NW Volcano Tour - Flying Solo - Embracing the Pain

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Hominid, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    Crater Lake National Park


    My physical therapist advised against going on this trip - my rheumatologist agreed.
    I've been dealing with adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) for the past 7 months.
    The short story is limited range of motion and intense searing pain when that range is exceeded.
    Besides that, it only hurts when I breath.
    My doc didn't laugh when I told her that. :lol3

    Me not being the smartest fella, I say screw it - I'm going anyway.
    Turns out they were mostly right - I went through some pretty tough stretches :cry

    Now that I'm home, though, the pain has faded and I still have the photos and good memories to enjoy.

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    Crater Lake National Park

    My general route leads me to a Dave Matthews concert at the gorge in George Wa for the first night, Aug 31st.
    From there it's south to see some Volcanos, then back home again.

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    My General Route - WA, OR, CA - 9 Days & 8 Nights - 2,332 Miles

    Pictures, maps and commentary to follow.
    #1
  2. ThumperStorm

    ThumperStorm Long timer

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    That is a very nice looking bike!:nod I admire your willingness to endure pain to do something you love. Looking forward to reading about your trip.
    #2
  3. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I'm not getting any younger and there's nothing to say I'll be in better shape next summer.
    There's no time like the present - we never know how much time we have left.
    I gotta ride while I still can.

    I love the weestrom. It's the perfect ride for me right now. I have a weakness for bright yellow bikes :shog
    #3
  4. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    I have 11 days in a row off from work - I've arranged for a Friday, the following week, and the following Monday.
    I've had a bad attitude lately at the job - I shouldn't, but I have.
    I need the break.

    What better way to start off a vacation ride than with some music?

    I've got Joe Walsh to see Thursday night and Dave Matthews for Friday.

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    Thursday Night - I'm officially on Vacation - Joe Walsh

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    Doing the Pre Funk

    Joe was great. My favorite songs were Funk 49 and Turned to Stone.

    After the show I bash my knee against a truck's trailor hitch while cutting through the parking lot.
    This is the same knee that has plagued me for 30 years with pain directly under the kneecap.
    I stumble to the car and am reduced to writhing in agony - halfway in the driver's seat, half outside the car.
    "This is not good - this is not good", I keep repeating.
    Wonderful; six months of phyisical therapy shot down the tubes.

    The shoulder no longer seems like an issue.
    The knee is now the limiting factor - that proves to be true.
    I'm still gonna ride.

    Needless to say, I don't get out as early as planned Friday morning, but I do get out.
    Time to go see Dave!

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    Home to the Gorge

    Given the late sart, I blast down I-90 to the gorge.
    I've got a ticket to camp overnight for the show.

    Getting into the CG was an adventure doing the stop and crawl action in loose gravel with a long line of other Dave Heads.

    The show was worth the effort, though. Anyone who's seen Dave knows what I mean.
    3 hours of jamming.

    Some folks didn't last 3 hours - like the guy I saw being carried away about half way through the show.
    Dude, it's Dave - take it easy on the pre funk :huh

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    Packed in Tight

    People are packed in tight. And there's partying all through the night. I just want to sleep. Thank God for earplugs :D

    Even so, couldn't help hearing the story of the girl in the tent next door who puked on a stranger's shoes and missed most of the show. The tent right behind me - 3 guys, 3 girls - I got to hear more than I wanted through the wee hours of the morning. The girls just kept talking and talking and talking.

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    Again - Packed in tight

    The next morning just as I'm ready to take off one of the guys next door says something about getting on my bike to leave with me. I respond "I'm not sure if I have room for all of you, but you could try standing on the side luggage".

    One of the girls says something to the guy about not talking so loud, but little miss barfy shoes turns bright red, realizing that I hear everything they say including 4:30 am pillow talk. Oops. Umm, what did you think? I'm 4 feet away.

    I mount the steed and take off. Not too much pain right now. I'm hopeful.
    Time to get this show on the road.

    Next Post - Heading for Bend, OR.
    #4
  5. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

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    #5
  6. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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  7. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Nice trip!! I just did an abbreviated version of it a couple weekends ago... Salem, up to Mount St. Helens, up around Rainier, down the other side of St. Helens, out to Adams, south to Hood, then home. 700 miles in two days. I started writing a RR for it but haven't finished.

    Love your bike. Never been a fan of yellow, but the yellow V-Stroms look SHARP. Probably the best color on 'em.

    Rob
    #7
  8. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

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  9. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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  10. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

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  11. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    The route to Virginia City has been fubar all Summer, and will be until Winter. More construction. Big sign down there saying, "motorcycles not advised." Apparently it's one of those one-lane with a pilot car deals going on, so there's always a traffic clusterfuck there.

    The ride up to Tahoe (431) is fun when traffic is light though, but it gets COLD going over the pass at Mt. Rose... or at least it was when I was there a few months ago before coming up to Oregon for work. Then more construction in Incline Village (one lane stuff again). And of course, the McCarran loop around Reno is under construction too. So basically, you can't get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time there, especially since you can't legally lane split.

    Rob
    #11
  12. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

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    Oh yeah, it gets cold in the morning going over the pass.

    Anyhow, this is good info, sounds like he didn't miss much then. Nice to see he is pushing the envelope riding solo so the rest of us cube-dwellers can live vicariously.
    #12
  13. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys, that is good info.

    Looking back I think I made the right choice by deciding to bypass the area and head directy to Joseph, OR to ride 3 between there and Clarkston WA. Doing otherwise would have added a day or two to the trip and as it is I barely made it home in one piece anyway. I think I'm still recovering :gerg
    #13
  14. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    I'm up and pulling away from the hippie fest by 8am.
    I know I'm taking a gamble and could be forced to turn home at some point, I'm actually not feeling too bad so I head south.

    The plan for today is to get far enough south that I can camp near Mt Bachelor tomorrow night.
    Crater Lake is my highest priority on this trip so I want to get reasonably close as soon as possible.
    I thought Bend was a reasonable goal - I don't quite make it :shog

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    The Gorge to Redmond OR

    My route takes me through Yakima and Goldendale, then down 97 toward Bend OR.
    Not really taking photos today - just logging miles.

    I'm feeling the burn about 30 minutes into the ride so I stop in Yakima for cash, gas, breakfast, and a dose of Aleve.
    I also got to shop for tent stakes since I left mine in the garage at home
    That little excercise cost me about 2 hours.

    I made a couple of minor changes to the rig for this trip.
    I swapped out the stock windscreen for a taller Givi model and wired in a charger adaptor for keeping the toys powered.
    The new windscreen really makes a huge difference with helmet buffeting and related rider fatigue.

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    Charging up the New Drift Cam

    I'm playing with the new helmet cam for the first time and came up with mixed results, mostly due to sensitivity issues with the remote.

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    Drift Cam

    I'll post results when I get some footage edited.

    By the time I get to Redmond I'm in agony.
    The shoulder and knee are screaming.

    I can't ride another mile so I stop at the first motel and secure a room.
    I have the best meal of the trip just down the street at Madeline's.

    http://www.centormall.com/Madalines_Grill/

    This isn't your average Mexican American restaraunt.
    The menu is more upscale and they really deliver on the service and preparation.

    http://www.centormall.com/Madalines_Grill/Madalines_Grill_dinner_menu.pdf

    I had the 16 0z Ribeye Steak Ranchero - well, half of it anyway.
    It was fantastic and maybe even better for breakfast the next morning :dg

    Next Post - Mt Bachelor and the Cascade Lakes Scenic Bypass
    #14
  15. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    I have no solid plan for where I'm going or what I'm doing in advance on this ride.
    Leading up to the trip I had all kinds of ideas; the Cali coast to San Fran.
    Then it was Yellowstone & Grand Teton.

    I finally decided that maybe the best plan is no plan at all.


    I do know I want to see Crater Lake and I need to be back to work by the 11th.
    Other than that I don't really know my daily route until just before I get on the bike each morning.


    I like this approach.
    I get more than my share of schedules and deadlines at work - don't care to have them on a ride.
    #15
  16. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    Although I didn't take photos yesterday I was treated to some nice scenery.
    Included were views of Mt Rainier, Mt Hood, Mt Adams, and Mt St Helens; all part of the Cascades volcano string.
    Today I'm headed to Mt Bachelor and the Cascade Lakes scenic Byway.

    I pushed myself too hard yesterday.
    I'm going to limit myself to the Cascade loop near Bend OR today.

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    Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

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    Hotel Parking Lot

    It was really nice to have a bed to sleep in so I could rest my shouder after yesterday's slog.
    Now I need to find gas and the road to Mt Bachelor.
    That proves to be a minor challenge.
    After several false starts I finally find gas and the road out of town.
    Bend feels like a casino where you stumble through the entrance and then are given no clue as to how to find your way out.

    Finally located, the road to Mt Bachelor is very nice with lots of new asphalt.
    Continuing past the ski resort takes me to the Cascade Lakes Bypass.
    It's really a beautiful ride - perfect sunny weather with a cool bite to the air.
    My first real rest is at Elk Lake where they have a campground and lodge.

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    Elk Lake

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    Apparently I've Parked in the Wrong Spot - Time to Move on.

    Further down the road is Davis Lake.

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    The Lake is Down

    A lot of recent fire damage here.

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    I'm looking for a campsite and I've struck out twice so far.
    Head South or head back north?

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    South

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    North

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    Somebody Left Their Shoe

    I end up heading back north and find a place at Crane Prairie Campground.

    http://www.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDetails.do?/subTabIndex=0&&contractCode=nrso&parkCode=crap

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    Crane Prairie Campground

    The campground is a little beat down and dusty, but there are spots with views of the lake.
    I choose a site that's visually isolated from the rest.

    Once I'm set up I go down to the little store/marina on the lake for some pics and provisions.
    They have a little collection of old outboard motors outside the store entrance.

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    The dock is interesting and a little bit scary - the structure reacts to every footstep.

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    The Warning is Well Taken

    I'm not sure the proprietor of this place is well suited to the service industry.
    Besides the fact that things seem neglected he came across as generally unfriendly.

    I was just there for a beer, some wood, and maybe some ice - he seemed put off.
    I hate it when I get a "what the hell do you want" attitude from someone when I walk in to spend money.
    I asked for a bundle of wood and he asks "can you fit that on your bike?" as if I was an idiot.
    "umm...yeah. I have straps."

    Bumped into Tom with some fresh fish as I was securing my load.

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    Tom

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    Tom's Fish

    I ask Tom, "are you gonna fry those up tonight?"
    "Hell, yes!" he replies.
    Cool.

    And some guys were complaining after he left about how he caught them by trolling in the last 20 minutes of the day.
    "I've been fishing that lake all day and he hooks them trolling?", as if they are too good for that?
    Umm...guess who's having fish for dinner!

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    Back to Camp for Dinner and a Fire

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    Lentils and Rice - Nice

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    It's good to have a fire started

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    Gonna Need the Warmth

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    It's Really Starting to Cool Down

    Once the sun is down it gets cool quickly.
    I do dinner and burn down the fire.
    I'm concerned about bears.

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    Burning Down the Fire

    I put everything food related into the saddlebags on the bike.
    There are no bear boxes here.

    I'm still pretty sore so I take 2 vicodin thinking it will help me sleep.
    I was wrong.

    I spent the entire night fixating on every little noise.
    It was a near full moon and the coyotes were howling all night long - sometimes too close for comfort.

    And it was cold.
    Buried in my sleeping bag I couldn't distinguish between sounds inside the bag or outside.
    Poking my head out of the bag just made my face freeze.
    Miserable night all in all.

    I wake up to frost on the seat and top box of the bike.
    Ugh.
    I chat with the camp host for a while when he comes by.
    They don't see any bear around here.
    I should have talked to him yesterday.

    I pack up with frozen fingers.
    Time to move on.

    Next Post - Crater Lake
    #16
  17. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    A good riding buddy of mine tells me that riding solo is the only way to fly on a long ride.
    "You meet more people that way", he says.
    That has not been my experience in the past.
    Why the difference?
    Perhaps it's my personality.

    I do have a serious and sometimes gruff demeanor even if I don't necessarily feel that way.
    I imagine that can be a bit off putting.

    I decide to follow his lead and adopt the Tom Tuttle from Tacoma Washington approach.
    For those who don't get the John Candy reference check out the movie Volunteers with JC and Tom Hanks.
    It's a hoot :rofl

    Turns out this tactic really works.
    Smile and give an enthusiastic greeting to everyone you come across.
    Not everybody responds positively, but most people do.
    For those who don't; just move on - there's always someone else to talk with.

    I met a lot of people on this trip - chatted with folks from all over the country.
    I attribute this largely to the Tom Tuttle approach.

    Tom with his fish at Crane Prairie.

    Rod, who I met in Shaniko OR, a guy in his 70's who let me know the main hotel used to do some business - nudge, nudge - wink, wink :evil

    The camp host at Crane Prairie who was happy to talk about the camp host lifestyle.

    And quite a few others over the course of the first few days - and many more over the course of the ride.

    Just call me Tom :lol3
    #17
  18. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Good advice!

    I'm an introvert by nature. I don't much care to talk to people, but I do when it happens. BUT, I always try to smile and be polite, and to some extent, chatty.. if for no other reason than to present a positive image of our sport. And I've met some interesting folks along the way.

    BTW if you aren't too far south yet, check out Hwy 242, aka McKenzie Pass Hwy. I hear it's a great road. Gonna go ride it with some friends next weekend, then maybe drop down that trail from Sisters to the paved road that goes by Elk Lake Lodge, and head back via 58. We'll see.

    Rob
    #18
  19. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    I'm actually back home now; making these posts from the comfort of my recliner :D :1drink

    The Cascade Lakes Bypass was really quite nice.

    The area around Lava Flow CG is pretty cool - massive old lava rock streams that are 20 feet or taller in some places. Awesome - should have taken a few pics.
    #19
  20. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

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    Was Rod a guy sitting in front of the little sandwich shop, mebbe on oxygen and his wife ran the shop?

    Did ya run the road from Antelope to Shaniko? If not, ya screwed up. Go back.
    #20