Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#29in29 Day 29

#29in29 Day 29

This challenge was a lot tougher than I expected it to be 29 days ago. Not that I didn't enjoy participating and going the distance but at times I was running out of photos, ideas and as usual, life simply got in the way. However, it did made me look around, it got me seeking new photo opportunities and made me appreciate my commute and the scenery around me. I gave up many a photo because I didn't want to stop in the rain or just wanted to get home after a long day so I browsed through our photo album remembering trips, rides and special moments. Everyday I looked forward to seeing everyone's #29in29 posts and although I couldn't comment on them all I read and even borrowed inspiration from you. I discovered new blogs and rediscovered old ones. Thanks to everyone for playing along, reading, commenting and thanks for the inspiration. Thanks to Fuzzy for throwing down the gauntlet and for choosing the shortest month of the year, I'm not sure I could have made #31in31.

So, I'm ready to stick a fork in it.

I first learned about this roadside artwork from Bluekat back when we were playing photo tag on an old forum. I remember seeing this fork somewhere in my travels but just couldn't recall exactly where. I Google searched and browsed local forums before I eventually started asking around. When she posted it again on her blog I knew I had to go out and get a more recent photo, below is my original photo tag photo on Trobairitz's Ninja on a wet, rainy winter's eve.

and getting this tag meant I needed to post a new photo tag, so staying with the fork theme I found...

Knife River...

a hole in the wall....

...and a local greasy spoon.

Thanks for the good times and now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#29in29 Day 28

Wait, what?

I absolutely hate, hate, hate billboards, blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind, but the first time I passed this one it did exactly what its designers intended it to do, I had to take a second look.

Then I laughed out loud in my helmet and I thought this was absolute genius.

But I still hate billboards.


Monday, February 27, 2012

#29in29 Day 27

Entertainment at work...

I don't know what this driver was thinking, but it livened up an otherwise dull afternoon.

He was trying to back up to one of our receiving docks, evidently our paved lot wasn't quite big enough and he needed just a bit more room. I'm walking from the dock where he should be.

 I've learned to take pictures of incidents like this, as soon as I got back to my desk I had an email notification of detention charges (we have 2 hours free time to get a truck unloaded, after that it starts to get expensive). I got these photos loaded on my computer and sent to the trucking company refusing all charges.

Be careful on the roads and highways, I stay as far away as possible from these big rigs. 

You just never know what 80,000 lbs. will do.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

#29in29 Day 26

The SR! Guide to Motorcycling Though Central & Eastern Oregon

I was thumbing through the Sport Rider Guide to Motorcycling Through Central & Eastern Oregon and snapped a pic of this page mapping the Hells Canyon Loop.

Has anybody done this loop? Want to?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

#29in29 Day 25

 If you think sheep are elusive, try getting close enough to a red tail hawk to snap a photo.


 Just as I would get close he would take flight down the road to the next fence post.

 He tolerated me following him until about the third post then he outsmarted me and looped around and headed back the other way. 

 He figured out that I would have to put my camera away, turn my bike around and play this little game of chase again. He obviously knew that he was much quicker and more agile than I.

Well played my friend, well played. Now I know why the Japanese name their motorcycles after birds of prey. 


Friday, February 24, 2012

#29in29 Day 24

I enjoyed the commute home last night, the sun was shining and the roads were empty, peaceful and quiet.

So I pulled over and stopped for a moment which was quite an enjoyable silence after spending the day surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the office. Phones ringing, copiers copying, fax machines whirling, the ka-chunk of staplers and the rattle of keyboards, gizmos and gadgets beeping, clicking and buzzing amongst the chatter of coworkers going about their duties.

I've been watching these little guys for the past couple of weeks and I can't believe how fast they are growing. I ride by in a higher gear trying not to startle them too much but they are just too skiddish a creature.

Even with me stopped and my motor off they were still unsure. I thought they might be somewhat curious of my presence but they simply ran off.

I guess they had their own little rush hour and commute to contend with and didn't have time to stop.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

#29in29 Day 23

I thought I'd follow Bobskoot on the classic car post. He mentioned to me that he owned a '68 Barracuda so I couldn't resist writing about my '69 Plymouth Barracuda Notchback.

I know I have plenty of pictures but let's see if I can recall the tale.

My step dad Chip has always been into cars, Mopars in particular. He lived and worked just north of Spokane and had several '67 Dodge Chargers in his collection, although I was into cars I didn't own anything special. So we would check out car shows and look through the nickel ads at all the old cars for sale and soon Chip was asking what cars I liked.

I always liked Corvettes as a kid, older Corvettes. I still like the '63 split window Corvette but as I got older I stepped out of the mainstream Ford vs. Chevy bout and started to appreciate the underdogs. I remember seeing a Mod Top Mopar one day and thought that was the coolest thing ever, but then Hemi Under Glass was pretty awesome too and that was the influence of my decision to look for a Barracuda.

Being a phone man in a small town, dad knew he saw one somewhere in a backyard, eventually found it and talked to the owner, the original owner. It was a 1969 notchback in great shape, driven by a school teacher who'd stopped driving it because the brakes were going bad. We pulled the tarp off, poured a little gasoline down the carburetor, jumped the battery and the little 318ci V8 fired right up.

We drove it up and out of the backyard and used a tow rope to get it home.

The car was all original and even had the redline tire in the trunk, a dealer installed 8 track player under the dash and didn't need anything but some new tires, paint and upholstery.

Original redline spare tire

Dealer installed 8 track player

The internet then wasn't even close to what it is today but I would spend hours searching for wheels and learning everything I could about it. I found the original build sheet behind the back seat and was  back on the internet learning what all the codes meant. I even bought a full color showroom brochure for it off ebay, I think I may still have it.

We'd take the Barracuda and Charger to car shows and collect dash plaques and I even won a small trophy once. We took it to the Spokane Raceway and ran her down the 1/4 mile straight track a couple times. It wasn't very fast, but it sure was fun.

Other vehicles came and went, my girlfriend at the time didn't like my new girlfriend nearly as much as I did so she moved out, I changed jobs, we moved around a bit, we got married, moved around some more and I changed jobs again but the Barracuda stayed.

I eventually registered it in Canada and applied for collector plates, hence all the pictures for documentation. Soon after money became tight, I had to give up the collector plates and that old car became our daily driver to and from work. Other vehicles would break down, leave us stranded or simply would not start but that Barracuda would start every time and get us through the worst snowstorms we'd ever seen. It would power past trucks stuck in the snow, roll right by cars spinning their tires going nowhere and it would keep climbing the icy slopes to get us home. It was such a great car.

We decided to move to the US and we sold it to move down here. It was a very difficult decision and on occasion I do wish I still had it, but to be honest with myself I'm much happier riding on two wheels than polishing four. I still don't have the money to maintain it or the room to store it so it is better that it is sitting safely in a collection.

Now I am just one of those guys that just reminisce and tell anyone who will listen that "I used to have one of those".


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#29in29 Day 21

 These are a few signs that are hanging up in a breezeway at the White Swan Inn in San Fransisco.

Once you cross the line there's no turning back.

Ladies in waiting and a way out, win/win.


Monday, February 20, 2012

#29in29 Day 20

Here you go Meg, I found some old photos of my America with the large Cruis'n Slant saddlebags.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

#29in29 Day 19

It was a much nicer day on the range today.

One of the other instructors saw this passing cloud and brought it to our attention.

And just as quickly as the hail passed yesterday, so did this cloud.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

#29in29 Day 18

"and now it's hailing"

... Irondad exclaimed as he rode across the training range after instructing the latest group of new riders. 

Fortunately we were done on the range before the hail came pounding down, however I didn't quite get my helmet and gloves on soon enough to stay dry, so I did what any motorcycle blogger needing a photo for #29in29 would do and I stood out in the hail with camera in hand, snapping pictures.

The hail didn't stick around for very long, it was more just a little tap on the shoulder from mother nature reminding us that winter is still here for just a while longer.