Red Dog and Me

This is an on-going dialog between me and a certain motor scooter, namely a 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 that came to live with me in October of 2009. I've named the scooter Red Dog and as yet have not determined its gender. In the past when I've named boats, bikes, and other like characters I've thought of them as feminine due to their behavior characteristics. Red Dog I'm not so sure about...we'll see. Update: OK, Red Dog's a girl...with an attitude

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mar 18, 2010 Apple Pie, Oysters, & Road Hazards!

Red Dog’s modified saddle came back from Rich’s Custom Seats on the 16th and yesterday was time for a test ride. The coastal weather Gods were smiling so it was on the road again, this time heading to the little town of Reedsport located about 60 miles north on highway 101. I had several stops in mind, one, a friend has been looking for a vintage ice chest to use as a gas tank container for a hot rod he’s building. I’d spotted one in an antique shop in Reedsport several months ago and figured it might be a good place to check into.

Then I had a couple of food stops to make, Kitty’s “Christmas is all year ‘Round” in Winchester Bay just happens to make the best pies in the area. At $20 they’re not cheap but they’re the best and worth it. Kitty is a great lady and will let you combine flavors all in one pie if you tell her what you want. Apple is always high on my list so I usually get half apple and whatever else strikes my fancy. My girlish waist line suffers for this but I doubt it’s cutting too many years off my life so I do it every few months.

After Kitty’s I’ll head to Clausen’s Oyster Farm in North Bend for a pint of their extra-small morsels. I’ve been going there for a number of years and never been disappointed yet, like Kitty’s they’re the best. Sadly the owners have decided it’s time to sell so they can retire and travel. I can only hope the new people will maintain the local flavor as to how they run the business but it will probably get snapped up by one of the mega outfits. If I had a few extra million lying around I’d be tempted but that’s not likely to happen soon.

Anyway that was my itinerary for the day and I intended to make the best of it with other stops along the way. Sunshine is way too precious to waste indoors, right? So here we go…

This is part of Old Town, Reedsport. It’s a fun place to visit, lots of curio shops and small café’s.

Kathi’s Vintage Antiques, Gifts, & Collectables is located on the main drag through town. They have a nice assortment of stuff, some new but mostly old. I like her place and always find time to stop when I pass through Reedsport.

I found they still have the vintage Coke cooler so I shot some pics to email to my friend. Their asking price is $400 which seems a bit steep to me but I don’t do old coolers so maybe that’s a good deal?

After leaving Reedsport I headed south to Winchester Bay where I stopped to buy an apple/chocolate chip pie at Kitty’s Kitchen. (Edit: I had to explain this to a friend at breakfast this morning so maybe I should do so here as well. When I say my pie was apple/chocolate chip it means Kitty removed half of an apple pie - already baked - from its plate and replaced it with half of a chocolate chip pie - already baked. I didn't mean she mixed chocolate chips in with an apple pie & baked it. Eww....I'm not so sure how that would taste but it doesn't sound very good.)

Winchester Bay is the neatest little town, lots of old boats being restored and a calm harbor for mooring your fishing boat. It’s also home to lots of great little restaurants so if you ever go there be prepared to eat! If by chance you're an artist you'll nearly always find someone painting or sketching the boats & harbor, especially during the summer.

Leaving Winchester Bay I had the option of continuing south on 101 but instead I chose to head west and visit Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. On the way I paused to view Winchester Bay from the vantage point of Jack Unger Memorial Wayside, a site dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives at sea.

After that I continued on to the Umpqua Lighthouse where I stopped for pics of the lighthouse and the Pacific Ocean surf off in the distance. This is a particularly beautiful area and should never be missed by travelers. The state park adjoining it offers some wonderful hiking trails around a lake plus great fishing. The campground is typical of Oregon’s State Park system; once you’ve been there you’re spoiled forever.
Back on the road I headed to Clausen’s Oysters located on the north side of Coos Bay. Usually I pick up a quart but since Linda is gone all week attending a seminar I settled for a pint.

Years ago I was fortunate to meet two ladies who had just published a book titled Oyster Cookery and in it was the best recipe in the world for pan fried oysters. I’ve stuck with their instructions and I can guarantee they turn out wonderful every time. Oysters are one of those food things for which there's no middle road, you either love them or not. I'm lucky, they're one of my favorite things.

 Red Dog’s top box is perfect for this type of outing, there’s plenty of room for things like pies and bags of iced oysters, etc. so we headed south through Coos Bay figuring to reach our home south of Bandon by 5:00pm or so. As I was riding along I realized I’d not had to shift around on the new saddle at all, it was as comfortable as could be. Rich had solved the sliding issue by whatever means and the ride was really nice.

Did you ever notice when things are going really well that’s when the you-know-what hits the fan?

Just as I passed a logging road entrance to highway 101 I noticed a lot of rocks on the road, the kind that log trucks discharge from their dual-wheels when they pull onto blacktop. Shortly thereafter I hit one of the damn things and it was really solid, making a loud bang and I knew at once one of the tires was gone.

Red Dog didn’t react like some bikes, she gave a small shudder but nothing drastic yet I knew there was something seriously wrong so I pulled over. Sure enough the left front tire was flat. I rolled her backwards while inspecting for damage but couldn’t see a break in the tire, just a total lack of air, i.e., flatter than the proverbial pancake.

Ah hell I thought; time to call AAA so I did. That’s why I have their service plus I didn’t feel like fiddling around with tire repairs while log trucks and semi trucks were thundering past me.

Their tow truck showed up about 30 minutes later and using his truck’s air supply we tried to pump the tire up. No dice, the rim evidently took quite a hit so we loaded her onto his flatbed and headed home. Once there we off-loaded Red Dog and I rode her down the driveway to the garage where she’s resting.

I’ll have a look at her wheel in the next day or so to see what the damages are but for now it’s time to kick back and relax. Even though the day ended on a bit of a sour note there’s still apple-chocolate pie in the fridge and a pint of extra-small oysters waiting to be fried and that’s a very good thing, isn’t it?

Post Script: The tire is gone, busted right at the rim with a hole way too big to fix so I've ordered in a new set all around. The fronts are sensitive to being matched up and I figured I may as well do the rear one too; that way I'll be ready for my ride south later this spring.

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