Saturday, June 9, 2018

Still Here, Working.... and Even Riding


Hello all.  Just a quick post to say that I am still around reading blogs when I have time.  I used to be able to read them every day on my lunch break but without internet access during the day, I seem to only have time on Sunday mornings.  So I do apologize for missing a lot of your posts and not keeping up like I used to.

My job is going well.  I have been there 7 weeks already.  Where did the time go?  It has been a bit of a learning process, but I managed to find just the job I wanted without knowing it when I applied.  No longer am I on the front lines answering phones and dealing with clients walking in the door as well as handling everything else.  I am in the back behind locked doors, in my cubicle doing calendaring, finalizing of court documents before filing, etc.  Pretty much a keyboard jockey and I am good with that.  Fortunately, there is a good group of people there that have made the transition easier.

I am even getting used to using the Windows computer at the office after having only used Macs for 17 years. Using Outlook for mail and calendaring was all new to me.


We are under contract with our house with a closing date on or before September 1st.  A friend's mom made us a formal offer and we accepted.  Technically I think we're in escrow.  No need to find a realtor or formally list the house.  Since we are in escrow this frees us up for actively looking for a place to buy in Salem.  We have been looking at listings online and went and looked at one with our realtor.  Unfortunately it just wasn't quite right and the property taxes were really high for some reason.  The realtor we are working with in Salem is confident she will find the right house for us.  Hard when most out there are over 1500 square feet and we are now living in 912 square feet and don't really want to go too much larger. Realistically we know we'll end up at about 1300 or 1400 though.  Anyone want to come visit? I think we'll have a spare room.


Yes, I have been out on the bikes.  Not as much as I'd like with prepping the house for sale, but anytime on two wheels is a good time.

Most recently on Memorial Day, Monday May 28th, four of us went out plonking through the woods on our dual sports looking for gravel.  We found it.  On a nice warm sunny dry day.  The pollen count was high and the dust swirled higher behind the bikes. 

After tail gunning for 5 hours my gear was so dirty I stripped it off in the garage in front of the washer and dryer.  Didn't even want it in the house. It has since been through the washing machine, hung to dry, and is race ready again.  Not bad for 7-8 year old gear.

We met for coffee at 9 and headed out at 10.  We got home just after 3.  Here are a few pics.

(Troubadour-DRZ 400, My TW 200, Jeff-DRZ 400, and Andy/PolarBear-Tiger 955)

(First stop on the corner of Maxfield Creek Rd and Kings Valley Highway)

(Troubadour's DRZ-400 at a stop along Gage Rd. FYI - Gage Rd = gravel road fun)

(Stopped at Fort Hoskins for a snack and restroom break - bikes/gear are looking dirtier)
From Fort Hoskins we did another stint of 10 miles or so of gravel.  Between that and Gage road I was really getting used to standing on my pegs for better control and speed in the gravel. Something I hadn't been comfortable doing before, but was enjoying. Although it does use a different set of muscles and I was a wee sore the next day.

We took some back roads to Clem Rd. Not only is Clem Road gravel, but it is the road where the TW dropped its chain last time out.  We faced that daemon and had no issues.

Clem road ends at Highway 20 and we turned west for a quick 2 miles to Burnt Woods and the general store where Jeff and I could fuel up since we had little tanks.

PolarBear got a call from work and had to take off home then head out to a call.  Damn work getting in the way. So the three of us continued on to Woods Creek. A favorite loop we've been on many times before but we were riding it in a counter clockwise direction this time.  Those steeper descents I wasn't a big fan of were now steeper ascents.  Joy.  And this time instead of a lot of puddles we just had a lot of craters or pot holes where the puddles used to be.  Pick your line and go.

We stopped at our usual place for a drink of water and to soak up some sunshine. This is where I took my favorite picture of the day.

(Troubadour soaking up the sunshine)

(Looking out towards the hills)

(More scenery)

(The wild flowers were blooming)
From this stop it was an easy gravel descent back to the highway.  One side of the hill is long and a lower grade and one side is short and steeper.  Troubadour and I talked and we think we prefer it the usual way.  Long climb, steeper descent. I think there was just better flow that way.

Once back on the highway we went east into Philomath towards Corvallis.  Just outside of Corvallis we had to detour in stop-and-go traffic because of an accident up ahead, but we made it home.

We arrived home about 3 pm.  Tired, dusty, and ready for a cold beverage.

With weekends taken up with packing and looking at houses, I am not sure when I will get back out on two wheels.  This summer is kind of a wash, but by the fall, which is usually perfect weather (and no allergies) our weekends should be our own again.

- Au Revoir

"Time is the only one of life's resources, that when it's all spent, you wish you had spent more of it foolishly." - Robert Brault


  1. Congratulations on the tentative sale! And it sounds like you found a great fit for work (no matter what, it’s still work!). We are tentatively thinking that we’ll be in town by next Friday.

    1. Thanks Richard. Would be cool to see you guys when you're in town. We should do dinner one night if we can or lunch on the weekend if it works out.

  2. Well done on getting a job that looks just right for you - not always easy to do. As per Richard, congrats and best of luck on the house sale and hunting for the right place. Would love to visit Oregon and say hi one day. So many places yet to see!

    1. Thanks Geoff. Don't worry, we'd love to visit New Zealand too. Everyone's pictures make it look so inviting and so similar to here. So many places, so little time.

  3. Troubadour's pic came out pretty good, almost heroic looking even. :)

    Good that you're getting some riding in, all work and no play....

    Hope you both find the house you want....

    1. Thanks Dom, I'll tell Brad you said that. He just sat in the right place at the right time and I couldn't resist.

      We'll cross our fingers we can find a place we like. Some places have great houses and good size but the back yards are no better than this for 2 stories staring down at them. We told the realtor privacy was our #1 priority.

    2. Privacy will also be foremost in our priorities should we ever move out of the cesspool that the Metro Denver area has become. We're thinking of exploring the Western Slope area soon.

  4. Nice work on selling the house and mastering Windows. Great that you could get in a gravel fix - I'm hanging out for one too...

    1. Thanks Andrew. I don't know about "mastering" windows, but at least I can operate the machine and the programs we use without help, for the most part....

      If I only had time for one ride in the last few weeks you know it had to be a gravel one. :-)

  5. Congrats on selling the house that quickly, Brandy. We have given up on house hunting, the area is full of farm houses which need plenty restoration and come with 8-10 rooms and too much space. So we stay put in our apartment and like by a camper van at one point instead...

    Hope you'll find your dream home quickly. Glad to hear that the new job seems to be working out for you, always good to have co-workers around who help with settling in.

    I have been out and about on the Harley but only the odd hour here and there, nothing to write home about. Too busy with being out and about on two feet instead ;-)

    Cheers, Sonja

    1. Thanks Sonja. It helps that we've updated our house over the last 12 years. It isn't often one comes up in Corvallis for under $300k that has been updated so we didn't think ours would take long even if we did have to list it. Just glad we didn't have to go through that process.

      I can understand how hard it is to find a small house, so I feel your pain. At least you have a good apartment. It is more expensive per month to rent here than it is to buy. I like your idea of staying put and getting a camper van. If we had the option to stay put we'd be thinking of one for getaways. Oh wait, we never get away.....cheaper for us just to stay at a hotel in the event we actually leave town, lol.

      Glad you have been out on two wheels a little and you are enjoying your hiking. Which makes me think, I need more exercise.

  6. Good to hear the new job is working out nicely, and that the house is sold. We recently moved into a larger home (my childhood home actually). What we discovered after years of living in a smaller home (with a few backyard sheds) we had gotten really good at storing stuff. All our stuff just exploded and filled the new place with little room to spare. WTH! We will be going through stuff and ditching what we don't need. We don't need this much stuff! Good luck on the house hunt. I like Salem. Lots of nice little neighborhoods.

    1. Thanks Kari. Technically the home is sold, well we're under contract at least. it is cool that you moved into your childhood home. How is it we manage to accumulate so much stuff?

  7. Congratulations on finding a new job so quickly.

  8. A most excellent and welcome update. Glad all is going well. Great photo of Troubadour!

    We recently moved t I’m a 2k sq ft house to a 950 sq ft one. Though we’re doing a little remodeling to make it more livable, I do enjoy the downsizing aspect.

    I have fond memories of Salem and it’s interesting that many of my Dallas friends have relocated there for work.

    Ride safe!

    1. You also moved thousands of miles away. Much easier to only move 40 miles. A lot of jobs in Salem so it is a hub right now and real estate is booming, although not to the extremes it is in other cities such as Portland, Eugene, and Corvallis.

  9. Way to go with the house sale! Avoiding realtors is a quick way to save thousands $. We used a fixed rate realtor for selling our Cities home and that was about $6k-9k cheaper than the usual route. We downsized from 2700 square feet to 1100 and could still go smaller. Red Wing has been a nice change from the Cities pace, but we're still looking west as a possibility. Salem, Corvallis, Ashland, Eugene, and a few others are all on our list to explore: maybe this winter. I'm really familiar with Portland and the coast, but not much else. Where ever we settle, there has to be a fair amount of local music happening. I can find places to ride anywhere.

    1. We didn't set out to avoid a realtor, but at the same time we don't mind saving ourselves the fees. Just glad we don't have to stage the house or put a sign in the yard at this point.

      We really don't want a larger home and are quite happy with our little one. If we could find one this small with a 2-car garage we'd be happy. Sadly newer house sizes seem to have expanded.

      Oregon is a beautiful state and has great livability but it is expensive. You have to pay to play, so to speak. Come for a visit and tour around and see what you like. Mountains, beaches, desert, cities, countryside, wet, dry, we have it all.

  10. Congrats on everything falling into place Brandy! I am sure you will find the right house soon...and then you can devote that house hunting time back to riding. 😀 Beautiful pictures of your day on two wheels!