Monday, December 21, 2015


While I was living in Southern California in April 2013 I wanted to take a ride with my trike.
I have a friend who lives in Solvang, California and he wanted me to come up and visit him.  We hadn’t seen each other for over 12 years.  So, last weekend was very warm, for this time of the year, and it seemed like a good idea to head up there with my trike.  Ron Herbig, my friend, has been a motorcyclist about as long as I have and he and I are both old fogies the same age.  I wanted to show him another means of riding in the wind without having to hold up the heavy motorcycle.  I packed up a few items, stuffed them in my small trunk on the back of the trike, and off I went, heading north. 
I gassed up at Sam’s Club and after checking the mileage from here to there, which is 162 miles, I hit the road.  I wanted to know the mileage so I could get what gas mileage the trike gets.  I don’t have a speedometer, so I did it by gallons and mileage I got from my computer.  I was pretty disappointed with the results.  I only got 18 MPG with a Weber 44 on a 1776 engine.
The trike was running real well and the weather was great even in the morning.  I got to Thousand Oaks and wanted to see the old church I used to attend and preach at.  I even helped build it in 1973.  It’s called The First Baptist Church of Thousand Oaks.  It had been since 1974 when I last seen the church, so I had to ask directions.  Of course, I picked a motorcycle shop to ask.  While there I drooled over the bikes, especially the four wheel drive quads.  I would love to have one of those to go up in the hills gold prospecting.  With my bad back limiting my walking it would work real well.  After getting directions I headed up the hill and saw the church.  Unfortunately, it was a Saturday and no one was there, but it was great seeing it still standing, despite my building abilities.
Then I headed up to Oxnard where I had married my bride, Rosann, on November 26, 1961, exactly 50 years ago to the day.  With tears in my eyes, I told her “Happy Anniversary, Honey.  I hope she can hear me up there in Heaven.  When I got to Oxnard I headed to El Rio where we used to live on 334 Will Ave.  There was our old house looking just like it looked many years before, and even one of our old neighbors was there next door; at least, their children were.  We had a great talk.  Sylvia, the daughter of the folks who were our old neighbors and who I knew when she was a young girl, came to the door when I knocked.  We talked about old times and then she told me about how many of the family had died which made me sad, and even the one girl Rosann and I helped raise, since she was at our house almost more than at her own.  She died in a motorcycle crash a few years ago.  I was so sad.  It was an emotional time with the thoughts of all the neighbors who died and especially my Rosann, who I will dearly love for eternity. 
So, I gassed up there in El Rio and headed north again.  When I reached the highway it runs right along the side of the ocean.  I so love the smell, sight and sound of the ocean.  Of course, with my VERY loud mufflers, if you can call them that, I did not really hear the ocean; I just imagined it.  It made me want to get my old SCUBA gear out and head out to those Channel Islands again like in the old days.  It was so clear I could see the islands real well that day.
Ron told me about a nice scenic way to get to his place that goes past Lake Cachuma.  I was all for that and it was as he said.  I found a place to stop and pulled out my camera only to find out that it was broken.  I have never dropped it so I have no idea what happened, but now I have no camera.  Sorry, no pictures this time.  Oh well, if I took a picture of Ron it would have broken it anyway.  J
The trip went real well and I even found the Ron’s house on the first try, which is almost a miracle for me.  He was real impressed with the trike, so much so that he called a friend of his and told him all about it.  The next thing I knew Ron jumped on the back seat and off we went heading to his friends place before I really even got off my trike.  After traveling about 20 miles I asked just where is this place.  Of course he said, with his southern twang, “Just up the road a bit.”    Well, “a bit” was still quite a ways, but finally, without warning he said, “Turn here.”  A car behind us came close to running up our tail pipes.  I asked next time give me a little more warning.  We traveled up a long dirt road through horse corrals and dog kennels up to a nice looking little home.  Next to his house he had a quad.  Of course I had to see it.  While I was admiring the quad he was admiring my trike.  I wasn’t quite ready to trade for it, but almost tempted.  I sure want one of those things.  So, after much talk I asked my new friend, Richard, if he would like to take a ride.  He was a little hesitant, but finally went.  He had rode Harleys for a very long time (he was 75) and now after a stroke, really missed the wind in his hair.  We went down the road a ways and then I asked if he wanted to drive.  It took a little arm bending to get him to try it, but when he did I thought we wouldn’t ever stop until it ran out of gas.  He loved it.  When we got back to his place he was so excited that he couldn’t stop talking to his wife about it and then we sat down at a table out in the patio and then non-stop he talked about getting a trike.  It was quite an experience.  I made two triker converts within an hour.  Both were long time bikers. 
After we left there Ron and I headed to another friends house he wanted to show it to.  This friend had a Harley already, but when we showed him the trike he was very interested in looking into those as well.  His wife liked the Harley, though, so you probably know where that will end up.  Gotta keep momma happy.  If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.  He had a quad as well.  It was a four wheel drive and had two PTO’s; front and back.  Now I was real jealous.  Does everyone around here have quads?  They were real nice people and they asked us in for coffee and cookies.  Well, we couldn’t turn down that offer, so in we went and sat down and talked bikes and trikes for quite a spell.  Now, within a few hours I have made three converts.  I’m not sure how many of them will actually get a trike, but they sure were interested in mine.
Finally, we were heading back to Ron’s place.  I let him drive.  Boy, that was a mistake.  Now I can’t get him off it.  Everywhere we went he had to drive.  Like most bike riders, though he would cut the corners way too close forgetting that there are wheels way out to the sides and a few times I thought he was going to clip a few posts and one car.  I remember when I first drove one the same thing happened with me.  It takes a little getting used to having wheels so far out from the sides when you are used to riding a two wheel motorcycle. 
It was still Saturday, but now Ron wanted to go to his church.  He likes to go on Saturday night so he can have all day Sunday to do what he wants.  Problem is, on Saturday night the only service is a Spanish one, but he goes anyway, and it’s a Catholic service which I have no idea about any of it since I’m a Baptist and can’t speak a word of Spanish.  Ron doesn’t speak Spanish either, but when I asked him about that he said that when he was young he went to the Catholic church and then they only spoke Latin and he didn’t speak that either.  Being a Baptist none of it made any since to me; literally.
By this time I have had a whole lot of Saturday and not much for sustenance.  It was past 9 p.m. and all I had to eat was a small breakfast at 6:00 a.m. and our coffee and a cookie.  I guess that was lunch.  We then had to go to another neighbor and help him do something.  They were all playing some very complicated board game, but they did invite us to their left over Thanksgiving dinner.  We through it in the microwave and finally; food.  The game was way too complicated for me.  It was something like Monopoly, but with dragons and whatever.  Monopoly was too complicated for me.  The rest of the night drug on and on and I was asleep on my feet.  Finally, Ron said we could go home.  I threw a few pillows on the floor from a couch and fell on them.  It was after midnight and I didn’t wake up until 6:00 a.m. like my body does every morning.  
The next day I had to go home and I got a later start than I wanted to since my headlight was questionable.  Before I left for this trip I had ordered a bulb, but it didn’t come in so I jury rigged a small single filament bulb on the front that I taped on.  I raced the sun home, but the sun won.  Luckily, the small lights I attached to the lower faring worked pretty well and I made it home in record time.  I’m glad the road gods were with me that night and I didn’t get any tickets.  I was hauling … 
All in all it was a pretty fun weekend and I just wanted to share it with all of you.  I hope you enjoyed it a little too.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trip to Ocean Mansion

Over this weekend 10/30/15 to 11/1/1 Jean and I went to her beach house for a little R&R which was good since I was recuperating from my two hernia operations. 

I am now sitting in her mansion.  It is 6700 square feet with so many rooms and bedrooms I can't find my way around without a map.  It tires me out just walking from my bedroom to the kitchen.  My bedroom is down stairs and the kitchen is way up a flight and a half of stairs, but just to get to the stairs I have to walk about a hundred feet.  I wish you could see it. .  It's in Gearhart, Oregon just a few miles from Seaside.  It is a bit rainy today and may be tomorrow, but this place is so big and so much to see that I sure won’t be bored.  I can see the ocean from here, even the TV works so what’s not to like. 

The last time I was here was around 10 years ago.  Some of you may not know, but I was the Realtor who sold this place to my very special friends.  They bought just the land, but had to build a house on it right away, so they built one of the best ones around in this gated community.  I’m very lucky to have such wonderful friends.  Unfortunately, my friend, Jean’s husband Sig died a few years ago.  We all miss him a lot and it seems like when we go to the beach house he seems to be still there.

Today before we got here Jean stopped at the Nike store where she bought $1500 of shoes.  Talk about a shopping spree.  She buys them about once a month when Nike has a big shoe sale then gives them to the poor children all over the world.  She does not get any funding for what she does; it just makes her happy to help others; like me.

A couple our age who plays tennis with Jean, Bill and Barbara, joined us for the weekend.  They were wonderful.  I really liked them.  The three of them went out to the tennis court here on this property and played for about 3 hours.  I stayed here and played on my computer since I don't know which end of the racket to hold.  We all had a good time here. 

Below are some pictures I took with my new tablet that came out pretty poor, very fuzzy.  I really don’t know much about this tablet so I hope I can do better next time.  Maybe you can get some idea of what the inside of the house looks like.

This first picture is the front of the house as if you couldn’t tell.

Below is my friend Sig
Sig who is 6'8" in his very large kitchen, notice how tall the ceiling is compared to Sig
This is just the guest bedroom
Game room with the full sized pool table as the center piece
A poor picture of the wine closet
Upstairs Den
Here's Jean, I caught her putting on her makeup
The pictures don't give any justice to the house, but it's my lousy picture taking, not the huge beautiful house.  I'll try better later.
I hope you enjoyed my little trip.  I know you didn't enjoy it as much as I have being here; sorry about that.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Silverwood Lake Trip

On Friday, September 9, 2011 the High Desert Brothers of the Third Wheel (BTW) held their annual picnic at Silverwood Lake, California.  I got my tent trailer all wired  up for lights, hooked it up and headed out to join them.  I had not met any of them before so when I got there I introduced myself and immediately I was treated like family.  Two of them came right up and helped me set up my tent and introduced me to the rest of the group.  Because I had to work late on my trike getting everything ready and was waiting for Robert, our director, to get his trike fixed I didn’t get up to the lake until 7:00 p.m.  Robert never did get to go so I was the only one from our chapter. That evening I met each member and really enjoyed sharing riding experiences and other stories with them. 

The next morning Rusty, the camp cook, rustled us up some good grub.  He is a great cook.  We then went on a long trike trip with eight trikes and 13 members.  We went up to Big Bear Lake.  There, we found a good restaurant called "The Cowboy Express" and had lunch and then headed back.  It was a very nice run.  That night Russ BBQed a bunch of meat.  We ate like kings and queens.  We had great music, conversations and dancing.  The best dancer was their 11 year old mascot named Taylor Oatman.  She sure can dance and is one of the smartest 11 year olds I’ve ever known.  What a cutie.  She even helped me by pumping up my air bed with the foot pump all by herself.  She thought it was fun.  Silly girl. 

Here are some of the pictures of that weekend. 

This is a picture of Taylor next to her grandma's trike that they rode up on.

This is my trike and tent trailer all set up.

Silverwood Lake

Below are pictures of some of the trikes that were with me on the run

The following pictures are from a ride going around the lake area

Then all too soon the long ride home.  I hated to leave

It’s great to have another group of people I can now call my family.  I really felt welcome by the High Desert Trikers.  Thanks guys.  Above is my trike and tent trailer all ready to head back home.

Monday, October 19, 2015


I have been riding my new Harley trying to get used to it since I have not been on a two wheeler for about 6 years now since I got my trike.  It is taking a little time to acquaint myself to all the new controls and fancy electronics they have on them now.  When I get a little more money I will be adapting it more to my body and not some 6 foot plus person they build them for.  I’m doing alright with it. 
I took a very nice ride to a place called Sauvie Island which is a pretty big island just a few miles from our house.  It has fantastic beaches were many families were swimming and frolicking; all in all, a very nice day.  Here are a few pictures of the island.

My Harley the day I bought it

Sauvie Island Bridge

Sauvie Island Beach and Columbia Slough which flows back into the Columbia River

Sauvie Island Beach Up River

Sauvie Island Beach Down River

Sauvie Island Marina

Marina Down Stream

I hope you liked the pictures.  There's not a whole lot more to tell about the ride escept that it was a great day and as you can see a beautiful sky.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Oregon Trike Trip

My Oregon Trip

I worked long and hard getting the trike ready for her big voyage north to Oregon where I was moving to from La Verne, California.  I tuned her engine and changed her oil.  I gave her a new front tire which turned out to be a project as well.  I ordered a tire over the internet, my first mistake, and told them that I wanted a 3 ¼” front tire.  So, they sent me a 5 ¾” rear tire.  Of course it wouldn’t even go between the forks.  So, back it went and I had to re-order again.  This time they sent me a 3 ¾” tire. With time getting short because I wanted to attend the Western Conference Trike-In in Madera, California that starts on May 1st  I used it anyway.  I squeezed it on the forks, but had to use a spacer on the axle to do it.  It still was very close and rubbed at times.  I figured it would make it to Oregon, though.  My friend, Steve polished up the trike real well.  He even got some gas stains off that a body shop couldn’t after I paid them a bunch of money to detail it.  Good job, Steve.

Wednesday morning, May 1, 2014 at 4:30 a. m. I started out in La Verne, with a bit of rain.  It wasn’t supposed to be wet, but it was.  I headed up to see my friend, Ron Herbig, in Solvang.  When I got there I found that I had quite an oil leak and my exhaust pipe nut loosened causing quite a noise.  Ron and I repaired the problems in just a few minutes and then we had a great visit.  I let him drive my trike.  He has some motorcycles, but like me he is my age so he is thinking of getting a trike.

The next morning found me heading toward Madera to the 1st Western Conference Trike-In.  We have had several trike-In’s, but this one was the first all western states.  It sure was a lot of fun with lots of trike games, shows, a poker run that toured Yosemite Park; and great camaraderie.  I slept in my tent trailer.   

We're lined up to go on a ride

My home away from home with my trike in the black custom cover and has the BTW Emblem on it.

On Friday when the rest of the guys went on tour to Yosemite I went to Bass Lake which is just four miles from Hwy 41 going to Yosemite.  I followed everyone up until I got to the turnoff.  They continued to Yosemite and I went toward the lake where I was raised to reminisce over the places I used to live and play.  Yosemite was my “back yard” so I was quite familiar with it unlike many of the others who wanted to see it.

Trikes going to Yosemite gassing up

I visited my old grammar school and found that it was closed with weeds growing all over it.  That was sad.  I didn’t know it had to close.  I was one of the ones to first attend that school and there were three of us who were the first to graduate there.  Just we three were the whole graduating class in 1954.

I then headed to The Forks Resort, where my parents managed it for about 40 years.   I said “hi” to some of the people I knew there and visited my folks’ ashes that are just behind the store. Then I went back to the fairgrounds where I was staying in my tent.  It was a real fun trip, but marred by the bad valve cover gasket again.  This time I had to change the gasket and then clean off the muffler and pipe where the oil sprayed and really made a mess.  With steel wool, chrome polish and a lot of elbow grease I actually got it all shiny again.  I wasn’t sure it would ever get that way again.  My trike and especially my new trike cover with our club emblem on it was a big hit.  Everyone wished me a safe trip back to Oregon. 

The Forks Resort

The Trike-In was a hit with me for sure and I am also sure with everyone else who attended.  I wish I had a count of how many people and trikes that was there, but there were hundreds I would guess.  It was a success.  On Saturday night there was an award ceremony, but I didn’t win anything.  I didn’t think I would since with so many great looking trikes; the competition was stiff.  Some of those trikes were absolutely beautiful.  Mine is beautiful too with her chameleon paint job, but has a few bangs and chips on her.  I asked a body and paint shop what it would cost to repaint her and he told me $4000.  I decided she could just be old like me and have a few war scars on her like I do.  It would be nice to get a trophy for something, though.  In her younger days she got many trophies, even some in Sturgis.  Those were days before I bought her. 

Yes, I call her a “her” because she is my baby.  She and I have been through a lot in our five years together.  On a trip home from my first Trike-In in Madera she blew a hole in number three piston while climbing the “Grapevine” on I-5 south.  I told her that if she got me home I would shine her up with new chrome and give her a new engine.  She got me home in style, but with a lot of groaning and coughing.  The first thing I did was re-build her engine and replaced all the black sheet metal with chrome.  I kept my promise to her and she came through like a trouper.  I’m real proud of her.  She is 23 years old and still beautiful.  Her name is “Wyld Chyld.”  (My spell checker really didn’t like that spelling.)  I was thinking of calling her Wyld Chyld 2 since I am the number one Wyld Chyld. J As soon as I can afford it I am having someone paint her name on her and also give her some nice pen stripping over some of her chips and scrapes so it won’t look so bad.  Maybe then she can get an award for something.  She deserves it.

I am now writing this at my aunt Evelyn’s house in Clovis, California where I am staying tonight (Sun) so I can visit her and wait until the trailer parts open to get a wheel bearing cover for my trailer that fell off somewhere on the vast freeway system.  It seems like every time I come to a trike-in something falls off.  One time my whole back seat fell off.  I am going to attend the Portland Trike-In on August 30th, so I hope nothing falls off there.

Monday morning saw me getting up early because Steve from La Verne just wanted to call and see where I was; at 6:00 a.m!  I was not happy since that was the first decent sleep I was having since the trike-in.  Being an old man the younger folks like to party at night a little later than I like to be up.  Not much sleep during that time.  So, since I was up I started the day and straightened up my stuff getting ready for my next leg of my trip.  I wanted to go to Campbell, California so I could see what the town looked like that they named after me.

I had to wait until after 9:00 a.m. until the trailer place opened so I could get a dust cover for my trailer axle.  When I finally got it the thing didn’t fit real well and I had to get pliers to bend it inward to fit in the hole then pound it in with a hammer.  My uncle Gerald had lots of tools in his shop so that helped.  He died last year.  I really miss him.  He was the best uncle anyone could have.

After several goodbyes to Aunt Evelyn I headed out for Campbell.  From there everything went very smoothly.  It was a great trip and, for me, great weather.  Some would say it was too cold; I say it was just right.  But, having to drive at only 55 and with a late start I didn’t get to Campbell until 5:30 p.m. and it seems that Campbell rolls up the street pretty much at 5:00.  Even the police station was closed.  I tried to get some information, but no one knew much.  One gas station lady didn’t even know where she was.  I found out that she was in Campbell, which was what I had asked her.  She said she didn’t know where that was.  I’m not sure that she could speak English very well, but I guess she could get away with being dumb, she was pretty.  (I know; politically incorrect, but accurate.)   At the police station I did find a couple of local newspapers, and I took a few pictures with the town of “Campbell” sign on them.

Tuesday Morning. 

Right now I am sitting on a little stool next to my tent fighting off the mosquitoes trying to write this at 6:30 a.m.  I am waiting for the camp to open up so I can pay and get out of here.  I did find this beautiful campsite at Saratoga Springs near San Jose.  It is so peaceful; no parties and no loud music; just a rustic, no frills campground.  My camp is right next to a beautiful running creek that lulled me to sleep last night.  There are big trees all around.  I am very happy now.  I hope that continues through the day.  I will be taking pictures of my camp when it gets light enough. 

At my camp I saw a sign that said “Campbell Saw Mill.”  It was a plaque dedicated to William Campbell who started the saw mill there and they named the town after.  I had a great, great grandfather named William Campbell who was from Scotland and moved to Washington.  I am curious if he moved south and started a saw mill.  That would be interesting.  I guess there could be more than just one William Campbell though.  I also found a place called “The Campbell Inn” where I wanted to stay, but even though my name is Campbell they still wanted to charge me $175 plus tax to stay there even though I told them that my name was Campbell.  They weren’t impressed.  I continued my search for a place to stay.  That’s when I found the little campground I mentioned earlier.  It was $35; a lot cheaper, but still a bunch for just a spot to pitch my tent.  Oh well, Inflation!

After packing up and paying for my tent space I headed out for the Golden Gate Bridge.  The morning was pretty cool, but wasn’t supposed to rain.  I wanted to go over the bridge and take pictures which I did.  It was an experience.  As soon as I stopped at the viewing site at the end of the bridge a small crowd surrounded my trike and asked many questions about it and wanted to take several pictures.  The people were from all over the world; Europe, Canada, and others.  This has happened everywhere I stopped.  They even took pictures while they drove next to me at speed.  One lady was weaving all over the road taking the picture; she was driving at the time.  My attention getting machine might be my undoing at that rate.  Somewhere around the bay area it did sprinkle a little, but it was the only rain I got on the whole trip. 

With only an eight gallon gas tank I had to stop about every 100 miles to fill up since the trike only gets about 18 mpg without the trailer and probably a whole lot less with it.  I am taking mileage checks along the way and will probably be shocked at the results.  I have a way too big carburetor on my size of engine so it wastes a lot of gas.  I have a 1776 VW engine and a Weber 44 Carb and I think it needs some adjusting as well.  As soon as I get settled in Oregon I will be saving for a couple of much smaller carbs.  

I said all that to say that I got to my friend, Bob Donaldson’s house in Petaluma somewhat later than I wanted to; like a day later.  I was going to stay at his place, but I needed to get up to my sisters in Bandon, Oregon so we just talked for a while and then went out to lunch.  It was great seeing him.  He has been a wonderful friend for so many years.  Bob and I worked together for years at the General Telephone in Oxnard, California. 

After our visit I headed out for my sisters place in Bandon.  It was too far to make it all the way with all the gas stops and me wanting to see so many things along the way, like the big trees; one I drove through; picture included.  After all, I may never get back along that route again; so much to see; so little time. 

It was getting late on Tuesday night when I started looking for another camp site, but to no avail.  I even looked up on my GPS for one and the closest one was 45 miles to the west at Fort Bragg on the coast.  I opted not to go that far out of the way just to save a few bucks so I found an old, small motel in Willits.  It was only $45 which is only $15 more than the camp site.  It was a little run down and the worst was they only had smoking rooms.  Yuck!  It didn’t smell very pure, but I got through it.  I got to write on this story and got my emails since it did have Wi-Fi.  I even got to have a nice shower. 

On Wednesday morning it was a little cooler so I got all bundled up with several layers of clothing and headed out for Bandon.  I wasn’t sure that I would make it, but I would try.  The day didn’t warm up much at all.  In fact, when I would go behind any of the mountains, which there were many, it became very cool; cold even.  If I got cold then you know it had to be cold.  I would stop every so often just to warm up.  I actually was glad that I had to stop every 100 miles so I could get warmer and work out the stiffness from the muscles.  It was that way all the way to Bandon.  I was very glad to see Bandon.  I got there at about 6:30 p.m. after 1350 miles on this trip so far.  Overall, it’s been a fantastic trip with very little trouble.  I am blessed. 

My sister was glad to see me and so was my niece, Kylie who couldn’t wait to ride on my trike.  She is ten years old.  I took her on about a two mile trip at about 25 mph.  She was so thrilled, even with the cold, that she didn’t want me to stop.  We went in the house and watched a video of her rehearsing for her big ballet number where she dances.  She does tap and ballet and looks like an angel.  The production was very professional and done on a major stage in Bandon.  It was done by a dance studio in town that Kylie attends.  The next day Kylie wanted to ride again so we took a 55 mph trip up Hwy 101 for a few miles.  Even in the cold she wanted to go faster.  What a trouper.

After all my goodbyes on Saturday morning April 11th I headed north once again.  Still up the 101 highway with its incredible scenery.  I made it to Cloverdale, Oregon where my friends Bruce and Karren Crocker live.  While I was a Realtor I sold them a house there and we have been good friends since.  I stayed there with them so I could attend my old church; The First Baptist Church of Cloverdale.  Right now it is about time to get ready to go so I will continue my trip and story later.
I found out that the weather report said it would rain on Sunday, so instead of going to my old church in Cloverdale I decided to head out to Beaverton which is much closer to where I am headed to live in Portland.  I went to the Baptist church in Beaverton which was the one I used to go to up till about 1994 when I then moved to Scappoose in a houseboat.  It was great seeing the church again; although, it has grown to enormous proportions.  They have expanded the building to twice the size it was.  I was surprised.

After church I went to my son Tony’s house, who is 24 and has Down’s syndrome.  I took him on a ride on my trike much to his amazement.  He loved it.  We went out for lunch and then because of the threat of rain I headed out to my camp site in Portland where I will soon be bringing my motorhome so I can live there.  I will be helping out the lady who is letting me stay on her property.  She lost her husband Sig just over a year ago who was also one of my best friend’s.  He was like a brother to me, even if he was 6.8” tall and I am only 5.6 ½” tall.  We looked like Mutt and Jeff together.

Sig’s wife, Jean Jensen was not home when I got there and I found out later that she had not received any of my calls and only one email telling her that I was accepting her invitation to come live on her property and help her with fixing things around there.  I wasn’t sure she even lived there still, but I set up my tent on a flat spot on the 10 acres.  After about 4 hours of waiting to see if she was coming home I gave her another call and she answered.  She had come home and I hadn’t noticed.  I surprised her when I told her that I was camping in her back yard.  We had a great visit telling each other all the things that had happened since I last saw her at the funeral a year ago.  We talked until about 10 p.m. 

Today I also stopped by my son Dan’s apartment and took him for a ride on the trike.  He really liked it and, of course, wants one now.  I let him drive it which really thrilled him.  It’s so much fun to drive.  As soon as I got to Dan’s I called Kent Gore of Bridge City Trikers in Aloha, Oregon and signed up for his chapter.  I want to get to involved ASAP.  In San Gabriel, California I was the Assistant Director and now I want to offer my services where ever I can for my new chapter.
I also used Dan’s computer to buy my plane ticket back to La Verne so I can drive my motorhome back to Oregon for my last trip.  Well, tomorrow I may have another adventure. 

Note:  My second trip to Oregon with my motorhome was a nightmare.  All my luck was used up on my trike trip earlier.  If you are interested in that trip you can write to me at and I will send you the story.

Happy triken…

Thursday, August 6, 2015


I am Larry Campbell starting a new blog mostly about my travels which many of my friends find interesting.  I hope you do to.  One person told me that he lives vicariously through the stories about my experiences.  It was quite a compliment.

I am starting this blog at 75 years old.  I know it’s a little later than most, but I am a little slower than most on these darn computers.  I still don’t have an idea how to make this blog work, so any suggestions will be appreciated. (please be nice to an old man, though.)

As you will see I ride a customized VW Trike.  I will start incorporating some of my trips a little at a time on here to get the hang of it.

There will be more than just my trike rides since I have a lot of interests.  I had a VW and motorcycle shop for over 35 years; I’ve been a long haul truck driver; a SCUBA diver, inventor, singer, preacher, gold prospector, real estate broker, prepper, gun enthusiast, mountain man and retired from GTE as an equipment repair/installer.  There’s a whole lot more, but that’ll do for now.  If you want to talk about any of these interests or many more, just hit me up, Email Me.

Trike Rebuild

This is my VW Trike I call Wyld Chyld.  She sports a type 3 automatic VW transmission and a 1776 cc VW air cooled engine.  To breath she has a single Weber 44 Carburetor.  Her body was built by “The Trike Shop.”around 1992.  Following is the story of her rebuild and upgrading. 

Text and photo’s by Larry Campbell
Contact me at

For BTW's website click on this link:
For some trike videos check out this site:

Keep watching this site, changes happen often.
I bought my trike near San Diego in October of 2010.  As soon as I took it home I joined BTW, Brothers of the Third Wheel.  It was just what I was looking for, a place that I could get a lot of info about trikes and can meet with other members socially and learn more about trikes. 

When I got my first magazine from them I saw that there was to be a Trike-In at Madera, Ca.
That's just about 265 miles from my place, so I made plans to head up there.

I got the trike all packed up and started up on its maiden voyage; actually, both of our maiden voyages since I had never driven a trike before just picking it up when I bought it.  I had been a two wheeled rider for over 50 years, but three wheels takes a little getting used to.

All went very well up until the time I just about got to Madera when somewhere on the freeway my back seat bottom seat pad flew off without me knowing it.  Surprise, surprise; when I saw that I had arrived at the meet without my back seat.  I tried to get an award for having the worst luck, but a lady did have worse than I; she broke her trikes tranny and had to be towed.

I saw so many great looking trikes there.  What a trip in more ways than one.  It was great until when I was going home and going over the grapevine the engine started to miss.  It got very bad, so I told her that if she would get me home I would give her a wonderful rebuild and a face lift.  She got me all the way home, complaining all the way, though.

I started working on the engine right away.  With the body hanging down over the engine I had to actually lift the body up about 6 inches just to clear a way to work on it and get it out. 

While I was rebuilding the engine I thought it would be a great idea to honor my promise to my sweet little lady, whom I call, "Wild Child," and give her a face lift.  I bought chrome everything for her.  She looked great!  I gave her a few other nice things; like a new 110 cam, 90.5mm pistons and cylinders, which made the engine a 1776 cc, and a 44cc Weber Carb.  She runs like a top.

With all that done I decided to continue with the face lift and complete the rebuild giving her all new wiring and upholstery.  I'm not sure when I can complete the upholstery job though, since it will cost somewhere around a thousand dollars.

What a job that is turning out to be.  I am glad that I did that though since most of the wiring was a mess.  It was a miracle that the trike even ran.  Many of the terminals were corroded and many wires were just twisted together and left that way. Some wires were put together with electricians wire nuts. I had to completely remove the body, which showed a lot more trouble spots with rusted through bolts and such.  I am going to attempt to show pictures of the rebuild as I go along with this story.  The beginning picture is what it looked like when I brought it home. Below are pics of my processes as I go along with the rebuild.

Here is the start of getting the wiring out in the open.

 I found that I couldn't get to the rest of the wiring, so, off came the body with the help of my good friend and neighbor, Alex and his son, AJ and I picked up the body so I could work on it with ease.
Below is the rat’s nest that is supposed to be wiring. 

Here is her new engine face lift; lots of chrome

Below is the battery box that swings down from the hinge on the left and held by the bolt and nut on the right side.  When I bought the trike the battery box did not hinge so I had to remove the body to check the battery.  That had to be changed!  Here is the result below.

Above is the battery box swung down so the battery can be accessed. 

The above pictures show the new upholstery.  It turned out pretty nice. I was told that the upholstery would cost around $1000.  I did most of the work by removing all the seats and dash, so it only cost $400, so, as you can see by the above picture I got it done.


Today Robert, the Director of our San Gabriel Chapter of Brothers of the Third Wheel, (BTW) came over with his friend and member, Jim.  They helped me with the trike.  Jim is a good VW mechanic and Robert is a good welder.  Robert welded up a swinging door for my battery that in the past could not be checked without removing the body.  The same goes for the brake fluid reservoir which could not be checked or filled either.  Both were remodeled to give access.  Robert did a good job. 

I have been working on the trike most every day, but just now decided to add the pictures to show some of the work.  Jim has been coming over most every day to help.  Robert has a job so he can't make it quite as much, but he adds his input to at times.  They sure are a lot of help.

The next pictures are of the front forks all torn down and all polished up.  No more rust.  Then I am showing the new springs next to the old rusted ones.

I hope this all goes together okay.  If it weren't for Jim I wouldn't have the springs or the knowledge to rebuild the Springer front forks since I have never had them on a bike before.  I'm learning a lot.  I had to do all the polishing with steel wool and cutting compound.  It's amazing what a little elbow grease can do.

I did find out a new trick thanks to Robert.  To remove rust from a chrome part use a single edged razor blade to scrape the rust off first.  It doesn't seem to scratch the chrome, but removes all but the most stubborn rust.  Then just dip a very fine steel wool pad in some cutting compound and rub, hard and long.  It did a great job for me.

Below are the springs for the front end, which is why the front suspension is called a “Springer.”

The chrome came back, but it had bubbles under the chrome.  That will soon break and cause more rust, so Jim took it back to the chrome company and they agreed to re-chrome it, but it will take another week.  More delays.

We had our monthly meeting of the trike club, (BTW) at the Cowboy Burger in Baldwin Park on Sat. 2/18/11. Robert, our Director, showed us a design he came up with for our official patch.  It looked real good and when it gets completed I will put it on these pages.  Robert also reminded me of the gas prices when I told him about my plans to go to Sturgis this year with the trike.  I may have to rethink my plans and just attend the local trike-ins at Laughlin and Madera.

Our local chapter of BTW, Brothers of the Third Wheel, sisters are also welcome, meets on the third Sat. of every month at 10:00 a.m. If anyone is interested in joining us, whether you have a trike, a motorcycle or just interested, please join with us for some good times and good food.  Everyone is welcome.  It's free, you don't have to be a member to come.  You can contact me if you want more information.  We may change the meeting place from time to time, so if you email me I can direct you to the closest meeting.  I am the Assistance Director of the chapter.  For chapters in your area you can go to the BTW web page.  There you can find out all info about the club and where to meet.  Click on the following link.


Today Jim called me and told me that my chrome parts came in and he would bring them over so we can put the forks together.  It was a hard day, but we got it done.  See our accomplishments below.  It sure does look a lot better than that old rusty thing that it used to have hanging out there in front.

Later today we will put the body on the frame to check out how it will fit.  I am building a lift for it to lift the body up from the back and hinge the front so I can work on the engine and other mechanical and wiring parts easier.  I also think it will look cool when I enter the custom shows.  It will have the purple led lights under there to show it off even more.  

We did get the body on late just before dark, so I have not been able to get anything else done, but it took three weeks to get everyone together to get the body on, so for me it was very exciting.  Now, I have to get to work on all the wiring and build a hoist for the body.  I'll keep you updated on how it's going.

Below is a picture of the body we just put on minus the headlight, handlebars, windshield and more.


I found that some parts will have to be modified to fit better such as the vent tube that goes into the air filter that I mounted on the back of the fan housing.  Unfortunately, the gas tank hits the hose, so I have now rerouted the hose fitting to make the repair.  I am still working on how to raise the body automatically.  I have a lift, but I just have to make it fit.


Finally, the day has come to weld up all the brackets and install the lift jack.  Robert and Jim came over and helped me to get a good start on the job.  We all worked for most of the day. 


Today we continued on the job.  Robert came here today and finished all the welding, so now comes the part where I have to put together all the wiring and do the detail work.  It has to be done in two weeks before the Trike-in comes in April. 

Robert figured out a whole lot of ways to do it better than I thought of.  I am very appreciative of his work and Jim helped so much also getting the chrome for me and working on the tuning of a carb that I was not familiar with. 

Below are the pictures of the jack all welded up.  More will be coming when I get it further along.


I have finally got to ride my machine.  It still has a few "bugs" in it, but I am exterminating them as I go along.  I just got the last of the upholstery, the back seat, done.  It looks very nice.  The engine performs quite well.  In fact, I have to take it easy so the front end doesn't rise up too high. I still have a few engine adjustments to make with the carb and some adjustments to the front forks.  Other than that, not much else needs to be done.

My plans for later include a complete communication system, integrating the radio, GPS, radar detector, CB radio and talk communication between riders.  I'll let you know how that turns out.  Now, on to Madera for the Spring Trike-In.  I hope I win a trophy for all the work I have done on it.  That happens April 15, 16, and 17.


"OOPS!"  A few days ago I pulled my trailer over to Jims place so he could help me with the wiring the lights.  When I got there I found that there was a lot of oil on the trailer front just behind the left exhaust pipe.  That tells me that there is a blow by problem. 

I should be at the Trike-In today, but instead I am at home and have pulled the engine completely apart and still have not located the problem for sure.  My plan is to buy brand new piston and cylinders instead of using the old ones with new rings as before. I knew I should have done just that before, but in the interest of saving money I went with just the rings only.  So, now I don't get to be at the Trike-In.  I'm bummed out, but will get over it and get on with my life.  It should be running again shortly.


As you can see a lot of time has passed, but I have to wait a lot for weekends to come to get help from my neighbor who has all the special tools and a strong back to help me.  Most all my VW tools are in Oregon so they don't do me much good here in Southern California. 

My engine is back to the machinist.  He is the one who did not complete his job that I had asked him to do two months ago.  I found that the case inserts were sticking up too far which held the cylinders cocked to the side.  This caused the compression leak and oil problem.  I asked him two months ago to completely go through the cases and make them ready.  I was at fault by not completely checking them before I installed it.  That's what I get for trusting others and not checking everything myself.  I have forgotten a lot since my old VW shop days.  It should be well when I get the cases back today. 
Below is the almost completed engine which shows the fancy chrome I promised her I would do.


I have now rebuilt the engine and looked at the old exhaust system and said, "Yuck!"  I have to do better than that.  It is pretty rusty and one of the header pipes on both sides runs too close to the valve covers to allow me to remove them to adjust the valves.  In the past I would have to remove the whole exhaust system just to adjust the valves.  They sure weren't thinking when they designed that system.  So, today I took the engine and pipes to Marco at Supertek Performance in Glendora, Ca.  He sure does know his business.  He cut up my pipes, adjusted them the right way, then welded them and ground off any excess.  They look very good now and I have clearance.  Now I am heading to the chrome shop I hope tomorrow to see what damage they are going to do to my wallet.  I'm looking forward to getting this thing on the road soon, but I may have to wait until after the first of next month to afford the chrome.


I haven't updated this for quite a while.  I had to wait some time for the chrome to be done and then pay for it all; a little over $400 for all the changes and chrome; ouch!  But, it looks great.  

I worked a lot on getting the engine running well.  It kept missing and I finally found that the intake manifold was leaking.  It sure runs great now.  You can see the name “Illusion.”   That is because the paint job was painted by a painting procedure called “Chameleon.”  As you move along the trike and the sun hits the paint at different angles it seems to change colors like a chameleon would.  Once I asked how much it would be to repaint her and was told $4000.  I said I’d wait.

I just now got back from taking a trip with it up to Mount Baldy.  It was a great trip and everything went perfect.  I did forget my camera so I don't have any pictures of the trip.  I wasn't happy with myself about that one, but maybe next time.  I am now looking forward to making a longer trip to Oregon and maybe take the trip I always wanted to do and that is go to Sturgis in August.  I'm not too sure that I will have that much money, though, so it may not happen this year, but when it does I sure hope I remember the camera.


The trike has been running quite well ever since I found the vacuum leak in the manifold.  We have been taking many trips to the mountains and beach.  Last Sat. our club, Brothers of the Third Wheel, (BTW) all went to Huntington Beach.  A great time was had and we seen a lot of as close to naked people as the law allows.  I don’t know how we kept our necks from breaking looking at all the scenery.

A few days ago I found that my alternator was not working so I had to replace it with a new one.  That job is a lot harder than on most cars.  I had to remove the intake manifolds, carburetor, alternator stand, air shroud, and many more parts just to get it replaced.  With all the heat we are having now it took me two days to complete a normally two hour job.  I don’t do heat.  Since I can’t sweat I roast inside.  Right now it is over 100 and high humidity.  That’s why I have some time to type this while sitting inside a nice house with the air conditioning on full.  The trike is working very well now, but it’s too hot to ride it much now.  It’s just not fair!  Oh well, here in the Southwest there is a lot more riding time than in a lot of other areas, so I can’t complain much.  I’m having a great time with my trike.