Should I Be Scared Or Not?

Just things, Uncategorized

I got this in a fortune cookie a few days ago.

Fortune, mis-fortune... or Miss Fortune? A Friend With Benefit... Do They Mean Health Insurance?

Fortune, mis-fortune… or Miss Fortune? A Friend With Benefit… Do They Mean Health Insurance?

This Week’s Adventure – Hurricane Ridge

Adventure, Motorcycle, Travel

Day off today so time for a road trip on the bike. I have been watching the weather for a whole week in anticipation of this absolutely gorgeous weather and I was not disappointed. The weather forecast actually got better the closer it got and the last few days have been beautiful.

I had a bit of a late start due to an appointment, but I finally got on the road ready to check this place out that has eluded me in the past. I had a large breakfast, so no need for food for a while. I am mainly going to head up and have a look around, but mostly I want to get on two wheels on a day like this. After our extensive four-wheeling adventures the last 16 years far back into the mountains of CO, I have seen many beautiful mountain vistas.

I headed up the road into the park. It was a fantastic day to be on the Magna – blue sky, sunshine, 60 degrees. I was nearing an overlook and the bike started to sputter. What the hell is going on here?!?! I got up the hill and into the overlook. Yeah, it was a nice view and all, but dammit… my bike just died! What am I going to do?

Now, I am no mechanic, let alone a motorcycle mechanic. I can change oil and plugs, but anything else I am not much good at fixing a bike. I walked around a few minutes and thought about it and turned the bike around, hopped on it, and aimed it down the hill. I coasted about 3 1/2 miles or so and the road flattened out so I came to a stop. I got it over on the side of the road and tried to start it but it would not start. Damn. I thought about it for several minutes more and tried to put the puzzle together. “Hmmm… the tripmeter had 109 miles on it, and a tank will go about 250 or so. The fuel light never came on, but it comes on when the key is turned so the lamp is working. Is it out of fuel?”. I jiggled the bike and no sloshing came from the depths of the gas tank. I KNEW I shoulda stopped to get gas… IF that is the problem…

To make the story shorter, I made some calls and ended up calling out a tow company for some gas that ended up costing me about $39 per gallon with the delivery. Well, guess dinner is at home tonight after that. About 90 minutes after this dilemma started the gas shows up. It gets into the bike, and I tried to raise it from the dead. The battery ran out of juice so he jumped it with a battery pack and it roared to life… IT… IS… A-LIVE!!!! I signed over my next born child for this overpriced gas (guess the joke was on them!) and went on my way… back down the hill to Port Angeles to fill the tank, and to get some water and a snack.

I got to town and got the aforementioned items. I came out and headed back to my bike. A lady with her grandson about three years of age were walking back to their car, and the kid’s mom was walking back to her side of the van. I had my helmet on and heard them say something but could not hear it clearly. I said “Pardon me?” and they said the little boy told me “Nice bike!”. That was pretty cool to hear the little guy say so I asked him if he wanted to sit on the bike. Grandma brought him over and I told her to get her camera while I put him on it and she could take a few pics of him on it. I turned the handlebars to the side so he could hold one of the grips easier. He was pretty happy and excited to sit up there.

That little guy was pretty happy, and smiled big while a couple of pictures were taken. I got him back onto the ground so they could leave and they thanked me with a big smile and waved. I moved my bike over to the side to have a snack and the mom smiled at me and the dad of the little boy said “Thanks! You made his day and he will always remember that. Thank you so much.” That was pretty cool and the day turned around then.

I debated on what to do and I said to myself “That damn road is NOT going to defeat me today!” so I went back up. This time, all was good. A beautiful ride continued all the way up to the top.

My V65 at Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park - Outside of Port Angeles, WA

My V65 at Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park – Outside of Port Angeles, WA

Panorama from Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park - near Port Angeles, WA

Panorama from Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park – near Port Angeles, WA

I walked around the top for a little bit, looking out over the mountains and thinking about how it reminds me of a couple of vistas in Colorado – the mountains as you are looking out from the south side of Mt. Evans, and the view south towards the mountains surrounding Long’s Peak near the summit of Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a nice view no doubt, and probably one of the nicest ones around here for mountains.

I took out for home and really was liking this road and the snow-capped peaks I was in the middle of. A really nice ride and i will go back when I am better prepared for a hike in the warmer weather.

I would definitely recommend a trip to Hurricane Ridge. Plan on spending the day and doing some hiking or a picnic in the warmer months. As you can see by the pictures there is still quite a bit of snow up high so a check of the conditions in advance would be advisable as the road does close due to snow. Also, be aware of the sand on the road, and higher up there are places where gravel comes off the hillsides and onto the highway so look out for those land mines. I would make sure to bring appropriate clothing, food, water… and especially some gas!

Words of Wisdom

Just things, Uncategorized

I got this in an e-mail and thought it was too good to not pass along…

This is your LIFE. Do what you love, and do it often.
If you don’t like something, change it.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, stop.
They will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over analyzing, LIFE IS SIMPLE.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate EVERY LAST BITE.
Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people.
We are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is
and share your inspiring dream with them.
TRAVEL OFTEN; getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once, seize them.
Life is about the people you meet,
and the things you create with them
SO GO OUT AND START CREATING.
LIFE IS SHORT.
LIVE YOUR DREAM AND WEAR YOUR PASSION.

Read it again slowly and think about it. You just might learn something about yourself.

A Busy Weekend

Adventure, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

Totem Poles on a Foggy Morning Drive - Blyn, WA

Totem Poles on a Foggy Morning Drive – Blyn, WA

Wednesday and Thursday are my days off, and it is really kind of nice because I can do things when there are no crowds. Weekends are just two days off in a row to me and have been for many years with the jobs I have had. Last weekend I got out and did a few things.

I know I am a bit late getting this out, but here it is. Wednesday I went to Seattle to the REI flagship store. It is a pretty big store and is really nice. I needed to get a shell jacket and wanted to look around and just see the place. I am pretty well set up for camping gear so did not really need anything else other than something to stay dry in this wet climate. The store is huge, and maybe a little bigger than the Denver store but has a similar feel (I was told the same person designed them both).

After REI I went to the International District, or “Chinatown” as some may call it. It really did not feel like a very safe place to wander and I did not feel like losing my wallet or my iPhone. It was very disappointing so I did what I could to make the best of it. I went into what appeared to be a safe place to wander around a bit – the Uwajimaya Village Food Court. It is built inside a building that houses what looks to be an Asian market. I did not get to look around much – I wanted to eat and get the hell out. The parking was $7.50 an HOUR! If I spent a certain amount inside the first hour was free, and a larger amount for the second hour. I spent enough to get a free hour… I was not going to do a second hour.

The food I had was not really exceptional or even very flavorful. The hombow I had at Pike Place was much, much, MUCH better than the similar char-siu buns here and it was rather disappointing. The General Tsao Chicken was okay, but nothing other than ordinary. I had a beef dish I had never heard of that was okay, the chow mein noodles were average, and rice is, well… rice.

The International District was a bit of a letdown with it not appearing to be a very safe place. I did see some things I would like to have stopped at, but I do not know if that will happen with the way it was there. I think my next Chinatown experience will be in Victoria so I hope it is better there.

On the way back I took a different route and came back across the Sound on the Edmonds – Kingston ferry. I liked that route better than the one I usually take. It is much less crowded and helps avoid getting trapped on Bainbridge Island.

I got out of my car to go upstairs to walk around and heard someone yelling my name as I was walking toward the door to go upstairs. It was one of the guys that volunteers here and he is a great guy. He is an avid birder and is the guy who takes the amazing bird pictures at http://www.mastdog.com/dowmar/birding/. Stop by for a look at his pictures and see for yourself.

On Thursday I did some running around and went to a local winery called Olympic Cellars. I sampled a fantastic wine called “My Sweet Syrah”. It was a bit pricey, but I splurged to treat myself to a good bottle of wine. Lots of body, sweet and fruity, but not overly so (well, to my rookie palate). Like most things, spending more money definitely gets better quality, but I have had expensive wines in the past that were nasty (again, to my rookie palate). I just might have to go get another bottle of that for later while they still have it!

So, REI was cool, lunch was about a one-star affair, the ferry ride and seeing a friend were great, and the wine was 5-stars.

The adventure continues!

A Few Pics From Today’s Hike

Adventure, Just things, Uncategorized

Today I got to go on an adventure with the ladies known as the “Weed Warriors”. They are a great bunch of volunteer gals who take care of planting trees and plants for the refuge and removing invasive plant species. Here are some shots I snapped today while we were checking on some things. I am learning a few things about invasive plants from them, and they are a lot of fun to hang with too.

Today’s episode I like to call “Driving Miss Daisies”. We took the S-10 Blazer up into the forest and it really brought back memories of off-roading with my bros in Colorado.

Some of the Forest

Some of the Forest

Horsetail plants

Horsetail plants

Another Picture of the Waterfall

Another Picture of the Waterfall

Another Picture of the Waterfall

Another Picture of the Waterfall

Flowering Red Currant

Flowering Red Currant