On the road by about 9:30 after stopping at the Astoria Police/Fire Department to get an official HOG alphabet pose for our trip (A, check). Then we wended our way to Longview for grub a the Indy Diner. On up a blustery I-5 with lots of semis (not Laura’s favorite). Over on state Highway 12 through some tight curves, steep drop-offs and cute towns. Beautiful scenery when I’m not eyeballing the yellow line. Pitstop at Yakima Harley, dinner at the Buzz Inn in Ellensburg. Jacuzzie for Carl and Flip. Done and done. On to Coeur d’Alene tomorrow.
Our intrepid explorer Flip is fulfilling a dream today. He went via motorcycle with pal Carl to Marsh’s Free Museum in Long Beach, Wash., to meet an idol and likely distant relative, Jake the Alligator Man. Getting huge eyeball to huge eyeball with the legend checks a big box on Flipster’s bucket list. I bet he won’t shut up about it all night. Later, he hung out with the Stanoviches and Mike and Ramel Wilson at the Big O Saloon, boosting the bean-bag-throwing game to a new level. Thank you, Kathy (Barbarella), for egging us on.
Carl is helping to drive David and Jean Earl from Mesa, Ariz., to Seattle, for their new adventure in the Pacific Northwest, loving the retired life hanging at the airport. The adventure began May 7.
Where’s the little Flip’s room? In Parker, Ariz.
In Ludow, California, Flip made his claim to marking the Route 66 byway .
Flip looks at the Colorado River Thursday.
Flip browsing at the Ludlow Cafe on Route 66 in California.
Carl and Flip at the entrance to the Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. Flip and Laura want to try out for the curling team. Laura as a sweeper and Flip as the stone. The 2002 Winter Olympics was the most profitable Olympics ever because most of the venues were already built, allowing them to establish a legacy fund for continued improvements and maintenance for the park.
Part of the 2002 Winter Olympic’s opening ceremonies, this massive buffalo head was attached to a humongous body that contained other critters floating around inside. Flip wonders if his tribe was represented.
Flip certainly agrees: There’s no need to be shy. Exhibition skiers. Hot doggers, Stuntmen. They bucked the system at every turn — every fashion. While professional downhill skiers work black, freestyle skiers shook up the slopes with wildy colored body suits, as well as their airborne antics.
Rock’n down the hill, Flip takes his team to a win.
Looking up the ski jump. Most of the snow is disappearing (can you say 60 degrees?) and the green underneath is a plastic matting, covered by rope mesh to help hold the snow in place. Think about it, snow goes downhill, too.
Guide Patrick explains that the bobsled, luge and skeleton track is being shut down so they can do repairs and not incur the $10,000-$12,000 in keeping the tube frozen. Then, they will set up for the summer runs with bobsleds on wheels. He says the bobsledders – men and women – are pretty crazy, but the truly amped up athletes are the luge athletes.