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Thread: Cooter and Bubbles ride to Mumzys house.

  1. #31
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Episode 7: Turkeys, and Deer, and Outlaws, oh my!
    Embarking on a journey shouldn't be to dis-connect, or to connect. Done correctly, you will do both. You hopefully find your balance. If you are balanced, you can handle unexpected things, your confidence will grow, and you can relax, look up and see wonderful things, instead of staring at your own two shaky feet.

    Seeing a Chevy Corvette isn't really that big a deal, even for a car-guy like me. Seeing a row of 30 of them cruising by is a little special, but having them all rumble by, through a desolate town where we have yet to see a single human, and 50 miles from any other desolate town, is special.




    It felt like our own personal parade, so we waved.

    The respite from the sun under our Canby canopy was short lived when the buzzing grew louder, and the more observant of us two (hint: it's not me) said "Hey, look. A wasp nest.". Want to know what 'It's time to go' sounds like? A bunch of wasps. That's what it sounds like. Jacket on, gloves on, dammit!, gloves back off, put helmet on, gloves back on again, restart the still empty motorcycles and head down the highway, letting the breeze chill the sweat off through perforated leather second skin.

    My 403 pound Buell is about half the weight of the bikes you usually see in the Starbucks parking lot, but I still don't want to push it along the highway. This routine of seeking out long stretches of unpopulated beauty and undependable maps mean I'm back to mental DTE calculations. I'm nerdy enough that I do it more for fun than for worry, but something happened this time. I quit dividing, and I quit caring. For real this time.

    Bubbles trusty, brand new, and completely inappropriate for the task, Ninja sport bike has been trucking along above the speed limit for a week now and still getting 55+mpg. We have a gas can thanks to the more foresighted of us two (still not me), and hell, who cares? We have food, water, tent, and worst case she has the range to get some gas for me. So I better be nice to her from now on.

    It's about 60 miles to the border through the still breathtaking Modoc National Forest and on the map we only see 2 towns between our escape of waspy Canby, CA., and the Welcome to Oregon sign. Surprisingly, on this still empty stretch of highway another group of riders went cruising past. Loaded down with soft luggage like we are, but in full race leather suits on 1000cc hyper-sport bikes, the luggage haphazardly strapped to their tiny arrow shaped tails and the ubiquitous bikers friend (the black 6-hook elastic netting) holding the whole mess together. In this deserted environment, it's awesome to see other people doing fun things on inappropriate motorcycles.

    The first city we see is Cornell, Ca. who's town sign should just read 'Don't bother', and next up is Tule Lake that has the go-juice we need. Even with the elevation changes, it has been a beautiful warm and clear day the whole way up, so we took advantage of the gas stop to change up clothing layers a bit and pick Klamath Lake for lunch. It's the closest we have been to lots of people for days now, and it feels a little unnerving. Theres no facts to quote but with every birthday that earns me this grey hair, I notice that when just a few people are together, they are nice, helpful, and trustworthy. I can't say the same about population. Add that it's 5 months into a new globally-wide, mysterious disease, political madness, and it's an understandably uneasy feeling for everyone, and it shows. I miss handshakes... and hugs.

    Crossing a border is always an exciting moment. The physical manifestation of a mental goal. For me, this border is a time machine that takes me to growing up in Oregon, and having my hippie parents take us kids in the orange VW bus (the same one I was probably conceived in) to hike Klamath Falls. For Bubbles, it is much bigger than that. Never ever would she have thought she would be crossing into another state, confidently riding her own motorcycle 700 miles away from her home, when only a year prior she was almost too scared to get on the back of someone else's. An exciting time to be Bubbles

    Borders are also good for reinvigorating your senses. Noting the little changes in your surroundings, like peoples slang, signage, even the cows look different! It sure invigorates the traveller.

    The goal for this evening is to stay at Bubbles' ex-inlaws guest cabin in Rogue River. I have met the awesome 'outlaws' Robert and Barbara before and am excited to see them again in their own comfortable setting.




    Just a regular, normal, Oregon backyard.




    What are YOU lookin' at?




    Hey turkey!

    Riding high on their incredible hospitality, we took a well deserved extra day to relax and re-set, swapping stories and clinking glasses. Robert is one of those true riders with the chips to prove it, and Barbara has been his compatriot since her days as a beach bunny in Santa Barbara, Ca. They are a super fun couple and our visit with them won't soon be forgotten.




    The chips to prove it.



    If motorcycles could talk.

    Refreshed and re-packed, it was time for goodbyes. But before we headed back out on our own we were tantalizingly close to one of my favorite destinations.



    Mmmmmarionberry pie.

    I have been known to make that 1600 mile round trip from home, for their homemade Marionberry pie and ice cream.



    The pie is near some lake up there.



    Had the place to ourselves!

    Happily back on the longest path we could find, the winding roads around Crater Lake are perfect for spirited riding while taking in the vistas and valleys in that most spectacular scenery. Even caught off guard by the $50 entrance fee for just 2 motorcycles? (ugh), that place is much more than just the lake, and deserves a lot more exploration. For now though, our destination is much farther north and will still be a few more days away, so tonight we meet total strangers, and sleep in their backyard.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWood View Post
    Being from N.Cal., I'm particularly enjoying the sharing of your journey. I don't know if you came down the coast through Fort Bragg/Mendocino on your return or not, but it would have been real cool to meet up with you two and ride a ways w/ you down our awesome coastline here. Again, thanks for sharing(and helping me learn my new Ulysses!).
    We did! We rode the whole PCH back and stopped at Glass Beach and Scrimshaw Brewing (of course) before we got caught between the fires in Big Sur for days.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    https://cooterstravels.blogspot.com/...and-tears.html

    The first time we stay with strangers (spoiler: They're awesome)

    Got Episode 8 done awhile ago and forgot to post it, oops!

  4. #34
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    BOOM! and 9...
    The first wind battle and Moms house

    https://cooterstravels.blogspot.com/2021/02/

  5. #35
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    Great stories, great ride, not easy riding a light bike in high winds my hat's off to her for hanging in there, it's one thing to bare with it for an hour or two but an all day event is another level.

    I did the west coast up to Vancouver and onto the island back in 1979 in my VW pop top camper, I sure miss that camper, it is a beautiful trip..

  6. #36
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    I did the same with my Mom and sister back in the late 80's and wanted to go back since then. Our buddy Opto lives up there in Wa.

    Bubbles has a bucketlist (now) to go back and hit what we missed, the W14, BOG, Victoria Island to Kayak with the Orcas, and I know a great loop farther East in Canada around Kootenay Lake (Thanks Dave!) if them Canuks ever let us dirty 'Muricans back in

  7. #37
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Monday, February 15, 2021
    Episode 8: Kites and Tears
    Perspective is a powerful and ultimately positive tool. It has the power to open dialogue, open minds, center oneself, and even relieve stress. People have been saying “Walk a mile in their shoes” since shoes were invented. I guess it would have been 'Walk a long way in Unga Bungas woolly mammoth skin sandals', but I digress. Navigating todays society, it feels like people are looking for a reason to disagree, be offended, or feel superior. 'Winning the sentence' without regard to the point. Perspective is so easy to find, but you are the one who needs to look. Find and use that power to bridge a gap between yourself and a stranger, and you will be comforted to find the commonality that all of us Earthlings share. Hopefully it's motorcycles. And beer.



    The Bubbles and I are in high spirts. The well rested day in the Outlaws private cabin gave us a chance to completely unpack, inventory, and re-pack. A Marionberry pie breakfast, and having most of Crater Lake Nat’l park to ourselves means life’s pretty good right now. We are drifting through the north end and sweet curves of the Umpqua Nat'l Forest on another sunny and warm day to hook up with the 97 and head in the general direction of the highest concentration of local breweries in Oregon. It's an easy ride towards Bend, plenty of lakes, grasslands, and even more trees. It's a cool place that has a way of being a big city, but still out of the way. It's that disconnection which lets local flavor take hold in place of the usual corporate branding and let creativity flourish. We're here because one of Bubbles many contributions to this fun journey was finding a Facebook link for Bunk-a-biker, where like minded people can share their home (or yard) for the night to put up people crazy enough to be thousands of miles from home with no plan for sleeping. Thats us. Perfect.



    Just as the sun is just getting to that shade of orange that reminds you it’s going to be dark soon, we crossed the city line and checked in to the Book of Faces to get the address to pop in the GPS. Rounding the corner of a tree filled neighborhood (ya, it’s still Oregon) I spy a cool looking place. It’s got muscle car projects under covers, patinaed farm trucks, and a garage full of motorcycles. Just as I’m exclaiming over the comms “Whoa! Wouldn’t it be cool if….” ya, thats the place. We rumble up as Andrew comes out of the garage wearing cover-alls and holding one of the familiar red shop rags that is just so comforting to a life long mechanic like myself. My people are good people.



    We spent the next half hour in the street, rapid fire talking cars, bikes, and adventures, before we even get into the driveway. Andrew himself is just back from an over 3000 mile trip on the first bike he ever bought, a 1967 Shovelhead, that now wears the grime, mud and bugs that would be expected from an all guys trip like that. I’m sure we didn’t get all the stories, as it should be. It’s not long before we also meet his charming wife Miranda who gushes excitedly about the new-to-her CB200 twin that will be her first bike, the little Briggs powered scoot that he’s got their 9 year old daughter fiddling with, and when the the boys Arthur and Henry come out to play we really feel like old friends already. The boys are in the jumping-off-whatever-they-can-find stage and it is very comforting to know people still let their kids get dirty. You get good humans that way.



    How cool is this??


    Sometimes the stories are better untold




    A quick unpack and tent set-up next to the fire pit, I need to run to town for a few small items and by the time I’m back, Andrew has an excellent batch of BBQ chicken done and sipping whiskey. Just like the old friends we are, we kept them up way too late swapping stories by the crackling fire until we all finally gave in to droopy eyelids and settled in for the night. This is our very first time trying the Bunk-a-biker thing and its Andrew and Mirandas first time too! None of us knew what to expect, especially during a pandemic, but if this experience is any indication, all of us are ready for the next one.


    Awesome folks!

    The cool clear air rustling through pine trees and a big bright moon once again made for the best sleep one can have. The sun coming up came around way too soon but with solid sleep like that we both woke up raring to go! Excellent coffee (thanks Miranda!), Cliff bar, and some genuinely sad goodbyes had us back on the road north.






    Next stop on our list of destinations-not-destinations is to see my own lovely Mumzy, Lady-of-the-Manor. Her house is still in little Lake Oswego where I grew up as a kid, which is about 20 miles west of Portland and 180 short miles from Bend. A direct shot would have us feet up and relaxing in about 3 1/2 hours for cocktails, laundry, and a couple days rest. Or we could take 8 hours to get there, going 350 miles in a day while battling nightmarish winds along the Columbia River Gorge the whole way. Hmmm.



    On our way up to the Columbia River Gorge through central Oregon it struck me that this land, all this land, fertile, temperate, open, is just so empty. The roads are smooth and well maintained, a few (two?) tiny little towns that are supported by river rafting the Dechutes River and not really anything else. It’s not as arrow straight as you’d imagine, some great curves and dips to play in and even though we’d been blessed with excellent weather the whole way, as we went up in elevation it got pretty cold for being August! We would plateau over a hill and see Mt. Hood in the distance, temptingly close, but for 2 hours of heading straight for it, it sure didn’t seem to be getting any bigger on the horizon. After crossing the Dechutes river at the tiny, welcoming town of Maupin, we pulled over to rest for a bit and had a visitor on a RoadKing stop for the obligatory wellness check (motorcyclists are awesome). He had just finished white water rafting in these rainy, freezing temps and was riding home (where?) in his t-shirt. Crazy.



    2 hours, still heading straight towards Mt Hood.




    Nice place for a rest.




    I wonder what she's doing behind this convenient pile of rocks?

    The plan was to continue up the 97/197 to The Dalles for lunch, cross over into Washington and for a run right to Mumzys house on the 14 along the Gorge. We got right up to The Dalles when WHAM! Bubbles was going to have a very big, very scary test of being a motorcycle rider.



    There are notable milestones to anything that requires skill to do well. Some things can be studied beforehand, trained for, planned for, but other skills can only be built by experience. It’s the latter thats the worst for a motorcyclist. Anything unexpected is frightening, and it's frightening because it is truly dangerous. Ask a rider and the answer of what they hate the most will probably be the same. Rain? Na. Tires and electronics today are amazing. Ice? Maybe, but it's your fault being out there when you should be sipping brandy by the fire. It's wind. Big, 40mph, gusty, bull**** wind. You have no control of the invisible hand waiting to smack you into the next lane as logging trucks, and oblivious people in a hurry rip around you. Add that we're on the first freeway we've seen in 1000 miles and a little woman on a fully faired, feather weight bike thats stacked with bags is a kite and thats a recipe for fear and panic.



    We stripped off as many bags as we could off her bike and thats her, contemplating life.




    Because **** you, wind.

  8. #38
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Wednesday, February 24, 2021
    Episode 9: Home. The other one.
    We have killed for beauty. I mean the royal “we”… unless my sweet Bubbles has a terrible secret? But the seriousness of the subject cannot be overstated. We humans really have killed for beauty. It is at the same time, both universally understood and completely indescribable in it’s perfect form. It is Budda’s search for Knowing, Ghandi’s search for Peace, or Pirsig’s quest for Quality. In the simplest terms… Charlize Theron More complex is when our desire for beauty overwhelms our reasoning. The hot/crazy matrix, buying lots of impractical motorcycles, or having bags of gelatin sewn in your chest. Ask an architect and beauty is in 'sacred geometry', a mathematician may say the Mandelbrot set, someone religious would say it’s Heaven, while an artist would spent their life writing musical notes in just the right order, or painting many little happy trees. Beauty also has a terrible and inescapable truth. Just like a rainbow, as you get closer to your goal, your goal gets farther away. We know all this and yet….

    All for this indescribable, unachievable thing.





    Anyone who’s been outside their house can tell you that the worst circumstances make the best stories. As long as you live to tell them. Right now the Bose speakers in my helmet are very accurately reproducing the sound of a woman I love, who is crying. Even worse is, it’s my fault. It doesn’t matter that the Columbia River Gorge was carved through rock thousands of years ago by a glacier and channels air to be world renowned for windsurfing, or that there is no other option than to move forward. The next couple hours will be us, heading due West, being blown around uncontrollably in these nightmarish 40mph gusty winds. It’s bad enough we have the hazards on and are hugging the emergency lane, while trying not to be rear-ended by instagramming Prius drivers, or blown into the dirt by the passing logging trucks. We pull off the freeway to take the tall camping bags off her Kite-a-saki and build a pyramid on the back seat of my heavier Buell that would make an ancient Egyptian proud. Even standing upright is difficult in these conditions, theres no respite, and it’s not letting up.



    This means a plan change. We do get a tasty, but somber lunch in The Dalles, a cool little town catering to tourists and wind surfers, but we’re in no mood to see the sights, bypassing Brewery Grade and countless kite surfing shops. No way we are going to cross the bridge into Washington without being fish food no matter how lovely and empty the 2 lane W14 is, and no way we are crossing back over on the epic grated roadway on the Bridge of the Gods back into Oregon. We are in survival mode today. No roads parallel the 84, nowhere to stay, so our choice is to move forward, with no choice number two. We stop on a few turnouts to de-stress and stretch out the D-string tendons in our necks and no ****, The Gorge is amazing. We don’t care.



    Pulling up to Mumzys house will always be special, and today a bit more so. Since we lost Kendra, my entire blood family unit is her… and me. She is at once a beautiful, welcoming, razor sharp witted pragmatist, and the softest, most generous person I have ever even heard a story of. Her grand smile at the doorway is all us dirty biker savages needed to see to completely change our mood. And beer(s).



    A trip to Mumzys is never complete without a few honey-dews. Happily, I’ll hang pictures, move heavy stuff from A to B, sometimes from B back to A, and re-supply whatever. When a Costco run in necessary it can get interesting with only our motorcycles and her Miata.




    Paper products were scarce!



    Bubbles and I are un-stinking our clothes in the laundry, stocking cupboards, swapping stories, and know this will be an unusually short stay. No matter the hurry, it’s always worth the time to slow down a bit and appreciate the loved ones around us. Mumzy has spent a lifetime sharpening her intuition and refining her skills as both Astrologer and Tarot reader. I used to think hippie-****! non scientific, even religious blasphemy. But for my life, she has had the gift, of being right. Theres no denying that. She taught me an open mind is better than ignorance, and her guidance has been invaluable. Her latest delve into expanding her skills, is a relationship of each discipline we call the Taa daa! Tarot-a-Scope™




    Theres a lot going on here


    The last morning has us sipping perfect strong, dash-of-cinnamon, pinch of salt, pour-over coffee, finishing the last of the marionberry pie slices, sheepishly disrupting the heavy quiet with a cacophony of V-twin exhaust note, and yelling I love you’s from inside our helmets. Today we seek cheese! For once, we are heading south and our new southerly route is easy. No more GPS, we’re going PCH all the way. Turn too far right and you get wet, because Pacific Ocean. Too far left and it hurts because, mountains. Like I said, easy! Except the leaving part

    I love these girls!

  9. #39
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    The 6 to the coast is open spaces, tall trees, smooth turns, green grass, horses, and a lot of weed dispensaries. Just before the southern turn on the 101 is the newly remodeled Tillamook Creamery! I still remember visiting as a child (hippies do free ****), and in the same orange and cream VW bus from before (I didn’t ask Mumzy about the conception thing), but we are shocked back into reality now that we’re here. Because reality has smacked us right in the face mask.



    We’re careful. Not scared… but careful. We don’t want to get sick or worse, be carriers and get someone we love sick. Bubbles has someone who is particularly vulnerable to this terrible thing at home so she is well suited to taking care of germs before they take care of her. Being on a motorcycle is easy to stay distanced, but we are aware that even getting in a accident will take valuable resources from people who need it. The choice is easy to bypass the crowd around free ice cream, see the sights from a distance, and keep on truckin’.





    Ya, the curb is red, but we are passing up free ice cream!

    The Oregon coast is one of the great pleasures to ride. You can thank the Cascade Mountain Range, but not why you think. Bubbles and I are used to using the mountains in So Cal for thin curvy roads and weekend rides, but the Cascades are much too high and craggy for that. There are only a few passes that connect this stellar rocky coastline and the main grey artery of I-5 billboards and truck stops. It’s a pain in the ass for people to get here in numbers and that is why you find perfect little towns, lost in time.




    So much awesome in this pic



    The joke is not lost on all 15 of the locals

    When in Beaver.....

    Don't you dare mess with the fish, but definitely jump on the back of a strange land animal!



    Pacific City has a neat beach with a haystack rock and just in time for lunch...

    Pelican Brewing! Follow the billboard. Worth it. No barbers though

    Sometimes ya just gotta stop and stare.

    Bubbles gets it.


    There are literally endless distractions and this is exactly why we are here. We have a destination of Coos bay at the border with a welcoming bunk-a-biker family but only halfway down the coast now and in no particular hurry to miss all this.



    Beauty is in the journey, not the goal.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Silverrider's Avatar
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    Awesome adventure, Thanks for sharing the pics!!!!!!!



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