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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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I recently got engaged to my wonderful fiancé in the Philippines and spent a month riding her around on a Kawasaki Barako 175. Lots of family to present. Not a TW in site, but motorcycles, etc. outnumber cars 2:1. It’s insane riding.

When I returned stateside I immediately left for the weeklong (previously planned) trip with the Pacific Northwest Honda Elements to the Alvord desert; northern Nevada; and the Oregon outback.

At risk of punishing the community with Chevy Chase vacation slides, I thought some of you might find these random pictures interesting. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congratulations indeed Patrick. Wishing you and your pretty bride-to-be a wonderful life together. Great pictures too.
Thank you so much Fred! You know, I think of you every time I take the Element with the TW down a gravel road: “Well, Fred does it”. Thanks for the always sage advice. P
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good on you, man. Was that Kawasaki your ride down there?! Cool lookin bike.

Also, congratulations to you and your future bride, hope there are many years of happiness and motorcycles.
Yes Blake, a Kawasaki Barako 175. It’s a workhorse not available here. Neutral at the top, then four speeds only straight down. It took some time to get used to it; then some time to get used to riding my TW with the standard shift pattern again. They ride motorcycles all over the place, including on sidewalks to pass cars. It’s crazy! P
 

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Seeing the Honda Element rodeo photo had me imagining the good times together for like minded folks in a really nice looking location. Bet your TW on the back set you apart and made for good conversations as you push the envelope of just what those Elements can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Seeing the Honda Element rodeo photo had me imagining the good times together for like minded folks in a really nice looking location. Bet your TW on the back set you apart and made for good conversations as you push the envelope of just what those Elements can do.
Yes Fred! That and the fact that everybody took forever to get ready in the morning meant that I could ride and explore from 6 AM to 8 AM every day while everyone else was putzing around, and not missing a beat! Because I took little food and gear with me (I’m not a very prepared camper), I would return for a hot breakfast ready for me. Lol! P
 

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Your rig does look impressive parked there on Rodeo Drive. BFG All-Terrain T/A tires seem a very good choice. Been my tire of choice last 40 years for work & play.
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P.S. - Showed my wife photo of you two together and she agrees your fiancé is very cute and you two make a good looking couple.
No wonder we haven't heard from Patrick in a month, guy has been busy having too much fun.
More Philippine photos would be appreciated, looks warmer there than my snowy day here.
 
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Congrats, Patrick!!

I also met my wife in the PI, June 1968. Thoroughly enjoyed living there for 18 months (minus TDY) and can very much appreciate your enjoyment there.

Top photo is behind future in-laws house on Clark Air Base (Pampanga Province, Luzon)

Middle is in Mabalacat at friend's house. Locals were very hospitable, at that time. Was planning to return, but life happens and also the political situation changed for some years.

Bottom is Mt. Arayat, which I climbed 8 times in 18 months. Don't recall if photo was heading to Danang or to Tainan, Taipei and CCK on Taiwan, heading to Tachikawa AB.

TDY to Japan provided an opportunity to climb Mt Fuji

And TDY to Vietnam and Thailand provided $65 per month hostile fire pay and no income taxes for the month!

Great memories!

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Congrats, Patrick!!

I also met my wife in the PI, June 1968. Thoroughly enjoyed living there for 18 months (minus TDY) and can very much appreciate your enjoyment there.

Top photo is behind future in-laws house on Clark Air Base (Pampanga Province, Luzon)

Middle is in Mabalacat at friend's house. Locals were very hospitable, at that time. Was planning to return, but life happens and also the political situation changed for some years.

Bottom is Mt. Arayat, which I climbed 8 times in 18 months. Don't recall if photo was heading to Danang or to Tainan, Taipei and CCK on Taiwan, heading to Tachikawa AB.

TDY to Japan provided an opportunity to climb Mt Fuji

And TDY to Vietnam and Thailand provided $65 per month hostile fire pay and no income taxes for the month!

Great memories!
Thanks SO much SD for sharing your story and these great pictures. You know, the people of PH still love America, which you can easily see when you’re there. We might very much need this friendship sometime in the near future. Was your wife born there? God Bless! P
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Post 7: https://www.tw200forum.com/threads/have-you-ever-rented-a-motorcycle.50121/#post-731137
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
P.S. - Showed my wife photo of you two together and she agrees your fiancé is very cute and you two make a good looking couple.
No wonder we haven't heard from Patrick in a month, guy has been busy having too much fun.
More Philippine photos would be appreciated, looks warmer there than my snowy day here.
Thanks for the kind words Fred! You’re always at the ready with them, and great advice too.

I’ll post a few more photos, but there’s a few videos of the motorcycle traffic I’d like to show everyone as I think they would find it is interesting and crazy as I did. Unfortunately, I don’t seem able to attach them. P
 

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I am sure traffic is much heavier than in 1967-1968. But it was crazy when I rented a Jeepney, drove it from Angeles City to Manila and back. Filipino friend and I rented motorcycles (CB160s) to ride to Baguio. It was very nice in the mountains.
He did not want to go too far past Baguio. Something about headhunters...but it was such beautiful country!

World Ecoregion Map Line Atlas


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Thanks SO much SD for sharing your story and these great pictures. You know, the people of PH still love America, which you can easily see when you’re there. We might very much need this friendship sometime in the near future. Was your wife born there? God Bless! P
She was not born there. Air Force dependent. I met her at church, the day after she and family arrived. Proposed 8 days later. She was not there long...left for college in Tennessee. Wrote her daily. Married 3 years later. Now married for 50 years...51 in June.

Her dad (Lt Colonel) advised me of an early out program, so when I left Clark AB in Jan 1969, instead of going to Norton AFB, I got out 10 months early.

Bought a lot (A LOT) of knives and blowguns from this happy guy. Knives are now distributed among our kids and grandkids (14).

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Hope I am not hijacking your thread, but this is very nostalgic.
My first 6 months at Clark was 636th Security Police squadron.
I was having back problems from my 1963 M/C crash, so I was assigned to Rock Crusher gate #2 for a long time.
It was at Negrito Village, near the bomb dump.
I made a lot of friends. A Jeep would bring me a box lunch (remote post) and I would trade it for local food.
My first hike up Mt Arayat was escorted by 2 Negritos.
Now a national park, then it was a no man's land. Filipinos and Americans were concerned about Huks.
There were abandoned banana plantations and tomato fields.
In the foothills, many animals were trapped for the Clark jungle survival school, primarily for pilots flying in Vietnam.
Animals included bamboo pit vipers (2 steppers) and cobras.

My guides were barefoot, I was wearing combat boots. I asked about snakes. They said to just make noise with your feet and snakes would get out of the way. The were armed with an air rifle, hoping to kill a monkey for food.
They showed me a plant along a stream. Peeled the bark, sliced it and it tasted like water chestnut. Not much flavor, but filling.

Hiked there 7 more times, once with my wife to be. Missed a bus (or maybe last Jeepney to bus stop), got soaked in a monsoon, but a peace corps worker at the base of the mountain sheltered us and gave us a ride.

The other 6 trips were solo. I'll save the time I got lost during the night for later, if I have not put too many members asleep. Great story of local hospitality.
 

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HOSPITALITY

By the time of my last hike, I transferred from 636th Security Police squadron to 405th Fighter Wing, scheduling air to air refueling for fighters rotating between Udorn and Danang to Clark. Mon-Fri desk job.
Hiking equipment included a military daypack (food, poncho), gun belt (no gun) with:
Bolo knife (machete)
Canteen
M16 magazine pouches containing pilot survival kits

On my last hike up Mt Arayat, I got a late start.
Memory of transportation is now sketchy. I think a Jeepney went from bus stop to Magalang.
I think the starting point was past the agricultural school, to the northwest.

About 9 PM it was too dark to continue (no flashlight).
Laid down on a large rock (less bugs), tied a trauma bandaide loosely over my head for a mosquito net, using the pad as a pillow, so I could nap until moonlight.
Saw pairs of eyes that were probably civets.
Moon up about 11 PM, so I continued to the top (northern peak), where I explored a bit.

Then started back down, but wrong path! I soon realized that, but figured I would continue down and then skirt the mountain back to a bus stop.
Ran out of water, but found a can with fresh water in a empty nippa hut on the way down.
Saw a village in the distance, headed for it.
Might have been Arayat (southeast). It was rather small and only a dirt road…at least the part I remember.

As I entered town, curious locals (not an area to expect a GI) asked lots of questions and very surprised that I came over the mountain. A group said they were going to a birthday party and invited me (out of food by then).

What a feast! After expressing gratitude, I asked about a bus back to Angeles City and headed off.

After a few minutes a man from the party, driving a Jeep, stopped and offered me a ride to the bus stop.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
 
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