To understand what lead to the following picture you will have to read on ...
June 8th - June 14th 2008.
About 4,500 Km and roughly 52 hours of actual riding/moving time.
4 states : WA/OR/NV/CA
Every year during the first or second week of June and for 4 years now, a group of buddies head out on the open roads from Vancouver with a rough direction/objective. No hotel booked.
This year our plan was to head North to Jasper to ride the Icefield parkway from the North to get the best views. Then South towards Glacier National Park then some time in Idaho and Oregon.
Unfortunately the weather decided to cancel our plans big time. So atthe 11th hours we decided to run South and escape the bad weather as fast as we could.
We always start on a Saturday. But this year for me I had to face a bit iof a challenge as I had to attend a wedding.
So while my buddies went to get a shower over Washington pass and calling in for the night in Ellensburg, I ended up leaving Port Moody at 0530 am.
It was hard getting up, but let me tell you that it was a breeze to ride all the way to Seattle, crossing the border and the Port Mann at those early hours.
Little did I know at that time that the couple of showers barely able to get me wet I got that morning would be the only rain I would see for the rest of the week.
I tackled 886Km the first day, including about 100Km of off-road/ gravel road.
If you are thinking of doing the same one day, I would encourage you to give a it a try. The burden of getting up and do some boring interstate is quickly forgotten as soon as you are on the other side of the cascades. The fun really starts.
Anyway I caught up to my group in Toppenish around 1030am.
The camera finally saw the light of day to capture Mt Adams.
As you can see the weather is really co-operating already.
A few minutes later we descend into the Columbia gorges to cross into Oregon, but not before stopping at the Stonehenge replica which I had never seen before.
Into Oregon we road into Condom after crossing a forest of Windmills.
I went up close to take in the full size of those giants.
Generally in Oregon once you are about 30 miles from the gorges, the traffic just dies and the troopers (tax collectors) just become invisible. Yet this year we manage to gather 2 tickets in the middle of the state. Maybe this was because we showed up on a week-end rather than our mid-week regular visit.
Nobody got really upset as the trooper gave instructions on how to get it cancelled. Niiiice.
We eventually called it a night in Central Oregon after a quick traditional stop at the painted hills.
This site is always a winner.
No matter the light of the day.
Two of us went for a 75Km dirt loop in the back country. Let me tell you that it was a lot of fun.
We reached some fairly 'interesting' speeds through some really nice forest roads. The surprise was the perfectly paved and twisty road bringing us back to civilization from the 6,000 ft+ plateau.
The next day we headed south even more still looking to escape the bad weather forecast. So Nevada was the objective for the evening.
About an hour South of 'Burns/OR' we stopped for a break in what looked like a ghost town, French glen. This is when we notice one of our bike had an issue with a rear tire.
Strange as no later than the previous gas stop we had actually looked at all the bikes and talked about who needed to change their rubbers.
This tire BTW is a Conti road attack. The kind I have been running on my motard kit for the last 2 years and 30,000 KM+ without a single problem or complaint. Yet this one appeared to melt on that Southern Oregon pavement.
From 6 rider we melted in 2 minutes to 4 riders. One of the two headed home the next day, while the trouble bike had to wait more than a day for tire to be shipped from Boise/ID. He rejoined-us 3 days later in Medford.
By now the roads are getting straight. Really, really straight. But boy the scenery takes over. And what some would consider a boring road, became actually surprisingly interesting.
At the bottom of the Oregon state rounding a pass the few remaining trees are now gone.