9th Sept – a loong day in the woods

This was an odd day – from the zombies (aka pot heads) in the village mid way through the forests – a genuinely odd group shambling like Romero’s characters around a small store… an odd place itself with a railway carriage and an old police car parked up…



Somehow we missed a shot of the 20′ fly on the roof I have pinched these from Andrew (where was my camera?)

A long day – 450 miles? saw us enter Oregon and and early night…



7th Sept – PCH & Golden Gates




The day began with a trip to SF and the bridge…

Alcatraz but a stone’s throwDSC00527 Andrew and IDSC00540 The gangDSC00542 Eat your heart out CharlDSC00555

We crossed the bridge and climbed….



I love this shot… north side of the bridge and a lovely climb upDSC00568

Relaxing @ Jenner. Lovely place on the edge of the PCH

All at Jenner

Mark and jo PCH some great roads herePCH1

Here’s to relaxing times – losing weight is tough you know… Andrew and I getting to know one another. It’s interesting to note that very few of the “group” had ever met before. A few meets for planning (& food) that’s about it…Peter and Andy

Day 4 – Mariposa to Lee Vining

Starting in Mariposa we decided to cross the Tioga Pass Highway (between 6-10,000 ft).

I tried pancakes – yuck, never again!


Setting off early we had no traffic as we ran for 5 minutes down to Mono Lake proper, what a weird place. The flies are thick here and it hums but that’s mainly because Los Angeles has had it’s water from here since the ’30s and the Lake has dropped 45 feet!

DSC00380 DSC00376 DSC00388

The last pic shows the view as you climb up on to the Blue Star, a great road with a strange custom of 000’s of stickers from all over the world stuck on the armco.

DSC00386 DSC00391Good news for some – only 102 degrees today!!

Left California and arrived in Nevada to sunshine..



Basically Nevada is like California with more guns, smoking and lots of casinos – every bar has slot machines in the bar!


It also has beer in jars!

DSC00425I have been surprised at how much micro-brewing is going on here – CAMRA would be proud of ’em…


One last one…DSC00485




Day one on the bikes

She ain’t sexy & new but she’s all mine for the week…

A really great favour from a friend of a friend and I have a bike this week… Thank you Uncle Dickie!




There she is outside Weinerschnitzel – possibly on a par with GreggsIMG_2150Travelling light – I had to buy some undies.. Wait till you see them, Maybe not!!

My riding buddy Charl – just back from the Burning Man Festival, where he ran a 50km in the Black Rock Desert, while I ate Chinese in SF 😀


Day one

San francisco to Walnut Creek to collect the bike – then down to Patterson and via Raymond on a lovely route, twisty with low hills and an amazing view ( and what a crazy bar!!) a night in Oakhurst. Tomorrow Yosemite!




San Francisco – finally here…


Arrived yesterday after a delay due to the captain being unwell – I suppose everyone has an occasional right to a duvet day…


Anyway – the weather is beautiful in California… I know!
The weather report on TV in the morning made me smile “sadly we won’t exceed 92 degrees today”

They are gutted with 92 down here in the sunny south. I was sweating just walking up and down the San Franciscan hills…

IMG_3736 Another sunny pic… The market area down on the piers… every Saturday they have a farmers market… peaches like footballs!

IMG_3741 Loads of organic fruit and veg from around the area… I have eaten veggie meals all day and they are beautiful here, the veg tastes of something 🙂 (saving myself for the steaks later this trip!)

IMG_3742 IMG_3754

I have to say – I have heard sirens all day! But I have found the most secure place in San Francisco… every security guard I have seen in the last 24 hours was stood here 🙂



Anyway… a great day…


Yup – swimming the Bay day


More market pics above and downtown below..IMG_3705





My only negative.. I didn’t think it was this good…

The painted ladiesPainted ladies

Obligatory cable cars
SF cable cars
last but not least from today
Lombard St – the crookedest (sic) street in the world…. sadly they won’t let you take a motorbike up it 😦SF Lombard StThis last pic isn’t mine-you may have noticed a pink tinge to the pics – took it to Samy’s Cameras for a check, “failing CMOS sensor…” so raher than let it fail- I bought a new camera…

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II



Empty net on the River Tay

Well… The river Tay in Perthshire Scotland continued to catch salmon but still in disappointing numbers due to hot weather and low water last week making life difficult. Currently there is a weak run of summer salmon and odd grilse on the river but expectation is high with a pending improving summer run with signs of more grilse running last week. Rain at the weekend has freshened the river up and the weather is to be reasonably settled and cooler with a chance of some rain this week that may just trigger off some much needed improvements. The catches have been disappointing but could suddenly improve at any minute giving renewed optimism for the coming week assuming more fish enter the system.

This past week saw water levels continue at summer height most of the week due to warm settled weather making catches suffer. The fishing can be supreme and the scenery is not bad either. Currently there are numerous wild flowers blooming on the river banks. Ospreys visit the river on a daily basis and we saw deer darting past while in mid cast! It is true what they say,  a salmon is a bonus! Middle Tay. We were at Lower Kinnaird The catches further upstream were harder earned this past week, as conditions were more settled with lower river levels. Over the weeks to come this will hopefully improve as the salmon run freely up the river with improving runs and more water.

I have to say Celia enjoyed her first ever fishing trip – she wanted to know what we did up there… I think she half expected dancing girls..    I obviously told Jock to cancel the usual entertainment but we soldiered on with beautiful weather and great optimism from Jock Montieth as usual 🙂

First chance to use my new rod and reel, fitted with Jock’s own tips. Had great fun over the two days and saw a few fish about but despite long hours and determined swinging about… no bites even!! I even remember some of the flies this time as I refused to buckle and cheat by harling or spinning…  Red and black Francis coneheads in various sizes, Red Sunray stripped over the top !!


My first ever blank trip in Scotland… Chris Harden will be ecstatic:(   On the food and drink front things were better though… Sandemans was great and the Fonab Castle couldn’t have been better..

Planning planning planning….


Now my personal approach is a sort of, spend several hours on google and google maps.

Then ponder for a while.

Then get out a paper map (thanks to internet for making this a doddle nowadays!) and start to scribble in a pad.Then I start to “punch” the info into Garmin Basecamp. Now I use Garmin Basecamp because I own a Garmin Zumo 660 not because I like it…

I think the software is great, I think the sat nav itself is awesome and easily the best I have played with… But who in Garmin-world thought these worked well together.. No I have to edit that, actually it’s not really only Basecamp software that Garmin struggle with – it’s all software!

The process of updating maps (that you have paid for) and minor firmware updates is a vision of hell… trawl the internet and you discover a multi volume opus of tales of woe!


Luckily, this time we can thank Bilco.

This man has worked tirelessly to ensure we will have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies in the coming weeks…:)Bilco1

I actually think the evenings will be somewhat like this pic as he is surrounded by a small horde of slightly confused middle aged people asking if we are going this way or that )




My worry is who will be Pvt Doberman 🙂