Wednesday, November 19, 2014

~Part 5~ Alameda Vacay~

Seeing Russell and Pam retired and living a farm-like, fishing-life was great and the very day I arrived, we went all over the place to visit places they had planned to show me.  But before I write that post, I am going to give you a little background on those two Luvs and a little of my life knowing them.

Russell & Pam:

We go way back into the 70's.  When I first moved to Southern California from the Bay Area, Pam and Wild Val (Darrell's wife) were my besties, and still are to this day.  Irreplaceable. We met through our significant others at that time back when, and we considered ourselves family.  Depended on each other for many things and spent almost every holiday and weekend together.  We talked to each other on the phone almost daily.  We had our laughs, cries, babies, paid each others' bills at times, and held each other with the death of loved ones.  It would have never crossed our minds not being a part of each other's lives in some way or another. That's not to say we didn't have our squabbles or wonder what the hell we were all doing,  but we seemed to never stray too far from each others' arms.

Not that the other guys couldn't,  but Russell was the one person that could actually have a decent conversation and hold one through.  Even if we had different opinions, our exchanges were civil to each other with dual respect.  We never got angry at each other in our talks.  Some times when I went to visit Pam, I ended up in the living room with Russell having it out in conversation.  Politics always seemed to be a good component to get us inflamed in what was to be a never ending evening, and him being a Viet Nam Vet, had a lot of knowledge of first hand political living.   He was also the only guy that worked a steady job for decades and had a goal to get out of town when he reached retirement age and followed through on it.  He was one of those quiet guys, with a voice if that makes sense.  Someone who made you think.

Photos of Viet Nam Buddies in Viet Nam during the War

Airborne Certificate

A tough tour in Nam brought a silence to him about his time there until later in life when he did finally retire. He never really spoke about his time in the field of war.  However, one day, on the date he helped me pick out my first motorcycle in 2005,  he did.  We were sitting having lunch when he divulged his story.  I don't really remember what brought on the conversation, but there it was. Just like the stories you hear on the History Channel, I heard it at lunch.   Decades later, there I was, sitting across from the table with my friend.  An American Hero.  I always knew he was a Vet, but it never hit me how much of a Hero he was until that conversation for some reason.  The burden he bears....

The garage was a major meeting place back then.  A release for him after the War and very old school... (the real "old school", not today's).   Any one of our garages would do depending on who had what, but that place of bike worship maintenance was mainly Russell's or Darrell's home.  Their garages were set up for the bikes and other tinkering they did in those days.  

Russell working on his bike.

Russell bike tinkering. 

The bike. 
So while they were out in the garage, the girls were inside getting their talk on and having fun listening to music, etc.  Pammy has this laugh that when she starts, it is non-stoppable and infectious.  So needless to say, with all her "zen likeness",  that was put aside for some crazy.

Pam also has a special knack of making a bad situation better.  Always takes a good look at the whole circle and brings that into thought then throws some love on it to make it better.   Sometimes we look at her and wonder how she does it.  "It's just Pam".  

Pam and Wild Val were the Nature girls in the clan and really good with animals and growing things. I tried at that time... didn't do so well back then, I was busy working the 8-5 gig.   But when Pam, Val and I got together and out, we used to go on hikes in the Canyon and ended up at Cooks Corners or The Pally (now called the Silverado Cafe). (Cooks Corner is the biker bar established in the '20s and, it was in the 70's that we all rode there together--and still popular with bikers today).

Russell, the ex, & Pam
trying to show us the new place before
they moved. The only one missing is
Darrell R.I.P.
Wild Val & I are
cracking up at them.
Who would have thought...
With so many memories and life's changes... we all stayed friends through it all.  We all grew up,  some of us got divorced, remarried and some passed away, we all got old, but Russell and Pam got through it all to living retirement together in a beautiful land far far away....
 Shady Cove, Oregon

Pam and Russ today on their river front property set for fishing and just relaxing. 
So there is just a tidbit of our lives as friends.  Russell's memories go way back into Shady Cove, and Pam's are establishing.  In my next post I will show you his childhood play spots and our visits to this beautiful area.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

~Harley Women By Hank Somma~

Hank Somma has published his book,

After travelling a couple of  years photographing and compiling stories of women Harley riders, Hank Somma has accomplished putting out a book with a wide range of perspective bios of women from every background in life.  

I am honored to be one of them. 
I am Chapter 41

During our photo shoot Hank was very on top of letting me tell my story through his artistic camera.  I asked him what do I do, since I had never done this before, and he said,
 "make the bike talk to you". 

Of course, that wasn't so hard to do after all.  I just smiled. 

He took several photographs of the bike and me in different situations,
 and then sat down to rest a little.  

When he did, I snapped this pic of him. 

He was a little shy but, the perfect professional and I will say, Gentleman too. He could not have made it easier for me. 
Since the photos were taken some time ago, my bike and life has changed a bit,  (as I am sure others in the book as well).  The bike has new pipes (Thunderheader) and new paint (some more Beatles graphics were added on) and of course,  
I ride my Harley Davidson Street Glide Trike a little more these days. 

However, some things have not changed,  I still ride and I still believe in what I wrote in the book (even with the typo LOL).  The confidence and assurance of my life, I owe it to riding motorcycles, and my choice of wheels is still Harley Davidson.  

Being inspired by other women gave me that "itch" to get in the saddle and ride my own after being on the back since my teens and the mini bike day.  I read many books by women authors for inspiration, and still collect them.  This book is unique because it is written by a man, but women have made the story and he did not influence the writing of the women at all.  
It is their motivation that keeps the reader flipping to the next page.  

The book is available on IBooks only at this time, so if you don't have Apple, share the Luv.  

I am in deep appreciation of Hank Somma for adding me  among some inspiring women in this book
Now all I need is a hard copy for my coffee table to add to my women riders' collection of reading.  Yup,  I am old school, I still believe that books should have pages and still like to turn the page... with my hands.  *smiles*

Happy Reading Trailzzz, 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

~Part 4~ Of Alameda Vacay Ride

Waking up, I knew this was the day I finally get to my "destination", Russell and Pam's home.  When I take these trips I do "destination" planning.  Then I seek out the "in-betweens".  This part of the trip I had never been on.  Coaching by Russell, made this route very inviting and it became a must do.

Dawn.  Peeking out of my room, I notice a bus load of AARP members who sneaked
in the night before getting ready to leave.
I think it is wonderful that everyone gets to enjoy road trips like this at any age.
They said they had basically been on the same route as me and they seemed to be enjoying themselves in their
stretch pants and drinking their coffees.
I think they are on to something in the stretch pant department *smiles*....  

Layers went on in the a.m.  It was cold and foggy.  Checking the weather report, the cold wouldn't last long into the ride.  So on went the layers for easy peel off later. Looking around, I realized I had forgotten my leather jacket and left it on the bike the night.  I was glad to see it was still there under the cover. I think I would have been a tad chilled without it.   Doofus...

Selfie me with a thumbs up.  
Hwy 101 runs straight through the main town of Crescent City then veers off onto U.S. Route 199.  It is about an 80 mile or so ride northeast to Grants Pass, Oregon. It is part of the Redwood Highway in Oregon, however  known as  the Smith River Byway in California.  Before I knew it,  I was entering the beauty of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Gozilla taking a peek. 
This is the road.  Completely lined by trees everywhere I look. 
Pulling over on the way, there are a few hiking spots to explore.
Perfect timing for Daniel Day Lewis to show up as the last Mohican... eh?!
Morning beauty. 
Gozilla looked swallowed up by the trees and road.  
As I am driving through all this beauty I seem to have the road to myself for awhile until the locals use it as a pass through for work.  A lot of speeding can occur here  so keep that in mind if you travel this way.  There are plenty of pull-outs to accommodate getting over.  I rode the speed limit here. Not wanting to miss any sights, I use common sense on these two lane roads and a lot of patience.

The road can be seen in the distance.

As I  get into the ride, the road passes the Smith River.  There is a good climb and the road becomes curvy until getting to the border of both the Smith and Rogue rivers.  Stopping a few times in between to take some snaps, I also started to take some layers off... the heat is on.  There are areas of the river where locals go to enjoy the water and those can be detected easily by people holding inner tubes traveling down the banks.  We are getting into the 90's now.  The morning's chill and fog is now long gone as I ride away from the California Coast.

Even at the low water levels, the rivers are very beautiful. 
From the road.
Not the safest place to pull over, but this valley was calling me.. 

A Short Flick© of a few seconds of the Randolph Collier Tunnel at Gasquet, CA: 

I am in Oregon.  Loving every moment of it too.  Passing Cave Junction and finally hitting Grants Pass, I take some time to eat a little and put more gas in the tank.  There are actual attendants that come out to do it for you in Oregon, however, they let me do it.  Haven't seen that in decades.  I sit and try to figure out how to get to Russel & Pam's place.

Getting off the U.S. 199 and onto the 5, I get off at Gold Hill and poof... I am lost.  Yup.  So I take time to make a phone call to Russell who comes to get me.  Thank goodness he does, because they live well out from where I even had a clue to go.

So it is a wonderful sight to see Russell and Pam after so many years!  They both come in the truck and lead me the way to their abode where I will be staying the next few days.  I see signs of Crater Lake and can't wait for that visit.  I have never been there... or here for that matter!

I arrive at the house and I have accomplished my ride to Shady Cove, OR.  A rush of sorts when I complete a personal goal, and riding to visit them was one of those goals.  I really love my solo rides. I can stop and go as I please and never have to worry about anyone else wanting to go hither and dither in a hurry.  I feel great.  Russel and Pam get me settled in after hugs and kisses, and more hugs and kisses, and we all can't stop talking about the days ahead.

This portion of the ride is a short 121 miles or so.  If you have never ridden this road, I would advise taking some time to enjoy it, which I did and happily so.  The smells of the trees as you ride through and the sounds of the river are incredible.  There are a few places to stop, eat and fill up.  No worries of running out of gas.  It can get to be a busy road, as I mentioned earlier with locals, delivery trucks and vacationers in RVs. At one point I turned into a curve and a giant toy shopping cart had fallen off an RV and the guy was in the middle of the road trying to retrieve it.  Luckily I was going slow enough to plan an exit away from him.  Some of the curves are blind, so just be patient is all I can say. Otherwise, it is a ride well worth taking and I will do just that again.

Coming Up:    Russ and Pam show me a bit of the childhood digs, salmon & sturgeon,  old school biker pics from the day, the farm, deer dinner buddies and more.  (Can't believe there are so many parts, but one big post would be overwhelming--Yikes!)

Happy R & P Trailzzz,

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