Posts Tagged With: Camping

Skyline with my loves

I’ve heard it said that happiness is only real if shared, and while I might not agree with this entirely, I do believe there is great joy in sharing our happiness with those we love and treasure.

With that in mind, it pleased my soul to spend another weekend in the glorious outdoors of the Pacific Northwest with my sweetheart, my son, and some dear friends.

 Heading up – it’s only a little over a mile, but it’s a steep mile! 😄💪

My son started out on skis but quickly tired. I got frustrated and chucked his skis in the woods, then had second thoughts and being attached to the sled, asked my darling if she wouldn’t mind retrieving them. 😘 

Our merry band arriving at Skyline Lake!

Camp was set up in good time ⛺ 

Woke up to fresh snow and blue skies! Coffee lap of the lake with my boy 😍☕ 

Categories: Alpine touring, backcountry, camping, Environment, Family, Father Son, Hiking, Inspiration, mountaineering, mountains, Outdoors, parenting, randonee, ski, washington, winter | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trading in the Land Yacht for a canoe! Father and Son paddle Lake Umbagog, New Hampshire!

We were riding west to New Hampshire with no particular destination in mind; I thought we’d end up in the White Mountains but for some reason that I don’t recall we headed a bit north until we hit Lake Umbagog State Park in Coos County, NH. What really appealed to me was the fact that Lake Umbagog has a bunch of remote paddle-in campsites that are accessible only by boat and that the lake was rated top 5 in New England for kayaking and canoeing and is also known as a fantastic fishing lake.

Welcome to Lake Umbagog State Park!

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There’s our canoe! We’ll give the Land Yacht a few days off 😉

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We’re off! I’ve always loved canoeing; Kristhawee looks like he’s enjoying himself too!

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We launched from the very south end of the lake, paddled straight north across the bay, then hugged the shoreline until we found our spot-

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There’s our destination up ahead on the left!

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We made it!

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This will do nicely! A big beautiful campsite with lake views a picnic table, fire ring, latrine and a camping platform!

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After setting up camp Kristhawee was keen to get out for a paddle and try some fishing. Let’s go!

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A good look at our campsite from the lake-

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Father and son enjoying some quality time at Lake Umbagog, New Hampshire!

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Getting late- let’s head back to camp!

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I’d been saving this cigar to celebrate hitting the 100,000 mile mark on the Land Yacht but at the time just wasn’t in the mood. Tonight was the perfect opportunity to enjoy a good cuban smoke!

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Categories: camping, Environment, Family, Father Son, Inspiration, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, Outdoors, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park Visitor Center and the most expensive campsite ever!

We followed the Acadia National Park Loop Road to Bar Harbor where we stopped for a well earned ice cream and to figure out where we’d sleep for the night. A beautiful tall ship in the harbor-

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Well deserved ice cream for the little guy 🙂

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Land Yacht still looking good with over 100,000 miles under her belt 🙂

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Sadly the Black Woods campground in Acadia was completely booked. Well, we were pretty much out of clean clothes and needed to do laundry so I looked up the nearest KOA- >$80 for a tent site!

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$80 for a camp spot?? What’s up with that??!? A couple shots of our camping spot. Not terrible, but certainly not worth 80 bucks…

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On our way to the KOA we stopped at the Acadia National Park Visitor Center so that Kristhawee could have a Ranger look over his workbook so that he could collect his Junior Ranger badge. Bravo son!

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We went for a stroll before dark and Kristhawee met some nice kids to play with. There was an old timer serving up lobster dinners, corn on the cob and clam chowder- good stuff!

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Tomorrow we ride to New Hampshire!!

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Categories: camping, Environment, Family, Father Son, Inspiration, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, National Parks, Outdoors, parenting, travelog, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father and Son ride east to the Boise National Forest and Pine Flats Campground!

Welcome to Idaho!!

I didn’t want to ride through downtown Boise so we skirted the city and followed the Payette River to the north, riding east towards the Boise National Forest-

A pleasant albeit slow ride through some small towns north of Boise-

East on country road 52-

Following the Payette River-

A pleasant ride and we avoided all the heat and traffic of Boise-

We stopped for food and fuel at Horseshow Bend at the junction of highways 52 and 55 and I consulted the large map on the wall-

Kristhawee talked me into buying him a rather nasty looking icecream. Turns out it was just as gross as I thought

On the road again! Now we’re riding north on Highway 55, still following the Payette River-

Highway 55 is a fantastic road!

A bit further north we hang a right onto the Banks-Lowman Road and and follow the South Fork of the Payette River east-

Smokey the Bear warns us of high fire danger, and I hear there are some large forest fires burning in the Boise National Forest, but so far the air is clear and no sign of smoke…

A fantastic ride and zero traffic!

Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway-

What a road! What a view!

A few short sections were under repair, but well marked and no drama-

Motorcyclists love these signs

Some serious earth moving equipment!

It’s getting late so we should pick a spot to camp soon. There are many National Forest campgrounds to choose from along this road and we chose Pine Flats on account of it’s attractive location right above the Payette River and the fact that there are some wild hotsprings nearby-

Categories: camping, Environment, Family, Father Son, Hiking, Inspiration, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, Outdoors, parenting, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father and son riding the Central Oregon Highway, July 2013

It feels good to be back on the road again!

Exiting Crater Lake National Park we turn right and head east on Volcanic Legacy Oregon Scenic Byway 138-

Approaching Dalles-California Highway 97-

We ride east on the 138, then north on the Dalles-California Highway 97 through Deschutes National Forest and Bend, Oregon, turning right and riding east again on the Central Oregon Highway 20 towards Idaho!

One thing I really dig about Oregon is it seems to have a lot more mom and pop businesses and has somehow resisted the invasion of the big national chains.

Bigfoot Tavern- the yeti features prominently in the folklore of the Pacific Northwest! Even bigfoot likes beer apparently

Just me and my boy and the open road- life is good!

Riding east on the Central Oregon Highway I think we might get wet…

This is some wide open country! Lots of OHV trails too. Some day when my boy has got his own bike!

106 miles to Burns, Oregon and from there it’s still a good ways to Boise. It occurs to me that we won’t reach Idaho today…

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When people think of Oregon they usually think of mountains and pine trees. Central and eastern Oregon remind me more of the great plains in the midwest-

Rest areas are few and far between out here-

Lots of abandoned buildings out here-

Cruisin along

Feel pretty small out here!

Lone backpacker / hitchhiker out in the middle of nowhere. Hope he can get a lift!

This is Hampton, Oregon, population 41!

We’ve got the road pretty much to ourselves-

Whole lotta nothing!

Doesn’t look terribly dry, but fire restrictions are in effect-

Was that someone’s home once upon a time? I can’t imagine what it would be like to live out here. Must be brutal in the winter…

Haha! I can’t remember what we were talking about, but what a face!

Still smilin’

Kristhawee is such an awesome kid. Never complains and is always up for adventure. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful son!

The small town of Burns, Oregon has got a Golden Arches. Kristhawee is psyched and I can finally check my email. Someone needs a haircut!!

While we’re hanging at McD’s I do a search for campgrounds and discover there are a bunch not far to the north in the Malheur National Forest, so after picking up some supplies in Burns off we go north on the John Day-Burns Highway 395-

The 395 is a nice road- nice to see some curves again!

I take it easy as it’s getting late and this looks like deer country-

Devine Canyon Scenic Corridor

Welcome to Malheur National Forest. “Malheur” is French for misfortune and strikes me as a rather depressing name for such a beautiful forest. I wonder if there’s a story behind the name…

We spot a weathered sign for the Idlewild Campground, pull in, and it’s pretty much deserted-

What do you think Kristhawee? Want to stay here?

He picked a good spot!

The gentleman managing the campground was a real nice fellow and told us that there might be some severe weather headed our way and that if it got ugly he didn’t mind us moving our bike and tent under the big picnic pavillion you can see off to the right in the above picture.

Idlewild Campground, Malheur National Forest, Oregon- if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, this is a good choice!

We wandered about and I quite enjoyed this hand carved wooden map of the area-

Lots of people told me I NEEDED a GPS for these tours, but honestly, paper maps do me just fine. Kristhawee seems to enjoy them too-

Dinner and a few pages from the Call of the Wild and we were soon fast asleep. The nasty weather never did materialize. Life is good!

Categories: camping, Environment, Family, Father Son, Inspiration, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, National Parks, Outdoors, parenting, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jungle riding in Laos and stitched up by the Lao Army!

Good morning from the Lao jungle, somewhere east of Ban Na Di!

Quite a nice spot we found, eh?

Poor Brian had come down with a mean case of Lao-belly in the night and slept in while Oddvar and I built a fire and cooked up some coffee.

Some more pics of our 5-star lodging

Oddvar and Brian had strung up their hammocks under the shack, while I set up inside-

My “room” even had a little “balcony”

I hiked back up the trail a bit to get some pictures of this handwoven foot bridge-

Before hitting the trail we cleaned up in and around the shack, leaving it a lot cleaner than we found it, and left a bag of food suspended on a hook from the ceiling as a way to say thanks to whoever owned this place

Back on the trail- water crossings galore!

Steep and slippery- can’t make it out at all in the pics…

In many areas the creek is the trail

Imagine this area must be pretty inaccessible during the rainy season…

Here comes Oddvar! Where the rocks were covered in algae it was super slippery!

The trail dipped in and out of the creek more times than I could count- really fun stuff!

I love these kinds of trails!

Can you see Brian?

We followed the trail that Brian had plotted out on Google Earth and converted to .kml and .gpx but soon ran into a massive pile of cut bamboo that completely blocked the trail… As I was trying to find a way around a guy with a big machete emerged and indicated we could not get to Muang Fuang this way. We asked him how to get to Muang Fuang and with a lot of sign language it seemed we need to go back a bit to where we’d passed a fork and that the other trail might get us to Muang Fuang…

Here’s a record of all the dead ends we found on this epic day!

Here’s the .gpx track: http://www.asianconnection71.com/2014-02-27%2008.55.13%20Day.gpx

Besides the track that Brian had plotted (in red) there were other trails indicated on OpenStreetMap.org that were tantalizingly close.

Come to another junction that’s not on any of the maps, Brian and Oddvar flip a coin to decide which way to go

A lot of logging, slash and burn farming on the hills, and rice paddies in the valleys that you can’t see on Google Earth. No real burning yet, but the sky is quite hazy today.

We chased up a lot of trails but each and every one eventually petered out or was impassible on bikes-

One might still get through on foot?

More obstacles on another trail-

I must confess I did something really stupid here- in my search of every little trail I lost my riding buddies I went down a small trail that I was sure would dead end, and sure enough it did, but by the time I got back to the main trail I wasn’t sure if Brian and Oddvar were in front of me or behind… Bonehead move on my part- I should have waited before going off the main trail, or at the very least left something to indicate where I’d gone. Apologies again to Brian and Oddvar for losing you guys!

I still wasn’t ready to give up on finding a way through and continued to explore a number of small trails. This one looked promising, until I realized I was headed in the wrong direction…

This was an awesome trail- super steep and it got me to within about 1300 meters of Brian’s plotted trail, but I ran into a slight obstacle…

Had I not lost my mates we might have considered dragging out bikes under this large fallen tree, but on the other side the trail was pretty much washed away-

If I had more time and more water I’d have hiked this trail to see if it connects, but I was running short of both, needed to find my riding mates and fuel was getting low too…

So close!!!

Time to turn around-

On another track I stumbled through what I’m guessing was an illegal logging camp-

No one around and I wondered how they would take to a foreigner on their turf… The deforestation in Laos is sad and shocking in its scale… At the rate they are felling the forests there won’t be much left for the next generation…

Alright, I probably shouldn’t loiter here too long…

Another great single track that dips in and out of a small creek-

Riding back the way we’d come I was relieved to find the fellas at a shack near one of the junctions we’d passed. But, it turns out it wasn’t really a planned stop- they’d been riding in the direction of Ban Na Di when some little Lao soldiers carrying some really big guns appeared on the trail and “escorted” them to the “shack” which it turns out was an army checkpoint…

They weren’t exactly unfriendly, but they also made it pretty clear that we were not to leave. They looked at our documents, made some calls on their radios and we sat around, trying to keep smiling and not lose our patience. I was out of water so walked down to the nearby creek to refill my hydration pack. Brian and Oddvar had already been waiting quite a while with the soldiers and Brian was feeling and looking pretty ill. We somehow managed to talk the soldiers into letting Brian and Oddvar ride back to Ban Na Di, while I remained in their custody. I still didn’t realize at this point that this detention was actually a bit serious… My mates have “escaped”, I’m still “stuck” here:

I was a hot sweaty mess and shed my jersey, armor and sweat soaked shirt which I hung outside in the sun to dry. In hindsight was perhaps not a very “polite” thing to do? The soldiers didn’t seem to care, but as I was chilling in the shack, with a pile of automatic weapons within easy reach, a pickup truck appeared with some senior officers. Damn, I could tell they were not impressed by this dirty shirtless farang lounging in their checkpoint, and they had a bit of a powwow to decide what to do with me. The soldier running the checkpoint got a good tongue lashing for letting Brian and Oddvar leave. Oh well. The officer told me to get in the truck and that one of the soldiers would ride my bike to wherever they were taking me. The hell with that! No way I was going to be separated from my bike, my bags, etc. Besides, none of them were more than 5 feet tall, there’s no way they’d be able to ride my KLX back to Ban Na Di. They didn’t seem very happy with my refusal to cooperate, but they didn’t push it either. Back in the truck and off they go while I’m “compelled” to stay put.

To their credit, the soldiers did invite me to lunch, but I was pretty pissed at this point and besides, the food they were eating looked positively dangerous. I suppose it was rude of me to refuse their hospitality, but I must confess that by this time I’d been sitting around for a couple hours and was getting a bit hot under the collar.

Soldiers came and went, always leaving their machine guns neatly stacked at the entrance to the shack, just feet from where I was lounging. No idea if they had bullets in them and I couldn’t figure out a polite way of asking… Again, while they were friendly enough, they were quite adamant that I was not to take any pictures of them or their weapons.

FINALLY a call comes through and they tell me I can leave. Just like that. Weird. So, I go out, put on all my gear, go to start my bike and discover that someone has stolen my key!

What the hell?!?! I ask them quite directly who has STOLEN my key and they don’t like me using the work “kamoy” (thief) one bit. A well, suck it! Confusion and radio calls and it’s revealed that one of the soldiers in the pickup truck had snatched my key, I guess to make sure I’d stay put? One of the soldiers tells me, using sign language, that I should hot wire my bike. Screw that dude! I’m going to sit here and annoy you guys until my key shows up! Cutting a long story short, they key did eventually materialize and I got the hell out of there.

You’d think that would be the end right? Wrong!

Leaving the trail and getting back onto the main road a couple soldiers with AK47’s blocked my path to Ban Na Di and wanted me to go the other way. I kept trying to explain that my friends were waiting for me in Ban Na Di and they kept insisting I go the other way… Finally the pickup truck with the officers showed up and they told me Brian and Oddvar had gone the other way and weren’t in Ban Na Di, which, as it turns out, was a bit of a lie… Oh well, who am I to argue with dudes with guns. I turn around and whack it. This was a brand new wide dirt road that doesn’t even appear on Google Earth of any of the GPS maps and it was actually a really fun ride:

Reach “civilization” and my bike is running on fumes, so top up, then set about looking for Brian and Oddvar. I’m wandering around town when the soldiers finally catch up with me. They want me to go to the police station. Egads, what next??!? We interrupt a police soccer game and some cops in soccer jerseys escort me to the Muang Meth Police Station. Yep, that’s right, we’re in METH town!

They stick me in a room but don’t lock the door, which I take as a good sign. Then a bunch of coppers come in and start asking me all the same questions the soldiers had asked several hours earlier and asking to see all the documents I’d shown before. Passport, drivers license, insurance and customs forms. Tedious! One thing that creeped me out a bit was that they asked me if I had a camera, I told them honestly, just my camera phone, then they went through all my pictures. $hit I’m thinking to myself, do I have any pics on there that they might consider illegal or offensive? Probably I do! Are they going to flip out when they see my pics of the illegal logging? But, in an odd twist of fate, the Lao Telecom SIM card that I’d purchased a couple days before had really messed up my phone, setting the date back to January, 2013, so all the pictures I’d taken in the last couple of days were at the very BOTTOM of my picture collection, and with several thousand pics on the phone, they never got close to seeing the logging pics.

On a positive note, Brian and Oddvar got picked up somewhere along the way and were also escorted to the police station, so our merry little band was reunited!

The ranking officer, in his Emirates soccer jersey was actually a really friendly guy. I asked him “pen arai” (what’s the problem) and he tells me “mai pen rai” (no problem), which is good news. Seems they just need to fill out a bunch of reports to document who we were and what we were up to…

As with the soldiers, the police couldn’t quite wrap their heads around the idea that we were riding around in the jungle for fun. I reckon that just doesn’t compute in rural Laos. They even made comments like, “Why aren’t you cruising on a big bike and staying in nice hotels”?

Tick tock, tick tock. Brian had visions of riding to Kasi or even as far as Van Vieng, but I was pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to reach either in daylight. Eventually they let us out of the “interrogation” room and we moved outside. We thought we were free to go, but no, once again, we have to wait and wait and wait… Every time we thought we were about to be released they’d tell us to wait some more.

Poor Brian was really in pretty rough shape-

One highlight for me though was inviting the soliders and police to sit on my bike. Such a shame we couldn’t take pictures- I swear none of the guys were more than 5 feet tall and they’d climb up onto the tallish KLX with it on the side stand with a look of accomplishment on their faces, then I’d pull the bike upright and everyone would howl in laughter as the “rider’s” feet dangled in the air

It was getting late and the soldiers and police started going home, but still we waited. Finally, shortly before sunset our passports were returned and we were free to go. Again, the friendly cop in the Emirates jersey said there was “no problem”, BUT, we should NOT ride in to the area where we’d been apprehended. My only guess is that they don’t want foreigners witnessing all the illegal logging going on in there.

Freedom baby! It was definitely too late to get to Kasi or Van Vieng and we were all beat! I found a really nice guesthouse- the Kham Phiane:

Big clean rooms for only 50,000 Kip and a sunset off their veranda that can’t be beat!

Sunset beers at the guesthouse then we wandered in to town where we enjoyed some tasty jungle bat with sticky rice- a local delicacy apparently

I know it looks a wee bit freaky, but trust me, jungle bat goes great with Beer Lao and some sticky rice!!!!

Categories: camping, Laos, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, Outdoors, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A dodgy river crossing and camping in the Lao jungle!

I must confess this crossing freaked me out! Grandpa’s wooden longtail boat looked almost as old as him, and watching the other boat slowly work its way across the Mekong from the opposite bank we could see how swift the current was. Unloaded these boats only sit a few inches above the water.

The two boatmen looked at the bikes and talked amongst themselves for a while before lashing the two boats together and motioning for us to put my bike on. They didn’t seem to care if I left it standing up, but in the interest of lowering the center of gravity I laid mine down, at which point the bike started pissing fuel as I’d lost the filler cap vent the night before during our dash around Pak Lay with my gear balanced on top of my tank… So, I had to sit there with my finger on the fuel cap for the entire crossing…

I thought we’d make three trips, one for each bike, but with mine loaded they then motioned to Oddvar to bring his bike aboard too

Brian’s pic:

© Brian Ennion, All Rights Reserved.

Man o man I’m thinking to myself, if a boat gets swamped or tips I am going to sink straight to the bottom of the Mekong wearing all my gear… I wonder to myself if I can hold my breath long enough to get rid of my boots. Probably I might manage to float / tread water for a while if I don’t have those weighing me down…

And we’re off! Another pic from Brian, this one with his new camera:

© Brian Ennion, All Rights Reserved.

We start off slow and it’s going well, then gramps decides to whack open his throttle and we get a bit sideways and water starts pouring into the boat “Here we go” I’m thinking to myself and I’m looking at grandpa wondering if he realizes we’re taking on water and he won’t get paid if he kills us…

He backs off on the throttle and starts bailing water out of the boat with his free hand. A couple minutes later, we reach the opposite shore and I breathe a BIG sigh of relief!!! Getting the bikes off the boats wasn’t easy- the landing was quite steep, but we managed it without dropping either bike into the river! A bunch of kids came to watch the crazy farang

Then I had to get back in the boat to go get Brian. Much better with no bikes and I even had a paddle!

Mekong river crossing selfie

There’s Brian!

With only one bike to load it goes a lot easier and this time across we don’t take on any water. Approaching the east bank:

Hallelujah! We survived!

Discover that at the top of the trail to the ferry landing there is a big new dirt road that takes us all the way to the main road at Ban Khi. I love these steel frame wooden bridges-

It was very hot. We stopped in Ban Khi for some drinks, then rode north on towards the small village of Ban Na Di. Here’s our track for this day, with the .gpx file attached below:

http://www.asianconnection71.com/2014-02-26%2009.29.11%20Day.gpx

Some nice water crossing along the way-

Dodgy bridge (better to just ride through the water I think!)

Here comes Brian!

This is the trail that we were going to try to find that would take us over the mountains to Muang Fuang:

Big respect to Brian for plotting this out. Here’s another angle:

If you play on Google earth it LOOKS like there’s a trail that goes all the way through. Of course, the problem with Google earth, as we were to discover, is that the images are often out of date, sometimes by years, so conditions on the ground may not match what you see on Google Earth.

Rex had apparently tried to ride through here from the other side once, but encountered gates and conditions that made him turn around. Fuark, the experienced enduro rider who rents dirt bikes out of Vientiane told Brian it couldn’t be done and that he’d had to rescue a guy who went in there by himself and got hopelessly stuck, abandoned his bike and hiked out!

Wow, sounds like FUN! Brian and Oddvar were also keen to give it a shot! We approached this with a “can do” attitude and all agreed regardless of success or failure it would be good fun to try and get through.

It was getting late so we stocked up on food and as much beer as we could carry in Ban Na Di, then hit the beginning of the trail. Right away it’s water crossing after water crossing and in many places the creek is the trail- brilliant stuff! No pics as we were running out of daylight and needed to find a place to camp. We spotted a farmer’s shack just off the river and strung up our hammocks there, bathed in the river, built a fire and cooked up some dinner- Mama Noodles and canned sardines washed down with Beer Lao! 5-star it was not, but we all went to bed with full stomachs!

Good stuff, eh Brian?

Oddvar and Brian eating sardines by the fire in the Lao jungle

Good night!!

Categories: camping, Laos, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, Outdoors, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A brilliant ride from Omkoi to Mae Ngao National Park, Thailand!

Mae Ngao National Park has been on my short list for a long time!
Last week I was finally on my way!!

Got the bike loaded on the train and we slowly worked our way north towards Chiang Mai. About 800 baht for the ticket and about 1200 baht for the bike.

Some other “weekend warriors” recently rode some of the trails between Omkoi and Mae Ngao and said it was spectacular. I’ve managed to sniff out a number of different routes that will take us west from Omkoi towards the 105 and Mae Ngao. FYI, all these trails are available for FREE on Openstreetmap and Google Maps. There’s some monkey in Chiang Mai trying to sell these tracks for several thousand baht!

Seems there are at least two ways to go. Southwest towards Sop Khong:

Or Northwest towards Na Kian:

Either way looks great and I’m hoping to do a big loop; will flip a coin to decide if we’ll do it clockwise or counter clockwise.

I was a bit apprehensive about taking the train as it’s been falling off the tracks a lot lately, but I figured it goes so darn slow that even if it did derail, the chances of injury are pretty slim If you’re not in a hurry it’s a great way to travel!

A few beers before bed and I actually got some sleep, then enjoyed the sunrise as we rolled through the mountains southeast of Lampang-

I enjoyed a terrible coffee and a fairly decent rice soup for breakfast-

I’d spent the previous day running around Bangkok getting ready for the ride, and the anti government blockades of many major intersections slowed me down quite a bit.

Still, made it to the new 320SP shop over in Wong Wian Yai-

And couldn’t find my bivy sack so made a run to TrekkingThai for a Siam Hammock:

I’d hoped to get new tires put on the bike before going to the train station but ran out of time. Current tires were well shagged…

I made some inquiries from the train and you all replied with some great suggestions:
Where to get off road tires in Chiang Mai?

Thanks again to all who replied! Owe you all a round!!

Categories: camping, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, Motorcycles, National Parks, Outdoors, Thailand, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father and son ride to the 41st Annual BMW MOA International Rally in Salem, Oregon!

Welcome to the 41st Annual BMW MOA International Rally in Salem, Oregon!
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Beemers, Bigfoot and Blue Skies! :mrgreen:

Kristhawee at the Oregon State Fairground in Salem, Oregon! He is a happy camper- coming here was totally unplanned; I just love how easy going he is :mrgreen:
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First order of business was to get registered and figure out where to camp.
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Tons of space at the Oregon State Fairgrounds- we chose the “Oak Grove” on the south side of the fairgrounds as it was close to the entrance, the folks there seemed quite friendly and there was plenty of shade under the big oak trees. A panorama taken from our spot; Kristhawee is playing with our neighbors dog 🙂
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Inside the fairgrounds, Beemers galore! (But if you look closely you’ll see that there are other brands mixed in)
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Wow, who knew BMW makes a 250cc dirtbike?! 😉
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So much to see at this rally! A huge list of vendors and tons of seminars plus a full entertainment schedule and more! The Vintage BMW Display and Contest was a highlight for both of us-
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I don’t know anything about these old bikes, but they sure are a pleasure to look at!
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Did BMW actually make bicycles? I couldn’t tell if this was genuine or a nicely done fake… I suspect the latter though…
http://www.asianconnection71.com/IMG_6688

Drum brakes, shaft drive, hard tail- awesome!
http://www.asianconnection71.com/IMG_6689

Not only vintage bikes, there were a lot of vintage riders at this rally!
http://www.asianconnection71.com/IMG_6683
This old timer rode all the way from the east coast on his 1975 BMW rat bike. He was pulling a home made trailer that looked like a torpedo on wheels- that was his camper! Mad respect to him for making the journey and I sure hope he makes it home alive!!

So much to see and do! Can’t go to a State Fair without enjoying a snow cone! :mrgreen:
http://www.asianconnection71.com/IMG_6680

The first night there were some great bands on the stage at the Amphitheater, with old school CANNED HEAT headlining! Yes! Canned Heat!
https://i2.wp.com/www.smokestacklightnin.com/images/Artists3/Canned%20Heat/promophoto4-2_copy.gif
The very same band that played at Woodstock back in 1969 is still going strong! Amazing!

Categories: Father Son, Motorcycle Trips and Tours, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Father and son camping at Redmond / Central Oregon KOA, Oregon, USA, July 2013

It’s a short ride from Prineville to the Redmond / Central Oregon KOA. (http://koa.com/campgrounds/redmond/) Nice campground set in rolling hills east of the Cascades- we could see the snow-covered peaks of Mt Jefferson and Mount Hood off in the distance. It’s been a hot day and they have a nice pool- little guy can’t wait to jump in!

We enjoyed a nice relaxing afternoon around the pool-

Happy Hour

As with most KOA’s this one has a well stocked store, free WiFi, hot showers, playground, etc. The staff were very friendly and there were a lot of kids for my son to play with-

We ended up sharing dinner with some kids that Kristhawee had befriended then Kristhawee and I played the classic game of Sorry as we waited for the laundry to get done-

Good night! Tomorrow we ride to Salem!!

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