Archive for the '2010 Travels' Category

May 19 2014

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Sep 05 2012

Crater Lake

Published by under 2010 Travels

Yesterday we took a ride to Crater Lake National Park.  It is another of the places we have not visited in over 30 years.  We got a late start so we didn’t have as much time to explore as we would have liked, but the scenery was great and we had a good time.  We left Sutherlin and headed east on Highway 138 from Roseburg.  The highway follows the North Fork of the Umpqua River (the river we kayaked on last week) 75 miles from Roseburg  to near its headwaters at Maidu Lake where the road turns south for 25 miles past Diamond Lake to the north entrance of the park.

The trip along the North Umpqua was almost as  enjoyable as Crater Lake.  There are many campgrounds and hiking trails along the river, and it is as scenic as any river we have ever seen.   It made us want to go camping and hiking.

I neglected to fill the bike with gas before we left, and planned on purchasing fuel at Crater Lake.  Unfortunately, I did not do my research.  When we arrived at the North Entrance we learned that the only fuel in the park was at the South Entrance, about 30 miles away.  I didn’t want to chance it as I estimated I only had enough fuel for another 25 miles.  Our choices were to drive 20 miles east to highway 97 and back, or  8 miles back down the highway to the resort at Diamond Lake where we got to pay the most ever for fuel: $4.99 a gallon.  Fortunately we only needed 3.5 gallons to fill up.  Can you imagine having to fill up a motorhome?

We continued on to the rim of Crater Lake which lies at about 7,000 feet.  Most know that it is an extinct, or more correctly, dormant volcano that collapsed and filled with water from rain and snow.  It is the deepest lake in the US, and is absolutely beautiful.  We rode the rim road counter clockwise and stopped for lunch at the Rim Cafe before completing the loop.  We stopped at several of the pullouts and enjoyed the spectacular scenery.  Although the temperature was 70 degrees, there was still snow from last season in some of the protected areas.  We got home about 6 PM.

For those who might be curious, the new seat is working very well for me.  Yesterday’s trip was about 250 miles and we only made a few stops.  Dianna is still not completely happy.  She had a back ache after yesterday’s ride.  We’re not sure why.

Crater Lake with Wizard Island on the right of the photo. It was hazy due to smoke from fires in the area.

The small island formation is called the Ghost Ship.


It may be early September, but the snow from last season is still here.

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Oct 03 2011

Playing Tourist

Published by under 2010 Travels

The trailer and truck painting is still ongoing.  It is taking longer than we, or they, thought it would.  They have run into difficulties with employees primarily, but they are doing good work and will be sure it is right before calling it done.  In the meantime, we have been finding things to do since we can’t be in the trailer while they are painting.  Some days that consists of trips to Costco or Fry’s, but a couple days this past week we did visit some interesting places.

It is so nice that the weather has finally cooled off so we can ride the scooter again.   Last Friday we rode up to Gainesville, a small town about 30 miles north of Denton, but we took the scenic 54 mile route to get there.  We went to the Frank Buck Zoo.  Some of us older people may remember “Bring em back Alive” Frank Buck.  He was on many TV shows and in some movies back in the day.  He is considered the “father” of modern zoos and was responsible for capturing many of the animals found in zoos around the country.  He was born in Gainesville, and though he had nothing to do with starting the zoo, it is named in his honor.  He did visit there on occasion, and some of his things are in a small museum dedicated to him.

The zoo itself is rather small and certainly not up the the standards of larger zoos.  Seeing the rather small enclosures and cages in which many of the animals are kept left us feeling a little conflicted about it.  Still, it was entertaining for a couple hours.  We did see at least one animal that we have never seen in other zoos, a cavy.

Saturday we rode down to the west side of Fort Worth to visit the  Texas Civil War Museum. Of course, Texas joined the war on the Confederate side, and the film we first watched was presented from that perspective. Then we toured the museum itself. It was very well done with sections for infantry, cavalry, artillery and medicine. The displays on the left were from the Union soldiers, and the displays on the right were the same items used by the Confederate soldiers. It was very interesting to see the similarities and the differences. Most of the items were identified as to the actual soldiers and officers who used them. Again we saw some items we have never seen in any museum we had visited before.

Following those sections was a display of battle flags, followed by a large display that had nothing to do with the Civil War: Victorian dresses. Dianna spent quite a bit of time there while I rested my tired legs. After a visit to the ever present souvenir shop, we headed home.

This week we plan to visit the Dallas Arboretum on Tuesday, and go to the Texas State Fair on Thursday. Of course, the Texas State Fair is the largest state fair in the country. We’ve been every year we have been in the area, and it’s always a lot of fun. Admission is free for people 60 and over on Thursdays. We’ll let you know how that all turns out.

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May 04 2011

Iron Butt

Published by under 2010 Travels

The term Iron Butt refers to long distance motorcycle rallys.  I didn’t attend a rally, but I feel like I did.  We drove the car to Edgewood last Friday to bring the new motorcycle back to Texas.  It was a drive of just about 600 miles, and we drove into the teeth of a horrendous wind the entire way.  I don’t recall ever driving in such strong wind for such a long distance.

We stayed with Diane Nolen with whom we were worship leaders at Valley View. It was great catching up on her life. She works five jobs to keep a roof over her and her daughter’s heads so we had to sneak visits in in between jobs.

Saturday morning we went to Weavers, where the scooter had been stored for the past month, and I prepared it for the trip.  I installed a larger windshield than the stock one, a backrest for the front seat, a cup holder and a GPS holder.  In the afternoon we visited with Errol and Joyce Stepp, our pastor when we lived there, and his wife.  We also went to Sadie’s for dinner with them, and had some great New Mexican food.

Sunday we planned to go to church and then leave for Texas, but we woke to spitting snow flurries.  By the time church was over, there were two inches of snow on the ground.  I don’t mind riding in some light rain, but snow is another matter.  We decided to stay, which gave us the opportunity to get together with some old friends and play cards and visit all afternoon.  Much of the snow melted off during the day, but there were still patches around.  All the roads were clear by days end.

Monday morning was bitter cold.  I bundled up and we left at about 9 AM when it was 34 degrees.  Dianna led in the car because it has cruise control, so it was easier for me to follow her than the other way around.  We headed east on I-40 to Clines Corners where we turned south toward Roswell.  By the time we got there it was above 40 and my hands were finally beginning to thaw out.  We turned onto US 380 and headed east, finally stopping for the night in Post, TX after traveling over 350 miles for the day.  That is by far the most miles I have traveled in one day on a motorcycle.  I was pretty much sore all over.  There is no question where the term Iron Butt comes from!  We traveled the final 250 plus miles to Denton on Tuesday, and arrived about 3 PM.  It sure felt good to get off the bike.

It is hard to compare this bike with our old one.  They are completely different.  This bike is a lot heavier, much more powerful, and more comfortable at high speeds and in the wind.  It does not get nearly as good fuel economy as the 400.  We stopped every 120-140 miles for fuel, getting on average around 45 MPG.  I think it will get better when the weather is not so cold, and when we are not traveling at such high speeds or in such high winds.  We ran 70+ most of the time, which is something I rarely did on the 400.

When we got home I installed the Givi topcase on the back.  It is similar to the one we had on the 400 except it is a little larger.  I also looked for a way to power the GPS.  The installed cigarette lighter plug will not work because the glove compartment door will not close with the adapter plugged in.  I found a hard wire kit on the internet that will let me make a very neat install.  It should arrive in a few days.

Today Dianna got her first ride on the new bike.  We had to make a trip to the post office.  She immediately noticed the different sound of the twin cylinders, the power, and the greater stability of the heavier bike, even in the wind.  I think we are really going to enjoy it.

9 responses so far

Apr 22 2011

The incomplete saga of the wheel problem

Published by under 2010 Travels

Yes, it may be a saga.

The new wheel assemblies arrived from Kodiak early last week but the axle did not arrive from Dexter until Thursday.  When it came in the installer at Cobre Motors called me to let me know it was not the same as our other axles.  After some phone calls we discovered that the people at Dexter Axle had not looked up the serial number we gave them completely, and had shipped us a standard 7,000 pound axle instead of a 7,000 pound axle with an 8,000 pound spindle.  That meant that brake mounting brackets would not work.  After some discussion we agreed that the quickest way to deal with it was to have Kodiak send us two 7,000 pound mounting brackets.  Those were overnighted to us and they arrived on Friday.  All was finally ready for installation on Monday.

I arrived at Cobre Motors at 8 AM Monday, and Joseph, the mechanic, began work.  First he removed the wheel on the opposite end of the axle that had failed, so he could replace the axle.  When he did so we discovered that the bearings in this axle had already begun to fail.  They were rough and they had metal filings in them already.  We then pulled the remaining 4 wheels and discovered the same thing in all of them.  It clearly identified the problem that caused us to loose the wheel.  The bearings failed.

There was no option but to replace all the bearings.  Cobre Motors located 5 new sets locally, and we had the one new set that had come with the new brake assemblies from Kodiak.   Joseph toiled without letup to get everything changed out.  I was very impressed with his conscientiousness, knowledge and  work ethic.    It was a lot of work.

Late in the afternoon we ran into another snag.  The new brake assembly did not fit on the 7,000 pound brackets.   There was no explanation for this since the part numbers were exactly the same.  Our only option was to rebuild the old caliper from the parts in the new caliper.  This slowed things down a bit, but was successful.

Along the way we made the decision to lubricate the bearings in an oil bath instead of using grease.  The hubs from Kodiak are set up for either approach.  Heavier axles, like those on the front of my truck, are usually lubricated using an oil bath instead of grease.  It help them run a little cooler and insures complete lubrication that can easily and quickly be verified by looking at the oil level through the clear axle cap.

The new wheels and tires were the last thing to go on, and they look really good.   I finally left Globe at about 5:45 and drove about 65 miles to Safford where I spent the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  I stopped and checked the temperature of the wheels with my infrared thermometer several times.   Five of them were almost the same temperature, but one seemed to be a little warmer than the rest.  As I continued east on Tuesday, I stopped every 50 miles or so to check them.  It was over 90 degrees outside so they were all a little hotter than the day before,  however the one wheel consistently ran 30 to 40 degrees hotter than the others.  At this point, the reason is unclear, but I suspect that is the location of the bearing that came with the new assembly from Kodiak.  I am now convinced that they have a bad batch of bearings.

We are now in Pipe Creek, Texas, a small town near San Antonio, having our slide out worked on.  It has needed adjustment for quite some time.  It has been binding, and the people here have developed a technique for  strengthening and rebuilding them that helps quite a bit.  Of course, the manufacturer of our trailer went out of business a couple years ago, so that is not an option.

We will probably be here until at least Monday.  When we leave here we will go to Denton where we have plans to have a lot more done to our rig.  Kodiak is located in Ft. Worth, so I may stop there on our way.  Someone is going to pay for all the expenses I incurred in Globe.

6 responses so far

Feb 28 2011

“Picture This” Orienteering Geocache – Part 2

Published by under 2010 Travels

This is mostly for those who participated in Part 1.  I did not blog about part 1, so don’t look for it.

Dale’s son Dave and his wife Lisa visited this week and one of the things we all did together was to try a new geocache near us.  It was a combination geocache, orienteering and photo identification multi-part cache.  The GPS coordinates to the first cache were given.  Dianna, Dale, Donna, Daryl, Dave and Lisa all joined in.

We began by driving to another parking area just a half mile or so up the river.  We parked the car and used the coordinates given for the first hide and set out across hill and valley.  Finding the first cache was pretty easy.  In the container we found a topo map and another small section of that map with a location on it.  Matching the small section to the whole map showed us where the next cache was located.  We needed to use the topo map to locate it since there were no coordinates given.  Fortunately my GPS has the capability of entering a bearing and distance from a known point, and we used our best guess at those items by looking at the topo map.  A protractor sure would have been handy.

Also at the first location was a number that we needed to locate the final cache.  Each of the first five caches had a number and a code that when put together correctly would give the GPS coordinates of the sixth and final cache.

The trek to the second cache was not too bad.  Some of us tried to stay on a main trail for most of the way, but Daryl headed cross country and got there first.  The third cache was quite a distance away and required a healthy climb.  Lisa found it first.  After comparing the small section of map to the main map we discovered that the next one was quite a long way away.  In fact, it was closer to our trailer than where the car was parked.  By then we were all getting tired and Donna needed to head back to check on her turkey which was in the oven.  On the way back to the car we found another cache, not part of the multi-part one we were doing, right near the trail we were on, so we all logged that one too.

Today Dianna and I finished the cache.  We walked from our trailer to the first cache.  It was just over half a mile and a fairly easy hike.  After working out the location of next cache we hiked over hill and valley again to locate it.  It was about seven tenths of a mile away but was not too strenuous. There we obtained the map for the fifth cache and worked out its location.    Again the hike was not terribly strenuous but it was up and down.  As we neared the area of the cache we came upon a group of wild horses.  They wouldn’t let us get too close but they didn’t bolt and run away either.

We searched for nearly half an hour for this cache.  We had a photo that marked the location and we finally located the right rock outcropping, but we searched and searched for a long time without success.  Finally I went around the rock and noticed a small opening.  I would not have stuck my hand in there during the summer when creepy, crawly things are out, but I did and it was there.  This time there was no map; just the final numbers we needed to complete the GPS coordinates of the final cache which I entered in my GPS.

This time the route took us down a very narrow canyon that required climbing over and sliding down rocks.  It was a really neat place.  I just would not have wanted to be there during a rain storm.  After we were through the canyon we again had to climb to the top of another hill where the GPS said the final cache should be located.  It was on a hill with a great view of the Salt River flowing below.  After some more searching we finally located it, again in a very small crevice and completely covered with rocks.  We entered our name in the log and set off for the home.

Once again we found our way blocked by a steep cliff and had to carefully work our way down to the river.  We followed it back to the trailer.  The total distance covered today was 2.85 miles.

We look forward to geocaching with family and friends again.  I hope everyone had fun on the first half.  I know you would have enjoyed this part too.

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Oct 19 2010

Life Goes On

Published by under 2010 Travels

The service for Dad was done in two parts last Wednesday.  First the family attended a private burial ceremony, and then we had 95 guests at a Celebration of Life at the church.  Dianna, Julie, Greg and I each shared some words about Dad, and a few people in attendance also shared some memories of him.  We played a slide show of his life as guests came in.  He was certainly well loved and lived a full and successful life.  He will be greatly missed.

Many family members attended the services and were there in support of Mom.  All of Dayna’s family attended from Texas, as did Darin and Diane from Tennessee.  Greg’s family was all there and of course, Julie, Marie and Adam.  Carrie, Mike and Randi came down from Denair and nephew Terry flew in from Seattle.  My brother Don and his wife Betty also attended.  There were many other relatives and also friends from church, Carl’s work from which he retired over 30 years ago, and many others whose lives he touched.

The family began leaving on Thursday, and by Friday only Greg’s family was still here.  We had a birthday dinner for Julie on Saturday evening at a restaurant in El Segundo, and said goodbye to Greg’s family.  They were headed home to Rochester and Boston on the red eye.

Mom held up very well throughout the week, but when we returned home from the restaurant Saturday night she had a bad fall while getting ready for bed, injuring her back.  There are no broken bones but she is in a lot of pain.  Our plans for the next few months are to serve as her primary care givers for several days a week, with a couple nights off each week so we can go home to our trailer in Bakersfield when another relative spells us.  She does have a paid caregiver six days a week, but that is only during the day time, and she needs someone here 24 hours a day.  We had not expected to be needed as nurses quite so soon, but that’s what happened.  Hopefully she will feel better in a couple weeks.

The tentative long term plan is for Mother to sell the house and move into an assisted living center.  The scheduling and timing of those things is still somewhat up in the air, but we are moving forward with preparations.  One of the things we are doing is inventorying the contents of her house in preparation for determining what she will take with her, what will go to which family member, what will be sold, and what will be disposed of in some other way.  The inventory and cataloging is a huge undertaking but it must be done.  I have completed only the entry way and the formal living room and have almost 150 items photographed and identified so far.  Those are the two easiest rooms.  This is going to take a while.

Life goes on.

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