2010 Summer In Poulsbo
Once again we made a summer trip to the northwest to escape the Texas heat and continue the work on our new house. It's now essentially complete, but of course with lots of details to be finished in the coming years. Highlights this year included moving Linda's mom Cathy up from Florida, passing our final inspection, and constructing the new garage/workshop. I also found time to go to a bike rally in the Columbia River Gorge and visit Olympic and Rainer National Parks and Mount Saint Helens.
2010 Poulsbo Summer Trip: The Ducati Hypermotard up & the Buell Ulysses Back
I avoided most of 287 in crossing the Texas panhandle this year, but it still hit 103 degrees.
My "Clyde Tombaugh Dome" is now at the Three Rivers Foundation at Comanche Springs, near Crowell.
Thanks to my friend Fred Koch, the 3RF campus is the largest public observing facility in Texas
This place is serious about observing and learning astronomy
It's also a beautiful and pleasant place to stay
The site manager Ron, here with his son, works hard to make it so. He had a nice cool room for me.
These domes house very large scopes and binoculars
The Ducati was pastured just outside the bunkhouse
Next morning I went through Turkey on the way to Amarillo
In Canyon, I visited the Panhandle Plains museum I had heard good things about.
One of the many displays of the early days in this area
I made a quick visit to nearby Palo Duro Canyon, which I hadn't seen in many years
Then on through Amarillo and up past Clayton
I turned off onto a "scenic route" that became more scenic than I expected
Rather than 30 miles of pavement, I ended up on about 80 miles of dirt. Still, it was beautiful.
And I did eventually make it into Folsom
And on to Des Moines to the home of my friends Tim Keller & Christina Boyce
A too soon goodbye to a very good friend
I crossed beautiful Northern New Mexico
Through Eagle Nest and on to Taos
I found the Shiprock okay, but not a place to stay. I had to double back to Farmington
I had meant to get by here for years, so of course when I finally did it was closed
I think this may have been my first time to visit Glen Canyon Dam, but I'm not sure
I think I had seen Bryce twice before, but the west is starting to run together for me
Leaving Bryce the weather forecast was ominous. But how cold can it get in June?
In Utah at 9600 feet elevation, pretty damn cold
It was about here my face shield iced over solid
I changed my route to find lower ground and a place to stay in Orem
Where a close look at this tire told me it would never make it to Boise
When I saw this likely looking shop in Twin Falls, I stayed over and got a new tire
Now I'm headed up into western Idaho
A hundred miles north of Boise, I crossed the Snake River and rode into Hell's Canyon
My Microsoft map program showed I could get through going north from here.› Sure Bill Gates, you try it!
Perhaps this poor guy should have turned back sooner
I badly needed gas and a room and this place had both
Apparently my friend Roger in Sandpoint takes care of this stretch of road
My first look at "White bird Canyon" long known to me by Fred Small's song "The Heart of the Appaloosa"
It was named for the Nez Perce chief who led them in the war's first battle
The chance for peace was blown when one of the white "volunteers" began shooting
The Nez Perce responded quickly and really kicked the cavalry in the ass
Imagine this peaceful looking valley with hundreds of soldiers and warriors going at each other
And imagine running across these rocks at top speed in moccasins while dodging bullets
The little town of White Bird, which wasn't yet there then, looks so peaceful today
This map is for where I'm heading, east on Highway 12 following the beautiful Lochsa River
I love it when Native Americans get to take something from the whites
To bad they can't give this stuff back
I stayed here, thinking it might be a place I remembered from 1994. It wasn't
Doubling back to the west the next day, I found the place I was looking for
This is where Roger and Nathan and I aired up my new Gold Wing tire in 1994
We enjoyed a much-needed breakfast here
I like this perspective
The discovery of gold in the Clearwater River added pressure to push the Nez Perce onto the reservation
A few miles farther on I also rode through Stanford, Vassar, and Yale. Sadly for me it was just too late
My friend Roger wasn't home. I guessed he was likely in Ireland again.
Rain began just when I crossed the state line into Washington near Newport
I timed my arrival in Spokane to have another great breakfast at Frank's› (Don't miss it)
Hwy 2 will take me across Washington almost to Edmunds, just north of Seattle
Where I'll be able to catch the ferry
Bikes get a discount and go to the front. Finally there's some justice!
Our new place is off Widme Road on the Kitsap Peninsula in the middle of Puget Sound.
Poulsbo is a cool little town, very easy to like
It's right on the shore of Liberty Bay
After a few days work on the place, I took a day off for a ride to Olympic National Park
This is where I got on the ferry to go to Alaska in 1994
Time for lunch in Port Angeles
Then I headed south into Olympic National Park
I had heard of "Hurricane Ridge" because of a star party they hold there
The Olympic Mountains are well named
So, it's time to check 'em out
The Ducati is good on roads like this, but not on the hiking path it soon became
So I turned it around and headed home
I then converted it into a shopping cart and went into town on a grocery run
"Digger Dave" Hashman begins clearing for the new garage/workshop
While his helper and I move the firewood pile
Sadly most of the trees we had to take out were Red Alder, a wood used extensively in my Telescopes.
Quixote always oversees the activities
My Buell Ulysses has been here since I rode it up in 2008
The photos with and without the gear were for an ad to sell it on Craig's list
It also got exposure at Paul Marshall's shop just down the road. It didn't sell so I decided to ride it home
Our musician friends Bruce and Lisa were on tour in the northwest and stopped for a spell
Chief Seattle is buried at the town of Suquamish, about five miles east of our place
Those eighty years brought this man much wisdom
Our kitchen is almost fully functional at this point
A little side project was refinishing this old file cabinet so it could hold special Silas family memorabilia
In Texas or Washington, I just gotta have a hammock
It's essential for taking breaks from the prep work for the new building site
I crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge heading for a motorcycle rally in the Columbia River Gorge
Unlike two years ago, the road through Mt. Ranier National Park was open
It gave me a much closer look at the mountain
Heading south on NF-25 past the east side of Mt. St. Helens
Wow! Looks like a piece of it is missing! Wonder where it went.
Climbing "Windy Ridge" for a better view was a good break from the bike saddle
I found it was aptly named
"Rally in the Gorge" attendees camped free at the fairgrounds in Stevenson on the Columbia River
Going east along the Columbia River, about 50 miles east of Portland
The Hood River Bridge is about halfway between Stevenson and The Dalles
It's a very popular area for parasailing
The road high on the bluff along the south side of the Columbia was a great ride
There were lots of other great roads out from The Dalles
Returning, I took another look at the "Para Sailors"
And the sailboarders
Camped near me was a new friend I soon came to call "Mellow Mike"
Mike does a lot of rallies and logs serious miles on his scoot
He lives in Ohio, but knows this area very well. He led me on a great day tour along the Columbia
Turbines inside the Bonneville Dam
We got a detailed description and tour of the Dam and locks
This is a smaller version of the turbine blades
This Osprey thinks the Dam tower is the perfect place for her nest
This dam makes some serious power
›The lock allows boats and fish to bypass the dam
The fish are very important in this area, and we are working hard to not harm them
Count the fingerlings and let me know
An official fish counter keeps track of the thousands that pass this way
Below this falls is a lodge that Mike knew is a great place for lunch
He scoots through the woods with great style
This overlook reminded me of some in the Rhine River Valley
It was complete with working barges
This is an overview of the rally camp from the south bank of the Columbia
Too soon it was time to pack up the tent and head home
Of course I chose a different route for the return trip, which ran me into a small problem
My GPS was convinced I could go straight ahead here. I was not.
One of the alternatives I explored before finding one that worked.
The Mt. St. Helens visitor center on the west side of the mountain
This is the more accessible side that most people see
They have learned to keep a close eye (and ear) on what's happening here
I always like to stop outside the little town of Ranier and visit my friends Joycelyn and Carl Zambuto
These two pioneers make the finest telescope mirrors and the finest cookies in the USA
We headed into Olympia for our traditional dinner at a great place there
Back at the ranch, the building pad was waiting for the timbers
They will be dropped into these holes
Is that a building on that truck out front?
I do believe it's the one I ordered
Linda's brother David took this photo to capture the interesting arrangement of the colors
They dropped two bags of cement into each hole then set a post on them
Then they filled the holes with dirt and soaked it with a hose for a few hours
Voila! The basic structure for the building. This wouldn't work well in Texas soil, but here it's great.
It's been a proven way to construct garages and workshops here for decades
I was pleased and impressed with every aspect of the building construction
This locates my access conduit for future developments
I installed a drainpipe along the back to carry the roof runoff. (I heard it rains here in the winter)
The building is finished and ready for the concrete floor and apron. The reversed order works well here.
The "Pod" with Cathy's Florida belongings was delivered on schedule
It stayed long enough to let us unload it at leisure
The Duc and the Ulysses just hangin' out together
Our friend Joseph Leavell visited while touring festivals in the northwest
Joseph tries to not miss a festival anywhere. We went to this one on nearby Vashon Island
These guitars are designed on Vashon and made in Korea
The festival was located at the Vashon Winery
We kept this guy busy
Joseph's singer songwriter friend Kate Graves did a great set
The festival was dedicated to 83-year-old Bob Goodwin, who had made it possible for many years
Joseph graced us with a song on his ukulele and I did one with a very nice borrowed guitar
The featured performers were our friends Kat Eggleston and Kate McLeod
Kat was raised on Vashon Island, and recently returned to live there again
A perfect way to end a perfect day
We somehow squeezed in the completion of our office area in the loft
and made some more progress on the bedroom
Linda's cousin Rick and his son Sean (left) stopped by to visit while passing through the Seattle area
We got the refinished file cabinet moved into its room in the original part of the house
Looks like the concrete has arrived
These folks have a chain of caf»s on the side
Here they don't put a building on a concrete slab. They put up the building then pour the floor inside it.
Ursula stands guard over it all
Backed up by the attack cat Quixote
It's a pleasant two-minute walk to the mailbox on Widme Road
The finishing touches go on the new floor
The building went up well and on a quick schedule. I'm very pleased with it.
It will hold two cars plus the perfect number of bikes (just one more)
Getting the Buell Ulysses ready for the ride back to Texas
Goodbye to two very special women
The first part of my trip home retraces my route a few weeks ago to the Columbia River Gorge
I just had to stop for breakfast here again. It's a great little place.
I wanted to ride beautiful NF-25 again, but I didn't need to take the turnoff to Mt. St. Helens this time.
I still got plenty of glimpses of St. Helens from a distance
They were still parasailing on the Columbia near the Hood River Bridge.
Mt. Hood, about 60 miles east of Portland
I found a nice (but cold) campground just south of Madras, Oregon
That's the great Mt. Shasta in the distance
Riding around it, you can see the little secondary peak
I wonder why they named this place "Weed."› Duh!
I took a similar photo of Mt. Shasta in the Gold Wing mirror in 1989
Two years ago on the BMW the entrance to Lassen Volcanic Park closed for snow just as I arrived
This time the weather was perfect and the day after Labor Day campsites were plentiful
This little guy was my camp buddy
All the bikes had to wait for construction the next morning
This is Lassen Peak today
On May 19, 1915, it wasn't quite so peaceful
Steam vents remind us there is still some activity down there
The Sierraville California post office suddenly came into my life unexpectedly
This lady turned left toward it, then changed her mind and turned right into me and the Buell
I said "Why the hell did you do that?" She said "I don't know why. I just did. I can't believe I did."
This road construction crew was witness to it, so I was covered
Eventually we celebrated that I only got a barked shin and a pulled hamstring. The Buell wasn't so lucky.
Squaw Valley will always remember their special year
›› I splurged on this place in Tahoe City because they had a hot tub. The tub quit but an ice pack
and a hot bath helped the hamstring enough to let me get back on the road next morning.
"Green Eggs and Ham" for breakfast at Rosie's helped as well. Rosie's is my favorite eatery in Tahoe City.
They are just across the highway from a great view of the lake
But of course the best view is from the shore of Emerald bay, almost an hour south
From here it was time to head south to Yosemite National Park
Mono Lake always intrigues. It's a very unique body of water.
Head southwest from Mono Lake and you'll soon be find Yosemite Valley
Yep, this is the place.
No campsites were available, but that's no problem for a solo rider with a small tent
After the two previous frosty nights, the temperature down in the valley was perfect for sleeping out.
The only reasonable route out of Yosemite Valley was the same as the route in
Back in Lee Vining, by Mono Lake, I found a great place for lunch
At this point my GPS just said, "Left turn, 123 miles"
Somewhere down in there is Mt. Whitney
Those names sound like places in Death Valley
Lo and behold!
Note that there is a "-" sign in front of the 190 feet
I can never resist a late afternoon photo when I'm heading east
After doing photo trade shows there for 15 years, I came to hate and avoid Las Vegas
But, what I needed was a cheap room and a cheap dinner, and Vegas has lots of both
I found mine at Hooters, new to me because I hadn't stayed in Vegas since my last trade show in 1992.
It was time for another of many visits to Hoover Dam
It was my first look at the new bypass bridge which will soon open
I came across these riders from Germany at just the right time
I needed someone to take the other two seats in the chopper
It was a brief but spectacular way to see the dam
The pilot gave me a coupon for a free beer over here. They also had a decent cheap buffet
Heading on toward Winslow, Arizona, a double 18-wheeler crash blocked I-40 for several hours
But I eventually made it to the home of my cousin, Jerry Wyrick
Jerry Jr., Jerry Sr., and Marianne Richardson (Sorry pooch, I forgot your name)
Jerry thinks he's still a kid. Well, he is three years and three days younger than me, so . . .
Like father, like son
Hey guys, I wanna ride too!
They pulled Jerry's electric powered bicycle out of his workshop for me
It was just a hoot to ride, slower and quieter than the Buell.
I used Jerry's duct tape to mount my broken lever where I could see it and remember I had no front brake.
Once again I'll follow Hwy 60 toward Socorro
I'll stop once again on the Plains of San Agustin to gawk at the VLA radio telescope
The antennas are always being relocated, but this was the closest in configuration I had seen
Once again, heading east in the late afternoon
I came across the Bitter Lake Wildlife refuge and took time for a look
Viewing blinds let you see huge numbers of Sand hill Cranes, if the time is right. Close, but no cigar.
It's only a few days from here to anyplace in Texas you want to be
This huge wind farm outside Big Spring was new to me.
My friend Allen Morris had just moved from Wylie to Big Spring to teach school.
I had great visit with him and his new principal. then spent the night and rode on home.
That's all folks!