A Prophet” — a really great film

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Sep 252010

A Prophet -- A Great Movie!

Car­ol, Steve, and I watched “A Prophet” tonight. I’ve been fas­ci­nat­ed since view­ing the pre­view at some film last year, so put it in the ‘flix queue, and then it arrived. Car­ol and I both thought it a superb film. Click on the mon­tage to see what IMDB has to say, it’s not for every­body.

 Posted by at 9:30 pm

Laura Love and Orville Johnson at Soho

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Sep 232010

Friend Bar­bara Mey­er called and asked if I’d like to go to the Lau­ra Love con­cert tonight at Soho. I had not seen Lau­ra Love in sev­er­al years but used to like her a lot so “yes”.

Bar­bara, Con­nie, and I had a very nice evening at din­ner, chat­ting, and lis­ten­ing to Lau­ra and Orville John­son. I had nev­er heard of or seen Orville but I like his gui­tar play­ing very much so he’s on my list of not to be missed now.

Laura Love and Orville Johnson

 Posted by at 6:30 pm
Sep 222010
Draining into pan #2, who woulda thunk it??

Drain­ing into pan #2, who woul­da thunk it??

On my Ore­gon bike jour­ney I checked the oil lev­el on the bike for the first time in Bend. Alas, the cir­cu­lar 3/4″ win­dow in the crankcase to mon­i­tor the “H“igh and “L“ow lev­els was com­plete­ly emp­ty. So I found and rode to a cycle shop and added a quart of oil. Right up to the “H“igh mark, great. I lat­er added 12 more ounces in Ash­land.

Upon arriv­ing home I put the bike on its cen­ter stand for the first time since leav­ing. YIKES! The mon­i­tor­ing win­dow was com­plete­ly full, way above the “H“igh mark. How far above? I could not tell. I emailed this obser­va­tion to friend Jeff and he respond­ed thus: “When you are check­ing the oil lev­el, are you sure the bike is lev­el? I don’t think you can check it on the side-stand. It needs to be checked on the cen­ter stand. Anoth­er thing: I’ve heard, for small engines, too much oil is way more dan­ger­ous than not enough oil. You might want to con­sid­er drain­ing it to the right lev­el.”

Yes­ter­day I decid­ed to fol­low Jef­f’s advice and remove the extra oil. It turns out that the nice skid plate I added under the engine goes not allow for a grace­ful reduc­tion of oil quan­ti­ty. So I elect­ed to try and siphon out the extra oil and went off to an auto parts store and pur­chased three feet of 1/4″ fuel hose. Return­ing home I got a nice quart pan (the yel­low one above) and went at it. Start­ing a siphon with 10–40 oil is some­what dif­fer­ent than with gaso­line or water 🙂

It took me about five tries to get it flow­ing to the yel­low pan along with the usu­al treat of some flu­id in my mouth. 10–40 oil also flows MUCH slow­er than gas or water, at first I did not think it was flow­ing at all. But 25 or 30 min­utes lat­er the yel­low pan was full, yet there was no change in the mon­i­tor­ing win­dow so I employed pan #2. After anoth­er 15 min­utes the lev­el in the win­dow was between the “H“igh and “L“ow lev­els so I stopped the siphon and poured oil care­ful­ly back into the bike until the lev­el was right at the “H“igh mark.

After fin­ish­ing up I took the bike off the cen­ter stand and put it on the side stand. The mon­i­tor­ing oil win­dow was com­plete­ly emp­ty, just like in Bend. And how much oil did I end up remov­ing from the bike? As near as I could tell the total of the amounts I put in in Bend and Ash­land. Kudos and thanks to friend Jeff.

 Posted by at 8:13 pm
Sep 092010

Klamath Falls to Bend -- Another spectacular day

I awoke rest­ed to anoth­er great day. After a leisure­ly walk around Kla­math Falls and a nice break­fast I loaded up and decid­ed to go up to Crater Lake even though it was look­ing stormy.

It was a beau­ti­ful ride up with sec­tions of rain now and then. After I entered the park the tem­per­a­ture start­ed drop­ping, first into the mid 40s, then low 40s, then into the 30s. I had aug­ment­ed yes­ter­day’s out­fit with a wool ski sweater and wool long johns so I was doing OK. Arriv­ing at the park entrance kiosk it was maybe 34 and I was feel­ing ner­vous about hit­ting an ice patch on the road. The kiosk woman sug­gest­ed I stop at the vis­i­tor cen­ter sev­er­al miles fur­ther up the road for a more accu­rate assess­ment.

Arriv­ing at the vis­i­tor cen­ter dur­ing a brief time of light snow­ing (32 degrees now) I noticed a BMW GS type bike with an Aus­tralian plate! Going in I chat­ted with the cou­ple rid­ing it who seemed to me about my age. They are going all the way into West­ern Cana­da, then over to Yel­low­stone, some of the Utah parks, etc. Very cool. I asked them the cost to have the bike shipped over and back and was told that it cost $3,000 US.

Opin­ions from vis­i­tor cen­ter folks were for no ice wor­ries so I road on up to the rim. It got increas­ing­ly cloudy approach­ing the top, so much so that look­ing over the rim pro­duced no sense of lak­e­ness. It was then 30 degrees and the ends of my fin­gers were get­ting numb. I start­ed the ride around the west­ern rim road then, real­iz­ing that the 21 miles to the north exit would just take too long for my dete­ri­o­rat­ing fin­gers I turned around and back­tracked the wis­er and short­er 10 miles down to the mid 40 degree thresh­old where I knew I’d feel bet­ter.

Twen­ty five miles lat­er I saw again a very scenic pho­to op of a pic­turesque barn I had noticed on my way up. After stop­ping I decid­ed the best shot was about 80′ back. I had rolled the Suzu­ki back about 65 of those 80 when I lost bal­ance and the bike fell over (moto night­mare #2). I took off all the stuff I could in prepa­ra­tion for a lift attempt when a friend­ly and help­ful guy in a pick­up stopped to see if I was OK, as one inter­pre­ta­tion could eas­i­ly have been that I had gone down at speed. I said I was fine and asked if he’d help me lift up the bike. He quick­ly helped me lift the bike thus my learn­ing expe­ri­ence, i.e. do not back­up the cycle for more than 10′ unless no oth­er options exist, end­ed quick­ly and eas­i­ly.

The rest of the day was spec­tac­u­lar, espe­cial­ly the 66 miles along the “The Cas­cade Lakes Nation­al Scenic Byway”. After 50 of those miles being in the mid 40s and some­what high­er things start­ed to be a replay of the morn­ing’s down­ward trend. It got to a low of 32 and I was won­der­ing WTF about the time I rode by the entrance to the Mt. Bach­e­lor ski area, checked the alti­tude and real­ized it all made sense.

Anoth­er won­der­ful day of adven­ture end­ing in the very inter­est­ing city of Bend, one of the best out­door recre­ation areas in the coun­try.

 Posted by at 2:30 pm
Sep 082010

Day 4 Reno to Klamath Falls

More amaz­ing ter­ri­to­ry today, Reno to Kla­math Falls — which is in Ore­gon and sig­ni­fies rid­ing in three states in one day for those of us not­ing such. Leav­ing Reno this morn­ing looked like rain so I got some­what rain-ready and head­ed out. Forty five miles north of Reno I thought I had got­ten clear of the threat. HA! Not Even!

Two hours lat­er I road along in mild rain for 50 miles or so. My HiViz out­fit worked as adver­tised, dry as a bone while con­tin­u­ing it’s main func­tion of glow­ing in the dark. But the tem­per­a­ture was in the high to mid 40’s and, while think­ing of stop­ping and putting on a sweater I fought that impulse, remained in char­ac­ter, and did not.

Arriv­ing in Kla­math Falls around 3:00 and stop­ping for a late lunch I final­ly under­stood my con­di­tion when I start­ed shiv­er­ing in the restau­rant and could not stop. It was dur­ing this shiv­er­fest that a dis­tant shot of san­i­ty sug­gest­ed to me that I sh/could get a motel room ASAP to get inside and out of the then cur­rent 57 degree day. But return­ing to the Suzu­ki the Coutts geneal­o­gy sec­tion of my brain sud­den­ly took con­trol and, see­ing there was plen­ty of time to ride on to Bend, had one of my fin­gers plug Bend into the GPS. Off we went for many blocks until Dar­win reassert­ed the mod­ern lay­er and had the GPS repoint­ed to the Kla­math Falls EconoLodge.

Once in the room I lay under the cov­ers for an hour and a half while my trusty (???) brain kept sug­gest­ing I get up and go for a walk around the town. My body negat­ed all those cor­ti­cal mis­fires by con­tin­u­ing to lux­u­ri­ate under the cov­ers. I did not leave the room again until morn­ing.

For the record 1001.3 miles on the trip odome­ter with Sis­ters now with­in easy reach for Fri­day after­noon.

 Posted by at 4:04 pm
Sep 072010

Ashe along Highway 395 north of Tom's Place

Get­ting out of the tent this brisk and beau­ti­ful morn­ing I walked the 200 yards over to Rock Creek Lake and poked around a bit enjoy­ing being in the High Sier­ras. I then packed up and rode over to the near­by Pie in the Sky Restau­rant only to dis­cov­er that I was one hour too ear­ly.

So I road off and down Rock Creek to High­way 395 and north to the scenic June Lakes Loop (all the hype is well placed) then con­tin­ued up 395 to Lee Vin­ing for lunch and a stop at Mono Lake. On north anoth­er 60 miles to high­way 89 where I turned west then north again to cov­er about 40 miles of friend Tom’s 113 mile 2009 Death Ride course, a good and beau­ti­ful choice. I stopped around 4:30 in a restau­rant in Tahoe City for a deli­cious and MUCH over­due turkey burg­er.

Rid­ing around the west shore of Lake Tahoe to arrive at the burg­er was stun­ning. After the burg­er I planned on head­ing on up 89 to 49 then look for a place to camp. I went into three ade­quate camp­grounds but I would have been the only one in any of the three so rode out of each. I was just enough fright­ened to not wish to stay, oh well.

It was a spec­tac­u­lar evening so I road to the end of 49 then on to the end of 70 again rejoin­ing high­way 395. This 65 miles was through amaz­ing long and beau­ti­ful val­leys of cat­tle ranch­es.

It seemed about 35 min­utes to dark as I arrived at the junc­ture with high­way 395 and look­ing on the map north saw few choic­es for accom­mo­da­tion so I rode south 23 miles to Reno and grate­ful­ly found and stayed the night in a Super 8 Motel.

Jour­ney­ing forth unchart­ed on a motor­cy­cle has lots of sim­i­lar­i­ties to bicy­cle tour­ing, e.g. eas­i­ly start­ing up con­ver­sa­tions with folks or as with my lunch stop today in Lee Vin­ing some­one com­ing over to my table and ask­ing me to join him. Also, there is the sim­i­lar feel­ing of just being out there in the envi­ron­ment rather than mov­ing along in an iso­lat­ing glass and steel bub­ble.

All in all I am lov­ing doing this. As usu­al, almost the only time I am not enjoy­ing it is when I’ve rid­den too long with­out stop­ping OR have gone TOO long with­out eat­ing. Noth­ing new there.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Sep 062010

Near little lake on highway 395

At the Winnedumah hotel break­fast this morn­ing I was chat­ting with a cou­ple from San Diego. Inter­est­ing­ly enough the man of the cou­ple turned out to be best friends with Scott Allen when they were at Poway High School togeth­er. I made a small record­ing of Paul with my iPhone so I could pass it along to Scott, which I did lat­er in the week, it was all very fun.

After break­fast and load­ing up of the Suzu­ki I rode up the due west road to Onion Val­ley (that’s me in the upper left start­ing up). I have only been to there a cou­ple of oth­er times, both in the 70s. The first one was when I walked out from the trip up the John Muir Trail to pick up a food par­cel Car­ol and I had mailed our­selves to the Onion Val­ley Ranger Sta­tion. The oth­er was a few years lat­er when best friend Dave and I parked in Onion Val­ley and hiked up over Kearsarge Pass and into the Rae Lakes basin in late Octo­ber. It was a beau­ti­ful ride up to the val­ley and back down to Inde­pen­dence before head­ing north on 395.

It was up to Bish­op for a late break­fast then by the Millpond Recre­ation Area where we all used to attend the annu­al Sep­tem­ber music fes­ti­val (which is still hap­pen­ing in two weeks). Favorite bicy­cling coun­try all around this area from those years. Up the road along the low­er rock creek to Tom’s Place for a stop and shop then UP the Rock Creek Road to the end for a won­der­ful six mile hike.

After the hike I rode over and reserved camp­site #17 in the camp­ground adjoin­ing Rock Creek Lake then found out that the clos­est din­ner was at Tom’s Place, The “Pie in the Sky” restau­rant across the lake was not open for din­ner. Oh well, too hun­gry to do much inner brain bar­gain­ing so it was down the 13 miles to Tom’s. As I was eat­ing I debat­ed whether to for­go the $10 deposit I’d paid for #17 and stay in the low­er (and poten­tial­ly much warmer) camp­ground 1/4 mile from Tom’s. But I decid­ed I had not been camp­ing in the high coun­try for a long time so, well fed and con­tent, I enjoyed the 13 miles back up the moun­tain, set up my camp and wan­dered around the lake for awhile as the day was end­ing.

A very won­der­ful day in my favorite ter­rain. Click on the mon­tage above for some shots of the day. Click­ing in the cen­ter of the screen dur­ing the slideshow will cre­ate and pro­vide full screen images to you if you wish to see the images enlarged a bit.

 Posted by at 6:42 pm
Sep 052010

Near little lake on highway 395

This road has to be one of the great scenic high­ways of the world, cer­tain­ly one of my favorites. I am so grate­ful I thought to come this way and cer­tain­ly to be able to cruise through it on my Suzu­ki mag­ic car­pet, I’ve nev­er enjoyed it more than today.

Tonight I am stay­ing in Inde­pen­dence in the his­toric, i.e. 1927, Win­ndumah Hotel. I am just back in my room after sit­ting on the front porch for a cou­ple of hours watch­ing the 395 traf­fic roll by and vis­it­ing with a cou­ple on their way home from Burn­ing Man. Many inter­est­ing sto­ries accom­pa­nied by 200 images on their cam­era.

Friend Car­ol Born­stein’s sug­gest­ed I stop on the way here at Fos­sil Falls. I rode in the .4 miles of dirt, parked the moto with my trusty, patent­ed String-O-Board then walked in the 1/4 mile to the Fos­sil Falls. Very worth­while side trip and good to test the waters a bit beyond the tar­mac.

I also stopped for a bit at Man­za­nar, as I usu­al­ly do. What a sad part of our his­to­ry. Kind of erodes the “can’t hap­pen here myth”.

Great first day out. Tomor­row it’s into the East­ern Sier­ra.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm