Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bloggers, Bikes, and Blooms

Bloggers, Bikes, and Blooms - oh my.......


Last weekend was a busy one for us.  I took Friday off work so that we could meet Barb from Riding and Running, in Portland.  She was in town to run the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon, before heading to Idaho to run another this coming weekend.

For some reason we were up with the birds at 5:30 am and headed out of the house by 9.  Stopped for petrol and to put the car through the automatic car wash for it's once yearly bath.

Soon we were on the road and heading North on I-5.  Traffic was pretty light until we got to the outskirts of Portland.  We were to pick up Barb at her hotel in downtown Portland around 11:30-11:45 am.  Downtown Portland won't be busy on a Friday at noon will it?

Between traffic and road construction, I gave up on our Garmin GPS and grabbed the paper Portland city map we keep in the glove box for just such occasions.  Our Garmin has always been a little bit of a plonker and doesn't always do what you need, when you need it to.

Troubadour and I make a pretty good team, he drives, I navigate.  We managed to find Barb, re-set the GPS for across the river and were off.

There was a huge line up at the Mexican place we were going to have lunch so we managed to find seats at a cute little Thai place down the street.  Our noodle soup lunch was great, as was the conversation.  It is always so nice to meet other bloggers in person that you've become friends with over the interweb.

After lunch we walked back towards the car stopping for fresh made ice cream/sorbet along the way.

We dropped Barb off at the Convention Center so she could attend the fitness expo for a few hours and pick up her race packet.  We managed to take a few pictures, get in a hug or two, and say our goodbyes.

Troubadour and I decided to make a few stops along the way home.  REI to see what they had on sale, Native Foods for dinner and at the outlet stores in Woodburn too.  We got home rather late actually, but avoided most of the rush hour traffic.

Saturday wasn't quite as busy.  We both attended coffee, Brad rode his Tiger whereas I drove the car.  After coffee he headed to the range to teach a Team Oregon IRT class and I, like a good little Hausfrau, went grocery shopping then cleaned the house and did laundry.

Sunday was another busy day.


Sunday was the annual Oregon Vintage Motorcycle show and because it is just a few blocks from our house, we can never resist going.  Of course the day dawned grey and with scattered rain storms.  We waited until the rains stopped and walked to the fairgrounds.

We walked through the new car sales show to get to the fairgrounds.  I took a picture of the sky to show the kind of day we were having.

(Looking west over the fairgrounds)

This year seemed to be a little sparse both with vendors set up for the swap meet and for bikes on display.  I think I said the same last year, but this year seemed to have even less.  The marque this year was Norton.

I did manage to take a few pictures of bikes.

(JC Penny Pinto)

(Yamaha SRX)

(Honda CBX)


(The Norton display area)

(More Nortons)
(custom 1976 Honda CB500T)

(1959 Honda C71, found in a barn in Japan in 2011, 247 cc)

There seemed to be mostly the same bikes from previous years so I didn't bother to take any more pics.  The barn find above had the largest crowd around it.  We kept circling back around trying to catch it without a line up of people waiting to take pictures.

As we were walking out of the fairgrounds we passed a collection of plantings.  The master gardeners have a display garden and it was in full bloom.

(Ninebark, aka Physocarpus)

(For some reason I can't remember what this one is)

( A rose is a rose.....)
(Another shrub rose)
We managed to make it home just as it started to rain, and boy did it rain.  Didn't last long though, just off and on all afternoon.

Sunday afternoon was also the annual spring potluck picnic for our local motorcycle forum.  Most chose to take their cars, we did too.  The winds had come up and although there was some sunshine between the rain storms, it was quite cool.

We had a good picnic and arrived home close to 6 pm.  A busy weekend done.

This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend and the kick off to summer.  A lot of campers and drunk drivers on the road so we usually stay home while everyone else leaves.  It makes for a peaceful weekend.  I see yard work in my future.  Maybe I'll actually get those landscape pictures taken.

- Au Revoir

" It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" - Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Seven Hours and Seven Covered Bridges

We spent Saturday doing yard work.  Weeding the front yard then hauling and spreading 42 bags (84 cubic feet) of bark mulch.

Sunday we decided to play. A few weeks ago I hastily scribbled down some cryptic directions to several covered bridges in the Cottage Grove area, south of Eugene and about 75 miles away. There is a cluster of covered bridges and it was a good destination for an all day ride.

Troubadour rounded up some snacks for a picnic lunch, the scribbled notes, and a Benchmark map book.  He put them all in his saddlebags and we headed out about 11 am.

We meandered south along our favorite back roads.  South of Veneta we were on the hunt for Coyote Creek Covered Bridge, aka Battle Creek Covered Bridge, just off of Battle Creek Road.  It was surprisingly easy to find even going from memory of our notes.  We've passed by a lot of times and never knew it was there, visible from Territorial Road if you look through the trees.


(Coyote Creek Covered Bridge, built in 1922 - 60 ft long)

Back on Territorial we headed further south then turned east at Loraine onto the Cottage Grove/Loraine Road.  Such a beautiful road, full of 20-25 mph twisties up over a hill through some logging areas.  You know the kind - sheer drop off on one side, no shoulder and no guard rails. Unfortunately that means no room to pull over and take pictures either.

Once in Cottage Grove we stopped at the Safeway to fuel the bikes and use the restroom facilities. We took a peek at the map and headed east.

The next Bridge was Stewart Covered Bridge which crosses Mosby Creek at Garoutte Road.


(Stewart Covered Bridge, built in 1930 - 60 ft long)
We stopped here for a bit and had our picnic lunch of bananas, some pistachios and trail mix washed down with some cold water. It was nice sitting on the rocks under the bridge and listening to birds.  The view from the bikes of Garoutte Road below.

This fun bit of road looked like it went where we needed to go for the next bridge so we followed it to where it joined Shoreview Drive/Government Road around Dorena Lake.

At the corner of Government Road and Row River Road is the Dorena Covered Bridge, aka the Row River Covered Bridge.


(Dorena Covered Bridge built in 1949 - 105 ft long)

(See what happens when I realize there is a camera behind me)

A left turn onto Row River Road and the loop brought us around the lake to Layng Rd.  We turned left on Layng Road.  It was closed up ahead for construction, but we made it to the Mosby Creek Covered Bridge..... sort of.  It is Lane County's oldest bridge having been built in 1920.


(Troubadour really wanted to get closer)

(Mosby Creek Covered Bridge built in 1920 - 90 ft long)

(I went to take a picture of the bridge in my mirror)

(Troubadour's picture of me taking the picture in my mirror)

Not much traffic on a closed road so we were able to stop and see the cows.

(How you doin'? ... or is that How you mooin'?)

We rode back to the intersection of Layng Rd and Row River Road for the Currin Covered Bridge, also aka Row River Covered Bridge.


(Currin Covered Bridge built in 1925 - 105 ft long)
Our loop around Dorena Lake complete, we returned to the Safeway in Cottage Grove  This time to  drink an iced cold yummy Starbucks since the temperature had climbed into the high 70's.  Iced soy chai latte for me and a 'soy chai no whip frappucino' for the gentleman.  Or as he likes to call it a "Fluffy Chai" since it's blended  

We stopped for about a half hour break and then went back on the bikes to search for the last two bridges in Cottage Grove.  One we passed on the way into town so we knew where it was.  The following bridge took a smidge of looking.


The last covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi is the Chambers Railroad Covered Bridge and it spans the Coast Fork of the Willamette River in Cottage Grove.

(Chambers Railroad Covered Bridge originally built 1925 - 78 ft long)

(Interesting metal sculptures lined the walls)

One last stop for the Centennial Covered Bridge.  Nothing like stopping in a bicycle lane on a corner and standing in the middle of a road to take a picture.  Good thing Brad had his hi-vis Stich on.


(Centennial Covered Pedestrian Bridge - 84 ft long)
(Built in 1987 from timbers salvaged from the Burmbaugh bridge)

From this bridge we went back home the way we came.  Over the CG/Loraine Road to Territorial to Veneta and home via Bellfountain Rd.  We arrived home at 6pm, seven hours after leaving the house and roughly 200 miles (321 km) later.  We were tired, but had a great day out on the bikes.

- Au Revoir

" We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment." - Hilaire Belloc