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…

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