Saturday, August 25, 2012

On to Southern Oregon

A lot has happened since our last post. We were in Red Bluff for about 2 1/2 weeks while we waited for our truck to be fixed. We took advantage of the delay with a little more sight seeing and taking advantage of a silver lining to the black cloud of breakdowns.

We drove down to Corning, CA to visit the "Olive Capital" of the world. Sure. I wonder how many places call themselves that? I know Lindsay, CA in the San Joaquin valley also calls itself that, but I guess the distinction is that Lindsay produces mostly black olives. Corning has only green olives. We went to two different tasting rooms and tried various offerings. It was interesting what they thought of to do to olives, but we bought nothing since neither of us are big olive affectionados.

As for the silver lining, our motorcycle seat has always been uncomfortable when riding for long distances. There are a couple custom seat manufacturers in the country, one of which is located just north of Redding. I had called them a couple months ago about having a custom seat made, but the were booked up for the summer. Since we were in the area and had time on our hands, I called on Monday the 13th to see if they ever had cancellations. It turned out that their Thursday appointment had just cancelled, so we were in luck.

We rode up first thing Thursday morning and they measured us and took photos of us sitting on the bike. We returned about 11:30 for a test sit, then again at 4 PM when it was done. In addition to the seat, with velour inserts, we ordered a driver backrest and had a custom backrest pad made for Dianna that attaches to the storage trunk on the back. We have not taken any long trips with the new seat yet, but so far it is much more comfortable that the stock seat. They tell us that it takes about 1,000 miles of riding for it to get completely broken in. So far, so good.



The truck was finally fixed and we picked it up on Friday, the 17th. Let's just say that it was not an inexpensive repair. Saturday morning we headed north again, toward our goal of the Olympic Peninsula. We got as far as Sutherlin, OR where our club has a very nice RV park. At first we planned to stay for the weekend and leave on Monday but decided to stay an extra day.

When we were in Lassen a couple weeks earlier, I had a weird experience. I saw flashes of light at the periphery of my vision in my right eye. It was something I had never seen before. Since then I have had a lot of floaters in the eye. My vision was fine, but I decided I should have it checked. It turns out that there is a major VA hospital in Roseburg, 10 miles south of Sutherlin. I went there on Monday and the ophthalmologist checked me out.

It turns out that what happened is very normal. It happens to most everyone, but not everyone even notices it. Occasionally some of the fluid in the eyeball will harden and pull away from the retina. When it does it can cause floaters for a few weeks until things get reabsorbed. In my case, when the fluid pulled away, it tore a tiny capillary which caused a little blood to leak into the fluid. This made my floaters more than normal. It is not a problem and I should be back to normal in a couple more weeks. I'm glad I had it checked.

After the VA hospital visit, we did some thinking and some more research. We are approximately 9 weeks behind our original schedule for the summer, and after checking the seasonal temperature averages for the Olympic Peninsula for September, we decided we did not want to go any further north than where we are now. The weather here in Sutherlin is beautiful this time of year. Except for the day we arrived, the highs have been in the low to mid 80's and the nights in the 50's. There is much to see and do around here, and the park we are staying in is one of the nicest we have ever been in.

We've already been busy exploring the area, but that will wait for the next post.


  1. Richard,
    I had the same thing happen in my eye I think. The ophthalmologist said it was the vitreous humor detaching from the retina, very common in people our age. There is a slight risk of retinal detachment when it happens, but I think once it is complete the risk decreases or goes away. It scared me at the time -- I thought I was losing my other eye!

    Regarding your scooter seats; I hate to say it but they look a little girly, don't you think? It doesn't look like a real man's scooter any more, but I guess comfort is the main thing. :)

  2. When you are sitting on the seat, I can't see how it could look "girly". Your whole rear would cover it, and the only look would be comfort. As far as the backrest goes, with your back, anything which would make it more comfortable would be most helpful.

    I, too, was scared when you started having flashes, etc. in your eye. Thankfully, you found an ophthalmologist nearby to reassure you. I have floaters all the time, and some kind of "lightning" which causes balls of light to cross from upper or lower center of my vision to the center of the side. Sometimes, it is frequent; other times I go days with no flashes. Many of my great-grandchildren already wear glasses.

  3. Girly? Anyone who rides a Harley would say the scooter itself is girly. If I cared about what people thought I wouldn't be riding a scooter. I'd be riding an overpriced, noisy, rough riding, vibrating piece of crap that is broken down more often than it runs.

    Besides, no, I don't think it looks girly. I think it looks comfortable, which it is. We took a 200 mile trip to the coast and back today. Huge improvement in comfort and the velour is not only cooler than vinyl or leather, but it also breathes better and helps keep you from sliding around.

  4. When I saw the seat my first thought was "comfortable" which is extremely important when you're riding a few hundred miles.

    I get tired after 50 miles on my bike but at least that 50 miles goes by really fast. ;)

    Are you planning to do any clamming over at the Oregon beach? I still remember our time at Kalaloch.

  5. I never thought about scooter seats being uncomfortable, but I guess it would be tiring to ride for many hours on a firm "horse".

    I don't understand what about the weather forecast made you change your minds about going farther north. Is it nicer in southern Oregon than the Olympic peninsula this year? Regardless, I hope you enjoy wherever you call home for the time being.

  6. Donna, The average highs on the Olympic Peninsula for September start about 70 and drop to about 65 by the end of the month. That is pretty cold weather for motorcycle riding, especially if it's cloudy. July and August average in the mid to upper 70's.

  7. Ah ha, you want a bit warmer weather for scooter trips. I get it!