|Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho.|
This 2,000 year old lava flow created some interesting formations. Even though it was almost 90 degrees outside, inside these caves there were still sheets of ice!
|Stopped in mid flow, frozen in time.|
|Frozen in time and cold enough inside to freeze water.|
|Just a nice walking path through the surface of the Moon.|
EBR-1 was the first nuclear breeder reactor in the United States.It's located in the middle of a large restricted experimental area. EBR-1 produced enough electricity to light up the small nearby town of Arco. It's surprising how little shielding was used around the reactor core. I'm glad I stopped to see it.
It gets really hot in the central Idaho- Oregon desert. After I spent the night in Boise, I finished up crossing the desert to Bend Oregon.
|Crater Lake, well worth the detour.|
At Bend it became cooler and greener. As the elevation increased it even became cold enough to find some snow left on the mountainside.The side trip to Crater Lake was well worth it. The lake is surrounded by very steep cliffs and it is possible to go over the side. That water is 3,000 ft. deep! At the rim of the lake I met some people and we took each others pictures. Unfortunately his finger got in the way! At Grant's Pass Oregon I was lucky to find the only open gas station in town.
|Always a picture of the bike.|
|At least they got my face in the picture.|
|The coast just south of Crescent City. |
California sure did look good.
|Paul Bunyan is joined by Babe, who is off camera.|
Rick and I had stopped at the trees of Mystery in Klamath Ca. a couple of years back. This time I just stopped to take a couple of pictures. My last night on the road was spent in Eureka. The next day I was home.
This was the trip of a lifetime. When I started the trip my bike was using oil at the rate of one quart every five hundred miles. By the end it was only getting 125 miles to the quart. The valve guides were pretty worn and a puff of blue smoke marked every instance of acceleration. Except for the trouble with the ignition advance weights it had been pretty trouble free. Since I assembled it using Locktite not a single part vibrated off. I had learned my lesson about cheap aftermarket parts and preferred to use genuine Harley Davidson parts and accessories in my bike's construction.
I had bought this bike new and at the end of the trip i think that I only had a total of around twenty five thousand miles on the clock. I decided that a top end rebuild of the motorcycle was required, new valve guides, and regrinding the valves brought the motor up to snuff. It seems odd now that Sportster valve guides didn't have much of a life expectancy. The entire motor didn't have much of a service life beyond around fifty thousand miles. When I reached that mileage I did a complete rebuild and used Manley phosphur bronze valve guides and stainless steel valves, These higher quality components would last another fifty thousand miles.
Though I continued to ride motorcycles for the thirty years, I've never again took a single trip that was longer than this. There were plenty of trips to Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Mendocino and LA. The responsibilities of adult life started to take up more of my time, and it was not a bad trade off.
Almost forty years later I don't think that any more motorcycle trips will be in my future. When I stopped riding motorcycles my family and friends were kind of amazed. I had been riding since I was fifteen and a half years old. I rode everyday and everywhere, I had wanted to disprove my Dad's perception (and comments!) that motorcycle was just a toy, not real transportation. My Brother said it was like "Fonzie" giving up his bike.
My decision to stop riding came from a couple of factors. For one, I had seriously injured my back, though it had not been motorcycle related. After I recovered I continued to ride, but I just found that I didn't enjoy it that much any more. Especially just getting on and going for an aimless ride. It just felt like a waste of time. After a second more serious flare up of my back problems ten years later, I decided that It wasn't worth taking any more chances, and I would reduce the risk by not riding motorcycles anymore. I suppose that the most terrible thing isn't that I gave up riding. The terrible thing is that I don't even miss it anymore.
|In the early shows, Fonzie rode this cool knucklehead|
photo source: Happy Days