Why Crack of Ten. The simple short story is because it seems no matter how hard we try to get on the road, it is seldom at the crack of dawn, but the crack of ten. Just seems to be the way it is.

AirShow Broke Out

Sep 16, 2016
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web4663.jpgHolysmokes, about thirty five years since I been to one of these. It was a blast actually. Super Hot, camped in a tent, but yeah, a hell of a show..wanted to try a couple different angles, and perspective. Shot with my "point and shoot"..was fun, limited cuz no zoom or anything, but yeah, was fun, got some fun stuff...

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                                                                  Road Times of twenty sixteen

 
A melancholy haze hangs over the bike and myself, as we sit in the after glow pondering the roads and miles of one more season in the saddle. 163 times I gassed up, rode roughly 34,000 ks, and 1670 litres of fuel. I did guess how much it all cost, but lets not go there. Suffice it to say that I need to get some work done. 
Would have been much better to have done notes along the way like in the past. This new lazy system I adopted is not working, as I seem to not be willing to face up to the fact my memory is shot. 
I did want to try to just write the over all feelings of what took place instead of becoming a victim to the blog and the art of it, would just post a massive read and visual stew that one could ponder at will. I think I blew it as I cannot keep the fan, well, maybe more than one following the travels as it were. 
Also in my wisdom I was rather nonchalant in the taking of photo’s. I did get some, but not near what I should have. I took only what really shouted at me for whatever reason. Another bad call. I think I liked it better when I was doing the people of the road. I will go back to that next year. Upon surviving the winter of course.
So, I am afraid this will all be rather lame and disconnected from anything at all. But maybe be short and colourful. Will see as short is always good. In the words of Hoyt Axton, "short is good, leaves not much to not like."  Always liked that sentiment.
The summer ride started off like most rides south. A stay over at the best campground around. Pinenear Campground in Winthrop. Nestled in the Methow Valley of Washington state, it has everything one needs. Plus Anna. Winter is actually their big season, skiing trails and fishing. Yeah, fishing, who knew fishing was a big thing in winter. Not ice fishing either, river fishing. 
Winthrop is often my start and finish of most trips. The place resonates with me somehow, like the fictional valley in Ayn Rands story Atlas Shrugged. 
The initial idea was to go across Canada to New Foundland. Did not make it. Travelling through the parks of alberta, awesome to see anytime, but just way too many people in paradise for me. Once out of a crowded scenic wonder, it was onward to Saskatchewan and east. I got as far as Manitoba, almost Winnipeg, and had a flashback. A few years ago I did the cross Canada thing to PEI. I suddenly remembered the vast amounts of nothing but scrawny wood standing along indifferent highways, and nothing in-between places. The places were rather mediocre at best, nothing lit me up, well but for PEI, and doing the Cabot Trail coming back, those parts were great, but just so much of nothing. It dawned on me that I would have to do it twice more coming back. Once there, once back, and well, just did not see the point in that. So, I dived south.
 
In the land of promise and milk and honey and donald dick face trump. He does not deserve capitals. He is a lowercase dickhead. Whatever. 
Heading south and asking the predictable questions about favorite on election day, I came to the conclusion that the US is going to move here. Both sides say if the other wins they will be looking for lots up here. EEEEEwwwww…Pretty sensitive down there right now. It could get ugly.  Funny though in Salt Lake saw a billboard for a realtor, big sign asking if you are moving to Canada, he would sell your house. Too funny..Shoulda called him to ask him how it was going. 
 
Riding through the Dakotas is always awesome. Well, but for one thing. Sturgis was happening at the same time, I dipped,ducked, swivelled, like a basketball forward hungry for a two pointer, and avoided Sturgis. It worked.  Been there a couple times and don’t care to revisit. 
I did find some awesome roads that not many bikes were on, and liked the scenery mostly. I could go back there for sure, and very likely will. I seem to be running out of roads.  Ten Sleeps is a fav if only for the name. Yup that is the name of the town, well village. 
 
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Most time it is ok not to camp, though whenever I take a room it seems as if there is some sort of defeat involved. Always seems I lost one today. Not about the money, but when I start out on a journey, it is always my goal to camp, I love my tent, have two, sort of trade off between them. The small one is what is here, easy to set up, take down, and pack up. But when I do pull the trigger on a motel or hotel, I am usually enticed by something different and or old. Though must say there is a ton of ugly places out there, seems I stayed in most, some at least. This one is way cool, over a hundred bucks for the crappyish room, but somehow it was just ok..I liked it. As usual I often tend to let the day get away on me. On the road time means nothing really. There is a clock on the dash, but it does not mean anything. Like the direction one goes, that is sort of moot really, something like the salmon heading down the crik..they don't know or care where it is they are going, something just tells them to go there. Sort of like riding a motorcycle for too long. A map is only for perspective I guess. Anyway, the days get out of hand and before I know it it is late, am stuck with no apparent campground around, nor hot shower, so take a room. My one real weakness with this camping thing is a dire need to shower or whatever every night. Makes for a long night with no sleep if I cant clean up. Must be some ancestral throwback. I am ok with a creek or pond or whatever, but when none are available before dark, well, one just has to buck up, swallow what pride one has at this point and take a room. 

The best is when friends ask you to come on over, or even pay for a room..see last year...hahahaha...thanks Greg and Sylvia..and thanks again for the mighty hospitality and visits. Was awesome to see you both and Allison as well..been way too long. If you can stand the company well, I could make it an annual thing. Nothing like inviting myself aye..Talk soon. 

It is said morning is the best time to take photo's, but hey, when on a ride you take what you get. I did luck out on the shot with the blue and lines..not sure what the hell that place was, a dried lakebed. The colors and subject reminded me of some modern art thing that looks like wallpaper and seems popular these days. I like it. Will make a big print and see how it translate. 

Then there is the biblical storms that hit one on the road. Holycrap that greay road shot, was like the gods were trying everyting in their power to keep people off the road. Was all I could do to hold the bike between the ditches. Even cars would put their brakes on when a sidewind gust hit. The blackness and grey is what it was. Pretty funny though as not sure if it was the wind or the gods or what, but my gps was totally befuddled here, and as I get lost in a hallway, I was somewhat jittery as to where exactly I was going. Seemed to be taking me into the middle of nowhere. Then I ran into a whole pack of Mormans..yeah, know they were this cuz I stopped and asked where the hell I was. They were all mapped up, and following a pilgrim trail through the deserts. I told them of the pony express trail and they seemed intersested in that, as it too is part of the migration of pilgrims and others back in the day. 

Otherwise the pictures are just that. I don't want to get caught up in all the geological and map talk of where and when these are all from. It is just what it is and part of the meditation one would call distance riding on ones own. Yeah, just what it is. I like it that way less formal. 

I am rambling here here now, as I did not take notes, nor anything really but for the amount of gas ups and total miles. 

For me the whole venture of riding is like a meditation..four to ten hours on a bike with nothing to say, or anyone to talk to, makes one pretty clear on what is going on around, no distractions but the beauty and the curving roads. The curves are like an invitation to carry on to see what is beyond yonder curve. 

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_DSF4302.jpgMoab and my new best friend. Well he sort of was for ten days or so..Seems he has left me on the road though. Think there is a country song in that one. 

Crazy times, I met this dude in Winthrop. Showed him the campsite, we spent the evening drinking beers and wondering what we should do next. He had a sort of plan and I was just looking for a buddy to ride with. We both got what we needed. 

He has dumped me now however. Used me up and headed west..Not sure we will cross paths again, but would be great to catch up. 

We did cover alot of ground,and had lots of laughs, and fired big firearms, and had plenty of beers and miles to share. Oh we almost found religion as well. The Mormans secruity was not so sharp this night. First of all we slid into town without being detected, but when we tried to sit with the choir, well, that did not go over well..Ok, I am stretching this part of the story some, but hey, that is all good. My story afterall. 

Was truly awesome indeed. Oh, one pretty cool thing, I did manage to keep a promise to the big guy, told him I knew of a guy that was taller than him. Adrian the Kiwi stands at 6'6"...Also seemed to be a chic magnet. My god never a dull moment..Always remember Debbie aye boy...hahahha..

One of the missions on this trip was to see Old Faithful. Not to be. The park was closed and we had to go a day or more out of the way to go around, and we could not get in on that side anyway. Bummer. I have seen it, but buddy had not.

Yet another less in not making plans. 

The fuzzy crazy sign was sort of my feelings at the time. Jackson Hole. This is an in motion shot of the sign for the Million Dollar Saloon..Crazy place. 

For me as always it is the people on the way, besides Adrian the long kiwi, we met LT..that is what he goes by, and seems he has done a tour or two in some bad places. Funny dude though. Was going to ride his old nag of a bike to see his granddaughters..three of them think he said he had that he has not seen yet, ever..maybe they were great granddaughters..Funny guy would have been awesome to hang for awhile and get some stories. Next time. Had the time. The lament of the whole trip..nevermind. _DSF4756.jpg_DSF4774.jpg_DSF4776.jpg_DSF4784.jpg_DSF4844.jpg_DSF4854.jpg_DSF4880.jpg_DSF4885.jpg_DSF4891.jpg_DSF4895.jpg_Sm114684.jpg_Sm134686.jpg_Sm164689.jpg_Sm174690.jpg_Sm374739.jpg

 

 

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Some New Stuff on Etsy

Sep 15, 2015
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I am taking some of the images I did on the this last trip, I shot them all in color of course, but later on discovered how amazing some of them looked in black and white. A few samples here, and you get the idea. I have been thinking of using this blog site as abit of a promotional tool for my Etsy site, hope it works and not piss anyone off. Maybe one more reason to come back and see something new. Lets give it a go. And don't forget to check out the Etsy place, there is a ton of stuff up there.  

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SwankyPhotographic

I will be happy to make up some stories on each shot if it will help someone buy one. Hey, I gotta do what I gotta do. Cut me some slack and enjoy. 

Hope ya'all like the idea. cheers.

Black and White Glory, Images from the road. The loneliest Road. Black and White Glory, Images from the road. The loneliest Road. Black and White Glory, Images from the road. The loneliest Road. Black and White Glory, Images from the road. The loneliest Road.

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So, well, I hung in Winthrop the next morning trying to decide what to do and where to go next. I was taken by the feeling it was time to head home. Trip was done. There is a real sense of finality when you push that HOME button on the gps. Yeah, trip was over, now I anticipate the long line up at the border crossing, in the wicked heat, oh, can’t wait. 
But wait, I get there and drive right up to the window, not a car in the lot, and the border guard is real friendly and wants to talk about the trip, as it turns out she had rode highway 50 as well on her bike. Pretty cool, a clear sign that the trip was truly over. 
 
I stopped 59 times for fuel, and used about 192 gallons of gas..prices varied of course, and with the dollar exchange it is whatever. Did not bother on the what I spent on gas. Who cares, it is what it is. The trip was about 13,700 k’s..the only thing I did not tally was the amount or days gone. Did not keep actual track and don’t care. The days were just an ambigious continuation of time and place. Days don’t matter, you start when you start, load up the time till you are done. Numbers don’t really matter. 
So, that is it or now. Thanks for hanging on, hope you saw some photo’s you liked, and maybe you could make your own stories around some of them, and just maybe it al inspires someone to get on with it and just do it. 
Cheers.
 
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Well gotta say, I tried for a real long day out of Cave Junction out of the southern most part of Oregon, was shooting for Winthrop, that would be the entire width of Oregon, and most of washington. Almost made it, but got caught by dark in Winnachee, and had to stay in a real crap motel. Real crap. But had to laugh so hard as once in and drama’s averted, I noticed cords hanging from the lights on the headboard. Did not take notice earlier, so thought to turn them on as I was getting ready for bed, only to find that the cords just hung there, and there was no plug ins for them. Like how stupid that is. No power to the lights at all. Must be some law that says there has to be lights there, but nobody apparently said to put power to them. Could not help but laugh, Love those moments that you just would not make up. 


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I gotta tell ya, I am so lucky with such amazing friends. People I hardly ever see, short visits over many years. Greg and Sylvia, wow, what a story this year aye. Three weeks or so of tracking each other, never crossing or touching paths until we are past. What a strange set of coincidences and stuff. Love it when that all happens, but better when there is finally a connection to have a happy ending. 
Gotta say though, it was happy for me sort of. I mean what a fantastic place to get into. The Oregon Caves. Stroke of luck on that one. I think I owe you a pretty fantastic bottle of whisky or something. Great story though. 
The fact we could not connect but I get your room. The Hotel, Chateau, was pretty cool. would have been brilliant in its day. Just a bit time worn now but still quaint and friendly is sure. I actually had a restless night, as I felt obligated to sleep in each bed, sorry bout that, just trying to get your monies worth. HaHa.The walk through the caves, is very interesting, of course I paid the ten bucks for the walk. Pretty fascinating, marble caves, one cannot even imagine how old they are. The park dude said something about ten million or maybe it was two hundred million years hold, yeah, that might be it. Whatever it is, that is one hell of an old hole. Marble, crazy. 
So, yeah, thanks again for the amazing gift, and one day, just maybe I will be able to repay it..I know I know, you are not keeping score, but I will..
Cheers and it was fun Sylvia trying to connect by text. Better luck next time.
 
 
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                                                     Darren and Rochelle..awesome visit but short. 

 
Wonder how Cole made out in the soccer tournament. Rochelle how did the day go with the girls on the walk across the bridge? Bet you had a ton of laughs. Now I just wonder when you are going to do something for yourself. You’ll figure it out.
So, yeah, thanks again for the fabulous hospitality, and Darren, you did it again, those roads you were talking about, fantastic man. Can totally see your memories. Love the small roads and corners, hardly any traffic. Guess the fires could have had something told with that. The whole place was on fire. I was lucky however in that I just missed road closures and stuff and managed to wiggle my way out of there. Wicked smoke there for sure. So, like yeah, thanks again you guys, it was awesome to see you all if only for a short time. Maybe it is better that way. You don’t have to entertain me. Ok, another time..cheers to you all, and many many thanks for putting up with a wayward drifter. 
 
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Some slipped by me

Aug 04, 2015
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Highway 50 roadtrip...2015  www.crackof10.com

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