Travels with Bruce.

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by whitham_wannabe, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Ah … a week off, finally! Sunny and I have eagerly been awaiting this week for months now, ever since our unsuccessful week off back in March (it rained, in a biblical fashion for the first two days, so we gave up). Banking on July bringing us better weather, we initially planned to take the F800 and the DRZ and just ride, but we had one problem …

    Bruce.

    What to do with the hound … relatives were reluctant to keep him company, and sending him off to doggy borstal for a week seemed cruel. Bruce put on his best puppy dog face, and agreed to loan me his bike for the week if only he could come along …

    The plan was hatched …. Five wheels and eight legs, no plans just ride to find the sunshine.


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    #1
  2. Sidecardoug

    Sidecardoug Pleasantly pleasing

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    Glad to see you are home

    Not to spoil a story or anything....:D
    #2
  3. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    Hey Doug!

    Took a couple of days, but we got back!
    #3
  4. Sidecardoug

    Sidecardoug Pleasantly pleasing

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    Good to hear, Ian.

    Enjoyed meeting you, Sunny and Bruce
    #4
  5. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    The big day arrived, the bikes were loaded up with everything we could possibly ever need, the kids were dropped off by the side of the highway and told to fend for themselves for a few days, and Bruce installed himself in his spot for the week ahead.


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    We headed out over Highway 2, then up to Chelan for dinner. From Chelan we detoured up Grade Creek Road to one of my favourite camping spots that over looks the lake itself. Somehow we managed not to take any pictures all day until we arrived at our destination.

    Bruce immediately made himself at home, and started grazing on the flowers. I swear he used to be bovine in a former life.

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    While we set up camp …

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    … gathered wood …

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    …. admired the view …

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    … had a cup of tea …

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    … and generally took time out to smell the flowers.

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    #5
  6. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

    Joined:
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    Northern Vermont
    Hah, off to a good start!

    I wish my wife would ride with me but it's just not her thing. No big deal, though. My dog snuggles better anyway...
    #6
  7. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    The next morning we awoke to gloomy skies and a rattling ride back down to fuel up in Chelan. A rattly ride it may have been, but a glorious one.

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    Bruce voiced his desire to stop taking pictures and get rolling again.

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    "What's the hold up, Ropey?"

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    In Chelan, while filling up, a chap came over to talk to us, and take some pictures of our unlikely travelling group. Turns out he was from the local paper, and before you know it, Bruce is headline news, in an article full of journalistic inaccuracies.


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    We headed over to the Coulee Dam, as I have passed all around that area but never actually seen the dam itself.

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    Travelling with the dog in tow was proving to be a very much more relaxed affair than my usual mile crunching trips. The need to let him out and exercise every hour or so provided an opportunity to actually take a look at the places we were riding through. Unfortunately that means a lot more photos, as he is awfully photogenic, in a Winston Churchill sort of way.

    Once more voicing his disapproval about something or other &#8230;

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    We took in the view &#8230;

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    &#8230; then rode down for a closer look. Sorry, Bruce no dogs on the tour.

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    From Electric City we continued to head East on gravel backroads. Sunny was out in front, and seeing a rustle in the bushes, slowed down only for a black bear to go scarpering across the road in front of her. Quick thinking and calm reflexes avoided a potentially uncomfortable incident. By the time Bruce and I arrived, Sunny was (wisely) long gone and the bear was stood in the middle of the road watching us approach and slither to a halt. We watched him watching us watching him for a minute &#8230; then he shambled off into the bushes again. Unfortunately I didn&#8217;t even think for a moment about getting the camera out.

    Soon the road started climbing up dusty switchbacks, and the sun was finally with us! Sunny celebrated both.

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    Eventually we found our way to the delightfully small Gifford &#8211; Inchelium ferry.

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    We saw a perfect campsite down on the water, so decided an early stop was in order &#8230; we really were embracing the relaxed, almost vacation like pace to this ride. As we were setting up camp, we heard someone call out &#8220;Is that Bruce?!&#8221; Quite by chance we had camped next to Bruce&#8217;s breeder. It may be a small world, but, damn, it's a pretty one.

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    #7
  8. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

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    :lurk Great pics Ian, keep 'em coming!

    Love that outfit too :raabia
    #8
  9. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    what a great ride report
    loving it so far
    wonderful story and images
    thanks for sharing
    #9
  10. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    A sunny day dawned over the PNW and our merry band got to work breaking camp again. From Gifford we took the Addy-Gifford road, followed by the excellently named Flowery Trail Road. Both paved but excellent little routes off the beaten path. Bruce seemed blasé about the whole thing, however …

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    Welcome to Idaho, Brucey.

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    We headed north into the woods around Priest Lake, and ended up at the crowded campground at the North end of the Lake. The sign said Full, but Bruce batted his eyelids and we were allowed to use the ‘emergency campground’.

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    Another dry and dusty day on the road, we were happy to find some ice, buy some extortionately expensive firewood and relax for the evening.

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    Day four, and we had promised ourselves a night in a Motel to shower up and relax at the end of the day. Once more into the woods we headed.

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    We looped North towards the Canadian border, before wending our way West through beautiful alpine meadows and hills.

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    Bruce took every opportunity to romp, sniff and do some more grazing.

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    He also took to playing dead dog in the middle of the road, but as we hardly saw another vehicle all day, it wasn’t much of an issue.

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    The road was excellent, as we climbed steeply up the backsides of ridges and then descended down to the meadows again and again.

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    Sunny’s DRZ was, as usual, proving to be a faultless performer.

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    Passing by Sullivan Lake, we ended up in Ione. By now Bruce was flagging, but maintaining his cute at all times.

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    We found a Motel that would take two dusty riders and their dog and settled in for the day.

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    Laundry, a much needed shower, food and a stroll around the deserted streets of Ione, and our day was done.

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    #10
  11. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    looks like the dog and the sidecar are a perfect match! :clap
    #11
  12. Melrone

    Melrone Been here awhile

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    Cheese Head Country
    Boy thats just dangerous talk.My wife rides with me,my dog won't.but neither cuddle well.Thats one nice ADV you went ou nice rig.Its quite the setup I've pics of your rig before nice to see in action...:rofl
    #12
  13. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    And so we continued to wend our way west ward, sticking to mostly forestry roads, only using sealed roads to link up our trails.

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    We found a couple of trails that were bold on the GPS but petered out to nothing on the ground..

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    In these situations, the DRZ was sent out on a scouting run, as it was a LOT easier to turn around than the sidecar when the going got tight. Meanwhile, Bruce waited patiently.

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    Our fifth day on the road was cut short by pouring rain, and we ended up holing up in another Motel in Kettle Falls for the night. I think we need to rethink how we deal with rain when Bruce is with us, it just didn&#8217;t seem fair not to give him a nice warm room to dry off in once he had got wet.

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    But no worries for day six! The sun had driven away the clouds and the mountains were out again. Bruce and Sunny admired the fire overlook on Hwy 20.

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    Lots of back roads to run. Here Bruce is tied up to the sidecar to prevent him engaging in his new hobby of eating cow pats. Really, Bruce?

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    You are here &#8230; our excellent, detailed and accurate map, the name of which I have forgotten, but will find out if anyone would like to know it. It had almost all of the forestry backroads on it, and seemed more up to date than the GPS info.

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    Probably the shakiest section of the route was this steep downhill section, kind of washed out, and I only just had enough steering lock to make the turns. There likelihood of getting the BMW turned around and back up was slim, so it kind of had to go through.

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    We should&#8217;ve had more faith in the beast, we made it down just fine&#8230;. If slightly puckered.

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    A few remote log cabins around, this one looked abandoned but saveable.

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    When she wasn&#8217;t in front, this is the view I had of Sunny in my rear view mirrors &#8230; she had definitely found her happy place on the gravel this week.

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    And Bruce had found his happy place as my monkey too.

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    We rode on through Oroville, up past the delightful Palmer Lake and found ourselves a deserted horse camp by a stream.

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    Lots of good wood to keep us warm.

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    As we were getting ready to turn in, Bruce suddenly started taking a lot of interest in the bikes, and wouldn&#8217;t leave them alone, no matter what we tried. Eventually I went to investigate and look what I found &#8230;

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    Bruce must&#8217;ve scared the little fella up into the bike, and he had found sanctuary under my fuel tank.

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    One of the more unusual things I have found on my bike &#8230; I tried getting him out, but in the end we left him to it. When I went back half an hour later, he had escaped into the night.

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    #13
  14. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

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    Great report and photos Thanks.
    #14
  15. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

    Joined:
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    Texas, USA
    Love this thread! Great pics and report. I would love to do this with our dog at some point... although, I don't think he's quite as patient or photogenic as Bruce.
    #15
  16. miggins11

    miggins11 Been here awhile

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    Cheshire, England
    Great report - beautiful scenery!
    #16
  17. pops

    pops Long timer

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    Great report .
    Top photos.
    :clap:clap
    #17
  18. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    i agree
    nice that they took their Nikon D60 along
    a great camera
    well done
    #18
  19. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
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    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Great post...wish we had such great riding weather here.

    Most of all love your Panzer with the front car tire...something to think of for my next winter project!

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    #19
  20. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    So what we confidently thought would be our last day on the road dawned bright and clear once more.

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    Bruce did a final inspection before we left.

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    I finally got around to charging up the GoPro, and mounted it on the top box.

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    This was the only photo it took before it fell off again. I remounted it on the nose, with more success.

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    “Look, Ropey, a deer!!”


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    We were heading for Mazama, along beautiful mountain roads.

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    Stopping only to check out some other possible camping spots …

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    … and for Bruce to practice to his wheelies.

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    It was a beautiful morning, and though we were slightly sad to be getting to the end of our trip, we were feeling proud of the stuff we had done, very happy how Bruce had got on and thoroughly content with our lot.

    And then …

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    On a straight, thankfully wide, stretch of gravel road, the bottom fell out of my world …. The bike suddenly dropped to the ground, and slewed off violently to the left. Bruce and I got it back straight again and brought it to a halt. Initially, it felt like the wheel had come off, but on closer inspection I found all the wheels intact.

    But not the rear shock.

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    First order of business was to have a cup of tea. Then check phone signals. No charge. Okay, charge the phone, and check for phone signals. Nothing. Oh, it’s going to be a long day … I got to work pulling the shock out, so at least it would roll again. Bruce was a big help.

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    #20