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Jul
01
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Slept in again this morning and me with a GPS on low vision followed Norm all over town (as in San Fran) looking for Highway # 1 so we could follow the coast and finally found it. Passed lots of 'boxes made of ticky tacky' on our way out of town and dipped in and out of mist covered  terrain throughout the day. We encountered overall very little traffic interspersed with heaps of stop start traffic for short , bizarre, and finally after riding through heaps of and dunes and beach areas and pockets of intense market gardens with dry hills behind ended up in Carmel which is a treat for the senses with delightful restaurants  shops and galleries with all sorts of beautiful things to look at and buy. What a contrast!

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In the lobby at the Hilton, Dame Edna eat your hear out at these gladdies.

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And a celebratory dinner at an Irish Pub last night. Norm quite likes a guinnes.

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And some 'little boxes made of ticky tacky' as we head out of San Francisco this morning. We had passed many beautiful homes around the park but couldn't stop to take the shot. DOH!

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It's official, we are out to the Pacific Ocean again.

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And a great shot of the Pacific.

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What is that thing on the bluff?....apart from a bizzare shape that is.

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Ah hah, a military battery from the second world war, incredible erosion since then!

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Looking back to where we had come from, and the original Highway #1 went to the left of the tunnels and we had hoped to follow it back but it was listed as no motorised vehicles allowed, only pedestrians and cycles. Damn.

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And a close up. It was an impressive tunnel which was longer than it looked but we could see light at the other end for the whole lot of it so was deciving.

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And beaches ahead beyond the battery.

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Lovely beaches.

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Cute lighthouse even though tiny.

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A rugged coastal cliff (check out the tree at the top).

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Yep, the wind has moulded it to exactly the shape of the cliff. How's that for a stiff westerly breeze!

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Smart birds, out of reach of people.

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Beautiful sights in passing. Birds taking to flight.

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Pigeon Point lighthouse (looks better from the distance, looks very tired close up) and shows the intensive market gardening going on right up to the cliff face.

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Robert Louis Stevenson's home at Monterey. Unsure how long it was his home, we saw a home of Mary Queen of Scotts in Scotland where she stayed for 3 months too ill to travel further, but now billed as her home, so who knows?

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The Custom House at Cannery Row Monterey. This is at the start of a six block Harbour front street which was once the site of 720 fish packing plants that procesed sardines. In 1945 the sardines disappeared and the buildings now house restaurants and shops. It's a bit like a permanat fair site. Didn't know much about sustainable fishing in those days we have to assume.

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The Marina.

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Part of Cannery Row where I had a delicious hot chocolate (Norm a coffee) and I checked out some beautiful sculptures. Sometimes it's a bugger to be on a bike!

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Surviving fishing industy.

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And a couple of the survivors.

Last two Night's Accommodation:

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Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Nice hotel (huge) and room (reasonably small but nicely decorated and comfortable). Handy to the trolley cars and shopping. Staff friendly and helpful. Bed nice and comfortable. I personally didn't enjoy the hotel, seemed way to big and noisy in public spaces and limited eating options with only one restaurant and a Starbucks which was always bulging with customers. There is another coffee area being developed which is way overdue in my opinion. Surprisingly, Norm thought it was okay. Go figure, we are so different!


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Jun
30
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After a nice sleep in we headed out for a late breakfast and some exploring including a trolley car ride which didn't quite work out as planned as the trolley cars were broken down, DOH, so nearly walked our legs off. You can see a tiny bit of what we saw below:

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Before the breakdown.

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And believe it or not each trolley has 4 of these timber brakes which is what stops them. Yep, the same as when we were here in 1998.

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An intriguing rego plate on a motorcycle, would have liked to see who came to get on it!

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Union Square known for it's shopping and here is the Westin Hotel complete with Victoria Secrets....

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...and a real reason to go retail, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany's. Now you're talking. Nah, didn't happen.

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A recognisable speccie skyline.

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An awesome fire truck with a rear steering axle complete with a driver in the rear cab as well as the front.

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Hotel Fairmont. Beautiful building and interior space where we went to use an ATM.

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The Grace Cathedral.

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Cute neighbourhood.

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Tangles of cables are everywhere.

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And a Church on Washington Square.

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Heading up Lombard street before the interesting stuff starts.

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The Crookedest Street - Lombard Street.

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On the way up.

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From the top down. This looks much more speccie than it did in 1998.

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And finally heading down Powell Street. We walked over 11,000 steps today and Norm says the degree of difficulty our knees and hips can testify to at least doubled the effort involved to walk those steps....and he is absolutely right!


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Jun
29
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We headed off in surprisingly cool temperatures and headed for San Francisco and after having a coffee at a quirky spot on the harbour in Sausalito we headed for the Golden Gate Bridge and made our way to the foot of it and checked our Fort Barry, then with a tip from a local there who took our photo headed for Malin Head so we could get an ariel type view of both the bridge and the city which was fun. We also got to Fort Cronkhite and a number of others spread amongst the hills as well as the Lighthouse at Point Bonita then it was headlong across the bridge and into the city. Pics below tell the story:

Oh and as a PS to the bite on my leg, it is starting to subside so hoping nothing more needs to be done other than continue the antibiotics. Hoping the itch will dissipate as well!

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An interesting view this morning past the grape vines to the hills where the sea mist has rolled in from the ocean and starting to fall down to the valley here, looked like a grey wreath draped over the top of the hills. I've smelt a delicious sage fragrance early in the day today, like I did last year when we were amongst the sage brush. I havent seen it, but something around obviously smells similar.

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A view from a hill in Sausalito back up Highway 101 where we had come from.

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And across to the harbour where we are about to head for a coffee.

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And a quirky coffee spot. We were the first customers.

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Some interesting floating caravans / houses / houseboats moored in the harbour.

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Heading for Fort Barry and this is a shot across the harbour to Alcatraz.

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And one of the San Francisco Skyline.

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And to the Golden Gate Bridge with a couple of happy campers.

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And with many boats moored in the harbour.

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Some of the very pretty buildings in Fort Barry which are being used as accomodation which meant they were in pretty good shape where the ones on Malin Head where we went to from here the buildings are visibly deteriorating. Note the massive eucalypt tree trunks in the shot. Feels very familiar all through the hills with huge numbers of eucalypt trees complete with delicious eucalyptus fragrance.

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Heading to Malin Head here is a look to the Golden Gate Bridge and the city. We climbed even higher than this but figured we had our shot and kept moving.

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Heading down the 18% grade from the overlook sights.

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Point Bonita lighthouse.

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And the actual light which is the original where the current lighthouse isn't the original one. The light can be seen from 23 miles away.

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And we head onto the Golden Gate Bridge and I'm sticking to Norm like glue because my GPS has decided to run on emergency lighting so Ican't see it unless I almost have my face on it so not a good way to watch the road and traffic.

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Over the bridge and into the city on the way to the hotel. We crossed lots of steep streets which would make for good movie car chase scenes. Ha ha.

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And another one.

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Phew, ready to book in.

Last Night's Accommodation:

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El Pueblo Inn, 896 W Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476

Clean, comfortable refurbished room. Nicely furnished but dark given the veranda and garden plantings, probably something to be grateful for in the heat. Included parking, continental breakfast and wiFi as well as pool but doesnt seem all that great a value ... until compared with some of the other prices. Over a mile to dinner options so a bit of a bummer.


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Jun
28
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We already had a big trip lined up but added to the time greatly by following the recommendation of a local to strike off Hwy 101 to # 1 and travel through Leggett to the Chandelier Tree and experience the Avenue of the Giants, basically the original highway #1 with giant redwood trees and it was awesome. The trees were spectacular and the road incredible! Very few services but also very little traffic and looked surprisingly isolated even though it is only over the hills from mainstream civilisation, Bizarre. The ride was one of intense concentration moving from counter steering in one direction to another without time to stand the bike up in between time after time often and the gradient and camber were delicious. Waaaay better than we anticipated. We moved from chilly weather and sea mist / fog for most of the day to quite hot  this afternoon as we came into Sonoma where we felt right at home amongst many eucalypts and the countryside looked surprisingly familiar like around the Yea area with yellow dry grassed hills with luscious green vineyards spreading along the flats and up into the hills. A bit scary really since this is early in the summer here. The California hills are brutally dry. Enjoy the pics:

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The Avenue of the Giants.

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Some houses being refurbished at Westport. This is close to Abalone Point and if it is aptly named it would explain the huge numbers of caravans and divers we passed.

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Delicious roads up and down.

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And the mist moves out enough to get a shot of some rocks on the shore.

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Coming into Fort Bragg, an awesome old railway bridge now a footbridge.

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And a Guest House Museum which was just lovely.

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Heading south out of Fort Bragg. An awesome bridge we actually crossed over on # 1.

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And a shot through Anderson Valley as we headed from the coast towards our hotel in Sonoma.

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Almost into Sonoma.

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A Sonoma street view. Some of many attractive buildings. A lovely comfortable feel here.

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The Town Hall.

Last Night's Accommodation:

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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Eureka, 815 West Wabash Avenue (the opposite direction to all the GPS maps) Eureka, CA 95501.

Another nice comfortable space. Walking distance to dinner, included breakfast, parking and Wi-Fi.


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Jun
27
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The morning dawned with us lost in sea mist / fog which drifted into fine drizzle so although there were lots of great craggy rocky shapes off the shore they were lost in all that and apart from that a bite I got on my leg while I was riding about a month ago decided to come to life yesterday afternoon and increased in size, redness heat and itch through the night so headed to the Urgent care Clinic (like an A&E department with some clinics in a stand alone facility) at Brookings to see what was the go. Have come away with doxycycline which covers me for diseases which could be passed on by biting insects including  lymes disease in case it was from a tick bite and looking it up on the internet tonight that is likely what bit me though the red swollen bit doesnt look so much like a bulls eye which in theory it's supposed to (one can hope). Mmm. The symptoms are all things I wouldn't likely recognise chills and fever - hot flushes / freezing airconditioning through the US, swollen aching knees - have them anyway, stiff neck - always as a result of whiplash, fatigue - well I'm riding my butt off, memory loss / what was that?  and so it goes on. Fingers crossed the antibiotics kick in and the redness doesn't extend past my texta line (or the white halo line beyond). Moving on from that, after losing a good few hours at Brookings we headed off, still in the fog, but as we got into the Redwood Forest we came into sunshine and what a glorious experience that was. It was like riding through a massive great cathedral with towering giants all around us and the sun and dappled shade like stained glass windows. We stopped and walked for a bit and just experienced it then headed off to get to our hotel. Oh and the road all day made for a glorious ride with twists and turns and ups and downs. Ahhh! Pictures tell the story below:

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A view to the beach last night.

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A close encounter of the deer kind. Norm was taking a pic of the fog and mumma deer struck out across in front of him. I slowed down thinking the kids mustn't be far behind and last years child crossed then this years hesitated at the road verge as I rode past. Phew.

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Craggy rocks off shore.

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Not clearing yet.

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After Brookings and hospital and still fog!

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A bonus find, birds and seals.

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Gradually clearing.

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Many views of the redwoods. Ahhhh.

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Some eucalypts on the way into Eureka this evening.

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And an impressive building.

Last Night's Accommodation:

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Pacific Reef Resort, 29362 Ellenburg Avenue Gold Beach, OR 97444.

Lovely room, not quite as roomy as some but a good sense of and disabled friendly bahroom. Only oe suit case holder big oversight. Meals a few  steps away so a spot to drop assuming you can drag yoursellf away from the view! Felt nice.

 


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Jun
26
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We've had a lovely day starting with a beautiful winding ride through incredibly lush mountain with massive tall fir / pine trees and shady glades with large amounts of water through the mountains to the west coast and the ride has continued with lots of twists and turns with more of the trees right down to the water which seems bizarre to me as well as charming little seaside villages and rugged coastlines. Wow. record high temperatures to the east of the mountains but happily a comfortable / cool temperature to the west where we are. One of the constant companions to the ride has been a roadside flower which looks like a prolific flowering sweet pea. It is more sturdy in growth and has fewer tendrils and little to no perfume to what I'm used to and varies from pale pink to a deep cyclamen (predominantly) in colour. Beautiful. Pictures tell the story:

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First view of the Pacific water on the inlet in Florence (albeit it in a bit of sea mist).

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Lake Woahanik.

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Water all round.

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Siuslaw River Bridge, a drawbridge.

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Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area in the sea mist / fog.

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Street scene in Banton.

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A coast shot in the sea mist.

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And one when it has partially cleared. with a bonus shot of an eagle.

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The second of many great bridges we have seen today from underneath.

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And a lighthouse (not issuing a fog horn warning as one on the break water which was shrouded in sea mist / fog we saw was).

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Small village having a serious go at attracting the tourist hordes.

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Umpqua  National Park Dunes - a designated ATV area and some sort of ATV rally happening today with ATV's and  all sorts of RV's parked up everywhere. Bizarre seeing the ATV's zooming everywhere on the dunes!.

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And another.

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Heading into Gold Beach.

Bits and Bobs:

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Coffee spot wisdom above and a beautiful coffee below.

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Last Night's Accommodation:

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Phoenix Inn Suites, 850 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, Oregon 97403

Large comfortable room to spread out and relax, comfortable bed. Included WiFi (which won't let me load photos), included continental breakfast and parking. Short walk to multiple eating options. Quiet neighbourhood.


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Jun
25
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We headed off a bit later today and had a lot of looking around so didn't get in until after 6pm but we had a great day. We loved the High Desert Museum and enjoyed the Volcanic experience but the highlight was without doubt the ride from Sisters Via McKenzie Pass and Hwy 126 where we climbed from sandy pine forest a lot like around the Narribri area up into and through mountains and  initially alongside a massive lava flow then through and over it and down again through incredibly cool, moist and luxuriant forest. Magnificent ride and awe inspiring scenery. WOW! An excellent road surface and lots of twists and turns and ups and downs. Not fast but a lot of fun. We are in Eugene tonight, a University town. Pictures tell the story:

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Indian Chief head dresses at the High Desert Museum where the history archeologically and anthapologically were covered well.

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An otter who posed beautifully before diving in for a swim.

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And one of many beautiful sculptures throughout the museum.

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Heading for the butte on the shuttle at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

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A shot of Mt Batchelor from the summit of the Butte.

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And a view from the Pilot Butte of Bend and the Sisters mountains in the distance.

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And a slingshot parked beside our bikes when we emerged from lunch.

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Sisters, a cute and quirky little town. A sign unfamiliar at home.

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And this tree has literally been built around in the ground and first floor verandas. Told you it was quirky.

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Lava flow on the way to Eugene.

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And ultimately it goes from beside us to the road going straight through.

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The Dee Wright Observatory in the Willamette Natioal Forest. Quite bizarre, literally construted by lava rocks on the top of the summit of the McKenzie Pass.

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A shot of the Three Sisters from the Observatory.

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And a  shot of the Three Sisters as we descend.

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And we descend into the forest. Didn't get a shot where the forest was the most dense. So should have had a GoPro on.

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A Covered bridge across the Blue River as it galloped alongside the road.

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And a shot of some buildings in the University of Oregon, Eugene being a University city.

Bits and Bobs:

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Breakfast room wisdom from this morning.

Last Night's Accommodation:

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Hampton Inn and Suites Bend, 730 SW Columbia Street, Bend, OR 97702

Lovely room and building. Parked our bikes under the portico at the front. Included WiFi, hot breakfast and parking. Staff very friendly and comfortable bed with short walking distance to many restaurant options for dinner. Comfortable spot to drop.


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Jun
24
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Well yesterday was all about exploring one lake and surrounds, and today was about exploring many lakes and surrounds so the same only different. We yet again enjoyed the solitude of country roads with many twists and turns so a yummy ride. We also needed to source a new front tyre for Norm's bike, not available in Chemult or La Pine but thankfully was in Bend at Pro Caliber Motor Sports of Oregon, 3500 North Highway 97, Bend OR 97701 where we walked in and the boys had it fitted for us half an hour later with much good humour and banter. Thanks Guys, really appreciate it. You can find them at

http://www.procaliberbend.com/

Again the pictures tell the story of our day:

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Crescent Lake resort where we had a coffee, a fishermans paradise, as were most of the lakes.

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Odell Lake Resort.

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Odell Creek.

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Davis Lake, we were going to call it Disappointment lake becasue we couldn't get to the water and if it hadn't been for some fire damage wouldn't have got this shot.

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A massive lava flow which followed alongside us on our journey, not surprising since Davis lake was formed by a lava flow blocking the Oddell Creek. It was over 100 foot high in places.06-24-twin-lakes.jpg 

Twin Lakes.

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Deschutes River.

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Lunch at La Pine at a truck stop and Norm checked out what was parked up and had a chat with the owner of this rig (Peterbilt) with a 10 foot sleeper and a 53 foot trailer!

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Lava Lake.

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Elk Lake Resort, all happening here.

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Devils Lake. This one was a real contrast, only 9 foot at it's depest and only 30acres.

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And heading for Bend this was the view in our rear vision mirrors.

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An impressive building in Bend where we are staying tonight.

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And the Old Mill area where we had dinner tonight.

Bits and Bobs:

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Words of wisdom from a shop window in Bend.

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And a hitch hiker who attached itself to my arm at the bike shop.

Last two Night's Accommodation:

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Eagle Crater Lake Inn, Chemult, OR 97731

Scary from the outside but has been nicely refurbished inside. Definately looks the pick of the ones here in town .... town is very challenged. Complimentary sodas in fridge and available in office. Complimentary basic continental breakfast parking and wifi so doing their best to be customer focused. Bed comfortable but highway literally at our front door and railway line at the rear so not entirely peaceful albeit that the trucks were greatly diminished through the night. No lock on the window ... in fact no catch at all so Norm retrieved a stick from outside to fit the channel at the base of the window. A can do man my Norm.


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Jun
23
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June 23rd is the 21st Anniversary of our son Danny's death so the day has felt a little surreal and I have appreciated being surrounded by incredible beauty today as we circumnavigated the Crater Lake, somehow felt a little soothing to the emotions. We also doubled up on a bit of the trip to get to where we needed to go and discovered it's possible to cover the distance in a surprisingly short amount of time if you don't stop every few hundred metres for a photo, hardly surprising that and tonight we are officially in the sticks and I'm typing this in the bar beside the restaurant where we will have dinner and am apparently a bit of a curiosity to the locals. I think Danny would have been pretty stoked about exploring the country as we have done so I will continue to assume he is doing so with us. It's been a huge job to decide what photos to include and what to leave out. Enjoy!:

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A very cute Art Deco building in Klamath Falls on our way out this morning.

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And a barn near Fort Klamath I spotted yesterday.

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Heading from the entrance to Crater Lake, and interesting Canyon as we head for the lake. 

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Fossilised Steam Vents - these vents vented steam along a fault line as the volcano erupted. They are in fact hollow and lined this canyon / fault line.

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Into the snow and if you look closely you will see a round snowball aloft which was aimed at Norm but the oomph was lacking and instead it landed on my bike. Ah well you apparently get that.

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 The rocky outcrop is called the Phantom ship.

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The pinnacles, more fossilised steam vents but some huge ones, sorry it doesn't look like it in 2D.

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Heading out of the Lake park.

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The Vide Waterfall. Impressive.

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And a shot in the Rim Village.

Bits and Bobs:

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Hire car wisdom found in a car park today.

Last two Night's Accommodation:

Olympic Inn, 2627 South Sixth Street, Klamath Falls, OR 97603

Comfortable room, lovely bed, free parking and Wi-Fi, included hot breakfast and soup and light soup and sandwiches in the evening as well as a cookie later in the night. Staff helpful and handy to major roads and shops as well as walking distance to a few dinner options. Good value.

Sorry, forgot to take a photo, doh!


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Jun
22
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Have had a quieter paced today which was welcome and have found it hard to take in the abundance of water and luxuriant growth after spending so much time over recent days in very dry and arid conditions where anything struggles to grow. I'll let the pictures tell the story:

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A view of Mt Shasta across Upper Klamath Lake. Mt Shasta was out to our left as we approached Klamath Falls yesterday. Sorry about the power lines, couldn't avoid them without sliding on my butt down to the rail line and no way back after that.

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The Logging Museum in the Collier Memorial State Park was a treat and apparently a lot of the machines were operating yesterday for Fathers Day, shame we didn't find that out earlier. We did a lot of daydreaming at the museum and felt very old. By the way family, Dad says you can put the chocolate in the pantry for his USA fathers Day so it's there when he gets home....Good luck with that I'd say.

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This monster did a mammoth job before the days of hydraulics.

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And an interesting shoe Sharen and Ken .. shoe? I thought it would be classed as a boot.

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And a cute little bridge at the museum over a crystal clear fast flowing stream. Beautiful.

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We visited the Fort Klamath Museum which was a bit of a disappointment really. This was a fort charged with keeping the peace between the new western settlers who came out on the Oregon Trail (which we followed on last years trip) with the resident Indians so a big job. It was once a fort of 2,000 men complete with a 100 acre vegetable garden and 50 buildings. It is now a large grassy paddock with a gaurd house (interesting but small museum) a jail (which isnt listed on the building list) and the little red post office (from Klamath Agency a settlment down the road a bit). Oh and a steep entry with a deep layer of large stones designed to tip people off their bikes which thankfully didn't happen. The poor little village of Fort Klamath was in a very poorly state also. Very sad. This is a view over the fence of the Fort Museum to Mt Shasta at which point Norm was ready to go.

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Norm just out of jail. Ha ha,

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We came back a different way in fact on the 'Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway' and this is a view from Norm's bike of the lush growth on the way to the Wildlife Refuge.

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And through some of the National Forest which was beautiful.

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A view back to Upper Lake Klamath as we headed back to the hotel.

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And then on the shore as we continued.

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Then we headed out the same way we had in the morning to gain a bit of height to take a shot of the lake and this is a contrast of some of the intensive farming with irrigation and the lake looking back towards Klamath Falls.

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And a lava flow, one of many, on the hillside we had ridden up.

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And a look out to Klamath Lake.

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One of many eagles circling around the hillside.

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Coming down from the eagles lair.

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Another one bites the dust, literally and no Norm didn't drop it when he was taking a shot. My camera holder broke a strap on the bottom and it tipped upside down. I felt something brush my foot (my notepad) and looked down to see the holder upside down so pulled over and did a U turn and rode back until I saw the notepad on the edge of the road, the torquoise aluminium cover was a help so picked that up and walked back further and found the poor old camera right in the wheel rut. By that time Norm was back and we checked for the camera card and needless to say it was gone so walked back further again and found that in the middle of the road. Phew. Thankfully we had turned off the main road looking for a windy ride back to the town so we were literally the only traffic on the road. The joke is that when we replaced Norm's broken camera in Moab it only cost $130.00 and we joked later that we should have bought 2. Today we did buy 2, for $53.00 each! Probably helped that the shop was closing down. Exactly the same model as Norm's so no bragging about who has the better camera now.

Bits and Bobs:

Two signs I missed getting a shot of today which appealed to me were both in Klamath Falls, and then another quote from the shop in Truckee.

The first:

A credit Union called 'Rogue Credit'. Really? Wouldn't want my money in there!

The second:

On the city limits on the highway 'Unmuffled engine brakes not to be used within town limits'. Yes, finally a differentiation so responsible operators still have access to engine brakes.

Truckee Quote from one of the shops:

Every parent should have this tattooed on their forehead! Love it.

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