Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apple Apple Apple

This is a roadside farm/cafe/store off Highway 101 in Oregon last February. It was fairly cold and I was fairly tired and glad to have an apple, hot apple cider and a baked apple pastry still warm out of the oven.

That was a good ride up the coast from San Luis Obispo to Everett. The Concours is a lot more comfortable for long rides for me now with the highway bars and peg lowering kit I can ride all day no problem.

I'm daydreaming about my next ride - thinking either Fairbanks since I've never been there or a trip that takes me to a hot springs most every night in BC, Idaho, Montana, ?.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If You're Ever in White Sulphur Springs Montana

The Corner Stone Deli is a good place to eat. They make their own potato chips and have a large selection of fresh soups and sandwiches. I wish I would have taken a picture of the chips - they are a nice blue color made with some special potato. I didn't order the chips but they brought some for me to try anyway - nice.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shopping Around for Automotive Headlamps

One of the low beam headlamps burned out in our car and I checked on a replacement at Autozone and Shucks/O'Reilly. They both had the same price $14.99, which ends up being $16.30 after sales tax is added in. It's a simple low beam H7 Lamp - 55W 12V so that price seems pretty steep.

It seemed sort of odd to me that both chain auto parts stores had the exact same price - but I think the deal is they figure not many people would shop around for a replacement headlamp. When a headlamp burns out you need a new one and you'll pay whatever they charge.

You can buy a generic H7 lamp on eBay for $5.55 and a brand name one for $8.99. That's the total price including shipping - there is no sales tax. I ended up paying $5.77 for an Eiko brand bulb which is $10.53 less than what I would have paid locally.

I'm fine with supporting local businesses but I don't feel like paying an auto-parts chain store more than a 100% mark-up on something (in this case it's 260%). No one is driving that car right now so I'll wait a few days until the new lamp shows up in the mail.

When you're buying a headlamp it helps to know the general part number or identifier. There's a lot of information on Headlamps at Wikipedia. You can usually figure out the generic name from the manufacturers part number which allows you to compare prices.

If a headlamp burns out and you have to drive at night you have to buy whatever you can get but if you can possibly get by without driving the car at night for awhile, I'd recommend checking online prices.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pelican - Snake River Grand Tetons

There were quite a few pelicans in this stretch of the Snake River. It's moving slowly in this area and more like a lake then a river. It's an area called Horseshoe Bend about 20 miles north of Jackson right beside highway 89.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Young Hawk

I took these pictures a couple of miles south of Columbus Montana in the Stillwater River Valley on the road to Absarokee. There were multiple hawks coming back to this nest - apparently to feed this single young hawk. I can't identify the type but they were good sized birds.

Originally uploaded by Jack Crossen

Originally uploaded by Jack Crossen

Originally uploaded by Jack Crossen

Originally uploaded by Jack Crossen

Friday, July 23, 2010

Deer By My Campsite

Originally uploaded by Jack Crossen
This deer wandered in around dusk when I was camped at the Sheridan Creek Campground in the Custer National Forest outside of Red Lodge Montana. it was pretty much oblivious to me. The light was a little low for a good shot.

I don't think he recognized me as a predator since I don't smell like a carnivore. He made a wide circle away from the next campground where they were cooking some steaks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yaak Valley Morning

Yaak III
Originally uploaded by Jack Crossen
The Yaak River valley in Northwestern Montana is (was) a nice remote area with some good fishing opportunities and a quirky bar called the Dirty Shame.

I've been there fishing and camping before and drove through with the family a couple of times. One time we were the only people in the bar except two guys dressed in homemade buckskin clothes. They were picking huckleberries and had a goat in the back of an old pickup with saddlebags on it to use for carrying hucks. They were squatters.

The Yaak valley was an area where people escaped to in the 60's and there were some number of hippie type squatters who put up tents/shacks on the forest service land, or private land that was owned by absentee landlords and rarely visited, around there.

This time when I was through things were quite a bit different. It was a Saturday and there were quite a few motorcycles on the secondary road into the town of Yaak. There were lots of motorcycles in town, plus hikers, campers and tourists in cars. The lady who owns the bar now showed me a national motorcycle magazine that had rated the ride to Yaak as a desirable motorcycle trip.

Too bad. It was better before it was discovered.

It's still pretty.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where is The West?

In the poem "Out Where The West Begins" the West is a state of mind.

For the Northern states I've always thought of it as starting West of Billings and running to the top of the Cascades. Anything further West is the Pacific Northwest and places to the East are either part of the middle of nowhere (big parts of Eastern Montana) or the Midwest - although Western ND might be part of the West. The West probably encompasses parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Eastern Oregon and California. Not sure about New Mexico I haven't been there enough to get a feel.

Purely subjective on my part.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Highway 89 Montana

Highway 89 Montana
Originally uploaded by Jack Crossen
Almost too beautiful.

This is in the area south of Browning north of Choteau Montana.

No cars, no people, just the sky some mountains in the distance and some beautiful purple flowers in a green field.

If you click on this photo and go to Flickr you can look at it in larger sizes - much more impressive that way (too me anyway).

Lots of horses in this area.

I wish I would have stopped for one particular shot of two horses standing by a colt that was laying down. They weren't fenced in. I was wondering what was going on with the colt. I think he might of laid down because he was tired of the wind pushing on him. I thought about that colt for about a hundred miles - hoping he was okay...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hey Who's Road is This?

These critters were standing on Highway 3B to Rossland B.C. and eventually moved over to the side when enough cars came along. It looks like they are still shedding their winter coats.

It's a nice drive in the West Kootenay mountains. I took the Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Rossland, Trail, Waneta, Nelway and Creston route. Next time I'd like to head north to Nelson and points further.

I also got a photo of a nice deer at the Danville border crossing north of Republic, WA. before seeing these mountain sheep.

I got in trouble for taking that photo. Well a little anyway - there weren't any other vehicles at that crossing and the border agent had cleared me to go into Canada. I saw a deer walking by as I was getting ready to get back on my motorcycle. I left my motorcycle parked in the crossing and walked over to take a picture. The customs guy came out and told me "we do have other cars coming through here - and we really don't like cameras." Okay fine sir.

That's a nice looking deer - almost looks like a lawn ornament.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

La Grande Oregon

Nice town - very quiet this Saturday. I had some good noodle/ tofu dish at The Golden Harvest and a double-shot of espresso from a friendly spot on main street. They have a cool looking old movie theatre and a JC Penny on main street - reminds me of towns before the mall was invented.

Idaho Rally

I took a "shortcut" at Idaho City to get to Horseshoe Bend. It was 38 miles of washboard gravel with lots of curves and fairly steep grades and lots of dust. This photo is at Placerville. I ended up on the course and had to get to Horseshoe Bend before they closed the road at 1 pm. I've never been so dirty, except maybe after spending a week in the Black Rock desert was a trip riding the big loaded-up Connie with street tires on that road. Info on the rally is at

I've ridden on gravel but this was challenging because it was deep gravel in spots and the dust was so thick when cars passed me it was hard to see - plus it was about 95 degrees. It was a blast I almost only lost it once. I thought it was interesting that I kept seeing those rally cars on part of the road and then found out this a big race for them. This picture is of a local car - there were lots of them with professional sponsorship logos too. It's the racing where they have a driver and a navigator - that you see on TV every so often.

I have to say that Concours is one tough bike - it rode fine in the dust and vibration from the washboards and then 160 miles up here to La Grande at 75 mph and temps of just about 100 (98 in Ontario Oregon when I passed through town).


Up on top of highway 21 - going to Idaho City

Sawtooth Mountains

South of Stanley Idaho

Friday, July 16, 2010

Swan Lake Idaho

I like stopping at these small local stores.

Logan Utah

Beautiful drive in here through the Logan River canyon. Lots of twisties!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just Went Through Paris

I'm in Garden City Utah now - by Bear Lake. That lake is a really pretty blue.

Garden City is all about raspberries - shakes, jams, jelly, candy; but someone told me I had to get the best onion rings at the Hometown Drive-In. They were good, served with lots of dipping sauce that was sort of like runny Thousand Island dressing.

Afton Wyoming

About 5 Miles North of Freedom

Etna Wyoming - Nice stop in a small town.

Jackson Hole Wyoming

Looking down main street - that's the ski area in the distance.

I'm Goin to Jackson

The tallest peak is the Grand Teton

Beartooth Pass

Above the tree-line max elevation 10k plus

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Red Lodge is Hopping

Big biker rally coming up - lots of motorcycles in town. Red Lodge cafe down the street there is a good place to eat.

Beartooth Mountains From Red Lodge Hill


Parked at the Dew Drop Inn in Absarokee.

Beartooth Mountains

In the Stillwater Valley on the road to Absorokee

Good Spot in Reedpoint

Very cool inside - lots of stuff!

Crazy Mountains

Gas Is Cheap in Montana

Thunder Jack

Smith River Valley

Breakfast at Dori's

Pool at White Sulphur

It's nice and clean. I'd like to try it in the winter. I'm headed to Livingston, Columbus and Red Lodge today. Camping at the Sheridan National forest campground at the bottom of the Beartooth highway. Looking like another beautiful day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

White Sulphur

They have an outdoor warm pool and an indoor hot pool - from natural hot springs. They let me park my bike in the courtyard at the entrance to the pool. After fighting the wind for a couple of hundred miles today a soak in warm water felt great.

Cool Fish in Choteau

Choteau is a nice town. I needed a break from the wind. I'm in Great Falls now and it's been blowing hard for 100 miles or so. I'd forgotten how windy it can be up on the highline - nothing to stop the wind (trees, hills, valleys). It was blowing so hard the birds were flying backwards.

St Mary Campground

Slept here Sunday. It's on the East end of the Going to the Sun Highway.

Spent Saturday Night Here

Lots of motorcycles and loud partying in the cabins. Good thing I had my earplugs.

Northeast Tip of Idaho

Came in this way from Creston BC

Curlew Lake State Park

On highway 21 North of Republic Wa. I spent Friday night here. Good swimming spot.

Standing By The Road - Big Sky Country

Hardly any cars or people - but good cell phone coverage - who'd a thought

It's a Beautiful Country

Yaak Valley - NW Corner of Montana

Lake McDonald on the West Side of Glacier

North of Choteau on 89

Going To The Sun

Still some snow in Glacier