I know you're all thinking "didn't he already post this report," but while this trip was very similar to my last one it was also very different from the one I did just a week prior.
This time I went on a 4 day trip through Washington and Oregon with a couple friends. We wanted to see the coast and some of inland Oregon so a rough route was drafted up with the help of Elevation, Maverik and reading most of the same ride reports I read for my trip the previous week. An important thing I learned is how much longer it takes to travel the same distance as a group compared to riding solo. It definitely took us longer, but exactly how much I'm not sure. I'm used to planning for solo riding so some of the distances we had planned meant riding long hours if we wanted to get everything in.
I promised to take notes and I think I've gone into pretty good detail. If you have more specific questions, ask now before I forget the details!
Day 1: Home to Hoquiam, WA 540km http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&sourc...9,9.157104&z=8
We started out with the goal of meeting the Noon ferry across to Port Townsend, but were delayed by one of us getting selected for a random border check. This meant a 30 minute border wait time turned into 90 minutes and we wound up on the 1:30pm boat.
The initial plan was to loop all the way around the Washington coast to Kelso so we could easily start day 2 only a few miles out from OR-47. The 2pm start made this a difficult task and we wound up only making it to Hoquiam. At 8pm on a Thursday night, this place was basically a ghost town minus a few cars driving through. We checked into the Econolodge and luckily sat down for food right before the Mexican restaurant across the street closed at 9pm.
As far as the riding for the day, Hwy 101 from Port Townsend around the Olympic Peninsula was very straight, very boring, and very busy with traffic. I will never ride this road again if I can help it. We did detour onto the 112 towards Neah Bay and it was quite a lot of fun. We didn't go all the way to Neah Bay, but went straight back to the 101 when we got to the junction with the 113 because we started so late. The 112 had lots of 25-35mph corners and decent elevation changes along with good road quality, but it's hard to say it's worth the effort required to get to that stretch. Maybe if you give yourself more time to do this area you can find some fun side roads, but if you're looking for a half-quick way down to the Oregon coast my suggestion is to just suck it up and take the I-5 for the time saving.
Include some rain while we waited at the border crossing and this day was sadly one of the most underwhelming rides I've done and not a good way to start a trip. Admittedly, I'm becoming more picky with each trip and if I had done this route last year when I was fresh out of riding school my opinion would probably be very different.
But saying that, a big part of riding with your friends is that there's a lot more fun to be had than just riding cool roads and we made the best of our first day.
Ferry with a few of the other bikes headed our way.
Typical weather for the area facing out onto the Pacific.