Adventure/Dual Sport Rider


Some people tell me that I not only make retirement life appear easy but, also adventure bike riding. So, what is this adventure bike riding stuff all about anyway. And is this sport also for my jet ski buddies?

Its all about the bike and the rider. First the rider. Can you drop down to the ground and pick yourself back up easily. Can you hold a pushup position? Is there motorcycle riding, preferably dirt biking in your past? If you answered all the right questions then you too can ride like the wind on dirt roads and then jump back on paved roads and cover some miles just as easy.

And now the bike.  The Honda Africa Twin seems to be the preference for at least three of our dirt bike racers who previously ran KTMs.  The BMW large bike group is still the largest.


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British Columbia Back Country Ride

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Hop Scotch in the Garden

Subject:  Hop Scotch in the Garden

Not the Scotch, Bourbon or Whiskey drinking variety but, a simple children’s game, probably older than most baby boomers you now know.  The goal of the game is for each kid to hop onto a numbered square on the ground, to retrieve a marker they threw onto one of these squares.  Yesterday Patti’s friend drops off nine one foot by one foot square cement blocks and one round one.  I had no idea how to play the game or what to do with them until I looked it up.  And now Patti tells me I did not install them correctly.


“It’s for our baby grandchildren to play on”, I say.  They won’t notice.  Maybe I should just stick to whiskey.  Did you know?  The main difference between a “scotch” and a whiskey is simply the geographic area, the spelling and the ingredients that go in it.  Scotch is whiskey made in Scotland and bourbon is whiskey made in the USA.  Scotch is made mostly from malted barley, while bourbon is distilled from corn. Try asking for whiskey in England.  You will end up with Scotch.  Now try asking for whiskey in Ireland.  Can you say Irish Whiskey.

What?  And you thought you were going to learn how to play a kids game?



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San Ignacio Whale Watching Trip


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Road Warriors Baja Road Trip – 2017

Subject:  Road Warriors Road Trip Baja – February 2017

This year I turn 62 and since I don’t have to work within the confines of vacation time I decided to take a little trip down baja way – to see the grey whales.  My trusty steed, a road worthy 2004, 4Runner, also known as the Road Warrior is fast approaching 180,000 miles; similarly equal to my 61-year-old stature, except that the warrior looks much better.

And almost at the last-minute I make a command decision to pick up a passenger whom I’ll call  Johnny Reb; an expat now living in Ensenada, aboard a 50′ fishing boat.  And just like that we go from a simple drive to La Paz to stopping to see the grey whales in San Joaquin or San Ignacio, the Western Flyer (41′ Defever trawler), possibly a visit to Copper Canyon, La Paz and other adventures in baja land, Mexico.  Perhaps this tag team duo can put a smile on your face or take you along on this adventure.  Only time will tell.


The Road Warriors – Update:  My 2004 4Runner made it to 181,000 miles before she was traded in for a brand new 2017 4Runner.


The rest of the story:  The trip was a total success without so much as a break down or near death experience.  Also without making reservations we showed up unannounced at San Ignacio and camped out the night before.  The next morning after a wonderful breakfast John and I boarded a panga with a third paying passenger, a guy on a KTM adventure bike touring baja.  $50.00 each and well worth the trip.  Within 30 minutes a three year old grey whale came by acting like a puppy dog that wanted and needed to get petted.


And then we drove some more eventually making our way to La Paz.

And in La Paz we swam with the whale sharks.  $60.00 and a panga picked us up right at our dock.


Since earlier I stated that this is the rest of the Baja story then I need to include here that my crew (Jeff and Robert) and I bashed our way up in 2017 aboard the Western Flyer.   The Western Flyer is now in her new berth in Huntington Harbour and with a new owner who is taking excellent care of her.  And in case you want to know spring time is not the best of times for bringing a boat up the baja coastline.  15 foot seas and crappy conditions prevailed.  For a while it felt like I was on a roller coaster ride that we could not get off.


For me the voyage started in Portland, Oregon.  We made it as far as La Paz and now a return trip to Huntington Harbour, where we parted ways.

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My Garden & Tapas

After all these years my farm gene is evolved to the point of morning routines after coffee resembling farm like chores.  And this morning as I make my way around our property I quickly notice our dogs poo!  She kicks it here and there as in this piece, you take that, and that piece you need to be at least two feet away!  And then I’m sure she just walks away without a care or wonder as to how it all got cleaned up.  Once again I walk to the opposite end of our property.  In this section is housed my garden shed, fish ponds, raised vegetable beds and small orchard.  I now retrieve the rake and dog like shovel.


An aaaaha moment?  Why not harvest a few crops and start the morning off by making tapas.   Tapas!  And why not just eat only tapas this week?  Sort of an experiment in my “how to make tapas” moment.

In a shorter time than it takes for me to write this I can tell you all you need to know about tapas.  First, the word in Spanish means “cover” or a lid.  Don’t know what was covered but, let’s assume bread was involved.  And also let’s assume some wine drinking is also involved.  If you like where this is going then read on.  Now let’s also make sure we have some marinated olives, artichoke hearts, “tomatoes, green peppers and egg-plant too”.  For the meat lovers let’s NOW go buy some cured ham, chorizo sausage and anything else I can’t find at home.  Got it.  Trader Joe’s pizza dough.  Why?  Because the best tasting tapas will involve some type of bread and it is also the staple food of the Spanish. Tapas without bread is a rare thing.  And according to Patti Trader Joe’s pizza dough will allow me to make the chorizo bread pockets and artichoke and pimento flatbread.  I.e. Spanish equivalent of say a “pizza”.  Or, you could skip the Trader Joe’s and make your own bread dough.

Almost 3 cups of white bread flour

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp superfine sugar

3/4 cup of warm water

3 tbsp olive oil

I now picture me mixing it all together with my hands.  Then I begin to spread the doughy mess onto the counter that continues spreading until the loose flour has touched almost the entire length of the kitchen.  Suddenly I’ll break out a bottle of wine to block any ill gestures or words spoken when she sees the mess that she will swear I am never capable of cleaning.  Even though she knows perfectly well that sometime in my professional life I donned Level IV personal protective equipment and capable of cleaning up a hazardous waste site.  O.k. o.k.  Back to the wine.  Pour yourself a glass or two and forget all about the clean up or shopping; then send her to Trader Joe’s to buy the still missing ingredients like:

Trader Joe’s pizza dough

Spanish olive oil

Active dry yeast

Chorizo sausage

Cured ham

Goat cheese

Red bell peppers


I don’t yet have pictures to share with you so, I’ll leave you with my first and second attempt at making the most basic of tapas.  The Allioli  – the Spanish words means garlic and oil.  all i oli


4 tbsp of mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tbsp Spanish extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix it all together, cover and chill for about an hour.  For variations add things like capers, to another add herbs, to another add spinach leaves.  Salud!





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My 1945 MB Jeep

Subject:  My WWII 1945 Jeep

My new to me 1945 WWII MB Jeep roughly two months ago went straight from a previous owners garage to Norco Automotive to sort out fuel problem issues.  Today is the first day I was able to drive it.  And if I got a “redo” on this project I would blow the $$ on a European vacation.  Hesitation on my spouse’s part – oh well.  A redo in case you don’t know is the opportunity to do something again or differently.  As the 1945 MB Jeep now sits in my garage it waits for various parts that still need addressing, removing or replacing.  Parts that will continue to add up to the bottom $$ cost of this new to me vintage WWII hobby.  And, if you know me you also know that my “stuff” does not usually gather dust or sit unused.  Once it starts to do so, then it is out of here.  Also add to that that I can’t let any good thing alone, for me, it needs to be improved upon until it becomes somewhat bullet proof.  Word to the wise – don’t ever volunteer to help anyone drive a classic car to a car show.  Once you arrive, everywhere you turn to will be innocent looking civilians with car deals too good to pass up; deals that before the day is done will likely transfer from their money pit to yours.  The greater fool theory states that the price of an object is determined not by its intrinsic value, but rather by irrational beliefs and expectations.  Really, just keep it a few years; they aren’t making WWII Jeeps anymore.

And now for the positive spin.  Before this 1945 and I are done we will go through some adventures together – I promise.  Initially I thought that it could conquer the TransAmerica trail.  Today I wonder.  The word Jeep probably came to being during a solider to soldier conversation.  One soldier or GI (Government Issue) as also commonly known; probably said to another GI; this here is government property (GP) and not your own personal driving machine.  And the soldier behind the wheel probably said to the other soldier this here geep (GP), that later morphed into jeep (JEEP), is signed out to me and I can take it anywhere I wants to!

They are also known as a ¼ ton, a 4×4 or four-wheel drive utility vehicle produced from 1941 to 1945.  What you may see on the streets today is the Jeep CJ (Civilian Jeep) or maybe it’s a JK, TJ or YJ or XJ.  For many years my youngest was also known as CJ.  Today my 1945 is painted an Army olive drab color.  It is also small and a full foot narrower and nearly 3 feet shorter than a newer Jeep Wrangler two door.  It stands at just over 4 feet tall at the top of the windshield and easily fits into my third garage door plus I have room for a leather chair, my motorcycle, shop benches and a tool bin.  And I can still easily walk around it.  When my red headed grandson reaches the pedals no matter what his age he is going to learn how to drive this here military Jeep.  No matter what you say – GramPatti!

My 1945 Jeep never saw action as the war ended before it could be shipped overseas. Thank goodness or else it would’ve likely ended at the bottom of the ocean like the rest of them.  No car maker after the war wanted competition with a tried, true and cheap to run product.  The previous owner told me that my jeep was given to the U.S. Forest Service in 1946 where it spent its lifetime before it’s retirement.  A Forest Service employee then purchased the jeep and believe it or not, he installed a Corvette engine in it.  The previous owners plan was to convert it back to original and enter it in parades and WWII re-enactments.  He started his hobby by taking out the old engine, repainting it from forest service green back to WWII Army colors and then sending it to JeepsRus.  About $8,000.00 later the 1945 Jeep came out of JeepsRus with a new Chevy S-10, V6 engine and other internal modifications.  When I acquired this jeep, the fuel tank was rusty causing the entire fuel system and fuel tank to fail.  First major expense as the 1945 now has a new fuel tank, hoses and rebuilt carbureator.  The previous owner also lost interest sometime ago as a result of a skin cancer condition.  No more driving in convertibles for him.

The first civilian CJs that rolled out had such alterations as vacuum-powered windshield wipers, a tailgate, side-mounted spare tire, civilian lighting and amenities like naugahyde seats, chrome trim, and came in a variety of colors.  In Vietnam, the most used jeep was the then newly designed Ford M151, which also featured such state-of-the-art technologies as a unibody construction and all around independent suspension with coil-springs.  By going from leaf springs to a now bouncy coil springs roll overs went way up.  Fast forward to what most of you see and know today; enter the Hummer or HMMWV (Humvee).


My FlatFender is also getting a new low profile air filter plenum and K&N filter so I can close the hood and radiator shroud to keep my fingers intact.  More to follow.



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Preparations for the Baja Bash 2017 V1.0

We are now into our final week of preparations for the “Baja bash” from La Paz to the U.S.A.  Once again for those not yet familiar, the baja bash is a nearly 1,000 mile near and offshore ocean “voyage” on hopefully, a seaworthy boat.   The following words were written sometime ago while I was in La Paz, Baja Mexico and my wife Patti was back home in California.   Hope you also enjoy the refreshing drink suggestion.

Since I am now not able to be with Patti, Mike, Lisa and new born baby “Elliott”.  And your weather in Boston is a chilly 15 degrees, I pen these words to you along with many happy thoughts.

First:  Just add Rum.  If I haven’t yet disclosed this to you; the official drink of our trawler, the Western Flyer is what we simply refer to as the “Flyer”.  The great thing about this drink is; it just doesn’t care what temperature you are currently in, hot or cold.  To build a “Flyer”, one starts by gathering all ingredients such as: 2 ounces of 151 proof rum; 2 ounces of pineapple juice; 2 ounces of orange juice; add a splash of Coco Perez (this ingredient may be hard to come by but, can be found); crush some ice, add a little nutmeg and cinnamon.   Shake well and pour over crushed ice.

Since I know some of you now reading this are not enjoying the 80 degree temperatures I find myself in; might I also suggest to you that you start with an appetizer or two such as: Banana Rum Fritters.  This one may qualify as either an appetizer or a dessert.

1 cup flower; 1/4 cup sugar; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon baking powder;  1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 egg; 3 cups mashed ripe bananas; 1/4 cup banana rum; 3/4 cup water; 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; vegetable oil for frying;

Patti – you know the rest.  Miss you guys but, I am on an adventure of my own that is still brewing.  Crew is due in any day now and today I spoke to both Jeff and Robert.  More on crew later.

Might I still remind those that power boat or sail that more than ever 90% of all weather can be predicted.  But still, the only stories you see published or the only stories that generate any real interest when told or retold are the ones that start out by; “and there I was, and the seas were at least raging up to 16 footers with blue water engulfing us and this or that sprang a leak or broke or blah, blah, blah.

Sure those stories are obviously more enjoyable to read, from the comfort of firm land or couch, but, I prefer to pop in a DVD onboard to either watch “Captain Ron” or the “Perfect Storm”.

If you haven’t yet found these boating weather prediction apps then here are my all-time favorites that I foresee as seeing us through the next 1,000 miles; 1) Windytv; WindAlert; PredictWind; Weather Underground and Marine Weather.

If we get hammered on the way up it’s only because we want a better story to tell or retell…… and there we were.

If you plan on following this voyage then start by aquainting yourself with where La Paz, Baja is?  Google maps and add La Paz, Baja, Mexico.  Also note that boat and crew will need to go down before we make our way around the “cape” and ever so slowlyt start to make our way back up.  Cape Cabo!

But, just before starting this part of the voyage we need to overnight it from La Paz to an anchorage known as Muertos.  As of today it’s been renamed Suenos.  (One means death and the other means dreams)  Take your pick as to which one you think would attract more gringos to the area.

On our second days passage our plan is to enter the marina at San Jose de Cabo.  This is where we wait what is called a “weather window”.  Remember what I said earlier; about 90% of all weather can be predicted almost a week out.  This stretch of water from San Jose de Cabo to Muertos the Western Flyer on our first trip to La Paz encountered probably some of the nastiest little seas since hanging a left once we departed the mouth of the Columbia River and crossed over what is known as the graveyard of the pacific, “the Columbia River bar”.  Yes, it can and does get nasty in these parts.  Your best defense is having a seaworthy vessel with some spares and knowledge.

Some time long ago, if my memory proves correct I remember First mate Patti all crunched up in a fetal position.  The Western Flyer bashed into those miserable little short choppy washing machine seas.  And also a sort of combination ebb tide and short steep wind pushed seas all rolled into one.

And then slowly I start to notice a part of our paddleboards strapped to the boats hardtop ever so slowly inching their way off from high up above.  Oh Shit I say to myself! The boats rocking and rolling motion had caused one of our two paddleboard ratchet straps to loosen.  Without too much thought and barefoot I exited the comfort and safety of the boats inside cabin onto the blue water soaked and now splashing seas, climbed up the boom that gave me a foot hold onto the top of the fiberglass hardtop.  Quickly as possible, and barefoot, but, sort of like riding a bronco I somehow managed to manhandle this large giant wafer of a board and retie it back in its place.  The other outcome might’ve been the first mate ending up on land as a castaway on Patti’s Island.

So, let’s now recap.  Today is Saturday and soon you may be reading about our most excellent weather window and before you know it; boat and crew are safetly tied up in Ensenada.


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The Baja Bash March 28, 2017

More to follow soon but, for now sitting at a restaurant called Tortuga, in Bahia Tortuga.  Yes, we now have wifi and if my crew can stop talking I might be able to concentrate long enough to crank out a story and offer up an update.

Keep in mind this is the first we touched land since Friday and today is Wednesday.  

Short recap is, we left LaPaz to Muertos on Friday, with plenty of bananas on board.  That part of the trip was very uneventful.  Then on to San Jose de Cabo.  

Got stuck there for three days waiting on weather.  The best coty in all of baja to do so.  At sunlight with 30 knots of wind blowing we made a run up the baja coast.

The first night was easy, second night we got pounded with up to 14 foot seas.  The next two days of more pounding waves, plenty of green water coming on deck.   The Western Flyer performed extremely well.  We had a few blips along the way but, I will add later in detail.

More to follow.  Brunch has just arrived.

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Baja Road trip 020817

Two motorcycle riders lost their lives; one here and the other a few hundred meters away.  One an American, the other a local, 12 years apart. This is the road the baja 500 and 1000 travels through.  The reason this location touched me ….. To be continued.  

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