Sunday, 21 December 2014

South for a Month

Well after several months of cold and snow and mundane things like scouting, church and I even got in 4 days of working in Lethbridge doing inventory for Fleet Brake. I am finally south and on the bike again. When I got back from California in September I did manage to ride a little. Put the new bike away with 25,426 km on it. Almost worn out. The last ride it was cool in the AM. Frost on the bike to be sure. And I could not get any guys to come over and warm up the seat. No they give me a bad time about the icicles on my hoohaw.
Karl Nordin, Doug Campbell and I went out to Bragg Creek, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Longview. Took the old coal road to High River and saw a purple outhouse in a field, a black bear up a tree right by the road and an eagle soaring in the valley. After getting back I rode up to Airdrie and then reluctantly put the bike away. The next day this was the scene from my front window.
On Dec 14 I flew to Palm Springs and was greeted at the airport by Karen Maki.
This was the sight that greeted me. Warm temperatures, blue skies and gorgeous flowers.
The following day Karen and I drove around and did some shopping but that evening I got the bike running and out ready to go to Riverside the next day. While the BMW shop was doing my front fork seals and oil change and chain lube My friend Lisa Lattke picked me up and took me to her home in Ontario California and we picked up Bert and went to Famous Dave's BBQ for lunch. We went back to their home after and visited for awhile before going to pick up the bike. I hit a little rain on the way home particularily through Banning. The next day Ken was home and He had to do some deliveries and pickups so we went to Temecula and several places I have never been. We stopped at one place just outside Riverside and the lady there had a neat shop selling horse feed and other STUFF.
We passed this mammouth just east of  Riverside and then we went to a city by the name of Norco. It is known as Horsetown USA and instead of sidewalks they have bridle paths. Pretty cool.
The next day I rode up Hwy 74 just to the Indian reservation and then turned around and stopped at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument. What an interesting history. I got another stamp in my passport of National Parks book. Friday morning I packed up and headed for Mesa Arizona and Merrill and Joyce's. It was a great ride with very little wind. We went to the Mesa market the following day and that night they took me to Organstop Pizza. What a fascinating place. They have room for 200 people and this amazing organ that takes up one whole wall. I still cannot fathom how someone came up with the idea of having a pizza place and putting this organ for entertainment in it. It is very popular and lines go out the door. Did not take my camera though. No pictures. So that catches me up somewhat. I head home to Palm Springs tomorrow and Jan 2 - 4 is the campout I am registered for in Agua Caliente.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Lassen, Quincy and Palm Springs

Well seeing as how I am unemployed. Got laid off when I returned Monday. I have lots of time to finish my blog. I also see I made a mistake in my last post so will correct when I finish here.
Lassen Peak
Bumpas Hell. This is where you can take a 2 mile hike and see fumeroles and mud pots and geysers.
Chuck and I stopped at a little store in Old Station to get a refreshing drink before the long ride home.
Chuck and I arrived back at the fairgrounds and more people had arrived. This is a lovely fairgrounds and we had 332 people camped here.
That is our little group camped behind this building.
Bikes and cars and tents everywhere. They had vendors and seminars and lots of good friends. My friends Burt and Lisa from Ontario California were there and Greg the fellow I traveled with to St Paul along with Dennis were both there. Gregg brought his wife and unfortunately she is not well enough to ride a motorcycle so they were in the car. They brought a big pot and they and Jim and Cathy Benge and Dianna and her husband made a big pot of stew Friday night and invited all their friends over. Greg got out his guitar and played and sang and I interspersed with a few jokes I know.
The temperature was perfect, there was no wind and I looked up at the stars and said it does not get any better than this. My friend Fred was there from Susanville as well. Saturday Fred and Lanny and Bob and I went to Frazier Falls. Fred made a wrong turn and we stopped at Pumas County Ranger station. It was a great detour as they have a wonderful museum there. Would love to take my cub scouts there.
This is one of the rangers at the museum.
Then we got on the right road and headed for Frazier Falls.
There was not a whole lot of water coming over because of the drought conditions but it was pretty impressive and I can only imagine what it would have been like in full flood.
It was 1/2 mile in and here are Fred and Lanny taking a rest.
Lanny has the same bike and sidecar I have.
This is the lovely little creek above the falls. Not a whole lot of water right now.
I have been fascinated for a long time at the vision of trees growing straight out of a rock. Seems impossible. That is one of the things I saw a lot of in Yosemite and it continued on here as well.
Fred and I in front of some incredible rock formations that were all along the path to the falls.
On the way back to the campground we stopped at a little resort town called Graeagle. There is a small lake there and a store where you make your own sandwiches. Out fron there were these boy scouts selling scout popcorn which I am in the throes of right now.
Back at the campground Turk was taking a much needed rest from his adventures getting there. He high centered his bike getting off the ferry at low tide in Port Angeles and ripped off his center stand and sidestand and broke his transmission. Then he had to drive a fourteen ft Uhaul to Chico Calif where a mechanic at Ozzies said he could fix it and then he rented a car and on Sat hit a deer.
Poor Turk
Behind him is Tim whom I was speaking off in my previous episode.
All to soon this wonderful rally was over and I had to move on. I stopped at Topaz lake for fuel. If this sounds familiar it is where Fred and I stayed on the way home from Mariposa.
That is the motel we stayed in.
Then I stopped at Mono Lake because I have my own passport for National Parks and I wanted to get a stamp. This time I went thru the museum at the Visitor Centre and watched the movie which I did at Lassen as well. They tell you so much about the area.
Those formations I talked about last time are called Tufa
Then Fred told me of another National Park on the way at Manzanar just north of Lone Pine. This is one of the camps the Japanese were sent to after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. I went to the auditorium and took in the movie. What a tragedy. This historic site is preserved as a memorial.
Then on to Lone Pine . I stayed in the Portal Motel and had a delightful dinner at The Grill and the next morning headed for Palm Springs early as It was to be 112 degrees there.
I would be remiss not to have any picture of the Sierra Nevadas It is an impressive mountain range and the last time I saw them they were  snow covered.
This last picture is of the sunrise to the east. Looking towards Death Valley.
So till my next adventure

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ride to Palm Springs

I arrived home from the 3 Flags and started to prepare to take my F650GS to Palm Springs. I seldom look at the weather forecast but it looked like cold and rain starting Monday evening so I thought that I would head out Sunday morning. Such a beautiful day. I forewarned Art and Betty that I was coming and when I arrived Betty cooked a wonderful dinner.
Blairmore. Most of the snow is gone from earlier in the week.
The next morning I went with Art to Denny's for breakfast and was delight to see my friends Gerry Abbott, Roger Harbrecht's and Jim Schonrock. One never knows when we will meet up again. I was headed to Boise Idaho over the Lolo pass.
This is just before Lowell Idaho at the bottom of the pass.
I stopped in Kooskia Idaho for fuel and took a few pictures.
They have been having a lot of forest fires in this area and I passed through quite a few burned areas.
Kooskia is a great little town and I have been there several times before. At another small town I stopped for lunch and as I was sitting at the outdoor tables at about 30 degs C I called home to find out it was snowing furiously. Thank God I left early. I did however make a wrong turn later on and went through Council Idaho AGAIN. It put me about 60 miles west of Boise on the Interstate which is in a state of repair so I arrived late into Boise but Dave came and found me and guided me to their home and Bonita made stuffed zucchinis that were delicious. The next  day we went to a great place in Boise for breakfast and then Dave rode with me to make sure I got on the Interstate again out to Palma and south.
This lovely tree was in their yard.
I continued south towards Reno. It was very smokey and windy but nothing compared to the snow you guys were getting in Calgary. I stopped one I reached Nevada for lunch just at a service station.
I asked the lady what the name of the mountain was and she replied Sawtooth. Made sense.
This is a lovely rest area in Nevada heading to Reno.
Once I was back up on the Interstate the wind picked up and was blowing me all over the place so seeing as how I was very early I stopped in Lovelock Nevada and got a lovely motel room. My neighbors in a car said Oh seeing as how you are on a BMW you probably know our friend Tim. And soon we determined Yes I did know Tim so they called to find out he was already at Quincy. Good to know, so I knew I would not arrive early and be all alone. And I had great company for dinner with Gary and Missy.
The next day I got to Quincy fairly early and got set up. This was to be my home for the next 4 days.
Rode to Safeway and picked up supper to enjoy at the campground. The rally did not start til Friday morning so on Thursday I thought I would head to Lassen Volcanic National Park.
I had never heard of Lassen before but apparently it was the only active volcano on the United States mainland until Mt Saint Helen's erupted. It erupted in 1914 and 1915. Lassen peak formed 27,000 years ago as a volcanic vent on the northern flank of Brokeoff Volcano. It is one of the world's largest plug dome volcano rising 2000 feet to an elevation of 10,457 feet. Much of the park is like a little Yellowstone and school kids go to learn about volcanoes and changes in the earth's landscape. There is a new visitor's centre and as in all National Parks to watch the movie certainly provides a lot of insight into these great places. A fellow who was camped at the fairgrounds with us offered to go with me. Great company.
See the mud bubbling and the air was sulphurous
 I will continue this journey in another episode. Need to get some things done now.