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Hi and welcome to my motorcycle trip blog. Here you will find motorcycle trip reports primarily based in the State of Washington. The entire state is my walk in the park. From the Pacific Ocean and Olympic mountains in the west, to the magnificent Cascade mountains, to the desert and agricultural lands in the east, Washington has it all. Born and raised in Washington I have over 40 years of motorcycle experience. Here you will find a wealth of experience regarding the weather, roads and seasonal patterns of this scenic wonderland. Enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Eastern Washington Clouds

 Due to dry weather I have had a pretty good spring season on my FJR riding about 4800 miles since March 1st. Right now I am caregiver for my wife who had rotor cuff surgery so I am limited to day rides. But there is some great day riding in Spokane Washington. More good news is she is recovering well.

Two days ago I mounted a set of PR4GTs on the FJR. Nothing went right and because I am dumber than Redfish so it took a long time to overcome obstacles even those not of my own making.

The first problem was the front tire valve stem wasn't coming out. Twist, twist, twist and more twisting. Finally enough of of the stem was above the stem so gently pulled it out. The valve stem seal remained inside the stem. Shucks. To remove the seal I had to remove the valve stem using a 14mm 3/8 drive socket. Said socket was no longer in my collection having lost it two weeks prior. I had purchased a replacement but grabbed a 1/2" socket instead. The 1/2" drive 14mm socket did not have sufficient clearance so it it was off to the hardware store. With a proper socket in hand I was able to remove the 90° aluminum valve stem and the seal.

The front tire was mounted without issues. Easy even.

The second problem was of my own making. I have PIAA auxiliary lights mounted on the front fender. It is a distraction to remove the lights and stow them by means other than dangling by the electrical wire.

I put the front tire back on, then installed the brake calipers only to find the front tire rotated with difficulty. Removed the brake calipers, front tire rotates well, reinstalled brake calipers, front tire does not rotate well. Dam lamps continue to get in the way.

Somewhere along the line I neglected my care giver duties. Wifey clearly is not happy. Change gears cause happy wife is a happy life. How is it there is no quid pro quo for this statement?

Somewhere along the way I figure the brake discs were offset. No Redfish brain cells were abused in this exercise. Redfish is too smart to install the axle collars in reverse. I blame this on my fixation with stowing the PIAA lights.

After putting the left collar on the left and right collar on the right, where they belong, assembly went well less the damn mounting of the PIAA bracket to the front fender mount. PIAA in there infinite wisdom choose to use one bolt to mount the bracket. Bad choice. It is a soft mount with a collar and a rubber grommet. I decided to replace the nearly stripped hex head bolt (don't ask) with a socket head bolt. My bolt collection come up a winner only having to cut 1/4 inch off bolts I had on hand.

Rear wheel comes off without trouble. Rear tire mounted easily.

Wifey informs me it is past dinner time. Switch gears, see paragraph 7 above.

Rear wheel mounts just fine although aligning the slot and projection on the rear brake caliper is fiddly.

Clean garage, put stuff away, wipe down dirty air compressor, take bike off center stand to find the front tire is flat. Add air. Valve stem is leaking so I tighten till leaking stops. Move bike to it's usual spot. Check tire pressure the next morning. No pressure drop. Yea!

After all that trouble I am going for a ride. Tell wifey I won't be home till 5-6:00 pm. Maybe quid pro quo was achieved?

Here is segment one of my ride today. A lazy person's version of Relive.

I love the clouds in NE Washington and that is what most of these photos have in common.

Near Creston Washington a community along the Columbia River.

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Back up near farmland my FJR. I stopped here to reconnect the XM Radio app on my phone. Each time the connection fails it will not reconnect without restarting the app. I was listening to Real Jazz channel 67 today.

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Clouds and farm house.

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One the way to Lincoln Washington.

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I like both these photos.

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Field of Canola along Hwy 2 on the way to Grand Coulee Dam.

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I stop at Grand Coulee Dam for lunch at the Observation Point. Lunch as a banana and some roasted almonds. Miss May 2022?

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Segment two of this route.

The Columbia River after the dam on the way to Cache Creek Road.

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Pictures taking fell off dramatically as Cache Creek Road is a twisty affair as is Bridge Creek Road. I was a day early as there was a sweeper clearing sand from Bridge Creek road. At least the operator turned of the sweeper so I didn't have to ride through a cloud of dust. Hand wave given. The speed limit is 35 but it is very remote out here but sand on the road kept the speed down a bit.

More nice clouds.

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My ship has come in. The Ferry crossing from Inchelum to Gifford.

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Columbia River from the Ferry.

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Approaching Mugget Lake on get this, wait for it, here it comes, The Mugget Lake Road.

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End of Story.

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