The Love Chronicles, Jim and John Trip

Posted: December 6, 2012 in Life

The Jim and John Trip

As most of you know Jim left Bullhead City in Arizona and headed for my house late this summer. This was the first leg of a journey through California, Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon to visit with friends and relatives. We started out locally, saw some cousins of Jims in San Diego, bummed up and down the southern California coast on the Pacific Coast Highway, and then took in some local tourist attractions. We enjoyed the bikini-clad women of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, well lets just say we visited a lot of beaches! Visited the Queen Mary, saw an old Russian sub they had parked there, and just played all over Southern California for a couple of weeks. By the time I initiated Jim into what we call traffic here, the rest of the trip was a snap, with the motorcycles at any rate. We then loaded up Jim’s motorhome to the gills, loaded both our Star motorcycles on a trailer, and headed out, or tried!

We got out about 35 miles and found that both swivel frame mounts for the steering were worn out, but what really did it for us was when we hit the construction in Riverside California it was rough enough that we snapped off one bolt on one side and vibrated another almost out on the other. This caused the motorhome to hunt like a rabid dog! The lanes were closed down to one, and we did not do a very good job of staying in our lane. After running some people clear off the freeway, more than one, less than four, and cleaning all the handles off of the storage compartments along with all of the side clearance lights on both sides, we got off the road!

Problem number two then reared its ugly little head. We changed drivers, since I was more familiar with the roads and I was going to try to make it back to my house on side roads. When I walked around the unit I realized that not only had we lost lights, but also the headlights seemed dimmer than they should have been. I crawled up in the seat, checked the gauges, I had no charging voltage at all, so I pulled into the nearest little mini-mall I came to so I could check out the charging system. We had been stopped in a wide spot on the side of an on ramp, so I got just got right back off and looked for the first place I could get off of the street. Like the genius I am, I turned off the engine so it could cool a bit before I started my inspections. Well, both the main and aux batteries were dead, we were stuck right in front of a little Ma and Pa cleaners. We had a trickle charger, so fired up the generator, there was enough juice for that little starter, and proceeded to charge the main battery. It was now around midnight. As I walked around the trailer to make sure the bikes were ok, it appeared when we had stampeded over a couple of cement dividers separating the construction lanes on the freeway, we had knocked the back tires of both bikes off the side of the trailer. You should have seen us prying them baby’s back on. Ok, Jims anyway, I unloaded mine. I was freaked out by now, and I told Jim I would lead him back to my house, I was not getting back in the motorhome until we got it fixed! You see I was convinced I was going to die on that freeway, and I had now had a chance to think about that for a while.

We charged the battery, trying occasionally to start the engine, until about 6 AM when Ma and Pa were screaming at us to move this circus from in front of their store. We were taking up all the access and then some. Luckily it started, it was daylight, so no lights needed, and Jim managed to follow me back home without too much drama. So about 15 hours after we left and $150.00 worth of gas we had gone exactly nowhere. It took us another week to rewire in new lights, get the front end rebuilt, and start again. I am still cleaning up the oil stains off of my driveway, and shuddering! So we were about three weeks into our trip, and we were still sitting in my driveway!

The rest of the trip was not as exciting, but I cannot say it was uneventful. We spent a week with my sister in Boise, tried to visit as many relatives and in-laws as I could find. I was planning to have a big get together on the way back, thinking we would have time to plan, but we did not, as you will understand as the story unfolds. We hooked up with some friends of Jim Mahon’s that were in the all Idaho platoon with him the Corps. They got all the bike riders together and we spent some time going to bike rodeos in Council, and sight seeing trips through the Hells Canyon and then over the mountains to Joseph. Was a hell of a ride, I posted pics on Facebook. After that we left the motorhome parked in Council, Jim and I graduated there, so had lots of people to see, plus fuel was costing to much to keep moving the motorhome around the state, so we just started mooching a place to sleep and did all our travelling on motorcycle, which made it more fun anyway. We went over to New Meadows, Mc Call, Riggins, and Coer d’ Alene, to name a few. I stayed on the mountain at Noel and Drue’s ranch a couple of different nights. The Petersen’s came up and we had a family shoot out. I can still hit the bull with pistol and rifle, but I struggled with my new shotgun and the clay pigeons. The rest of the time Jim and I stayed in an RV park in Council, played a lot of golf, had a big reunion picnic with friends that came long distances to be there, and went on a day trip on our bikes almost everyday!
The Cour d’ Alene trip was one of the longest single runs we did. Stayed with Tom and Tracy Greer. We had a great time; they have a nice little horse ranch nestled in some of the most beautiful forested country you can imagine! He has a big fire pit on a huge back porch with a hot tub about ten feet away. We sat there morning and evenings, fire roaring, coffee in hand watching deer come and go, some not more than thirty feet away.

Our second longest was to Lagrande Oregon where we spent time with Lynne Ann Everidge Jones and her new husband Frank. We also visited with Jim’s brother John and visited the bronze works were he works as artist and tech just outside Lagrande. He has some bronze works for sale that are exclusively his own, one of which Jim modeled for. When you see it, if you have not already on Facebook, you will know which one even though his face is not part of the artwork.

So that is about it. Jim and I put a lot of miles on those bikes, loved every minute of it! My butt had a few complaints, but it was well worth it, and I think I have finally found the seat cushion that works! But wait, that is not all. Jim fell in love with the area again, as did I, and came back to the motorhome one day and told me he bought a house. So I got to spend the next few weeks helping him find and haul furniture, shopping to set up an entire house from scratch, cleaning, and ripping up well piping out of the irrigation well! It sits on a little over 2 ½ acres, so lots and lots of lawn, so he did not want to water with city water when there was a perfectly good well. Just needed pump, some pipe, and little foundation and housing for it. He had to tear down a large shed and move the oil reservoir for the heating, but the house is in good shape, and had some recent remodeling done. So I stayed a few weeks longer than planned, but enjoyed that experience also. So I am back home, kind of missing Idaho and all the great friends I have there, and yes in Oregon also Lynne! I hope you enjoyed my little saga, see you around my friends.

  1. Lani (Mink) Keller says:

    What a wonderful story sounds like so much fun and I can see you and Jim in each disaster laughing your asses off. Keep the great stories coming I love them. Lani

  2. James Mahon says:

    A nice John Style synopsis of our trip!

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