Friday, November 18, 2011

Haven't done enough hiking

Haven't posted on my blog much either, or played much golf. Haven't played tennis in years.

Did finally go on a hike yesterday. I tagged along with Dave and Jim as the headed up Syphon Draw in the Superstition Mountains. This is the path most take to climb to the top of Flatiron. I won't be doing that. Gary (another park friend) made it to the top 25 times last season and had has topped out six times already this year! Of course he is part Canadian mountain goat.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another tattoo

I guess they are addictive, because as soon as this one was done, I was thinking about the next one.
Lady Luck because I have been so lucky in life. Even my marriage was good because together we raised such great kids. I was lucky to get the job at the shipyard - it allowed me to retire at 55. I have been lucky to make so many good friends. I have been lucky to be so healthy.
I was never lucky enough to get a hole-in-one though....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bound for Arizona

Leaving on Monday. I had a nice visit. Thanks to Thom and Ross for giving me shelter. Seven weeks of living out of suitcases will be enough.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Last leg home

We made the final run home today, riding up 97 in to Washington and over Chinook Pass on 410. Three hundred and thirty-five miles.  Our grand total was just over Three thousand miles in our nine days riding.
 Rob on his Beemer.
 Steve on his Road King.
Plans are underway for next years ride. A rerun or do over if you will - some of our favorite rides from the past five years - all east of the Cascades and out of the rain!! Beartooth Pass, Spiral Hiway, Hell's Canyon, Canadian Rockies, Road to the Sun.... so many good roads.
Thanks again to my travelling partners Steve and Rob. Good guys, good friends. Sorry Dave and Pat couldn't make the trip this year. We'll try to make it happen next year.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Two-lane blacktop

Three hundred and seventy nine miles of mostly flat, straight, two-lane blacktop on Highways 395, 31 and 97 between Susanville, CA, and Madras, OR. Really a pleasant ride, just totally different from the last few days. Had a great dinner at Geno's. We'll be home tomorrow.

As usual, just click on the picture to see it full size.

Friday, July 22, 2011


The sign leading to Ebbett's Pass on Highway 4 out of Angels Camp reds:
It's a beautiful drive. Steve and I stopped at the aptly named Mosquito Lake to take pictures - but not for long.

From there it was on to South Lake Tahoe, then 395 to Susanville. Only 279 miles today.
Only 380 miles tomorrow as we hurry home. We'll spend tomorrow night in Madras, OR.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Off to Chico and Angels Camp

Poor internet service in Chico prevented me from posting last night. The days and roads and curves all blur together. We average over 300 miles each day, with hundreds of curves.

The road to Chico took us past Mt. Shasta and through Mt. Lassen National Volcanic Park. Visit Lassen if you haven't - it's an amazing drive, beautiful scenery.

The ride from Chico to Angels Camp in Calaveras County, California (made famous by Mark Twain) was mostly along Highway 49, with a stop in the quaint little town of Nevada City for lunch at Lefty's Grill. Well worth a visit for the brisket sandwich with jalapeno and cilantro cole slaw. We all loved that meal. Here is the one picture I took today that impressed me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It was Scott Day!!

It was a Scott day. We rode in Scott Valley, along the Scott River, over Scott Pass, looked at Scott Mountain, saw Scott Lake and rode on Scott Road! 320 miles in beautiful sunshine. What a nice change from the last few days. Another night in Yreka tonight then off to Chico tomorrow.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The All Star ride to Northern California

Since the three bikes that made the trip are red, white and blue, Steve chose the name.

Our first day was spent almost totally in the rain. Purdy to Redmond, OR, 380 miles. Sorry no pictures in the rain.

Today Rob led Steve and I over McKenzie Pass just west of Sisters, OR. We were lucky, the pass just opened yesterday. It's a beautiful ride that climaxes at the observatory in the lava field at 5,300 and some feet. Coming down the west side, the temperatures dropped with the elevation. It was a great road for a motorcycle ride.

We continued through Eugene to Reedsport - at times in a downpour. Rob enjoyed testing himself and his new tires on the wet pavement from Reedsport to Sutherlin. After a beautiful detour from I-5 on the Cow Creek Road between Riddle and Glendale, we continued on to Grants Pass for the night, which included snacks and drinks on the patio.

Tomorrow we will ride to Yreka, CA, via Eureka. 199 to 101, then 299 and 96 back to I-5. A 120 mile trip that will encompass about 350 miles.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let go of the past

Maybe, just maybe, I really have. I gave myself an $840 per year raise yesterday. I emptied the storage unit. Goodwill got five pick up loads of good usable stuff. The waste transfer station got 30 years of my life.
All of those pay stubs dating from 1976 to 2006 are history. All of those training certificates and awards, even those fancy plaques they gave me and were never hung on a wall. The divorce papers, too.
Thom kept all of my tools and garage stuff - that was another truck full of stuff. He had to reorganize his garage to make room for everything. He hasn't even opened the boxes yet. Each one will be a little treasure chest.
Four small boxes of pictures and memories will accompany me back to Arizona. I'll have my own jewels to examine.
The road trip to NorCal starts on Saturday. Rain and clouds are in the forecast for the Portland area. Good thing the rain gear got packed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Temperatures are rising.

Temperatures are rising here in Apache Junction. They should top out around 111 this week. The time for my escape has arrived. I'll be leaving the park next Monday. The plan is to spend 4 or 5 days on the road, drive along the Oregon coast, sleep in the back of the truck. If I learn that my body is too old for these sleeping arrangements, there are motels and I can shorten the trip.
I am looking forward to seeing my kids. They are grown up and have their own lives and don't need me like they did when they were younger, but they are stuck with me. Thom has graciously offered a room in his house for part of my stay. I will bunk with my brother Ross in Ballard for a couple weeks, too. Should be fun. Looking forward to seeing all of my friends and family that I can.
Another reason to head north is so I can head back south. The annual motorcycle ride at the end of July will cover northern California. It is disappointing that our little group of five is already down to three, but I am looking forward to the ride and the camaraderie.  I didn't get to go to Canada last year with the group.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

On last weekend's motorcycle ride, one stop along the way to Winslow, AZ, was Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.
Believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world, it stands 183 feet high over a 400 foot long tunnel that is 150 feet at its widest point.
A prospector named David Gowan stumbled upon the site as he was chased by Apaches. He hid for two nights in a cave within the tunnel. He later claimed squatter's rights.

Copper Chopper

As part of the centennial celebration, Paul Yaffee built this motorcycle which is being raffled off. Called the copper Chopper, it is fully plated in Arizona copper and includes several references to the state.
You can read more here:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shed expansion project.

Believe it or not, there are rules in the park regarding the size of the sheds. 10' x 12' is allowed. Mine was 9' x 10' when I bought the place. It is part of the carport, using the carport awning for the roof. I decided to add the three feet toward the east edge of my lot. First I had the cement poured, then the awning extended. With that done, I was able (with the help of friends) to cut the east wall loose, move it, and build filler sections.
As my park model sits on a corner lot, part of the purpose of the shed expansion was to accommodate the Harley. Dave, Mark and I had already installed a roll up door on the north side of the shed. The siding removed for the door installation was saved for the expansion. I was given some other pieces of siding saved from another shed job to use on the other side.
The whole thing turned out pretty good. No - I won't work on your shed. One is enough.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dirt bike fanatic

In conjunction with attending my Mom's 90th birthday party, I delivered an old rusty piece o' crap CZ to Forrest. He and Kenny have gone overboard regarding their fascination with early 70s dirt bikes. I took a few pictures on my visit.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's been a while.

The new year has come and I have failed to update followers of events in my life. I'm retired - I don't have to. Besides, I spend more time on facebook now.

Some changes large enough to note have occurred and I thought I should at least mention them here. I no longer live in a motorhome. After the first year, I no longer used it the way I thought I would. I haven't traveled outside the corridor required to travel from Thorp to Apache Junction. The incident with the trailer scared me. The cost to repair the motorcycle and trailer, the time spent waiting for the Harley dealer in Durango to do something, took the fun out of it.

I enjoy life here in AJ. The people that call this home during the "season" have become good friends. The number of months I reside here has extended each year. I may even try to endure a summer here soon.

To that end, I purchased what is referred to as a "park model" - a small, one bedroom, single wide manufactured home that is anchored to the desert. They are limited to 400 square feet, so you can imagine how small it is, but it feels huge in comparison to the motorhome. I now have a full queen sized mattress and a recliner. Wow.
You can see that it has a carport and a shed. The shed affords the luxury of a washer and dryer, ending trips to the community laundromat. For now, the trailer sits in the carport and the bike stays locked up inside. A future expansion of the shed will include the installation of a garage door to allow storage of the Harley in the shed and let me park the truck under the shade of the awning. Speaking of trucks, the 98 Ranger was not an adequate tow vehicle for the trailer, so I found a 97 Chevy Silverado for that purpose. It was one of those finds that make me smile. It has been in the same family since new - father and daughter. Every piece of paper generated during maintenance on the truck was included in the purchase - even the original window stickers. It cost just over $24,000 when it was new. The canopy has never been off the truck. Like all cars that have never left Arizona, there is absolutely no rust.

I miss the spot I had in the park along the back fence. I don't get to watch the birds and bunnies, squirrels and coyotes anymore. There is more road noise here at the front of the park, but I think it will work out fine. Besides, my old neighbor Lois says I can buy her park model when she decides to stop coming down here for the season.

I guess I'll never change - I enjoy horse trading too much. I've never kept vehicles for very long, or lived in one place for more than seven years at a time.