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Snowbum photo gallery #6
Copyright 2024, R. Fleischer

These are scans of some of Snowbum's photos.

Before I moved to Lake Tahoe, I lived in Mar Vista, a suburb of the Venice-W. Los Angeles area.  That's my new 72 Corvette, and one of my R75/5 BMW motorcycles; the one with the Avon Fairing, which I purchased brand-new, from 'my' dealership.  This photo was taken at the front of the same house (shown with the huge garage and description), in a prior Photo Gallery.  This Corvette was specially ordered in full-race condition, modified before delivery to me by Chevrolet Racing Division, from a stock LT1 Corvette.  It came with such as air conditioning, but with the compressor, etc., REMOVED!  I, naturally, put all the 'comfort' stuff back into operational condition, modifying a few things to enable them to work.  I did have to make a few modifications for street reliability.  I had it on the racetrack too, several times.

It's not a secret that I cook. Early childhood years were spent living over a bakery run by my grandparents, who made Fine Pastries for the best hotels.  I learned a fair amount.  As an adult, I had always wanted something akin to the finest stoneware pottery of the middle ages, as used at Royal Palaces.  I also have a big thing for the Baroque era.  In the early seventies I met a Swiss pottery instructor from the University at Santa Barbara, Oscar Bucher; I was very fond of his work.  I commissioned him three times, to make stoneware to my ideas, for an all-out full-service for 12 people (with a 13th setting for spares). These exquisite pieces included over-sized dinner plates and very thin-wall goblets, etc., all of the finest quality.  What you see in this photo is the result of the first two Commissions.  I Commissioned him a third time and so I have many more of his items, particularly larger pieces.   He has retired, but his work will live on, hopefully for generations.  

All my pieces will probably have to be sold, eventually, if and when I die, or maybe the collection will all go to a museum.  I now have the entire collection in about a dozen large boxes at our house in Carson City, Nevada.

This tort, which is not quite finished here, needing proper final coating & trimming, was one of my creations just days after I moved to Lake Tahoe. I'd been cooking since I was not even a teenager, doing pastries, and special meat dishes.  I have a lot of photographs of my 'creations'.

Not long after I moved to Lake Tahoe, I resumed an interest I had in hand-tying flies ...and fly fishing.  I spent much of one particular Summer trying my hand at fly fishing.  I found a unknown & hidden fishing spot half a day's hike into a wilderness area near the top of Ebbett's Pass.  It is still the only place I would hike-to for Golden Trout, my favorite trout for taste and texture. I would pack the trout home in my backpack, surrounding it with snow from a nearby snowfield.   The fish here weigh about a pound and a half.

One of the fun things at So. Lake Tahoe was the yearly motorized bar-stool races, at large motel parking lot.  I had a fair amount to do with design & preparation of winning entries.  I made a good steering system and some other niceties.  My designs were often winners; and I had good drivers too.  Power was not a problem, I used a hand re-wound 6 volt truck starter & a 12 volt battery. "The" problem was handling in turns, these things loved to fall over.  I designed a hidden suspension system. No other entry ever had a suspension. I made it so that no one could easily see that there was a sway-bar too.  We won the first year & came in second the final year, would have been first, but for a collision time-waster. Yes, the girls did the racing!

Ilene & daughter Lisa... & me, a very long time ago.    Lisa, crying, wasn't all that happy about having to pose for the photographer. Ilene is now Ilene Langer-Crawford, for >34 years or so.

A yearly event at South Lake Tahoe is the passage of the Wagon Train through town, on its way to Meyers, and then down Hy 50 to Placerville.  I was part of the group one year.

We had an unexpectedly large snowstorm.  This is my 1958 Cessna 182.  N9917B.   Here I am digging out the airplane.  That's my 1975 Chevy Suburban on the right.

In 1977 my landlady, from whom I had rented a house since I moved to Lake Tahoe about 4 years prior, suddenly decided to retire & wanted the house back.

After some quick and intense looking, we purchased the Alma Avenue house. Here, Jean, who is clowning, is in the front yard. This photo was taken within a year of purchase, the meager lawn I planted has urine spots from my Malamute. I already had finished work on the brick trimming of the house and the fence.  I did a tremendous amount of work on this house over the years, and lived here until late 2019.

We moved into the Alma Avenue house in early 1977, and I decided a nice fresh berry pie was going to be a good celebratory dessert for that evening. I had brought my large-size English Pie tins with me from Los Angeles.  I planted raspberries and strawberries later on ...for hand eating ...and pies.

In 1977, even with the new house, I started on a backpacking trip that I had dreamed about for a dozen+ years, wanting to do the entire Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, from Mexico to Canada.  It is over 2600 miles.  I did it in multiple yearly sections due to my work load.  With careful planning I started the first section at the Mexican border on February 12th.  In 1978 I did another section.  I finished the final section the day before my birthday in late 1979.  I have the certificate from the PCT Association.  My trail name was FLASH. My only ever super-long backpacking trip. Other trips were a few miles to a few hundred.

One year, by early Summer, I was feeling I needed a break from all the construction work & business.  I packed the supercharged R75/5 & headed for Oregon to visit friends. It was well over 100F when the above lake appeared, I rode over a barrier & went skinny-dipping.  Someone was passing by & took this photo of me & my R75/5; then sent it to me.  Actually, there was a second photo, full-on-frontal, me naked, getting out of the water.

When on a lonely stretch of road in Oregon, not far from the above photo location, I twisted the throttle somewhat on the bike......well, W.O.T.   ...the supercharger pressure was really coming up.  I got stopped by an Oregon county police officer.   I could have outrun him, but would need gas soon enough and have to stop.  He had clocked me at WAY over twice the speed limit.  We had a chat. He did NOT write me a citation!  I was LUCKY!

As purchased there was a brick fireplace. That fireplace had a terrific appetite for wood in the Winter. I re-designed the fireplace to efficiently burn anything, be adjustable to burn slowly, such as overnight without needing attention.  The re-design included a lot of metal work, and the bending, welding, shaping, etc., was all done on my driveway from flat steel sheets. I purchased the firewood stove insert, modifying it extensively.  The insert is double-walled, that is, it has a second steel wall & a hidden blower forces air through the enclosed space into the room.   The ceiling box contains a triple insulated jackshaft.  Even the doors and 15" pipe & hood, etc., were hand-made right on my driveway from flat steel.    It is not quite as efficient as a full-on catalytic burner type.  One final modification was made around 1988, to install an 8" SS pipe INSIDE the 15" pipe, separating them by extreme heat rated ceramic wool pad material.  This enabled rapid heating of the stack & the ability to go up to 15 hours+ before adding more wood. I sometimes removed the triangular section in front.  We could cook or boil water on the hidden shelf of the insert.




In the late seventies, Jean & I took two lengthy trips to the British Virgin Islands, both times in this 215 foot tall ship, called the Flying Cloud.  Photos show the ship, lunch time; Jean & me with the ship anchored off Norman Island. That cave is the actual Treasure Cave of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island book.  Jean & I dove off the perch you see us at, it is a long way to the ocean below!   The natives are cutting up a turtle for our dinner!

We usually managed to take our small single engine airplane to Baja California at least twice a year. We'd sometimes sleep on the beach under a palapa, as in the photo.  We made other trips in our airplanes all over the West.

I made this spit using scrap metal; a purchased gear motor; an old used motorcycle chain & a rear sprocket from a motorcycle.  Yes, that's a pig (hog?) being bar-b-q'd.  I later modified the spit with more arms, larger spit axle, etc., so it could handle even larger heavier hogs.

In 1980 the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America had its National Rally in Prineville, Oregon.  Jean agreed to go ... and sat on the back of the supercharged R75/5.  In Prineville it was a very uncomfortably hot 112 F.  Here is Jean, cooling herself off.

I often entered Southern Oregon from Hy 395.  One day, long ago, I tried a "rest stop', near Lakeside, called Chandler Wayside, that is not supposed to be used for overnight camping. Restrooms, water, coyotes to sing with in the evening, a small but nice flat grassy area you see in the photo.  After that first visit I camped there often.  I never had a problem with any Authorities for doing so.  That's one of my R100RT bikes, the 1983, before I installed a sidecar to it.  The tent is a custom modified Talkeetna.

Long before any paved road went even near Wentworth Springs (California), there was only a dirt/gravel narrow trail.   That original narrow dirt/gravel "road" began a very short distance ahead of the wide flat stretch in this photo, circa 1986.  At that time the path ahead was a Jeepers Delight, often washed-out, becoming un-passable.  For a considerable portion of its final length, it was a hiking trail.  One year, that section 'disappeared', due to bad weather.  Some guys I rode with who had 2 stroke light weight dirt bikes (I had none that year) bet me a case of microbrew that I could not get my R100RT through that section.  I somewhat stupidly decided that the way to get through was to actually ride the creek bed, not the path. They doubled the bet if I did (yes).   Eventually the State made the dirt road much wider & paved it fact it is now so wide that RV's travel the road.

This is Helen Lake, not far into Lassen National Park, which I used to ride by rather regularly!

After 15 very long years as a bachelor, I remarried. Penny & I have been very happy ever since.  We were married at the State of Nevada's smallish Genoa Park, which I had completely rented for the occasion.  We made our arrival ...and departure ...on my sidecar rig.   I still had that sidecar rig & used it regularly, occasionally even in Winter snow, up until June 2019, when I sold it.   That is a tux-T-shirt; the suspenders are known as the Green-Red's, an 'in' thing then, and refers to a TV program from Canada.

The skunk 'flag' on the rear of the sidecar trunk was from a trip back-East on the sidecar rig, where we attended two sidecar Rallies was the Skunks 'up Nort'; the other was the USCA National, in Duluth.  We did 5500++ miles on that round-the-USA trip, on the sidecar rig.

In 2004, as I approached my 66th birthday, BMWMOA held its National Rally in Spokane, Washington.  I was scheduled to do some seminars, as were Tom Cutter & Oak. Oak got sick & went to the hospital. Tom, Matt Parkhouse, and I, stepped-in to do Oak's scheduled seminars.   It was about 100 in the 'barn', above, where the seminar was held.  I was not feeling well....I had a virus attack that I did not even find out about for a few days.  The Seminars went well.  Tom monopolized the conversation, which he tends to do  :-)  ....   whilst I mostly had my hands in my pockets.

Had a K1 here at my shop. We put a turbo on it, a special set of camshafts.....and a lot more. It was VERY fast.


In 2014, due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to attend the Salem Oregon BMWMOA National Rally.   Two two weeks later I took the sidecar rig to Oregon to visit old friends, make some new ones, see places I hadn't seen before & do a lot of camping (forests & sea-coast areas).  I had especially wanted to spend a full day at the Salem/Keizer Antique Powerland.  I also visited some independent BMW motorcycle repair places to evaluate them & visited a small family factory making motorcycle covers.  Instead of doing any of the Eastern part of Oregon for this trip, I generally stayed West of Hy 97 for the entire N-S length of Oregon.  I hiked rather more than just a bit to get to see Toketee Falls, etc.  That was off Hy 138.  This spot...and the hike to in a very narrow steep canyon & is a hidden treasure, & just plain gorgeous.  The photo does not do justice to this marvelous waterfall, so hidden & surrounded by the close-in surrounding mountains.  If you are ever near this place, I can't overemphasize that you do hike in and see it.  It is possible to hike down to the base of the falls, and even picnic there.

I had never spent any time in Portland, Oregon, & a new friend offered to put me up & to be my guide for a few days.  I received a reasonably good feel for that City, & what special things it had. I am a museums & outdoors nut, and Portland has many such places.  I also found the College scene & outdoor restaurants very nice; and, we used the excellent transit system.  It was very possible I might move to the area, perhaps around year 2020, but that never happened.

After Salem & the 42 acres of Antique Powerland, I went to the Coast.  I found the hidden spot (see above photo) within 1/2 mile walking distance of the ocean. The Coast itself can have cold biting winds, & the campsite was very nice, no wind, comfortable  temperatures, peaceful & quiet, with only the rushing of a strong stream just behind my bike & my tent (not shown here).   Good water; lots of various berries to pick & eat. It was a good place to make camp, cook, have a glass of Port & a cigar.  I was quite happy to see the Coast, but camping a few hundred yards inland with no wind was nice.  Later, more southerly, I did end up finding, thanks to a Local's advice, a protected cove to camp right alongside the ocean, riding the sidecar rig through a gate, & then a lot of sand, to get there. The local guy who had advised me, an hour + or so earlier, had thought I'd park the rig at the highway. NO WAY! ...I can make it through sand situations (testing for sinking first!)   The ocean was quite chilly, a quick skinny-dip was BRRRRIISSK.  Lots of sea lions & other critters.  I saw no evidence of tourists ever camping here.  The "road" had no postings at all. I find Locals to be great sources of information IF you can get them to talk about 'their private places to go to'.

Another snowy day ride.

How to get your dirt bike into a short-bed-pickup truck!

Copyright 2024, R. Fleischer

Photo Gallery #7

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Last check/edit: Monday, April 08, 2024