Weekly Update

Greetings Riders,

Oregon Ride 2010 Day 1 - Mt. Hood

Well, the good news is we are safely back from our 2010 road trip. And the bad news is that we are back from our 2010 road trip. For me at least, it doesn't get much better than Eat, Ride, Sleep and Repeat for 9 days in a row. And when you throw in the view of snow capped mountains, crystal clear blue lakes and rambling streams, from the asphalt of a few scenic byways, it is very hard to drag yourself away from that. We do a long ride like this every year, and each one has its own personality. This one was no exception. To recap for those of you that have been away, Mrs. C. and I left Friday, August 6th on a one-way Southwest flight to Portland, Oregon to catch up with the Road Glide that had been shipped there earlier in the week to begin our 3000 mile ride back home. Details of the first day below.
Since we all pretty much live in some sort of structure in our everyday lives, it starts to seem like we are the hamster on the treadmill knowing that the faster we run, the faster the treadmill will turn, but we will still be in the cage. Be it our jobs, taking care of the kids, or other obligations, there is ALWAYS something that we have a schedule for. It would be nice to unwind by immediately getting rid of the things that we HAVE to do. In other words, take our schedule, leave it on the kitchen table on our way out the door and adopt a gypsy lifestyle for a few days. With these once per year longer rides, that is what we try to do. It can never be 100%, but a good 90% is a start.
Like we have done in the past, we shipped the bike to our starting location. We used a company called Forward Air that shipped the bike in a container for $485. I was very happy with them. This year it was Portland, Oregon. We flew in to Portland on a one-way ticket Friday morning, grabbed our T-Bag and was in a cab and on our way to the bike. It just so happened that the terminal where the bike was shipped to was literally 2 miles from the airport. We got the bike loaded and were on the road by 11:45 am. It was sunny, 85 degrees and we were embarking on what was to be 9 days and 3000 miles of going anywhere and doing anything we wanted without expectations or a schedule. I will admit that it takes about 24 hours to get used to that concept, but when you do, your head feels about 5 pounds lighter as the stress, worry and concern seem to flow out of your mind and body with every mile on to the very asphalt that you are leaving behind.
Here is how we do the entire ride. We have a starting point and an ending point. Everything in between is up to us on OUR schedule. Our only commitment it that we need to be at the ending point in this case 9 days later. I even pad that by a day to keep it from being an issue. I look at the entire area in advance to get an idea of what landmarks, roads, etc. that we might want to see. I point in the direction of the nearest one when we start out and let the chips fall where they may when we get going. If we spend too much time at one area and can't make it to a spot on our wish list, it gets bumped and we go to the next one.
We have no hotel reservations for the entire time. Just landmarks, roads and beautiful scenery we would like to enjoy. So each night we pull into the town that we would like to stop at. If there are motels available, we will stay, if not, we go on down the road to the next town. Most of the time you can find something pretty easy, but occasionally you might have to extend your day a little longer than you might like. But that rarely happens. One thing that really helps is if you have a hand held GPS. You can literally pull off to the side of the road and search for motels in your area or an hour down the road. It will list them all with the phone numbers and then direct you to the hotel. You can make a few calls and have something lined up without riding all over town. We usually like to have something wrapped up by 6pm if possible to beat the evening rush for a room. On this trip we stayed at 5 Best Westerns in 8 nights with the Harley discounts. We have found the Best Western chain to be the most consistently well equipped and clean motels.
Taking a motorcycle ride like this is truly a feeling like no other. It is very hard to explain and there are a lot of people who just don't get it and don't want to get it. I don't get yoga either, but from what I can tell, this is my yoga on 2 wheels with a great view of this beautiful countryside that we have all around us. It is hard to imagine sitting around with my legs crossed on a rubber mat staring at a wall could be any better. I call these trips my "Riding Soup for the Soul".
By the time we stopped for lunch just outside of Portland it was 1 pm and we were on our way to the first landmark on our hit parade which was Multnomah Falls along the Historic Columbia River Scenic Byway. There are several water falls along this stretch of road, but Multnomah Falls is the most visited of them all and is easy to get to. At this point I was more interested in riding than watch water fall from a cliff. But it is a magnificent feature and we did take the hike to the bridge that you see in the photos.
From Multnomah we followed Hwy. 84 East about 11 miles to the Cascade Locks exit and took the Bridge of the Gods, kind of a Star Trek looking structure, to the Washington side of the Columbia River heading East to Hood River on Hwy. 14. Now I have traveled both sides of this river and I am telling you that Hwy. 14 is absolutely the way to go. This is a very fun road that runs right next to the river taking you through at least a half dozen tunnels along the way to the Hood River Bridge that takes you back to Oregon and the very cool city of Hood River. It is worth the ride through to see the old city.
But for us, rolling up a whole lot more asphalt was taking precedence over small town sightseeing. We pointed the Road Glide South on Hwy. 35 out of Hood River on the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway for our first look at Mt. Hood. This byway literally does a 180 degree loop around Mt. Hood taking you through the Cascade mountain range, The Fruit Loop full of fruit trees and the Mt. Hood National Forest on a 105 mile ride back to Hwy. 84. Mt. Hood is so big and so visible that Mrs. C. and I were amazed that we could ride for 40 miles and still see the mountain right in front of us again as big as it was before. It seemed like every corner we came around, there it was again. But that is what makes it fun and exciting, because it is a beautiful site. Right around Government Camp 35 turns into Hwy. 26. This is where you will want to take the 6 mile ride to the historic Timberline Lodge. It is well worth the time.
From Timberline lodge we went another 35 miles to a small town called Sandy, OR. It was about 6:30 pm and time to get what turned out to be the last room in town that I literally grabbed 2 steps before the lady behind me. It was a short 140 mile day that began at 1pm, but a great start to what turned out to be an awesome 9 days and 3000 miles of what we are calling our Oregon Ride 2010. Take a look at this cool little yard decoration that someone made and had in a field next to the road near Sandy, Oregon. Click Here to View.
Click Here to view 80 Photos of the Day - Click on the "Slideshow" button in upper right, then "Fast" in the upper left for the best Full Screen viewing.
Click Here for Map of Day 

Useful Links:
Historic Columbia River Scenic Byway
Bridge of the Gods.
Mt. Hood Scenic Byway
Timberline Lodge
Places to visit on Mt. Hood Scenic Byway

Lodging Tips:
Our preference for lodging on these trips are the Best Western Motels.
They are all biker friendly, clean and have all the amenities that you would want. Some even have cleaning towels and areas to clean your bike. We like them because each motel has to meet certain standards to be a part of the chain, so you can usually count on them being what you would expect. Not only that, they have a ride rewards program that you earn points on and get at least a 10% discount. We stayed at 5 Best Westerns on this trip and were extremely happy with them. Click Here for more information.   

Events Next Week 

Saturday, August 28th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Summer of Love Party. Ride by Chester's HD from 11am - 2pm to join in on their Summer of Love party.Enjoy:
**Free Lunch
**Live Music with Holly Kirsten
**View the 2011 Harley's
**Free Demo Rides
**Fashion Show at 1pm
**End of Summer "Cool"
Also participate in the United Blood Drive from 10:30am - 2:30pm. Donate blood with United Blood services in August or September and you will automatically be entered to win a 2010 VW Beetle. Chester's Harley-Davidson is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr., in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, August 28th
Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson Open House. Your first chance to see the new 2011 models up close including the NEW Road Glide Ultra and Sportster SuperLow.
**FREE Food and Drink.
**Live Music
**Museum Tours with Buddy
**Bikini Bike Wash 11 - 2
Party takes place from 11am - 3pm.
Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. 602-971-3400.

Upcoming Rides 

October 8-10, 2010
There are rides or events that come along every now and then that really get me excited and that includes the upcoming Thunder Mountain Ride Motorcycle Rally in Payson, AZ. Not only is Payson Arizona a beautiful place to have a motorcycle event, it is also the perfect time of year for it. But they are really making it huge by giving away 13 motorcycles to those who attend. Not to mention live music daily including high profile acts like Mogollon and rides through and around the rim.  I will be talking more about this event over the next several weeks. But for now I would like to direct you to the excellent video that they have done for this ride that will definitely get you excited about it. Event is sponsored by Native Air, City of Payson, North Country HealthCare, Outback Steakhouse and Budweiser.
This video is really good and will get you excited to participate. Click Here to View Video.  
Stay tuned for weekly updates for this event.
Click Here for Schedule of Events. 
Best Deal Entry Fee: For $120 you receive drawing tickets for all 13 motorcycles, and a free T-Shirt.
For $60 you receive drawing tickets for 5 motorcycles.
For $20 participate and be entered to win one specific motorcycle.
Click Here to Register Now! 


Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook.

New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Facebook. Over 2600 FANS!

Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button! 

You might have seen this before. But it made me laugh again. Check out the sleep walking dog.  Click Here to View. 

This is hilarious. See how these guys load a jet ski. The laugh is infectious. Click Here to View. 

Video of the Week: Check out this bull that takes his fight to the fans. Similar to what happened this week in Spain. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.
If you would like to sign up for the Weekly Update
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Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

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