All posts by Laura Sellers-Earl

The mini Flip

We do have a Flip (Zizzle ) mini-me’s from Mickey D’s. He needed some juice, so Carl had to operate. The prognosis is grim, since apparently he needs three watch-type batteries and a “special” tool to get at them, but we are surely trying. This is in addition to the six additional full-size Flips in our midst, courtesy of eBay.

Flip jams with Flop

It’s becoming apparent that we are a tad Flip obsessed. We’ve started collecting more Zizzle iZs. This is Flip No. 2, or Flop. We also have a green one (Fly) and one or two blue ones on their way. We’ll take suggestions for their names. In any case, Flip and his kind have a pretty good time interacting. Although, when we tried more than two, it was pretty raucous.  Our goal is to have a basketball team of Flips. And for those of you lucky enough to be on our Christmas list, guess what you’re getting this year?

The sounds of Flip

flip cropped-LWe certainly enjoyed Flip more once we found the “off” switch, but thought you might like to hear Flip, in his own squeals.


Hello greeting

Radio Flip

Play it, Flip


Cruising (and cursing) though Day 7

Day 7 was mostly on the road. After a lazy morning sleeping in and a late breakfast, we took a ride back to Bend to check out the local H-D house. This, like most of our travels though Bend, turned out to be harder than it should be. We did a lot of cussing and backtracking and there were no signs to guide our way. But after a few “oops” turn-arounds and finding the alleyway masquerading as a road, we landed. Our marriage still somewhat intact, Laura made a sanity saving purchase. Harley truth: A good pair of gloves makes all  the difference in the ride. It only took her seven days to learn it, but what a difference.

Then, off to Sisters, which has the Cannon Beach vibe. Sisters offers lots of shops to wander through. One again, it proved a blessing to be on bikes. We went through several antique/Western shops and Sharon might have loaded up, were it not for our limited space. Then she found the quilt shop (we are at four for this trip). A gentleman sitting out front said he could get 40 pounds of fabric on his bike. How much could we carry?

We stopped at Bronco Billy’s Ranch Gill & Salon for a quick snack, which wasn’t so quick. Bartender Deanna was having a not so good day. We kept over hearing other staff ask her for things and she would reply ” haven’t seen that in a while.” It was like someone came in and moved everything around on her. They were a little busy and she was the only one in the bar. We don’t remember seeing a harder-working server, who had no hope of ever getting ahead. After it all, she did not charge us for our drinks, saying “There were too many mistakes and she wanted to take care of us.” That is service.

Day 6: The longest ride, so far

We’re a pretty ambitious crew. From our comfy rooms at the Shilo Inn in Grants Pass, we hit the Oregon Vortex and the House of Mystery, Crater Lake, many, many small towns, Bend and the Deschutes Brewery downtown with Kelsey and Elizabeth and then Laura’s first after-dark highway drive to the Eagle Crest Lodge in Redmond. All told more than four hours on the road. Ouch.

Seriously, there are more windy roads than imaginably possible. Carl and Laura like to joke about the drunken deer who created the trails that our roads were based on. These guys were friggin’ loopy. That is until we cleared Crater Lake and were on the road to Bend, which had nary a loop to be seen. Somebody was using his pica pole when he marked out this one.

So, long ride, short: Thanks for no rain or hail. New asphalt is not too much fun to ride on. There is a naysayer in ever Vortex tour group. You CAN have too many ‘S’ curves. You do NOT have to clean your plate. There are turkey crossings. The wind in Central Oregon may beat the wind AND rain on Highway 101 for most fun while riding a motorcycle, not. Drivers are more impatient in Central Oregon. Vertigo doesn’t go away just because the sheer drop offs are really pretty. Flip is a great way to make friends.

It’s dark and deep

Wednesday’s adventure kicked off with breakfeast at, you guessed it, Good Harvest Cafe. Jim raved so much about the red snapper at the first breakfast, that three-quarters of our party did that, including Flip. They were not disappointed. Laura tends to go her own way, but really had a great culinary experience, too.

We wound up going straight to the Oregon Caves National Historic District, after contemplating more redwood adventures at the Hiouchi Visitor Center. Good thing, as there was a 1.5 hour wait, once you made the twisty-turny, crazy ride up. Baby-rider Laura did really well passing her first reality switchback and hairpin turn test. However, parking at the top posed a real problem. As she pulled into the slot, the downhill slope overwhelmed her motorcycle mass, and as she screamed “catch me” over and over into her helmet microphone, she slowly and inexorably headed toward the ground.

Her traveling companions were helpless, and everyone knew how this was going to play out – horizontally.  Laura survived with a scrapped elbow and a tweaked highway peg (bikers will know). The trip down was truly a denouement, but fun to take all those curves.

Shout out to Shilo Inns in Grant Pass as their regular $81 rate went down to $64 since Carl was in the Air Force.

We are battle-weary, cave-competent and wanting this adventure to go on forever.

Thursday, it’s Crater Lake, the Vortex  and maybe, Bend.

Play on!

Got Wood?

On Day 4, we bid a fond farewell to the sunny Oregon climes for the gray, chilly wet weather in northern California, I kid you not.

Five miles in the thunder hit. A few miles more the rains came. Not your average Oregon spritz, but a friggin’ downpour. For those who don’t ride motorcycles, each raindrop has a grain of dirt in it, so when it hits your face, ow! Think dermabrasion or sandblasting.

We made Crescent City just fine, and have new stories to tell. Despite the weather and traffic surprises, we are laughing our tails off at the end of each day.

Our trip to Trees of Mystery was a windy, poorly paved coastal road, that was likely very pretty, but the fog was so heavy, it was like a snow whiteout.  We had a blast at Trees of Mystery, and Flip especially liked the Sky Ride. Video coming in the future.

We love the Curly Redwood Lodge and all its retro redwood goodness. This was a great launch pad for our adventures in California. We also love the Good Harvest Cafe. In fact breakfast today will make our third visit there.

I think we’ll be back. In fact, we are arguing about whether we can squeeze in one more day here …

Flip’s adventures – Day 2