F I N E   H Y D R O C A L   C A S T I N G S   B Y   C.   C.   C R O W    
  P.   O.   B O X   1 4 2 7         M U K I L T E O,     W A     9 8 2 7 5     U S A    


A-48, Arches National Park, the perfect campsite.

The Fine Art of Motorcycle Touring


Motorcycle Stories and Other Assorted Tales

by C. C. Crow

1997 Sawtooth Rendezvous

9-2 TUE
We'll be a little late, as I'm checking things on the bike, I'm going through the junk crammed in my faring, I notice I can see right through to the floor. The floor! I shouldn't be able to see through the faring to the floor- there's a big hole in my faring, big cracks and a chunk is missing. Great. I go to Bent Bike, I'm in luck, there are four to choose from, an old white one, too banged up, one somebody has sprayed green with a rattle can, and two gray ones, an older style without turn signals, and a Windjammer V, in good condition. I ask how much? $200 and $250. How about $225 for that one, sure. Only I get home and discover it has cracks too. I'm pissed.

9-3 WED
So I take the faring back in the morning and exchange it for the other gray one. Looks like I'm not leaving today. I cut holes in it for the clock and voltmeter, it's mine now. Mount the turn signals which I didn't realize were stuffed away inside it. A package deal, it's brand new. I tighten the front steering bearing while I'm at it, and change out the points while I am at it. They are very difficult to adjust. I set the timing but wonder if they are correct for the ignition booster. I don't recall if Bill ever told me. I just remember him saying, there, you'll probably never have to touch them, but that was 75,000 miles ago. I notice the left carb float is sticking, drips when turned off. The bike is getting old. This is a lot of work! Takes all day.

9-4 THUR
Finish tuning and packing, eat lunch, I'm not out until 3:30 p.m. Oh well, traffic isn't that bad, up over Stevens Pass, I swing into Snohomish, nothing moving, a double stack is set out with the doors open- I see a train stopped at Berne so i go back and check it out. The engineer tells me the stack train went through the tunnel with a door open and tore out the phone lines, it wouldn't be till midnight that trains would be moving again. I go to GAINER and camp, explore and find the hobo camp, have a nice fire and watch the stars.

9-5 FRI
Trains start moving around midnight, good spot to watch. I break camp and head down the hill towards Wenatchee, check out sub- station, security guard lets me go, noting I'm on public street. Stop at Safeway, right on guy checks out my bike, right on. Stop at Quincy for lunch, down through Orthello, look for remains of Milwaukee, can't find any at all. Down through the wheat fields to Lyon's Ferry, $10 but only 25 cent showers. I debate if I should go on, decide to stay, have to cook a steak, Canadian neighbors, I was going to cowboy camp but lightening on horizon scares me, it starts to rain just as I finish, lasts about half and hour and that's it.

9-6 SAT
Talked to neighbor Ron again, told him some favorites. Stopped at Starbuck to check out bank, talked to lady about town history, used to be a turntable and roundhouse. Saw Ron go by, play cat and mouse with him all day. Stops at Dodge, Pomeroy, then into Lewiston, stop at Hell's Canyon info center, closed on Saturdays! New Oregon map shows road is paved between Enterprise and Ocbow Dam, cool short cut, or at least a new way to go. Stop in Asotin for haircut from Daryl, kids want to trade bikes with me, they'll even throw in a snowmobile. Ride up the grade across the wheat fields then drops back down into canyon, great road! I see Ron's bike at GRANDE RONDE cafe so I stop for pie. Looks like a good place to fish. Well, I'd better get moving. Up grade onto the plateau through pine forests and fields into Enterprise and Joseph, nice place, check out WALLOWA LAKE, even more nice. Ten miles out at junction I notice a small sign that says road is closed to Halfway. I'm screwed! I ask a pick-up if this is the only way across- Have a nice ride! So I jet back and round on rt 82 through Elgin and La Grande. The light is gone through UNION and I camp at Catherine Creek.

9-7 SUN
I'm up early but it still takes an hour to get packed and going. Back down to I-84 in jet mode for a while into Ontario, I take Rt 30 to 52 up to Horseshoe Bend, stop for corn, and along river for lunch and a shampoo, then up to Banks, road is washed out around every other bend, closed on weekdays! Beautiful day. Old Lowman Lodge burnt down, up road for gas, meet friendly girl from 'Iowa' at view point, had cowboy music on real loud. Lots of places to fish and camp. On into STANLEY at 4:30- no Rooti. Call home to report in. Wait till 5:15 and head up to camp, traditional site 7, $9. Set up tent, go back into town, finally, there's Rooti, okay, let's party, go to store, no chops, but chicken, the corn I bought is good, actually great, but the chicken- Party and tell stories.

9-8 MON
Run into town for fishing license, no meat but we're told to go to Jerry's, good store. Fish down lower river, catch 9" Rainbow, fun, back to camp, chops for dinner, quick goof off day, yard in fire wood.

9-9 TUE
We take a run up to REDFISH LAKE for Mexi- chicken sandwich lunch, do some fishing below the lake, nothing but nice wade, back to store for spaghetti supplies. I run out to stream for evening bite, catch three small brook trout, beauties.

9-10 WED
The hike- ate breakfast and up Iron Creek trailhead, started up and I can barely remember it, key points are the sign and trail box, then the hill sides, and then the Sawtooth Mountains. I'm surprised by how easy I can hike- guess those walks are good for you. The first 1 3/4 miles seemed like nothing, we are surprised by sign 3-1/4 miles to Sawtooth Lake. It looked like 3-1/2 miles total on the map, not 5! Oh well, the trail goes through the trees, then along the side of the mountain, then that. We begin to remember the views, which are very nice, reminds me of Wheeler Peak or Surprise Lake in the Tetons. Then the lake which is one thing I definitely remember, cupped by the jagged peaks. Some nice clouds are threatening, the rangers give us a list of the rules- that go into effect next week. The rangers have goats. The fishing is supposed to be good over there, yeah, right. I try over there and maybe have one bite. Oh well, I was just doing it for fun. We eat lunch and enjoy the view. The water is so clear. We check out the next lake, no fish. Finally we head down. My legs begin to feel it, but not bad for about 12 miles. We have hot dogs for dinner. It begins to rain, hail.

9-11 THUR
It rained for an hour or two with thunder and lightening, the works. Just when you think its over it starts back up again. We spend the morning in the tents with tea and cookies. I catch up on the journal and look at the star chart. I almost have the sky down. Adding a couple new ones each year seems to work. For lunch we get a fire going once the rain stops. My tent is spattered with dirt and a little wet inside. Need to treat it. When we get a chance we go into town. Everything is fine until we turn around, the rain has snuck in on us. We wait it out at the Merc. It passes but the dirt road is a mess. I can't decide if it is bugs or stones, both I guess, yuk, or just road chips. We start another fire when we get back and cook our chops for dinner, with rice, good, about the time it stops not raining. So much for my prediction. We go hang out with the neighbors under their canopy, tells stories and call it a night. I notice my tail light assembly has come loose.

9-12 FRI
Fortunately, it's not raining in the morning, but it's not sunny either like we had hoped. We have breakfast and start packing, the faring go back on, then piece by piece all the junk. We keep a fire going to keep warm. Just when I get to my tent, just when a little sun comes out, it begins to rain. I'm pissed but oh well, I needed to wash my drop cloth off anyway. The tent goes in wet. I decide to dress for rain- to make it stop. One last time down the dirt road, with a full load, its more scary- the only way to do it is above 30. Finally onto the pavement, through Stanley for the last time, we head down the highway to Galena Pass. It's chilly and spits rain here and there- but its a beautiful ride, the mountains and the clouds. Rooti stops and puts on his long johns. We stop at a viewpoint going up the pass and notice there is snow on the peaks. We stop a couple more times on the other side and recognize the backdrop of Clint Eastwood's movie Pale Rider. I hope my photos come out all right. Its spectacular though the lighting isn't that good. We stop at the visitors center and ask about the weather but they don't know. The mountains and the boulders. Into Ketchum, there's some money there, we stop in Hailey for groceries steak, potatoes, beans and bread, Paul's angled isle. Last night chow down. We stop at a trailer court desert for lunch. Down back road and across to CRATERS OF THE MOON CG, site 9, $10, wait till morning. The sun and wind dry us out instantly, start a fire and cook the potatoes, tin foil method, Rooti cooks the beans, everything comes out great. We have Nigra Modes with dinner, then get down to some star gazing- get through everything we know and add Andromeda, pick out Scorpio and Speca beyond, Sagittarius is real obvious. The moon is at 3/4 but hides behind some clouds. We watch the clouds too and wonder why they form the way they do, then finally we can't put if off any longer- it's time for bed.

9-13 SAT
Good-bye Rooti day, time to get up, put everything back onto the bikes, the ranger comes early, Rooti says he doesn't have any money, I cover him by asking for change for a fifty. It looks like a nice day, billowy white clouds line up in the sky, finally loaded up we say our good-byes, come visit or maybe we should do Hawaii. Rooti turns east and I head west. Bye Rooti, be safe. It's the same ride I did two years ago, but that was evening and this is morning- its nice not to have the sun in your face, I move right along thinking about the things I might have to do when I get home. I pass by the horses I tried to take a photo of last time, then bust onto the Interstate in jet mode. I get off before Oregon so I can pump my own gas. I almost go for more corn, it's just a mile or two up the way. Back to the highway, zooming along, crazy people in Boise make me nervous, I pull off in Lime for a rest, check out the destruction of the old cement plant, then into Baker City, look for a laundry but can't find one so I look for a phone book, which are equally as elusive, finally find one and wash all. I should climb in. Go to Safeway and buy some ribs, why not? Head for Sumpter Valley, check out steam train and town, looks like I should have gone to the steak house, its crowded, up the road to GRANITE CG, a junk camp but it will do, I yard out a tree, start up a fire, set up camp, and enjoy my corn and ribs.

9-14 SUN
Do I have to get up? I'm not sure which way to go, up the road to Granite, old mining town, dredge piles all over the place, "Bottle of Ice", dog tries to steal my ribs, across mountains through Uurm (?) lunch break at view point, down to Ukiah, gas up, call home, it starts to rain. Head down hill to Pendleton, take old highway along Umiltila River and UP RR, chase train on lousy road, , check out Hinkle Yard, but its raining, cross Columbia River and down Rt 14 to Maryhill CG, site 67, windy, side shows, eat ribs and beers, take nice over-due shower, check out Stonehedge at dusk.

9-15 MON
It rained most of the night, neighbors pulled out, all the tenters but me gone, I wait for a lull. It doesn't look too bad but starts up again about the time I leave with my rain gear on. I skip Maryhill Museum and head down the Gorge stopping here and there, check out Wishram with a train coming in, Take photos of tunnel and check out side roads, then it really starts to rain. Stop in Washougal for burger, think about going to Irene and Fred's but turn north on I-205 where it is really bad but break through about the time we hit I-5. Check out Castle Rock, a no nothing town, no interesting RR industry, back to highway, at Olympia it starts up again and pours all the way home. I love this stuff, just add rush hour, you gotta love Seattle. I make Pa take a drown rat photo of me.

1997 Short Trips and Car Camping

For years I had been mostly ignoring my own state of Washington and kept thinking someday I should spend more time touring there. For instances, it had been years and years since I had been out to the Olympic Peninsula. I knew it was a great place but I just haddn't gotten around to it, I supposed because all of my trips headed mostly east, not west. In 1997 I toured it twice.

A Quick Night Out

Mother's Day - Mom and Dad are back east visiting and the weather was so nice I took off Sunday afternoon, 3 p.m. after the ball game (M's lost in extra innings!) and went over NORTH CASCADES - the first weekend it was opened for the year. 12 feet of snow on both sides of the highway, just wide enough to get my motorcycle through. It was great, in the 80s down below. For some reason I refused to really prepare, no leather coat, I paid for it when it started getting dark- no lantern either, when it was dark. I camped at Early Winters CG. Drove around through Okanagan next day, back home by Steven's Pass. Nice little trip, I hadn't done N. Cascades for years.

Just Say No!

Portland NMRA Regional Convention- I got suckered into doing a clinic. Glenn turkeyed out on me along with everyone else- I did it anyway. Kept putting it off, and off, then finally at the last moment, the week before I'm looking over my slides thinking that they need all sorts of work, adding here, taking there, and oh, dividing them in two, basic and advanced model building, so the night before I need to leave I'm downstairs with slides all over the place, trying to resort them. I'm supposed to be off early in the morning but you know how that goes. And I'm supposed to be stopping along the way taking photos. Yeah, right, I'm out of time and driving like crazy non-stop, fighting with the traffic. This is no fun. Finally, I get off the highway, take the back roads a little bit. But I have to stick mostly to I-5 and arrive with ten minutes to spare. After all that there are a dozen guys in the room. I think they enjoyed it but I know to say NO next time. No big deal. I go to Irene and Fred's for the night. Next day after chopping some wood and stacking it, I follow the Columbia River westward on the Oregon side, cross over at Longview, check out Willow Grove. Nice ride up Abernathy Creek, camp above a clear cut- top of the world view, huge campfire. Then around OLYMPIC PENINSULA, to Lake Quinault, site 25 I think, very nice beach site. I check out lots of places. Weather report is for drizzle so I head for home. Have a little mishap when I leave motorcycle on side stand for a moment to take a picture at Discovery Bay- big mistake as I think truck passes and blows it over. Take picture and turn around- Oh great. Run back and remove saddle bags, lift up half way and notice State Patrol has just pulled up. Lost my flip-flop somewhere. We both look for it. Gone. I'm thinking I'll toss the other one in the bay as I cross Hood's Canal bridge but just before I start to smell something burning, rubber! Now I know where the missing flip-flop is, jammed down between my rear brake and wheel. A little worse for wear, but okay. Tell the cop at the next pull off. He must think- yeah, I'm nuts. 8 o'clock ferry to Edmonds, stop at Glenn's for kebobs.

Fishing With A Smelly Dog

Glenn and I take his camper over to fish the Tenaway in early summer- nice but running too hard to catch any. Harley, his dog, goes and rolls in shit. Smart dog. He's thinking okay, this is the part they warned us off in the kennel, someday just when you think everything is fine your owner will take you camping, grab you when you least expect it, pull you down into the stream, and drown you!

Car Camping

I take another tour around the Olympic Peninsula with my nephew Eric, in the Land Cruiser, across the Edmonds ferry to Heart of the Woods, through to Lyre Creek CG, out to Cape Flattery and Mora Beach CG, then to Hoh Rain Forest. Kalaloch Beach was full at 10 a.m. So we went down to South Beach. Next day, Saturday, back to Quinault, decide to come back home.

Also camped at Mt. Rainier with my nieces, Julie and Kris, for two nights at White River. Where do I plug in my hair drier? What a hoot. No, they loved it (I think). Went for day hike above Sunrise, slide in snow, chicken dinner, then drive to White Pass for lunch, and Paradise afterwards for hike, cheese and marshmallow incident. Complete with bugs and campfire stories.

  Next Log - 1998  


  1980   Datsun Roadster Trip - Sorry, no log

  1981   Solo On My New Bike - Sorry, no log

  1982   We Need More Time! - Sorry, not loaded yet

  1983   Stray Cat Tour - Quit Your Job and Go All Summer

  1984   Lost Tour - Colorado, Havasu, Lake Powell

  1985   Girl-i-tus Tour -

  1986   Alb Q Q Loop -

  1987   Freeze Fry Trip -

  1988   The Grand Tour -

  1989   ALASKA - The Ultimate Tour -

  1990   A Month, A Week and A Few Days -

  1991   The Forgotten Trip - No Motorcycles!

  1992   NO TOUR - Sorry, not loaded

  1993   NO TOUR - Sorry, not loaded

  1994   Who's In Charge? Tour -

  1995   Not Sure Where Tour - No real plan

  1996   Back To Alaska - Sorry, not loaded

  1996   Jasper Car Camping - Sorry, not loaded

  1996   Broken Cut Foot Tour -

  1997   What Trip? - Sorry, not loaded

  1998   TOUR - Sorry, not loaded

  1999   TOUR - Sorry, not loaded

  2000   Nailed In Montuna - Sorry, not loaded

  2001   A Tiny Solo Trip - Sorry, not loaded

    and A FEW DAYS

    Motorcycle Stories


    Truth blended with Fiction

    T O U R   L O G S    

    P H O T O   G A L L E R Y    

    I N   T H E   G A R A G E    



  C. C. CROW     P. O. BOX 1427      MUKILTEO, WA   98275   USA