Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crater Lake run.

Fire up the time machine and go back a month. Elvira pulled duty for the business run to the Northern Oregon Coast during the first part of the week. Sophie got the honor of taking Katie and I to Klamath Falls, deep into Southern Oregon. Here's some words and pictures from that run.

We rolled into Klamath Falls about an hour before sunset Thursday night. A big sport-touring bike has this wonderful attribute of being able to eat up miles in a most entertaining way. What would be a chore in a car is just another fun adventure on a motorcycle.

The main reason for the trip was to conduct a site audit for our motorcycle training program. This was scheduled for Saturday. On Friday morning I had an appointment with a large distributor. This visit was for the job that fuels my motorcycle addiction. Since it was so far away, might as well take advantage of the opportunity. Having never been to the new place where our classes are held we set out on a scouting mission. Katie posed for the obligatory "We were here" photo.

Heat was an issue that weekend. Highs were in the lower nineties. The air conditioner in our hotel room was less than efficient. Friday morning saw us back on the bike and headed for the office of our distributor. Fortunately the office was downtown. I backed Sophie up to the curb and shut her down. Our gear was stashed into the bags. Katie went shopping while I made my business call.

By late morning business was done, a coffee shop duly raided, and we were back at the hotel. I was thinking of lunch, a nap, some time in the pool, and otherwise just doing next to nothing. Katie, however, had something else on her mind. We were about 70 miles from Crater Lake.

Katie's not a pushy sort of wife. Well, mostly. She doesn't nag or gripe about things. Katie's one of those really supportive people. Kind, caring, and nurturing. Together we're like the Angel and the Badman. Yeah, you can guess who's who. I've been married to this Angel for coming up on 31 years. There's a reason we've been happily married so long.

You see, I've learned to hear things beyond the words. I've learned to look into her eyes and see what's really there. There's a certain tone of voice and look to her face when she says she's not really hung up on something and means it. I've come to recognize the subtle differences when she says the same thing but is just trying not to cause a fuss. I looked into Katie's eyes and could see she really wanted to go. The phrase "I love you" means actually taking care of the other person's needs and not just mouthing the words. Besides, who was I to turn down a chance to add another 150 miles to the ride?

Did I mention that this was a Friday afternoon in the middle of July? Did I mention that Crater Lake is a huge tourist attraction?

Surprisingly, the ride up was fairly peaceful. I decided to take an entrance road that was off the beaten path and fairly twisty. The only drawback was that we'd have to use a main highway for a while. There was a tense moment when we got to a passing lane. Tired of being crammed behind slow moving recreational vehicles, I let Sophie stretch her legs to get around traffic. Who should be parked on the shoulder right about where we really got up a head of steam? A Klamath County deputy, of course! I figured it was what it was so kept the throttle steady. The patrol car stayed put and we found some room to run.

Once up at the lake we found all the people. The parking lot was pretty crowded. There was a space next to a Goldwing and some Harley baggers. Guess nobody wanted to park next to the "bikers". You can see the contrast in our gear. We're apparently much more European than American in our approach to gear and riding!

There was a funny moment when I was taking a picture of Katie near a low stone wall with the lake in the background. An older Japanese couple approached me and asked if I would take a picture of the two of them together. The man handed me his point and shoot digital camera. It was a Sony and had more buttons and settings than you could ever imagine. After taking their picture, the man offered to return the favor. I politely declined. He just couldn't seem to grasp why I turned him down. Apparently it was inconceivable to him that we didn't really care about the photo. He probably had no idea about my stubborn streak, either! The man offered several times like he just couldn't believe it. I almost gave in just to make him happy!

About a month ago I promised Bryce that I would actually appear in a photo. Fulfilling that promise, here is Irondad in the snow. Yes, there was still snow in July at this higher elevation. After looking at this picture I renewed my gym membership. All I can say is that it's been a long Winter!

Once again it was reinforced to me that being on a bike makes a person more open to new adventures. One of the many reasons, I think, is that we can't take much with us. I've noticed that the more "stuff" people manage to have with them the more anchored they are. You can pack a lot in a car and even more in an RV. Whether sleeping in the RV or in a motel room, there's a lot of belongings surrounding a person. It's kind of hard to describe so bear with me while I try to get a handle on the words.

When a person has a lot of belongings with them the stuff becomes sort of a home base. People often don't want to get too far away from this base. If something were to go wrong, the base is their backup, as it were. There's some sort of security in all that stuff. People don't want to get too far away from it and the stuff isn't very mobile.

Being on a bike, on the other hand, means we can't haul much. If we're going to travel out and about we become "guests of the universe" by default. Someway or somehow we'll figure out a way to deal with it if something goes wonky. If we're going to live by our wits and the grace of God, then it doesn't matter if we're here or way over there. Our protective base is more universal and is thus less geographically restricted.

That's the best description I can provide on short notice. It's late for this early riser and my brain is getting fuzzier than normal. Time to hit the sack and start anew tomorrow. I want to go play with Elvira in the rain and see how she handles things.

Miles and smiles,

Dan






15 comments:

Dean W said...

Aw, you two have matching helmets! Actually Lorri and I do, too; I bought myself an HJC AC-12 Carbon a couple years ago; last year I found a good deal on them so I bought another for Lorri...

That's got to be the cleanest hi-viz 'stich I've ever seen, though.

bobskoot said...

Your pictures of Crater Lake remind us of our trip there too many years ago. We were in the Hell's Canyon area a couple of months ago and saw a lot of motorcycles and regretted not bringing ours along. I must confess that Oregon has the best motorcycle roads & scenery too. But you already know that.
Thanks for posting your picture, but . . . I can hardly make you out & and I'm really squinting. Just keep the Miles and smiles coming.

bob

Bryce said...

OK, and your point is?
Seriously the photo is OK; however anybody could be behind those dark
spectacles. Gym membership, oh, you mean the work required to maintain the svelte figure of somebody who
would like to stay that way? You can't reverse gravity Dan. Muscle tone will droop with age, can't do much about it. However I had sort of figured somebody a bit taller, with at least a smile of his face!
In the photo you're sort of a some
what stocky and square built kind of person.
Oh and the one photograph of Katie, enlarged on my big screen iMac,
she appears aif she is sad, and
maybe too her back was sore, judging by the elevation of her
head to her shoulders. She however proudly wears the ring of marriage on her left hand.
Thirty-one years of marriage? You didn't quite rob the cradle; however the two of you seem to me
to be happy. You both still enjoy
the ST1100 as well. If you could afford same, I'd keep the ST1100
until something major happens to it mechanically. Yse the Yamahaha
for your own commuter business vehicle and use the ST1100 for other things. Katie has her own motorcycle as I recall. And you have a older pick me up truck for
really rotten weather days?

Incidentally have been convinced by any number of people to keep my 1981 Goldwing. It has been over the years modified for me, I fit it unlike all too many machines of this day and age. It has just had a major service and at 250,000 on the clock is still functioning.
Beside the best offer I received when I did advertise it for sale was $1500.00, the insurance and license
sticker here in Ontario is about half that total per year; for 3rd party liability no collision, theft or fire coverage. I still lock it
to the wall inside a locked
garage at night and when outside it is also locked and chained.

If I had to replace it? There is nothing suitable, these days. Machines are made for the smaller persons, like you andkatie.

Go riding Dan, and take Katie in
the Yellow 'Stich!
that

Conchscooter said...

Um, just a quick correction; that isn't actually Irondad at all. I have an entirely different picture in my head.

Earl Thomas said...

A little off of the subject.

Which bike are you going to ride out to Sandpoint? Depending on what day you are planning on traveling through Spokane, I'd love to hook up with you and grab a bite to eat somewhere, if you'll have me.

Krysta in Milwaukee said...

"I had sort of figured somebody a bit taller..."

That kinda surprised me, too.

Gee, Dan, guess you're larger than life in the eyes of your readers. ::grin::

And speaking of a 'Stich... First thing tomorrow, probably before it's light, I'm off to Duluth for the Very Boring Rally.

If anyone sees a gal in a high-viz & black Roadcrafter on a red BMW R1200, it just might be me. Come over & say hi. (I get to take the new bike!!! Woohoo!!!)

Kano said...

In an odd way people cling to things and try to gather more so they can feel more secure but it seems to have the opposite effect. More stuff means more to worry about. I've found having less "stuff" is actually "liberating".

The Crater Lake photo is a reminder to me that I must get back up there one of these days. I had the good fortune of being able to spend 3 days there for a college geology class and was able to actually get out on the lake itself in a boat. It was late June and I froze my buns off! But it was probably the most beautiful place I'd ever seen. It's hard to desribe just how blue that water is.

Doug C said...

Interesting to read your reader's impressions of the photos. I think I'm with Krysta - Larger than Life. Although you are almost as tall as the buildings behind you.

I can't tell from the photos if you ever got that intercom system installed on the helmets. Hows that project coming?

And was that Shanon and her tomcat ears also in the picture behind Katie?

Great post, Dan.

Allen Madding said...

OK, you've been baiting us, so I'm gonna make the call. You have noted you're not in love with Elvira but haven't went much further. Is she too much sport and not enough tour? Having thoughts of sending her packing? Come on, spill the beans...

irondad said...

Dean W,
I thought it might be fun to buy lids that matched. Makes for good visibility, too. As to Katie's "stich, it's also the longest to break in one I've ever seen. I'll be on my third one before this one gets broken in.

Bobskoot,
I don't know about the best, but Oregon certainly has some good ones, for sure. As to the photo, sometimes it's not good to show too much gruesome detail.

Bryce,
It's true that gravity pulls no matter what. I'm just interested in staying strong enough to ride for a long time yet. That, and giving gravity a little bit less to pull on, at least.

Conchscooter,
Another legend goes down in the bitter face of reality, huh? Man, I knew I should never have posted that picture!

Earl,
I'm passing through Spokane on the way up Sept. 10. I have a full day of meetings on the 11th. Leaving Sand Point on the morning of Friday the 12th. Love to break bread with you. Send me a note to intrepidcommuter@comcast.net and we'll make arrangement. Thanks for the invite!

I'm leaning towards taking Elvira on the trip.

Krysta,
You, too, huh? I'm 5' 8 1/2" tall but my presence is much larger!

You know we're going to want a report on the Very Boring Rally, don't you? Here's an invitation to share it here if you'd like. I'd gladly give you a guest post.

Kano,
Exactly. You get what I was talking about regarding "stuff".

The camera really doesn't do the water justice, does it? I don't know that I can even remember being that young!

Doug C,
As tall as a building, huh? I'd have to borrow Bryce's leathers!

Haven't installed the intercoms, yet. I know I'm a great slacker but spare time between two jobs had become scarce. The intercoms will be a Winter project.

The thing you see in the photo is on the luggage rack of the Goldwing. It's parked just on the other side of the ST. The rider of the Wing is an older man and he carries this stuffed tiger in a leather vest for company.


Allen,
Next post, I promise!

Take care,

Dan

David said...

Congrats on your 31years. Next weekend (Labor Day) my wife and I celebrate 21 years together. Really funny thing, motorcycles helped bring us together. Had an old CB750K5 Honda, w/ Windjammer fairing, that we took our first dates on. Then, about a month later, we went from Twin Falls ID to Coeur d'Alene ID, via my Mom's at Belgrade MT (700 mile trip) for my now Brother-in-law's wedding. After all that, and a harrowing ride dodging deer down a canyon, at night, out running a thunderstorm (My wife HATES thunder) and she still married me. :) She still likes riding with me too!

It takes a special woman to love a motorcycle riding guy. Guess we have a couple great ones.

Dave T.

R.G. said...

Finally I can put a face to the blog! I enjoyed this post. I think we got our wives off the same assembly line. That is exactly how my wife communicates with me. After twenty six years it is like we have developed some hybrid form of ESP.

Joe said...

I RV and ride. I tow my two scooters (Honda Relfex and Yamaha Majesty) in an enclosed trailer behind my 29 foot Winnebago. So, I get the best of both worlds. I can camp, RV and ride all on the same trip. And sleep in my own bed and not eat out every meal. What a deal!

Jeff In NY said...

Like the comment on 'stuff.' Reminds me of the late George Carlin routine on the subject, I think he is making the same comment on society :-)

irondad said...

David T,
Congratulations yourself. I agree that we both have special women.

I'll be passing through Spokane twice the week of the 8th. Have to wave in your direction.

R.G,
If you go here, http://www.ridetowork.org/ride-to-work-blogs you can see a different picture of me. There's also a few other bloggers listed.

Joe,
That's a great way to travel. I'm going to try it myself at some point.

Jeff,
I never thought I would be compared to George Carlin. How interesting!