Monday, September 10, 2012

What do Sunsets mean to you?

It was labor day weekend and I had an extra day off secured after the long weekend. The question that my unquenchable wanderlust asks me is always the same...

"Wanna get away?"

Why, yes of course I do! How long does it take to pack my bags for a fun 4 day get away (2 day riding, and 2 day lounging at the beach)? No time at all when I am motivated. Never mind that I worked really late last night, or that the oft repeated question in my psyche wasn't posed till I woke up at 7:30am in the morning. I was heading out the door by 9:00am. 

The route, the exits, the gas stops, the food stops and the fun roads you can make great time on - I am beginning to have them memorized. Just point the mighty FJR in the right direction and shoot away through the central coast of California. The route being I5 to Hwy 156 to Hollister for late breakfast, Hwy 25 to Hwy 198 to Hwy 101 to Hwy 41 to Hwy 229 to Creston for a late lunch, to Hwy 58 back to I5 to I405 and then back again to I5 to have friends and dinner waiting for you. 

Which brings me back to - "Wanna get away?" Thanks Southwest, but I already got it covered, and I will pass on that groping hand up my legs till it "meets resistance". 

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's good to see the ocean.

The Redwoods along the Northern Calif. coast  had been calling me over for a visit all year, and every time I had been putting off their invitation. I am glad they didn't give up, because in August I finally had the opportunity to go see them again and reconnect after a couple year absence. 

I had a very late start on the first day, so it was mostly just a commute day. I did ride up the coast, but being a weekend day, there was traffic the mighty FJR had to muscle around, so I didn't make any stops for pictures. There would be plenty of stops for pictures the next couple of days. :)

I was staying in Fort Bragg at the Weller House Inn. This place is on the National Registry of Historical Places. The oldest existing house in the city of Fort Bragg and it has been fully restored as a B&B. It is a pretty place and the Innkeeper and staff (mostly foreign students from Europe and Australia) try really hard to provide you the best service that they can, but it seems this B7B is barely making it and it has started to show in it's upkeep. It is really expensive to maintain a really old house and the cutting of corners has started to show. In my opinion despite the great service, there are much better option in Mendocino about 10 miles south of Fort Bragg, for around the same price. 

If you are interested in knowing more. Here is a link to the B&B:

The next morning, I took some pictures of the place before breakfast. The grounds are all organic and photogenic. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: A Photo Guide.

At the crossroads of science, fantasy, prophecy and religion is a freakish possibility of an apocalyptic event happening in the year 2012 - A Zombie Apocalypse!

Here are some tips for survival that may serve you well, and keep you from becoming a meal for the undead.

Rule #1. No Girly Bikes. Get a real bike. The faster the better. I recommend an FJR1300. Just not the one below, this one has been beat down too much!

Remember, animals can be infected also. Looks like this one just feasted on some poor schmucks brains..

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mt. Rainier and the ride home - Getting your money's worth!

The Final and the longest chapter of the Ring of Fire tour of the Pacific North West, covering July 7th, 8th and 9th, 2012.

Get your money's worth. At least in pictures, all 39 of them! Fair Warning! ;)

July 7th, 2012.

The beginning of this chapter overlaps the penultimate chapter. I felt that the story flowed better, if I separated the two evenings of festivities at the cabin in Packwood from the riding adventures of the day in between. Brian and I took some time in the morning after we arrived at the cabin to go explore Rainier National Park. Tobie had given us some very helpful ride suggestions and points of interests the night before and laid out several options. We chose not to ride the longer routes and decided to forego riding some tempting roads in the vicinity, so we could spend more time visiting with friends who had rode in from all around North America.

With an eye to a lunchtime return to the cabin, we got ourselves an early start and headed towards the East entrance of Rainier National Park and Stevens Canyon Road. The picture below is of Brian riding sweep on Stevens Canyon Road. Even though it was not a super early start, we found not many people were heading this direction.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

If You Hinkle Tinkle in Packwood - We See Your Johnson!

Chapter 3 of the Ring of Fire Tour of the Pacific North West, for the Packwood RTE.

July 6th & 7th, 2012.

I don't get the whole "I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night". If I was staying at a somewhat comparable hotel I would rather stay at a Best Western Plus (or the Best Western Plus in Sutherlin, OR). Freshly baked home made cookies of all kinds - "free" for the taking and a made to order cooked breakfast in the morning. Good Morning Oregon!

We were heading towards Sweet Home. No, not home, sweet home, but Sweet Home, OR. About 411 miles to cover today and we took the easy start in the morning and slabbed it up I-5 to the Brownsville exit for Hwy 228. Despite oppressive enforcement of the retarded speed limits in this state, I was surprised to see how easy it was to find rabbits on the interstate. Don't mind us, just a couple of Dawgs chasing rabbits..

Our first stop was in Crawfordsville, as I spotted this covered bridge over the Calapooia River. Built in 1932, it was bypassed in 1963 and is now a pedestrian bridge across the river. There is also a park next to the bridge with picnic tables and a fire pit for you Iron Butt Motel aficionados.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Caldera Half Full and a Heart of Gold

The second chapter of the Ring of Fire tour of the Pacific Northwest enroute to the RTE (Ride to Eat) in Packwood, WA.

July 5th, 2012.

A day of leisure, pretty light on the scale of miles but huge on the pile of smiles. I had rendezvoused with an almost used up Honda Blackbird in Shasta and we only had ~290 miles on the plan this day, as we reluctantly weaned ourselves away from two days of feasting to get back on the road again. The plan being to stay away from the thoroughfares as much as possible and enjoy some back country scenic byways in Southern and Central Oregon and stop in Bend, OR for some nightlife. 
Corinne sent us off in the morning with a scrumptious breakfast, so we were already loaded down a bit as we set off. Good thing we weren't riding far. We took I-5 to the Oregon border and the very first exit in Oregon is the Old Hwy 99. A road less(seldom) traveled, and it shows because it isn't in very good shape, rough and with a frequent sprinking of road debris. Also, heavily deer infested, in the short 5 miles that we were on this road, we had at least 4 deer spottings. One of them was a pretty big fella who bounded across the road when he heard us approach. Needless to say my attention was fully occupied and there were no pictures through here, and past Ashland, OR on Dead Indian Memorial Road. 

This was a beautifully curvy road and a lot of fun leaning over the bikes, so much so that once again I didn't stop to take any pictures till we reached Lake of the Woods. We could tell from the GPS that we were running right alongside the lake, but true to it's name it is surrounded by woods so thick you catch absolutely no glimpse of it. So, I decided to take a little detour and headed towards the lakeside resort at Rainbow Bay. $2 "entry/day use" fee per motorcycle - no biggie!

Seemed like a good place to lounge about and watch some sail boats. I was surprised there were so few people here, considering that this was the day after the 4th of July holiday. It was a nice resort, with a store, a nice big restaurant overlooking the lake and I also spied some camping spots as well as some cabins near the lake. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Deliciously Twisted - A Celebration of Independence.

The story here is the first chapter of the Ring of Fire tour of the Pacific Northwest enroute to the RTE (Ride to Eat) in Packwood, WA.

July 3rd & 4th, 2012.

The feeling of being free, unchained from the control, influence and obligations to another (in this case my employer), it had been a while since I had enjoyed what it felt like, for a short period of time otherwise known as a vacation. A vacation which almost didn't realize. Just as it is always darkest before the dawn, the laws of the universe dictate that things at work almost always blow up just before you are supposed to run free.

Embark on my celebration of independence, however, I did! A much needed one. I hadn't wandered anywhere fun on my motorcycle for what was beginning to feel like an eternity. I would have been damned if I wasn't going to overdose on some very delectable morsels on this trip.

A couple hours after my garage door closed, I was enjoying my first serving of the delicious "twisted-ness" that Hwy 162 serves up with nary a break. One of my favorite love at first ride roads in the 'Moto Mecca' of northern California. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

An old fashioned ride report to Southern California.

Another month and another run down to the beaches of Southern California for an extended long weekend of fun! The previous two runs to and from the area in about as many months, had been along the coast to enjoy the crystal clear coastal beauty that the Indian summer serves up along the coastline. On this day, I chose to play on some of the more in land roads of Central California, to enjoy them before the summer heat burns everything to a crisp, including the riders..

The route I had planned was a mixture of a some twisty but fast highways, some boring slab and then also some remote back roads to keep things interesting. I left out some other very tempting offerings in the area  for another day, possibly the return trip, but this was still going to be a 736 mile day. Narrating that story here, no fancy and pretty pictures in this one, mostly just 'from the saddle' photography..

An early-ish start and some early slab work through Sacramento (love the new car pool lane on Hwy 50!) and I-5 through Lodi, Stockton and Manteca areas, put me on Hwy 152/156 towards Hollister where I planned to stop for breakfast at the Country Rose Cafe. In my opinion it is the best Breakfast joint in Hollister and when not in a hurry to pile on the miles, very worth the while to stop for a leisurely breakfast.

Breakfast stop Country Rose Cafe. This time I tried the Steak and Eggs with Salsa. The Salsa was homemade and very good! Found a seat at the big glass window overlooking the very small parking lot, as popular as the place is locally - parking is usually an issue on weekends, but not this day as it was a weekday and I was here for a late breakfast.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

California Coast: An artist's dream come true..

April was bringing another opportunity to explore the California coast, and the chance to explore some new friendships and rejuvenate the ties to old friends, lest they fray given the rigors of lapsed time whilst tending to the many distractions of a busy life.

The opportunity was a RTE (Ride To Eat) in gorgeously scenic Big Sur, a gathering of FJR (and other) riders from Northern California and Southern California, to socialize and revel in the joys of a shared hobby and their love for what's arguably the best super sport touring machine known to man. The FJR. ;)

It was dark clouds and a steady drizzle when we first pulled up and it continued while we were there, so the camera stayed under wraps.
It did clear up a smidge when we were gearing up to ride out, I am generally not good at taking pictures of people, so I don't, but I did take a picture of my photography heroine - shown here atop her Can-Am Spyder she has affectionately named Clifford ( as in the big red dog)!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

(Mostly) End of Days in Southern California.

A few words and a few more pictures from my stay in Southern California, the end week of 2011. Not a whole lot of riding involved, just to and from the beaches. I would sleep in late, go out to lunch at some restaurants by the beach and then just be a beach bum for the rest of the afternoon, run on the beach and check out and flirt with the "ahem" scenery - the kind which would talk to me anyway.. ;)

Cardiff-by-the-Sea State Beach was my more often than not hang out spot. Great restaurants right across from the beach, not crowded and it is a pretty flat beach to run on and one could run for miles on the beach with the cliffs of Solano Beach on your left and the Pacific Ocean on your right at low tide. Just don't take a nap along the cliffs before high tide, or it might become a permanent nap.. :)

These "birds" I didn't need permission to take pictures of..