Wine tastings today. 8-30-16

Swimming, walking, breakfast and posting to the blog started the day. It’s cloudy and cool in the upper 50’s to start the day.  Our motel is in an indusrial/retail area on the outskirts of NE Portland and near Erin.  Not very quiet in the mornings with all the activity here early.

Today we are off to the Willamette Valley for three scheduled wine tastings set up by Erin and the owner/sommelier of the new restaurant she works at.  Its name is Coquine and it opened in Portland this year.  It is the top rated new restaurant in Portland.  Erin, the bar manager at the restaurant, is bringing her friend Malia along.

Erin and Malia at the first tasting.
Erin and Malia at the first tasting.

The first tasting was at Antica Terra Winery.

The first stop was
The first stop was

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The girl doing the tasting, Carrie, was from France and we had a great conversation not only about the wine and the winery owners but about her life and all involved with being so far from family.  The wines we tasted were all good and we ordered some to be shipped home.

Our next stop was at a winery called Soter Vineyards.  The tasting room was originally the home of the vineyard owner and was quite a different style.  The main structure was the kitchen, dining and living room. There were 2 smaller separate buildings on-site that were the sleeping quarters. There was one for the children and one for the parents.  Quite different.

The main structue now the greeting area and tasting room.
The main structue now is the greeting area and tasting room.
Seated at the counter of what was the kitchen in the main building.
Standing at the counter of what was the kitchen in the main building.
Rich, Pauline and Erin in front of one of the sleeping buildings.
Rich, Pauline and Erin in front of one of the sleeping buildings.
The fireplace in the main building.
The fireplace in the main building.
Our tasting was in one of the sleeping buildings.
Our tasting was in one of the sleeping buildings with Evita or tasting expert.

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Our last stop was different from the first two.  It was way back in the hills on predominantly forest land.  The vineyar, called Beckham Winerys, had been cut out of the pine forest that covered the property.

When this couple bought the property he was a school teacher of art and they were going to use the outbuilding on the property for a studio.  That was in 2002.  Now, with improvements every year, the entire property is planted with vines and some fruit. They are totally organic.

They also produce two different wines in clay urns that he had hand thrown. The picture is of a small urn.  He is now making urns for some wineries in Napa.

Clay urn for fermentation.
Clay urn for fermentation.

He spent quite some time experimenting and with the help of a chemist came up with a good formula of clay types.  It was an interesting story of their journey from studio to vineyard.

Andrea Beckham, the owners wife did the tasting.
Andrea Beckham, the owners wife did the tasting.

 

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Our last stop of the day was in Portland at the Multnomah Whiskey Library.  A unique interesting place that requires a membership.  Erin has connections and got us in with a 6 o’clock reservation.  Without reservations the wait on weekends can be 4 hours for members. They not only have whiskey but all types of liquor.  For example there menu has 6 pages of bourbons.

Whiskey Library
Whiskey Library.

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One of the topics of discussion between Pauline, Erin and Mary was their purses and about which purse to use for certain things.  I chimed in that my wallet worked for all occasions and to change it up once in a while I have a purple rubber band I can use.

A stylish wallet.
A stylish wallet.

Tomorrow who knows what.

Signing off for today, its me, the only law and order person out there and the leader of the anti moose movement.

 

Mt. Hood. 8-29-16

Walking, phone calls, catching up on the blog and waiting to be picked up by the rental car people started the day. It was clear and warming nicely for today’s trip to Mt. Hood and then into the Columbia River valley called the gorge by locals.

The new mini van we rented was perfect for our touring with its high seating and big windows for good viewing as we traveled.   Bill, Mary, Pauline and myself were off go Mt. Hood.

Some coffee was in order as we got close to our first destination.  We stopped in Mt. Hood village at a place called Wraptitude. People were raving about the food, we just got coffee.

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With our coffee  in hand we drove to Mt. Hood. and the Timberline Lodge. This is the lodge where a portion of The Shining was shot.

 

Mt. Hood
Mt. Hood
Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood.
Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood.

The lodge was built in 1936 as a WPA project and was run by the National Forest Service.  This is a great old lodge with people still skiing the upper run as we walked around in t-shirts.

Mt. Hood out the lodge Window.
Mt. Hood out the lodge Window.

Much of the furniture was built by the carpenters and blacksmiths that were working on the lodge.  All the furniture frames, hand rails and iron structural members and appointments were hand built by the ironworker/blacksmiths on the site.

Hand built seating that still has the original rawhide woven seat.
Hand built seating that still has the original rawhide woven seat.
Hand built chair.
Hand built chair.
Iron structural supports.
Iron structural supports.
Iron fireplace appointments.
Iron fireplace appointments.
Flooring and columns.
Flooring and columns.

This lodge serves as a resting and food stop for people that hike the PCT. Many hikers were resting and having the buffet. I believe Bill’s friend Eddie passed through here when he hiked the PCT.

Now onto the town of Hood River in the gorge.  We decended the 1000′ to the gorge in about 35 miles.  The town is on the Columbia River and was it was full of kite boarders and wind surfers, I mean hundreds.

Wind surfers and Kite boarders.
Wind surfers and Kite boarders.

We stopped for lunch at a microbrew called pFriem Family Brewers.  No that’s not a misspelling.

The beer offerings.
The beer offerings.
At pFriem.
At pFriem.

 

We crossed the river to the Washington side and headed to the Bridge of the Gods to cross back to Oregon.  This bridge is the crossing point for the PCT and is shown at the end of the movie Wild.

Pauline at The Bridge of the Gods.
Pauline at The Bridge of the Gods.

We stopped at Multnomah Falls and hiked up to the mid-level bridge shown in some of the pictures.

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Looking off the walking bridge.

We finished our trip back to Portland and had some dinner and conversation with Erin and Matt before retiring for the night.

Three wine tasting appointments tomorrow in the Willamette Valley.

One more note on the moose issue.

Folks, I and I alone can fix this issue.

To Portland. 8-28-16

It was in the upper 50’s and cloudy when we went to breakfast.  Ships were passing in the channel as we walked to eat.  Bill and I commented that it seemed strange to get up and see the huge ships so close and so often.  The channel runs very close to the South shore which is the Astoria side of the river.

The first freighter of the morning.
The first freighter of the morning.

After breakfast we fueled and then headed for Portland on US 30.  Our trip to Portland was 97 pleasant and uneventful miles with views of the Columbia river to the North and forested hills to the South.  We were able to check-in early and unloaded everything off of the bikes for our 5 night stay.

Bill and I  started to settle into our rooms when my daughter Erin arrived with our wives, Pauline and Mary.  It wasn’t long and they were unpacked. We shared stories of our travel experiences, what was left behind, what happened at the airport etc.  We also showed pictures of our recent travels.

Erin left us early to pick up her boyfriend from the hospital.  He was being released today after having a recent double kidney transplant.  It will have some impact on our plans, but it is an accomodation we are all happy to make. Good luck and get well Matt.  Matt is going to recuperate at Erin’s place.

We are off to have dinner a little early and we have a little better then a 1 mile walk to get there.  We were unable to get our car until tomorrow, but we needed the walk.

We ended up at, of all places,the Portland Brewing Co. for our dinner.  In Portland you can just about throw a stone from anywhere and hit a microbrew. The beer was good the food adequate and the walk felt good after dinner.

Portland Brewing Co.
Portland Brewing Co.

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Tomorrow Enterprise is delivering our van and we’re off to Mt. Hood.

On the Canadian moose issue, I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason we saw no moose in Canada is they are all coming to the US over the border. They are displacing our animals, consuming resources they should not be allowed to have and they don’t pay taxes.  A border fence along the entire northern border is the only solution to this problem. And when I propose a fence I mean a real fence!  They are stealing from us, taking advantage of our animals and with the general criminal problem these moose bring, they must be stopped.

If you elect me……..

More on this later.

 

 

The Washigton coast on SR 101. 8-27-16

It was a beautiful cool morning when we awoke with temperatures in the upper 50’s, clear skies and no wind.  I again felt compelled to wash my bug, filth encrusted bike and that effort delayed our departure some.  Bill was up and ready fairly early and I was holding up the show.  I finally showered and packed the bike to continue the trip South.

Tim met us for breakfast at the same place we had dinner at last night, the 101 Brewery at Tawana Road House.  We had a good breakfast, said our goodbyes to Tim and we were back on the road.

Bill and I decided to retrace our route back go Port Angeles on SR101 and follow it past Port Angeles down the West coast of Washington.  Soon after we had passed Port Angeles we got into the mountains.  The road wound past lakes formed by glacial melt and were up to 600′ deep!

Bill next go Lake Crescent.
Bill next go Lake Crescent.

The ride after the lake was less inspiring as we headed towards the coast.  As we approached and started descending to Pacific shore we encountered forests of large trees protected by being in the Olympic National Forest.

Ruby Beach was our first look at the Pacific from the West coast.  We walked the trail down to the beach and took some pictures.

The trail down to the ocean.
The trail down to the ocean.
There were many people on this beach.
There were many people on this beach.
The logs washed down from up river.
The logs washed down from up river.
Stones made up the beach.
Stones made up the beach.

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Bill taking pictures.
Bill taking pictures.

 

We left the beach and stopped to look at a huge old cedar tree pictured here. You can just see the foot of a woman that had crawled into the bottom of the tree.

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The rest of the trip to our destination for the night, Astoria, Oregon, was uneventful.  The skies became cloudy and it looked like it wanted to rain. We kept moving.

We crossed the bridge into Astoria and located the motel where we had a reservation.  Again, it was a good thing we made a reservation, as everthing was booked.

The bridge into Astoria, OR.
The bridge into Astoria, OR. from the river walk.
Ships in the harbor waiting to load.
Ships in the harbor waiting to load.
A passing freighter.
A passing freighter.

 

We walked down to a local brewpub and restaurant called the Buoy Beer Co. for dinner.  Great food and beer

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Good IPA
Very good IPA

The building the brewpub was in used to be an old fishing building and was built over the water.  There was a portion of the floor in the restaurant that was made of acrylic glass. It allowed you to look under the restaurant to the concrete piers and pillings below, where seals lived under the building.

Seals under the buildings floor.
Seals under the building’s floor.

To sum up the day, the trip down SR 101 and the Washington coast was not as inspiring as our recent travels in BC.  It offered few real looks at the Pacific.

Got to go.  We’re on our way to Portland to meet our wives.  They will be in at 11 and we’re 2 hours away.

 

 

 

 

Xx

We leave Canada 8-26-16

Today we visited Victoria before taking the ferry to the US. from this island. It was the first inhabited area of Vancouver Island.  We left the hotel just after 10:00 to get our bikes in line at the ferry dock.  When we called the sales clerk for the ferry co. she said no reservations, first come first served.  Being Friday on the last weekend of the summer it would be busy. We got there and were first in line.

After securing our tickets we took a walk around the downtown harbor area.  This area is beautiful with nice hotels, the BC Parliament building, the BC Museum, the harbor and much more.  All the grounds were manicured and beautiful.

Two thorns in the flowers.
Two thorns in the flowers.
Harborside
Harborside
The parliament Building.
The Parliament Building.
The Rotunda In the Parliament building.
The rotunda in the Parliament Building.

The harbor was alive with activity.  Power boats, sea planes, water taxis, sailings ships, yachts.  It was busy.

Two twin master schooners came in from a 10 day sail with students from Canada and the US.  The students learn to sail during the 10 days and make four other ports of call.  I got this information from one of the students waiting for her parents.

One docked the other starting to dock.
One docked, the other starting to dock.

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A water taxis is in the middle.
A water taxi is in the middle.
Sea plane arrives.
Sea plane arrives.
Sea plane terminal.
Sea plane terminal.

We were to be at our bikes at the ferry dock at 1:30 for the homeland security check.  We had to fill out a form with our name, birth date, gender and the country we were citizens of.  Somehow I managed to misplaced mine and couldn’t find it. The officer said he would be back shortly.  I rushed to get another and filled it out.  Only after that did I find my first one right where I put it for safe keeping, in the pocket of my tablet.  We were now ready to board.

Staged to load.
Stagged to load.
Securing then after loading.
Securing with ropes after loading.
The cars in the hold.
The cars in the hold of the ship.

 

We were off to the US and our port of entry at the city of Port Angeles, Washington.

On the way out of the harbor at Victoria we saw a floating community.
On the way out of the harbor at Victoria we saw a floating community.
The ferry dock at Port Angeles.
The ferry dock at Port Angeles.

We left Port Angeles and headed to Quilcene, WA to get to our room at the MT. Vernon Inn and then met up with Tim Cutahyde, a buddy of Bill’s and a person I had met last year on our way through.  When we got to the office of the motel and said we had a reservation under the name Jones the lady behind the desk gave us a strange look and said she had no reservation for Jones.  I said I called this morning and made the reservation.  She informed me she was on the desk this morning and had received no call from me.  I pulled out my phone, looked at the call log and realized I’d called an Inn in BC we had stayed at 2 days earlier.  We had no reservation. Luckily they had one room and we were all set for the night. I’ll take off my sunglasses next time I do that and find a darker area where I can be sure to see the screen better.

I did call the other inn to tell them we would not need the room.  They had a couple at the desk looking for a room.  It all worked out.

At the MT. Vernon Inn.
At the MT. Vernon Inn.

We had drinks, dinner and conversation with Tim in town.  Afterwards Tim came to the inn for some of Bills Gibson’s Whiskey and more talk.

With more talk and less sleep our post for today is late.

Trying to catch up, I’ll finish tomorrow.  Professor DeLiefde has to proof my mess.

 

 

To Vancouver Island. 8-25-16

No moose sightings today.  They have no moose in Canada.

Please try posting to the blog I think after my conversation with tech support being able to post to the blog is supposedly straightened out.

It was a warmer start this morning with temperatures in the mid 50’s and clear skies.  We went for gas then headed South on PR 97 heading into tighter mountains with changes in the soil in places.

Soil changes
Soil changes

After a short distance we turned West on PR 99 toward Vancouver.  The scenery changed to granite walls and mountains with a valley floor that was farmed for hay wherever it was flat.

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The views along the entire stretch were amazing.

Bridge on PR99
Bridge on PR99

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Further down the valley we passed some beautiful lakes some with island cottages, again beautiful.

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We came upon a few small towns established in the gold mining days.

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In the place I took this picture we could see waterfalls, one is pictured here.

Waterfall on PR99
Waterfall on PR99

Some of the lakes were backwaters above dams.  This one had a log jam in it.

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The great scenery just kept coming. We had keep moving to get to the ferry in time for a trip across the bay to Vancouver Island.

The bikes loaded an d chocked in place.
The bikes loaded and chocked in place.
Waiting to board the ferry.
Waiting to board the ferry.
Bill checking the bikes.
Bill getting his camera and checking the bikes.
The ferry to Vancouver Island.
The ferry to Vancouver Island.
On deck 6
On deck 6
Docking on Vancouver Island.
Docking on Vancouver Island.

It was hot when we left the ferry, 95 degrees.  We started South to Victoria and ran into a traffic jam caused by a forest fire on the island. With the extreme heat Bill’s bike started overheating again and we took to the shoulder of the road to drive past the jam.  We did this after seeing a few other bikes that had gone by doing the same thing.  We just hope there wasn’t any cops.

The jam on the road to Victoria.
The jam on the road to Victoria.
Waiting to cool from the overheating.
Waiting to cool from the overheating.
Behind us.
Behind us.

We finally got into Victoria and checked into the first good looking hotel we found.  The hotel was the Sandman and it had everything we needed starting with a shower after this hot day.  Had a good meal and drinks before retiring.

The Sandman Hotel in Victoria.
The Sandman Hotel in Victoria.

As I was writing this I called the ferry co. about taking the trip from Victoria to the Olympic peninsula and the town of Port Angeles. I was told they have been booked up for vehicles for a while with this being the last weekend of the summer.  I said we were on motorcycles and he said in that case be in line at the ferry before noon and we would probably get on. We’re on our way.

Another customs check on this side.

Mooseless in BC. 8-24-16

Looked all day, still no moose sightings. Im begining to believe its all a Canadian Tourist Bureau hoax.

We left our not so nice motel and went to a small but very good coffee shop/breakfast place.  It is a great place, good breakfasts with a variety of there own baked goods.

Our breakfast at. Alternative Grounds
Our breakfast at Alternative Grounds
Finally the right size breakfast for me.
Finally the right size breakfast for me.

We rode on to Prince George as the day really started warming up.  We stopped at the Harley dealer in Prince George and picked up a chip and for the first time had a look at a couple of 2017 bikes.  One had the new 8 valve, water cooled, 107 c.i. engine.  Had a good talk with the salesman who confirmed that our choice of a route to Vancouver was a good one.

We went South out of Prince George on PR 97 in route to Clinton, BC.  We were in more farm and ranch area with lakes that were more like what we see in Michigan with cottages and boats.  As we approched Clinton the mountains started again with a river in the valley.

PR 98 South of Prince George.
PR 98 South of Prince George.

We got to Clinton at a little after 6:00 and checked in at the Cariboo Lodge.  We have a good room attaced to the main building.  They have a restaurant and bar, very handy with good pub fare.

Our room in the back of the Cariboo Lodge.
Our room in the back of the Cariboo Lodge.

We checked on the ferry out of Horseshoe Bay and it appeared to be full on all the scheduled sailings.   Our waitress at the restaurant that used to work on the island told us just go to the ferry you’ll get on.  She said she never made a reservastion.  Were going to give it a shot.

On to Vancouver tomorrow.

We Continue. 8-23-16

Up at 5:30 and worked on yesterday’s post for a little while, then showered and headed to the main lodge to continue working on the post.

Having coffee while sitting in one of the chairs in the lounge I struck up a conversation with a woman that was from the local tribe. She is a Dr. Of archaeology that had moved away but was now back working on a local archaeological project.  New power lines were run through the area that she and a group would inspect where equipment had dug up the ground. They have found 400 artifacts so far in two weeks, mostly obsidian, valcanic glass.  The natives used this material that was mined out of a local valcano for cutting tools, arrowheads and weapons.

The mountain that the Obsidian was mined from is only a few miles away and is called My. Edziza.  Obsidian from this site has been found hundred of miles away and it dates back 12,000 years.  People have been in this area a long time.

We also discussed her growing up in this remote area many years ago.  The conversation started with her while looking at an old trestle sewing machine on display.  She talked of using a machine like that with her mother when she was a child and how well it worked on animal hides.  She said she would like to find a machine like that.  I said I have one in my garage I will give you, you only have to go to Michigan to pick It up. I think she began thinking, road trip.  Anyway it was an interesting start to my morning.

Bill came in and we had breakfast, a breakfast of granola they made there with fruit and yogurt. It was very good.  All the baked goods here were homemade onsite.

We loaded the bikes and headed South again.  The morning was clear with a temperature in the low 40’s.  It wasn’t long before we ran into more road construction,following a pilot car and eating dust.

At a town called Bell II we stopped for gas.  This is a resort area that specializes in Helo skiing.  A helocopter was leaving with a tour as we fueled.  There are many individual cabin units there and a nice but expensive restaurant and bar.

I was checking my phone for service while we were at Bell II and saw they had a guest WiFi.  I asked the girl at the counter what the password code was and she said you get 30 minutes of WiFi for $10.00.  I said I don’t need the map, I’m pretty good at figuring out where I’m going anyway.  Have a nice day.

Bell II
Bell II

We crossed many beautiful streams and rivers on today’s trip.  The beauty of BC just goes on and on.

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We fueled at Kitwanga at the junction of PR 16 and PR37.  We headed East toward Prince George and chose to stop for the night at a motel in Burns Lake.  Not our best choice.

After a dinner at a local pub across the street from our motel we retired for the night both tired from an over 400 mile day.

Another note, we have seen 200 signs for moose crossings.  I have not seen a moose.  I have seen no bear crossing signs and have seen 12 bears almost hitting one.  Explain this to me.

On PR 16 going toward Prince George
On PR 16 going toward Prince George

New teritory today. 8-22-16

We pulled out of Teslin and continued West on the Alaska Highway for 160 miles before turning South on Provincial Road 37 leaving the Yukon and into B.C.

This road is a gem with hills, enough turns and great viewing.  The first section was fire scarred. I would guess about two years ago.

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As we moved South we moved into more mountains with many lakes.  The area had little population and most of the lakes were uninhabited and very beautiful.  I’m sure I will run out of words to describe the beauty of this vast country.

We stopped after 60 miles and I topped off the tank not knowing when we could fuel again; fuel stops are few and far between.

The fuel stop.
The fuel stop.

The road was great going in the mountains until we came to the road construction.  The flag person moved us to the front of the pack to try and keep us out of the dust, but it didn’t help much.  Following the pilot car was bad enough and it was for 15 kilometers.

Dust
Dust

We Continued on to Dease Lake and topped off again.  While there we met 2 couples on adventure bikes from Mexico; one couple from the Yucatan the other from Quintana Roo. They were on their way to Prudhoe Bay.  We may have crossed paths with every person going tho Prudhoe Bay.

The Mexicans bikes.
The Hispanics’ bikes.

From Dease Lake we headed to our room at the Tatogga Lake Resort.  The main lodge was a log building with two dining areas and a sitting area with large leather chairs and couches. The motel portion we stayed in was new.

Our room at Tatogga Lake Resort.
Our room at the Tatogga Lake Resort.
The sitting area.
The sitting area with Bill and his Wolverine.

We went to the main lodge for dinner. It has many mounts and hides to look at. Bill paid special attraction to one of them.

The Wolverine
The Wolverine

We got our first look at a moose in Canada although it was stuffed.

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Our dinner was very good but I ordered too much again.  The mental adjustment to size apportionment is tough. I ate two more bites after this picture of our partially eaten meal and was stuffed.

My meal
My meal

At dinner we met 3 guys from Smithers, BC.  All friends that ride together and have been on trips across Mexico, the US and Canada. We had some laughs, a story telling session and drinks on the porch by our rooms.  John Vinny and Manny were fun to talk to.  We discussed our bikes and theirs which are adventure bikes.  All were happy with the midsize engines and the speed they were able to maintain was all that was needed.

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We said goodbye to them in the morning, they went North, we were heading South.