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Thursday, December 30, 2010

We've Been Everywhere

I think everyone has heard the song by Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere,” and after a full riding season during 2010, I think we have “been everywhere” in Washington (and parts of Canada) riding on the trike with friends. We rode on local and county roads, on interstates, and internationally. Cruising by the rivers, the inlets, and the ocean shores. We saw the fields full of crops, thick forests, full orchards, and baron land. Across the plains, over the foothills, down through the valleys, and to the tops of mountains. I was toting a camera and a small note book as we headed east, west, north, south…we did it all, saw it all, experienced it all, at least all that we could in the time that we had.

Roads: Chuckanut Drive (Wizards path through Oz), Smith Road, Noon Road, Mt, Baker Highway, Silver Beach, Lake Louise Road, Park Road, South Pass, North Pass, Big Lake Road, Gunderson Road, Slater Road, highway 9, I-5, highway 99 (The Pacific Highway), highway 20, Haxton Road, Red River Road, Kickerville Road, Lake Samish Road, Nulle Road, Prairie Road, Canada hwy. 1, Canada hwy. 3 (Crows Nest Highway), Loup Loup Pass, Yakima Canyon, Blewett Pass, highway 99 (known as Duffy Lake Road, Ershig Road, Colony Road, W. Lake Samish Drive, State Street, Holly Street, Marine Drive, Haxton Road, Red River Road, Park Road

Places: Skagit River, Baker Lake, Upper Baker Dam, Beaver Lake, Big Lake, Lake McMurray, Clear Lake , Lake Martha, Bay View State Park, Mt. Erie, Deception Pass, Simik Bay, Twisted Bison, Blue Mountain Grill, Clear Lake, Zuanich Point Park, Hood Canal, San Juan Island, San Juan De Fuca, Lime Kiln Point State Park, Haro Strait, Moose Lodge, Ski to Sea, Starbucks, Larrabee Park, Blue Mountain Grill, Pt. Whitehorn Marine Reserve, Semiahmoo, Nooksack Casino, Skagit Casino, Corner Tavern, Longhorn Saloon, Manning Park, Spectacle Lake, Bonaparte Lake Resort, Lake Padden, Pass Lake, Keystone Ferry, Hood Canal, Quinault Beach Resort & Casino, Lake Mayfield, Riffe Lake, Mt. Rainer National Park, Whistlin’ Jacks, Naches River,), Duffy Lake, Fraser Valley, Diablo Overlook, Cap Sante Park, Washington Park Burrow Channel, Fidalgo Island, Toys4Tots, Blue Mountain Grill

Cities & Towns: Rockport, Darrington, Arlington, Sedro Woolley, Conway, Stanwood, Warm Beach, Marysville, Darrington, Wickersham, Acme, Concrete, Sedro Woolley, Edison, Anacortes, LaConner, Ferndale, Kendall, Everson, Coupeville, Acme, Conway, Big Lake, Ferndale, Friday Harbor, Arlington, Birch Bay, Republic, Princeton, Osoyoos Lake, Wauconda, Chesaw, Molson, Loomis, Tonasket, Twisp, Winthrop, Marblemount, Oak Harbor, Elma, Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Raymond, Pe Ell, Vader, Toledo, Morton, Wenatchee Pateros, Lynden, Vancouver, Whistler, Pemberton, Lillooet (Cayoush Flats), Cache Creek, Lytton, Hope, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Sumas, Alger, Bellingham, Burlington, Monroe, Sultin, Start Up, Gold Bar, Index, Baring, Skykomish, Wellingham, Nason Creek, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Lake Chelan, Edison, Oak Harbor, Yakima, Oamk

2010--it was a very good year and the New Year is about to dawn bringing with it new adventures with our friends on the bikes and trikes we love, memories to make, photographs to share.

Down the Wizard’s path through Oz
Searching for eagles
Lunch is just another reason to ride
Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye,
My oh my what a wonderful day
Clear the cobwebs from your mind
It’s not exotic destinations
But your own backyard
Friends don’t let friends ride alone
Especially on the Vernal Equinox
Time to bless the bike and be blessed
Defying the extreme caution sign we proceeded
Potholes or sinkholes as they might have been called
Muddy water, dips, puddles, and holes
But at the end of the mine field was lunch with friends
A Sunday afternoon ride
Up where eagles fly or off to see the Orcas
Lavender fields, lavender chocolate, lavender cookies
Enough of the lavender
The Orcas were a no show so we pointed the cameras at each other
A “double down” snack and the freeway home
Moose Lodge Thursday night tacos
Or was that all you can eat Friday fish and chips
We went back to school to give away a scholarship
Volunteered at Ski to Sea
Starbucks again…oh darn
Blue Mountain Grill always a great stop
Visiting with an old friend from Milwaukee
Celebrating Fathers Day…just another reason to “ride to eat”
5th Annual Republic ride with the birthday boy
Back in the USA…almost, maybe, let’s see, okay
Lake Padden for burgers and dogs
Lillooet way up north in the wilderness
Oyster Mountain Cascade Loop
No! we didn’t eat those mountain oysters
20 years riding with Santa to the Blaine Giving Tree
Park Road…It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it
Then round out the year helping Toys4Tots
Auld Lang Syne

Tennyson wrote:
Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring happy bells, across the snow,
The year is going, let him go,
Ring out the false, ring in the true

6,900 miles there abouts

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10-24-2010 Mt. Baker HOG Park Road Cleanup

Wednesday the weatherman’s forecast was for rain and high winds for Sunday morning and early afternoon. Thursday the forecast was the same. Dave Lahr who was organizing the Park Road cleanup said it was rain or shine so everyone should bring their raingear.

Larry picked up the vests, hats, garbage bags, and disposable gloves on Wednesday and Mike Gilbert arranged for some special prizes donated by Mt. Baker HOG to be won by those helping with the cleanup.

Sunday morning was a typical early fall morning in western Washington, grey, cloudy, with a strong chance of rain. We poured a cup of coffee to go and headed down the freeway towards Alger, passed Cain Lake, and onto the old Scooters Stuff store. When Larry and I arrived we found Pam and Pat taking cover under the small overhang to the store front. They said Dave and Brenda had gone up the road to drop off prizes and we told them we would return after putting out the safety signs.

The six of us stood huddled together the overhang laughing and trying to stay dry from the rain that was now a full downpour. As we laughed and talked waiting to see who would show up, Pat leaned back against the door to the store and it popped open. Whoa…. Well we took shelter inside and Pat and Pam called their friend who has the listing to let them know about the unlocked door and after the clean up and before we departed they had instructions on how to lock up the store. Meanwhile a group of HOG members had arrived and the rain was letting up. Dave L. gave quick instructions about what not to pick up, described the Jack-In-The-Box antenna balls that were scattered along the roadway that when found entitled you to a prize (8 in all). We were ready to go.

One group started at the store working their way uphill and the rest of us hitched a ride to the top of the road, about 4 miles from the start, and we began searching for trash to fill our bags. A few more members showed up and were dropped off at the midpoint and worked their way uphill. About an hour later and the road was clean…we hope…there were a lot of leaves covering the road and we did the best we could. Everyone was picked up and dropped back at the store.

Dave L. had called ahead to the Blue Mountain Grill and they were expecting our group for lunch. We were all looking forward to hot coffee, hot food, and a warm building to take the chill off. Just as we sat down and started combing over the menus to make our selections, the lights went out. The generator kicked in, then the power sort of came on and off again, and then the generator came back on. No matter how well you plan something, you can’t control the little things that happen in life. Judy, our waitress, had a pot of coffee and everyone who wanted coffee got a cup half full, all that is except Mike G. who somehow managed to get a full cup. A little checking and the staff said they could serve some breakfast items and some grill items, including French fries. We had choices and in a matter of minutes we placed our orders and sat back to visit with friends. We could hear Judy singing “You Light Up My Life” as she helped the staff get our orders ready while trying to conjure the lights on. We weren’t expecting to be serenaded. As Judy served up our meals she said this day should be called “The day the lights went out in Wickersham." (Remember the song, The night the lights went out in Georgia?)

Judy gave Nicole a quarter for the gumball machine as a Halloween treat leaving Lynn feeling a little left out so Judy brought him his own quarter and Nichole showed him where the candy machines were. Lynn skipped back to the table with a big smile on his face and a handful of jelly beans…it doesn’t take a lot to make Harley riders happy.

Judy referred to herself as “the little waitress that could” swinging her hips as she walked away.

Next time you see Monty be sure and ask him who won the Tinkerbell card game he was going to play with Nicole when they got home.

It was a good day. Together, Mt. Baker HOG members worked to improve our community by cleaning trash off the roadways. Judy at Blue Mountain Grill thanked us for helping out and I am sure everyone who travels up and down Park Road appreciates seeing the beauty of the road.

Photos by Dave Lahr

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mt. Baker HOG 20th annual Toy Run

October 9th, 2010

Mt. Baker Harley Owners Group 20th annual Toy Run to Blaine

The forecast was rain for the weekend. The reason we moved the toy run from Oct. to Sept. was to avoid rain; but due to unexpected changes this year we needed to move it back to Oct. Saturday morning was grey and overcast. Larry put on his raingear and prepared to head to the shop on the trike. I was driving the toy sleigh for the 11th year, so I would be dry and toasty warm.

We arrived at the shop to find Dave and Dawn to greet us and dressed for the weather and ready to ride. Slowly, a few people inside the shop appeared on the sidewalk and also said were going on the toy run. One or two at a time the riders pulled in on their bikes with saddle bags filled with toys.

At 10:45 AM we pulled out of Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson with 12 bikes, 1 bike with a sidecar, 2 trikes, a cage, and Santa’s sleigh. Jan was filming the procession as we headed south on State Street and it was fun to watch the video on Facebook later that afternoon.

Larry Marrs was the road captain and Dave Johnson was the sweep as we rode south on State Street, turned on Holly St. out to Marine Drive, past the Lummi Island ferry to Haxton Rd., then Red River Road, and a series of left right left turns meandering through the county. The sun was peeking out, the wind had died down, and it looked like the rain might hold off. An eagle flew about 12 feet high over the roadway and approximately 20 yards out in front of Larry as the group headed out Haxton. Dawn pointed out an eagle perched in a tree on the water side of the road and that was about it for wildlife sightings.

We arrived in Blaine to find there was a farmers’ market downtown so the bikes drew a lot of attention from the shoppers including Ron Snyder a former HOG member who waved to the group from his booth. We arrived just after 12:00 PM to find Santa (Martin Conyac) had arrived ahead of us and was waiting in the parking lot at Stafholt Retirement Center along with our photographer Dave L.

We unloaded the toys and Mike G. presented Stafholt, on behalf of the Blaine Giving Tree, a check from Mt. Baker HOG to purchase additional toys for the Giving Tree Program. Dennis, one of our newest members rode his bike into the building so the residents and staff could not only see a HD bike close up, they could hear and feel the potato, potato, potato vibration. A few of the residents had their pictures taken with the bike and we were treated to hot coffee and cookies. Santa greeted the residents and it was a good day for everyone. We waved good-bye to Stafholt and most of the group headed off to Big Al’s for lunch which was just down the street.

We were just a little fashionably for late for lunch because we took a more scenic route to Blaine, enjoying the weather. The waitress got us all seated, drinks served and meals ordered. Now we could just sit back and catch up with friends and listen to the adventures we each had been on since our last ride together--Lots of laughter between friends, photographs, and memories.

Thanks to those participating in the toy run: Dave and Dawn, Dave and Brenda, Dana and Mike, Joan and Rick, Monty and Nicole, Mike and Jeannie, Bill and Marla, Dave M., Shelia, Mike L., Luann, Larry B., Dennis, JD, Ron and Lorri, Martin, Larry and Billie. Thanks also to those who could not ride but dropped off a toy ahead of time. Helping our fellow Whatcom community members in need is what Mt. Baker HOG has been about since it was first founded in 1991 and we continue support various local charities and events making a difference in people’s lives.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sunshine, Harleys, and Friends

Thursday night at dinner we made plans to ride on Saturday. We didn’t know where we were going, just that we were going to ride and have fun. One of the Daves was leading and one of the Daves was sweeping.

Saturday morning and it looks overcast and grey outside but that isn’t going to keep us home. We packed the bag with raingear, put on our heated liners, and headed off to where else….Sehome Starbucks. What a surprise when we arrived. The parking lot was full and more cars coming. What was going on? Our group was parked in front of Robecks and we squeezed the front end of the trike in between two other bikes that were facing out. Seems that REI was having one of their big clearance sales and everyone from several counties, college kids, and Canadians were lined up, waiting for the doors to open at 10:00 AM. Bill said the line inside Starbucks was almost as long as the line for REI outside so we passed on a comfy chair and coffee this morning.

Six bikes with ten of us headed down Chuckanut for Anacortes at 10:00 AM, freeing up two more parking spaces for REI bargain hunters. It doesn’t matter how many times you travel down or up Chuckanut Drive, the scenery is constantly changing and it gives you something new to marvel at morning or night. The sun was burning off the fog and you could see across the bay all the way to Anacortes. Boats, large and small, power and sail were slowly filling the waters far below the roadway we traveled.

Through Edison, over to highway 20, across the bridge, and up to Cap Sante Park in Anacortes. The park is 27 acres on the eastern edge of Anacortes. Larry and I had never been to the top of the park and it was amazing. We could look east towards Chuckanut Mountain, north towards Vancouver Island, or south to the harbor down below in Anacortes. A remnant of an old amphitheater is located on the east bank of the park. Bill walked out on the rocky bluff and in a silhouette photo he looks like a sentinel keeping guard over the bay. The sky was clear blue and crisp as we watched a whaling boat leave the harbor and Dave L. heard them telling the passengers that the whales had been spotted on the west side of San Juan Island today.

We headed next to the 200 acre Washington Park in Anacortes and took the 2.3 mile park loop ride through the forest and meadows. The west side was close to the water and the views were peek-a-boo between the trees lining the shore. As we made several horseshoe turns and climbed higher we now could see the western side of peninsula overlooking Burrows Channel below us and Burrows Island across from us. To the right was the Tonjes Havekost monument honoring one of Fidalgo Island’s earliest pioneers. He stated, “Make my cemetery a park for everyone,” and today the monument stands near where he was buried.

Today was really a very informal ride, going to a few places that were new to some of us and we rode some less traveled routes coming and going. We stopped back in Anacortes for a quick lunch and traversed back across the Skagit Valley by way of Ershig Road to Colony Road to W. Lake Samish Drive and around the Lake. We split into two groups, one group staying on Samish Way heading for home and the other hitting the freeway for home. Sunshine, beautiful scenery, great friends, Dave and Brenda, Dave and Dawn, Bill and Marla, Rob and Kaye, Larry and me….What more could you want? (We missed you Dave and Lorie.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tina and her HD conversion trike

We met Tina riding  her HD trike conversion at a rest stop on our trip to Lake Chelan Saturday.  Tina was on her way west to the Oyster Run.  It's always fun to meet other trikers and take thier photos.

Oyster Mountain Cascade Loop Ride...Bellingham, Lake Chelan, Winthrop, and home

The last multi day ride of Mt. Baker HOG’s riding season. Bill Rodgers was the road captain, planning, arranging, and leading the ride with Larry Marrs as the sweep. This ride was designed to signify that our summer riding season is coming to a close and to go against the grain and ride east when most bikers would be heading west to the Oyster Run. When we were riding home on Sunday, everyone else was scattering in the opposite direction.

The Oyster Run is fun, but trying to ride your bike in between 5,000 to 20,000 other bikers in a two lane town, where parking is at a premium, and getting home can take anywhere from two to four hours; going east to warmer weather and less crowded roads seemed like the best of all possible ideas. Besides the forecast was for rain on this side of the mountains and we were looking for those last few rays of golden sunshine.

Of course where else would you meet up than Sehome Starbucks for coffee and conversation between friends? This is the way to start the day off right. Bill and Marla, Dave and Dawn, Dave and Lorie, Jay Schoening, Tim Tussing, Luann Rogers, Sheila Bayne, Larry Brown, and Larry and me.

We mounted up and headed down the highway at 8:30 AM, celebrating fall and being able to ride a few more miles enjoying the scenic fall colors in the Cascade Mountains before the snows begin to fall and the pass closes for the winter….Yipee!!! Yes we did have our heated gear on to start the day.

We headed down the freeway to Burlington and then turned off towards Sedro Woolley and highway 9. After we a quick stop at the roundabout we continued south past Big Lake. The smell of dark dank musty trees lining the two lane road signals that fall is here and in another few weeks these same roads will be covered in wet slippery leaves leaving the trees almost bare.

We passed through Monroe, Sultan, Start Up, Gold Bar, Index, Baring, Skykomish, and Wellington on our way to Leavenworth. The shrubs hugging the steep hillsides were in full fall splendor ranging from russet reds to brilliant oranges and the tree leaves glistened from the palest yellows to burnt umber. We stopped at Nason Creek rest stop to stretch our legs, get a cup of coffee and a cookie before the last few miles into Leavenworth for a gas stop and lunch. At least that was the plan. When we pulled into Leavenworth we found the road blocked and a detour set up. We gassed up the bikes and found out there was a parade in town. We turned off highway 2 and followed Icicle Road to E. Leavenworth road until we met up at highway 2 again. Not wanting to get caught in the traffic and confusion we headed west to Cashmere where we stopped at Barney’s for lunch. It was only a little farther and the food was good. Even the best thought out and double checked plans (Bill called on Friday to confirm our lunch reservation and no one mentioned a parade) can require a change of plans. It’s the adventure of where the road takes you that makes riding a Harley so enjoyable.

We arrived in Chelan in time to still see the last of the hydro planes races finishing around 3:00 PM. We checked in and everyone found their rooms and a little quiet time before meeting up before dinner for appetizers (pepper jack cheese, crackers, buffalo meat sticks, and peanuts). Yes, even bikers like the finer things in life.

We had dinner plans for 7:00 PM at the Tin Lilly just a few short blocks down the hill from our motel so we decided to walk down. We had to wait on the covered patio for an hour before we moved from the big tables with bar chairs to the dinner tables with regular chairs--six feet away--before we got a menu and our server took our order. Now all was not lost during this time because we laughed and joked and just enjoyed being in each other’s company which is what the end of the day, kick stands down, is all about. Relaxing. Dinner arrived and all I can say is Dave M. ordered the “Dude” for dinner. I was reminded what goes on in Lake Chelan, stays in Lake Chelan by Jay more than once, so I had to put my pen and notebook away and my lips are sealed. You really need to go on one of these multi day rides and experience life on the road with your HOG family. These are the memories you treasure and talk about.

That short walk downhill to dinner required us to walk uphill after dinner and it wasn’t two blocks it was more like 4 blocks. Never fear though because Marla used one of the Lake Chelan orange street crossing flags to make sure we were safe. She perfected this so well that she again used the crossing flags the next morning to help us across the street for breakfast at the Apple Cup.

We were packed up and ready to ride out at 9:00 AM Sunday morning. The roads were quiet as we headed towards Twisp. Church parking lots were filling up with cars, a few fly fishers were on the river, and the rest of the world must have slept in. Winthrop was just starting to look busy as we quickly moved through town headed straight for Diablo Overlook. The clouds and fog hung around the high peaks and down in the valleys as we rode through the pass. It was peaceful and serene. The waterfalls next to the road and those that could be seen cascading down the steep mountain peaks were full due to the heavy overnight rains. We had a few intermittent big rain drops and an occasional mist fall on us, but nothing that required pulling over for raingear.

A short break at Diablo and the next stop would be Marblemount for gas. Fuel for the bikes and snacks and drinks for the body and we were ready to head home on the final leg. Closer to home, we did find a bit more moisture in the air but still nothing that required stopping to put on our rain gear. To the West it looked grey and wet but to the north it looked slightly better where we were going.

We again slowly broke off, waved, and honked, as we each headed for our final destination…home…a hot shower, hot coffee, fireplace, the Sunday paper, and football.

Thank you Bill for a great ride. You are an excellent road captain and I look forward to many more rides with you.

So what is a mountain oyster? Rocky Mountain oysters are also known as prairie oysters or calf fries, and are considered to be a North American culinary delicacy (to some) and are said to resemble a raw sea oyster. The testicles of young bulls (or sheep) are removed to discourage aggressive behavior and promote growth. They are usually served as novelty appetizers in western steakhouses and Montana hosts a testicle festival every year. They are almost always sliced and deep fried and it is said that they have a slight liver like flavor.

No one on this trip looked on the menu for or consumed any rocky mountain oysters, so no cattle or sheep were harmed or faced unnecessary cruelty on our part. If you are brave enough, and I am not, here is a recipe to try out.

Rocky Mountain Oysters
2 pounds calf or sheep testicles
2 cups beer
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup yellow cornmea1
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Vegetable oil**
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

With a very sharp knife, split the tough skin-like muscle that surrounds each testicle. Remove the skin (you can remove the skin easily if the testicles are frozen, then peel while thawing). Slice each testicle into approximately 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick ovals. Place slices in a large pan or bowl with enough beer to cover them; cover and let sit 2 hours.

In a shallow bowl, combine eggs, flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper sauce.

Remove testicles from beer; drain and dredge thoroughly in the flour mixture. In a large, deep pot, with the pan half filled with oil, heat to 375 degrees F. Deep fry 3 minutes or until golden brown. The mountain oysters will rise to the surface when done. Drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with hot pepper sauce for dipping.

Mt. Baker HOG...Lake Chelan trip

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pam Ferry - Show and Shine 2010 - Jen's pick, Boston Pizza

Show and Shine bike and car show....Mt Baker Harley-Davidson, Boston’s Restaurant and Sports bar & Corvettes Unlimited Support fundraiser for Communities In Schools of Whatcom County. 

Congratulations Pam.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mt. Baker Chapter ride to Lillooet

Lillooet Canada

Saturday August 28th, 2010 the Mt. Baker Harley Owners Group met up at Starbucks on Bakerview. Where else would you start a morning ride when Mt. Baker H-D isn’t open yet for business? Coffee!

Oh give me a cup
Or two or three
Where it brews all day long
And the beans never run out
A comfy chair
With music in the air
And a fireplace soon to come

How may I help you?

Coffee that’s what I want
Now gimme my coffee
Cause I gotta wake up
Money don’t buy everything
But it does buy a cup of Joe
Hot, cold, latte, café mocha,
Sugar, cream, foam
Caffeine, decaf
Whip, no whip
That’s what I want
6 AM till bedtime
It’s all good

Before we made the last three day ride, Larry purchased a new Harley-Davidson tour-pak rack bag for the trike. It holds our raingear, gloves, muffs, neck scarfs, sunglasses, and a place to keep the quick layers we shed or need to add when riding. It worked out perfectly and made packing the trike easier because now we just attach the bag and go, everything stays in the bag. No more looking in the garage cubbies for everything we need. No more driving Larry crazy because I have misplaced something I can’t find and I can’t ride without.

We had coffee, a morning pick me up, drew our first poker card, and we were ready to ride. Dave McNeill our lead road captain, Bob and Carole Chambers, Dave and Dawn Johnson, Shelia Bayne our sweep, Mike and Dana Snyder, Tim Tussing, and Larry and I pulled out of Starbucks at 8:00 AM headed for the border at Lynden.

The border crossing went fairly quickly with the usual questions: where are you going, how long are you staying, what are you bringing with you, how do you know these other people riding a Harley. Once we all crossed we headed north and saw hundreds of cars, headed south, maybe a mile and a half long waiting to cross into the USA to shop, visit friends, go to the beaches???? I don’t know, but we were glad we were headed north.

Whenever possible you avoid the freeways but sometimes it is unavoidable to get somewhere without using the freeway. This trip we were heading towards north Vancouver and the freeway was a better choice than the city streets, although neither option is optimal.

It wasn’t always easy to stay as a group because some drivers just feel the need to squeeze in between a group of bikes even when there is not enough room for another bike--not yielding when they should, or they think you should just get out of the way, move over, and let them in, or out, or by. As Larry likes to say “we defied death and destruction” and made it to our first pit stop unscathed physically, if not mentally. We all agreed that having heated gear was a good thing. It was only in the 40’s when we left and I’m not sure what the wind chill factor was riding down the freeway but it felt a lot like February.

The roads to Whistler have been greatly improved since Vancouver hosted the 2010 winter Olympics. Four lanes of newly paved asphalt in most places but even when the road narrowed to one lane each way the bumps, dips, and potholes were gone. The next stop was Squamish for gas.

We pulled into Pemberton a little after noon and stopped for lunch at the Pony Bar Restaurant Café. The weather had warmed up and we choose to sit on the patio rather than inside where it was a little too warm and stuffy. The portions were generous and the typical bar/restaurant foods have been given a gourmet twist. Who would have thought in the middle of nowhere you would find a unique biker friendly gourmet place to eat, but then everywhere is somewhere to someone. We drew our second poker card during lunch.

Now it was time to head to Lillooet which meant up and over highway 99 also known as Duffy Lake Road. Dave M. had cautioned anyone who had not crossed a wooden bridge that even when they are dry they are very slick and we would be crossing a number of them before we reached Lillooet. The road had twists, turns, steep grades, tight corners, hairpin turns, bumps, ruts, gouges, and sometimes these were back to back or all together in one short stretch. In about 200 feet we had rough road, gravel, one lane, a wooden bridge, and construction. Just as we crossed our 3rd wooden bridge, a car was in the ditch on its side. No one was around but we all figured it took the bridge too fast and learned a hard lesson.

We stopped at Duffy Lake for a short break before heading down the canyon for Lillooet. We checked into our hotel and Dave M. made dinner reservations for our group at Dina’s Restaurant which serves Greek and Italian foods. Kickstands down it was time for cold drinks, snacks, hot showers, and time to unwind with friends sitting in the parking lot next to the bikes talking about the adventures of the day. Carole was adventurous and took a short hike to work up an appetite. I was fighting a sinus infection so I took a headache pill and crawled under the covers for a quick nap. Larry found the ice machine and joined the group.

Lillooet was originally known as Cayoush Flats and the name was changed around 1860. It became the second largest town north of San Francisco and west of Chicago due to the discovery of gold. Lillooet is mile 0 on the Cariboo Road and boasted 13 saloons and a population of over 16,000 people. It has seen several boom and bust days and was almost destroyed by fire in the 1970’s. Lillooet was also the location of a Japanese-Canadian internment camp during WWII. The economy now is based around logging, ranching, farming, and tourism.

We had our same table as last year at the restaurant and after making our food selections we went back to laughing talking and just enjoying a relaxing evening with friends. Dave pulled out the deck of cards and everyone drew their 3rd card. No one really had a sure bet and Dave was going to draw the last two cards when we got back to our hotel and then everyone could see what their final hand was.

We checked out the Lillooet Inn Restaurant across the street to see what time they opened for breakfast (7:00 AM) and then slowly wandered back up the street to our rooms. We pulled out the chairs again and Dave M. drew the final cards. Larry was the big winner with a pair of 10’s and his prize was a dual mode flashlight. Dana took 2nd place and Mike drew the first joker as a consolation prize. Thanks Dave M. for the poker game and the prizes, it was a nice extra touch to an already great weekend.

We agreed that those who wanted to have breakfast would go at 7:00 and then be gassed up and ready to ride out at 8:30 AM.

Dave, Tim, Shelia, Carole, Dana, Mike, Larry, and I started the morning off with a full breakfast or other just having toast. Coffee, tea, or milk? Everyone was loaded up and as we looked at the grey clouds, zipped up, and plugged in to ride out in the 40 degree weather; we all decided that the power of collective positive thinking and prayer would keep the rain drops away. And it did.

We headed north east towards Cache Creek for our first pit stop. Dana and Mike are leaving the group to continue their stay in Canada camping for a couple of days, exploring, and Dana had her photography equipment so I am sure we are going to see some of her extraordinary photos when they return. After they left, the rest of the group continued on to Lytton for a break and then Boston Bar for a gas stop and lunch break. Dave commented after we had eaten that he had always wondered about stopping at this little place for lunch. Dawn told him that now he knew why he had always kept on going. You never know until you do stop, and make a note, if it is worthy of stopping at again. When we arrived we were the only bikes in the parking lot and when we left it was full of bikes. Dawn and I wondered if they stopped because they saw our bikes and we led the astray. Sorry we didn’t know either, but we do now. It still wasn’t warming up and the layers were staying on.

We stopped at Lake of the Woods rest stop before heading towards Hope, Agassiz, highway 1 to Chilliwack, and the Sumas border. The sun bearing down on us as we stood talking in the small parking lot--talking had us soaking up the warmth and Shelia decided it was going to be warm and took off that heated liner. Little did we know that in just a few minutes we might not need to plug in but that liner would be a good barrier from the wind coming through the Fraser Valley. From Hope through Agassiz the two lane road was lined with cars, trucks, and trailers, wherever a fisherman could get to the river and cast a line. The salmon were running and everyone was on the banks trying to catch one.

All those Canadians who had headed east for the weekend on Saturday was returning home on a Sunday afternoon and sometimes our group was split apart. Slow going but the border wait was only about twenty minutes once we arrived. We made our last pit stop at the last gas station on the right hand side of the road in Sumas to say our good-byes before heading our separate ways home

Dave M. did his usual excellent job planning the ride, arranging rooms, meals, games, and a safe journey. Shelia was an excellent road sweep watching our backs, helping ease the group out into traffic safely, also ensuring a safe journey, and boy can that girl zip and zoom on her new bike. Thanks Dave and Shelia.

Thanks Dave, Sheila, Dave, Dawn, Carole, Bob, Tim, Dana, Mike, for going along for the ride and the great memories of our travels. Larry and I enjoyed our time spent with each of you and we can’t wait for the next ride.

Mt. Baker Chapter Harley Owners Group ride to Lillooet

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pam has a brand new trike

Pam and Mt. Baker HD owner Greg Head.

Pam owned a 2010 sunglo red Street Glide trike and then she saw the 2011 Tri Glide Ultra Classic merlot sunglow/vivid black trike at Mt. Baker HD, and knew she had to have it. She made a trade and calls her new trike “my new convertible.”  

photo  by Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trike Owners Karen and Mike

I received a copy of your blog from our Chapter Dealership (Columbia HD). What a fun and exciting blog you do have. Our names are Karen & Mike. We have been HOG members for a little over two years and enjoy the synergies of biking and more. Sounds like you folks have a fun group to ride. Hopefully our paths will cross again. Our day took us to South Bend for oysters. We consumed many of these delicious morsels at Chester's Bar & Grill. With the scorching temperatures of 100+ we decided to head west to Long Beach. There the temperatures dropped nearly 35 degrees within a 3 mile variance. It was fun but too extreme going form hot to cold. Thanks for sharing.

Signed, Mike

(Thank you Jason Rodgers, dealer/owner Columbia Motorcycle HD Vancouver WA, for helping us contact Karen and Mike.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

3 days, 860 miles, Priceless - Ocean Shores, Whistlin' Jacks,

My bags are packed
I’m ready to go
Larry washed the Harley
And polished the chrome
Get up early
Starbucks here we come
Hit the road
Wait for a ferry
The ocean is calling
Now it’s kickstands down
A night at the casino
Laughing and splashing
Relaxing with friends
Rolling, rolling, rolling
Dave is ready to ride
Move 'em on, head' em up
Head 'em up, move' em on
Move 'em on, head' em up
East to Morton
North to Rainer
West along the Naches River
Whistlin’ Jacks calls out
It’s dinner in the pines
The winding road home
Through the canyon
The orchards
Past the lakes
Over the mountain
Good times and memories
Photographs to share

3 days, 860 miles, priceless

As we headed out from Ferndale Friday morning at 6:15 AM the fog was hugging the ground and the morning sun was starting to burn it off, making it look like smoke slowly rising. “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge is playing on the cd player as we ride through town on our way to meet up with our HOG family at Sehome Starbucks.

Marla and Bill were already at Starbucks when we arrived and enjoying a morning cup of coffee. Just after we arrived, Dave and Lorie, Dave and Dawn, Glenn and Martha, Bob and Carole arrived. Everyone finished their coffee and we headed straight to the Keystone Ferry.

Either the fish weren’t biting as we went past Pass Lake, or all the fisherman had decided to sleep in today, because the lake was quiet and still with not even a duck paddling around to disturb the quiet waters. Over Deception Pass and we pulled in to the ferry terminal with only about fifteen minutes to wait before our ferry arrived. Great timing. A chrome yellow bike pulling a trailer pulled in behind us. They were from Anacortes heading to Montana and Idaho by way of Seaside Oregon. They weren’t riding a Harley but it was fun talking with them and checking out their bike. They had pictures of their grandkids on the saddle bags, and he is a school bus driver so they had a pivoting stop sign on one of the antennas.

We rode down the Hood Canal and stopped in Elma at the Rusty Tractor for lunch. The county fair was taking place so the little town of Elma was jumping. One group of people who stopped for lunch, looked at the Harleys in the parking lot and were heard to exclaim that they were going someplace else because those Harley people might be packing guns.

From Elma it was only about a forty minute ride to the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino where we were staying. That would be on a normal day. It was Friday, Friday afternoon, one of the bridges is closed, traffic was rerouted and backed up for blocks and we were stuck in it. Aberdeen and Hoquiam sort of resembled the Guide Meridian on a Friday afternoon. The weather was hot, the cages were not always courteous to us, the bikes were getting hot, and there were no shortcuts. Glenn and Martha left the group to visit with family before meeting us at the casino for dinner.

Four floors up, with a view of the beach, a pleasant breeze was blowing inland off the ocean through the open screen door that led to the porch that was 4 inches wide with guard rails to protect you if you tried to step outside, you could watch the waves lapping at the shore as the tide was slowly rising. Horses and riders raced back and forth across the beach; barefooted children chased each other, while others sat in beach chairs just enjoying the afternoon sun. Our room had a fireplace dividing the sleeping area form the sitting area. Unfortunately we only admired the aesthetics of the fireplace and didn’t try it out for ambience. It was already hot enough in Quinault.

We arrived about 2:30 PM which gave everyone (well almost everyone, Dave and Dawn didn’t get a room till about 4:00 PM) time to kick back, walk on the beach, or play one of the many games in the casino. We met up in Bill and Marla's room for a cool drink before our 7:00 PM dinner after which we did a quick dance through the bar. Some went back to their rooms, and some tried their luck in the casino. Those who went back to their rooms were winners, those who walked around and didn’t bet were winners, some lost a little slowly, some lost quickly, some won a little and some won big. Carole had a wicked smile as she played the slots, Martha had a look of determination and concentration as she tried to figure out how her machine worked, Bill has a competitive streak and encourage Marla to keep playing, and Dave M. was on a mission.

Saturday morning and we were loading up the bikes. Bill and Marla again were the first ones downstairs and almost packed and ready to roll. Just call Marla “smokin’ hot” next time you see her. Everyone was checked out and almost everyone had at least one cup of coffee before we hit the road. We stopped for breakfast at a little diner on our way to Raymond to meet up with Martha and Glenn. Next stop was Pe Ell for a break and we arrived just before the Vancouver HOG chapter pulled out. They were heading the direction from which we had just come, and we were going east. We saw buffalo in Vader and stopped for cold drinks in Toledo, just before we crossed over the freeway. We passed beautiful Lake Mayfield and the tip of Riffe Lake before we arrived in Morton. It was the 69th annual Loggers Jubilee that Morton refers to as “The Granddaddy of all Logging Shows”. It was wall to wall people, cars, bikes, trucks, etc. It was 930 and all we cared about was a cold drink, a snack, and a little shade. We could handle the traffic.

We continued east and into Mt. Rainer National Park. The tall forest trees that towered over the winding, twisting park roads dropped the temperature allowing us to enjoy a pleasant ride through the park and a much needed break from the heat of the valley floor. The park was not overly crowded and we stopped near the top for our last break before heading to Whistlin’ Jacks.

There were an amazing number of bikes at Whistlin’ Jacks when we pulled in, but they were having a late lunch, stopping at the bar, filling up their bikes at the gas station, or stocking up on supplies in the store. Within an hour they were all gone except for the regular guests and the forest service workers staying at Whistlin’ Jacks. The Naches River was right behind our rooms and the babbling sounds of the water as it cascaded over the rocks was almost enough to lull you to sleep for a short nap. Dave M. arranged dinner reservations for the group at 7:00 PM, because if you didn’t have reservations, you weren’t going to get dinner. We stayed at the table long after the food was gone, just enjoying talking and laughing with friends.

Today we saw lots of motorcycle trikes, Can-Am Spyders, Honda’s, Harleys, VW conversations and Rat Trikes; shiny chrome and painted in red, white, yellow, black, orange, two tones, and tri colors. Something for everyone I guess, but we love our Harley Tri Glide Trike.

We were up and on the road by 7:00 AM because it was going to be a long days ride home and it was going to be hot. Along the Naches River, Marla and Dawn both saw a mother quail and her babies by the side of the road. As we headed up the Yakima Canyon, Dawn saw mountain goats but that was about the limit of wildlife sightings on this trip with the exception of common deer.

We stopped at Mineral Springs Restaurant on Blewett Pass for breakfast. We were a feisty group as we placed our orders with the waitress and that gave her a lot to chide us about as everyone laughed and joked. She even began referring to Dave M. as “sir”. The portions are generous and Bob ordered a short stack of pancakes that was short but was as big around as his plate. Bill kept looking over my shoulder to look at those pancakes to see if he had made a mistake in placing his order. I opted for peach pie for breakfast. It’s homemade, it sounded good, and I was on vacation.

A layer of sweatshirts and sweaters came off before we mounted up and headed to Wenatchee where the other side of the pass would be much hotter. A quick stop in Wenatchee for cold drinks remove jacket panels, put on sunscreen, and hit the road for Pateros which would be our next stop. There wasn’t much traffic on a Sunday afternoon headed towards Twisp and Winthrop which made the hot dry afternoon ride that much easier. Fresh fruit, milkshakes, fruit smoothies, and we were ready to ride again.

Twisp was hot but not crowded. I guess everyone headed home early today. We gassed up the bikes, found some shade to enjoy a cold drink before braving Winthrop on a Sunday afternoon.

Again we were surprised to find only a few vehicles moving through town and no stop and go traffic. Next stop Marblemount on the other side of the mountain.

It wasn’t any cooler on the western side of the mountain than it was on the eastern side but we were much closer to home. Now we were headed for the freeway where we would peel off as we reached the exit closest to our respective homes. We waved, we honked, and soon it was just Larry and me headed back to Ferndale.

It was a great three days riding with our friends. Amazing scenery, great roads, new places we visited; and as fun and effortless as this ride was to participate in, it does take careful planning and attention to detail to make it all work. Thanks Dave M. for again for all the great pre-ride logistics work and for being a wonderful lead road captain; and thanks to Dave J. for always having our backs as sweep.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Not Really a Trike...It Just Looks Like One!

Rob Tygret of Eagles in Flight comes across the most amazing trikes or in this case a motorcycle with an extra set of wheels made to look like a trike.

I'm not sure from what I have read if it is legal in Washington state but the conversion kits are being sold here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Party Animals - A HOG Picnic

The annual Mt. Baker H.O.G. picnic was a smashing success. Just ask Monty Brown. It doesn’t take a lot to entertain our group and after everyone threw in a few dollars for charity, Monty wearing his yellow Harley sunglasses for protection took a pie in the face from his daughter Nichole and a little help from Mt. Baker owner Greg Head. Monty only had one request…it had to be Marionberry pie and since Greg had brought about ten pies and half were Marionberry, we all laughed, cheered, took pictures, and congratulated Monty while Nicole whooped and danced with joy seeing her dad’s face covered in pie. Now a little side note to this is that without a little pre-pie conditioning it might not have been quite the display that is was. The quick minds of Dawn and Kaye realized that a scored top pie crust would make sure the filling would ooze out so that we got our money’s worth, so they prepared the pie. What a way to finish the day.

Mike Gilbert did an excellent job of planning the picnic, arranging a year in advance for the reservations for the covered picnic area at Lake Padden and the baseball field. He had a little help from his wife Jeannie who was sent out on a Saturday afternoon to Costco, Wal-Mart, and Fred Meyers to do the shopping--along with everyone else in the county and all the Canadian shoppers. A core group of volunteers, Dave Lahr, Dave and Dawn Johnson, Kaye and Rob Hansen all arrived early Sunday morning to help set up. The ice chests were bulging with cold drinks, the coolers were full of hotdogs and hamburgers waiting to be grilled, and the tables began filling up with side dishes and desserts as the HOG members and shop employees began to arrive.

It was a little chilly and everyone had at least a sweatshirt or two, or a coat that they kept on until early afternoon when that small, tiny, speck of clear sky finally gave way to sunshine and warmth.

Dave Lahr and Larry Marrs were the chefs preparing the burgers and dogs and Kaye Hansen took on the bbq grill cleanup job. With pasta dishes, fresh vegetables, chips, dip, (Shelia Bayne won an award for the best side dish…a seven layer Mexican dip that went so fast a lot of people didn’t even get to sample it), cakes, cookies, pies…lots of pies, (I won the dessert contest with a chocolate trifle renamed “Death by Chocolate" by the group), no one went home hungry.

We had new HOG members attending, one new person who is signing up as a HOG member, long time HOG members, spouses, kids, and shop employees made it was a great day to visit with friends, enjoy the food, desserts, and just relax. Dana Snyder brought a beautiful bouquet of lilies and gladiolus from her garden and this made it seem even more festive and gave the picnic some elegance.

Neither the HOG group nor the shop had a full roster of nine players for a softball game, but both teams took the field and had a great time hitting and fielding the ball. Bob Bayne had the players all spread out when Bill Rodgers took the plate expecting a long hard hit to left field, when I called out to Bill, bunt…and he did…and Bob had to run for the ball. Of course Bob was right and the next ball was way out in left field. Dana Snyder took some amazing photographs of the players as they came to bat and Dana was also teaching a mini photography class to Emily who then took a number of photos herself. Mike Sunderlin was also in attendance with his camera getting some great shots of the players on and off the field and those candid shots we didn’t even know he took until he posted them on the web. Of course, this made it really easy for Dave Lahr, the chapter photographer, who didn’t have to try to be everywhere all the time and he actually got to sit down and relax a little.

Some of the HOG members had several picnics and events to attend: Mike & Patti Hoelze were on their second stop of three for the day, and Roger and Cheryl were also on stop two of three and making the effort to stop in and say hello and stay as long as they could before moving on to the next party. Some of the shop employees were headed to the eastside to warmer weather so they left after lunch. It’s not how long you stayed, but that you came and had a good time. A number of HOG members weren't there because they had commitments to church groups, family visiting from out of town, work related reasons, and some left on extended Harley trips and couldn’t come but they sent their regrets. I’m sure Mike Gilbert will have the date for next year’s picnic posted soon and you can mark your calendar and plan ahead. Dave and Lorie McNeill did return from a two week trip in time to attend the picnic...and we had forgotten the tomatoes.

That is what HOG is all about: owning a Harley, finding friends to ride with, share a meal with, and getting to know each other-- It’s a family. We had a great turn out from the trike riders: Vern, Donna, Jeannie, Harmon, and Larry.

photo by Mike Sunderlin

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do you know the warning sings of: heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps

Now that summer is officially here and at times it really feels like summer, there are warning signs to help prevent heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps not just when you are riding your motorcycle but any time you spend a prolonged amount of time outside in the sun and heat. The following information is from the Mayo Clinic:

Heatstroke is the most severe of the heat-related problems, often resulting from exercise or heavy work in hot environments combined with inadequate fluid intake.

Young children, older adults, people who are obese and people born with an impaired ability to sweat are at high risk of heatstroke. Other risk factors include dehydration, alcohol use, cardiovascular disease and certain medications.

What makes heatstroke severe and potentially life-threatening is that the body's normal mechanisms for dealing with heat stress, such as sweating and temperature control, are inadequate. The main sign of heatstroke is a markedly elevated body temperature — generally greater than 104 F (40 C) — with changes in mental status ranging from personality changes to confusion and coma. Skin may be hot and dry — although if heatstroke is caused by exertion, the skin may be moist.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

Rapid heartbeat

Rapid and shallow breathing

Elevated or lowered blood pressure

Cessation of sweating

Irritability, confusion or unconsciousness

Feeling dizzy or lightheaded



Fainting, which may be the first sign in older adults

If you suspect heatstroke:

Move the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned space.

Call 911 or emergency medical help.

Cool the person by covering him or her with damp sheets or by spraying with cool water. Direct air onto the person with a fan or newspaper.

Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine, if he or she is able.

Heat exhaustion is one of the heat-related syndromes, which range in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion to potentially life-threatening heatstroke.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion often begin suddenly, sometimes after excessive exercise, heavy perspiration, and inadequate fluid or salt intake. Signs and symptoms resemble those of shock and may include:

Feeling faint or dizzy


Heavy sweating

Rapid, weak heartbeat

Low blood pressure

Cool, moist, pale skin

Low-grade fever

Heat cramps



Dark-colored urine

If you suspect heat exhaustion:

Get the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location.

Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.

Loosen or remove the person's clothing.

Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine.

Cool the person by spraying or sponging him or her with cool water and fanning.

Monitor the person carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly become heatstroke.

If fever greater than 102 F (38.9 C), fainting, confusion or seizures occur, call 911 or emergency medical help.

Heat cramps are painful, involuntary muscle spasms that usually occur during heavy exercise in hot environments. The spasms may be more intense and more prolonged than are typical nighttime leg cramps. Inadequate fluid intake often contributes to heat cramps.

Muscles most often affected include those of your calves, arms, abdominal wall and back, although heat cramps may involve any muscle group involved in exercise.

If you suspect heat cramps:

Muscle cramps, usually in the abdomen & legs

Heavy perspiration

Lightheadedness, weakness, exhaustion

Rest briefly and cool down

Drink clear juice or an electrolyte-containing sports drink

Practice gentle, range-of-motion stretching and gentle massage of the affected muscle group

Don't resume strenuous activity for several hours or longer after heat cramps go away

Call your doctor if your cramps don't go away within one hour or so

Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:

Dry, sticky mouth

Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual


Decreased urine output — fewer than six wet diapers a day for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens

Few or no tears when crying

Muscle weakness


Dizziness or lightheadedness

Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:

Extreme thirst

Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults

Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes

Lack of sweating

Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber

Sunken eyes

Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn't "bounce back" when pinched into a fold

In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby's head

Low blood pressure

Rapid heartbeat


In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness

Unfortunately, thirst isn't always a reliable gauge of the body's need for water, especially in children and older adults. A better barometer is the color of your urine: Clear or light-colored urine means you're well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.

When to see a doctor

If you're a healthy adult, you can usually treat mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids. Get immediate medical care if you develop severe signs and symptoms such as extreme thirst, no urination for eight hours, shriveled skin, dizziness and confusion.

Treat children and older adults with greater caution. Call your family doctor right away if your child:

Develops severe diarrhea, with or without vomiting or fever

Has had episodes of vomiting for more than eight hours

Has had moderate diarrhea for three days or more

Can't keep down fluids

Is irritable or disoriented and much sleepier or less active than usual

Has any of the signs or symptoms of mild or moderate dehydration

Go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call 911 or your emergency medical number if you think a child or older adult is severely dehydrated. You can help prevent dehydration from becoming severe by carefully monitoring someone who is sick and giving fluids at the first sign of diarrhea, vomiting or fever and by encouraging children to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mt. Baker H.O.G. 5th annual Ride to Republic Washingoton

It’s 6:30 AM and time to get ready to leave for the Mt. Baker HOG 5th annual Republic WA ride. We met up with the group at the Barkley Starbuck about 7:30 AM. As we were ordering coffee and chatting with friends, Dave McNeill yelled out across the parking lot to Greg Head, owner of Mt. Baker H-D. Greg was picking up donuts for the shop and after he secured the box of donuts safely away from our group (haha) he came over to visit with us before we left.

Dave & Lorie McNeill, Bob & Carole Chambers, Dave & Dawn Johnson, Glenn & Martha Hutchings, Rick & Joan White, Mike & Jeannie Gilbert, Bill & Marla Rodgers, Mike & Dana Snyder, Larry and I headed out at 8:00 AM for the Sumas border crossing. Ken & Angie Williamson met us just across the Sumas border and we will be meeting Rick & Marina Engels and Dave Engels in Republic as they return from a two weeks motorcycle vacation.

We took highway 1 through Hope to highway 3, also known as The Crows Nest Highway, and made a pit stop for gas and then on through Manning Park where we stopped to stretch our legs. The resort at Manning Park was amazing with four carved wooden logs featuring woodland animals to welcome guests. We stopped at Billy’s in Princeton for lunch and after everyone had food, coffee, or cold drinks we were ready to fuel the bikes.

We rode through Osoyoos Lake located in the Southern Okanagan wine country that stretches into the USA. The lake is the warmest lake in Canada and for recreation you can lay on the sandy beaches, go boating, bicycling, or take a wine tour. Osoyoos is The Indian name that means “narrows” referring to where the lake narrows into the Okanogan River. The temperate had reached 780 so everyone was peeling layers off and Lorie was handing out bottles of cold water when we stopped to rest.

We didn’t see the sign that said the border crossing closes at 5:00 PM but Dave M., and Bill & Marla did. They were checking their watches and wondering if we were going to make it. Sometimes being at the end of the pack and not being in charge is a good thing…you aren’t the one to worry. We made it at 5 minutes to 5:00 PM. The gates were open and we were good to go. Or so we thought. These border agents weren’t sure they wanted to process the group and called a supervisor to see if they should let us in or send us to another crossing. The agents were given he okay for overtime and we slowly began the process of being checked. Well watching our leader dismount, take off his helmet, and open his bags for inspection, we settled in for a long wait. They said it takes about 90 seconds per inspection but our law abiding biker group must have overwhelmed the 2 agents and they were not going to take any chances. When they got to our truck, Officer Davidson verified that Larry’s occupation was what she was showing on her computer. Check! She didn’t really talk to me much but then she turned to Lorie and said you’re married to an old guy--and Lorie let Dave know that when we arrived in Republic. We were almost through when they decided Rick W. looked like a desperado riding his trusty Harley steed and pulled him aside. The short story is he one of the good guys, just someone else also has the same name and poor Rick has to suffer for the actions of another. The group proceeded on to Republic while Dave & Dawn, as sweep, remained with Rick and Joan until the paperwork was cleared up.

We arrived just before 6:00 PM; just about the time Rick was being given the go ahead to join us. It was just around 420 miles on the first day of our trip. Rick, Marina, and Dave, were in the parking lot to welcome us to Republic. They were relaxed and smiling, since they had arrived at 2:30 PM. Most of the group was checked in and ready for dinner when Dave, Dawn, Joan, and Rick arrived.

Valerie arranged for her friends Rick B. and Art to barbeque hamburgers at Art’s home just down the hill. We had homemade potato salad, baked beans, green salad, and watermelon. It was a summer picnic under the tents with good friends. Valerie had music playing and Rick E. was singing along with the Mavericks. Slowly, several at a time wandered back up the hill to our hotel. Tomorrow is another day of riding and sightseeing.

We left the Shell gas station at 8:30 AM (Dave M. tried to get us up and rolling a half hour earlier but Lorie was on our side bargaining for an extra half hour of sleep). We stopped at Wauconda to see if the new owners, Maddie and Neal Love (Harley owners), of the little store would have the new restaurant open for lunch later in the day. Sadly for us, not for another week, so we waved and headed toward Chesaw where the annual 4th of July rodeo and parade was taking place. They let us roll through and we passed on a pit stop there--because it would have cost us each $5.00—and we rode on to Molson.

Molson is a small, town in northern Washington, just two miles from the Canadian border. The brick school house is a treasure trove of historical items that have been donated by local families who attended the school. The ladies who volunteer at the old schoolhouse are friendly and welcoming. They will answer all your questions with a smile and invited anyone who played piano to tinker on the keys of a vintage piano on the second floor; and after a little encouraging, Dave Engels played a half minute tune. The town was named for John W. Molson a Canadian businessman who owned mining operations and owned the Molson beer company. The current population is 21 according to the 2010 t-shirts hanging in the school, despite a sign reading pop. 36 as we entered the town. If you have been to Molson before, you know that the first thing you do is head to the 2nd floor and buy a piece of homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. They were also serving an oatmeal cake, lemon bars, and several varieties of cookies. By the time our group left, they had brought out their 3rd pan of carrot cake.

On the way out of town we stopped to look at the old town buildings that show what life was really like in the old west. A shingle mill that was almost like the size of an outhouse, the jail, the old post office, settlers’ home, farm machinery, and the old bank and assessor’s office. It was a hard life with one board thick buildings and snow falling. No electricity, outhouses, and no Starbucks. We rang the old school bell and then mounted up and headed to Tonasket.

We rode through Oroville, past Spectacle Lake, and stopped in Loomis for cold drinks and ice cream before heading on our way. It was a pit stop in Tonasket for gas and then on to Bonaparte Lake Resort for lunch.

The staff was ready for us but the wind had come up so we sat inside and enjoyed the lake views. We laughed and talked about our ride, the sights (riding behind Dave and Dawn is a pleasure because Dawn has an uncanny ability to see eagles, their nest, deer, and anything else that is beside the road or flying overhead), the adventure; then, with full stomachs, we were ready to head back to Republic. We traveled about 163 miles of easy riding and more great memories of sharing the road with friends on Sunday.

Valerie had left the group early to head back to Republic to help prepare our dinner of smoked barbeque ribs. No one left the table hungry and everyone had sticky fingers but we still had room for fresh strawberries and shortcake for dessert. The wind picked up a little and a cool night breeze was blowing in so everyone grabbed a jacket or sweatshirt because no one wanted to go back to our rooms. It is too much fun when you can laugh with friends. We took a group photo of everyone who wore a t-shirt, vest, hat, etc. that read Mt. Baker HOG, Mt. Baker H-D, or Bellingham. We wore ours to Republic…where will you wear yours? We slowly meandered over to the barrel smoker that was radiating warmth and allowing us to linger outside a little longer. We sang happy birthday to Dave McNeill and that capped off the night.

There was a café open up the street if anyone wanted to venture out for breakfast, but most of us had the continental breakfast; a choice of oatmeal, bagels, English muffins, raisin bread, cereal, bananas, and hot coffee. Of course there was latte’s at the shell station or Starbucks in a bottle. At 8:00 AM we pulled out of the Shell station and headed for home. Bob and Carole met friends in Republic and were riding back home separate from the group. It felt more like a crisp fall morning than summer, so everyone wore layers or heated gear as we pulled out.

Omak was only at 760 when we stopped for a break and knowing Loup Loup Pass was still ahead, most riders opted not to remove their layers of warm clothing. There was hardly any traffic in either direction which made traveling the roads on a holiday weekend even more enjoyable.

We pulled into Twisp for an early lunch and the group split, because most places cannot accommodate an extra 20+ people for lunch without a reservation. The weather was warm but not hot and the discussion after lunch was to chance riding without the layers till we stopped at Rainy Pass or just keep them on. Most riders choose to keep the layers on.

We only had about a 10-15 minute wait to maneuver through the Winthrop traffic congestion and then we moved at a steady pace behind several RV’s and motor homes, without slowing down too much. Highway 20 in Washington has called the most beautiful mountain highway in the state. Next stop would be Marblemount and they proclaim to be the “Entrance to the American Alps.” Rain-drop keep falling our heads…but we rode on and didn’t stop at Diablo, just headed straight for Marblemount. The rain faded away and once off the mountain we could see blue skies to the north. Gas, cold drinks, and snacks and we were back on the road.

As we approached Bellingham, the bikes began to peel off, one, two and sometimes several, as everyone headed for home. We honked and waved as our friends left the group and then there were two. We stopped at Dave and Lories to unpack supplies and then headed across town for our home. 176 miles on Monday and over 700 miles total in three days. I can’t wait for next year to see what Dave M. has planned to switch up the ride. We’re ready.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moose Lodge Charity Poker Run

It was Sunday morning and while there was no chapter ride planned, Dave L. is a member of the Moose Lodge and they were hosting a poker run. Six bikes and nine HOG members showed up to represent Mt. Baker Harley Owners Group: Dave and Dawn, Dave M., Dave L., Mike G., Kathy and John, and Larry and myself.

We arrived for registration and breakfast at the Moose Lodge and then one large group of about 45 bikes and our smaller group of 4 bikes and 2 trikes rode out about 10:00 AM. First stop was the Nooksack Casino and I drew a queen of hearts. Next up was the Skagit Casino and I drew an ace of spades. I knew my luck would not hold but it was fun to have two good cards to start. The large group stayed at the casino to try their luck and our HOG group headed on to the Moose Lodge in Mt. Vernon. We drew our cards…I added a king of spades to my hand and we ordered our food. Just as we were being served, the large group arrived and we were glad we were ahead of them. Dave M. headed for home after lunch hoping he would arrive home in time to mow the lawn and catch another pesky mole that is messing up his manicured lawn. Both groups departed for the Corner Tavern where I drew a 5 of diamonds--and I was out of the running for even the worst hand.

We decided the route to take north by comparing the light grey clouds over Chuckanut Drive to the dark grey clouds over the freeway. There was a chance we could make it back without raingear, but it’s a good thing we didn’t bet on it. First it sprinkled and then a constant steady drizzle stayed with us all the way to Bellingham.

Since neither one of us had a winning hand, Larry and I blew off the last poker run stop and headed back to get the truck which I had driven into town. Dave and Dawn left to visit with Dave’s mom and John and Kathy were riding with the large pack now; that left Dave L. and Mike G. to go for a winning hand. In the end, none of our group won anything at cards (but Dave L. did pull in a couple of prizes from his snakes of raffle tickets), however, the fun is in riding and helping out a good cause.

The best part of the whole day was returning home and Kelly bringing baby Kyler out to the garage to see grandpa Larry on his trike. Kyler smiled and we put him on the Tri Glide to get his first Harley picture taken.

I stayed home with the baby while Larry took Kelly and Kyler to the Moose Lodge for the barbeque rib dinner put on by the Moose Lodge. Several of the raffle prizes were donated by Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson. It was a good day to ride with friends and a good day to be with family.

Photos by Dave Lahr
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