Monday, July 29, 2013

Hot Friday Ride

We have been experiencing above average temperatures for the last few weeks and Friday was no different.

Josh was in from Denver and schemes were hatched to ride to Sublimity for him to test ride a KTM 690 Duke.  Meg was stuck at work and would be meeting us in Salem for dinner.

The plan was to meet Josh in Lebanon at 1:30 pm.  By this time temperatures had climbed and were into the high 80's low 90's.

It was a fairly warm ride to Lebanon and by the time we left Josh's house the temperatures had risen a little more.  I am not sure how warm the heat waves coming off the asphalt were, but the air was reported to be 95˚F (35˚C).

Josh led us along the back roads of the east side of the valley and before long we were in Sublimity at the dealership.  Power Motorsports is one of the largest motorcycle dealerships in the mid-valley with an extensive selection of new and used inventory.  They have no pressure sales staff and are always up for people taking test rides.

The first thing we did was walk over to the used building and enjoy some air conditioning.  Brad even sat on a used Harley.  He couldn't figure out how someone could do the offset cone weave with ape hangers.

We then walked back to the parking lot, which had a few new and used bikes set up, and then made our way into the building of new bikes which also housed their accessories, sales staff, and parts counter.

Brad took his turn sitting on the Duke while Josh was signing his life away on the waiver to test ride.

 Troubadour on a KTM

Josh on the KTM

Brad wasn't planning on test riding any bikes but Josh asked him to come along on the test ride so we traded keys and he followed on Max.  Brad's steed of choice for the day was the Yamaha XT250 so Max was better suited for the test ride.

It wasn't a long test ride but it was enough for Josh to get a feel for the bike.  He reported that he really liked it, but the throttle by wire was something to get used to compared to cranking on the throttle cable of his V-Strom.  He was smiling when he got back.  At 330 lbs wet, the KTM is a light nimble bike that begs for hoonin'.

It was still damn hot and about 4 pm by this point.  The guys wandered around looking at bikes generally passing time waiting for Meg to get off work.   We had a 15-18 mile ride into Salem to meet Meg and she had at least double that coming in from Corvallis.  While we waited I chose to sit on a park bench in the shade outside and drink more water.  There was a breeze so it wasn't too bad with the jacket off.

We eventually suited up and headed west.  Did I mention it was hot?  I did manage to figure out that if I leaned way over the tank the vents in the front of my Rev'it jacket worked much better. 

We arrived at Marco Polo Global Restaurant and ordered a pitcher of Arnold Palmers (half iced tea half lemonade).  We managed to go through two pitchers by the time we left.  Riding in the heat is thirsty business.

Meg arrived safely and we all ordered.  Normally we order off their Asian menu and the food is excellent.  Friday we chose the veggie burgers and were sorely disappointed.  Good thing they came with a salad.   We did have the samosas as an appetizer and they were tasty.  Next time we'll stick to the vegan wonton soup or something else off the Asian menu.

It was just after 7 pm and we figured we'd best be heading out.  Josh and Meg were riding to the east side of the valley and we were heading back down the west side to Corvallis.

Troubadour, Josh, & Meg

We took the super secret twisty road towards Corvallis. Colleen - you know which one I mean. Brad pulled over after about 5 miles.  You know it is love when your hubby stops to give you some of the black electrician's tape off his visor to put on yours so you aren't blinded by the setting sun. I haven't bought a tinted visor for my Shoei yet and that sun was bright.

The ride home was a lot cooler and was quite enjoyable.  We arrive home just after 8.  It was a short loop of only 100 miles but an enjoyable afternoon/evening spent with friends.

- Au Revoir

" A true friend is one who still thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked." - Author Unknown 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bikes, Berries, Basil & More


We finally took the bikes out yesterday for a 100 miles trek around the back roads of the coastal range.  We left the house about noon and headed West on Hwy 20.  At Blodgett we turned north onto Hwy 180 - the Summit Highway.  All kinds of twists and turns and 20 mph corners.  It is a favorite with the locals. This roads loops us back around to Highway 20 at Eddyville.  A right turn takes us west towards the coast.

We made a stop at Chitwood for a picture of the covered bridge.  It is one we've never stopped at before and I needed it for the E2E rally and Troubadour needed it for his covered bridge page.

Back on the bikes and we turned north at Toledo onto Hwy 229 - the Siletz Highway.  Another beautiful road full of sweepers and tighter turns north of Siletz.  Before we popped out on Highway 101 we stopped at Strome County Park and boat launch for a picnic lunch of leftover broccoli salad and a Strawberry Lemonade Starbucks Refresher.  

We had the map out and were trying to figure out whether to go to Highway 101 and loop north or return the way we came.  We opted to turn around and head back the way we came but with a change. We'd head east on Hwy 410 in Siletz and ride towards Logsden.  This loop took us back to Hwy 180 at Nashville.  I'd never taken this road before, probably because of the 2 miles of gravel.  I didn't mind the actual gravel because it was well packed, but I wasn't a fan of the steep downhill grade with switchbacks.  Deep breath, loose on the bars, first gear and steady as she goes. It was well worth it because of the beautiful curving road. 

From there it was back to Highway 20 and home.  We got home at 4:00 pm to 92˚F (33.3˚C) temperatures in Corvallis.  Sure could feel it warming up as we rode out of the hills and back into the valley.

It was nice to just get out for a putter on the bikes, in no hurry, and with no place to be.


On Saturday we opted to drive to coffee and go berry picking after.  Our window of opportunity for raspberries was closing quickly and we knew the variety of blueberries we wanted we at their peak too.

So to Anderson Blues north of Corvallis for blueberries we went.  We picked 23.5 lbs of Spartans and ate a fair amount as we were picking too.  Good thing they don't charge for those.

We went home for lunch and to get the berries out of the heat then headed out to Childers Raspberry Farm east of Albany.

We picked 12.7 lbs of Cascade variety raspberries.  Nice and big.  They didn't seem as big as last year though.  The raspberries need to be processed for the freezer right away so I didn't get any pictures but I did get a few of the blueberries.

Both farms are family owned and friendly.  If you are in the area in the summer, I highly recommend them for fresh berries, both u-pick and they pick.

A blueberry sitting on a quarter.

Most of the blueberries have been washed and put in the freezer as well.  We did keep out a bowl of the larger ones for munching.


Every once in a while I pick up the camera and try to take a good picture of Basil.  Some times I luck out, some times not. Lately he has been mid-yawn or sleeping outside.


A week or so ago we headed to the coast in the car on a Friday intending to meet some friends and fly kites.  We got away late due to a Team Oregon obligation of hubby's and our friends had already headed home by the time we got there.  We went south into Florence and had a picnic lunch and then headed inland at a relaxed pace on Highway 126 to Hwy 36; a favorite motorcycle route.

We saw a single blue heron resting in the river.

We stopped at a Alderwood Wayside while scoping out future camping spots.  There was no one around.  Just nice and quiet by the river.

We followed a little foot bridge over the Long Tom River but it didn't lead anywhere, just a short path through the woods that ended in overgrown brush.  I still managed to take a few pictures.

And finally more blooms from the garden.  Under where the sequoia was a few sunflowers have grown, buried by a bird I am sure.  A few weeds have also popped up in the yard, but I thought they looked like little daisies and took a picture.  The Tahitian sunset Rose is also blooming.

- Au Revoir

" In winter I get up at night, and dress by yellow candle-light.  In summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day." - Robert Louis Stevenson