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3,484 miles.

Friday 8/31
We got off a LOT later than expected. My bike was at the dealer getting some work done and I did not get it back until after 5pm. So we took off at 7pm. Being one of the hottest weekends on record, and the fact that James came through the desert two days earlier, we decided to take the coast north. The traffic through Malibu was HORRIBLE. Stop and go the whole way. We made it to Santa Barbara at about 10:00pm. We had dinner at the Outback Steakhouse, and closed the place down.

Saturday 9/1
That morning I noticed some oil drips under my primary. Seeing how the bike was just serviced, I guessed that the tech overfilled the primary, and the extra was coming out of the vent. After breakfast James lead me on a tour of UC Santa Barbara and Isle of Vista, his old college stomping grounds. Then we headed north up the coast. We went through Cambria, Morro Bay, and by the Hearst Castle. The ride up the coast gave us extreme temperature swings. As soon as we went inland the temps were in the high 90s, then cool and in the 60’s with fog along the coast. We had lunch at Neptune’s in Big Sur, and continued up through Santa Cruz. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and spent the night in Napa, the heart of wine country. The hotel desk attendant suggested “Downtown Joes” for dinner. I was surprised at the number of college age and younger people there, especially the “Paris Hilton wanna-bees”. We saw quite a few little blonde girls running around with their little dogs tucked under their arms. Our waitress at Downtown Joes was more personable than the wanna-bees. She preferred beer over wine, and recommended some good local brewed beer.

Sunday 9/2
We jumped over to the freeway early and took the 5 north to avoid the oncoming heat. We rode the back country roads to Lassen Volcanoes National Park. In the park we saw lots of bikes. On the way out we stopped at the park store for gas. It was the most disorganized store I have ever been in. We ended up leaving the park in search of better service. At a small mom and pop store we ran into a group of riders from Germany on rented Harleys. We “chatted” as best we could talking about routes and sites. I came out of the store as they were pulling away. One of them still had his jiffy stand down. I yelled “Kick Stand” several times, but he did not understand me. When I finally got his attention I pointed to my left leg and did the raising the kick stand motion. I sure hope those guys do okay out there. We had lunch at a small family restaurant on the road. Our server was an 11th grader named Amanda who was pitching in with the family. We stopped for gas in Alturas, California. and ran into a whole bunch of people coming back from Burning Man. Their vehicles were all covered with ash, dirt and mud. By 8:00pm we pulled into Lake View Oregon. We stayed at the Rim Rock Motel. The accommodations were “Spartan” at best. Actually, we were lucky to get a room at all, the whole town was booked. At least the motel had internet access. By now my primary was no longer dripping. I figured either the excess fluid had overflowed, or the primary was empty. That night we went to the “Eagles Nest” for dinner. As we walked in, we were carded and given a red wrist band. The Eagles Nest was a local hangout, and I mean LOCAL. We pulled up on Harleys, and looking like I look, I got that “You ain't from around here are you” stare. Our waitress was kind enough to take the Marlboro out of her mouth long enough to take our dinner order and bring beer. The group of hard drinking women at the next table included a grandmother, her two daughters, and one of her grand daughters. It was real good people watching, both ways. After dinner we went outside so James could have a cigar. We sat on a hay bale and chatted with Nathan Young, the bouncer who carded us. The funny thing is, Nathan knew everyone in town, how old they were, where they lived, and still asked them for ID when they came to the entrance. He said there was a county fair going on, and that’s why all the rooms in town were booked. About an hour later the police arrived. They looked at us, said “hello gentlemen”, and walked right in and went to the bar. I guess they knew we were strangers. Nathan said the PD comes in regularly to look for folks that have been kicked out before. As he explained it, “Lake View only has two bars, so unless you drink at home, there ain’t no other place to go to for a drink”. He said sometimes folks drink too much and then do something that gets them kicked out for a year and a day. So the police routinely walk through and round up the “usual suspects”, and see if they have come in before their scheduled return date. Ah yes, life in a small town.

Monday 9/3
The next morning James spent an hour working via cell phone and laptop internet. I cleaned up most of the oil off the side of my bike and went for breakfast. I toured the town and saw that they were preparing for a Labor Day parade. I decided to eat at “Jerry’s”. I took a stool at the counter and met an interesting fellow named Jerry (no relation to the diner). He was originally from Washington State, but now splits his time and the seasons between Oregon and Arizona. He was a do it all, fit it all, weld it all, handyman. Talking to him was pure Americana. After breakfast I decided to walk next door to the Safeway and pick up supplies. Out in the lot I met an interesting gentleman on a red Gold Wing pulling a small trailer. I noticed that he had two spare tires on the top of the trailer. I asked him if he got a lot of flats, and he said no, he just wears out tires. I looked at the tires and saw that they were the same kind that were on the jogging stroller I used to push my kids around in. When I got back to the motel James was finishing up. So we loaded and launched only to get stuck in traffic waiting on the parade. Since I had familiarized myself with the town earlier, I lead us on the back streets out of town. As we left town I wondered if we should have gassed up. The route past Lake Abert and Alkali Lake took us through some high desert and desolate areas. We could smell smoke from fires. We hoped to get gas at Wagontire, Oregon, but were disappointed. The store owner said that it cost too much money to truck fuel in. He said we could get gas at Riley. To conserve fuel we backed our speed down to 52mph. We made it to Riley with fuel to spare and gassed up. Hanging out in front of the station we ran into a state trooper. We talked with him a bit, and he told us where all the gas stops were along the way, and of a good place in Burns, Oregon, to get lunch. We thanked him and he departed in his patrol car. As soon as he left, the owner of the Red Gold Wing I met in Lake View arrived. He saw our interaction with the state trooper and asked us why the trooper “stopped and questioned” us. He said he was harassed by cops a while back and wanted to know what the patrolman was harassing us about. We said he wasn’t harassing us, and that we solicited him for some information on where to eat. After his spiel about harassment, the Gold Wing owner showed James his trailer. He said he picked it up for less and $100.00 outside of a 7-11 and that it was the best investment he ever made. For $100.00 I guess it was a good purchase, however in retrospect I think it was really designed to be pulled by a bicycle instead of a motorcycle. Maybe that’s why it has jogging stroller tires that go flat so fast. We left him at the Riley gas station and pressed on. Following the state troopers advice we had lunch at the Apple Peddler in Burns, Oregon. Later we stopped at a small diner in Juntura, Oregon, for a break and an ice cream cone. We let the bikes cool down and checked engine oil. We were each a quart low, so we split the only quart we had. As we rode through the smoldering countryside, I wondered when the rain would come and help with the fires. When got to Boise, Idaho we checked our electronic toys for locations of hotels. We found one right across from the Boise State University stadium. We fired up the bikes and started that way. Without my earplugs in I heard a knocking sound coming from the front upper part of the engine, in the area of the rocker box. I told myself that if the bike had not grenaded by now, it would make it to the Court Yard by Marriot, knocking sound and all. We checked in and the front desk attendant recommended the “Ram” restaurant two blocks away for dinner. We went up to wash off all the smoke we had been riding in all day. We rode our bikes two blocks and had a great dinner. The Ram is a top notch sports bar with multiple screens showing all kinds of sports. Our waitress suggested for us some local brewed beer. James asked for the red, I wanted something lighter. She asked if I would like to try the blonde. I told her I love blondes and to bring me one. During the ride back, I determined the knocking sound to be something loose on the bike, and not the engine. When we parked under the portico, I discovered that both fairing lowers were loose.

Tuesday 9/4
James worked that morning, and I went down to the bikes. I discovered that they were soaked from sprinkler overspray. I hate it when my saddle gets wet, and I hate riding in wet clothes. In addition to loose lower fairings, the whole crash bar was loose. Vibration had backed out the center bolt halfway. I had everything tightened down in no time. The oil drip returned. We planned to stop at the Pocatello HD dealership and pick up some oil. From there we would continue on to Jackson Wyoming where we had reservations at the Jackson Lodge. Our trip to Pocatello was quiet, because for some reason James could not read my CB Radio transmissions. I figured I must have shaken a wire loose somewhere, and placed it low on my worry list. What concerned me more were the dark heavy clouds in the mirrors. The rain was finally coming to help with the fires. We managed to stay just ahead of the rain. Every time we stopped for gas or a bathroom break, it caught up to us. At the HD dealer in Pocatello we bought some oil, and James bought a nice shirt to wear to dinner. I got the contact number for Radio Sound in Kentucky, the folks that made the HD radios for the older bikes. We had lunch at a local steak and ale house down the road from the dealer. Our waitress was a friendly transplant from Oklahoma who just loves Idaho. I did not ask her how she felt about her Senator in the news. When we prepared to leave it was raining steadily. I put on every bit of rain gear, and a face shield over my half helmet. As the miles went by, conditions became miserable. We rode on into the early evening, and visibility was nil. The glare of headlights and the shiny road made it damn near impossible to see the lines on the road. When we pulled into Jackson it was POURING. We checked in, cleaned up, did laundry, hung stuff up to dry and prepared to go out to dinner. As we watched the Weather Channel we saw that the storm followed over us the whole way. There were areas of rain all around Jackson, and another front moving in. When we stepped outside, the skies were clear for the moment. After walking Jackson, we settled into Worts for dinner, drinks, and live entertainment. Our waitress was Jenny, an accountant from Florida who moved to Jackson with her former attorney boyfriend. He current boyfriend leads rafting trips, and she was taking a break from crunching numbers. She pointed out that most of the patrons in Worts that night were locals and former employees. When we walked back to the lodge, the sky was still clear.


Wednesday 9/5
James had to work a couple of hours, so I called John at Radio Sound. After running a few diagnostics and checks, it was determined that the radio/CB in my bike was fine. James had improperly set up his CB the day before. With no one else to talk to via CB on a regular basis, we were both a little rusty on the proper way to set things up. I had everything working right in no time. Our plan was to try to make it to Steam Boat Springs Colorado. If the rain caught up to us, we would reassess and maybe stay in Rock Springs, or Rawlins, Wyoming. On the way to Rock Springs we saw heavy clouds all around us. In Farson, Wyoming, we met up with an old timer and his wife on a Dyna. They hoped to make it to Rock Springs before the rain too. As we pulled into Rock Springs the rain caught up with us. We headed east on the 80 hoping to out run it. The rain was behind us, and there were clear skies ahead. After a couple of rain free miles we were feeling confident and decided to head for Steam Boat Springs. When we took the road south into Colorado, we saw heavy dark and fat clouds off to the west. Fifteen minutes later it was raining, and there was local lightning. We pressed on despite seeing live deer, (a fawn jumped out in front of James), dead deer on the sides of the road, and a horrible wreck involving a white Ford F-150. Ten miles from the Colorado border James radioed me that the rear lights in my tour pack were not working. I didn’t care. We gassed up at Baggs, Colorado. We decided to press on to Craig, Colorado and reassess. When we got to Craig, the rain let up, and we were only 41 miles from Steam Boat Springs. We both agreed that “we can do this” and continued on. Five miles outside of Craig the rain picked up. It became heavy, and the lighting was a lot closer. One bolt illuminated James and the road like it was daytime. Two miles outside of Steam Boat it became a torrential rainstorm. Water was cascading down the sides of the mountain. The intersections of Steam Boat were flash flooded. Water was coming up and over the floorboards. I expected to see animals lining up two-by-two and heading for an ark. A passing 4x4 showered me from its tires. We picked the Alpine hotel and pulled into the lot. I stood at the lobby desk totally soaked and checked in. We went up and once again hung our stuff up to dry. The seams in my rain suit pants were no longer water proof. For someone who hates being in wet clothing, I rode the whole way with my crotch and butt soaked. We asked the gal at the front desk where to go for dinner and drinks. She suggested the Mexican place across the road. When we stepped outside the rain had stopped, and the skies were clear. A full meal and two beers later I was feeling better. When I got up from the table, the seat cushion was soaked from my pants. We walked a few block north to a bar. Our waitress was Tracey, a tall good looking gal who reminded me of Sigourney Weaver. After two beers I had had enough. We went back to the Alpine and slept.

Thursday 9/6
We had breakfast at a place called the “Shack” and rough planned the day. Even though the weather channel was calling for isolated showers and rain, we decided to try for Rocky Mountain National Park. If the rain came, we would turn around and head for James home in Denver. About 10 miles outside of the park it started raining. An hour and a half later we arrived at James home. We did some laundry and went out for a bite. It was sunny and 80 degrees. He took me to his favorite biker bar for a late lunch. Between loads of laundry I worked on the bike. Cold rain water had found its way into the tour pack light housing and dripped onto the bulbs causing them to crack. I replaced both bulbs. Later that night we watched the Colts/Saints game on TV, and remarked at how nice it was not to be on the road in the rain and 100 miles away from your destination.

Friday 9/7
We had breakfast at a roadside diner just outside of Denver. James rode with me as far as Bailey. He had an afternoon meeting to go to, and turned around. I continued on to Salida, Gunnison, and Montrose. I took the “Million Dollar Highway” through Ouray, Silverton and into Durango. Outside of Ouray I saw the first of the “Noise Ordinances Enforced” signs and kept the bike quiet. As the miles went by the mountains rose and fell, and the turns became tighter. I used this opportunity to work on my cornering. I rode a bit more aggressively, focusing on technique not speed. My goal was not to blast through the turns, but to work on my basic skills. I worked on straight line combination braking to set up proper entry speed, line of travel, and apex. I worked on proper position in the saddle, pushing on the inside hand grip, letting my eyes lead me, looking through the curve, and a steady application of the throttle. I got into Durango well before sundown. I checked in, unloaded, and cleaned up. I had Chinese food for dinner. The meal was okay. Afterwards I went to the Steam House Brewery, and watched some of the Dodgers/Giants game. It was an early night for me.

Saturday 9/8
I awoke an hour earlier than I thought. The clock in my room was an hour fast. I discovered this when the Applebee’s waitress told me the correct time. She was a friendly gal, born and raised in New Mexico, but having spent some time in San Diego, so she could relate to my aversion to cold weather. After breakfast I checked out and went to the Durango HD Dealer to buy some primary fluid. It took the whole quart. To see just how bad it was leaking, I did some slow riding in the parking lot. Nothing fancy, just slow circles and figure 8s. Sure enough, it was still dripping oil. Another customer came over and asked if I was a motor cop. He said he saw me doing circles and figured I was. I told him I run a program in LA that teaches folks the basic techniques that I was taught at the LAPD motor school. He told me he was a retired LA motor cop, and introduced me to his five riding buddies who were LA motor cops too. They had been riding in the Durango area for a couple of days. We chatted about folks we knew and former instructors. I wished them a safe ride and left. On the way out I stopped at Mesa Verde, and the Four Corners. I saw some real “Horse Power” in the form or a herd of horses running along the side of the road. I had lunch at a small restaurant in Tuba City. My waitress was a tall Native American gal with jet black hair down to the middle of her back, and soft angular features. I wish I had asked her name. I got gas outside of Flagstaff and jumped on the 40 and headed west. Having not been in rush hour style traffic the last few days it took some adjusting. I had to match and pass 18 wheelers at 80mph. Thinking I should have bought two quarts of primary fluid back in Durango, I stopped off at the dealer in Beaumont and bought another quart. When I jumped back on the 40 west, I saw dark heavy clouds off the south and west. I jumped off at the exit for Seligman, Arizona and got gas. I passed through Seligman and did the Rte 66 tourist thing. I bought an ice cream cone at Delgadillos and took pictures. Just before I got back on the 40 I spotted a train passing under the bridge I was on. It wasn’t a steam locomotive, but it did add to my mental album of the Old West which included rain storms on the open plain, horses running wild, attractive Native American women, and now a train. Back on the 40 west it was all business. The 18 wheelers had the hammer down the whole way. Even the sight of a flipped and jack-knifed big rig did nothing to slow them down. When I pulled into Kingman, Arizona it started to cool off. I found a BestWestern and checked in. I unloaded, cleaned up and went to dinner at the Dam Steakhouse. My waitress was Mindy, an attractive and friendly gal in her 20s who brought me an excellent Kansas City T-Bone steak, and cold beer. After dinner I rode around Kingman, which had bearable temps for a September evening.

Sunday 9/9
I had the Continental breakfast in the hotel dining area. There I met more German tourists out on Harleys. Unlike the group we met outside of Lassen National Park, these guys brought their wives or girlfriends. I spoke to one of them and he told me they have toured several times in the past few years. I guess the Euro is so good against the dollar that they can afford to do it. He said he was a motor officer for a German police department who was touring along with some other officers. I felt pretty confident that they would not ride off with the jiffy stand down. After breakfast I dumped almost the entire second quart of fluid into the primary. Then I headed out with but one destination before finally heading home. I went into Old Kingman and checked out the old Harley Dealership. By early afternoon I was home doing laundry and watching football. Later this week I will bring the bike back to the dealer and have them take care of the leak.

Here are some pictures.
There’s not a lot of Idaho and Wyoming, as it was raining most of the time.

































 

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Goin' Fast with Class
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Good Stuff Mate!
 

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Great Ride P. We might have passed along the way near gunnison. We rode up from houston. The tropical storm that flooded lots of north Texas followed us up till we cut west to New mexico. It was hotter than i thought it would be in the high country!
 

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Great story and great pics! Sounds like a helluva ride!
 

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Awesome trip report!! I've been considering making a similar trip but things just haven't worked out yet... maybe next year.

I had to laugh when you mentioned Lakeview, I have an old friend who has lived there for years and both times I have visited that town I have had the same type of experience with the local watering hole and the diners. Brings back some great memories.


Q: where did you stay in Napa??
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Flyin Brian said:
Awesome trip report!! I've been considering making a similar trip but things just haven't worked out yet... maybe next year.

I had to laugh when you mentioned Lakeview, I have an old friend who has lived there for years and both times I have visited that town I have had the same type of experience with the local watering hole and the diners. Brings back some great memories.


Q: where did you stay in Napa??

We stayed at the Best Western. It was about a mile and a half from the old downtown area. Right near the big shopping mall and auto plaza.

Mark​
 

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my eyes are bleeding

Don't get me wrong, you could make it an easier read if U double space the lines.

Any way looks like you had a very nice trip. I liked the picture of the train, I'm a rail fan.
For that matter all the pictures were nice.

I guess oil leak wasn't too bad, my eyes were bleeding from the reading.

Talk to ya later:xhere:
 

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Hey Mark, are you talking about the BW Elm House? Its on California St, to the west of downtown and very close to the outlet malls. I am just curious because I know the property very well and the owners are clients of mine. The are 3 Best Westerns in the Napa area, but this one is far and above the nicest, but it only has 22 rooms so it's more like a bed and breakfast.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
knuckleheader said:
Don't get me wrong, you could make it an easier read if U double space the lines.

Any way looks like you had a very nice trip. I liked the picture of the train, I'm a rail fan.
For that matter all the pictures were nice.

I guess oil leak wasn't too bad, my eyes were bleeding from the reading.

Talk to ya later:xhere:
I apologize for abusing your eyes.

I thought about double spacing, but was afraid it would make the postings

too long and large. Next time I will double space.

I'm glad you likes the train. I saw a "real" steam locomotive in Durango, but

missed the photo opportunity. I think it takes tourists around the town and

countryside.

Mark​
 

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Mark, I must have just missed you. I rode to Steamboat Springs on Sept 8th. Sounds like you had a great ride. I rode my bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and down the Coast Hwy a couple of years ago with my future wife. Even though I'd been up the Coast Hwy several times before in a car it was a new and awesome experience on the bike.
 
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