my helmet and pretended I could not hear what they were saying to me. Hand gestures to my ear - just get back into your car woman and leave me the hell alone! Yea yea OK I will ride safe yea OK thanks - as I sat there waiting in line behind the next guy for a free pump, trying not to notice she just stuck a cell phone up to her ear as she drove off. Some people don't understand that unsolicited advice to a motorcyclist is not welcome! Especially if your going to get in your car and drive off with a cell phone to your ear! I hit the Detour button on my GPS since McCall was a total parking lot at Noon on a summer Saturday, I found an offshoot road to the west and was so glad to be free of that nonsense! I was a bit exuberant when I found some twisty roads just west of town and got on the gas and started to dip the bike into the corner, just in time to hear my Radar detector go off and a sherrif flashed me with his lights as I went past at some twice the posted speed limit! OPPS I saw him begin to turn around but I rounded the next tight turn and got on it hard! HEH the sight of open road ahead sort of shot down my hopes of getting away but to my surprise NO SHERRIF was behind me now? I guess he gave up and did not want to do any paperwork, its one thing to hit it in tight twisties and another to try to get away on a strange road that is strait as far as I can see! I thought I was toast! Well that was good for a thrill and it certainly took the foul mood right out of me, a scare can do that for ya! I was happy to be alive and enjoying the open road again! I pushed on up to Coure d'Alene at a better pace, I found a great road called Greer road, after Koosia pass I was really finding some nice roads now, Greer road Cavendish road all northern Idaho roads seem to be pretty good. All in all it was a great day of riding minus that McCall Nonsense, I had a good day soloing, but I was ready to ride with friends, I made it to Coure d'Arlene in one peice and thats where I met Radar, Fay, Craig, and Didit. We were about to go on another great adventure in the summer of 2011. Full Size Stay tuned next up - the Spiral Highway, stators, Rattle snake grade, Enterprise - ALL OF OREGON.
  3. Lorne

    DfC13463 pano

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  4. Lorne

    027 Tetonia Id

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  5. Lorne

    026 Tetonia Id

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  6. Lorne

    025 SR28 Idaho

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  7. Lorne

    022 Leadore, Id

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  8. Lorne

    021 Salmon, Id

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  9. Lorne

    018 US93 Salmon, Id

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  10. Lorne

    015 Staney, Idaho

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  11. Lorne

    014 Lowman, Id

    From the album: 2015 Colorado

    © Lorne Black

  12. Lorne

    Galena Pass, Idaho

    From the album: my trips

    just south of Stanley is this great little road that takes you to Sun Valley - 1995

    © Lorne Black

  13. Continuing on in this blog entry with more of the story of last summers California PNW adventure! Its not often you meet people you just click with - and certainly this is rare with individuals but even more rare with a group. This close knit group of Canadians are just the best (well most vfrd people are the best) but something special cannot be denied! I just love riding motorcycles with these folks, I trust them and its always a blast - even when everything goes wrong! This time is no exception! I finally made it to the sharp pointy place the french called Coeur d'Arlene. There is a sleepy little motel there called the Flamingo we seem to patronize as a group every time we pass through. My second time there they actually had a room for me this time. Complete with a fat cat that likes to jump up on your bed before it is touched by human hands to claim it as his! I am a cat person anyway so it does not bother me. Some cats act like dogs this is one of them! So I was the first to get there, then Radar showed up with Fay on the back - then Didit rolled in with Craig in tow and we almost had a complete set of Canadians at that point - just missing Axle, Tammy and Jeff our Vancouver contingent, we would meet up with them in Oregon in two days! My original plan was to ride with these guys for 3 days then head up to Canada for the meet going on up in Nelson that weekend, it was really ambitious for sure with 500 plus mile days in the middle to make it there and home! I dont know what I am thinking some times I bite off more then I can chew but things sometimes dont work out as planned and you just roll with the punches. I had a night planned at the McMinnimins hotel in Portland along the way too I was looking forward to another sample of that raspberry ale I liked so much when the PNW meet was in Troutdale the year before! OH well - when you plan too far ahead, something always gets fouled up! I sort of like the aspect about motorcycling of not knowing what to expect, sometimes I pull up lemons and sometimes I pull out sweet surprises from the hat. We soon got on with this vacation get together by walking over to a restaurant a few blocks away and had a wonderful dinner as Didit smoozed his way into the heart and minds of the servers and wrangled up a nice patio table out front, we came a bit late it seemed and just about everybody in Idaho was in Couer d'Arlene to get dinner the same time we where. He charmed his way into getting us a great spot. We had a great dinner and we needed it since we were in for a long day of twisties from Idaho to Enterprise OR, to go ride the Old Spiral Highway and Then do Rattle Snake Grade, it was not too far but it turned out to be a strange adventure none the less. Full Size Our first leg of the day was the ride around Couer d'Arlene Lake - a 20 mile twisty road that runs along the lake side. All I can say is its a great way to start a motorcycle ride. I set up my video camera under my headlight, I tied the tether cord to the attachment on the camera (good thing I took this precaution). Then rode about 100 feet as it fell off the mount and then dangled there for the entire length of the lake route. Damn luck! It was a fun ride though and we took it at a good clip! Didit and Radar switched up the lead and I followed for the most part because video is better with a subject in front to focus on, of course the subject turned out to be a shot of the front wheel as the camera dangled by a cord for 20 minutes! Jeez it would happen that way. Then we rolled down a pass behind a chemical hauler semi truck hell bent on not letting any of us pass. We waited patiently for what seemed like hours for a safe and legal spot to pass which turned out to be the end of the good stuff! Jeez 30mph in lonely twisties with a semi blocking us for 15 minutes was hell! So it was still early and time for a bit of breakfast in Saint Maries Idaho, it wasnt bad at all - the company was better, lots of laughs.. Me just realizing my camera was dangling by a thread! So all the passing they did to get around me to get in the shot was all for nothin! We had a bit of very nice country side to go through to get to the next major highway, still out in the sticks we had one pass coming out of Saint Maries that is really good with lots of sweepers. Usually it has too much traffic, I say usually since I have done it once before so I don't really know what I am talking about, so I expected much traffic on it and it WAS there just as I thought it would be! However its two lanes going uphill so I passed a ton of cages and trucks to get to open road and everybody followed suit. Being that we were about 100 miles into the ride I should have filled up in Saint Maries! My bike only has a 4.8 gallon tank and I hate worrying about gas, but I did not do that - so I slowed it down a bit except one really good part on hwy 6 about 5 miles north of a blink town called Harvard Idaho, its a railer of about 2 miles, just hard right then hard left then hard right, very predictable but the turns are very very deep so you can sustain leaned over position for a long time the hard over to do it on the other side for a while, back and forth they just keep coming! Great little stretch of road going up the hillside, and lots of trees around you, a they have concrete rails up on both sides so it feels like your in tree tunnel just leaned over as fast as you can turn the bike back and forth. Jeez that is a fun road, and just a bit scary going down hill cause you can get into to it way too fast and then you have to brake so you have to brake carefully and not upset the suspension. So we stopped for gas and then the fun started, Didit's bike would not start! Aww Jeez, I think we push started it and to the gas station down the road cause Didit needed a phone, or he needed a place where his phone worked in case he needed a tow. He filled up down the road and tried to start it again and nothin! The station had jumper cables so we jumped the bike started and then we unplugged his headlights and let it idle for about 20 minutes to charge the battery, they also had a multi meter they let us use - or maybe one of us had one? In any case the bike was charging without the headlights plugged in so Didit just left them unplugged, we would head to a dealership down the road! First we found a motorsports shop in Moscow, but they pointed us to a Honda dealer over in Washington just across the state line 11 miles away in Pullman WA. It was there we found his RR connector was all burned up. The dealer loaned us some wire, soldier, and a heat gun to try to fix it, which we did, but it did not solve the problem. So we said lets keep on going, the bike was running fine with no headlights so we pushed on after a short lunch at a bar next to the dealership. Next up we hit the Old Spiral Highway and had some fun going down it! http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/videos/491/osh11.mp4 Didits bike was just barely limping along and it was clear we had not fixed it with the connector so he decided to call around for parts and ended up getting our very own Tightwad from vfrd to send him a new stator and RR overnight to the hotel we had booked in Eureka CA. I had planned to ride with them all to Eureka then head north - but it seems plans and rides never seem to work out exactly as expected. We had one more section to do that day and then spend the night in Enterprise Oregon one more good spot of riding on Rattle snake grade then we would roll into Enterprise for the night. I spent most of the time looking in the mirror for a blue bike since we had no idea if the thing was going to make it, but it did! 2 days with a burned up stator phase, and no headlights. I think we tried to plug the lights back in and thats what killed the battery? So we left them unplugged till we could get the parts from Texas. Tightwad was a lifesaver! We decided next time if there is a next time we stay in Enterprise we will check out the motel in town instead of the Best Western, the quality is there but not for the price? So off we went after spending a frustrating 20 minutes waiting for a clerk to let us pump gas, Oregon has a stupid law about pumping your own gas, YOU CANT. Most the time they just let you anyway but they need to see if your doing it right first? 50 states in this country and each one is different! It is the law in Oregon that gas must be pumped by an attendant and there is no self serve! It freaked me out the first time I was there to see some dude stop me as I tried to pump my own gas, he noticed my Colorado plate so he did not go off on me - I am not used to being approached from behind and tapped on the shoulder pumping gas, I almost sprayed gas all over the guy cause he started the hell out of me. Thankfully I was expecting it this time around. We headed out of town behind a circus it seemed, an entire trainload of rv's and cars lined up for a mile it seemed and we passed them one at a time along the long straits out of town. Didit and I swapped mp3 cards so we could listen to something new, his wife prepared a whole playlist of songs I had never heard before. It was interesting, mostly club dance or workout songs, lots of fast music that made me want to ride at 100mph all day long! I had to slow myself down on several occasions. Today we were headed for Redmond Oregon. Full Size We just had to stop first in Elgin, I had to pee so bad I could not stand it, and every RV we passed flew by us as we hung out at the gas station there, oh well! We decided to make it a long stop and just relax and let them all get way way ahead! Which was a good thing since we did not see most of them again after that. So we sat down and talked and took pics in this tiny little place I just plugged in Didits route into my gps without shaping the points any or looking at the route, he had originally had us headed down the interstate in La Grange but I did not see that and my map sent me right into town for a 15 minute stop and turn around and go back waste of time. He was not happy about that, but oh well - when we all use different gps units they don't always translate the same. So we got back on and then turned off to some podunk place called Ukiah Oregon, a dumpy little stop in the middle of nowhere - and we had to pump gas from an old style pump and pay cash to the kid in the wheel chair with no legs and only one working hand? That was a bit akward cause I did not know if he wanted help or if he was sort of one of those militant handicapped types that get all offended if you try to help? I just said f'it and let him do his thing an walked into the dumpy little store. From there on out the roads are really good, we took back road after backroad, and I was really feeling good with the bike and letting it get deeper and deeper into the turns as we went along. It was a good 2 hours more of riding before we stopped for lunch in Service Creek. It seems if you are a motorcylist riding along the John Day rider it is imperative to stop in Service Creek for lunch, the food is good and its a very relaxing place to be, if not a bit hot. I had no idea but the middle of Oregon is mostly high desert, and it gets very hot in the summer! We still had about 100 or so miles to go and I needed gas - I was on fumes actually not far from Service Creek I was worried about running out but we pushed on all the way to Prineville and I still had half a gallon left in there and was not in any trouble, but I did stop and fill up the tank along the way with my spare gas can I had stored in the side bag, turns out I did not need it at all! Oh well better safe then sorry. It was just another 30 minutes to Redmond - and there we fought over who (Didit, Craig, and I) about whos turn it was to sleep on the couch, (ME). I had the room all to myself in Couer d'Arlene so I got the couch this time. We walked over to a great little restaurant down the road and had a great time - my steak was good Madalinas Grill is the name of the place it was just up the road from the Hotel. Another Best Western but this time much better value! Then Didit and I took in a movie from across the street, shoot I cant even remember what movie it was? There was a very nice Moto Guzzi sitting across from the theater. So far the trip was turning out to be pretty good, as long as we left Didits bike headlights unplugged!
  14. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    This road climbs the side of the Clearwater River Gorge from Greer Idaho to Weippe, fun road but too much construction traffic
  15. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    Didits bike would not start at the gas station
  16. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    Tom the owner of the sagebrush inn told me to go down here and check out the world class rock climbing area
  17. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    Tom was telling me it was a Morman car club sponsored by the church
  18. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    If you get sick of the Interstate 84 on your way out or into Salt Lake city get off and head to Albion for a meal you WONT be dissapointed.
  19. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    My new buddy Tom from the Sagebrush inn was telling me a Morman car club was meeting across the street at his competitors restaurant, a large contingent of Mormans who took a pass on his restaurant in favor of that one - I supposed it pays to be a Morman in south east Idaho! Nice cars, 2 restaurants in a one horse town!
  20. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    pastoral scene from my third day riding
  21. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    sitting on the big chair outside - veefalo waiting
  22. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    a fun rolling road and very scenic
  23. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    On my way to Coeur a'Alene - the wheat was this incredible golden color all over the hillsides
  24. From the album: 2011 Trip California

    Greer Idaho, a fun and twisty road up the side of the canyon
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