Well, here I sit in the lobby of Great Wolf Hotel, home of the indoor water slides, overpriced magical wands, sensible haircuts and minivan drivers from around the US.  My kinda place – can’t you just feel the love?!?  Let’s get a recap of how our time was on the road from Benbow to Brookings, shall we?

We were fortunate to get a parking space up front at the Benbow Inn, surrounded by a mass amount of Harley’s.  Like I had mentioned, it was Redwood Run weekend and we stood out like, well, like a couple of BMW riders.  We did meet some cool Harley people but most were not as friendly as meeting another GS rider.  Whatever.  Our dinner and breakfast were fabulous!  The dining room is quite beautiful and filled with people waaaay more dressed up than us.  Hard to pack that little black dress in the side case and have it come out looking “fresh”.  During the night, you could hear the growl of Harley’s headed to the Run and I mean ALL NIGHT!  We did sleep well, but it’s hard to completely turn your ears off.

The morning consisted of restuffing the sacks, learning how to make better use of our space and chatting with some people in the parking lot.  We met a very cool couple who rode up on their Harley’s a couple of hours after us.  Her bike I actually admired as she pulled in.  It had a different look to it, not the usual ride.  We were also approached by an older gentleman who, come to find out, raced in the AMA’s some 30 years ago.  Check him out in the pic section!

After rolling out, we headed south a couple of miles to the Big Foot tourist trap.  It’s actually quite cool and we ended up chatting with the owner’s son for a while.  His family has owned it for over 30 years now and they do the chainsaw sculptures, etc.  While there, we watched hundreds of Harley’s criss-cross the highway.  One group that pulled in was headed by a Hell’s Angels dude.  An older guy, he was flanked by 2 of his “bitches”, also known as ‘guys who want “in” but have to be somebody’s wench for a while’.  Saw the “1%er” patch on the vest.  Uh huh.  He was nice enough but let’s just say I wouldn’t want to piss off an H.A.  I dig living.

We made a couple of cool stops along the way, including the drive-thru tree.  How could we not?!?  We took the Avenue of the Giants the whole way.  It’s a stretch of road, about 35 miles, that parallel’s 101, taking you through the old growth redwoods.  Why would you NOT take this fabulous road?  Two thumbs way up.  We finally reached the  ocean stretch and lost count as to how many long range cyclists we saw.  Chatted with a few and was surprised as to how many were not American’s.  Don’t worry – I’m sure we’ll do that, too, some day.

The ride to Brookings meandered along the coast line and I found myself looking more at the coast than the road.

And of course the ride wouldn’t be complete without one casualty.  Santa had brought Terry a head cam for Chrismas to record such awesome moments.  Tom was kind enough to lend us his so I, too, could capture some footage.  So imagine if you will, Terry rolling ahead of me, zig-zagging our way up 101, la, la, la, everything’s fabulous when Jack (completely asleep) looses his grip on the camera unit and WHOOSH!, the ENTIRE camera, base, cable, lens and all, goes a tumblin’ down 101.  It was straight out of an SNL skit!  I’m screaming into the mic, “THE CAMERA!  IT FELL OFF!” while trying to figure out how the hell I was going to backtrack to retrieve the thing.  And you’d better believe I wasn’t going to let it sit in the middle of the road.  We pulled over, I hurried off with my helmet and gloves and sprinted the 1/4 mile back down the mountain, determined to grab it no matter what.  Fortunately, this stretch of 101 is not heavily traveled, so my chances of playing Frogger in real life were pretty good.  Sprint, sprint, sprint, I finally reached it and it was in pristine condition, considering.  I winced as I watched the last car juuuuuust miss hitting it, ran out, snatched it, and just started laughing.  How could I not?!?  What’s there to get mad at?  Shit happens no matter what (and it makes for a grand story).  I ran back up the hill and poor Jack was, “I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!”  Not to worry, little man, as these things happen.

But does the camera still work?  Yup!  Only problem is that the threads stripped when it pulled out from the lens.  You’ll be thrilled to know that another cable is on its way to the BMW dealership in Seattle.  Remember, we have to be there on Tuesday for new tires on my ride and a new shock for Terry’s so why not make sure all our “mail” goes to the same place.  Yes, Terry’s almost new shock is totally blown.  Nice one, Ohlins!  And speaking of cameras, I think my headcam was still going during the launch, so I have to check and see if I caught the moment on film.  Wouldn’t that rock?  Alas, we won’t be posting any video until we get back as there’s much editing to do.  All good things in time.

So I must close this entry with a few highlights and thank you’s to some of those we’ve met along the way.


All the Harley’s along the way; childhood memories of Benbow; Big Foot stop (and I got you a new magnet, Jenn!); watching Jack skip rocks along the Eel River; being with my family; long range cyclists who throw out a wave; people offering to take our picture; handing out so many Adventure Trio cards with promises to keep in touch; the smell of freshly cut wood; being able to laugh when I should really be crying; making it to Oregon; Jack playing in the surf; great photo ops; amazing people with our travel stories; knowing we get to camp as the hotel thing is getting to all of us; meeting an old AMA racer who was heading to Santa Rosa (was able to give him some pointers); good vibes from all we meet; thumbs up from family and friends; watching Jack soak it all in and wanting more; Terry working so hard to make this trip possible; my ability to say no to too many shoes (sooooo hard); knowing there’s 2 more weeks of this.


It doesn’t matter how you get there, just as long as you go.

Leaving almost on time; entourage of well-wishers in the school parking lot; Valerie with the camera and Ixchelle with the positive words; people coming up to us, stunned faces, asking, “So, you really ARE leaving straight from here?  Now?!?  That’s so cool!” – Kathleen’s was the best; more positive comments about the article; Jack enjoying his new donut La-Z-Boy; missing the rain; rubber side down the whole way; friendly Harley riders in Lake County at Foster’s Freeze; stunning views coming in to Mendocino County; the smell of wildflowers along the roadside; Jack singing and/or sleeping the entire way; Terry sacrificing his own comfort for Jack (ice pack needed); Jack being a real long distance guy stating, “No, I can tough it out”; thumbs up from other riders; no icky people on the roads; rolling through old growth redwoods (and promising to return in the morning); Confusion Hill; wood carving of Shrek; childhood memories of Benbow; memories of me, Jack and Jen renting the cottage before Jen left for Chicago; seeing the joy on Jack’s face; all the bungee cords doing their job; crossing into Humboldt County and immediately smelling a skunk (get the joke?); remembering to pack everything; having the sting relief pad at the ready; sherry in the room; fabulous dinner in a very old dining room; sharing the evening with my husband and son; Jack tying his first ever cherry stem knot in his mouth;  the duke and duchess seated at the next table; the KTM that came rolling in after us (Tom, wish it was you!); friendly H.A.’s in the parking lot; the good-lookin’ bald guy asleep next to me; the long-haired braces kid in the rollaway on the other side of the room; the room looking like the stuff sacks just spewed forth upon arrival; remembering where I packed my bras (not joking); WiFi; passing full lakes and the Eel River; knowing that we still have over 2 weeks before we’re home.

Jack getting stung by a bee not 30 minutes into our trip; road construction; the smell of rotting roadkill; the lack of bras in Lake County; getting uprighted by the wind in a turn; not being able to take a nap like Jack; rude Harley riders (Hey, we’re all on 2-wheels, right?); we’re out of sherry.

If the lowlights were to outnumber the highlights, then I should just pack it up.  If you don’t get it, you might as well go home.



In T-Minus 10, 9…

Hey kids!  Can you believe that the day has come?  That we’re hours from departure, heading on our longest gig as a trio ever?  Are we STUPID?  Trust me, some of you think we’ve completely lost it while the majority are sitting back, waiting to read what happens next.  And OF COURSE it’s the weekend of the Redwood Run in Garberville.  (Just a little background – the Redwood Run is a mass weekend gathering of Harley riders in Garberville, about a mile north of where we’re staying.  I can’t wait for the assless chaps along the way!   Good times.)

I made sure to have us 90% packed by yesterday morning, needing the extra 24 hours to throw in anything that I may have missed.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter how many lists you make, you’re always bound to forget something, right?  Ask yourself how many times you made sure the family had their toothbrushes yet yours seemed to go POOF upon arrival at your destination.  Today is also Jack’s last day of school so I had to make sure to have something for the fiesta potluck (thanks, Valerie, for pointing out the watermelon that I almost sent you home with).  I swear, if I only had a brain…  We plan on rolling up to the school, ready to go, between 11:30 and noon to join in the festivities, thank the teacher for  not strangling our son on many an occasion, get Jack in his gear and GO!

So before I end this entry, I’d like to hand out some  kudos to those who have helped us get to this point:  our families for making sure we stayed slightly cuckoo, enabling us to not question what the hell it is we’re getting ourselves into; Debbie Davis for letting me write the article (front page, no less…awesome) and having faith in what I had to say; Tom for lending us the extra head cam; Taryn for watering the plants and checking the house; Valerie for watching Jack when we were running around in circles; our Facebook Adventure Trio fans for the positive words and support; all those who’ve stopped me on the street and/or sent me emails telling me how they feel inspired by what we’re doing (just knowing at least one person has been positively affected makes it all worth it); and to my husband and son for going along with my desire to flee, no matter how much work it is to get to this point.  Like Terry says, we make it look easy, but we’re really that duck gliding beautifully along the water – it’s calm on the surface but paddling like hell underneath.


So it’s our final day in McCloud and we happened upon the rushing waters of Mud Creek (it has a fancier name, but you gotta call like the locals).  We’d been hearing about this “crossing” for years but had yet to stumble across it.  Right after we parked, a couple of quads were crossing from the other side o’ so carefully.  You see, the water was REALLY rushing fast, the bottom of the creek laden with snot covered boulders.  How fast was current moving, you ask?  Well, you could hear and see 40 pound rocks being relocated along the landscape of the creek.  Hmmmm.  Could this be done by a GS?!?

OF COURSE IT CAN!  Or you could at least try with a promise from your riding partner that she’ll shed her Frye boots and jump in to help in case the bike lodges against a boulder and goes over.  The driveway leading to the water’s edge was extremely deep, covered in powdery silt.  It would be a challenge in and of itself just to lead the 600 pound bike down to the edge.  Terry kept saying, “Well, maybe next time we’re up here I’ll try.”  Huh?!? Are you kidding me?  Hop on that damn bike and let’s give it a go!  I KNOW YOU’RE DYING TO!  Trust me…I know you.  You’ll kick yourself in the ass all the way home if you don’t try.

Terry and I looked from shore to try and pick the best line for him to take.  Once the line was chosen, Terry walked in to make sure no boulders were in the way, just waiting to stop the attempt in its tracks.  Onward he wobbled (hey, he was wearing motorcycle boots, not Keen’s).  He made it to the other side but had yet to maneuver back.  It was on his return trip that he juuuust about went down.  With middle finger perfectly pitched on his right hand, he graciously thanked me for the chuckle of “support” and completed his not-so-steady walk back to the shore.  Time to man up and give it a whirl.

Up to his bike Terry strode with a not-so-confident look on his face.  But knowing him for as long as I have (over 20 years), I knew he wouldn’t puss out…too many witnesses.  He geared up, turned around, hopped back off and gingerly walked the 600 dirt bike down the steep drive, fingers gripping the front brake, careful not the dig the front tire in and tip over.  Never once did he hesitate as he headed into the frigid creek.  Steady, slowly, carefully and nimbly he moved.  A little gas, lots of brake and even more patience as he proceeded bit by bit.  All was going well till he got to the deeper, faster moving portion of the water.  The bottom of his cases skimmed the top of the brown water as his back tire started to spin.  His front wheel had nestled itself quite nicely against a series of larger rocks, stopping him where he stood.  He had to carefully rock his bike to and fro, dislodging the front wheel while trying not to dig the back tire in any further.  Within 30 seconds, he was able to free the front wheel from it’s grip, get the back tire to catch, and carefully roll up the other side.  Ah, success…damn, it smells sweet!  Right after he landed, the two quads came rolling back to cross back over.  And I swear I saw at least one of them scratch his helmet in sheer disbelief that Terry was on the other side.  They stopped to ask him how he did it, amazed that he could maneuver 2 wheels through the current.  Nice.

And how could he not feel like a Bad Ass?!?  I beamed with pride – Jack was so proud of his daddy-o!  “Nice one, daddy!” and “Woo hoo!” were yelled loudly over the sounds of the rushing water.  Now what?  Well, Terry, into town you go.  We’ll meet ya back at camp.  Just let me know how the dirt ride into McCloud was and when I get to try my hand at crossing Mud Creek.  You can’t have ALL the fun now, can you?!?

Forward my young adventurers!  May your experiences be fulfilling and your memories overflowing.  Cheers.


Trailer Sweet Trailer

I’m literally in the back of a coffee shop in McCloud blogging and uploading pictures.  Hey, you gotta do whatcha gotta do to get the work done, right?

It’s Memorial Day 2009 and what better way to spend it than with your family, your bikes and your 3.17 acres, complete with portable home.  Yes, sports fans, it’s that time of year again to hit the forest for hours of fun on the fire roads.  Time to slip and slide in the powdery goodness while praying you stay rubber side down.  Time to ride sweep while eating everyone else’s dust, literally.  Lots of brown boogers!  Yummy.  We’re here till Tuesday, so we have plenty of time to get dirty, rinse, repeat.  I don’t have oodles of time to write a long blog right now, but I did get a new photo album up so at least you can check out the pics and ask questions later.  Does that work for you?  Hope so, ‘cause ya don’t have a choice.

Till later, kids!  I’ve got to purchase a couple of Webber grills so as to not burn the ribs.  Last night’s chicken almost didn’t survive the 10 foot flames that spewed forth from the small, cheapo gas grill.  Time to upgrade.  Cheers!


Why We Do What We Do….

I just received an email from a fellow Mad Cow racer that Steve Larsen, an avid cyclist, runner and triathlete, died of a heart attack while out on a run.  Some of you ‘glass is half-empty’ people will look at this and say, “See!  Exercise can kill you!  That’s why I take it easy so nothing happens to me.  I’d rather play it safe.”  Most of you ‘glass is half-full’ people will look at this and say, “Wow!  That’s unreal!  But at least he went out doing something he enjoyed.  He didn’t let anything stop him from accomplishing what he set out to do.”  I side with the half-full crowd.

This is proof, once again, that you never, NEVER know when your time on this planet is done.  I highly doubt Steve went out for his training run thinking, “Well, today’s the day!”   How did you wake up this morning?  Did you wake up and think, “Ugh!  Somebody tell those birds to shut up!” Or did you think, “Wow!  I could not have asked for a more beautiful morning!”  There’s the difference.  I’m not saying (typing?) that every morning you should prance around doing your best “Rise and Shine” boogie.  What I am trying to convey is that you can grab life by both horns and charge ahead or you can hang back and wait for it to come to you.  You have a choice.

So for those of you who like to shake your finger and lecture us do’ers, this is fodder for your camp.  And for those of us who are on the receiving end of that finger I say to tell ‘em,  “KEEP ON SHAKING!”  In fact, why don’t you stop shaking for one minute and just think.  Think about what your life would be like if you stopped worrying about what MIGHT happen if you traveled abroad or rode a motorcycle or even ventured out beyond your 30 mile radius.  Think about how much better you’d feel if you walked longer than the distance from the fridge to the computer.  Think about how much better you’d feel if you reached for the bag of carrots instead of the free samples at Costco. Think.  Live, don’t exist.

And for the record, I’m 39 and I just came back from a long run.  Think I need to stop?  I think not.

For more on Steve Larsen, please visit


You’re Kidding, Right??

It’s never a good thing when you pull up to the house 10 days before you get the hell outta dodge and your husband in furiously searching his motorcycle for something.  No sir, not good.  The theory?  The seam had given way.

Jack and I got out of the Mini and I cautiously asked Terry what was up.  “I have a gas leak somewhere.”  You have a WHAT?!?  No, no, no, no, no!  Still standing in a state of “oh shit”, Terry had to remind me to grab the camera.  In situations such as these, I know to take some pics, offer help and STAY AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE!  You see, this oh so shitty dilemma could cost us our 2-week trip.  Not cool.  Now we start running our options.

Terry was quickly on the horn with A&S BMW in Roseville.  No, they don’t stock tanks for a 1150 GS Adventure.  Could Terry run it up there so they could check it out and see what’s what, maybe come up with a solution.  Come on up!  They, too, don’t want to see us have to postpone our Canada ride.  And we have a photo shoot on Monday!  Shit!  So Terry loaded up the seeping tank into the Yukon and headed out into rush hour, Friday afternoon traffic, braving the 45 minute in the name of “wanting to get this handled ASAP”.  But we have tickets to the Rivercats game, and good seats!  He promised to meet us there.

Well, good news and bad news.  No, they don’t have a spare.  If they order one from Germany it will take a minimum of two weeks as it gets hung up in customs for 8-10 days.  No working around that one.  Thanks!  BUT, there’s a chance the inside of the tank could be sealed AND there’s tank (although pretty beat up) for sale on Adventure Rider.  Okay.  So we have options.  Better than waiting for Germany!

Terry made it in time for the game.  And while Jack and I hung by the dugout for signatures, Terry was furiously dialing and searching the internet for even more back up plans.  Options.  Always have to have more than one option, remember that.  By the time Jack and I got back to our seats, Terry had already “purchased” the dented tank from the guy in Berkeley (thanks for being so close!) and was discussing the sealer option with his mechanic, Mike.

Whoa! Look at the time!  I have to make dinner….sorry to leave ya hangin’ but I gotta go!  Will finish tomorrow…cheers!  Check out the pics!


Adventure Chik Gets Rehabbed

After checking over the previous owner’s repair records, Terry concluded that it was time for Adventure Chik to update some major parts, also known as “Blowing a Large Wad O’ Cash”.  But if we’re going to log 2,500 miles in 2 weeks, it will be money well spent.  A new chain, front and rear sprockets, oil change, and valve adjustment were on tap for the morning.  Thankfully, years ago Terry found a former BMW mechanic, Mike Metts, who knows BMW’s inside and out (and works for cash!)  He a great guy with a fabulous sense of humor.  Hey, he offered to show some plumber’s crack while holding a beer for the camera, just to show how “skilled” he is.  Love it!  Like a lot of us, he loved what he did but determined that working for a large corporation was draining.  Hmmmm, sounds like someone we know, doesn’t it?

It’s always nerve racking seeing your bike it pieces!  You know and trust your mechanic but man, if you happen to lose one bolt or get the chain too tight, you’re not riding as far as you thought.  Have to have faith.

Adventure Chik came out shining on the other end, literally!  The chain is waaaaaay too clean and really needs a fresh coat of Shasta dirt on it.  Not to worry, though, as we’re heading north Memorial Day weekend to test the fire roads and try our hand at more river crossings.  The ride always better when you get muddy!  Cheers to then.

Hola and welcome adventure fans to another exciting excerpt of “When Life Interferes With Living”. I’m your host, Bitchy McBitchy, here trying to figure out how the hell I’m going to ever find those FUCKING emails I lost in my attempt to convert my life from PC to Mac. Why, why, WHY do I accept these challenges? Because I have a husband that can save my ass whilst I prepare us for our next great adventure challenge. Thank god our talents are the opposite side of the brain from one another.

I keep trying to get myself to import photos from the end of 2008, but so much LIFE keeps interfering that my time in front of old files is limited these days. So instead of trekking upon old ground, let’s dive right in to the first beautiful ride of the spring training season, shall we?

On a gorgeous Northern California Saturday (last weekend) we headed to Doran Beach in Bodega Bay. Terry rode out on his 1150 GS Adventure – a grand 2 1/2 hour ride from home through sweeping redwood tree-lined turns and lush green hillsides. I took the marital high road and insisted that he ride and I follow in the Yukon with Jack and all our gear. Aren’t I a fabulous spouse? No, just one who knows when her husband needs some alone time without the bother of phone or noise.

We stayed the weekend at Fernando’s Bed and Breakfast. Haven’t been there before? Just know that you have to go. Don’t like B&B’s? Us either! But this is an anti-B&B. Fernando, his wife, Marivone and daughter, Sammy, make you a part of their family. Every morning you are welcomed with a latte, an omelet made with eggs from his hens, maybe even some french toast. Don’t want to go into town for a crappy, expensive meal? He’ll make one for you, costing only a mere fraction of the touristy restaurants. The wine flows freely, the conversation is never forced and the amenities supersede your expectations. Check them out, www.fernandosbedandbreakfast.com. Tell them the adventure motorcycle family sent ya…just don’t take my room! Anywho, where was I…oh ya…

So, all work and no play makes Jane a very dull girl. Jane gotta get out da hood and NOW! Suburbia’s makin’ her crazy! So yesterday, off I went for a 220 mile getaway. West. I wanted the valleys, the mustard fields, 15 mile/hour turns. And so I rode with my camera and burning determination. I was going to ride “home”. I wanted to see and smell all that I have missed while living in this flat, mountainless plain. First to Pope Valley, via Terry’s recommendation from his ride a week earlier. It was stunning, but I craved more. A quick stop in Calistoga at Buster’s BBQ for some grub and I was rejuvinated. Haven’t been to Buster’s? What?!? And you call yourself a local…

Now, be honest, aren’t you a little teary eyed? Yup, I thought so. I couldn’t get enough of it. I could’ve laid in the field and made a mustard angel it was that spectacular. I never appreciated the natural beauty of this area until I moved away. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? Seems to happen to most of us when we leave our comfort zone in search of a new home. No matter what, your roots begin to call you back, if only just for a few hours. I can’t help but well up as I type this.

Eventually, though, we must all fly the nest yet again and return to our new home. But no one said I had to take the easy way back. Along Silverado Trail I meandered, not once getting stuck behind a tourist or wine snob. Up and over Deer Park, swaying from side to side as the road carved it’s way through the mountain range. Had to stop in Angwin for a fuel, but not to worry. It wasn’t a Sunday so the gas station was open for business. (Seriously, have you ever rolled through Angwin on a Sunday? It’s a latter day saints town. I bet you any amount of money that on a Sunday you won’t find an open store or a live person ANYWHERE on the streets. They’re all in church for their weekly brain freeze.) Down Howell Mountain Road, through the back side of Pope Valley, to the northern part of Lake Berryessa and on to home.

And one more thing…if you’re ever rolling along Highway 28 through Calistoga, you MUST stop at Buster’s for a plate of BBQ.  The outside grill is always going with fresh meats ready to be topped with mild or hot sauce.  If you like having nasal passages in tact, I suggest the mild BBQ sauce.  A side of beans and a cold Sierra Nevada make this the perfect road meal.

And just how perfect of a ride was it? I got to be in my head for over 5 hours; every car pulled over to let me by; and the CHP near Berryessa didn’t even pull me over for speeding. He just waved at me to slow down for which I did, giving him a ‘thank you’ wave for being, well, human. Maybe he knows what it’s like to have to flee the usual and check out for a few hours.

Away I will go again very soon. And I promise to take you with me…



First Water Crossing of 2009

Hey Adventure Trio Fans!

I know, I know, I’m a little in getting in a story about a March event.  Hey, things have been busy!

Having been stuck in some murky situations, Terry and I wanted to wait until at least March before tackling some of the more technical roads as the mud and deep rivers can REALLY get you stuck in a pretty heinous position. And having done a Superman off the front of my bike while trying to maneuver a hairpin turn AND going downhill AND while sliding in the mud & rocks makes me just a wee bit hesitant.  Call me crazy (Crazy!) but I’m just not up for landing rib-cage first in the rocks…again.

The roads proved to be quite tame for the season (bummer).  Honestly, I really was looking forward to sliding the back end around a bit.  Hey, the only way I’m going to improve as a rider is to forge ahead in difficulty, one mile at a time.  Just wasn’t ready for the challenges the winter months can bring, and I don’t mean just the cold.  That I can handle.  Rushing waters and deep mud, not so much.  But I’m working on it..

The smells of spring never disappoint.  Soft breezes brought in smells of cheery blossoms mixed with fields of sweet peas with a hint of licorice wafting in ever so often.  The flowering bushes were abundant, never disappointing in their awakening dance, welcoming the warmth of the sun.  We could’ve pitched a tent and stayed for days but, alas, we are parents and have to be somewhat responsible.  Somewhat.

So back we went to reality.  Hmmph.  But it’s okay as we know that with every turn of the throttle, there will always be something new down those lonely dirt trails just waiting to be experienced.  Even traveling only 20 miles from home brings a new adventure every time.  Cheers to all.

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