Oregon with Scooter, May 2-5 2010
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Thread: Oregon with Scooter, May 2-5 2010

  1. #1
    Registered User Array doser's Avatar
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    2012 CB1000RA

    Oregon with Scooter, May 2-5 2010

    Day 1

    I had heard lots of great reports of the fine riding to be had in northeastern Oregon, so when ‘Scooter’ (Brian) posted a ride, I jumped at the chance to go, especially since he had a reputation for knowing all the ‘secret ways’! Poor weather put us back a time or two, but eventually we committed to the beginning of May, despite a shaky forecast.

    Brian came by my place before 6am Sunday, and we hit the border around 6:30. Once we were across, we had to don raingear, as the skies were grey, congealed, and weeping. We blasted down I5 to 2 or 3 interchanges south of Bellingham, then dropped onto Old Samish Way to start the ‘fun’ riding. The roads were damp, but the rain had stopped. We took OSW back north to the Chuckanut, then ripped south to Edison, and onwards to Hwy 20. (We missed the turning onto Bayview-Edison Rd, but we caught it on the way back.) South of Anacortes we took a diversion along Rosario Rd, and south of Oak Harbour we hit Madrona Way into Coupeville (pleasant little town – apparently Christopher's is the place to dine). It was 8:30, 2 hours from the border, when we arrived at the Keystone terminal for the 8:45 ferry, which amazingly is only $5 and change for the bike and rider!

    Once across to Port Townsend we started down Hwy 101 about half an hour before stopping for a robust breakfast at the Loggers Landing in Quilcene WA, which is worth the trip. A later trip onto the Olympic peninsula revealed that the Chimacum Café – 15 min closer to Pt Townsend – is pretty much as good (in fact, has better hash browns), and definitely is as ‘folksy’, altho it’s hard to beat the “Spotted Owl Helper” in the Landing’s checkout display case for authentic humour!

    I love the blast down the Hood Canal when there’s not much traffic, and soon we were south of Shelton and branching west onto Hwy 108 towards McCleary and a long network of secondary roads west of I5. Brian ran out of fuel on Bunker Creek Road, but he’d come prepared (the SV1000 is thirsty!), and soon we were in Adna to top up.

    fuel in Adna - the end of Bunker Cr rd in the background

    More side highways took us to the Columbia and the crumbling-but-impressive Lewis and Clark bridge into Oregon. 20 minutes west, in Clatskanie, we refueled again, and the fun really began!

    Brian had told me that Hwy 47 and Hwy 53 were a couple of his favorite roads, but I was unprepared for the ridiculously twisty nature of the initial 20km or so of 47. I reckoned my grin would split my helmet! More secondary roads branched right, then a few miles of high speed sweepers westbound on the 4-laned Hwy 26 with no traffic going our way, and a steady solid stream of weekenders heading back to Portland on the opposite side of the road added to the thrill of the day. Hwy 53 was not as ‘wild’ as 47, but it was certainly outstanding, and soon we were in Nehalem, and soon afterwards checking into the Blue Gull Inn in Cannon Beach, our home for the next two nites. We had been on the go for about 12 hours, and after a look at the beach and a pizza we unceremoniously hit the sack.

    map of day one:

    ...day 2, next post.
    Last edited by doser; 06-05-2010 at 01:08 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Array doser's Avatar
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    Oregon with Scooter, day 2

    Day 2 dawned wet but it slowly cleared and by 10:30 we hit the road. We followed 101 south to Nehalem, then diverted onto Miami Creek Rd, which was very nice except for the need to pass a pretty quick logging truck thru fairly thick spray.

    the south end of Miami River road

    South of Tillamook, we refuelled at Beaver, then headed east onto the Nestucca River Road. 15 or 20km along this superb valley-road, we branched uphill right onto a more obscure forestry road, and after another 15km or so of deteriorating weather and pretty sketchy surfaces, we hit a fork.

    Bible Creek road (?), above Nestucca River road

    Downhill to the right seemed to sorta take us back towards where we’d come from, so we turned left, uphill, east, and drove on – into a pretty thick snowstorm!

    Scooter launches left, into the unknown!

    you gotta love May!

    Luckily, the ‘high ground’ didn’t last forever, and we soon dropped to more civil altitudes and more clement weather on the ‘backside’ of the coast mountains. Brian’s SV1000, however, turned into an SV500 with the extreme wetness, and we ended up with an unscheduled stop while he made repairs.

    nice road... too bad about the torn boot and the manky lead...

    The road continued down and east very enjoyably, and soon we were out into Oregon’s great central valley. Brian headed east to pick up some stuff he was after, and I took off south to explore.

    The initial section of the ride was boring, past McMinnville (home to a major air museum, including the famed "Spruce Goose'), but at Willamina I took a chance and headed out northwest onto the Willamina Creek road.

    Sure enough, within about 20km I arrived at the junction where we’d guessed wrong earlier in the day, and I reversed the route down the superb Nestucca River valley back to Beaver.

    It was only midafternoon, so I turned south a few miles to make the Pacific City – Netarts – Three Capes loop, which has nice curves but some pretty poor road surfaces.

    A half an hour north and I was back at the Blue Gull. Brian was several hours later arriving back – he’d had his time in the mall, then gone ‘diverting’ a bit himself. I think I recall managing to find a hockey game on TV to amuse myself, which was an unexpected pleasure, given this was the US of A.

    map of day 2 for me:

    ...day 3, next post.
    Last edited by doser; 06-05-2010 at 01:13 PM.

  4. #3
    Registered User Array doser's Avatar
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    Oregon with Scooter, day 3

    Day 3 we planned on doing more ‘sport’ riding, then slowly working our way back towards home. We went south a ways, then hit Hwy 22 from Hebo to Willamina. This was superb, with excellent pavement, wonderful corners, and beautiful scenery. Unfortunately (from the 'visuals' point of view only), the riding was so engrossing that I didn't want to stop for photos!

    Beyond McMinnville we took to more secondary highways, and followed 47 all the way back to Clatskanie.

    Hwy 47 near Yamhill OR

    In WA, we reversed most of the side route back to Shelton, passing thru one very cold section where it had recently hailed and there was actually slush on the road and solid white in the ditches. Somehow we missed the motel section of Shelton, and quickly thereafter we were committed to carrying on the Bremerton. Cold, tired, and in a downpour after dark, we finally switched off at a Super 8 and started plugging coins into the laundry-drier to restore our fitness for travel for the morrow. I would admit to being grumpy, but a meal and a beer soon put that to rights, and bed was very welcome.

    map of Oregon portion of day 3 - Cannon beach to Hwy 22 to Hwy 47 to Clatskanie:

    Once back into WA, we reversed the southbound route to Shelton. See the 5th post in this series for a detail map of the Shelton to Longview route.
    Last edited by doser; 06-05-2010 at 01:18 PM.

  5. #4
    Registered User Array doser's Avatar
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    Oregon with Scooter, day 4

    We hadn’t planned to pass thru Bremerton, but we took advantage of our situation to ride some of the backroads of the Kitsap Peninsula to start Day 4. These were variable, with some sections of uninteresting right angled roads thru old clearcuts, but there were also lots of fine miles of pleasant riding.

    3 photos on Dewatto-Holly road

    Hwy 106 back to the Hood Canal highway is lovely, but almost continuously lined with houses and cottages, so not the place for antics. I recall riding pretty aggressively up 101 though, then it was onto the ferry back to the ‘mainland’ side. Bayview and Chuckanut passed, then it was I5, the border, and home. It had been an intense 4 days, with lots of exciting riding and almost continuously challenging weather. Sure, it would have been nicer to have sun the whole time, but this made for an experience I won’t soon forget. Thanks, Scooter, for the company, and for showing me a few of the byways!

    map of our Kitsap route:

    we only wanted to spend an extra couple hours, so we missed many of the alternate possibilities on the peninsula. also, there are backroads alternatives to travelling Hwy 106 west to rejoin Hwy 101. see Destination Highways WA map...
    Last edited by doser; 06-05-2010 at 01:48 PM.

  6. #5
    Registered User Array doser's Avatar
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    Shelton to Longview side route

    in his posting for this trip, Scooter laid out the driving directions for side-tripping the section from Shelton WA (at the south end of Puget Sound) to Longview WA (on the Columbia R). here's his original set of directions, plus a detail map:

    From Shelton Hwy 101

    R Hwy 108 to McCleary
    Follow Mox-Chehalis Rd to Malone
    L Hwy 12
    R Porter Creek Rd 3/4 mile
    L South Bank rd 7 miles South
    R Garrard Creek rd before Bridge
    R Manners rd at Stop
    L Lincoln Creek rd
    R Ingalls rd, Caution blind S Curve
    L Bunker Creek rd Adna
    R Hwy 6 cross bridge
    L Twin Oaks rd
    R Pleasant Valley rd
    R Hwy 603 Winlock
    L Walnut rd, start of Hwy 505
    Straight Cemetery rd
    R South Military rd to Vader
    Go to top of Hill
    Straight West Side Hwy 411 to Castle Rock
    Follow Hwy 411, 432, 433 to Lewis and Clarke Bridge OR The Columbia river

    The route covers about 4 pages of Destination Hwy's WA book

    Shelton to McCreary page 138 DH72

    Oakville to Adna page 152 DH47

    Adna to Castle Rock page 160 DH 58

    Castle Rock to Lewis & Clark Bridge page 176 DH17


    this is very fine riding, mostly linking together sections of Destination Highways routes. I particularly enjoyed Bunker Creek road and Pleasant Valley road, but be VERY careful of slick tar-surfaced pavement on Bunker Cr rd in the wet!

    other variations are possible: for instance Boisfort Rd - Wildwood Rd [DH58] from Curtis to Vader and/or Delphi Rd - Waddell Cr Rd - Littlerock Rd [DH67] from Mud Bay to Rochester.


    p.s. oregonmotorcyclist.com has lots of info about good riding roads, altho 'a picture is worth a thousand words' and there are few (no?) photos attached to the individual road descriptions. nor is there any hierarchy or 'star' system, so you have to scan thru a bunch of descriptions and try to interpret which roads will appeal to you. there's sure a lot of good riding in the area, tho...
    Last edited by doser; 06-05-2010 at 01:58 PM.

  7. #6
    +1 Array schmii's Avatar
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    impressive ?first? lengthy report of the season. Looks like a great trip.

    Look not for happiness around the corner. Happiness is the corner. IBA#42642

  8. #7
    Registered User Array Borgnine's Avatar
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    eastern Fraser Valley
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    Nice write-up. Hope to see a lot of the same countryside next month.

  9. #8
    Moderator Array CHIA's Avatar
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    New West
    Good write-up, some really cool country, but too much wet stuff for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by G Hats View Post
    A sore ass is better than a shredded back!

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