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Fri., 5/15, Burrito Ride #23 Winthrop and beyond
POST UP IF YOU'RE COMING
SR20 was in very good shape last Sunday, I'm doing it again. This is going to be a first leg of my trip, I'll be probably staying first night somewhere around Chelan, Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Yakima, etc. Then I continue to northern Oregon, stay there for 3 nights, then back.
You're welcome to do just the beginning with me, having lunch then turn back. Or just do the whole trip together.
We'll be having lunch in Twisp.
Not advisable for beginners. It was around 10C last Sunday on summit, but I recommend you bringing warm clothing.
Meet at ARCO / AMPM in Sedro-Woopee (the corner SR9 and SR20, or N. Township St. and Moore St.) at 10:00, leave at 10:15. Not planning to stop for gas at least till Winthrop, but let me know if you want to stop again in Marblemount.
For those coming via Bellingham, I'll be having breakfast at Jack in the Box on Sunset Dr. around 9:15, I won't be precise on time, but we can meet there.
Pace will be moderate on twisties, over 5mph over the limit on straight stretches.
I won't be going where you are, but I may meet you for breakfast.
Jack in the Box? I thought you were a culinary snob! What the hell happened? LOL.
Originally Posted by Maverik
Have a nice ride man.
Jack in the Box has some really yummy breakfast burritos!!
Have a great ride Mav!
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Tell me where I can have some great dim sum or huevos rancheros in Bellingham around 9am.
Originally Posted by bandito
When I'm solo, I sometimes go have pastries at a bakery called Avenue (I think?) in Fairhaven, but I thought Jack in the Box would be easier for other people coming from Vancouver and not much out of our way.
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You happen to be in B-ham tomorrow morning?
Originally Posted by Locksmith
Where are you going, if you don't mind me asking?
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Did I mention that you'll need a passport to go to US as of next month?
'Busa girls, God love 'em
Didnt see this damn... how is the trip Nick??
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We were 3 from Bellingham, great weather. One guy turned back at Winthrop, the rest of us continued to Chelan. We split, then I continued south to Oregon, stayed there for 3 nights.
Originally Posted by Argyle
Last Sunday, it was a bit too hot for me around 30C, but on my way back, it was a bit too chilly maybe around 15C. It rained really hard around Portland, and on and off on I-5. Because of rain and cold, I simply took the fastest route possible on way back.
The weather was still unstable and chilly yesterday, so I took I-5 again from Seattle, except Chuckanut Dr. The traffic was pretty light during the day on Wed., so that I had to make only one illegal passing
With so many great roads in Oregon, I just feel I'm wasting gas to go ride roads around here
My Dad & wife just arrive at Lake Chelan today as well, said the ride was fantastic.
Going to explore a lil OR & come back Sunday....you guys make me jealous!!!
+ I'm getting texts from Bandito, who's in Cali, and says the riding is EPIC!
He did Hwy 36 today...140 miles, and only saw 2 cars....weather is 120 inland, 75 on the coast...damn you all!!!!
Glad you had a safe trip Nick, welcome back.
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Chelan, Winthrop, etc must be busy this Memorial Day weekend. I hope N. Cascade Hwy isn't like Crowsnest Hwy last weekend according to J-Scott.
Originally Posted by CHIA
It was 90s on Sun. and 50s on Tue. in north central Oregon, it was even icy raining in Goverment Camp, OR. I don't know how I can handle 120F weather next month, but I'll see!
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I've put icon at the end of every recommended roads, for quick reference.
I have nothing but good things to write about SR20: weather was pretty warm, traffic was light on Fri., superb asphalt, not to mention amazing mountain view with lots of snow.
Once in Winthrop, one of us stayed there, and the rest of us took Eastside Winthrop-Twisp Rd. It's a good alternative to SR20, with some good twists near Twisp. At the corner of that road and SR20 in Twisp, there's a new Mexican restaurant called Salsa, I'm glad that we tried. It was pretty good.
My buddy got some gas in Twisp, but I was still able to go another 80km or so, so I didn't. Big mistake that I learned later on.
From Twisp, we took Twisp-Carlton Rd., then merged to SR153. Then US97 from Pateros. He continued to Chelan, and I crossed Columbia River to eastside. I could go only another 25km, 30km with optimistic estimate, I really wanted to get gas, but there was no gas station along US97. The sign said to get to Chelan, it's like 5km ride one way to just get gas. I was like nah, I continued US97, because that road is fairy busy. It's a fairly busy 2-lane hwy with 65mph speed limit. I was doing 70mph, but I was delaying 3-4 cars behind me. That road is pretty straight, with lots of broken yellow line, though. I passed by a small communities, but I didn't see any sign of gas stations, so I continued. I finally made it to Orondo, and saw a sign of 76. Then my bike started losing speed, I pulled over. I ran dry for my first time with this bike (have done a couple of times with other bikes). Lucky me, a gas station is just one block away, so I started pushing my bike. It was around 25C there, I was sweating with helmet and jacket on. The slope to the gas station was pretty steep, oh god my bike was so heavy. After taking off helmet and jacket, and one last push, my bike was at the pump. After filling it up, it was easy to restart despite my worry. I couldn't believe there was no gas station along US97 between Pateros and Orondo for 45mi! The traffic is pretty heavy there.
US2 east of Orondo is pretty fun, climbing from Columbia River canyon to a highland. There was an RV refusing to use slow vehicle shoulder, so piling up 6 cars and ruining all the fun. So after using that slow vehicle shoulders a couple of times myself(I WAS a slow vehicle thanks to that stoopid RV), I got out of that slow parade.
From Waterville, I took a backroad which changes its name at least 3 times, most part called Badger Mtn. Rd. It got a few km of hard packed clay road, which wasn't too bad. It gave me some decent twists after that, and ending with great view of Wenatchee with some switch back.
After that, I took SR28 to Quincy. Roads from Wenatchee were pretty boring till next day. I wanted a room in Quincy, but they're asking $75, I found it a bit too steep despite it's a new construction with continental breakfast. They said they're having a concert that night, hence the higher price.
So I continued south, there was no motels along I-90. I knew there's a motel in Vantage, but I have to cross the bridge, so I didn't. I continued south SR243. On the map, Mattawa seemed pretty large, but it seemed like a shanty town with most people around was hispanic. To my surprise, there was no motel in that town for a city of at least 2,000 people, but there were a half dozen of Mexican restaurants. Someone told me there's one in a village next to it, so I decided to have Mexican dinner there, then continued.
Sure there's a motel in a village called Desert Aire. They were asking for almost $90 a night, but the sun just set, and there's no motel around for 50mi radius. I've got no choice. After I saw the room, it just doesn't deserve that asking price. It's just an average budget room deserves only around $40... I will not ever stay there!
On Sat., I continued south, SR243, SR24, then I remember I can lean on SR241 but nothing spectacular except this open agricultural land. I had a Chinese buffet lunch (indeed it was a brunch for me, as I didn't find any good place to eat till I got there) in Sunnyside. I continued south to Mabton.
From Mabton, I wanted to take a backroad that goes to Goldendale, on my map, it looks like that continues from Sunnyside. All I saw was a gravel road from Mabton, I didn't see any other road climbing up the hill ahead of me. That gravel got so soft, it was incredibly hard to ride. It was hot, my engine was getting hot too. After I passed the hill, I saw endless gravel road, I made some random turns trying going back to Mabton. Once there, I learned the road I wanted to take actually starts from a block east.
Between valley bottom and top of hill, it seemed like popular hang out for sport bike riders. There are nice high speed turns there. Once past the top, things go mild, but still pretty nice. That road goes around Rock Creek Canyon, the scenery and road were amazing. It's a lot better than US97 between Toppenish and Goldendale.
Back to US97 from Goldendale is pretty boring as in riding, but scenery is great. You can see Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood. All of roads I took in WA is listed in Destination Highways book.
I was going to stay in Madras for 3 nights, it was still 3 or 4, so I took SR216 off US97. SR216 zips through ranch land, then goes down to Deschutes River canyon. The road is crazy twisty with amazing scenery. I did backwards the other time, I thought the road to heaven would look like this.
I took the road connects to Maupin along Deschutes River. Then I get to do one of my favorite backroad to Bakeoven. There's this sick twisties coming from Maupin for maybe around 5km or so.
I stayed in Madras for 3 nights. Madras has a population of around 3,000, it got many fast foods like McD, KFC, A&W, BK, DQ. When it comes to riding, it may be more convenient staying places like Maupin, Shaniko, Anthelope, Fossil, Condon, Spray, etc, but none of them have fastfood, only a diner or two which can be filled with smoke and may close before sun sets. Other than my motel's owner was S. Asian, I didn't see too many of them in Madras, I was kinda thinking it'd be a mini Surrey. To me, it's just unfortunate that many of them run motels, but not Indian restaurants. I found KFC's grilled chicken darn good for a franchise like that, only $4 gives you 2 pcs, 2 sides, and a biscuit! I'm curious to know if they have that in Canada. Madras also had Mexican bakeries (yes, 2 of them!). It was good to have Mexican pastries again, but I'm not a big fan of Mexican breads, I realized...not really moist nor chewy?
It was over 30C on Sunday, man it was hot even when I was rolling. Monday, it got around 25C. Then on Tue., it was only around 15C when I left there. In north central Oregon, it's quicker to list boring roads than great roads, so many good roads with few traffic.
Here are some strong recommendations:
* SR27 between Prineville and Prineville Reservoir
* SR207 between US26 and SR19
* SR206 east of Condon
* SR207 from SR206 jct to Spray
* SR19 from Spray thru Kimberly, till US26 jct
* A backroad starting from 10mi north of Madras on US97, to Ashwood. The traffic is extremely light. In fact, I didn't see any other humans for almost 2 hours of round trip riding.
* And of course, the world famous (?) SR218 from Antelope to Fossil.
The sun doesn't set till around 9 these days, so I want to take good advantage of it. However, there's very few gas stations in that area, if there are, they close at 7, some of them even at 6. They may have different hours on Sundays. My advice is to fill up well before 7, even when you know you'll make it to your hotel. You never know you get lost or want to explore some side roads, it doesn't hurt too much having more gas than you need, although small gas stations there charge like 10-20% more than regional centers like Madras and Prineville.
I didn't see any deer for a week, which is odd, but I saw a few cows walking on the road. I wouldn't recommend night riding after sunset. If you need to, always follow another vehicle.
On my way back, I was thinking going through Mt. St. Helens forest roads, but I learned the one to Randle was closed, and I couldn't know if it's passable from Carson to Cougar, so I decided to go back via Portland.
I wanted have some lunch at Kahneeta casino, just the road off US26, north of Madras for about 10km. That loop road turned out to be really nice
I had a pasta at the casino, the food was really good, but service sucked! I'll give another try next time though, because the road to there was good.
My Plan B was to take the forest road to Estacada, but it was so chilly, maybe around 10C, and it was dark and cloudy, decided to simply continue US26. Besides, I saw some forest road starting from side of US26 still got a lot of snow on the road, so I guess it's still too early.
Around Government Camp, I started seeing the sign Snow Zone - traction tire or chain required. It started pouring, then icy rain! Luckily, there was a Chevron on summit. They told me it snowed that morning, and motorcycles can't go up to Timberline, but it should be ok to Portland.
US26 should be an ok road, but with all the rain, I have no comment...
After an obligatory booze shopping before leaving Oregon, I was thinking some backroads as a part of Plan B, but I had to scrap altogether. It was cold and it was raining on and off. I wanted to get to my hotel in Kent as fast as I can, I simply took I-5.
My final day, it's drier, but it was still cold and big cloud was moving fast. I was thinking of doing Whidbey Island on way back, but I just did I-5 again after having a great Indian food in Seattle, then did Chuckanut Dr.
Damn Nick, some great info there. Thanks!!! I might have to spring for the Destination Highways book myself