Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cambridge/Waterloo Trip - July 25 to 29


There was a free weekend between our return from the west and the Freedom Rally, so we decided to take the van and head down to see the kids. Since Rhonda had ordered the new tires and could put them on Monday, we loaded the bike in the trailer and towed it down to Wasaga Beach on the way.

After leaving the bike and trailer at J&R, we stopped at a discount gas bar south of Stayner for fuel. It wasn't pay-at-the-pump, so I went in after filling up and gave the young man behind the counter my card. He swiped it, looked puzzled, and then flexed the card and swiped it again. I asked him not to bend the card. He flexed it again and swiped one more time. This time, I raised my voice when I asked him not to bend my card. He mumbled something and then told me the card was declined. DECLINED?? I'm well within the limit and current on my payments.

Calling the 800 number on the back of the card is interesting if you want to talk to a real person. Zero does not work. The only option that does is the one where you want to report a stolen card. Candace took my call and, after verifying I was me and saying the card was fine, proceeded to talk to the kid. Then the charge went through. She apologized. I settled down. I am getting much less tolerant of things these days. Onset of Grumpy Old Man Syndrome?

We continued on to Kim and Mike's in Cambridge. It was a quiet evening. Kim and Sandy went shopping for a while and I took part in a VROC toast to our fallen companions on the VROC Chat.


Kim and Mike had a wedding to go to today and they would be staying overnight. I got this picture as they were heading out the door. Did I mention that she is expecting our first grandchild in December?

Tom and Heather are engaged and have set the date for October, 2009. Yes, there is a lot afoot in the family these days and we are very happy about all of it. The venue for the wedding/reception is the Black Forest Inn in Conestogo, just north of Waterloo. We stopped by for the Saturday brunch buffet and were quite impressed with the fare. Breakfast included a custom omelet chef and carved roast beef along with many other delicacies. The desserts were out of this world. All this for only $11.95 each.

After eating way too much, we went back to Heather and Tom's where we had a session with the Wii FIT system they have. It gives you quite a workout and, since Sandy already wanted a Wii, I guess we'll have to get the works. But no Guitar Hero.

After visiting and working out, Sandy and I headed back to Cambridge where we turned in early.


It was a slow morning. Heather and Tom came by. Nobody knew what to do, so I suggested we all trek over to St. Jacobs. After a stop at the abbreviated Farmer's Market, we parked in one of the new lots behind St. J. and wandered the streets for a while. We had lunch at an outdoor place that screwed up my order. Twice. Remember how I said I was getting grumpier? This didn't help.

After lunch, we wandered down the street and stopped to listen to a fellow play a Pan flute. He was good and I threw some change into his case. Then we went through a mall I never knew was there, checking out all manner of unusual shops.

The best was one was called Taste the 4th Sense. The photo must be of the old location. I'm not much of a hot sauce fan (or wasn't), but the proprietor has samples and will talk to customers as they try them out. I asked about serious sauces and he turned me on to CaJohn's Jolokia No. 10. There are no extracts in this sauce. The fatilii, red savina and orange habaneros are enhanced with naga jolokia powder. The naga jolokia pepper was recently certified by Guinness World Records as the hottest pepper in the world. It is hard to describe the burning except to say that it was not as harsh as others I have encountered but was definitely more all consuming. For those wanting more, he also had The Source (7.1 million Scoville units) for sale.

A group photo on the streets of St. Jacobs

Then we picked up some candy in a shop and headed for home. I got some blogging done and we watched a movie before calling it a night.


Mike was on holidays for the week, so the three of us sent Kim off to work. Then we hacked around for a while before I took Sandy up to Staples to check out computers. We walked out with a multi-media HP laptop for her. I also saw a new HP 2133, about the same size as my little Fujitsu mini-notebook but one heck of a lot more powerful. I can see a new computer in my own future.

For supper, Tom was busy but Sandy and I took the rest out. We tried the Cafe 13 Main in downtown Galt. It was interesting but I don't think we can recommend it because the service was not up to par and the food (considering the price) was only average.

The gang at 13 Main Cafe


We left early and stopped in Wasaga to pick up the bike. John said he figured that I would like the new tires. That was good news. If they stick, the only other concern is whether they will last.

The bike was loaded into the trailer and we gave a couple from Ottawa, whose GL1500 was delivered with a failing alternator, a ride downtown. The guy was recently retired after 26 years in infantry with the Royal Canadian Regiment. I suspect he was an officer because he is now employed in the HR field. I hope their problems worked out.

The trip home was uneventful and the bike was unloaded and put in the garage without trying it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Meeting Roseman In Espanola

Roseman is a VROCer from Ohio who is active on the Newsgroup. We also met he and his friend Vicki last summer at Interlochen, where Rosie's snoring and Vicki's giggling gained them notoriety. While we were out west, word came that Rosie would be up fishing on Charlton Lake, south of Espanola. The Sudbury crew moved to set up a meeting.

Gary and Normie picked us up in Gary's car and we headed east for a 1:00 PM rendezvous at the Tim Horton's on the south side of Espanola. There was a truck with Ohio plates in the lot and there, inside at a table in the corner, was not only Roseman but Vicki as well.

We spent some time catching up on things. It was a first meeting for Norm and Gary. I had the unfortunate task of telling Rosie about Kilo and Chuck since he had been out of contact all week.

It was good to see them since they won't be in Interlochen this year. Rosie has to go to Australia on business. What a life:-)

When it came time to go, I got this photo of the two of them (Roseman is on the right) in front of a landmark of Canadian culture.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trip Summary - June 11, 2008 to July 23, 2008

At the end of six weeks on the road, we were ready to come home for a while.

We owe thanks to people who contributed greatly to our enjoyment of this trip.

Sherm: Thanks for so very much. For sharing accommodation with us at Topaz, Aztec and points in between. For changing the brake pads and oil on Pogo. For taking me to work out in the pool with Ace, George, Bill and the gang. For setting up the rides and the other things you did for the OTI. For the coffee pot. Anytime, anywhere, we aren't tired of sharing the road with you yet.

Pat: Thanks for putting us up, feeding us and letting Sherm ride around the country with us.

Malcolm: Thanks for letting us take the week off in beautiful West Vancouver, feeding us and helping with the hardware. Sorry we missed Jan. Next time.

VSP: Thanks for opening your house to us, setting up the Sandy Robinson Ride, taking us on the train to San Francisco, showing us Shelter Cove and The Tides and introducing us to Basque home style cooking. And thanks, along with Howard and Linda, for organizing HSVROC one more time. I'll get that Marriott number for next time I'll be in town:-))

Leona: Don, tell your Mom thanks for L&L, the teabag device and for just being her. She's an inspiration to both of us.

Malachi and Yvette: Thanks for putting us up for the night and feeding us so well. We enjoy your company and wish we could do it more often. Say Hi to the dogs and gravity defying cat.

Scorp~ and Mary: Thanks for the accommodations and the fine dinner. The tour of the area was excellent.

Jest and Colleen: Thanks for opening your beautiful home and hosting the gathering that let us get to know more VROCers. The pool was excellent. Hi to Lauren.

Fly: Thanks for the work on the Great Midwest River Run and thanks to your crew (Wrong Turn, Deerslayer and others) for preparing the dinner.

Jamey and Melanie: Thanks for organizing Aztec. It's great to ride the Black Hills with friends.

Rubbergator, GypsyCat, Laura and crew: We really appreciated the OTI. Thanks for all that you did to make it happen.

DD & Pebbles: Thanks for letting us share your special day.

It was a great trip but a tad longer than was right for us. We're going to take it a bit easer in August and September, but you will still see us here and there.

Trip Statistics

Direct route miles - 9,554
Total miles including side trips - 11,533
Total fuel - 278.8 US Gallons
Overall average MPG(US) - 41.37
Total kilometers on bike at end of trip - 158,367 (98,409 miles)

Trip Map

Duluth Minnesota to Sudbury Ontario

The Last Day

I wasn't thinking too clearly this morning. We took our time getting up and leaving despite the fact that we had one more time zone to cross and over 700 miles to do on mostly two-lane roads. At breakfast, we talked to a couple of Wing trike couples from Pennsylvania. We didn't get on the road until after 8:00 AM Eastern Time.

The ride across Wisconsin and Michigan was uneventful. Traffic was light and, after a couple of gas stops,we pulled into the McDonald's near Newberry, Michigan for lunch. The tire was in the home stretch and, while looking pretty used up, looked like it would make it. I was a bit slow getting in line and found myself behind a crowd of nubile teenage girls, a basketball team from some high school. They were ordering one at a time and we took longer than planned at the stop.

Out of Newberry, SR 28 was under a lot of construction including long one-lane stretches where we had to wait for a flagman. Then we had to contend with emergency vehicles on their way to fight the bush fire shown above.

I called Rhonda and confirmed the tire order. Added front wheel bearing to the list. Nothing wrong with the current ones, they just have almost 100K miles on them and won't last forever. I also called Mom and told her that we were running late and wouldn't be stopping on our way through town. I expect to be down in August when my brother gets home from Edmonton for his annual visit.

As we got closer to I-75 and the Soo, the familiar clouds over Canada came into view. This was identical to what we saw last year on a ride home from the west. We knew we would hit them before we were done the day.

The border crossing was easy. Short line, easy questions and again, no ID requested. Maybe they know us?

Near Spanish, about 70 miles from home, the clouds got ugly and we could see that we were headed into a series of heavy local showers. We suited up in a picnic area beside the Serpent River and rode through a downpour coupled with lightning and road construction through Spanish. Once out of the first storm, Sandy got a picture of this double rainbow.

It rained off and on all the way home, the first rain we had ridden in since Wisconsin, almost six weeks ago.

On the by-pass around Sudbury, about five miles from home, Sandy got this shot of clouds showing a magenta underside as the sun went down. We pulled into the driveway about 9:30, tire intact, tired, glad to be home but saddened by the news from yesterday. After unpacking and putting the word out that we had arrived safely, we turned in for the night in our very own bed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

RIP Kilo and Chuck

Mark 'Kilo' Irwin - Garner, North Carolina

As mentioned in the last post, our friend Mark 'Kilo' Irwin of North Carolina suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while riding to visit a friend. Sandy and I first met Kilo at our first VROC rally in Suches, Georgia in 1999. That was where he also met Susie, aka Babe-In-The-Wind, who would become his bride. We crossed paths many times since then.

Mark was a soft-spoken man who didn't strive to be the centre of attention but always left an impression.

Chuck Burt - Round Rock, Texas

Chuck Burt was in a fatal wreck on his way back from Oregon. Word has it that he was 15 miles from home when he hit a slow moving aggregate truck that had just pulled out onto the highway. His OTI blog is one of the ones I linked to. We said goodbye Saturday night because he was turning in early for the long ride home and I thought of him more than once during the last few days. I credit the 'See gas, buy gas' rule to him. His signature cowboy hat was always a pleasure to see at any gathering, and he was at a lot of them.

Two friends in one day. This hasn't been a good one.

Sherm put together a Blog for Chuck and Kilo. Thanks, Sherm.

So long, old friends. We're going to miss both of you.

Miles City Montana to Duluth Minnesota

We woke up in the Super 8 in Miles City, Montana about 5:00 AM. Because the continental breakfast didn't start until 6:00 AM, we took our time getting ready and checking the Email with CNN playing in the background. Finally, remembering that we weren't on the west coast any more, I flipped over to The Weather Channel. At 5:48, on the 8's, the local forecast kicked in and finished with the local weather radar. Here was a solid green line of rain approaching Miles City from the west, and it was almost here. Time to forget the bagels and dash. Proving we can hustle when we need to, by 6:10, we had packed, fueled and were heading east just in time.

Happiness is a black cloud in your rear view mirror

A story from the past..................

Near Glendive, Montana, I recognized the spot where my 1980 Honda GL1800 Wing stripped the splines where the drive shaft met the final drive while riding home from the Rider Rally in Cody, Wyoming back in 1988.

As some of the guys went to Glendive to see if they could find someone to haul me to town, Leo and I were pushing the bike to try and get shade under a farm road overpass when a local in a pickup truck stopped. He said he had a ramp and tie-downs and asked if I wanted a lift to town. Does a VROCer argue in debate? I sure did and he got me there before the Honda dealer had gotten plates for their motorcycle trailer to come and get me.

The Honda shop went right to work and had a list of parts needed by 1:00 PM. It was Friday and they sent the list to Honda in California marked URGENT RUSH and specifying overnight delivery. It was noon in sunny California and I guess the surfer dude warehouse guy took the afternoon off because there were no parts on Saturday. My friend John stayed with me as I waited four days for the necessary parts, shipped on MONDAY, to arrive.

The senior ladies who ran the gift shop in the Best Western rented videotapes and VCR's, so I caught up on my movies. There was a pool, sauna and restaurant so we kept amused. On Tuesday, after the parts arrived and we picked up the bike, we were heading out when the ladies flagged us down. They gave us a bag of snack type goodies and a hand lettered sign that said CANADA OR BUST!

Often you can have fun even when things are going radically wrong and I believe there are more good people in the world than bad.

Interstate 94 is a much more entertaining highway than I-90. It has many interesting features, like this tree in front of the badlands at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

While we easily outdistanced the storm first thing in the morning, we spent a lot of time aimed at a very localized storm. Still, the GPS said we'd be turning and we finally did. It doesn't look like much in the photo, but it was much more intimidating in real life. We passed it by.

I had no idea what the Enchanted Highway was when we saw this metal sculpture along I-94 near Dickinson. Next time, we'll make time to travel the 32 miles to Regent and look at all Gary Greff's huge metal sculptures.

Cows can't get a square meal here
(Damn you, Slammer:-)

I had called J&R Cycle, my dealer of choice, yesterday to order tires. They had taken a long weekend off and were closed until today so I called back. Rhonda wasn't in so I gave the order to her daughter, Lorelai. Said I'd check back tomorrow. We're going to give the new Avon Cobras a try, even though the fast late wear rate of the Avon Venoms has been a concern.

You know, the prevailing winds on the great plains are usually from the west. On the westbound legs, I look forward to heading east because the wind will be at my back. Invariably, I travel east on the rare days when the east wind is blowing. Today was no exception.

In a North Dakota truck stop, we met a couple on a BMW R1150RT. They were from the Northwest Territories and were headed for Spearfish taking turns in the driver's seat. The heat (low 80's) was really bothering them. I have trouble imagining just where in the NWT you would find the 1150RT to be the bike of choice.

Water tower in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

We crossed into Minnesota and left the Interstate in favour of two-lane roads. At a gas stop, I found a couple of sipes on the rear tire almost gone, but most were still clearly visible. The outcome was going to depend on how much meat the tire has on it.

Detroit Lakes was under construction. All of it. The highway, the side roads, streets, all ripped up. The new road is going to be concrete. Riding the thunk, thunk, thunk of a concrete road after a few winters (like US 41 around Green Bay) makes me wonder what they could be thinking.

Duluth was still a ways off, so I checked the GPS and found that there was a Town & Country Motel in McGregor, Minnesota. I called and reserved a room but, when we got to the small community of McGregor and saw the place, we called back and canceled. It didn't look like the kind of place we would like to stop, much less spend the night at. I called ahead and booked a room at the Travelodge in Duluth.

On the way to Duluth, Mom called and told me that our friend Mark 'Kilo' Irwin of North Carolina had suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while riding to see a friend. We were shocked and headed on towards Duluth with heavy hearts. Then, as we were approaching Duluth on I-35, she called again to say that Chuck Burt, our friend from Texas with the perennial cowboy hat, had been killed on the way home from OTI in Oregon. Unbelievable, like a bad dream. We just said goodbye to him on Saturday night.

Reeling, I got lost in Duluth despite the GPS. Not sure what I keyed in but I ended up downtown before I re-input the Travelodge and it took me back six miles. Then the Travelodge was now a Red Roof Inn so I flailed a bit more. It was a very upscale Red Roof and we got settled in but our mood was sombre. After reading the latest information on the VROC newsgroup, we went to bed early.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Spokane Washington to Miles City Montana

There was no bread or bagels in the Super 8 breakfast nook this morning. We headed out before 6:30, still partly hungry. The rear tire always looks worse in the morning, so I think I will just look at it at night in the future.

We had stopped on the wrong side of Spokane. My general rule is to try to get through a city before stopping to avoid rush hour traffic in the morning. I guess we were early enough, though, because the traffic density wasn't a real problem and we were through Spokane and into Idaho before we knew it.

While we rolled through Coeur D'Alene, I worked on breakfast plans. The GPS said the next two McDonald's were in Kellogg, Idaho and Missoula, Montana. We would be in Kellogg sooner than we wanted to eat but we would get to Missoula, with the time change, after the breakfast was finished. So Kellogg it was. But it wasn't, because they were sealing the McD's parking lot and the place was closed. So we rode over Fourth of July and Lookout Passes and had a breakfast of hamburgers and fries in Missoula.

In the Missoula Mickey D's, we met a Beemer GS rider returning to Seattle from Detroit. We shared some tales of cross country riding and then went our separate ways.

The ride to Billings on I-90 was dull. The ride from there to Miles City, Montana was duller. I was trying for Glendive, the town I got stuck in for four days back in 1988 waiting for a drive shaft for my GL1100. I haven't been back since. But it was 38C (100F) and the sun was going down so we stopped at a Super 8 in Miles City, Montana after a 693 mile day.

There was a couple from Quebec on a Harley towing a trailer at the motel. They had just had the primary chain tensioner rebuilt in Billings under extended warranty and were now heading home to Quebec City. I talked to them for a bit while bringing in our luggage and then Sandy and I turned in early.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Charleston Oregon to Spokane Washington

It is time to head for home.

The one concern I have is that the rear tire, which I have been religiously monitoring, has gotten down to the wear bars in a few spots. This is the point at which a tire is usually thrown away, but we have 2,600 miles yet to go. I expect it will make it just fine, but I will keep a close eye on it.

We said our goodbyes to the few people who were up. The last two we saw were Malachi and Yvette. We'll see you again before too long, Joe. Then we rode into town and had breakfast with Sherm and Pat at a place called Dishners. Thanks for breakfast. Parting is such sweet sorrow but we'll see Sherm in Arkansas in September.

It was 10C when we rolled out northbound on US 101. We rode up to Florence and then cut over to Eugene and I-5. Some pick-up truck driver in Eugene got upset at me. Honked his horn and gave me the finger. I guess I did something wrong but have no idea what. Then I leaned on my own horn when a van moved into my lane without signaling. Thanks, Honda, for making a horn that scared the guy.

We rode up I-5 to Portland and caught I-84 east along the Columbia River Gorge.

Columbia River Gorge

Looking across at Washington

Volcanic rock

John Day Dam on the Columbia

We stopped at Biggs Junction where they have a Mickey D's in a Pilot Truck Stop. We stayed here back in '04 in the Travelodge Hotel. Today, there were no (zero, none, nada) parking spaces in the Pilot. Crazy. We fueled at the Chevron and took off our cold weather gear. There was a BMW with Quebec plates. The couple, from Quebec City, had shipped the bike to BC since they only had two weeks to ride. Good plan. Skipping food, we continued on.

In the gorge, we saw a disturbing sight. There was a bike on the other side with a trailer. It looked like the riders were picking up the detached top half of the trailer, which looked like it could have been a Lees-ure Lite. It appears that someone didn't have the luck we did back in '05. Unfortunately, there was no way we could get across to help.

Eventually, we turned onto I-82 north and crossed into Washington State. We hit the max temperature about here at 36C. We made a food stop at Mickey D's in Kennewick and then I called the Super 8 near Spokane and reserved a room. We got in about 6:30 after covering 573 miles (according to the GPS). The rear tire looks about the same as it did this morning. I am cautiously optimistic.

Now the blogs are up to date. We will ride early tomorrow since we lose an hour to Time Zone and I'm hoping to cover some serious miles.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Other Oregon Trails International VROC Rally Blogs

I will keep adding to this and bumping it to the top for those who would like to follow the activities from different sets of eyes:

Sherm - Coos Bay, Oregon

Jamey T and Melanie - Lead, South Dakota

Tom and Denise - Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Chuck - Round Rock, Texas

Kudzu - Charlotte, North Carolina

Grampa D - South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Rubbergator - Fedral Way, Washington (Rally Organizer)

OTI Saturday

Bike lined up in front of Captain John's first thing in the morning

In the lobby, Malachi talks to Scotty while Slammer and Marlene look on

Sherm's Ride without Sherm

I woke up early this morning and got on line. Since I had ridden Sherm's Ride yesterday with the GPS on, I was sure there was a way to get the GPS to tell me where I had been. Once I found the right site (www.zumoforums.com), I found the answer. The ride from here all the way to the Umpqua Lighthouse was saved as one track and the unit easily (once you know how) converted it to a route that could be followed again.

Word came down that Sherm had, in fact, been diagnosed with three kidney stones. Efforts to go after them had not been successful and he was pretty heavily medicated. Brian, the other casualty, had been transferred to Portland. The CT scan showed no brain swelling but he wasn't conscious yet.

We set out on time with less bikes than we had yesterday but more than I had expected. The only change from yesterday's ride was a short detour at Bandon led by White Eagle/Peabody/Mark to see the Bandon shore.

Tour leader overlooking the Bandon shore

Bandon shore

Group photo at the Umpqua Lighthouse

Some riders returned to Charleston from the lighthouse. Sandy caught a ride back with Nickels. I took the rest on to SCP in Reedsport. From there, I appointed someone to lead the elk viewers on up the road and I took the remainder back to Charleston. I pulled into the motel lot with one bike, Valdez, behind me. It was a pleasure riding with you, Valdez.


Notwithstanding the VROC server, the Darkside has come to refer to motorcyclists who use a car tire on the rear of their bikes. Biglefti, aka Lanny, has done just this with his Wing but is using a taller tire meant for a Dodge Sprinter van. I took it for a spin. While a little different from a bike tire, it does work. I took a series of 30 MPH corners at 45 and, other than a slight tendency to centre itself upright, it felt not bad. Now consider $115 and the possibility of 50K miles.

There are many who vehemently criticize this practice but I am no longer one of them.

The Wedding

Didsbury Dave (so named because he hails from Didsbury, Alberta) and his lady Romy (aka Pebbles) decided that they wanted to share their wedding vows at OTI. They spent some time getting everything set up. Romy, originally from South Africa, has just recently become a Canadian citizen.

At 6:00 PM, VROCers saddled up and followed the groom to Cape Arago. There, on a scenic bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the deed was done.

Dave's father and step-mother escort Romy down the 'aisle'

The presentation of the CLAP

The minister rattled some of the attendees by stating that, instead of a ring, the bride was going to give the groom the CLAP. Actually, it was some CLAP (Chrome, Leather and Performance) in the form of a Zumo GPS.

You may...........

The sun breaks through on the horizon
An auspicious omen

The recessional

The Happy Couple

Congratulations, Dave and Romy. May you be blessed with many long and happy years together.

Back At The Beach House

It was raffle time. Instead of calling numbers, we had all written our name on tickets. You had to be present to win, so I had Jamey T's tickets, too. Jamey won some nice vest extender chains. I won a nifty LED flashlight. Then the wedding cake arrived and we proceeded through the receiving line and got cake before drawing the 50/50. I can't remember who won but it wasn't me.

Since we were out in the morning, Sandy and I said our goodbyes and headed to bed soon after the draw was over.

It has been a fine rally. Thanks to Lisa and all those who assisted her. You all did a fine job and should be very proud of yourselves. Our special thanks to Sherm and Pat for the extra touches.

Friday, July 18, 2008

OTI Friday

It was overcast and cool this morning. There were coffee and various kinds of pastry and fruit in the office and that was the meeting place. We had in room coffee, but it seems this was due to the kindness of an unnamed stranger and not the hotel management. Thanks, Sherm (I think).

Sandy and Slots sit at the table with Greg and Allan in the background

More lovebirds - one of our favourite couples, Malachi and Corvette

Sherm's Ride

Sherm worked on this ride for a long time. I know he rode the course at least three times and made arrangements so that everything would go smoothly. It did.

The group lined up at Cap'n John's right on time for the 9:00 AM departure. Cap'n Sherm gave some basic group instructions and told the riders of points of interest to watch for on the first leg. Sandy and I, equipped with a CB radio and able to talk to the leader, lined up at the back (almost).

The ride left town the way we entered, via Seven Devils Road and Beaver Hill Road to US 101.

Melanie and Jamey T on Seven Devils Road

The group moved south on 101 to Bandon or, as the banners say, Bandon By The Sea. We rode into Old Town Bandon and parked by the waterfront.

A nature formed bonsai. It was easy to determine which way the prevailing winds blow. Tom Thomson would have loved this tree.

The major Bandon attraction was Cranberry Sweets, a candy shop. They have free samples of most of their wares. We bought a number of things, especially a package of cheddar cheese fudge. Before you cringe too much, it tastes different but not bad at all. I also for a 1/4 pound peanut butter cup. Here, Jim is looking like a Canuck in a candy shop.

From Bandon, we left the main road and wound through the countryside on some delightful roads. Mark ended up with his Triumph/Velorex sidecar outfit ahead of us. The chair is light and prone to flying on right handers but Mark handled it masterfully.

The Kozy Kitchen in Cypress Point. A couple of days ago, King Hussein of Jordan and his entourage, on a tour of the northwest by motorcycle, stopped here for lunch. They had a sign out front that said "Try our mushroom Swiss burger. Fit for a King." So today, it was us. They had a back room set aside for our group. Service and food were excellent. BTW, the King explains the group of Harleys we saw heading down 101 yesterday escorted by four police bikes.

A momentary flower break

The group runs Highway 42 from Myrtle Point towards Coos Bay. Note Viper's very recognizable riding style.

Umpqua Lighthouse near Reedsport, north of Coos Bay on US 101. We didn't have a lot of pictures after Coos Bay because the battery in the camera died. I forgot to charge it last night. This photo was taken using Sherm's battery but he needed it back afterwards.

From the lighthouse we went on to Reedsport to see Guy Mobley, current proprietor of Sherm's Cycle Products. Guy is responsible for efforts that have gained SCP a number of records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. After that, the group broke up. Some went on to look for elk while some of us returned to Charleston. Malachi had given Sherm a beaded seat to try and I snagged it to check out on the ride back. I didn't hardly notice it was there. Perfect. Thanks, Mal, I'm keeping it.

This was one of the best rides I have been on in a very long time. Thanks for all the efforts, Sherm. A job well done.

The southern part of Sherm's Ride
The north part was straight up 101 and back

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

After the riders returned, we adjourned across the street to the Portside Restaurant, home of some good seafood and a lounge singer of no particular renown. Actually, there was nothing wrong with the singer that earplugs wouldn't fix. No photos because the battery was now charging.

We got word that Pat had taken Sherm to Emergency with severe lower back pains. I knew that something was wrong this morning when he didn't eat his breakfast at the Kozy Kitchen. Sherm never skips food. Our layman's guess was kidney stones. Another rider from Washington, Brian Graham, wrecked riding back alone from the Rogue River tour. No details yet this evening.

Lisa asked if I could cover Sherm's Ride tomorrow. I have no idea where those back roads were, but I'll figure it out somehow.

More lovebirds at the Beach House. Jim and Cat, as if you didn't already know.

Part of a camera comparison between DD and I

The Beach House was bubbling with energy. Some members chose to stand outside where the bonfire was taking the edge off the cool breeze. Jamey T carried a bottle of Mississippi Mud Black And Tan Beer all the way from South Dakota in response to a comment I made comparing American beer to having sex in a canoe. I don't drink beer but I had some of this in honour of the effort he made. It wasn't half bad. It WAS half British, though:-)

Didsbury Dave and I have new cameras and started comparing performance. I think it was a tie but he paid less for his so I'll have to give the win to him. But mine photographs the inside of flowers better.

I went to bed about 11:00 wondering where I would take Sherm's trusting riders tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

OTI Thursday

The Lucky Dragon Chinese Buffet

Shortly after we arrived at Captain John's, the word came down that it was time to leave for the Lucky Dragon Chinese Buffet. We had some discussion about who knew where the place was when Tony D. jumped on his 800 and said to follow him. Amazingly, or possibly luckily, he knew the way.

On the way out we met Sherm, who turned to follow us. Soon after, we met Don and Howie finally arriving. They didn't follow us. Before long, the fairly large group of bikes was finding parking spaces in front of the Lucky Dragon. I knew where it was after all. I just didn't know that I knew.

Here are a few VROCers observed at the buffet:

Lanny (Biglefti), his grandaughter Patience and Tony D.

John H, E-Bob and Josh

Melanie, Jamey T and Sandy

Rick (Prowler), Tom and Denise
(a penny for Rick's thoughts)

White Eagle aka Peabody aka Mark (doing something best not disclosed) and Maccs

Lovebirds Cat and Jim

More lovebirds Howard and Linda

These are not lovebirds - Greg and Allan from Alberta

Lisa and Gone Mad Mike from Alberta

Slammer and Nickels discussing the finer points of buffet

We celebrated a four way birthday at the Dragon. Sandy, Linda, Cat and Denise all got the song sung to them and a large cake was cut and eaten in their honour.

After dinner, we adjourned to the parking lot. It was cool and Sandy went back to the hotel in the Kia with Pat. Those of us who stayed had the choice of helping Flying (Flaming) Willy with a less than perfect tire valve stem or Buzz with a ten year old battery that went on strike. I used the Wing to boost Buzz with cables provided by Cat after push starting (it was carbureted) didn't work.

We rode back to Captain John's and then wandered across the road to the Beach House and bonfire for some socializing before turning in for the night about 11:00 PM.