I have wanted to ride every afternoon this week but by the time I get off work it has been over 100 degrees every day and simply too hot to put on a black helmet and jacket. When it finally cools off it has been after 8:00pm and too late to go out for an extended ride.
This morning I headed out around 7:30 and was on the hunt for a big fly on the top of a gas station down in O'Brien, Oregon. It was near the Oregon Caves National Monument so maybe I would get there as well. Let's see how I feel when I get to O'Brien.
I headed from South Medford through Jacksonville and took Hwy 238 towards Grants Pass.
This barn is up in the Applegate. I have wanted to take a picture of it several times but the light has never been good. It's the first time I stopped to take a picture. I was surprised at how cold I was going up through the valley and I actually turned on my heated hand grips.
I turned a corner and there were turkeys in the road. They got out of the way but as soon as I passed them, they ran back out into the road. I pulled over to get a picture!
Big tom turkey!
I had initially planned to stop in Grants Pass and get some coffee and breakfast. I did stop for gas and the attendant told me there was a McDonalds down the street. I missed the McDonalds but saw this weird statue outside of Grants Pass. This was a dog with wings holding a mace in his hand (I say HIS, because it is very apparent that this is a boy dog).
I turned on Hwy 199 towards Cave Junction.
It was starting to get pretty smoky through Grants Pass and I wondered if I hadn't made a mistake by coming this way. I figured there was a fire in California and we were dealing with the smoke.
I passed through Selma, Oregon and stopped for a picture of the post office.
I got this picture of the fire department down the road. In true EMT form, a guy in an ambulance was in the parking lot, when I pulled over he drove up to ask if I was OK. I told him I was great and got my picture.
I headed up to the Oregon Caves on Caves Highway 46. It was a great ride up the hill. When I got to the top I checked out the schedule for the tours and there was a 30 minute wait for a 90 minute tour. I decided to skip the tour, have breakfast at the Chateau Hotel and go in the gift shop. I would save the tour for the next trip. Maybe I'll bring my Dad up here. He would love the ride!
I went to the Hotel and ordered breakfast and while I waited I went into the gift shop and looked around. I picked up a ride pin, a shot glass and a couple of pens and went to the counter to pay for them. I reached for my back pocket and my wallet was gone....
I suddenly went into panic mode! I'm sure the blood ran out of my face.
The lady behind the counter told me to THINK, where was the last time I used my wallet?? I bought gas in Grants Pass. That was over 40 miles away. I felt sick!
I went back to the restaurant and told them what happened and they still offered me my breakfast. I told them no, I had to go look for my wallet.
I was already there so I took the picture of the sign on my way back down the hill.
I couldn't believe it, I would eventually have to realize that my wallet was gone and had to start thinking about the contents and getting them replaced.
I was about 4 miles down the hill when I saw it in the road - my wallet!!!! Are you kidding me?? There it was, right in the road!!
It was right on this corner and had been run over by a car. All the credit cards, ID and other miscellaneous crap I keep in my wallet was strewn all over the road but the wallet was intact and the money was still in it. I was so happy I cried. Some of the stuff had fallen over the edge of the road and down the mountain. I was able to retrieve a couple of the cards with a long stick but I lost an insurance card down the mountain. I sure as hell wasn't going over a cliff for that.
I was going to be fine! Now lets find that fly! I stopped at a hardware store and asked a guy in the parking lot where O'Brien was and he told me I was only 7 miles away so I was almost there.
The Fly was worth the drive!
This was a three-fer! The fly was right next to the post office!
Which was right next to a static train!
A side-car next to the train.
And an old O'Brien police car!
It was getting warm and time to head home and I still hadn't eaten breakfast. I stopped and got this fire station picture. All the fire stations were very quiet and it was sill pretty smoky.
I stopped for this picture of the big cat park.
This was the most interesting "Welcome to" sign I have seen so far. It had a working waterfall with salmon sculptures swimming upstream and a grizzly bear at the top trying to catch the fish.
I was pretty hungry and it was 11:00 am so I had to stop. I got breakfast and nice coffee at a café in Cave Junction. At breakfast I found out that the fire was at Eight Dollar Mountain and there were nearly 300 firemen on the job. After breakfast I decided to head towards home because the fire was between me and home and I didn't want to get caught on a closed road due to fire.
Another fire department.
Back in Grants Pass I stopped for a picture of this oversized parrot on the sign. It was getting warmer so I shed my leather chaps and put them in my saddle bags.
From Grants Pass I took I-5 down to Rogue River for a picture of the old cemetery.
Down in Rogue River I spotted this big rooster.
Woodville Cemetery is just outside the town of Rogue River. I found headstones from 1890.
It was quiet and a cool breeze was blowing through so I took off my helmet and walked around for a few pictures.
From the cemetery I headed south on River Road to 99 through Gold Hill and home.
Wow, what a ride. Nice day!!