Pics are here as usual
Hi everyone, my name is Orinoco and for those that don't know, I'm a Womble. Until I was womblenapped by Boomer I lived on Wimbledon Common and picked up litter. Now I travel with the Fat One to far away places and meet strange people who have never seen a Womble before. It's can be great fun but it does mean that I have to ride pillion behind the Fat One and he's a bit mad.
Anyways, this summer (2001) I got to travel to the West Coast of the USA with the Fat One to attend the annual Concours Owners Group National Rally, this year entitled "The COG Odyssey" at the Red Lion Inn in Klamath Falls, Oregon (hey, Orinoco in Oregon,.... COOL!).
The Fat One took a whole load of pictures which can be seen here. Did you ever see such a handsome Womble?
As usual the Fat One stuffed me inside one of his bike boots and then rammed the boot into an overstuffed bag. He will do anything to get away from having to buy me a seat. My bag was unceremoniously thrown into the cargo hold of a British Airways 747-300 and I got to spend the next 12 hours suffering the smell of other peoples underclothing, most unpleasant. What galls even more is that Boomer got 4 seats all to himself and even managed to sleep during the flight to San Francisco. Never mind, I got my revenge. You see, motorcycle boots don't have toilets. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. <VBG>
On landing, I got jostled around some more, got collected by the Fat One and then got to listen to him being met by Ramin and Erin Keyvan. I was then subjected to a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, but you can't see much from inside a boot, inside a bag, inside the trunk of a car. I used the toilet again <snigger>. The Fat One later told me that the scenery was spectacular and showed me some pics that he'd taken. I was then left in the car while they all had some dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. By now I was regretting using the toilet as it was beginning to stink in this boot, not that it was fresh to start with. Finally, they got back in the car and we headed up to the Keyvans house in Boulder Creek, where I was finally released from this damn boot. I can tell you I gave the Fat One a big piece of my mind which he ignored being the great big stupid oaf that he is.
I got to meet Ramin and Erin who are very nice people and then I met their cat <AARRGGHH!!>. From that moment on I hid unless the Fat One was about to protect me. He does have his uses. Cats scare me. The Fat One thought that the cat was wonderful and the cat seemed to think that he was acceptable (proof that cats are really quite gullible). The Fat One snored all night so I got almost no sleep, but we Wombles don't need a huge amount and I got used to his snoring years ago.
Over the next few days I made my peace with the Keyvans cat (it agreed not to eat me, I agreed not to persuade the Fat One to cuddle it) and explored the surrounding area. It really is quite beautiful up in the hills around Boulder Creek. Lots of dangerous animals though like Bobcats and Foxes. Cute ones too like Hummingbirds, Deer and Jays. I really must look into the feasibility of setting up a burrow here in California. The climate is great and the dangerous animals aren't all that bad.
While I was exploring, the Fat One did some minor work on Spencer Farrow's 1986 Concours "The Grey Ghost", went through a few hassles getting it insured, rented a car for a few days, did some sightseeing in the Bay Area, met some of the Keyvans friends and greatly enjoyed himself. He also got to meet Spencer Farrow who stopped over for a couple of days and they seemed to hit it off like old friends which I guess they are even if they never met before.
Then it was time to head north. I was unceremoniously bungeed to "The Grey Ghost" and Ramin & Erin lead us in a quick ride over to Milpitas where we met up with Jim Pavlis (Hi Jim!). From there we head up 880 to the Napa Valley, up 29 to ClearLake and then 20 down to Williams on I5.
All is fine, until coming down out of the hills, the heat in the Central Valley starts to make the Fat One feel queasy and disoriented. We pull in at a gas station in Williams and FatBoy pours water all over himself, gets out the CoolVest, soaks it too, drinks about a gallon of water with some salt tablets and starts to feel much better. I think it was the shock of the 100F heat after a week in the Bay Area but he doesn't cope well with heat anyways, being the Fat Slob that he is.
So, we head on up I5, stopping at Redding for a break and a snack. The Fat One takes one of the longest pisses he has ever taken having overdone the rehydration at Williams. We continue on up I5 winding up through the hills, stop to take some pics of Mt. Shasta (Man would that ever make a spacious burrow!) the continue up to Weed where we take 97 to Klamath Falls.
On arrival, Jim leads us to the Konkolewskis where we are staying for the next week. I get to meet Sarah and Zane and Tom and Jolene and the rest of the family. They are having a pre-rally party and while I go take a nap, Fat Boy gets treated like Royalty. Heck, Tom has even reserved him a "Throne" that the Corpulent One can get his fat ass into. They kept me awake partying into the night.
The next day we head over to the Rally Hotel, sign in and meet people. We go with Ramin and Erin for a short spin out to Upper Klamath Lake where we get to see some type of diving bird then back to the Hotel where RallyMeister TomSki brews up a batch of yummy Chilli but the Fat One eats most of my portion as I'm not such a big eater. After an evening of listening to Fatso talk, talk, talk about bikes and people and places we head back to the 'Ski's, bed and sleep.
The Fat One spends the next day or 2 at the rally, chatting, meeting, wrenching, and generally enjoying himself. Me I just chilled and wandered about a bit. Then on the 3rd day Lardy decides it's time to visit Crater Lake. We head off up 140, some local roads, then 62 to Crater Lake. We do about half of the crater circumference but then the altitude is starting to get to the Terribly Unfit One and after a break (where I got to meet a Chipmunk and discussed setting up a burrow) we headed back to Klamath Falls. The Day after we went for a ride to the Lava Beds and took a walk through some of the caves there. Now That's what I call a burrow.
Hey, it's the 4th of July and we are going to ride the local Parade with about 100 other COGgers. It's a fun ride and I wave at lots of people some of whom wave back. We won best entry in the parade and then it's back to the rally via a Wendys where Slobbo has lunch with Dave. The afternoon is spent with a Connie show and I get to sit proud on "The Grey Ghost". Several people check me out and I get to watch Zane playing Baseball with Erin. He really is a great kid. In the evening it's the Banquet and after the usual speeches and stuff we get fed. TomSki and Jolene have done us all proud with Venison and Elk and all kinds of yummy food. Blubbo gorges himself making the noises I usually associate with him loving his food.
The next day I get to watch El Tubbo spend several hours working on Jerry's bike as it has a coolant leak where the Thermostat housing connects to the head. El Blobbo is having fun with Jerry and Gene and several others so I just crash out on my rack and catch some sun. In the evening I get left behind as Porky gets an invite to TomSki's restaurant at the Running-Y-Resort for a truly great meal.
It's time to head back down south so after making our farewells to the 'Ski's we head over to the rally site, meet up with the Keyvans and a friend of theirs and we're off. The trip was long and hot but upon arriving in the Bay Area I felt the bike start to shake. We pulled over on Treasure Island where the Fat One put on about 3 layers of clothing (it was his shivers shaking the bike), then back to the Keyvans.
The following day Flubby goes with Ramin & Erin to some friends of theirs for dinner. I stay and chat with the cat and try not to think of the next day which looms ominously as it's time to go home.
On the last day Tubbo stuffs me back into one of his sweaty boots and after him helping Ramin get rid of some stuff at the Recycling Yard, we head to the Airport and the flight back which was uneventful except for me using the boot as a toilet again. <snigger>
In closing I would like to thank the Keyvans cat for not eating me, all the friendly wildlife I met, Chunk the Chipmunk with whom I am corresponding about setting up a Crater Lake Burrow, and everyone who was nice to me. Now I must go as Fatso is going to show me the 90 minutes of video he took of the trip.
The Fat One would like to thank the following;
Ramin and Erin Keyvan for the taxi service,
help and advice, friendship, and laughs.
Spencer Farrow for the loan of "The Grey Ghost". Shame you couldn't make it to the rally.
The Konkolewskis for the accommodation, the welcome, the help and advice, the friendship and the food.
Sarah, give Zane a hug from me. Tom give Jolene a hug from me.
The organisers and helpers at the 2001 COG Oddyessy <VBG>. You did a great job.
All the people I met at the rally. You're a great bunch and I'm proud to know you.
And last but by no means least, the many members of COG who raised enough money to fly me over to the West Coast. I wouldn't have made it without your generosity and I thank you all. COGgers really are the greatest people.