May 27, 2015 – Roadtrip 2015

May 27, 2015:


It’s the cars and the noises of a new day getting me up and motivated this morning. I’ve spent a comfortable night relaxed and safe in my artificial shell.


I still have a condensation problem, the tent outside and inside is permeated with moisture from morning dew and breath condensation. Nice thing is that it isn’t on my sleeping bag, or packs inside the tent.


The perfect spot was right next to the Meriwether Wine Estates entrance off highway 126. There is a rainbow assortment of wineries along this highway for anyone that is interested in wine tasting; I believe some of them are open daily.


The highway is smooth for the most part, although there was a rough spot coming out of Eugene with the shoulder having cracks from the side sloughing away, other than that, the shoulder is wide, just like a bile trail.


Just outside Noti, I started to notice large piles of Scotch Broom beside the road. Looks like some one in the area has been tearing them out if the roadsides. That’s probably a good thing because Scotch Broom was once used as a way to clear a land of marsh. The plant loves water and will suck the area it’s planted in dry.


Views of Long Tom River from Long Tom Bridge. On the town side there are a few houses on the hill belonging to Noti.


There is a huge amount of roadwork going on for a mile or two each side of mile 39 which makes fresh, black asphalt but has no lines. Drivers tend to be a little unsure of where they should drive which makes it difficult and dangerous for bikes.


I’ve pushed my bike to the top of the hill and to the end of the roadwork, which is marked mile 36, Plus there is another sign here that reads, elevation 769 ft.


The road work picked up again just over the hill crest, continuing for another mile, but it is downhill from here for awhile – the road is back to being wide enough not to be dangerous overly, very much better than highway 20 I took four years ago to the beaches and Oregon Coast.


Passing through Walton, Oregon at 8:30, mile 34. This is where the road narrows and the shoulder disappears. That makes dangerous traveling when the logging and gravel trucks pass by.



Train bridge over Siuslaw River mile 27 along highway 126. There is a lovely littl park about two more miles west, it has parking, out houses a boat ramp and rest area amongst the forest, beside Siuslaw River.


There is a long tunnel near mile 20 marker, downhill in my favor, but dangerous for bikes none the less.


The Ralph Petersen Tunnel, in all its glory all narrow and dark inside, not very good for bikes.


Houses along the Siuslaw River at Mapleton town, fifteen miles east of Florence, 11:30pm


A group of restaurants at the junction of highway 36 and 126 in Mapleton.


An old beehive, wood burning cone, Davidson Industries. Between the 10 and 11 mile markers, Train bridge at Cushman, three miles out of Florence. Pictures of two wooden boats on blocks one mile east of Florence. The train bridge is over the Siuslaw river.


Villa West Motel sign corner of highway 126 and 101 in Florence, arrived at 2:45


I stopped into Safeway for salad and bananas, which only cost three dollars, using my Safeway club card for a discount.

It’s a better meal than I’ve been eating of late. I didn’t find any McDonalds restaurants so I’m without wifi for a time.


I made a photo looking back toward Florence from highway 101 at the south outskirts, Siuslaw River in foreground.


It is just past 6:30 now and I’m done setting up the campsite. I retired early because I needed a good spot to set up the tent. The mosquitoes here are large and aggressive.


The head wind I had for the last fifteen miles along highway 126 has now turned into a cross wind so at least the wind isn’t hampering much.


The fog is back, but I don’t know if it will be hampered by rain. I noticed Davis Amusement trucks passing by on the way north, wonder where they are headed?


I’m near Oregon Dunes Recreation Center; I think I just passed the turn off a mile or so back.


I should be making North Bend and Coos Bay by morning tomorrow. Hopefully there will be wifi available someplace so I can catch up on my blog.

May 26, 2015 – Roadtrip 2015

May 26, 2015:


Another morning has arrived with all the positive hopes and expectations a traveller would wish for. I got eaten alive last night by mosquitoes and if it is within my power in the future, I wish to not have a repeat performance of the swat and scratch symphony.

MasonicTemple-Corvalis-May26_2015_02D Masonic Temple neon sign in Corvalis

The time is 5:30, and where I am camped is next to a tree grower along highway 20, and is quite conveniently within a small grove of trees. Last night I watched a bit of sunset with all the reds, orange a variations of clear blue sky. I hope the day is more clear sky like that.


I back tracked to Corvalis and spent time at Starbucks to retry the Internet thing. I had no problems this morning, so I published may 25, and may 24 notes now I’m back out the door out of Corvalis and heading south on highway 99 toward Junction city and Eugene Oregon.

WhitesideTheater-Corvalis-May26_2015_05D WhitesideTheater-Corvalis-May26_2015_04D WhitesideTheater-Corvalis-May26_2015_03D WhitesideTheater-Corvalis-May26_2015_02D Photos of the Whiteside Theater, 361 SW Madison Avenue. I am impressed with the preservation of the older buildings, as in some cases, anything older is torn down and a sign erected with a photo on it, effectively preserving the history, but taking away any visual connection with that structure.

BookBin-Corvalis-May26_2015_01D The Book Bin Storefront window with books, mixed media and Neon. I like the mixture.

Photos of a neon sing advertising Dutch Brothers coffee house just outside Corvalis down town area, part the highways 20 and 99 junction.


Pictures of Willamette community and Grange Hall, plus a vintage sign and bear carving at Greenberry Stire, corner of Greenberry road and highway 99W, picturing a Farmhouse with falling down barn, near Greenberry Road.

GreenberryStore-Tavern-Hyw99-May26_2015_01D GreenberryStore-Tavern-Hyw99-May26_2015_02D GreenberryStore-Tavern-Hyw99-May26_2015_05D The Greenberry Roadhouse

WillametteCom-GangeHall-Hyw99-May26_2015_01D Willamette community and Grange Hall

A group of mushrooms with shaggy stems and dark brown fins, the largest one is about twelve inches across. Found at the mile 98 mark, near Ramos Ranch.


I rolled into Monroe by noon. I found a building erected in 1911, which is the Monroe Bank, now known as Monroe Resale, a second hand thrift store with a nifty outside clock surrounded with neon.


Entrance sign on south side of Monroe has a Wilhelm Mill Water Wheel, which was used along the Long Tom River in 1906, to provide power to the grain and flour machinery at the Adam Wilhelm Flour Mill until 1925.


I stopped for awhile at the McDonalds in Junction city both for eating and for making some pages for the web site. I’m too far behind that it will take weeks to catch up at the rate I’m going.


The sun feels good, while I shake like a quaking Aspen – as I washed my T-shirt earlier at the restaurant washroom, but and the air conditioning in the restaurant made me cold.


I picked a nice spot outside the city limits at a place called Junction City Pond where folks are fishing and enjoying the sunshine. That’s right, sunshine the clouds have gone and it is blue sky above. I feel good.


I’ve taken the 569 west highway on the north side of Eugene Oregon. Here I will travel toward Florence Oregon – I’ve avoided the coast as long as I can, but now I must go there. I’m developing a problem with my drive train, the sprockets are starting to get so worn that the chain is slipping, not too much yet, but it will get worse.


I’ve connected with highway 126 which goes west all the way to Florence, Oregon where I can start down the 101 highway.


I just passed a hectic corridor along 126, where the road passes along Fern Ridge Lake, which is part of a wildlife reserve and people park – ending with Perkins peninsula. Lake photos, at the eastern outskirts of Venets, Oregon.

It is a little after 7 pm now, I’ve just finished covering my bike and setting up the tent.


That’s right; I found a nice spot off the road, out of the line of sight, and quiet except for the sounds of traffic. I’m sure the traffic will abate by dark or so. The place is a few miles west of Venets, on the road to Florence.


There are blue jays screeching, bull frogs humming and a variety of other wild life that will become alert once the traffic subsides. I’m not worried about q car riming over the hill and down into my little meadow because there is a guard rail on my side of the road.


I’ve been having day dreams of making the website work and obtaining a sponsor that would allow me to keep exploring and travel writing.


The sun has been extremely hot today, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I hope the good weather doesn’t go away when I get down to the coast line. I remember the weather was hit and miss in southern Oregon last time I biked through there, followed by never ending rain when I crossed the California state line.


I can always do something else if this doesn’t work.

Day nine – Roadtrip 2015

May 25, 2015:

Yesterday afternoon ended on a warm note with heat, blue sky and just a few clouds. This morning is foggy, cloudy and cold I’ve broken camp by seven o’clock, thankfully I had a good nights sleep and I’m ready to hit the road in a fury of pedaling. As I look around on my way out of the camp area and on the road, I see that my camping spot is exit 9, the Shaw Aumsville exit.

CampSpot-Highway22-Aumsville-May25_2015_01D The three cherry trees at my camp spot along highway 22

About seven miles east of Stayton I stopped to photograph a stand of purple iris. I know they are wild in theses parts, so I wanted something colorful for the website.


It has been foggy and a little rainy, the kind of misty rainfall you get with a low cloud. The scenery so far is boring and I’m frantically attempting to find pictures, but nothing excites me.

I found an old red barn and off white farm house then an old saw mill still in operation since 1966. It is at a small private road called Maple way SE and the sign here says Hardwood Components Inc the house and barn are on the opposite side of the road and down to the west about a hundred yards. The town could possibly be called Mehama as it is close by, but I’m not sure, and there are few indicators.

Barn-Farm--Highway22-Mehama-May25_2015_01D Barn-Farm--Highway22-Mehama-May25_2015_02D

HardwoodComponents-Mehama-May25_2015_06D HardwoodComponents-Mehama-May25_2015_10D HardwoodComponents-Mehama-May25_2015_03D

I checked into the local restaurant called the Gingerbread House and they stated that this is all part of Mehama. I’m at the junction of Highway 22 and highway 226 trying to decide if I want to continue south to Lebanon or if I want to continue east through the pass.

I chose to take 226 toward Albany. I have a better feeling about going further south until the weather is warmer. My body needs warm weather right now, and that’s what I would like most of all, endless summer.

The cute blonde haired girl behind the counter at The Gingerbread House restaurant was helpful, although she couldn’t state what the weather was like in Santiam pass. Just as well really, I had a bad foreboding feeling about the pass.

I found an old abandoned hay barn between Scion and Lyons at mile mark 18 – there are other farms around but why this is here with no “No trespassing” signs is a mystery. I was able to walk inside and get a few snapshots of the interior. Another barn, this time it’s a hip-roof, red barn outside Scio, across the road from 41389 Highway 224.

Barn-Scion--Highway224-May25_2015_04D Barn-Scion--Highway224-May25_2015_05D Barn-Scion--Highway224-May25_2015_07D Barn-Scion--Highway224-May25_2015_08D Barn-Scion--Highway224-May25_2015_03D

I’m going to take another little detour here off 224, to go on Richardson Gap Road. I can see a covered bridge almost a mile away and I’ll go photograph it before moving on toward scion. Shimsnek Bridge built in 1966 over Thomas Creek. Next to the bridge there is a field with rusting farm equipment like rake, baler, manure spreader and other things that are too buried in grass to be photogenic.

ShimanekBridge-ThomasCreek-Scio-May25_2015_03D ShimanekBridge-ThomasCreek-Scio-May25_2015_02D

ShimanekBridge-Farm-Scio-May25_2015_02D A vintage Hay Baler

In my continued peddaling fury, I made Scio by11:30, then continuing toward Albany. Stopped to photograph the Scio war memorial – then along highway 224 west at Hillside way to picture a small red barn. I have been doing a zigzag route again, first east, now west and I’ve been missing turn offs that I should have taken to conserve energy and cut down on my mileage.

VeteranMemorial-47mm-AntiTank-Scio-May25_2015_02D A Japanese 47mm Antitank gun from WW2.

VeteranMemorial-Canon-Scio-May25_2015_01D Vintage Field Artillery

Photo of South Santian river and Shirley Mays sign, part of a refreshment establishment now closed, situated near Highway 30 junction after highway 334.

Looking east from bridge along highway 20 at Albany – Willamette river? Yes, it is that river – good guess. I found Hyak Park again, along highway 20 at 5000 NW. How do you spell relief? The last time I was through here on my 2011 roadtrip I stopped in for the same thing, only it was early in the morning, not late afternoon.

I got to Corvallis a little after 6 pm, the first thing I looked for was McDonalds restaurant to work on my blog. Wouldn’t you know it, the Internet here is the shits. I’ve been trying to work my website but with no luck – I think it might be something to do with my web host because I can access everything else. I’m trying to just get to the website with out being signed into word press, not doing. It is almost 9pm and the light is going. I had to give up on the website for today because of the lack of connection.

Good thing I did because it took almost an hour of riding to find this spot among trees. Damn, the Mosquitoes are huge here and they won’t leave me alone. I’m almost to Philomath township, which is the next town west after Corvallis. I took time to air out my bags today when there was a sunny moment. There’s the catch, as soon as I turned away from the mountain pass, the weather warmed and the sun came out. By the time I reached Corvallis the sun was in full blossom and the air is sweet and kind.

I’d best finish laying out the camp; I think it is another tarp night, although my tarp is wearing through in many places. I bought it for the move to Kelowna in 2009, and haunt used it much since them, however now it is acting like it is an old time piece of crap.

Problem is that now I’m retracing steps I travelled four years ago and I’m seeing things I shot before, in the same light mostly, so they are not fresh ideas. I’ll have to see as I head down the road if I can find different things; that is the challenge. I’m feeling a bit out of sorts because I’m on a bit of a slope, but at least there are no potholes snags or lumpy ground.

Day eight – Roadtrip 2015

A frightening thing happened last night about 3am, involving gunshots and people yapping. There is a hill in my front yard, come to think of it, there’s a hull in my backyard too. Anyways I awoke to the sounds of people talking in the, not too far away vicinity. There were shots from at least four different weapons ending in a semi automatic weapon with very loud, echoing blasts in rapid succession. And I was just thinking to myself, I’m in a nice place, the traffic had tapered off and it wS semi quiet. But no, I’m not safe and I kept expecting to be shot dead at any moment, or worse, wounded and not able to move until I bleed to death. I felt like yelling out, hey, stop shooting, but I was worried about providing a target. After the heavy sounds of gun fire it was over, and I don’t know what they were shooting at but I’m sure the forest joined me in sighing for relief.

CampsiteHighway99E-May24_2015_01D looking down over the cliff to the tracks a long way below.

Early morning photos of Pearson’s Woodcarving, using chainsaws and forklift to move wood around.

PearsonsWoodcarving-May24_2015_01D PearsonsWoodcarving-May24_2015_05D PearsonsWoodcarving-May24_2015_06D PearsonsWoodcarving-May24_2015_07D

Oregon Pacific locomotive 1202 in Canby, on a rail spur that crosses highway 99E off the main line. I spent an hour or so working on the blog in McDonald’s restaurant, had my daily ration of sausage McMuffin and continued through Canby, Oregon.


I stopped to make a snapshot of the Vietnam veteran’s memorial that has a Huey medical chopper on a perch. It looks like it could be a scale model monogram kit if it weren’t real.


I also found a Hip roof barn and farm house, along with A frame barn highway 99E south of Aurora Colony, marked as 20332 Highway 99E about two miles north of Hubbard.

Barn-Farm-20332HWY99E-Hubbard-May24_2015_03D Barn-Farm-20332HWY99E-Hubbard-May24_2015_06D

Photos of an old house and gas station at the northern end of Hubbard, remind me of minimalists.

House-Station-HWY99E-Hubbard-May24_2015_01D House-Station-HWY99E-Hubbard-May24_2015_02D

Photos of a vintage neon sign on 99E at junction 214, in Woodburn – the words on the sign read, Envivos de dinero. I was looking for something that summed up the town; all I could find was this sign.


There are so many Spanish signs along this road, there must be a large Latino population here. Another interesting sign is the Last Chance Saloon at mile 37, Checkerboard road junction, four miles south of Woodburn.

A group of farm houses and barns along the highway five mile south of Woodburn, at Concomly road NE. A tall white barn at Scott Ave and highway 99E – looks like it is part of Hursts Berry Farm 7015 Highway 99E, six miles north of Salem, in Hayesville community. I just crossed the 49th parallel at 2:45 pm. That means half way between the north pole and equator.

HurstsBerryFarm-7015Hyw99E-Hayesville-May24_2015_03D HurstsBerryFarm-7015Hyw99E-Hayesville-May24_2015_05D HurstsBerryFarm-7015Hyw99E-Hayesville-May24_2015_02D Such an interesting looking barn. There are others like it in the area, this was the most attractive.

Salem Oregon by 3:30pm, I’m still on 99E although it is the business extension, so I have go through the city. There is some amazing architecture along Commercial street, seeing as this is the state Capitol, I’m not surprised.

USBank-CommercialSt-Salem-May24_2015_01D USBank-CommercialSt-Salem-May24_2015_06D

This is the US Bank at Commercial Street at State Street in Salem, Oregon.

USBank-CommercialSt-Salem-May24_2015_04D USBank-CommercialSt-Salem-May24_2015_03D

I’m looking at a Bristol Double Decker bus as coffee shop along highway 99E business route on the south side of Salem along Mission street.

BristolBus-CoffeeInMotion-Salem-May24_2015_02D BristolBus-CoffeeInMotion-Salem-May24_2015_03D

Circumstances have led me to highway 22 east where I’ll take it to Lebanon the decide if I want to go east or further south. Trees and farmers field, 10 miles west of Stayton along highway 22. I stopped into a McDonalds for a break from the road; it was one of those exits near I-5 north and south connections. I charged up the computer battery and the iPod while sipping some orange delight that is better than pop but not as good as real orange juice. I made out a couple more pages for the reference section of the website, I don’t suppose I’ll upload them till the trip is over and I can concentrate on what I’m doing.

I continued down the road east for a few miles toward Stayton, which is where I will have to decide if I go over the pass or continue south to a warmer pass. I’ve been spending the last half to three quarters of an hour looking for a suitable spot to camp. I found a nice one earlier, but the grass was way long and the ground it’s self extremely wet. Not only this, but it is low ground, below the highway, which would be okay a month from now, but it is too wet to camp on.

The next spot I checked out was a little higher above the road level, between an over pass and off ramp. This seems to be fine; although I’m not sure I want to pitch a tent here. The grass is also long here, but the ground is dryer. I just realized I’m setting up under one of three cherry trees. There are already bunches of little green droops that will be so succulent in a month or so.

My memory takes off to 1976 when Debbie and I traveled through highway 20 from Elgin to Vancouver via trail. At the time I was nineteen, she was 21, both inexperienced but intent upon having the time of our life. The corn fields through Iowa were particularly memorable, I suppose it was because we were hitch hiking and rides were slow, so we amused ourselves by making love in corn fields then searching put a loose hose so we could get water to clean up afterward. Meals were few, far between, but I can remember one perfect restaurant in the middle of farm land. We had our fill of coffee, hash browns, buttered toast, two eggs the way we liked them, and a strip of fresh ham from the farm. The price was um believably low at less than three dollars each. Love was easy, no aches and pains were slowing me down, it seemed like the fun would never stop and life would be a carnival forever.

Further down the road, in Sioux Falls, Debbie and I got a strange ride. We had to climb up into the back of a gravel dump truck in order to ride, I’m not talking about one of the small ones, and I’m speaking of a Kenworth hauling a great big trailer. The dump was empty, so we bounced around in the back on the smooth steel liner until the driver pulled over to let us out in Sioux City. We were grateful on a number of levels.

Before the driver picked us up we were being eaten alive by Mosquitos as we hitched along the interstate near the beef slaughter houses. we ran and swatted but they came after us like they were going to pick us up and move use on down the highway. Our seats were sore from the bouncing in the back of the truck, so when we got away from our driver, we headed over to the nearest over pass, rolled out our sleeping bags and slept the night.

This camping spot is noisier than the last two nights, but I’m sure it is a lot safer, and I don’t worry about the lumpy ground to much, I just contort my body along the little valleys and ridges. The light is fading fast and with it the warmth of the day. I may have to use the second bag tonight.

Day seven – Roadtrip 2015

May 23, 2015;

It is now fifteen minutes past five this morning, the daylight has the birds in an uproar, which means they are making sure I’m awake. It’s like having a stereo alarm click with dozens of bird varieties creating a symphony of song to wake up with and the traffic on the road is the kettle drums.

I’m about to break camp now, but I wanted to mention that it did rain a little last night and I’m hoping I can hold off on breaking camp till some of the moisture has dried a little. On the road by 5:55am everyone is packed and secured.

I had my first flat today, outside Columbia City, Oregon. It was a wood splinter of all things, I patched the inner-tube but the damn tire won’t stay pumped up. Damn! The tire continued to be a problem, so after the second repair didn’t take, I took the old tube out and put a new tube in. I suppose I should have done that the first time.

I stopped into McDonalds in St Helens and spent an hour working on my blog for the day. I wonder if anyone is looking at it. Also, when I down loaded yesterdays photos, I realized I didn’t do that much for the day.

I found a rusty tractor about four mile east of St Helens. About two more miles east I found a motor trike dressed like a dragon; it’s by Fullerton road and belongs to a fellow who is a motor cycle mechanic.

Highway30-StHelens-Oregon-May23_2015_03D Highway30-StHelens-Oregon-May23_2015_01D

In Scrappoose I started with a shot of the Main Street, and then a smoke shop and spruced up Chevrolet of a bygone age. Then I saw an interesting photo-op, a red barn with a red tower, having a light on the top – Peace Candle of the World it has posted upon the side.

PeaceCandle-Scappose-Oregon-May23_2015_01 VintageCar-Scappose-Oregon-May23_2015_02D

Further down the road it is Lupines beside the road in blue, purple and pink. These are near Cornelius pass road. On the east side of the pass road there is a really old section of the original road that crosses a slow moving stream. The cement is much grown over with various plants including Boston ivy.

Lupines-Hwy30_CorneliusPassRd-May23_2015_01D Lupines-Hwy30_CorneliusPassRd-May23_2015_02D

OldBridge-Hwy30_CorneliusPassRd-May23_2015_01D The water is slow moving because of the Beaver dam you can see in the bottom right corner.

OldBridge-Hwy30_CorneliusPassRd-May23_2015_03D OldBridge-Hwy30_CorneliusPassRd-May23_2015_02D

It is thirteen miles to Portland from here. The time is 1:35, which leaves me just enough time to get through the city. I lingered a bit to do Photos of Linnton Feed and Seed, main street of Linnton, which also is Highway 30. The Lighthouse Inn at the end of the block is a gray and red trimmed, stone building probably early 1900s – they call the street  NW St Helens.

StJohnsBridge-Linnton-Oregon-May23_2015_01D StJohnsBridge-Linnton-Oregon-May23_2015_04D

Still in Linnton, I made pictures of what might be St Johns Bridge, then on the Portland side of the bridge I saw an old building that looks like it might have something to do with railroad. But no, it was a good guess, more having to do with the NW Natural Gas Building built in 1913 during the Natural Gas golden era.

NWNaturalGasBuilding-Linnton-Oregon-May23_2015_01D NWNaturalGasBuilding-Linnton-Oregon-May23_2015_03D

I stopped only briefly in Portland because I wanted to get out of the city as soon as possible: NE Broadway look south from w Burnside on Portland. This is the Saturday market, in old town, looking down to the market taking place. Seen from Burnside near the west entrance to bridge.

VoodooDonuts-22SW3rd--Portland-May23_2015_01D VoodooDonuts-22SW3rd--Portland-May23_2015_02D Voodoo Donut Shop at 22 SW 3rd Street in downtown Portland – The neon sign attracted me at first as I was walking past along Burnside to head over the Burnside Bridge.

SaturdayMarket-StreetPerformers-Portland-May23_2015_02D A group of Natives with drum and dancing in the Saturday Market in the streets near Waterfront Park & Ankeny Plaza.

BurnsideBridge-Portland-May23_2015_01D Burnside Bridge, crossing over the Willamette River, heading toward Highway 99E.

I’m on highway 99E now, heading south toward Oregon city. Just a few snap shots of a shipyard and kayakers on the Willamette River. I made it to Milwaukie, Oregon by 5:30 and am trying to relax a bit after the hectic ride out and through Portland. Maybe I’ll find a McDonalds close by and have a much needed drink.

There is a cool looking Bomber Coffee Neon sigh near the restaurant of the same name, in Milwaukie: It has a Marlboro cigarette neon sign in the window. I’m in Oregon City now and it past 7:40pm and I’m wondering how far these strip malls go on down the highway before I can find somewhere to lay my head tonight.

Bomber-13515-SE-McLoughlinMay23_2015_01D Bomber-13515-SE-McLoughlinMay23_2015_02D

It has been an unusual chain of events today, I think it started to turn on the strange side with the flat tire that just wouldn’t fix, followed by the two guys burying me in diesel exhaust fr their trucks, I know it was on purpose because they waited till they were right beside me then trumped the gas pedal. I could see them looking in the rear view and laughing vigorously.

I didn’t plan on riding down 99E today; I was looking for 99W which is the highway on the other side of I-5. I’m sure it will all work out as these kinds of trials make up most of my life, besides, I think the two highways wind up converging in Junction City, a few miles north if Eugene.

I might have to take another fork in the highways again in Salem Oregon. I will have to see. If I can make it to Albany, which is about half way from here to Eugene, and the weather is good, I’ll take highway 20 east. Highway 20 used to be my favorite hitch hiking route from Newport to Chicago. It would be nice to visit the old way. It all depends on the weather. I’ve just been checking out the weather from Santiam pass which is between sweet home and bend. It’s still cold, but clear roads which doesn’t help me riding with no protection. I think I will have keep going south yet.

This is an ugly old building outside Oregon City at the south side of the tunnel, Highway 99E, and it is called Blue Heron Paper Company and dam.

BlueHeronPaper-OregonCityMay23_2015_01D BlueHeronPaper-OregonCityMay23_2015_02D BlueHeronPaper-OregonCityMay23_2015_03D BlueHeronPaper-OregonCityMay23_2015_04D BlueHeronPaper-OregonCityMay23_2015_05D The huge, 22 acre site closed in 2011.

It’s almost 9m now, light is quickly looming on the dark side. I found an emergency spot after a bit of scouting; it’s off the road, above the line of site and put of the way. I look to my left and there is a 100 foot cliff about ten feet or so away, and I have a job reducing the vines and sticks so I could get a smoother bed surface. There is enough room for me beside the bike, plus a little extra space for some of the gear. I guess it will have to do because there isn’t enough light out to go looking for another spot. There are some guys on the hill above shooting, woke me up at 3AM

Day six – Roadtrip 2015

May 22, 2015:


The sky cloudy today, and cool, besides the dampness of the morning there is the possibility of rain? Barely 5:15 now and the light creeping over the land like the relentless tide.  Birds are chirping but difficult to hear because of the constant drone of traffic squirting by on the interstate.

RightwingBillboard-Chehalis-Washington-May22_2015_01D Right-wing billboard near Chehalis, Washington along I-5

I’ve stopped at Toutle River Rest area at 7:00. Made a little progress on my regular website pages, but it was so bloody cold I couldn’t stay long. I moved on to a McDonalds at Dougherty drive in Castle Rock.  I’ve been working on the blog and staying connected with the world through Facebook. My emails from the iPod have magically returned, so I’ve sent emails from the last days to the msn account.

It will more than likely be about noon before I leave Castle Rock.  It’s almost 1 pm and I’ve found my way to highway 411 south where I will take it till I catch highway 30 in Oregon.  I stopped to photograph a view of the Columbia River with Train Bridge from a place across the highway from Kelso Longview, Seventh Day Adventist church along highway 411, near Kalso. Also in the immediate area is Beacon Hill water and sewer district office and where there is a building development going on – <http://heronviewwebsite .com>

TrainBridge-Highway30-Oregon-May22_2015_01D TrainBridge-Highway30-Oregon-May22_2015_02D

Made the junction of Highway 30 by 3:30 pm have to take the Lewis and Clark bridge over to Oregon. It looks like rain so I’ve had to make a stop and prepare for it. I hope there is a walk way over the bridge.  I’m stuck, sort of – I went into Starbucks which is conveniently located on the junction corner of the highway, of which bridge it is I want to cross over. It has no sidewalk and it is two lines, one each way and there is no bike lane. So it sounds like a recipe for disaster.  Do I wait until traffic is better, or chance it now, but not at this moment because having a coffee.  I was talking with a Starbucks lady who likes to travel up the Okanagan valley to Kelowna, her and her husband just bought a trailer and she likes to explore up on the great outdoors.



LewisAndClarkBridge-Washington-May22_2015_02D LewisAndClarkBridge-Washington-May22_2015_01D

Once I crossed the bridge I did some pictures of a Drive in cigarette booth, lavishly decorated in Rainier, Oregon. Just across the bridge, it seems so out of touch with the times.  The bridge wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, there was plenty of room for a bike and with rush hour traffic moving slowly. Timing is everything with log, narrow bridges, that and kind motorists that try not to Horne.


LewisAndClarkBridge-Oregon-May22_2015_02D LewisAndClarkBridge-Oregon-May22_2015_01D

Look at the profile of this big, long, steel bad-boy. Crossing it wasn’t an easy task and it was a good thing I rested well before going over because I had to pedal fast and with purpose.

Next, Photos of a huge white building with pillars in front, marked City Hall, and Police station on East B Street.

CityHall-Rainier-Hy30-Oregon-May22_2015_02D CityHall-Rainier-Hy30-Oregon-May22_2015_01D CityHall-Rainier-Hy30-Oregon-May22_2015_03D

Next I moved on east through Rainier and made a few more photos by the corner looking down W 1st street at east B. The Columbia River is in the background.  Vintage roadhouse closed and boarded up, on the east side of Rainier.



It is almost 7pm now and I’ve just finished setting up the tent for my first time. My brand new tent to set up, how exciting. I found an abandoned section of the old highway that once twisted and turned, rose and fell up and down little hills on its way to St Helens, Oregon. I’m about seven miles north of the town of Rainier I think, at least it might be by my dead reckoning.  As the roadside slowly moved by, I noticed rusty old guard rails on a hill about where I was riding, pulled over and decoded to go investigate.

Highway30-CampingSpot-May23_2015_01D Always look for clues to old right of ways that make great places to camp.

It was a bit of muscle work to get through the tall grasses and brambles, but I got to the one-lane road and instantly knew that this was the best I am going to find today.  I coverage the bike with tarp, set up the tent and took a photo or two just to remark on my handy work.

GarterSnake-Highway30-Oregon-May22_2015_01D Its always good to look where you are stepping or putting up tent. This little garter snake was coiled up and napping in the moss that covers the abandoned asphalt road.

Highway30-CampingSpot-May22_2015_02D The road has long since been covered with a layer of moss and grass, which is a comfortable place to  pitch a tent.

Highway30-CampingSpot-May22_2015_01D Being prepared for rain in the night, my bike is covered with the green tarp.

It is still early yet so I can contemplate what I want to do once I get to Portland town.

Perhaps continue on this highway, 30 or perhaps go further south before I head easy. Highway 30 seems to go all the way east to Chicago area, not that I’m heading there, but it will get me out east. Highway 30 gets me through Portland, and then follows interstate 84 east through Baker City and on down through Boise and mountain home Idaho. If I pick up highway 20 East in mountain home, I can follow past craters of the moon and Idaho falls where I can veer off to highway 26 and miss Yellowstone park (which is very cold this time of year). Highway 26 goes through Grand Teton, also a little cold now.

Maybe I’ll just stick with I-84 from Mountain Home, or not. It is all going to go according to weather. I don’t want to get stuck in a mountain pass with the snow falling and me freezing to death.  From Portland east, it is a ride through the cascade mountain range. If the weather is cold and bad when I get to Portland, I might just pick up highway 99w and head down to Eugene Oregon then take some other highway further south before heading east. I think 99 goes on down into California with few interruptions. On my 2011 trip I caught part of it on down to Chico. Now that was a hot section of the trip.  My camping spot seems to be fairly quiet, at least three times better than beside I-5 last night. With the tent up, I see half a dozen mosquitoes resting on the screen, attempting to get inside.

Day five – Road Trip 2015

May 21, 2015:

It is cold right now, the sky is blue with very little clouds, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m wet again. Wet as always, from the condensation and early morning dew. Really be nice if I could dry my bag out before I hit the road, but such is not the case.  This is another one of those spots that’s really nice and I don’t want to move.

I keep staring up at the old spar tree in the back yard and watch birds coming to and fro to perch and to eat. I saw a Palliated woodpecker a moment or so ago, going about its business of tearing apart the old tree looking for grubs and bugs.

After I headed out onto the highway, I looked back and caught a photo of the area that I am quitting, the tree snag and the fog in the background with the sun golden and beaming over the tree line. There are also Scotch Broom shrubs lining the road here in many locations, jazzing up the scenery with bright yellow blossoms and permeating the air with a sweet aroma that is special to the species.

ScotchBroom-Highway507-May21_2015_02D ScotchBroom-Highway507-May21_2015_01D

By the time I got to Roy, Washington, the fog bank is thick. There are some interesting historical things here, looks like from early 1900s, and an old Water tower beside the railroad tracks that was used for railroad locomotives in its day. The wooden side of the tower has ROY in box car sized letters.

Roy--Watertower-May21_2015_02D Roy--Watertower-May21_2015_01DRoy-SteakhouseAndSaloon-May21_2015_01D Roy Steak House and Saloon

Roy-PubEatery-May21_2015_02D Roy-PubEatery-May21_2015_01D Roy Pub and Eatery. The old fellow standing outside the pub is greeting people as they pass by in cars or on foot.

There are several photo opportunities along the way, Walt’s Place at 35711 Highway 507 in a town called McKenna.

WaltsPlace-35711HWY507-McKenna-May21_2015_01D WaltsPlace-35711HWY507-McKenna-May21_2015_03D WaltsPlace-35711HWY507-McKenna-May21_2015_04D A Mariners jersey clad effigy at the entrance to Walt’s Place adds to the character of the establishment.


Rainier-RailBridge-May21_2015_03D Portrait of SGT Justin D Norton who was KIA in Baghdad, IraqRainier-RailBridge-May21_2015_02D Rainier-RailBridge-May21_2015_01D

I found an old railroad right of way trail called the Yem – Tenino Trail which provided a really well groomed; smooth, some-what flat ride to Tenino. That lasted about 10 miles or so, but it was a nice break from the traffic and it got me down the road with ease.

Greenway-Yem-Tenino-May21_2015_01D Yem – Tenino Trail is a pleasant bike ride. It was once a part of the Logging industry Railway between Yem and Tenino which connected saw mills and all points in need of lumber.

When I arrived in Tenino, I stopped at a wayside park beside the trail I was quitting, stripped down, washed my clothes and had a sponge bath. Wow, that sure does feel good.  There are some interesting turn-of-the-century buildings in Tenino, as I pushed my bike along its main street I stopped to gander and click.


WolfBuilding-SussexSt-Tenino-May21_2015_01D Wolf Building constructed in 1908LandmarkTavern-SussexSt-Tenino-May21_2015_01D Landmark Tavern Neon Sign in Tenino, Washington.

I made it through Centralia and on into Chehalis, where I picked up I-5 again. By 7pm I was looking for a good place to camp – I chose a flat perch above I-5, but my first location was too close to a huge ant nest. It is a good thing I like to sit in the place I want to camp in for awhile just to see if there are any weird things happening.

What I didn’t notice before, that I took note of now, is that the ant nest mound is about 75 yards away, about three or four feet tall, and has soldiers scouting for food. As I sat, I notice an unusually large amount of ants scurrying to and fro.  I picked up stakes and headed along the small flat ridge about another 200 yards to the south. I Did the same thing as usual, this time as I sat and pondered, I realized it was far enough away from the ant hill and that I’d be okay to camp here.  Except for the sounds of trucks and cars rushing along the interstate, the night was good. The ground however lumpy was passable as I cut some of the long grass around nearby to help soften the bed.

Day four – Roadtrip 2015

May 20, 2015:


I had a lousy night last night. I would have considered a nice cozy spot if there was one available, but there was none. I camped, or rather, rolled out my tarp on a slope of a hill just off the highway, the ground was rough and at a slope, so the bitch of it was to try getting to sleep.  I was up with the crack of dawn, un-rested, stiff and sore but ready to carry on with a new day. This is highway 509 south, not Highway 99 like I thought it was. When I came over the 1st avenue bridge out of Seattle last night, I had to do a bike detour onto the other side of the bridge, the side with the sidewalk for bikes and pedestrians. When I got back onto the highway, on the other side of the drink, here we have no highway 99.

Everything worked out okay and I headed on down the road this morning fully prepared to try to make some miles, trying to make up for all of the zig and zagging I’ve had to do.  By the time I made it to Seatac city, there was a full fog bank enveloping everything. It is a dense, cold fog that makes you feel like spring has not arrived and winter is still nipping at our ankles.

I took 188th at Seatac Airport, which is part of the highway 507 route – I could hear the jets taking off and landing, but could not see them. That is a very disturbing feeling.  Along the way I found a 1957 Chevrolet outside Daves Diner at 2825 188th street.

DavesDiner-2825-188thSt-May20_2015_01D DavesDiner-2825-188thSt-May20_2015_02D

RedondoHeights-27721Hwy99-May20_2015_01D Redondo Heights Towing sign – 27721 Hwy99PickQuickDriveIn-Fife-May20_2015_01D Pick Quick Drive In  Fife

The diner is on the corner of Highway 99 and Highway 507 – just where I want to go.  I also found a vintage neon sign at Redondo Heights Towing, 27721 Highway 99. I also found a Killdeer guarding its nest in Fife, along highway 99, which they call Pacific Way.KilldeerEggs-Fife-May20_2015_01D KilldeerEggs-Fife-May20_2015_02D A Killdeer protecting her eggs which are close to the fence, amongst a ramble of stones – very well camouflaged!

DaffodilMotel-Milton-May20_2015_01D Daffodil Motel, vintage Neon sign in Milton.

I got into Tacoma, photographed some interesting BNS railroad locomotives and train bridges crossing the river. Very interesting images to get side tracked with.

TrainBridge-Tacoma-May20_2015_01D TrainBridge-Tacoma-May20_2015_02D TrainYard-Tacoma-May20_2015_01D TrainYard-Tacoma-May20_2015_02D

I wound up in the outskirts of Tacoma, having to push the bike up a very steep hill to get to a bench pass, above where they are working on the highways I-5 and 99 – they tore out the bridge there and I have to bypass to get around it, then find my way back to Highway 99, or Highway 7 which is the one I have to get to for further making it south toward Olympia and Centralia. I went up McKinley Way behind the Agrodome, up to 34th street, and west to Highway 7 at 34th street.

34thStreetView-Tacoma-May20_2015_02D 34thStreetView-Tacoma-May20_2015_01D

Let me tell you, there is a bridge that I crossed over, and looking to the north at the city of Tacoma and the freeway and the port of Tacoma. What a breathtaking view.  I continued along Highway 7 for most of the afternoon until I got it into my head to turn off at a junction just south of Tacoma where highway 507 south heads toward Rainer and Centralia. I sat at the Park and Ride lot there, dried out my sleeping bag a bit, gathered my wits about me and continued on.  I found a great spot a couple miles south of the junction with the military training forest in my back yard. Good choice for me.

Day three – Roadtrip 2015

May 19, 2015:

Ah, this is why I am out here, clean air and the sounds of nature. My wake up call this morning is from a symphony of birds and other wild life and I have to be careful not to disturb all of the gathering water droplets on the inside of my tarp . It is the condensation, not rain thankfully.  On the outside of the tarp I have to pick off annoying little brown slugs that insist upon leaving a trail of slime where ever they go. I’d be pissed off if it weren’t that they were so cute and cuddly.  I broke camp, shook out the tarp as much as I could, loosing some of the moisture but not all, rolled up the bag which is also wet now, and then hit the road. I’ll have to find someplace to dry out the bag at least.

I found some interesting photos today: a rusty old VW van with a small wind mill and dead end sign on Highway 9 at 160th Street.


Then there was a whole filed of vintage equipment at Clearview Nursery and Stone (16918 highway 9 in Snohomish).

ClearviewNurseryStone-Hwy9-May19_2015_01D Pan American Petroleum Corp – Central Valley  Unit No 206.

ClearviewNurseryStone-Hwy9-May19_2015_02D ClearviewNurseryStone-Hwy9-May19_2015_03D

ClearviewNurseryStone-Hwy9-May19_2015_05D Bucyrus Erie – B-10

ClearviewNurseryStone-Hwy9-May19_2015_06D Inside the controls for Bucyrus Erie – B-10.

I’m doing the zigzag thing again, taking state highway 524 to highway 99 south. I stopped at a fence that I thought would be a good place to dry the sleeping bag. Which was good to so until I heard the nylon on the bag rip. Not once, but twice. I have the tears taped up temporarily but I should find some duct tape to repair it better.

Over I-5 by 4:50 PM, and to the highway 99 junction by 5:10 PM.  I didn’t get to bed until after 10 PM because of my rushing to get through Seattle and south – it is very difficult to find a place to sleep with all of the strip malls – Between Lynnwood and Seattle I rushed, only taking time out for a few photos along the waterfront – there were some spectacular views of the harbor from Highway 99.  The road through Seattle was disturbing to say the least – pot holes and roughness everywhere. There a couple of bridges that had be concerned, but a challenge – there was only one or two motorists who gave me a hard time about being on the road. Beep, Beep, sorry about that.

SeattleSpaceNeedle-May19_2015_01D The Space Needle – My first encounter with this building is during the 1962 Worlds Fair

SeattleWaterfrontGondolaRide-May19_2015_01D SeattleWaterfrontGondolaRide-May19_2015_02D Seattle Giant Wheel at the harbor side, see from Highway 99 South

Seattle-AuroraAvenueBridge-May19_2015_01D The Aurora Street Bridge along Highway 99

Day Two – Road trip 2015

May 18, 2015:

It is cold this morning in a damp and morning dew sort of way. I was up at 4:30 to break camp and on the road down I-5 by 5 AM. There is a sign on the freeway that states “All Bicycles must Exit” which is a hop skip and jump from where I camped. Oh great, here I thought I would get some travel time in, but I have to exit and ride around Bellingham so I don’t disturb the traffic pattern. There is an interesting neon sign at the exit, Bellingham Pawn Shop, and it has a glowing blue shark on the front.


There are also photo ops for night time stuff a little further down the road at Shamrock Hotel and Mykonos Restaurant & Lounge. By the time I got into Bellingham city proper, it is fairly light so I can see where I’m going and the traffic can see me. I take Dupont to Broadway and continue toward the downtown core via bike lane for most of it. I have to detour again to Prospect Street to find Ace Bonds neon sign, then the Bellingham Museum, having some awesome architecture.

CityHallMuseum-121Prospect-Bellingham-May18_2015_06D CityHallMuseum-121Prospect-Bellingham-May18_2015_04D Two views of the old City Hall in Bellingham

BellinghamHardware-1907-215W-Holly-May18_2015_01D Bellingham Hardware 215 W. Holly – built in 1907

Next, I headed along W. Holly at Bay where I see two heritage buildings and an interesting sign at Rocket Donuts.

RocketDonuts-306W-HollySt-Bellingham-May18_2015_03D RocketDonuts-306W-HollySt-Bellingham-May18_2015_02D

I made quite a few photos of the neon signs and buildings.  I found some interesting buildings at the waterfront that are made out of bricks mostly. I continued to my quest south along Chestnut Street to Ellis Street. That’s where I found my favorite road time restaurant, McDonalds.