Thursday, June 26, 2014

The End of an Era, Let's Eat!

After 5 years of scootering the time has come to pass the torch, and the throttle to someone new. "Maj" has served me faithfully and well, but it's time to change to a different style of bike. The scooter was dutifully loaded on the trailer.

Here we are loaded up and ready to head to town. I'm glad we had the trailer to deliver her in safety, even though I will be abandoning he to her fate in a couple of hours. C'st la vie!

We picked up Bob, the new owner and once we received the cash, he received the keys. We went together to the insurance agent, to ensure a seamless conveyance of title.

That having been effected, we needed to replenish our strength. We headed to Commercial Drive, a multiethnic neighborhood to chow down. Here Scooterchick peruses the menu.

A choice having been made, a smile plays upon her lips as she waits for me to figure out what I want to eat.

Scooterchick ordered some Chicharrones, but neither of us was expecting this. It is an unusual treatment of thick sliced Pork Belly, served crispy with Green onion garnish. Definitely different, but tasty though a little hard on the chompers.

There was also a side order of Truffle Fries. These are dusted with Salty Parmesan and served a Truffle Aioli. Very good, they went fast.

I ended up with Jerked Chicken Tacos. The Jerk was spicy but not too, and served with a side of Guacamole. Everything goes better with Guac!. It was messy but delicioso!

This is the restaurant in question...Havana. If you get close enough and have a hankering for some excellent eats, we can give it a hearty recommendation. It isn't too pricey and the food is spectacular.

This is one of the bikes in my consideration. It is a Yamaha WR250R.

This would also be peachy. It has an excellent durability record. KLX250S.

Here is another spectacular contender. it is Honda's CRF230L. 

Truth be told, unless I can find a used lo miler they are all a little above my price range. I would even consider an older XR250 or similar, but prefer electric start. The hunt is on. I am sure the right bike is out there dreaming of me!

I'll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Home Again, Home Again Jiggety Jig!

Our time to return to Canada draws close. We packed up to leave The Dalles this morning to head back. It was about 9 am and it was approaching 70 F.

The view to the West was of Mount Rainier peeping over the hills to the South West. We however will be heading North.

The hotel has done a nice job of keeping up their entryway. The roses were manicured and the lawns were neatly clipped and trimmed.

We head North over the Mighty Columbia. You will remember it's size where it passes Astoria to meet the sea. Even here it flexes it's brawny muscles as it rips down the spillway at The Dalles dam.

Before long we have climbed up above the River. There were many pullouts to take pictures, and it seemed we availed ourselves of each one.

A keen eye will see both the Highway far below and the railroad tracks. There is a white semi right of center on the highway above the river and which is just barely visible from this angle.

A look back down the river shows us the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge and Mount Hood in the far distance.

After crossing the Columbia Plateau we drop down to Toppenish. It is billed as the City of Murals. Here is one. We gassed up and headed on without investigating the fullness of the muraldom.

One of the great albeit brief treats of this time of year is the Rainier Cherry.
Rainier Goodness  You have to strike while the iron is hot if you want to taste these beauties, because the season is short and supplies limited.

Incidentally the bottom portion of this sign read ASPARAGUS WINE. Why anyone would want to make wine from asparagus is beyond me!

As you know we always keep our eye open for a real estate bargain. We both agreed that this fixer-upper is not likely to meet our criterion of a good prospect.

We wanted to stop and eat a picnic lunch and Easton promised a turn off with character. We pulled off to see.

We took this picture of the Welcome to Easton sign and only then noticed the building this sign was adjacent to.

This is the Easton Post Office. The door has a pitched snow roof. Something to keep in mind if you need to pickup your mail in January BY SNOWMOBILE!

There is an old rail car  on display on Railroad Ave. It actually looks like a mail car, rather than a passenger or freight car.

We found a place to have our picnic beside a pond. These ponds are maintained by the Easton Volunteer Fire Dept. Good job guys..........

We listened to the birds and, had a nice break with a light meal.

Our repast on this occasion included some of that delicious 3 year old Tillamook White Cheddar.

To add to the Cheddar we had Lemon Pepper Smoked Oysters from the Oregon Coast. These were delicious.

Then there were those delicious Rainier Cherries, which we had no trouble finishing off, as we were unable to bring them across the border.

Oh yeah, there were assorted crackers to go along and I had decided to "Do the Dew". I don't drink this very often, but enjoy it every time I do.

Over the pass and downhill to the Junction of I-405;. We turned North and continued until we got North of Marysville to the Rest Area. We usually try to stop at this one because of the easy access. Oh yeah, there's also the Big Tree. It never ceases to amaze, although I have seen bigger stumps in the forest.

Here is us! We are almost ready to go to our home now.

But first a stop at Johnny Carina's. This is a restaurant we have eaten at starting in Texas, but also in California. I ordered the Cheese Tortellini but got them to add Chicken into the mix. I had trouble finishing the plate. I'm glad I didn't order any dessert.

After topping off with some of that good cheap American gas we crossed the border, and came over the Alex Fraser Bridge.

Coming up the Squamish Highway, the sun was setting  and we caught a couple shots of Howe Sound. The view is perpetually excellent.

This is the same shot in with no zoom. I particularly like the fading light coming through the lifting eyes in the Jersey Barrier. Different but also good.

Back at home....eyes closing...must sleep!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Heading Inland Then North

We will be leaving the Coast today, and after breakfast we checked out of the hotel and loaded the luggage in the car.

We decided one more trip to the beach was a must, so we went down to Agate Beach, which I had walked many times in my youth.

Here is my beloved, sitting on the only log visible on the entire beach. The wind is blowing as usual and it's a little chilly.

I love the way the wind sculpts the sand into interesting shapes. No two are ever the same. This looks pagoda like.

A look to the north shows the length of the beach and Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
A headland juts out into the ocean and can affect navigation so they are all named on nautical charts. Yaquina Head Light was previously know as Cape Foulweather Lighthouse and was built between 1871-1873.

Scooterchick looks positively relaxed. There is something about being at the beach with the rollers endlessly booming, and the cool steady wind coming off the Pacific that cleanses the soul and allows one's internal clock to synchronize to the eternal rhythm.

Adjacent to the log was the remnants of a beach fire. My beloved noticed that one piece was still smoking from last night's festivities. Well, that means there is only one thing that can be done.

In short order it was refueled and stoked to a lively blaze. I have been making fires on the beach for the last 50 years, and had it going in about 5 minutes. To my great sorrow, a lot of authorities have decided that beach fires now encourage uncivilized behavior and now ban beach fires. Not so Oregon, thank God.

It consumed the available fuel in short order with and "someone" set off to search for more wood. I came across this little specimen poking bravely through the sand.

I have no idea what species he is but he is growing far away from any other greenery. What a brave little fellow!

When I returned with the wood, Scooterchick though she might help by placing it on the fire in an artistic and hopeful way. Isn't her work adorable.

All to soon it was necessary to leave the Coast and head inland. Farewell Pacific. Until we meet again.

We headed East on Hwy. 20 towards Corvallis, and drove around that town for a bit then continued East through Lebanon and Sweet Home and up the Santiam Hwy. parallel to the South Santiam River. This is a very twisty, scenic drive. I wished I was on my scooter. ScooterChick said "I'm glad I'm not on my scooter!"

The river was cool looking and green dropping down toward the plains. it looked like the perfect place for a dip in the summer.

We pulled over at a Nat'l Forest Campsite and stretched our legs. This was near a place where the river flattens, slows and widens.

Someone with imagination had been here shortly before we arrived, and left us a fond salutation. This sort of thing takes a sensible imagination which I lack but can thoroughly enjoy.

Scooterchick is trying to frame the perfect picture of the trees and river.

We sat in the sun, enjoying the day and incidentally enjoying the heck out of each other at the same time! I can't help it. I'm in love.

We came to the Santiam Pass and took this picture of a helpful sign placed here by Oregon Dep't of Transportation.

This is a picture of Mount Washington which is an extinct volcano of 7,794 feet. It lies to the South of the highway.

This is Three Fingered Jack to the North, which comes in at 7,844 feet.

Soon enough we were down on the flats again at Sisters Oregon and it was time to eat. I don't know if it was a late lunch or an early dinner. it was around 4:30.

We decided to try Takoda's. It looked better than the nearest fast food choices.

The interior was best described as Semi-Faux Old Timey Eatery. I took a couple pictures before the food arrived.

There are a lot of antiques throughout these areas, because the climate is so dry things neither rust nor rot.

I decided to go with a Patty Melt. For once not too salty! I requested the Rings well done and they were perfect. They were also served with home-made Dill Pickles. You can see by their absence that they were the first to go.

We continued on to Redmond Oregon, then turned north. A must see stop was Smith Rock State Park. It is a climbing and hiking mecca in the area. A few pictures will show you why.

Due to the lateness of the hour and our total lack of desire to risk life and limb, we decided to leave the climbing to those who could boast "don't try this at home, we're professionals!"

We headed north through Madras and then uphill towards The Dalles.

With some surprise we came briefly down off the hill to cross the Deschutes River which is teeming with rafting companies, and passed through the tiny town of Maupin which we didn't even know existed. It boasts a whopping population of 422.

Back up into the heights we went and across the arid plateau towards our destination. The sun was setting and I caught a picture of Mount Hood in the last few rays of it's decline.

A few miles further on I caught another picture of Mt. Hood. Majestic even from this distance. Even moreso in the setting sun.

The last picture for this entry as we descend into The Dalles to find our hotel.
The colors cannot be captured with the lens with the impact one gets upon the naked eye. The entire western sky is afire with glorious sunset.

We arrived at our hotel at 9 pm. Time to close this blog, shower and sleep. Thanks for coming along.