Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 - IMBC - Day Four - Homeward Bound

Day Four - Monday July 23, 2012
Homeward Bound

We set the alarm to get up early on Monday.  Knowing you have about 450 miles to ride before getting home will get you out of bed promptly.

We went down to the continental breakfast for, you guessed it, another bagel with crappy peanut butter.

Everything was packed and ready for departure.  When Troubadour went to take the saddle bags out to the bike he noticed Bobskoot had arrived.  He was thinking of heading West and wanted to ride along. The more the merrier.

Bobskoot mentioned he needed some breakfast so we directed him down to the continental one at the hotel.  For the amount we ate we figured he could eat some and it still wouldn't come close to what others were eating.

(Bob and his pilfered breakfast)

We left the hotel at 7:00 am and were low on fuel so headed the one mile into Enterprise to fill the bikes.  We headed to La Grande then turned south on I-84 to Baker City.  We figured that would be the quickest most direct route home.

It was overcast and damn chilly.  I had my yoga pants on under my riding pants as well as my warmest t-shirt.  I wondered why I didn't think to pack a long sleeved one.  I didn't have my winter gauntlet riding gloves either, just my summer mesh ones.  They were fine as I could turn the grips on high, but the wind whistled up my jacket sleeves.

We stopped in Baker City for fuel and we were going to have a snack at the bakery but no such luck. We took a few pics while stopped in front of the bakery and watch some old time cars go by.  

(Photo courtesy of Troubadour)
Hubby also snapped a picture of me.  I decided to include it even though he's already posted it.  It isn't often I actually like a picture taken of me, but didn't think this one was too bad.

(Happy the sun has decided to shine)

We pointed the bikes towards John Day.  We stopped there for fuel and to enjoy the sunshine.  We were finally starting to warm up.  We all decided to have a snack.  Bob partook of a burrito he purchased in the mini-mart and Troubadour and I shared a package of Flat Bananas from Trader Joe's and some trail mix (stuff we'd brought from home).

We decided daylight was wasting and saddled up once again heading west.  We were a little out of John Day when Troubadour pulled over at the "John Day Fossil Beds Mascall Overlook."

(Looking northwest)

(Looking northeast)

(Looking North - the highway cutting across the valley floor)

(Interpretive sign)

( A close-up of the rimrock that used to be the valley floor millions of years ago)
And of course a few people pics were taken while we enjoyed the sunshine.



(Troubadour and Bobskoot)

(Getting ready to suit up again)

(How did he get behind me so quick)

(Max soaking up the sunshine)

(A view to the east in Max's mirror)

(I managed to get all three of us in the reflection)
We continued on our way through Prineville and into Redmond.  We stopped one last time for fuel at the busiest gas station we'd encountered over the last four days then headed to Starbucks.

*  I learned in Redmond that when I have the clutch pulled in I cannot reach my turn signal - I get the damn horn every time.  Was funny the first time, not so much after about the third.

We went into Starbucks and sat in the nice air conditioning. Bobskoot treated us to an iced cold yummy coffee and I introduced him to Black Tea Lemonade.   We sat and relaxed and visited for a minute.  We knew we'd be saying goodbye at this point as Bob was heading south to Bend and we were heading west towards home.  We knew we were chasing daylight but at the same time, no one really wanted to go and say goodbye.

Eventually we wandered out to the parking lot and suited back up.  Hugs were given all around with promises to see Bobskoot later in the week if he got bored.  He knew he had a place to stay in Corvallis - and it had free wi-fi.

As you've probably read in Troubadours post - traffic was not pleasant between Sisters and the Junctions.  At least I knew I could reach my horn when the sports car decided he needed by me in my lane.  And Bobskoot can tell you our speed hadn't been slow all day, this guy must just have been in a hurry.

After my triple espresso I expected to have to stop at the Tombstone Pass to use the facilities but as we got closer I radioed Troubadour and let him know I didn't need to and to only stop if he needed to go.  He went zooming on by.  

We made our way down to the valley floor and encountered really strong headwinds from Sweet Home to our house (32 miles).  From Redmond on it was a long 126 mile stretch with no stopping, but we had home on the brain.

We made it home by 7:00 pm - a twelve hour day on the bikes.  The most I'd ever ridden in one day.  My knees and butt were sore for days after and I have a sunburn stripe just up from my wrists where my gloves ended and my jacket sleeves were blowing up.  The stripes still haven't faded.

Odometer start of Day Four:  6121
Odometer end of Day Four:   6589
Total miles for Day Four:        468 miles (753 km)

Staring odometer for the trip:  5544
Ending odometer for the trip:  6589
Miles ridden last weekend:      1045 miles (1681.7 km)

*  I learned that when you speedometer is out at higher speeds so too will your odometer be out.  My odometer shows 1045 miles ridden while Troubadour's showed only 1011.  I think there is a ripple in the space time continuum.

In summary I'd like to say a huge thank you to all of the attendees for making the 2012 IMBC such a success.  I think we all had a great time and it was so good to get together and meet everyone.  I learned a lot and I am excited and look forward to the next one.

And on a side note - this is my 300th post - who knew I would keep at this for so long.  Thank you to all who read my ramblings and especially to those who comment.  I always enjoy reading thoughts from the peanut gallery.

Until next time.....

- Au Revoir

"The course of life in unpredictable....... no one can write his autobiography in advance." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 - IMBC - Day Three - Moto-Bloggers Take Over Joseph

Day Three - Sunday July 22, 2012
Moto-Bloggers Take Over Joseph

I don't think Sunday was as much a day of learning as it was a visiting day.  Although we were down two moto-bloggers there were still six of us.

Troubadour and I rode from our hotel in Enterprise to Joseph where Richard and Bobskoot were staying, to park and store our gear for the day.  Richard met us and let us in.  We then wandered over to where he'd left Bobskoot then proceeded to walk around town and take pictures.

(Decorative flower bed at the Indian Lodge Motel)

As we wandered through town Richard pointed out the seven permanent bronze statues that were on almost every street corner.  

It was at this point that: *  I learned Bob had been making new friends.  Bob learned it is hard for them to swat your hand away while their hands are full.  

(Bob and his new lady love)
I am not sure why the artist gave this statue a six-pack, but: *  I learned I don't mind that they did.

(Yes Ma'am)

(Yee haw)

(I like that they are looking towards the sun)

(Richard enjoying some shade)
At one point we went back to the motel and waited for Karen and Erik to arrive from the campsite and store their gear.  We relaxed outside for a bit and then wandered around town once again.

We even wandered into a few shops.  This is where: *  I learned that in cowboy country they don't just have energy shots - they have "Strut & Rut".  Yeah, that is what it is really called.  I am surprised it isn't jerky or steak favored.  Nope, it's pomegranate.  Go figure.

(Behold the Strut & Rut - ammo for your body)

While in another store, that had hundreds of tin signs on the wall, *  I learned there really is an appropriate sign for everyone.  I put the following up as my profile picture on facebook.  My brother thinks I should have bought it.

(C'est moi)
Some cool cars were driving through town heading somewhere.  I managed to get a picture of one of them zooming by.

(One of several cars out for a Sunday cruise)
My lunch at Mad Mary and Company was a cinnamon scone and iced vanilla soy latte. I am pretty sure the scone was not vegan but I was so hungry I didn't much care.  

Apres-lunch we made our way back to the motel.  We sat under the shade and dodged ants and spiders trying crawl up our legs and into our shorts.  *  I learned that will make a few of us jump up from their chairs - me included.

For some reason I left the camera inside while we were visiting so I don't have any pictures of everyone relaxing.  One could say: *  I learned if you don't have the camera on you, you won't take any pictures.

For dinner we headed to Mutiny Brewing Company where I partook of an iced tea and one of only two vegan options on the menu - the hummus plate.  Thank you Troubadour for taking the pic.

(The hummus plate - I was happy to see actual veggies)
After a relaxing dinner, we hastened back to the motel so that Troubadour, Erik, Karen and I could gear up, say our farewells, give hugs all around, and head to our respective campsites and motel in Enterprise before dark.

*  I learned that once again I was sad to say goodbye to old friends and new friends alike.

*  I also learned that moto-bloggers are the greatest group of people and I wish that we could get together and visit more often.

*  I learned that IMBC in 2014 will be bigger and better than ever - and will probably take place in a more Eastern location.

Odometer start of Day Three:  6109
Odometer end of Day Three:    6121
Total miles for Day Three:          12 miles (19 km)

- Au Revoir

"  Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down" - Oprah Winfrey

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 IMBC - Day Two - The Devil By The Tail

Day Two - Saturday July 21, 2012
Taking the Devil By The Tail

I learned many things on day two of the 2012 IMBC as well.  Things such as the following:

*  I learned that a hotel breakfast will not have many vegan options, but if you are lucky you can scrounge a bagel and crappy, not quite real, peanut butter to split with your significant other.  Chris, you know what I'm talking about.

*  I learned that as a vegan in cowboy country your best, I mean only, option at a restaurant for breakfast will be a side of hash browns.

*  I learned to act quick if I want a group picture of the bikes together.

(The bikes at Sumpter Junction restaurant apres-breakfast)

*  I learned that the road through Hells Canyon, aka the Devil's Tail (US Forest Service Road 454) to the Hells Canyon Dam starts in Oxbow and is easier with less challenging corners than our own Alsea Falls.

*  I learned that the last mile beyond the Dam to the interpretive center has the sharpest corners in the whole 23 miles.  FYI - it is 22 miles to the Dam and 1 mile beyond to the Interpretive Center.

*  I also learned that Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in the USA - 2000 feet deeper than the Grand Canyon.

*  I learned that the 23 miles has 'hundreds of curves', but nowhere can I find an actual count and I am not going to do a street view on Google maps and count them myself.

(Behind the Dam - from the Interpretive Center)

(Zoomed in view)

(Twisites from the Dam to Interpretive Center)
(Troubadour with twisties and Dam in background)

(In front of Interpretive Center)

(We actually found shade at the Interpretive Center)
*  I learned that Cliff Bars are a must for vegans to carry with them in the back country.  Potato chips at a gas station/country store do not count as real food.

(Hells Canyon Store - Scotty's Gas Stop)
*  I learned that Forest Service Road 39 is a twisty bit of fun, but not necessarily for everyone because of the sheer drop offs and no guard rails.

*  I learned that not everyone has the same definition for the phrase "pasture land".

(Bobskoot's pasture land)

(Erik with the 'we are here' sign)

(Bobskoot, Karen, Erik & Richard)

(Bobskoot, Brad & Sonja)
*  I learned that everyone was really happy to finally make it off the mountain in one piece.

(Karen and Bobskoot - off the mountain)
(Bradley - aka Troubadour on his Tiger)

(Erik, Brad, Richard, Karen, Roland & Sonja)

(Erik explaining something to the group)

(A talk of pasture land)

(More good conversation before heading to Joseph & Enterprise)
*  I learned that if you are at a stop sign turning right and the bike stalls instead of rolling forward as anticipated and your tire is turned already, there is a good chance it will fall over.  (no damage except to my pride)

*  I also learned that hubby will jump off his bike and help you pick it up even when it's not expected of him.

*  I learned that apparently I only drop my bike after long days of riding twisty mountain roads on vacation - last summer being the only other time I've dropped it.
*  I learned that  if I ask nicely hubby will let me ride pillion to dinner to take a break from riding.

*  I learned that when Bobskoot mentions a restaurant has really tasty Mexican food - he is telling the truth.  My vegan burrito was super yummy. Either that or I was super hungry.  Once again I didn't take a food porn picture.

*  I learned it was no fun saying goodbye to two of our compadres.  

*  I learned that with a full belly and after two nights of little to no sleep, I can take a Benadryl for allergies and sleep like the dead.

Odometer start of Day Two:  5902
Odometer end of Day Two:    6109
Total miles for Day Two:        207 miles (333 km)

......Day Three - Moto-Bloggers Take Over Joseph coming next.

- Au Revoir

"But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement, the greater part of life is sunshine." - Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 IMBC - Day One - Gotta Get There From Here

It has taken me a day or two to regroup and get started on my blog recaps of our awesome 2012 IMBC.  I must say it was a great trip and it was so nice to get together with those bloggers I've met before and to meet some new friendly faces as well. 

As you know the players on the stage were Sonja, her husband Roland, Bobskoot, Richard, Troubadour and myself, Erik and Karen.   

In keeping with the format I used for the 2010 IMBC, I figured I would do a series of "What I learned" posts.  One for each day.

Day One - Friday July 20, 2012

*  I learned that no matter how hard we try to get out of the house at a specific time we will probably be running a little late.
*  I learned that the last thing I expect to see on a five lane highway between Lebanon and Sweet Home is a llama on the road.

*  I learned that if you choose not to take your heated jacket liner or winter waterproof gloves with you mid-summer you will inevitably run into rain and cold temperatures within 30 miles of your house.

(Wet bikes for cold riders at Tombstone Pass)
*  I learned at if you take only your tinted helmet visor, it will be cloudy and misting heavily.

(My misty dirty visor at Tombstone Pass)
*  I learned that traffic, even on a Friday morning, sucks between Sisters and Prineville.
*  I learned that long sweepers through the mountains can be oh so much fun.

(Long sweepers east of Prineville - where we are heading)

(Where we've been)
*  I learned that I would not want to be out there in the middle of nowhere in 1866.

(Sign reads:  H.H. Wheeler - for whom Wheeler County was named, first president of East Oregon Pioneer Assn.  Also US mail carrier from The Dalles to Canyon City.  Was attacked near this spot by Indians, was wounded, mail looted, and coach destroyed, September 7, 1866.)
*  I learned that you can't always find an ideal spot to have lunch on the road, but if you can find shade and have a Monarch chair with you it's all good.  The homemade Tofurky, avocado, lettuce and hot sauce sammiches helped too.

(Lunch stop in John Day)

*  I learned that roadside attractions are best when no other tourists have stopped to play.

(Wagon outside of John Day)

(Back end of wagon)
(View from the wagon)

*  I learned that the wind will come whipping through the plains blowing your bangs into your eyes and making it hard to put your helmet on.

(I must face into the wind to put helmet on)

*  I learned that 340 miles on Max in one day isn't so bad.  It didn't even feel like it had been that far.

*  I learned that an iced cold yummy Starbucks coffee after 340 miles is sooooo good and refreshing.

*  I learned that if you used Virgin Mobile phones which in turn use the Sprint Network - chances are you will not have service in Eastern Oregon no mans land.

*  I learned that if you do not take a camera with you to dinner with new and old friends you won't get any pictures.

*  I learned that if you have decaf coffee at 8:30 pm chances are you will clock watch until after midnight even when exhausted.

Odometer start of Day One:  5544
Odometer end of Day One:    5902
Total miles for Day One:        358 miles (576 km)

.......things I learned on day two - coming up.

- Au Revoir

" We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange.  As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known." - Carson McCullers