Four days of finding the best roads in the Pacific NorthWest
Two days DOWN Two Days UP = 2,657kms
Had a chance to take a four day trip and went for it. Not sure if I will be able to do any more multiday trips this seasons so if this is my only one then I better go now!!! Glad I did. I forgot what an amazing place Oregon is to ride. Last year on my Yellowstone trip it seemed like every state I went through was competing to see who could do the most road construction. Not sure which state won but motorcyclists were the winners for sure. I could not believe just how much smooth, race track pavement there was to ride. Even small one lane roads through remote mountains were paved. Oregon has so much amazing scenery.
The ride started out WET and stayed wet until we were close to Leavenworth. It was frustrating especially since the road from Arlington > Granite Falls > Roesiger Lake is excellent. Highway 2 to Leavenworth is somewhat forgettable. Pretty bland. Lunch in Leavenworth was good. It was dry. I broke my own rule of no-beer-with-lunch and had one anyway because they had the Deschutes Brewery (great!) summer twilight ale. This is a fantastic beer. This trip is going to be filled with fantastic brews! After lunch we did the hill climb up to Ellensburg. This is a fantastic road going South. Fast sweepers going up hill is great. All the cops on this highway were already busy with other cars so it was ideal. When we arrived at Yakima Canyon Road is was being paved so not much of a road surface to really push it on. Big thanks to unknown rider for the head tap. He saved us from a ticket there. The road through Klickitat made up for the canyon road. Lots of fun through there! When we arrived in Hood River we dropped out stuff and went to the HorseFeathers pub for some great craft beer. Hood River is a GREAT place to stop for the night.
Started the day by heading through Mt. Hood. Wow it was cold. Temperature dipped down to 9 degrees! Heated vest cranked high enough to almost leave ‘grill marks’ on my body. Found a nice Coffee Roaster near government camp that was worth the stop. Slowly good coffee is making its way east. Carried on through the south of Portland which was a bit of a slog but the road on the other side has been on my ‘must do’ list for quite sometime. It was worth the ride through Portland. Nestucca River Road is incredible and most of it is GREAT pavement! Endless sweapers through canopy tree coverings. There was a bit of a suprise of 1.5 miles of hard packed gravel road but it was still worth it. This road should be on everyone’s to do list. Lunch was in Pacific City which in my opinion is the nicest area of the Oregon coast. It’s small and just as scenic. Lunch at the Pelican Pub and Brewer is a must. Their Clam Chowder is famous and so is alot of their beer. I should have planned it to spend the night here so I could climb the giant sand dune. After a good tip from some fellow riders we decided Waldport would be our destination. Hwy 130 and 22 was fantastic! Just when we thought it could not get any better Hwy 34 (Alsea) was mind blowing. Were talking banked 15mph corners, sweepers, everything! This is another MUST DO on your riding list. In Waldport we stayed at some dive motel and had mexican for dinner. Craft Brews for the evening were Arrogant Bastard Ale, Rouge Brewery Waldport Alsea Bay Ale, and Kona Brewing Longboard Lager. As usual the sunset on the Oregon coast never gets boring.
Chilly morning on the coast but we were headed east where no doubt it was going to be warmed. Total blue sky no clouds. We rode back through Alsea hwy and it was not as good heading east. Best to take it East. Still an amazing ride. Love those banked corners. Feels so strange heading downhill into a 30 degree banked corner. I need more practice on those, they just don’t feel right! Took a break in Lebanon before heading to Detroit. The road from Sweet Home to Detroit is a do not miss as well. It starts off as a nice curvy road along the river (beautiful!), then slowly goes to a wide road with no lines, and before you know it is one lane no lines through the middle of nowhere! It is nicely paved the whole way and the corners are great. You just have to be careful about what is coming around the corner. Most likely nothing but ya never know. Took a break in Detroit then onto more remote single lane mountain twisties. I really wonder why Oregon state bothers to pave one lane through the middle of nowhere. On that same principle it why I love riding the states so much. They pave everything! Once I was in Tygh Valley I was in the desert. From Tygh Valley to Biggs Junction it was prairie plains and great views of Mt Adams and Mt Hood. I also rode through a massive wind farm. Very impressive. In Biggs Junction there was a BMW tourer just arriving from Salt Lake City in one day… He was trying to make it North of Seattle before night fall. nuts! I finished off the day on the road through Bickleton and it reminded me of Hells Canyon. You ride along the prairies then descent down into a Gorge full of rushing rivers. Stayed the night in Sunnyside.
730am start to the day and I was able to ride 100miles before 9am. Took a rest in Ephrata. Then headed along Banks Lake for some SPECTACULAR scenery. The road is not technical but all you will be doing is looking around and the sheer size of the canyon. It is quite the site. This is a must do road for scenery alone. You fell very small and insignificant. All this was caused by a massive glacier after the ice age. Electric City to Twisp was fairly forgettable. Should have headed north sooner to take hwy 20. Went to Banks Grocery for one of the best sandwiches in the world and picked up some Blue Star Coffee Beans. Another strange thing about this grocery store is the amount of taxidermy. Not just small stuff but Lions, Deer, Bison. Weird… I was expecting heavy traffic through the cascades which their was but somehow managed to ride from the summit of the cascades to very near the Diablo Lake lookout without passing a single vehicle. Kinda strange but I sure do enjoy those nice 40mph sweepers!!! My luck ran out when I ran into a pack of 20 harleys. No passing opportunities there. To make matters more frustrating the douche bag cop in New Halem escorted the 20 harley’s and myself all the way to Marblemount at 5mpg UNDER the speed limit. gah…. Took a break in Marblemount and up hwy 9 to home by 515pm.