I gave myself five days to get to Berkeley, California, from Seattle. My plan was to ride as few miles as possible on the interstate, but on the first day of my trip I decided to jog East on I90 in order to reach a couple of interesting roads that I'd heard about. Today I would end up in Bend to meet my old friend Stormy, and from there we would discuss our routes for the rest of the trip.
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I was so elated to be getting on the road that I didn't want to stop and put on another layer for Snoqualmie pass, so I cranked up the grip warmers to "super toasty". The temps started to rise as soon as I approached Ellensburg, which is where I turned off the freeway to explore a recommended road called Canyon Road (821) between Ellensburg and Yakima. Canyon Road is a fun alternative to I82, as it follows the Yakima river through one of Washington's least interesting areas. The corners in the canyon are big, gentle sweepers that don't exactly get the adrenaline flowing at legal speeds, but cliffs and canyon walls are beautiful. I saw two cops on Canyon road.
The next recommended road I took was more exciting and remote. Highway 142 out of Goldendale starts out rolling through some vintage farm scenery with fantastic mountain views, turns into a thrilling one lane descent into a deep gorge, then opens up into some incredible sets of turns along the Klickitat river.*The town of Klickitat seemed to be the only spot to get gas for quite awhile.
[caption id="attachment_2036" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="142's undivided section"]
Highway 197 came highly recommended, so I climbed up out of the Columbia river gorge on the "Dalles California Highway." After blasting through these wonderful turns, I turned off onto an interesting detour out of Dufur called Dufur Mill Road. Dufur Mill climbs way up in elevation and becomes a little forest service road that offers stunning views of the backside of Mt. Hood. Amazing.
These glimpses of Mt. Hood from an old service road were the first indications of a theme for this trip. Gravel in the corners, no signs, and a feeling that I was happily lost in an incredibly remote and beautiful place.
From here, the rest of the ride into Bend via Highway 26 was a scenic adventure with mountains all over the place. I didn't want it to end, but I knew that there was a hot tub and cold beer waiting at Stormy's place.