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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

240 Miles, 2 Lattes, 4 Barn Quilts, and a Dozen Lamborghinis, Oh My!

Several weeks ago after being inspired by a barn quilt picture taken by ToadMama, I started researching to see if there were any barn quilts within a days ride of Corvallis.  I found the web page for the Tillamook Barn Quilt Trail. Tillamook is about 90 miles northwest of Corvallis and is famous for its creamery and cheese factory as well as being on Highway 101 at the coast.  We made a mental note that it might be a fun ride one day to see how many barn quilts we could see.

We thought that might be a good option for a last hurrah before sending ScooterBob off to Princess ScooterPie.  So, Troubadour took a peek at the maps to see how we might get there all while avoiding as much traffic as possible.  The last time we were there on bikes was in October 2014 when we went to the air museum ---- blogged about in this LINK.

Saturday July 15th was the day. We made a quick stop in Corvallis and then headed west towards Philomath to fuel the bikes.  From Philomath we headed west on Highway 20 then turned north onto Kings Valley Highway which lead us to Dallas.  Troubadour seamlessly lead us through Dallas and before long we were waiting to turn west onto Highway 22.  And we waited, and we waited.  There was so much traffic it took us a bit before we could pull out and I think I even bounced off the rev limiter on the Versys.  Sure wished for the v-twin power of the Gladius at that point, but we made it.

After 12 miles on the highway we turned north towards Willamina where we could take a back road further north/west.  We were looking for Bible Creek Rd, a one lane twisty forestry road heading northwest.  We missed the turn and ended up on Bald Mountain Access Road.  It too was a twisty one lane forestry road, it just took us further east that we were expecting.  Longer ride in the forest for us and a gravel section too, bonus.

The photo below is where we stopped to check out the map to make sure we were heading in the right direction and that the road would for sure intersect with the one we were aiming for - Nestucca River Road.

(Bald Mountain Access Rd looking back at where we'd been)

(Bald Mountain Access Rd looking at where we'll go)
We eventually came out on Nestucca River Road and stopped at the same information kiosk we stopped at in 2014.  We rested a few minutes, drank some water and ate an apple for a late lunch. The kiosk is right where Bible Creek intersects Nestucca River Road.  It was a happy accident that we missed our original turn since Bible Creek was closed and a detour in place.  From there it was a nice easy ride into Beaver where we made a left turn (north) onto Highway 101.  Heavy traffic on that stretch of highway made it seem like the longest part of the ride.

The first stop in Tillamook was Five Rivers Coffee Roasters at the north end of town and across from the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was easy to find, easy to park. It was a nice building with lots of natural wood inside and was complete with a pretty picnic area out back off the highway. We each ordered a 12-oz vanilla soy latte.  Unfortunately I forgot to order them extra hot and with an extra shot of espresso.  They weren't very warm or strong.  Live and learn, the place had great ambience though.

(The picnic area at Five Rivers Coffee Roasters - Photo by Troubadour)

(Parked at Five Rivers Coffee Roasters in Tillamook, Oregon)
We stopped and rested for a bit and discussed not only the barn quilt trail, but also the smell of dairy air derriere.  One thing about riding in the land of cows is the smell.  Oh, the smell.  As Troubadour had his phone out taking the picture above a group of exotic cards drove by heading south.  There were about a dozen in all different colors.  PolarBear guessed after seeing a picture on Facebook that they were Lamborghini Huracans.  Not too sure why they were all headed south but it was cool to see.  They all had a label on the side like it was an event, but I can't remember what they said and it is too hard to see in the photos. All car photos by Troubadour.  EDIT - Thank you to Kari, aka Bluekat for the following link on the Lamborghini tour.  LINK.

(Lamborghinis on parade - a red one)

(And a blue one)

(And a black one - there were also green ones)
While stopped we took a look at the map and figured out a route that would give us the most barn quilts.  First off the following.....

(ScooterBob admiring the barn quilt)

(The Tiger, the Versys, and ScooterBob in Tillamook)
While stopped at the barn above Troubadour noticed a little rubber ducky on the ground.  He nestled it in the cables of my dash and it is now my little talisman.

(Rubber Ducky you're the one....)

As I mentioned in my ScooterBob post on Wet Coast Scootin (link HERE) ScooterBob decided to base jump off my tail bag after the above photos were taken and was subsequently banished to the ground lest he pull a Humpty Dumpty and we had to put him back together again.  We fought really high winds all day and didn't want to take any chances with another wind gust.

Back on the bikes we quickly realized that just because it was called a barn quilt trail didn't mean they were all on barns.  We bypassed the ones on the side of metal sheds and ugly outbuildings and ones that were really hard to get to or you had to ride into a dairy farm to see.  We did stop at the fairgrounds below for its colorful 'barn' quilt.

(Barn quilt at the Tillamook County fairgrounds)
As we were riding along we came to the conclusion that for a couple of vegans going into farm country for barn quilt pictures maybe wasn't the best idea.  Damn, your food stinks when it is growing.  We decided to cut the trail a little short and if there was easy access to barn quilts on the way back to Highway 101 we'd get them.  There were two more.

(Another barn quilt - further off the road)

(A little harder to capture at that distance)

(One last barn quilt - just couldn't get the truck out of the picture)

(And across from that barn quilt - cows!)
We made it to Highway 101 and turned south.  We decided to ride south to Hebo where we would turn onto Highway 22, the Three Rivers Highway.  Traffic wasn't even doing the 55 mph speed limit for the 19 mile stretch between the two towns.  At times we were lucky to be doing 45 mph. We were glad when we turned off that the rest of the traffic stayed on Highway 101.

The stretch of highway between Hebo and Valley Junction is such a beautiful section of two lane back road with smooth asphalt and sweeping curves along the river.  At one point we did stop for a rest and a snack since it was after 5 and lunch was only an apple.  Luckily we still had some trail mix and a couple of Cliff Bars.  The last pictures of the day were taken along Highway 22 where it intersects with Hiack Creek Rd.

(Troubadour taking a rest)

(The Versys 300x now sporting OEM hand guards, center stand, and heated grips)
We made one more stop at the Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area.  A State Park just before Valley Junction. It has some informational displays regarding the 27 different tribes of Native Americans that were moved from their land to the neighboring Grand Ronde Indian Reservation. There were also picnic areas and restroom facilities.  From there it was an uneventful ride home.  We headed east along the highway and then south to Corvallis.  We arrived home at 7 pm with approximately 240 miles (386 km) on the odometer 8 hours after leaving the house.  The Versys averaged 65 mpg for fuel economy and I made it on one tank of gas!  It is nice that it has a 4.5 gallon fuel tank. One gallon more than the Gladius and I can go almost 100 miles further on a tank.

On Sunday we boxed up ScooterBob and he was mailed off to Princess ScooterPie yesterday.  He should arrive in Victoria within a week or so.

Also on Sunday we were lucky that Don and Karla from Two Vegans Two Wheels were traveling home to Bend though Corvallis.  We were able to meet up for coffee and hang out for an hour or more.  We visited like old friends, but forgot to take any pictures.  Next time!

- Au Revoir

" This coffee tastes like mud!  Well, it was ground this morning." - Old Vaudeville Joke
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Riding to the Coast for Coffee

Saturday June 17th we busted our butts weeding the shrub beds in the backyard.  We decided that Sunday needed to be a ride day because all work and no play.........

It used to be that we'd ride to eat.  Pick a destination based on a restaurant choice and point the bikes in that direction.  Since going vegan over 6 years ago that proves to be a bit more difficult so Troubadour had the idea of riding for coffee.  There are a lot of little coffee shops within a days ride.  

Troubadour left the destination planning up to me so I chose the Siuslaw Coffee Roasters in Florence as our destination.  Temperatures in the valley were going to top out at 86˚F (30˚C) and Florence was forecast for a high of only 70˚F (21˚C)  We decided on a route that had some back roads, some gravel roads, and a little highway riding too (no way to avoid the highways). This would be my longest journey on the Versys 300x to date - 195 miles (313.8 km)

We set off down Bellfountain Road to Territorial Road then headed west on Highway 36.  A left turn put us onto Poodle Creek Rd.  A nice twisty back road that heads South where it intersects with Highway 126.

We turned west on Highway 126 and then turned right onto a gravel road to take us to the Wildcat covered bridge. We'd actually been there once before - almost a year ago to the day and it was under construction at that time.  Having been built in 1925, it was long overdue for some TLC. Last years blog post --> LINK.

(ScooterBob at the Wildcat Covered Bridge)

( Looking a little right you could see a railway bridge)

There were quite a few people down by the river and some were in kayaks, and others were swimming. That water must have been cold though as the river is in the foothills of the coastal mountains.

We got back on the bikes and decided to take the gravel road, which turns into Stagecoach Road, until it  intersects Highway 36 at Swisshome. It is a lovely one lane gravel road that twists and turns and undulates along the river for about 15 miles.

Troubadour recently bought a 360Fly camera and was having some issues turning it on.  We stopped in a bit of shade while he fiddled with it.  I took advantage of the break and pulled my camera out of my pocket.

(Gravel road heading west - view from the Versys cockpit)

(Where we'd been - a view of the Versys mirror)

(Even had time for a selfie - I'm wearing my Rev'it mesh jacket and HJC helmet)

(Troubadour fiddling with the 360Fly camera)

He managed to get it working and we were off.  The camera is quite something.  If your computer's operating system is compatible or you are on your smart phone you can actually look around while watching the video and look at the scenery, not just the direction the camera appears to be pointed.  He has posted a few videos on Facebook, hopefully he will find time to blog a few clips as well.

Stagecoach Road comes out on Highway 36 which we took west to where it intersects with Highway 126 and took that along the river to Florence.  We stopped at the Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters in Old Town by the river.  As we were pulling up two motorcyclists were leaving so we had parking out front.  The outdoor seating was just to the left of the bikes.

I went inside and purchased us each a 16 oz iced vanilla soy latte.  They seemed rather weak, but they were cold.  We sat outside and enjoyed the view of the historic Siuslaw River bridge, which opened in 1936, and did some people watching too.

(The bikes at the Siuslaw River Coffee Roaster in Florence, Oregon)

(ScooterBob posing for the camera)

(Historic bridge over the Siuslaw River)

Too soon we were back on the bikes and heading east towards home.  We retraced most of our route except for the large gravel area as it would have taken us out of the way and we weren't keen on the extra stretch of Highway 126.  It is the major highway between Florence and Eugene and there is always a lot of traffic on the weekends, especially RV's.

We did stop twice along the way.  Once for a potty break (damn coffee) and once to give us a break from the constant buffeting of the wind.  Troubadour's knee was giving him grief and my sits bones were sore - not much padding on my arse the Versys seat. 

We arrived home at 6:30 pm, 7 hours after leaving the house.  Not a bad day to be out on two wheels.

- Au Revoir

"Why not seize the pleasure at once, how often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation." - Jane Austen
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Visiting Bloggers, Camping, and Saturday Coffee

This post will encompass the last three weekends. I haven't had time recently for much blogging so I will put it all together and try not to make it too long.  Lucky for you I haven't taken many pictures.

FRIDAY MAY 12

A busy weekend for us.  Blogging friends RichardM and ChrisL both arrived in Corvallis this day. It just so happened that Richard was to arrive in Oregon when Chris was landing at the Portland airport and was able to give him a ride to Corvallis.

Richard also brought ScooterBob along to officially pass the torch.  We made sure to go out for a yummy dinner at Evergreen Indian Restaurant while they were both here.  If we look tired it is because Chris, Troubadour, and I ate and shopped our way through Portland on this day (Saturday) and this was also after a late dinner and past my bedtime.

(Troubadour, Trobairitz, ChrisL, RichardM, and ScooterBob - photo by Richard)
Richard was a champ and even gave Chris a ride back to Portland on Monday since he was headed that way anyway to pick up his RV.   Troubadour and I both had to work Monday.

FRIDAY MAY 19

A camping weekend.  About every other year we try and get together with Troubadour's brother, sister-in-law, and niece and nephew for a camping trip.  You may remember camping in Kalaloch on the Olympic Peninsula from the year before last.  LINK ----> HERE.

This year was at the camping area in Washington Park in Anacortes, Washington.  We were far enough north in Washington that we were actually north of the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island.  Anacortes is an hour or so (depending on traffic) north of Seattle on Fidalgo Island.

We arrived later than anticipated as it took us 3 hours to go the 50 some odd miles from Seattle to our exit at Mount Vernon.  Yes, 3 hours to go 50 miles.  Sigh.  It was a long day.

By the time we got our tent and stuff set up we had just enough time for a campfire and a quick visit before bed.

Saturday we took the kids down to the playground in the day-use/boat launch area and let them burn off some energy.  The kids and the brothers even attempted kite flying, but there wasn't quite enough wind.

(Washington Park day-use/boat launch, Anacortes, WA)

(Kites in the air - I think Troubadour is on the play structure on the right)

(Troubadour's brother Bear getting a kite ready)

(Nephew Little Bear rocking the rings)

(Niece Faith and Troubadour having fun)
After playing and warming up in the sunshine we walked back to the campsites and had some lunch. From there it was a nature walk. There is a 2 mile road that goes around the park. Unfortunately they tout it as a walking trail too, which would be fine if there weren't so many cars on the one-lane road.  Luckily it was one-way traffic.  We spend our time dodging cars and taking different paths to view the water or walk through the trees.

(A view of one of the many surrounding islands)

(Many boats were in the water)

(Lots of boats)

(Troubadour soaking up the sun and enjoying the view)

(The spring wildflowers were in bloom)

(There were a lot of wild shrub roses smelling pretty and reminding me of BC and Alberta)

(We think the snowy mountains might be on Vancouver Island to the west)

(One of the trails through the woods)
Back at camp the squirrels were getting closer.  The one below ran up a tree when it spotted the in-laws dog. 

(A bold brown squirrel)

(Hello squirrel)
One of the funniest things we saw while camping was a squirrel running down the road in the campground with a face full of marshmallows he'd stolen from a camper.  Well, that or the deer ripping open a bag of hot dog buns and having a feast. That was at the campsite beside us, we were smart and kept our food locked in the Subaru when not eating.  The campground critters appeared well fed.

On Sunday we went for a drive.  We crossed the historic Deception Pass Bridge (which was crammed full of tourists) and ended up in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, located a little south west of Anacortes and the home to a Naval Base.  We found Windjammer Park right by the water. We stayed long enough to all get a little sunburned. Our campground was in the tall evergreen trees and was quite chilly.  It was nice to sit in the sun and warm up and take off a few fleece layers.

(Windjammer Park, Oak Harbor, WA)

(Pretty views of the water)
Looking a little northeast a large structure caught our attention.  We weren't sure what it was at the time and my best guess using Google is that it is part of the Naval Air Station's Seaplane Base.  I guess there are actually two Naval bases on the Island.

(Interesting view with the mountains behind it)

(A closer view with the Canon camera zoomed in)
As we were walking back to the parking lot I noticed the windmill.  A large Dutch population moved into the area in the 1890's, 40 years after the Irish settled the area.  

(Windmill in Windjammer Park, Oak Harbor, WA)
We relaxed for the rest of the day at the campsite and headed home on Monday.  Another long drive with heavy traffic through Seattle and Portland.  That'll learn us for not leaving earlier.

Tuesday night we were lucky enough to go out for dinner with RichardM and his lovely wife Bridget.  This time it was Thai food at the Woodsman Restaurant in Philomath, and again we stayed up past our bedtime.  (We get up at 4 am, so we try and be in bed by 9 on a work night). We always enjoy their company when they are in town.  Below photo courtesy of Richard.

(Troubadour, Trobairitz, Bridget, and Richard)
SATURDAY MAY 27

While we initially had a longer motorcycle ride planned for last Saturday, we ended up staying at Saturday Morning Coffee longer than anticipated.  It was almost noon and we were hungry for lunch so we just went home.

I believe these are the same pictures I posted over on Wet Coast Scooting.  Not a large turn out for coffee but we've recently changed venues and that hasn't sat well with some of the folks.

(Tiger 955, Versys 300, Daytona 675, Tiger 955, Monster 1200, and ScooterBob)

(What is this creature that has wandered into the paddock?)

(Troubadour. PolarBear, Melissa, Josh, and ScooterBob at Tried & True Coffee, south Corvallis, OR)
We have hopes/intentions for a three-day trip to Southern Oregon at some point this summer and if all goes according to plan we'll get pictures of the bikes and ScooterBob with 12 different covered bridges we haven't seen before.  Now, if we can only find a three-day weekend where it isn't too hot down there.  We were going to go last September, but the temperatures were around 100˚F (38˚C) and we just weren't keen on that much riding in that heat.

Fingers crossed we can make it happen this year.

- Au Revoir

" After all is said and done, a lot more will have been said than done." - Author Unknown
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