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!



Welcome home

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!