Posted in 2018 East Coast Trip

Acadia National Park

Saturday-Oct 20, 2018

Robilee enjoys cooking. She prepared delicious meals for us and gave us a care package which lasted us a couple more days. Her meals were colorful, tasty and plentiful!

 As we drove from Vermont, through New Hampshire and into Maine, we enjoyed more fall colors. Our route choice was Hwy 89 to Montpelier and then Hwy 2 which took us along the north edge of the White Mountain National Forest.  Stopped at Cold Mountain Café in Bethlehem, NH for lunch.

As we continued into Maine, I was excited to recognize the Penobscot Narrows Bridge as I had ridden across it two years ago and stopped to take the elevator to the top of the Penobscot Narrows Observatory in one of the towers of the bridge. To get to the bridge one must go through Fort Knox State Park and so we did. It was fun to take Dan up to see the views from the observatory. We didn’t wander through the Fort area but I had seen it before so was ok with that.  and

a bit of info about the observatory
the compass rose mentioned above
the Fort on this side of river/Prospect, Maine on the far side of the river
vertigo at the top of the tower

 We took several other roads which, since the plan was to go to Acadia Nat’l Park the next day, took us to Hancock. We stayed at White Birches Motel there. It was time to do laundry but no machines at the motel. The proprietress told us of two places, one near a restaurant. So while the machines were running, we went to Governor’s. Apparently its a local chain. Worked out well.

Sunday-Oct 21, 2018

Made it to Acadia National Park!  When I came for the bike ride two years ago, I arrived a couple days early. I used one of those days to ride through the Park. There is a two-lane, one-way loop which made it nice as I had my own lane and the motorized vehicles could easily pass me. The plan was to ride up Cadillac Mountain inside the park the next day but it was cold and wet so I chose not to ride.

Colors inside Acadia National Park

Acadia flyer front
map of Mount Desert Island including Acadia Nat’l Park

I wanted to share what I had seen with Dan and get to the top of Cadillac Mountain.  We were able to do both. However, May and October are very different times of year. We only got out of our car to quickly jump out, take a photo and get back in where it was warm. Even though it was rainy and cold when I had been here in May, it wasn’t nearly as cold and windy as October.

There were more reds in the trees in this area than we’d seen in Vermont and New Hampshire.

 Since we were so close, we drove through Bar Harbor. I enjoyed revisiting the town where my aborted cross country bike trip began.

Bar Harbor – as cute as I remember it
Bar Harbor – maybe not as friendly as I thought
Bar Harbor’s harbor
Posted in 2018 East Coast Trip

Shelburne, Vermont

Thursday-Oct 18, 2018

Two years ago, I started a bicycle ride in Bar Harbor, Maine with the intent to ride across the country. On day six, another rider slammed on her brakes without calling out. I hit her and went down. Ended up with a broken collar bone. Kevin, who was on that ride for just the first week and lived nearby, offered me a place to stay while I made arrangements to get me and my stuff back to California. He and his wife, Robilee, were very gracious. So, today we met with them at their home in Shelburne, VT.

We spent time getting to know one another…Dan had never met them and they had never met him. Then they took us on a tour of the area they call home. Our first stop was at Shelburne Farms where Kevin had taken me two years ago. It is much different in the fall than it was in May. A cold, windy day but no rain.

Robilee, Nikki, Kevin at Shelburne Farm on Lake Champlain
Nikki and Dan in front of one of the farm buildings
They also took us to Burlington Waterfront on Lake Champlain and the downtown area. We had to stop at Kevin’s favorite bar for a pint.

Friday-Oct 19, 2018

As we left Kevin’s house to get into our rented vehicle, Dan noticed the sidewall of the back tire was damaged. We called Alamo and they offered to exchange vehicles for us. Fortunately, we were still in the area so were able to do that. We were both glad the tire hadn’t blown out with all the driving we’d done.

Dan and I went to the Shelburne Museum (not the same as the Shelburne Farm) and spent most of the day wandering through the several houses and buildings to see the various collections. 

This is a most interesting place and I recommend you go see it.  The tickets were good for two days and we could have spent two days there but had to move on.  We gave our tickets to our hosts. I hope they were able to use them. Here are just a few photos of the thousands of items at this museum.

Carousel on the premises
Miniature circus
More miniature circus
Steamship paddle boat that used to work on Lake Champlain
Next photo is bedcover mentioned here
Woven coverlet

Posted in 2018 East Coast Trip

California to Vermont

Tuesday-Oct 16, 2018 Flight from San Francisco was early morning so we spent Monday night at Dan’s daughters place, took BART to the airport and flew off to Charlotte, NC where we changed planes to finish up the day at Burlington, VT.  Started in the dark. Arrived in the dark.  Had rental car waiting for us at the Burlington airport so headed off to the Northstar Motel in Shelburne, VT. Seems like it was party time in the motel but it wasn’t our party so we were not happy. The owner of the motel moved us to another room for our second night. It was a nicer room and it was quieter.  Hooray. Wednesday-Oct 17, 2018  We spent the first full day in Vermont driving around looking at fall colors. I had a route from the Vermont state tourism site which we started to follow. We drove along Lake Champlain and onto some of the islands. However, as we stopped along the way, we received other suggestions and decided to follow them. One suggestion was to take Smuggler’s Cove, which was the name of a road. It came with a warning…the road is narrow, steep and there are rocks one has to go around. To me, it sounded like there would be rocks in the road. Of course, this was a challenge for Dan, the professional driver, so we went that way.
Interesting things grow in the trees here
Smuggler’s Cove is narrow, steep and there are rocks. However, the rocks were not in the road but right on the side of the road so I do understand what the locals were trying to tell us.  We went slow and carefully around the rocks while crossing our fingers that no one would be coming from the other direction.  Crossed fingers worked.
Stopped along the way to admire the trees.
We also ended up driving by Stowe. I had seen articles in skiing magazines about the resort there so it I was glad we could go by and see it in person. There was no snow but I could see where the runs were and the cuteness of the area. As we wandered, we happened upon Ben & Jerry’s factory! Of course we stopped and took the tour and test tasted the latest ice cream flavor.
Found the factory!
We were both impressed with how much space was between homes in the country.  The towns were small and the homes close together but not many fences so it appeared more open.
Open spaces
Very much enjoyed the day. Did over 200 miles of driving!
Posted in 2018 Motorcycle

Lassen Motorcycle Ride

Oct 1 – Lodge at Nakoma, Clio, CA

Five motorcycles, six riders, left Groveland and headed for Clio. (John R., Kim R., Wayne A., Jack D., Dan and Nikki) After going through Jamestown, we got onto Hwy 49 and headed north and then north again on Hwy 89. We then worked our way to the Lodge at Nakoma.  Turns out this place has a golf course and lots of other stuff to keep one occupied. It was high quality.  We went to dinner at their restaurant.  Food was good, restaurant was ‘fine dining.’ Nice.

Clio Post Office

Lodge at Nakoma restaurantO

Oct 2 – Green Gables Motel, Burney, CA

We continued through Plumas Nat’l Forest on Hwy 70, then Hwy 89 into Lassen Volcanic Nat’l Park. Stopped at visitor’s center before continuing through the park to see some of the volcanic activity along the way.

Twisted trunk

Cloudy day but still beautiful views

Clouds did hide some of the mountain tops

Wayne, Jack, Kim, John, Dan

Volcanic art

We rode up to Burney Falls.  Beautiful area.  It would’ve been nice to spend more time there but we went on to our final destination for the day.  Very different accommodations compared to Clio.  Clean.

Strange box found in Downieville

Waterfall lesson

Burney Falls

More to the story “behind the falls”

In Burney, several of us went across the street from the motel to the Veterans Club. Got a few stories from the veterans that were there. Friendly.

Dinner was ok but definitely not the same quality and atmosphere as the previous night.

Oct 3 – home

Looking at the weather forecast, it was decided we would NOT continue to South Lake Tahoe as originally planned.  Gave up our deposit for the room and headed for home.  The whole group stopped in Chico so Dan could take his bike to the BMW shop there.  While he got some work done on the bike, the rest of the us walked over to a fast food place for breakfast.

While Dan and Nikki waited for the BMW, the rest of the group headed for home.  Dan went zipping down the road trying to catch them.  It turned out, we missed the others when they stopped for fuel and they missed us when we stopped for fuel.  Not knowing where they were, Dan decided to stop for lunch at Lagorio’s in Farmington.  As we were waiting for our food, in popped Wayne and Jack.  A quick hello, use of the john, and they were off.  After we finished our meal, we hopped back on the bike and took off again.  Dan caught them on Hwy 120 near the Roberts bridge.  Since we all made it back to Groveland together, and it wasn’t raining yet, the next stop was the Iron Door for an end of the ride celebratory drink.

Everyone made it home with just a little bit of rain along the way.  It was good we didn’t try for South Lake Tahoe as the ride home the next day would have been wet and cold.

Posted in 2018 Oregon Bikecation (Bike Rides Northwest)

Next Adventure…

Saturday, July 28, 2018                                   Mt. Vernon to Seneca

42.8 miles
12.2 average
3 hrs  30 min riding rime

Yesterday’s nap and two cups of iced tea (which were SOOO good) messed up my night. Although I paid for a tent site ($10) in the shade, it was still hot when I climbed inside to sleep. So, I took a walk around the camp grounds. Found a path which led to the stream/creek/river nearby. As I sat there with my thoughts, I watched the moon peeking through the leaves on the trees. Peaceful and (mostly) quiet.

Eventually I went to the tent and tried to set myself up so I could (and would) add layers if I got colder. Turns out, it was a fairly warm night/early morning so I was fine in my nightie with a light blanket and light sleeping bag. Got an ok rest.

Got myself fed, packed and on the road by 7:05 this morning. Short mileage today but the shower truck closes at 2 and the staff wants to be done by then also so they can head home. No dawdling today.

Healthy trees. 🙂

Burned trees. 😦

Not only was the rider shorter, it was easier up to the one rest stop. I jumped on with three guys who pulled me through the headwind section. Got to the rest stop and Steve, Don, Mary Lou and John were there.  Steve and I rode the last 17 miles to the end of the ride together. Once we got to Seneca, we sat around with other riders, Mark and Erica, re-hydrating, then Gordon came by. Steve had suggested a Coke and chocolate milk concoction but neither was available.  I still haven’t given that a try.

This is the guy who suggested Coke and chocolate milk. In his favor, he does like tater tots.

I invited Mark and Erica to come fly in to PML and stay with us. He pilots a 182. Keeps it in Livermore. They live in Dublin.

It was so nice to sit and relax after an easy ride. Got my shower, loaded stuff into car and bike on back. As I was leaving, I saw Steve, Mark and Erica so asked which way to John Day, left or right?  Heading up the road, I found myself back in Mt. Vernon so stopped to get a photo of the Post Office.

Realized the Silver Spur Café (see July 27) was across the street so decided to go there for lunch. Steve stopped in too so we had lunch together.  

Those wonderful tater tots.

Since he knew I’d been a bit confused on which way to head for John Day, he said, “Follow me.” Turns out he goes all the way to Kennewick to get home so I followed him there. He went on and I tried to find room at a Best Western. No luck.

I ended up in Umatilla at the Inn.  Finished up the day at a laundromat and grocery store. Have clean clothes and something to eat for dinner. All the eating places nearby were closed by the time I was ready to get dinner so I ate a hodgepodge from the grocery store.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

I think I have a few new “forever” friends.

Tomorrow starts the next phase of my vacation: Spokane to see my Uncle Paul and family!

BRNW is going to re-do the Montana ride that Don, Wendy, John, Mary Lou and I did with them in 2013:

  • Missoula to Darby
  • Darby up Chief Joseph Pass and beyond Big Hole Battleground to Jackson
  • Jackson to Wise River
  • Wise River to Philipsburg
  • Lay over with optional ride
  • Philipsburg to Ovando
  • Ovando to Missoula

It is not an easy ride but it is pretty. I am seriously considering this one.

Posted in 2018 Oregon Bikecation (Bike Rides Northwest)

Heat, Smoke and Tired

Friday, July 27, 2018                                        Bates State Park to Mt. Vernon

57.81 miles
11.6 average
4 hrs  56min riding time

Cold night, no rest. Started ride at 7:30am.

First 40 miles were on downhill slope. Cold but bearable. Shady. So glad for that.  We were on the Old West Scenic Bikeway – all the way to Long Creek.

First rest stop of the day. I find the rocks here interesting.

One of the summits

After first rest stop, we continued a slow descent until a left turn took us onto US-395 S. Then the climbing began. Although the grade was reasonable, it was hot, hot, hot with no shade.

The view just after turning onto hwy 395.

At the second rest stop, in Long Creek, I tried to recover in the shade with food, water and rest. As I left the rest stop, I could see smoke in the air from yet another fire, could see no shade for miles, knew there would be five more miles of climbing and it was hot. I turned around and went back to Long Creek. Caught the next available SAG to camp at Clyde Holliday Recreation Site outside of Mt. Vernon.  Arrived just before 3.  By the way, I had to wait for a second SAG vehicle as the first one was full. The one I used was full too. So, it wasn’t just me…

This was actually a very pretty camp ground. I paid for a camp site instead of staying with the rest of the group. It was cheap, there was green grass, and it wasn’t as far to lug my gear.

After lunch with Wendy (and then Don), set up tent and took a shower. My bum is so sore, I should have showered first. Managed to get a half hour nap outside my tent (in the shade, on the green grass).

Kevin M called to see how Dan and I were doing with the Ferguson fire so close to home.  Had a fun, short conversation. He is a good friend.

Dinner with Mary Lou and John.

From BRNW Oregon 2018:

Mt. Vernon history

Established beside the John Day River and minutes from the John Day Fossil Beds, the small Mount Vernon community offers a lot from a deceptively unassuming small place. Established in 1877, Mount Vernon became a ranching community. Named after a stallion belonging to settler David Jenkins, the horse’s stone stable still stands on the north side of Highway 26, east of town.

Things to do/see in Mount Vernon

  •  The David Hamilton Winery at the corner of US 395 & US 26 specializes in homemade fruit wines, with flavors like Camas Creek Elderberry and Hells Canyon Wild Plum.
  • Swing by the Silver Spur Cafe for a slice of homemade pie.
  • The Mount Vernon hot springs aren’t too far away—just three miles up 395 and onto Warm Springs Creek Road.

Culture and entertainment in Mt. Vernon

  • Local History: Peggy Murphy, the new curator of the Grant County Museum, will come to camp to give a presentation on the local history of the area, which included some unexpected events.
  • Tramp Central and the Baggage Boys: Our own talented crew‐duo of Wes Yurovchak and Tosch Roy will be back by popular demand, for a set of crowd‐pleasing favorite after dinner.

(I missed out on all the activities since I didn’t ride through Mt. Vernon – took the SAG – and I didn’t camp in the area arranged for by BRNW. I included the info here just as a reminder of what could have been.)

Posted in 2018 Oregon Bikecation (Bike Rides Northwest)


Wednesday, July 25, 2018                            Baker City layover day

Today is a rest day for me. I didn’t sleep well last night. Too much noise – trucks, cars, trains, parties. We are in town and I could really tell.

It is 1:20pm and I stink. The shower last night wasn’t enough I guess.

I did get some stuff done today:

  • Laundromat (biked there with John and Mary Lou)  Came out with clean clothes and recharged phone and spare battery
  • Rinsed off bike
  • Took bike to mechanic to get dust blown off brakes
  • Found an outlet to continue recharging the spare battery and to charge the toothbrush battery
  • Yoga

There was a chance to go tubing on the river but their timing and mine didn’t coincide so I didn’t get to go.

It is too hot to take a nap inside my tent so I sat under the awnings, put my head down on the table and rested.  Eventually woke up and started playing solitaire on my phone.  Another rider sat down nearby and started up a conversation.  Got to know Steve a bit and he introduced me to some others.

After dinner, several of us wandered to the local park, Geiser-Pollman Park, where Jay Fleming and the Unlikely Saints were playing.  Enjoyed the music and the company.  Did a little ‘dancing’ (that’s what I call free form moving to the music).

Enjoying the concert in the park.

Jay Fleming and the Unlikely Saints