Heceta Beach

I took a nice little drive over to the Oregon Coast this last week. When I got into the town of Sisters my GPS kept urging me to take Highway 242 to get to Eugene, so I pulled over and looked at my paper map. The road is called the Old McKenzie Hwy and nobody was taking it, signs were everywhere warning vehicles over thirty feet to stay off of it, and a pack of bicycle riders was heading that way, so I took it…

It was a great drive that took me past the back side of Mt Washington (first picture), massive lava fields that sometimes stood 20 feet above the two-lane road on both sides, very tight turns galore and finally a view of the Three Sisters (2nd picture) from the top of the pass.

From there it was clear and warm all the way to the coast. As I approached the beach the clouds appeared and as I walked down to the water the visibility was about 10% between the fog and the blowing sand, and the wind was trying to rip my Tilley Hat off my head.

I stuck my hat deep down into the pants pocket of my sweats and soldiered on until my hand touched the ocean and I splashed the water on my face. Mission accomplished and then time to head back to my new spot at the RV park where I’d left my truck.

When I tried to unlock my truck I realized that my keys had been pulled from my pocket when I put my hat back on and were laying somewhere in the sand back on the beach. I had backup keys but those were my originals so after pissing and moaning for a bit I headed back to the lovely beach.

I walked around in the whipping wind and blowing sand for awhile, to no avail, and as I was leaving the beach a man came up to me and asked me if I’d lost a set of Mazda keys! He’d found them and turned them into the nearby hotel office. My hero…

So that’s why it’s called adventure! More followed, I had a good time, and here’s some pictures:

Categorized as Vacation 5

Oregon Bound

I gave my boss the opportunity to use me down in Rexburg this week if they could just tweak the route from a 12 to an 8-hour run. They never got back to me, and the window just closed, I’m heading to the Oregon Coast tomorrow.

I’m flying low and loose, no reservations anywhere, with my eye on Florence Oregon. My body is lean and mean now, with no restrictions, and I’ve shed a bunch of pounds (169). I plan on walking the beach for a couple of days, and losing some more….

Categorized as Vacation 5

Lava Camp

Update: Video added

This was a challenging post. I’m at Lava Hot Springs today, which is about 170 miles from home. I’ve got this great campsite for my truck in spot number 13, up on the hill, overlooking the RV campground of the motel I normally stay at. Thirty-five bucks, full hookup and lots of privacy. I’ve made two trips down to the hot springs, one trip over to the river for some pictures and one trip downtown to the Blue Moon Bar and Grill for a BLT and a cocktail.

The sketchy internet connection up here on the hill has been tough but I managed to hook my Echo up, rock out, and get these photos uploaded. There’s no photo retouching out here in the boonies so when you click the photo below, you get what you get!

Wi-Fi + Power = Tunes:

Categorized as Vacation 5


I took this shot today reflecting off the rear window of my trucks topper. The road dust kind of distorted everything so I thought I would share it.

While on the subject of reflection and distortion I want to share an incident that happened when I was driving up through the mountains of Oregon last Sunday.

The highway was very curvey with two lanes each direction, separated. The speed limit was 75 and full of cars and trucks going as fast as they could to make it over the pass. I had the traffic pack behind me as I approached a curve and I saw a large travel trailer up ahead and assumed it was pulled over.

Nope, it was being pulled by an old pickup truck and it was squarely in the outside lane, stopped cold. As I whipped into the inside lane to avoid it I thought what was he thinking trying to pull a large trailer up a big-ass long hill with an old truck. He had obviously blown the engine and was just sitting there, unable to get off the road.

I envisioned a semi coming around the corner with traffic to his left. There would be no way out other than to totally destroy the travel trailer and run over the pickup, with the guy foolishly sitting inside. I would have been out on the road trying to direct vehicles around me, at least.

I never found out what happened, and nothing came over my scanner…

Categorized as Vacation 5

Latest Leftovers

Well, I’m home now from that fun little run (one week, 2700 miles) through Elko (NV), Petaluma (CA), Medford (OR), Auburn (WA) and Missoula (MT).

Here are the shots left on my camera: Riley and Jess’s backyard, with some great barbeque, and fresh snow on a Montana mountain this morning.

Categorized as Vacation 5

NPR Bullshit

I woke up this morning at 0445 in Riley and Jess’s side yard and proceeded to drive to Missoula, MT. It was a good run, the weather held out, and road chemistry was flowing. Until NPR radio hit my scan button…

There was a guy being interviewed who was part of the Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas where the cops got shot. He had brought his young son with him and when the shots rang out they ran for their lives. Later on, he was explaining the situation to his son and said that the shooting of the cops was a distraction and should not deter the movement.

I lost it and I’m driving down I-90 screaming What if it was your son that got shot, asshole!!!

Other than that, it’s a nice rainy night in Missoula and I’ll be home tomorrow…

Categorized as Vacation 5


I went to the Cornucopia street fair in Kent today with Riley and Jess. Actually, they indulged me by going, I think they realize that nothing is new and as I walked around I realized that for the truth.

I think it’s time to get over my annual pilgrimage here in July, just in the hopes that as I scan peoples faces I will see someone I know from my old transit days, with 12 years added on. It never happens but the people that do catch my eyes are the crazy old farts who walk around with giant bags of popcorn, eyes bulged out and scratching their crotch without a single worry about what other people think of them.

I was so uninspired by the sameness that I took only a few shots, yet when I encountered the Crash, which is a recent addition, I felt that the only thing I could do is make a post out of it.

I was watching Riley’s eyes as he assessed it. This is a man who makes his living fixing wrecked vehicles and the magnitude of the damage was reflected in his stare…

Categorized as Vacation 5

Camping At Rileys

I told Skog and Grant a couple of nights ago that I would Stay up until I can’t and Leave when I can. Well, I’m still running on a sleep debt… But I’m good!

And I can’t complain as my auto body technician son has to work past 7pm every night because the people here really drive stupidly and aggressively, so he has to rebuild their wrecks.

I’m at his house now waiting for him to get home and I’ve set up my computer camp outside, next to my truck, thanks to Jess hooking me up with a wifi password and power. Heading into the house now for a bowl of chilli and hoping it doesn’t rain…

Categorized as Vacation 5

Travel Stuff

I’ve been a bit lax lately about posting here but that’s because I’ve been traveling, as opposed to sitting in my office talking about it. Tuesday I was in Elko, NV and Wednesday my GPS landed me at the front door of my friends Skog and Grant in Petaluma, CA.

I enjoyed Grant’s toys: a custom Mercedes convertible and a ’70s vintage Harley that he got off of some rocker dude. I returned the favor by rocking him out to pretty much every obscure title he threw at my Amazon Echo. Meanwhile, Skog perused my blog because she has no life… :-)

I’m currently in Medford, OR. I ate some Chinese food tonight and I asked for the hottest sauce they had and scoffed at what they presented. They don’t realize I eat cayenne pepper for breakfast.

Tomorrow: Washington, Riley, Cornucopia and whatever happens! Click the photo below to see the stuff.

Categorized as Vacation 5

Heise Hot Springs

I’ve had a hankering lately to try out Heise Hot Springs and today seemed to be the logical day. The skies are clear blue, temps in the 80’s and Heise is just on the other side of our Big Hole mountain range, up the Kelly Canyon ski-resort road.

To get there I had to drive over Pine Creek Pass out of Victor, follow the Snake River gorge to the West and then head back towards the mountains. Sixty miles total, the views are spectacular, and they are the reason we live here…

Heise has two main swim areas, both chlorinated hot springs water perfect for kids and wimps. Attached to the smaller swim area is the hot springs tub. The fresh spring water flows into it unadulterated which then flows off to the other pools. The temp was 108°, and you could feel and smell the sulphur. It was great and I found myself swimming underwater just to treat my old sun-abused head.

The drive back from Swan Valley over Pine Creek Pass was perfect, not a vehicle in front of me, so I drove it like it was my own private curved mountain track, at the optimum speed for my truck. Sweet…

Categorized as Vacation 5

Travel Symmetry

I’ve been sitting around this evening planning my next upcoming summer vacation jaunt. The cool thing is I’m using my own tools, that I developed for this purpose, to do it. I can add new waypoints and move them around as I please.

What I’ve come up with is a trip that leaves Driggs Idaho (on an undetermined date, as yet) where I travel 344 miles to a Rest Stop east of Boise Idaho and layover. Next stop, Reno Nevada (427 miles) where I’ll try to grab a cheap room and play for a bit. Petaluma California, land of my buddies Skoge and Grant, are the next stay down the road at 221 miles, but I may detour up to my old hometown of Paradise in the process…

I’ll probably be bumping up against the 4th of July at this point and I might stop in Coos Bay Oregon (450 miles). I’ve got Cannon Beach Oregon marked as the next stop after that (207 miles) but who knows as the journey progresses. After enjoying the Oregon Coast I will land at my son’s house in Auburn, Washington (184 miles) just in time to enjoy the Cornucopia Festival (July 8-10) in downtown Kent Washington.

The trip will conclude with an I-90 run through the mountains, layover in Missoula Montana (473 miles), and then mosey on home to Driggs Idaho (354 miles).

Travel symmetry! Click the map below to see the project…

Categorized as Vacation 5

Norris Shots

I’m sure glad Brian and I were camped at a hot springs yesterday because a thunderstorm blew through and it got downright chilly. The good food, the good drinks, the good company, and the hot water, made it all fine!

Here’s a short pan of the pool, before the crowds arrived for the music:

Categorized as Vacation 5

At Norris

Yesterday evening I was hunkered down in a motel off the freeway, West of Missoula. Around 1900 I wandered over to the bar next door called Freds, to have a drink or two, and I ended up being entertained, frustrated and insulted (I think).

When I walked in, there were four or five guys at the bar watching four flat screens directly in front of them, so I sat down and ordered a drink. It became apparent to me very quickly that one of those guys, a kid around 25, was very drunk and the female bartender was handing him beer cans on a steady basis.

I looked around the place and in an adjoining room, down a couple of steps, there was a small stage with a metal pole in the middle and there was a girl, totaly naked, writhing around on it. Nobody was down there watching her, they were all at the bar watching TV, and from where I sat, she looked pretty cute!

All of a sudden the bartender approached the drunk kid and told him she had screwed up and put another guys tab on his card. She was horrified and for the next 15 minutes she worked on the bars computer to fix the whole mess, and meanwhile nobody got served. Finally, she took the bill to the kid, had him sign a few things, and I swear he was so drunk he didn’t know what was happening.

How could this place continue to serve the guy? I finally walked over to him and asked if he was driving a vehicle. He got pissed at me and yelled It’s none of your business, old man! I just looked at him disgustedly and walked out of the bar. Little did he know that I was prepared to pay for his cab home…

Weird night, anyway, I’m sitting here at Norris Hot Springs now, in spot 13, waiting for Brian to roll his motorcycle in, and then let the soak begin.

Categorized as Vacation 5

Riding Well

I drove up to Missoula Montana yesterday and today I took care of my truck. She’s running great and the extra weight of the new (old) topper is holding my baby down without too much loss in horsepower, and I found a locksmith to make two new keys so I can lock it up now. I lost my Les Schwab papers when the old canopy blew off in the desert so today I had them look me up, create new papers and rotate my tires for free. To top it off I got a full-service oil change from the guys the locksmith recommended, with a wash!

Tomorrow I’m driving down to Norris Hot Springs and hooking up with my nephew Brian. The boy’s a party animal so hopefully I can keep up with him. Thankfully, a couple of days away from Teton Valley have cleared up my alergies and the rash I picked up from my recent hot-springs/hottub adventures in the desert is almost gone. Now I can work on getting a new one tomorrow along with more tan and a hangover.

My camera is charging up so I should get some cool Norris pictures, assuming I don’t topple into the pool with it, and I’ll be home Saturday to put them up here. Rock on!

Categorized as Vacation 5

Motel Blues

I’ve been having issues with motel rooms lately. When I was at the Pioneer down in Laughlin last week I ended up in a room with a connector door, the kind that lets you expand a room into two. They put a couple of teenage kids in the other room and all these boys did was watch TV with the volume up, which poured right through the double doors, into my space.

Tonight I checked into the Super8 in Logan, UT and they gave me the first room on the bottom floor. Cool, right next to the ice machine, the pool and hot tub, and the breakfast room. Also right next to the pool generator room which blasted out a stupid hum through the wall. By the time I noticed it, I was all settled in and not about to change rooms. What to do?

I came up with a solution that blows even my old mind. I hooked my Amazon Echo up to the motel wifi and used my Amazon Fire tablet to teach her a new skill: how to play background noise. I’m now listening to waves crashing on the beach, loudly, with little gurgling sounds as the water rushes back out. Fills the whole room with sound and I can’t hear the pool machine. Man, sometimes I just love myself…

Categorized as Vacation 5