We've had fine, really excellent, weather since late November and that always gets the motorcycling juices flowing. When I say excellent I'm talking about 65-degree mornings and, afternoon temps in the 80s with cloudless blue skies. That means wearing jackets and gloves at the start of a day's ride and gradually stashing those layers until it's lunch time. Of course, Nut, along with most other Thais, never sheds her outer jacket. She hates getting any sun on her skin and wears long sleeves even on 90 plus degree afternoons. This behavior is inexplicable to my mind because the heat genuinely bothers her. I reckon it's just a Thai thing.
|The 1090 on my GPS|
We were lucky to find a guesthouse with a vacancy on New Year's weekend and Nut made a reservation sight unseen. It turned out to be a very pleasant accommodation — a series of little bungalows in a beautiful setting on the river. The Umphang Riverside Guesthouse is just outside of town on the Umphang River (N16.01180, E98.85836)
|Sunrise at the Umphang Riverside|
We had to drive to Mae Sot after returning from the falls and by the time we finished getting banged up on that blasted dirt road again it was getting on towards 3 pm. I worried about getting stuck driving the 1090 after dark but we made good time and managed to pull into our hotel parking lot just after dinner. We got an early start the next day and took the scenic route back to Mae Sariang, one of my favorite towns, riding the newly repaired route 105. Nut and I rode the 105 a couple of seasons ago and it was a royal mess. Mile after mile of construction and many miles of badly broken pavement after that. But the reconstruction is almost complete and the road was awesome! It turned into one of those classic Thailand motorcycle rides — perfect weather, a nice curvy road with smooth pavement, no traffic and scenery that is as good as any Thailand has to offer. The 105 runs between Mae Sariang on the north and Mae Sot in the south through the lovely Moei River valley. Thailand is on the east side, Myanmar is just across the river which doubles as the international boundary. We liked it so much we returned to Mae Sariang a month later with Homer buddy DC, our friend Daniel, and some new friends, American expats from Chiang Rai, Bruce and Lois. The photos below are from that tour.
|Lois, Daniel, Dave, Bruce, Nut, DC|
Route 105 - Rit River Bridge (N17.9304, E97.9573)
|Moei River on the 105 (N17.5106, E97.9923)|
|The refugee camp at Mae La on the 105 (N17.1155, E98.39966)|
I'll add a couple of photos from a trip I made to Udon Thani a couple of months ago just to close out the Thailand report for this season. I make the journey to Udon every year to visit with a contingent of Homer friends who hang out there. I discovered several new ideal-for-motorcycling roads, the 1237, the 1083, and the 1026, on the return trip.
|View from the 2331 (N16.8926, E101.0994)|
|View from the 1083 (N18.3694, E100.8316)|
I'll be back in Eugene in three weeks and back in Homer on May 17th. I'll also visit my daughter, Carin, in North Carolina. Sister Sandy, brother Dale and nephew Jason will drive down from Buffalo to join us for a family reunion. Also during that visit, Carin and I will join thousands of other people protesting the regressive and vile policies of the SCROTUS, aka Florida Man, in Washingon, DC.