Our Motorbike Travel Log.

Our Motorbike Travel Log.
BELOW SEA LEVEL - Death Valley, Ca 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ft Myers Beach loop

Not much riding as a pair since we landed in Fla. Yesterday I had to shame her into going and only promises of lunch and ice cream would get her away from the pool. OK maybe that's a little exaggeration, but we were due for a ride.

The day started out in Estero Fl and we headed south on the Tamiami Trail (SR 41). Stopped for some gas in Bonita Springs than headed west to the beach. Takes only about 15 minutes to get to the Gulf and we started north toward Ft. Myers Beach where we planned to have some lunch. The ride up was nice, past lovers key and through the area they were having the sand castle world championships. Small bridges and inlets left and right of the road. the houses here run the gamut from small tin shacks to beachfront mega houses. Money everywhere but the people seem too normal.

Finally after an hour or so we arrived in Ft Myers Beach. Pulled into a pay parking lot and took a walk toward the pier. We are in the slower time of the year here and I don't know what you would do if you lived here when it was busy. Total madhouse and gridlock.

We found our ice teas, seafood wrap, salmon salad, and sat on the boardwalk enjoying the sun. I'm not sure I'd come here for the day but I guess this is where most people are. Lots of food and t-shirt shops and the beach was nice. 

We head east up and over the bridge back to the mainland. Turn left and head towards Sanibel Island where we plan to watch the kite boarders do their thing. The wind was about 20kts out of the east and there were a few guys out. The bridge is $2 per bike or $6 for a car. We really had a nice time here. The place was at the south end of the island near the light house and you could see Ft Myers beach to points south. 

I guess the idea is to go to Key west sometime in the next year or so and take a Kite boarding lesson from a place called wwwthekitehouse.com. The cool thing is you can get the kite and board into a back pack, strap it to a bike and go anywhere. I would never be able to do that with all my windsurfing crap. So plans to transition to kite surfing is in the works.

Spent the rest of the day just napping on the beach. It's been great so far.

You might not think this rates as an adventure but for those of you that have driven in "Flatestan" you know every time you pull out of the drive on a bike it's an adventure.

We are making the best of things here hoping to find our fun on florida back roads.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Last ride in the Wonderful Pacific NW. A.K.A. "upper left hand corner"

About 150 miles each way from Tacoma via I-5 and the Spirit Lake Highway to the Johnston Ridge and Johnston Ridge Observatory and visitors center. The ride on I-5 was a drap but once we exited near Toledo it was great.

Park fees are $8 per person unless you have a National park Pass of some sort.

There are 2 visitors centers for the Mountain. This one from I-5 and another just east of here called windy ridge. I don't think the windy ridge site has much more than a ranger and potties but I understand it's a favorite for bikers. The two locations do not have a joining road.

Some really great pulloff's along the way. This one was about 2 miles below the Observatory. 

North Fork of the Toutle River. This site was destroyed by the blast and is now a great spot for some fall salmon fishing. My friends from Church and I hit this spot 2 or 3 times a year and haul some nice Kings out of here.

What a great year for us and the trips have been amaizing. We will miss the "Upper Left Hand Corner" and now head to the "Lower Right Hand Corner" for some sunnier rides and all new adventures. We will be off line for a while but will post more trips of Florida and points north as soon as we get out.

Next Ride is the Coast to Coast on Nov 11th. Tampa to Daytona.

Plans for a KeyWest to Maine ride in the spring. More on that as we plan. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Til next time Lopez Island, we will miss you!

I posted this on facebook a couple days ago and said it was one of our fav spots on the planet and it is. Our very first trip to Lopez was about 15 years ago in a catalina 22 sailboat and we just fell in love with Lopez Island, it's village, and "Fish Bay". We rarely go to the islands without a stop here on the way home. We hope you have time to slow down and try one of the best kept secrets in the islands.

 This is the narrow channel that leads you into Fishermans Bay and to the left is the Bay Cafe. One of the best restaurant sunsets you will find in the Islands and the food is fantastic.

Beautiful Church just south of the Airport on the west side of the island.
South end near the Fuel docks. Looks like this was where the Island received it's fuel shipments at one time. Not sure if it's active anymore.

Olympic Mtns in the distance.
Deception Pass bridge at the north tip of Whidbey Island. Just about 10 or 15 minutes off the return trip from the ferry's. Worth the side trip without the commitment of driving the length of Whidbey Island. This is the most feared section of water in the entire Puget sound to pleasure boaters. The tide change makes it impossible for sailboats and slower power boats to pass due to the flow rate.

This bridge is a favorite spot for jumpers that are serious about ending it all :-(

Wendy may have found here new calling for Florida. This guy pulled in at the market and 5 minutes later he was dealing dogs. Sounds like a nice way to work AND be at the beach all day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Glamping"?? in the SanJuans Islands. The foots all better and we're back at it and having a ball!

  The foot is better so we went and picked up a pair of new boots and hit the road. Who knows when the sun will go away again for another year so we figure we could put off packing for another week and go get a trip in.

Anyone heard of "Gamping"? I've seen an yurt and canvas tents around from time to time but never thought of giving it a go. WOW what a hoot! I felt like Teddy Rosevelt in Africa except no guns and no one to carry my crap. http://lakedale.com/accommodations/canvas.php

The place we chose was Lakedale on SanJuan Island. It's half way between Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor. A little spendy at $150 per night but I have to say it was worth it. They even bring you 2 hot water bottles at bed time to put at the foot of the bed to keep warm.

 Sleeps 4. lake front with a fire pit and free hot breakfast. What!
 Tent set up 3 seconds. Oh...the zipper did get jamed once...lol

 Friday Harbor ferry docks. We eat at a BBQ place to the right of the pic. Love this place.

 Never Ever Ever go to the San Juan Islands without stopping in at Holly B's on Lopez Island (closed Tuesdays). We've been eating danishes from here for almost 20 years and keep comming back for more. Located on the west side of the island in the village just at the north end of Fishermans bay.
Also for dinner try the Bay Cafe (lunch or dinner) and Breakfast at the "Love Dog" (closed Wednesdays) is great too.
Although I didn't post pix we did ride around Lopez for a day and got some great shots of various bays and camp grounds. We also stopped in at Deception Pass Bridge on the way home.

The weather was amaizing, we put about 350 miles on the bikes and had a wonderful time.
To the Munoz family.
Congrats on the New Church, it is beautiful and it was great to see you even though it was only for a few minutes.

Nice to have my riding partner back!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

getting well soon...

Thanks for the "anonymous" flowers, phone calls and text messages! I am still in bed and will be home for a few more weeks. I do have a stock of movies, a few motorbike mags and plenty of snacks. Maybe this would be a good time to watch Ewan and Charlie go round again?? I also have Charlie's "by any means" on the PC. Please please please no whining.

Warmest regards,


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Her motorbike Life is on hold for 8 weeks :-(

Back from the DR today and we got some good news and some bed news.

Good news: No cast and it's likely she will not need to go under the knife.

Bad news: It's Broken. 8 weeks off the foot. They took another set of w-rays and they show a break on the long bone of the big toe, just behind the big nuckle or "Ball of the foot". The fracture starts at the round "ball joint" at the end and runs back along the center and about half the length of the bone toward the ankle.

Back for another x-ray in a month and "if" there is no movement she will be on her own. For now she has a removable boot and some nice meds.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Did someone call for a "Toe Truck"?

There has been some talk around our house about a ride this summer called the (WABDR) Washington Backcountry Discovery Route http://www.wabdr.com/ . The ride is 600 miles of dirt from Stevenson, Wa to the Canadian boarder north of Omak. We have even been to 2 classes on the ride but we're not sure if we had the skills to do it.

I guess the only way to get ready for a ride this is to practice. The plan was to go to  Belfair, wa and ride a 4x4 loop for jeeps. http://www.nwjeepn.com/Maps/Tahuya.pdf . This ride was wide and rough, full of water, rocks and hills. We discovered right away it was going to be a great place to improve our skills.

The ride takes you to a remote location near the south tip of the hood canal, way back in the woods. We talk while we ride with helmet intercoms and decided to make our way out of this track and onto some flat terrain. On our way down a hill I heard her hit the ground pretty hard. I was in front and didn't see it happen. I stopped and ran up to her and found her pinned under the bike with the bike resting on her right leg and foot. After getting her gear off we started to slide her out from under the bike and get a look at the damage. She said it felt like her big toe had been torn off?!? and her ankle/leg felt messed up too. She was in a lot of pain.

My riding coat has armor in it to keep me safe in the event of a crash and this armor is somewhat rigged but bends to your body when it's warm. We decided to ride out but we were about a mile back in the woods in some really steep terrain. I took my jacket and made a splint around her foot and held it in place with a bungy cord so it wouldn't flop around while we rode.

Once the foot was secure we got her up and onto the bike. I rode her on the back of my bike to the main road then about 4 miles towards the closest town. NO cell coverage where we were. We came across a county worker along the roadside and asked him for directions to the nearest ER. 15 miles away! That wasn't an option for us on the bike so we decided to unload her on the roadside and the county worker called for an ambulance on his radio.

10 minutes they arrived and loaded her in the big red box. They were not medics so they had to stop in town to get another guy to give her an IV and pain meds. They were unable to get her boot off and she was really in a lot of pain. I could see the fear in their eyes, lol. There was no way she was gonna let them touch her leg.

I met a nice Police man there and he really wanted to give me a ticket for something until I told him she crashed off road. He changed his toon pretty fast and offered me a ride back to the woods to recover her bike. He and I went to the bike while Wendy and her new fireman friends went to Bremerton for some Hospital action.

Her bike safe in the QFC parkinglot in Belfair I made my way to Harrison Medical center to see how things were going with the foot. She was in a room and the boot was still on. She had the whole place scared to touch her. I think they were in some back room doing "rock - paper - scissors" to see who was gonna do it. Finally they cut it off and WOW that didn't look good.

Her big toe was dislocated to the outside and top. Nasty! After the x-ray it also looked like a couple small breaks including her #2 toe.

7 hours later! They decided to shoot her foot full of drugs and "attempt" to put the toe back in place. 2 doctors on the foot and I was holding down the rest of her. What a trooper! That was a nasty event to be awake for but after 5 minutes they had it back in place. I almost blew chow myself and it wasn't even my foot. Sorry baby.

1st thing she asked me at the Hospital..."is my bike ok"? How can you not be in love with a girl like that?

We are home now and the bikes are in the garage. I will take her to a Orthopedic Dr. today and they will take a look at things and decide if more work needs to be done.

  • Dislocated BIG Toe
  • #2 toe broken
  • chunk of bone floating
  • Broken windshield
  • broken brake lever
  • Broken brush guard
  • 1 pair boots toast
  • 1 pair of socks finished

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Final numbers and thoughts

The trip is sadly over and we are home safe. We had such a blast meeting all the wonderful people and seeing the "Other side" of California. Every turn was a post card.

We are sad to report we missed a couple stops. Pinks Hotdogs, South Rim Grand canyon, Tami and her family, and a group ride in Sac with Sean and his BMW buddies.

Total miles traveled was 4315. Bike miles = 2972.

Poll totals:
  1. Ed dropped his bike zero times, but did drop her bike once.
  2. Wendy dropped her bike twice.
  3. No movie stars, but a couple on the fringe.
  4. 104deg on I-405 near LAX was enough to get some tears out of anyone.
  5. No one ran out of gas.
  6. A little rub rash in a few areas but no major physical issues. "Alive" is pure magic!
  7. Zero flat tires
  8. Add on - Wendy's panniers tried to escape twice.
No one ever travels alone.

Thanks for the trailer! The weather through Oregon was nasty and would have been a ruff ride on the bikes.

Kathy and Jeff,
Thanks for the nice coffee stop in portland. We had a nice time and appreciate you both taking time out of your day.

Ken and Deb,
Thank you both so much for a great place to gather our thoughts before the official first day. Your hospilitality was greatly appreciated and we love you both very much. Also for issuing the "Amber Alert" when we went missing for a few days.

The Browns,
Had a wonderful visit. Thanks for letting us store the truck and trailer, the great dinner, and making us feel at home.

Faye and Vergil,
The safest place on earth! Thanks for allowing Wendy to take part in the open house at the Ladies shelter, Italian food, and the laundry machine.

Sandy and David,
Great time! So nice the way you always take care of Wendy's food needs. Hope you two are having an awesome fishing trip and we hope to catch you out and at some lake next time. Thank you both.

Great to see you up and around! The apple turn overs were the best ever and we enjoyed the coconut balls until the last day. Thank you for the visit, we Love you.

Aaron and the Boys,
Thanks for the fun night. Running, riding, and creating fun with those two was wonderful. I hope they are enjoying their fame on the net with the pix we posted. Great to see you and we hope Jeannie is feeling better.

So sorry we didn't make it. Thank you for being flexable and working with us to try and get there but we just didn't have what it took to make it happen.

Same to you bro! On a trip this long and with riders so new, there are things you just can't get done. We planned an ambitious trip and thought we did pretty well. bummer you were tail end charlie and got the shaft. Thanks a ton for getting your friedns involved too. I'd love to join in on a future ride so keep me posted.
         P.S. Hope your BMW trip went well and the TV thing was a safe weekend too.

The folks that we met along the way,
  • Rick - Meeting you confirms we can do anything and go anywhere, "ALONE".
  • Couple from the UK - Yes! we will "ring ahead" when we get that way.
  • F650GS lady at the market- Keep dream'n about that F800!
  • La Quinta Dudes - Thanks for watching the Mrs while I searched for her Pannier.
  • UK Grocery guy for the heads up on road closiers.
  • Hunter ligget gate guy - your directions were perfect!
  • Golden Gate Toll Lady - Thanks for the Laugh!
  • I-Fly Gang for an awesome time.
  • BCFlightline gang. What a hoot on that zipline!
  • Kevin - like school but fun, thanks. Please paint that bike!
  • Gas station guy for the housing offer when we were looking for the pannier.
  • Furnace Creek RV guy for the offer when we couldn't get a room.
  • Honda VFR Anthony - Thanks for the conversation at the deli. Here's to your future adventures.
  • The Hoyts for keeping me calm while Wendy was off on her own at night.
  • Countless hi's from fellow riders around the state.
  • All the folks that offered to take our picture.
  • Speciel thanks to all the road workers that made us laugh!
Thank you all too for following along.

The Blog was fun and forced me to take too many pix and too many movies. I will gather the clips and add them here as I finish them. The film will be mostly gopro helmet cam footage. The slide show will be full in a couple days for a look at most of the still photo's we took.
We will keep this blog on and add as we travel this summer.

That's all for now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 20-21-22 Santa rosa, redwoods, and Bodega Bay

3 days touring around the areas around Santa Rosa, penteluma, Napa, Sanoma, with a ride from Napa to the coast down the PCH through Bodega bay and the Redwoods at Armstrong State park.

Martin Scorsese's Estate. "God Father" director.

Collection of "Magic lanterns"

 Armstrong State park and Redwoods

 California 1 north of Bodega bay.

 Another monster estate in wine country. We rode into the limo drive...ooops.

Thank you for following alone!