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WA & OR Motorcycle trip - May 15-18, 2005

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Funny how things work out sometimes. My friend Dave Sutter from Bainbridge Island and I planned a 4 day motorcycle trip through British Columbia using the Destination Highways books to ensure a great route. By the time we got to Everett in the rain, realizing that it was supposed to be sunny down in Oregon, we turned around and headed south. No Destination Highways book covers Oregon, but I had a highlighted map showing roads described as "twisties" and "sweepers" from a variety of different websites. Neither Dave nor I had been south and east in Oregon and were ready to check it out. Well, in short, it was awesome. I try to ride FS25 and FS99 around Mt. St. Helens every year, and I was amazed to find the quality of roads in Oregon equal to or (dare I say) better than FS25 and FS99. Yeah yeah the scenery was beautiful, fantastic even most of the trip, but the high concentration of sweepers and twisties on many roads along with the excellent engineering and pavement quality made for a superb ride. Fun, fun fun. Nothing like winding deep down into a canyon on clean, linked S turns, winding on up the other side, and turning around and doing it again because it was so crazy-good (see picture).

Traffic on Sunday was moderate as expected, but the rest of the days it was so light that we'd go for half an hour or more and not even see another car. Spooky almost. Gas and lodging were not a problem, and we actually had some great meals too. Dave and I both used radar detectors on this trip for the first time, which was kind of interesting. We had different brands and often compared them by seeing if we both received the same signal. There was at least one point where they probably saved us a ticket.

Rimrock lake, about 10 miles east of White Pass on the way over the Cascades to dryer weather. Dave futzing with gear by the guardrail.

My VX800 with the wall of clouds (and rain) in the background. It's better to have good weather than good roads. But having both is best!

Removing rain pants.

A brief stop in Bickleton on the way to Goldendale to stretch the old legs.

The Mabton to Goldendale road is a "DH" rated road, but it was lonely and unremarkable except for the Rock Creek canyon section and the initial sweepers as you leave Mabton.

But the Rock Creek canyon section was a "do it twice" kind of road section. Really great twisties.

Down into the canyon.

First night on the road in lovely Biggs, Or. For $65 a night is was passable.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4