I'm 73. So what? Lead or GIT!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by calimusjohn, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12,970
    Location:
    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    I know what you mean,so many people of all ages sit and watch TV,or some other such non moving non involving time taker upper,watching just isnt a sport I dont think. People LOVE football,but would they play it? Uh no might get hurt.
    Ive beat myself up pretty thouroghly racing flattrack,trail riding,mt biking,playing soccer,etc.
    But its all been fun and Im not done yet,I just try to be a little more careful. With out some risk and action and new pursuits...............life is awful quiet.
  2. BTL

    BTL No more snow!!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    St Albert. Alberta Canada. IBA Member 50093
    I recently read...if you make to 50 you no longer have to grow up....thats so me.

    I am delighted and inspired by this RR...you always seem to have a great smile in your pics.
  3. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    What a great two days! Doug Massey finally arrived at my home. He only missed one turn on the map I drew. That missed turn took him up a terribly eroded dirt hill to a hermit like neighbor's front gate. The hermit pointed the way to my place, but would not let Doug come past the gate to a level turn around spot. Yep. He dropped his new VStrom while turning across DEEP ruts. Only broke the left front turn signal. I broke the same one on my last "Drop". It may be a design flaw.
    We swapped lies and stuffed ourselves with spaghetti. I noted that Doug's eyes were drooping by 10:00 P.M. Of course, his body is still on Georgia time. We called it a day.
    Today was a Calendar day - temperature in the 60's - blue sky with one small abandoned cloud - no wind - the smell of pine trees in the air. We quickly covered the 50 or so miles from my home to the entrance to Crater Lake National Park. If you can get a "Senior's" Park card - do it. Or an "Annual" pass - saves big bucks. We carved our way up to the rim. Had soup served in a hollowed loaf of bread at the cafe. Then began the 32 mile road that circles Crater Lake.
    Crater Lake is just that. It is a 1,900 foot deep lake inside the Crater of an extinct volcano. Way back when - this volcano popped its top, leaving behind one big hole. Over the ensueing years, melting snow and rainwater have filled the basin to within about a thousand feet of the rim. The basic rim is around 7,000 feet above sea level. Watchman and Scott Mt. as part of the rim, stick up to the 9,000 foot marks. The road is a well maintained two lane asphalt ribbon that ties the look out pull-offs together. Spectacular views of 1,000 foot vertical walls at your feet, or mirrored reflections of the lake's opposite walls abound. Professional photographers spend countless hours here recording the changing views. You can complete the circle in an hour or in a day. There are overwhelming views that each person responds to differently. A sidenote. Each year a "Rim Marathon" is run. Hundreds of runners from around the world complete the 26 mile course that has incredible hills to climb and down hills to gasp at. At 7,000 feet it is a trial.
    As Doug and I were saying our Goodbyes - a two up touring bike passed by. Doug headed west towards the coast and I headed east towards home.
    A few miles later, I caught up to the tourers as they pulled into a viewpoint. I was pleased to meet and talk with Dazzer and Leigh. They left England a while ago. Crossed Europe - crossed Russia - Rode south from Prudhoe Bay and are headed for Tierra del Fuego! Search "Dazzer" on Ride reports. He has a teaser started. They are on Facebook and he has a blog also. Drat! I had to go home and not follow their tracks.
  4. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    1. 8trackmind - House broken? :flush
    2. Foot dragger - You sure have some nice toys. :muutt
    3. AK Bike - Look forward to a future meet. :beer

    4. Off Center - Love your use of Math. :scratch

    5. Woodly1069 - I'm not sure about: "how it SHOULD be done." :rolleyes

    6. PRSDRAT - Time you took the lead. . .. :nod

    7. Darkhyper - Check BTL's "Age Guide". :*sip*

    8. BTL - At age 50, you don't have to grow up . . . WHOOPEE! ! ! :clap

    These things are addictive! JM
  5. ak bike

    ak bike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    252
    Location:
    alaska 53 years or so
    I,ll contact you if I can ride out next summer and we could swap. Lies , I envy you folks located a little further south our riding season is about over, still getting out but its time to winterize .
  6. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    Day Off
    This is a copy of a letter I sent. You will note that I can change facts as necessary to fit the story line.
    Hi. This is the first time I have had a good WiFi connection this trip. I got up this morning with a body full of complaints, After conferring with the Body Managementt Department, it was a unanimous decision to take a day off and just go Blah. Well, do laundry and Blah. Laundry is finished. I had yesterday's B.L.T. for breakfast and a bowl of oatmeal with raisins for lunch. I'm now trying to gather up enough energy to ride 15 miles to the nearest sit down cafe. I may even do the pizza routine. I'm tired of hamburgers and cheese burgers.
    I don't seem to recover from setbacks quite as fast as in the past. I need to set some limits on each day or reduce the goal on the next day if I go over. I do like to travel. It would be a treat to share it. Typing a Recap helps, but is not as good as a fire ring gabfest.
    I really liked Canada and the Yukon. Northern Alaska - not so much. I somehow was expecting more dramatic scenery. After reading umpteen books on and about Alaska referring to muskeg and tundra, I should have known better. The Denali area is pretty spectacular. But, too many people/tourists pushing and shoving in the midst of a million acres of wide open space. Living a mile from my nearest neighbor for 18 years has my expectations a bit warped. The congestion and the need to rush is alien. That probably sounds strange coming from someone who rides 500 plus miles many days. I cover a lot of ground, but I don't rush. Hard to explain. I sit down to eat. I stop to gawk. I talk to locals. I feel the country around me. Too many people about and I feel intruded upon as the country shies away from communicating directly with me.
    Here is an example. Have you ever watched a river rock breathe? Most folks haven't. Find a comfortable place to sit - lying down is even better - pick out a rock that is just poking his/her head above the water's surface. Wait and watch. The rock will grow in size as it takes a deep breath - just before it sinks beneath the surface. It emerges and takes another deep breath. No two are exactly alike. Hypnotizing to me. . ..
    I have mailed my check for the Class Reunion. Now need to get home and finish up summer tasks before heading to the boat in Mexico for the winter. I won't leave Oregon before voting day. Hopefully I won't get snowed in. I an watching it snow on a nearby mountainside as I write this.
    Tomorrow I will continue south to Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. End of the Road in Homer - beckons.

    Fire Weed - Official Flower of the Yukon - seen everywhere
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    Are you missing a cap?

    [​IMG]
  7. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    Homer Bound
    After a day of laundry and rest, I scooted the 32 miles back to Denali for pizza. Not the greatest, but not the worst. Tourist town pizza. Next morning - new adventures.
    It was raining as I packed the bike. Low clouds masked the view of the mountains. I was back in a single layer world. The thermometer read in the fifties, but the rain and the wind chill factor changed it to - cold. My route followed a grey tunnel of falling water, that was occasionally blown sideways by a passing car or truck. I had the heated grips and electric vest running all day to stay semi-comfortable. There are some days when riding inside a cage is preferable.
    I hit the road at 9:00 A.M. I figured I would have breakfast at the first cafe I spotted. A Subway sandwich shop provided breakfast at 1:00 P.M. It was the first eating spot of the day!
    The route south from Denali runs through Anchorage. My Atlas states there are 291,826 residents. I didn't see that many, perhaps they were inside sheltering from the rain. I did see airplanes. And more and more airplanes. The highway skirts the airport and exposes hundreds of single engine aircraft parked everywhere. I have never before seen so many single engine aircraft in one day. Wow ! There has to be a couple of them for sale - and at bargain prices. Hmmmn.
    I passed the Lithia Automobile dealership. (It is a biggie in Oregon.) I wondered about the Worthington Ford dealership - I remember Cal Worthington and his dog - tiger - elephant - chimpanzee - etc. - "Spot" from Los Angeles T.V. ads. Small world.
    With good roads and passing lanes strategically located, progress was swift. The Kenai Peninsula looks a lot like Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America. (No, I flew over T.D.F.) Mountains of all descriptions graced with glacial icing accent the route. Clouds masked some of the rivulets feeding creeks forming rivers that eventually plunge into the fiords of the coast. I can imagine how spectacular it is on a clear day.
    Like usual, I initially thought I would stop along the way and make it a two day run to Homer. Ha! No Motels. There were Luxury Suites advertised along the way. With the little Blue & White Signs? Not on your tintype! These sported the full sized horizon blocking bill boards. Apparently money talks the talk, even in The Last Frontier.
    I arrived in Homer, damp and hungry. I stopped at the Best Western entering town. If they had a single room, the rate was $179.00 plus tax. Fortunately, they did not have one. I searched for Tom Bodette and his "light in the window". The light must have blown out, because I couldn't find it. I settled into a room at Baluga Lodge. Only $139.00 and tax. Nice room. Fish and chips with a glass of iced tea made Din Din. $25.00 plus tip.
    Next morning I planned to check out the ferrys down on the "Spit". The "Spit" is what the locals call the "Spit"of land projecting into the bay. Now, who thought that up? Why the ferry? Well, the T.V. weather guessers were reporting heavy rain for the next five days. The Hostess at the Motel tried to get Ferry scheduling information off the Internet and finally gave up - it is confusing the way it is listed.
    One way or another I am heading south. I may have to backtrack to Tok (Toke remember?) in order to get to the Cassier Highway. Alaska is kind of like the L.A. Basin in naming Highways. Nobody calls The Coast Highway - Highway 101. Here - it is ALCAN, Dempster, Dalton, Haul, Cassier, Dead End, No Exit, and today - no kidding, "Gravel Road." It is midnight - I quit.

    A Shopsmith Angle Cutter is Fascinating
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    Is this a Happy Wet person?
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  8. rogerc

    rogerc FJRider

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Gilroy, ca
    Great read.
    If you ever come by Gilroy, Ca let me know. You have a place to stay if needed.
    I am only 60 have MS, arthritis, badly broken ankle that limits my mobility, etc etc.
    Ride as much as I can but nothing like you. Keep it up and hope to meet you some day.
    Ride safe.
    RC
  9. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    Headed Inland
    At some time in the past I read, or heard that there was a sign reading, "End of the Road" in Homer. If it's there, it must be by Tom Bodette's place. I couldn't find it either. I just wanted a picture of me next to it. It would be a great picture to put on the Urn.
    It was spitting rain as I went out the "Spit" towards the Ferry Terminal. I passed fishing boats, fishing guides, fishing outfitters, fish shacks, fish restaurants, and a very damp, camp site or two. At the Terminal, a sign on the door read , "Closed. Will open when Ferry arrives tomorrow." I scratched up under my helmet for awhile and pondered some before heading back towards the shore.
    I figured that riding in the rain was better than standing around in it. Turned out that I only got rained on twice during the entire Day's ride and they were of short duration - unlike yesterday's blinding downpours. So much for weather forecasts.
    Once again, the Kenai Peninsula is a photographer's dream. I threaded my way through a gauntlet of parked cars wherever there was access for fishermen to the water's edge. Heavy vegetation adjacent to the asphalt limit's the parking. When I broke away from the coast, the mountains leaped up alongside and strained my neck with the constant twisting and turning required to see even a portion of their anatomy. Lookout - pullouts often had information signs pointing out hard to see aspects - like a line of trees and bushes that once defined the edge of a man made water way traversing miles - that provided the power to blast away the mountain in search of gold a hundred years ago. Glaciers scrape parts of the mountains bare and deposit the scrapings elsewhere. Plants then adapt to the differences and provide maze like patterns that baffle the senses.
    I had to ride up "Portage Valley" to "Portage Lake". I was born and raised in Portage, Indiana. The lake had icebergs floating in it.
    I survived a second crossing of Anchorage and headed out Highway 1. The next 150 miles held - no cafes - no stores - no gas stations - etc. I had to break into my hoard of Energy Bars. I finally found a small Deli. I ordered the $12.00 "Dagwood" sandwich. About 20 minutes later, I was handed a sadwich much smaller than the 6" Special at any Subway's. The Deli staff had no idea who Dagwood Bumstead was/is. Good Grief.
    I found a Lodge that doesn't show on the maps and got a room for $115.00. The room in the Lodge vs. the Tent in 30 degree temperature . . . . Hmmmmn. I keep listing prices - not that they matter much - I have no choice, but to pay them. Maybe they will help someone in their Alaska trip planning. O.K. One more price - sign: "Walk-in Haircuts $18.00". My helmet isn't that tight - yet - I skipped the shearing.
  10. YOUNZ

    YOUNZ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    Around Pittsburgh
    I think most of us appreciate the $cost$ info. Thanks, ride on brother.:clap
  11. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,434
    Location:
    Socal near the great 33
    Great story-telling! :clap

    I grew up in Alaska, leaving in 1974. When I left, Portgage Glacier was visible from the parking lot, with ice from one side to the other. I went back in the 90's and took the boat out to the glacier. (think it was the 90's). Around that time was when the glacier had retreated far enough back that land was being exposed for the first time in thousands of years. That, and looking at how nature was reclaiming the barren rock between the parking lot and the glacier was extremely interesting.
  12. redmurty

    redmurty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    122
    Location:
    Stourbridge West Mids
    Mate your "barkin mad" :lol3 long may you stay so. Great RR cheers Spud :clap
  13. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    Note: The road repairs were actually after reaching Coldfoot and then heading south.

    [​IMG]
  14. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    Welcome to Homer
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    No More Road
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    Horizontal line at top of white post = old water flume route
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    The Kenai
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    More Kenai
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  15. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    Kenai sunshine
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    Just another everyday view
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    Portage Lake
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    Still Portage Lake
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    Feeders
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    A maze of plants
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    Forty shades of green
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  16. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    How Fast?
    The weather guessers missed again. Today held no rain. It was a great sunshiny day. However, it was Summer when I retired last night - today is Autumn. Ice on the bike was the first clue. Then I saw that trees and bushes were sporting their new fall finery with reds, yellows and brown colors pushing the greens aside. It is an amazing overnight change. I will describe the riding temperature as brisk.
    After a Blueberry Pancake breakfast that smoothed out some of the wrinkles adorning my body, I went cruisin' down the Highway. When I topped a rise, I saw a motorhome with a white sedan following about a half mile ahead of me. A glance at the speedometer and the G.P.S. confirmed that I was in the 65 MPH neighborhood. In a few minutes, the gap between me and the traffic ahead had narrowed considerably. A closer look at the white sedan revealed some writing across the trunk. Hmmmn. Trained observer that I am - PATROL CAR- I immediately slowed to match its speed.
    I had to dawdle along at 55 to keep pace. Well I enjoyed about a mile of that when a clear passing lane openned up. I kicked it up to 65 and as I passed ther Driver's door - the Christmas Tree Light Show along with a "Chirp" exploded from the sedan. WHAT?
    I pull over. Kill the engine. Get the sidestand down and pull off the gloves and helmet. By then - State Trooper Christiansen is standing just behind my right shoulder. I say, "Top of the mornin' Officer."
    He says, "Good morning. I have the feeling that you don't know what the speed limit is."
    Me. "Well, 65 of course."
    Him, "Nope. 55."
    Me. "You gotta be kidding. 55! We are in the middle of nowhere. "
    Him. "Yeah, I agree. But the limit is 55. You passed a speed limit sign as you left town."
    Me. "Town? That was at least 20 miles ago."
    Him. "Yep. But it is still 55." He smiled. "I figured you thought it was more or you don't read too good. It does say - State Trooper on the back of my car - or it did the last time I looked."
    Me. I broke up laughing. I finally croaked out, "Senility may have set in but, I did still recognize Patrol cars."
    Him. "Where were you a cop?" I asked how he came to that conclusion. We hadn't done the Secret Handshake or anything. He said that when he pulls someone over and they start laughing - they usually turn out to be active or former law enforcement. He did run my name through the computer for "Wants" and "Warrants". I came back clean. Whew. . .. You never know.
    We swapped lies for a couple f minutes and then he closed the session by stating that I should remember the Speed Limit is 55 MPH. The next State Trooper was about 150 miles further down the highway - in front of me - and that he was turning around and going back to town. It was time for a doughnut!
    I resuited and headed down the road - maintaining a sveldt 55 or there-a-bouts. . . for the next 140 some odd miles. I looked behind all the little Blue & White signs - never did see that next Trooper.
    Yesterday afternoon (chronological order is a failing with me), I topped another of the hundreds/thousands of hills/ridges and smack in front of me was MATATUSKA GLACIER. Wow! The road curved around the end within 1/4 mile. It looked to be about 75 feet high and was about 1/4 mile wide and over a mile long. A perfect place for a picture. The camera's low battery indicator flashed once and died. Could I remember where I stashed the package of 36 AA batteries? Sure did - today. This was a very impressive glacier. I have flown over thousands of them in Antarctica - up close and personal is always better.
    Tonight I am in a beautiful private campground at the Intersection of Highway 2 and the White River. Government campgrounds cost $12.00. This private one has hot/cold showers, flush toilets and WiFi for $18.00. A plush platform tent with a real bed, a table, a chair and a heating stove was $31.00, or a cabin for $115.00. I opted for the platform tent. Real luxury camping. Now it is time to refuel the body. Canned chunk chicken, mushroom soup and Ramen noodles are tonight's fare. Oh they have pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the office. $9.95. Ah, with Capt. Morgan - I'm tempted. :1drink

    Platform Tent
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    Inside:
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  17. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    Yukon
    One of today's challenges was - can I find a Gas Station that is open - with gas? After passing 235 miles without an open station or one with any gas - the pucker factor starts to kick in. This is accented by coasting down any down grade and dawdling along at 50 - 55 mph. I finally located one at the 265 mile mark.
    The second challenge was - Construction Zone Ahead. Several hours today were dedicated to sitting at the head of a long line of stopped vehicles awaiting the Pilot Car to return from reconnointering Mars. At least the Flaggers wave motorcyclists to the head of the line. It sure beats dealing with the dust, mud, flying rocks and whatevers tossed about by the slow moving columns of cars, trucks and Rental Motorhomes. Construction Zones are areas where the road way has been totally destroyed by turning over the top 12 inches and then punctuated by a contingent of grenade throwing engineers. The craters created by the grenades are tied together by thin lips of pea gravel and chunks of asphalt. It resembles a slalom course that would be at home in a "Mad Max" movie. Many of the Zones are watered to reduce the dust. One of today's water trucks had broken down, so they dumped the 4,000 gallons in one major gush. We got to white water raft through the ensueing flood. I was pleased to survive the day.
    Traffic issues aside - the Yukon is a wonder to behold. Incredible mountain ranges decorated with glaciers stretch from horizon to horizon. Animals abound. I keep thinking . . I can not continue to stop and take pictures . . . I need to get home . . .as I pull to the side of the road and reach for the camera once again. I am completely in awe of the panorama that unfolds before me. Untold lakes, fed by streams, rivers, creeks and run off from the glaciers accent each view. My Roget's lists wondrous, stupendous, dazzling, amazing and a whole slew of words that boil down to: Wow! There is the old question, "Can you imagine what God could have done if he had money?" In the Yukon - she spent every cent.
    Watching Dahl Sheep cavorting on sheer cliffs, seeing mountain peaks reflected in absolutely still lake water, hearing the thunder of water cascading down a vertical rock wall, smelling the air and tasting within it - the Season's change. That too was a part of my day. The only thing missing - you already know - a shared moment.
    I chose to ride inland rather than travel to Haines. The lines of Rental Motorhomes driven by persons even less qualified than the ones driven by old fogie owners (I have a motorhome) with no training, sent me scurrying away. I even bypassed Whitehorse and ended the day at a truck stop in Teslin.
    Another flashback. Last evening, I sat and talked with one of two helicopter pilots staying at White River Campground. He is part of a contingent of Biologists, mechanics, fuel truck drivers and cook. They have two high altitude, jet powered helicopters that are scouring the mountains looking for - gold. The Botanists have discovered a certain plant ( he would not identify) that changes certain aspects when in the vicinity of gold. He flys the Botanists along the mountain sides until they spot the "Plant". The pilot then finds a spot where he can land them along with a couple of diggers to take a closer look. They work for a company based in Ontario and have been in the field for several months. They must truck the helicopter fuel 250 miles to Base Camp. This is no amateur undertaking. They built a Base Camp within the Campgrounds that includes platform tents, a mess tent with a full time cook and various game sites. . . volleyball, . . . frisbee Golf and horeshoe pits were ones I saw. Lots of dollars involved. The pilot indicated with a wide grin, that the Company will probably do a little better than "Break Even."

    Border Formalities
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    Broken Dreams
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  18. desertdog12

    desertdog12 Klr cool

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Collinsville ok
    I'm in
  19. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Sprague River, OR & Salome, AZ
    Welcome aboard.
  20. el guapo nada

    el guapo nada Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge, OR
    Thanks for sharing, you have a certain style that is very entertaining to read....

    I am not an "advanced" member here - just turning 40 this year, but your style totally resonates with me...

    I was pondering something - Having probably done 1000's of miles over the years (an assumption here, please correct me if I'm mistaken) how do you feel about doing Ride Reports as opposed to the good old fashioned way? Meaning before the days of internet and digital cameras. Just go and ride, maybe tell some friends about it over dinner.

    I don't know why, but Iv'e been thinking about it a lot this year......seems like riding is a little "purer" when you take the blogs and photos out of it......maybe it's just my midlife crisis kicking in :D

    At any rate, Hello from Northern Oregon! I live about 250 miles directly north of you, in sunny The Dalles.....Give me a holler if your ever in the area....

    -EGN