2015 Fall Tour to the Pacific Northwest

September 6 to 17, 2015

Day 1 – We made it to Beatty NV where we had planned to spend the night, good run today with no problems. Left home around 6:15 AM, stopped in Williams for breakfast then on to Beatty. Arrived here around 3:15 PM, Bettie hiked up her skirts in NV and we made some decent time. The weather has been beautiful today. Cool and dry, even when we got down to Kingman.

I got some snaps while in Williams, but nothing too much after that to photograph in the middle of the day. The run from Las Vegas up to Beatty was as usual, a really fun fast ride. Bettie made it to 106 a couple of times today passing on the two lane section of US95.

Staying at the Exchange Club Motel in Beatty, old but in good shape with clean rooms. The owner is really nice, and loves to talk old cars. We walked across the street to the Saloon for dinner, a really nice piece of smoked salmon BTW, and we discovered a really neat trove of memorabilia. The major German automakers have been testing in Death Valley for years and years. When they come to test they stay in Beatty and along with others, adopted the town and Saloon as their own. Much like Greasewood Flats the walls are covered with dollar bills with dedications on them. We had a great time reading these bits from the past. Up early tomorrow and on the road at 6AM to make the run up 168 and on to Santa Rosa. Going thru Sacramento to avoid having to deal with San Francisco traffic.

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Day 1 to Beatty NV

Day 2 – Long day on the road today. We were up at 5:00AM and out on US95 by 6:00. Michelle got some really nice photos of how it is too make a run up US95 with little or no traffic. Hook a left turn at NV266 and head due west to the Sierras and CA168 for a lot of twisty turns. Michelle  was being tossed around too much to get a good series of what the road is really like. I probably should get a dash cam to record what it is really going on. We were trailing a strong brake lining smell by the time we got to Oasis CA. And it was a quite a bit stronger when we pulled on 395 at Big Pine. I really love my brake set up on the wagon, you can late brake into a corner, and hit the throttle at the apex and the big ol girl just hunkers down and goes.

The run up 395 to Yosemite was marred by all of the smoke from the fires burning to the west. For the most part we could not see the mountain range that was just to our left.

We turned off 395 to take the road though Tioga Pass in Yosemite. When we got to the Park Entrance and were sitting in line to go in, I noticed that the radiator fan wasn’t working. I had recently had a problem with the fan relay and had replaced both the socket and the relay with a new Bosch 80 Amp relay and socket. Lo and behold, the socket had melted again, just like the last time. The problem seems to be that the plug in type of interface for the high current lead – 70A on start, 40A run will corrode in time and cause the resistance of the connection to go up, which creates heat which melts everything. I think I need to eliminate the socket and solder the relay in. I used a piece of 10ga wire to connect the fan back on and made it the rest of the day without further problems. I will say though that most of the insulation was melted by the time we got to Santa Rosa.

The traffic in Yosemite was very heavy and it took a bit of time to manoeuvre down the mountain. The curves on the downside of Tioga Pass had a number of really fun curves as well. Unfortunately, I was behind some guy in a mom van that had not a clue as to how to drive mountain curves. He finally pulled off and Bettie and I could have some fun.

Long day behind the wheel with a lot of heavy traffic. We pulled into the hotel at 5:15PM – with another 520 miles on the odometer. After a quick clean up we headed over to Cattleman’s to meet with Mike D’Addario and Rosemary D’Addario for dinner and a lot of catching up! We had a great time and both Mike and Rosie are looking great. Old friends are the best!

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Day 2 to Santa Rosa CA

Day 3 – Yesterday was short drive up 101 from Santa Rosa to Brookings OR where we spent the night at the Best Western Plus. Top floor room on the beach with a Jacuzzi – just doesn’t get much better.

I had somewhat of a scavenger hunt for parts to repair the cooling fan relay that had burned up in Yosemite. Could not find all the parts at one store so I bought a one in Santa Rosa, two more in Eureka, and the last two in Brookings. Then I figured out that I also should solder the connections to prevent the corrosion problems that I have been having. Off to Ace Hardware to buy a butane torch and some solder. The had the torch but no butane, so off to Fred Meyers, went to the sporting goods department looking for butane, none to be found… talked with a very helpful salesman and the told me that they cannot keep it on the shelves, anywhere in OR. The problem is that since they have legalized pot, people are making butane hash oil and depleting the supply of butane. The law of unintended consequences wins again! So I will have to wait until I get to Washington to effect my repairs. http://www.theweedblog.com/what-is-marijuana-butane-hash-o…/

The end of a great day! Oh, and needless to say having a beautiful woman with me in the Jacuzzi along with a couple of adult beverages, the sound of the ocean waves breaking on the shore made for one memorable evening!

Since my Facebook quiz said that I should be in Tibet meditating, I thought I would take a video of the sunset last night with the waves breaking… very peaceful and meditating inducing. I didn’t bring my tripod up to the room so it is a bit jerky, but you will get the general idea.

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Day 3 to Brookings OR

Day 4 – Getting ready to head up to Eugene, we are meeting friends at the King Estate Winery for lunch, then probably some pub crawling for the next couple of days… They have some great craft breweries in Eugene!

Gee, a parking lot full of cars, I wonder which one in mine? I love being different! Oh, I guess y’all knew that!

Great run up the coast today. We took some new side roads after Coos Bay to the King Estate Winery where we met my old friend Brad Willett and his lovely wife Toni. The weather was to die for, high 70s low 80s with a gentle breeze out of the west. We spent most of the afternoon talking, sampling some great wine and have a really great lunch. Later in the day we strolled around the estate looking at the hidden garden fruit orchard, and the family grave yard. Lovely day as is everyone we spend with this great couple. Tomorrow, Brad and Toni have some new adventures lined up for us. More to come!

BTW: the new car at the charging station is a $100K+ Tesla golf cart. wink emoticon

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Day 4 to Eugene OR

Day 5 – While I was working on my cooling fan relay problem, Michelle  took the camera in hand and photographed some of the flowers that are in abundance in Eugene. We stay at the Timbers in downtown Eugene, very reasonably priced and everything is within an easy walk around town

We went walk about Eugene with Brad & Toni Willett. Our 1st stop was a little Telephone Museum which is just down the street from our motel. Between the four of us we had used about 80% of the equipment in the store at one time or the other during our lives… in the world of communication, things have really changed.

Our next stop was a church which had repurposed into a Farmers Market and food court. The also had a very neat pub which we had planned on having a drink or two at but it didn’t open until four pm so we continued on our journey…

After touring the Owen Rose Garden Park, we sought some liquid refreshment, which is never very far away in Eugene!

We had a great time with Brad and Toni and are already looking forward to visiting them again…

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Day 5 in Eugene OR

Day 6 – 8 – This morning we headed north up 101 to Enumclaw WA. From Florence OR up to Tillamook OR the scenery was much as we had on our run up to Eugene, after Tillamook we started crossing a number of Art Deco style bridges built during the Depression under WPA. Each was unique and capture the style and spirit of the movement. My photographer co pilot only captured one, but it was a fine example.

Our last day in Enumclaw visiting my “sister”  Louanna Bonogofski we have had a great time catching up on the past year with Lou and Don, and with Christine Offerdahl and her husband Gary. Lou and Don have been on a weight loss program since last July and have made some great progress, and both are feeling much better these days.

This evening we went to the Tacoma seaport area for dinner and then a nice tour of the wharf area in the Tacoma harbor. Michelle  and I shared yet another great salmon filet, she had yet another glass or two of riesling and I sampled a couple of more nice IPAs. I dearly love our visits to the Pacific Northwest, wonderful friends, great food and some of the best ales in the world!

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Day 6-8 in Enumclaw WA

Day 9 – On the road again! After a wonderful stay in Enumclaw with Louanna & Don Bonogofski we headed out on WA 410 towards Yakima WA. Today the weather had changed, okay it is the Pacific Northwest, and we went from nice dry sunny days to, you guessed it cool, damp and cloudy weather. I was hoping for some nice weather to photograph Mt. Rainier, but my usual luck returned, i.e. bad luck and most of this beautiful mountain was capped in clouds… oh well I did have one good visit out of five… My beautiful wife and in motion photographer, Michelle did an great job of capturing some of the misty mood today

Our 1st gas stop on the road was at Yakima Wa. We stopped at a Shell truck stop where Michelle  met 3 of the local classic car guys while I was availing myself of the wonderful restroom facilities at the truck stop. By the time I returned to the car, she had given them all the details on Bettie and had opened the hood etc. Needless to say the group was taken by not only Michelle’s  fine looks, but with her knowledge of all things automotive. When I returned to the car only R.W. Elder, who over his life has worked as a cattle auctioneer, owned several car sales lots and several other interesting occupations. R.W. is 82 in good shape with an engaging personality. After he and I talked for awhile he said that I needed to meet Dennis the local MOPAR guru who was finishing up a 1950 Plymouth Suburban.

Dennis has owned The Great America Car Company for over 35 years and is 71 years old. He and I hit it off immediately. We think the same way about all things automotive. He has built and driven 6 MOPAR drag cars from SS to A/FX and A/GS. A truly interesting guy, with some very serious mechanical and fabrication skills. All told, we spent over 2 hrs in Yakima and had a great time.

The Plymouth Suburban was well worth seeing… When I got Bettie back in 08, I had been looking for a 1949-51 Suburban when Jim found Bettie up in the Bay Area. As it turns out Bettie makes a better road cruiser, but I would still like to find a Suburban someday…

So instead of being in Mountain Home, ID we are in Ontario OR… such is life on the road. We will get somewhat back on schedule… Or Not… glasses emoticon

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Day 9 to Ontario OR

Day 10 – We left Ontario OR this morning with Bonneville as our goal. I had heard that the racing schedule for most of this year had been canceled due to an abundance of water on top of the salt. The rumors were not unfounded! The west end of the flats were totally underwater, much like a shallow salt lake, the eastern end that is not used for racing looked to be fairly dry.

After we arrived a young Asian couple showed up and proceeded to have a great time taking photos of one another playing in the shallow water.

Bettie was able to lift up her skirts on the Bonneville Salt Flat Road and was able to clock over 100 mph on the somewhat in poor repair entrance road.

Michelle captured several interesting shots of our trip from Bonneville to Ogden, where we are spending the night.

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Day 10 to Ogden UT

Day 11 – This morning we had breakfast with Rusty & Dixie Delling. It was great catching up on the last couple of years. Thanks to the internet Rusty found me back in 2010 after we had been separated since 1968 when I took a job with Motorola in Phoenix. Both Rusty and Dixie are doing very well and have been married for 55 years. In a world of change, it is good to find dear friends that don’t.

After breakfast we headed down I15 with a gathering storm coming in. Our last three trips to Salt Lake City have had one thing in common. A relentless down pour that last for several hours. I felt like Luke Skywalker piloting an X Wing fighter through the Death Star on our trip down I15. Heavy rain, fog, and fogged up widows. The force was with us! We made it down to Orem and the weather cleared.

The rest of the trip was quite pleasant! When we went through Manti, UT the sun and clouds really highlighted the LDS Temple, so I had to stop and take a snap or two. The rest of the journey was pleasant with nice clouds and blue skies.

We hit Kanab around 5:00 PM and checked into the Parry Lodge. After getting things squared away we walked down to the Rocking V Cafe and shared a really nice Mahi Mahi dinner. Seated next to us were six ladies from Zurich Switzerland. We spent a good hour and half chatting with them in mixed german and english. What a wonderful time, it made me home sick for Forstinning.

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Day 11 to Kanab UT

We are home without any problems! Nice drive today down from Kanab, beautiful weather. We stopped for lunch in Flagstaff at our favorite: Beaver Street Brewery on the way home. It was great as always with great service and wonderful food and should I dare say, a great red ale!
All told, we logged another 3674 miles on Bettie and an average speed of 58 mph while underway. Bettie really does pretty good on gas as well, we averaged around 18-19 mpg with my foot pretty much in the throttle all the time.

It was so great to visit with old friends and see that everyone is doing well and are all having a better quality of life. Already looking forward to our trip next year! Also starting to plan a trip east to visit yet more very special friends!

Be safe! Have fun! Live well!


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