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Old 09-03-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
Theaty Hannington OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Oddometer: 1,163
2011 NW Brew Tew Two-Fer

I talked long and hard to some friends who wanted me to do a ride report of my most recent trip. I ended up deciding to, realizing that these things sometimes help me get motivated to ride. So I should contribute back to the group of people who have helped me along. Also, this is the first trip where I really can post here as it was long enough – 7 days. (If you want bigger versions of any image, just ask. The Panoramics coming later are particularly poor in the 1000px width.)

Two Noobs Tour Northwet Breweries on their First Long Trip: Next Year, the Wives are Coming Along


Day -44:
Riding up north to visit my wyf's family, then heading west to visit my brother, was the plan. However, at the Latah/Benewah county line the bike lost power and decided it didn't want to go anywhere. I am not a wrencher, but one of the reasons I got the bike was to learn to be. Thankful for the opportunity to wrench, I sit on the side of 95 tinkering uselessly until a buddy comes to pick me up as the sun sets. We head back to Moscow. People do not stop for a broken down motorcyclist – took me 45 minutes to get somebody with a working cell-phone to stop. Representative shot of my KLR pre-milk crate:



Day -11:
I, as a noob wrencher can't find anything wrong, so I ask the forums, and they all suggest what I have already tried. Three friends offer their bikes for the trip: a 25th Anniversary VFR (below), a Goldwing, and another KLR. I borrow my buddy's KLR, drop my bike off with a professional wrencher, and decide to take the trip. (Wrenching article here)



Day -1:
I attend a late-night wedding overlooking the hills of the Palouse from a Polish Castle that I didn't even know existed on Paradise Ridge.

Day 1:
I finished packing and put all the stuff on my buddy's KLR with the Dragon Tattoo, and it started sparkling in anticipation for Day 3. Burning miles sucks. I don't like to burn miles. I never do it. I make fun of people who burn miles to get to their trip area. I didn't get a motorcycle to burn miles. But this time, there was a good reason. I had to visit my brother.



Megan and Dan are my brother and sister and they're going through some really rough times right now. Dan is actually my brother-in-law but I always wanted a brother and we're really close so I call him my brother. It only gets creepy when I talk about my brother and sister being married. But hey, Grandma and Grandpa were cousins. Crazy Mennonites. Dan was my best-man at my wedding last summer. So here is their story thus far:

Quote:
Megan was due on July 5th, 2011, for their second child - and the first birth wasn't terribly smooth or inexpensive (Those two always seem to go hand in hand). On June 1st, Dan got told he was getting laid off on the 30th. He asked his company to extend his time to the 1st of July so that his health care would cover Megan's birth. They agreed to. Then Megan broke her toe. Dan decided to get a physical and the doctor's found a lump on his Thyroid. It tested positive for cancer and they found out partway through June. On the way home from the doctor's office, they decided to name their coming daughter Grace. I found out while watching Le Mans. Desperate to get the surgery in before July, when his insurance would run out, Dan scheduled a surgery with the doctor who found it. Then, after some reflecting, switched over to Swedish and pushed his surgery back to June 25th. The doctors thought it was Stage 1, maybe between Stage 1 & 2. But Dan is really high energy and healthy, so they figured Stage 1.

On the 19th of June, a Tuesday, while preparing to take Dan to his pre-op appointment downtown Seattle, Megan's water broke. So Dan dropped her off at Valley General in Monroe, drove to his appointment at Swedish in Seattle, then came back to watch his daughter being born. "That was the most emotional day of my life," he told me later. The birth affected Megan a lot less this time, but Grace came out feeling like she was drowning because she had water on her lungs. They rushed her to the Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The nurse on duty wasn't communicative and Megan and Dan spent a night not knowing if their second daughter was alive or not. The morning nurse was a lot better and it looked like after a rough night, Grace would survive. However, she stayed in the NICU. By Friday Dan was exhausted and Grace's doctor told him that if he didn't leave his family and sleep, he would have a hard time surviving his surgery. Grace was released on Saturday afternoon after five days and four nights in the hospital. She had to go back a couple of times over the next couple of weeks, but besides some baby acne, she's doing great now. Sophie didn't like being separated from her mother and father that long though.

On Monday the 25th Dan went in for his surgery. Grace and Megan went too. The doctor predicted a two and a half to three hour surgery. But when they opened up his neck, they realized that the cancer hadn't been Stage 1 and it had spread. It took them much longer than predicted – almost 5 hours – but they didn't tell a soul why because they wanted Dan to recover quickly and worry-free. However, that first night after the surgery was scary. I don't want to talk about that night. Dan survived, and the next day started pretty well, but Dan's body decided it didn't want to make any Calcium until Thursday or Friday of that week, when they finally let him leave Swedish. He had to go back for couple of nights for his calcium levels being too low. At which point, out of 14 nights, Megan and Dan had spent 12 in a hospital. Sophie really didn't like being separated from her father for that long though. She had a hard time of it.



A few weeks later, with Dan recovering nicely (Picture above from July 22) with a rad scar, the doctors finally told him that the cancer had spread and they had had to take some of his neck muscles as well as his Thyroid. The good news was that it was Papillary, which is the most common. His treatment consisted of getting an Iodine radiation pill on the 15th of August which necessitated his separation from all human contact for a week due to his radioactivity. With the new baby and Megan breastfeeding the doctors suggested longer. They took him off his Thyroid medications and that was scary. For a man who is as high-energy as Dan, to see him like that was rough for me. He went in for his MRI scan and treatment dose on the 15th and the MRI revealed that the cancer had remained localized to his neck, which was great news, and his dose wasn't going to be as intense as they thought. The neighbor of the cabin Dan was going to stay in donated internet so he could video chat with his wife and Sophie, which really helped her to get through this third separation better.

Now, Dan has to get an MRI every three months for the next four years. If it doesn't fade as fast as they hope, he will have to get another dose of radiation. Apparently, after four of those treatments, many patients come away with Leukemia. Quite the side effect. So we're praying and hoping the first pill does the trick. He is on COBRA insurance at $1200 a month, and is still looking for a job. He is recently really enjoying getting to deviate a bit from his low-iodine high-calcium diet now that he is back on the thyroid medication and feeling enough energy to get out of bed during the day. He's spending a lot of time at a Starbucks job hunting because having two daughters under three around the house can be a bit distracting.

His pill dose was pretty funny though. He is sitting in a room, essentially naked. The whole room is covered in plastic. In come two guys in radiation suits carrying two metal bars between them. On the metal bars like some arc of the covenant is a giant lead box. These two fully suited and masked dudes open the box then sprint out of the room. Inside the box is a glass vial with a paper lid. Dan had to take the paper lid off, then swallow the pill as fast as possible without touching it. It's like he was the alien in some b-movie sci-fi flick.

I've been really encouraged and positively influenced by Megan and Dan's attitude throughout their lives - and through these last two months. Dan said the other day, "Who knew losing my job would save my life?" It's things like that type of perspective that makes them such good people. I can't think of two people that I love more aside from my wife and my parents. Unfortunately, Megan and Dan are having a really difficult time financially. I know I'm broke. And you probably are too. And that's more than okay. But hey, if you feel you want to, and you can give, thank you from the bottom of my heart, and theirs. And if you can't donate, and even if you can, more important are your prayers and positive thoughts and encouragements. They are appreciated more than you will ever know. http://www.giveforward.com/donationsfordan
So I burned miles to get over there early and spend some good quality time with Dan the day before he headed in for his dose. I took a picture of them for the much needed donations website on my parents' back porch.

As far as the route goes, I started in Moscow the drove 26 straight to Othello. At Othello I went up West McManamon, Then Rd A, Frenchman Hills, and Dodson to 90. Driving up Dodson, Mt Rainier was out over my left shoulder. It was spectacular. Then up to Quincy and along the river to Stevens Pass. My brother and sister and parents live between Sultan and Monroe, so that was my destination.

Tiffany and Ryan came over too. We had some dinner, had some laughs, and made some really good memories. I'm sorry I didn't take more pictures of the riding that day – it was gorgeous.

Day 2:
I got up early and headed out to Everett as Dan and Megan headed down to Swedish. I got to Tiffany and Ryan's house, unpacked the bike, then waited for Rich and his Wee-Strom to show up. We had been planning on doing a “warm-up ride” up through the North Cascades National Park, but my Aunt in Puyallup had called and told us we could have the beach cabin for a night for free if we wanted to pick up the key from her. So we looped Mt Rainier instead. Now I grew up off of Stevens Pass, and the Cascades are a part of my soul. But man oh man was I ever an idiot for not spending more time in Rainier.











From Everett to Puyallup was mostly long straight roads because we were running a little late. But as the mountain got closer and closer the roads started getting twistier and twistier. By the time we blew past Northwest Trek, we were having a ton of fun. The mountain was playing peek-a-boo through the clouds and there were enough straight stretches to get some good riding shots of both Ryan and Rich.

When we got to the park gate we realized something that would change our trip plans: National Parks charge motorcycles the same fee as hiker's and bicyclists, $5, and you can re-enter for seven days on the same receipt. We were thrilled. The roads were spectacular. My rear tyre washed out once, but caught again. The scenery was to die for.

When we got to Paradise, the mountain was in the clouds. I bought a National Parks Passport, checked out the 3D topographical diorama/map (I LOVE those things) and then the mountain came out of the clouds. We went out and took some pictures, then realized that the new visitor center is a really cool building. Ryan and I both having gone through architecture school at University of Idaho – he landscape and me not – we both started separately taking pictures of the building, while everybody around us oohed and aahed over the mountain.







On the way down from Paradise we saw 4 deer playing king of the snow pile. Then enjoyed the roads hard. Sun was setting and we didn't want to spend the time going up Sunrise, so we took some pretty roads back to Everett.









I'll make sure my favorite picture from each day is big enough:



I-5 in the dark was fun. Or at least adrenaline inducing. When we got back to Ryan's, Tiff had delicious dinner for us. Rich rode home. Then Ryan and I retired to the carport and smoked some cigars (Don Lino Africa and a Carlos Torano Casa Torano Natural) and drank Ryan's last Doryman's Dark Ale. Ryan's 990 started sparkling in anticipation of Day 3.



More soon...

Theaty Hannington screwed with this post 09-06-2011 at 07:12 AM
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
Theaty Hannington OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Oddometer: 1,163
Day 3:
Ryan packed his bike down for the first time. Once we got his shiny new Touratech cases on, the bike decided that it was perfectly balanced front-to back and got both wheels off the ground, supported solely by the center stand:



The fender bag, with Tiff's good camera in it, put an end to the KTM's levitation tricks though.

I love ferries. I could just ride on them for days. My 1 year Anniversary Sexcation (Wyf's name for it) started with visiting my brother, then the 3.5 hour ferry from Anacortes to Sidney. That was something else. After the whole trip was over, that 3.5 hours was both of our favorite parts. So Day 3 started with a ferry ride from Edmonds to Kingston.



I get the Jaws theme with this picture:



Kingston with the Olympic National Park behind:



Then we passed this guy on the Hood Canal Bridge. Ryan almost got run over by a Honda. We both almost got run over by a reversing Mazda. Most BMW GS riders refused to wave back to the KLR. It made me chuckle. We ran out to Port Angeles and saw a jacked-up F650. Now, I live in North Idaho so I expect to see that on a day-to-day basis. But I hadn't ever seen a 650 that high.



We went up Hurricane Ridge where the four-legged beggars were out in force, entering Olympic National Park. We really spent a lot of time on the Ridge because it was so clear and beautiful up there. Coming down we saw Baker across the water.

Four-legged beggar:







Deer Butt:





Mt Carrie:



Then instead of sticking with 101 we took 112, Piedmont Road. That was probably my second favorite road that we hit on the trip. There was fog in the Straight, the road was beautifully twisted. I was in a groove. It was perfect. Instead of heading out to Neah Bay like we planned, we decided to get down to La Push and set up camp to get an early start the next day. That way we would be able to visit the Hoh Rain Forest and still make it to Pacific City.



After setting up camp at Mora we drank Scotch (Laphroig Cask Strength and Glenmorangie Sherry Finished ), had a campfire, and smoked cigars. I think I smoked a Man of War while Ryan tried my wyf's favorite legal cigar, the Cusano 18 Natural Robusto. I laughed at Ryan for even having an Orange tent. KTM riders, sheesh. The Olympic Peninsula is another area I ignored in favor of Stevens Pass while growing up. I was an idiot for that too. I mean, Stevens is great and I wouldn't trade my childhood for the world, but I wish I had spent more time on the Peninsula too. Now I just want to go back out there and explore some more! The bikes were sparkling hard being that close to Forks, so we put the food in the Touratech werewolf boxes.



More soon...

Theaty Hannington screwed with this post 09-03-2011 at 12:07 PM
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:36 AM   #3
Theaty Hannington OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Oddometer: 1,163
Day 4:



Woke up (Looking straight up out of the tent door above), packed up, ate some muffins, and then hit Rialto Beach. Remembering the Coast Guard chopper crash there last year put a bit of a damper on the beauty there on me. That driftwood was giant though, being downstream from the Rain Forest and all. We didn't take the time to hike out to Hole-in-the-Wall, knowing that we had a long day ahead.



Moonset over Rialto Beach:



The rocks by La Push:









Giant Driftwood:





My wyf and I have been in an argument for five years. I believed that the Hoh wasn't that impressive – where I grew up in the Cascade Foothills was just as cool. However, she was right. It is exactly the same as my parents' place, but a quarter bigger. It was awesome. Coming out we saw an Eagle soaring over the Hoh River, but that picture was crap.



















Then we hit 101 heading south. Between Forks and Hoquiam was my favorite vista of the trip. After the road goes back towards the beaches, there is this three or so mile section that is stunning. On the west is about 5 layers of trees, but they're coastal and nude partway up so you can clearly see the ocean and the beach below. To the East is rainforest thick, dense, and dark. And riding along there are these little 10ft dips in the road for streams coming from the woods to the beach. Looking West down those dips took my breath away. Framed by the trees, the stream, the beach, the sublimity and violence of the Pacific – they were perfect. There were quite a few of them. They were too beautiful to take a picture of: I couldn't have done them justice without spending at least a couple of days photographing them. So here's a generic beach shot I took in that general area:



In Aberdeen we parked next to a Star Wars store and Jack-in-the-Box for Lunch. As we were leaving we head checked towards the Star Wars shop and glimpsed a girl in a Princess Leia Slave Outfit . As we pulled up to the Rite Aide to buy me some new sunglasses – I bought them on Day 1, a part broke off on Day 1, and they snapped in half on Day 4 – we both were kicking ourselves for not going into the Star Wars shop and looking at the "scenery". (Found out later that it was probably just a mannequin half noticed out of the corner of our eyes.) Asking the lady behind the Rite Aide counter where the sunglasses were, she raised her eyebrows and asked, “You mean sun block?” My face was getting red riding south that day. Quite red.

Aberdeen to Raymond was spectacular riding: high speed sweeping corners and enough passing zones to not get stuck behind a truck. And 101 along Willapa Bay was splendid, really special. The sun glinting off the water, the road seemingly being lapped at by the bay, the variety of corners, the trees and fields – it was one of the best roads of the day. Then we hit the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which was straight enough for me to get a riding shot of Ryan:



Pulling into Fort Clatsop they were just closing, so we sped away down 101. This truck decided to try and kill us and every other driver on the road, all while spilling dirty water forth from the rear, but we survived. At Tillamook we took the Three Capes Scenic route and stopped at an empty Cape Meares to snap pictures of the sunset.





As we were sauntering over to the porta-potties a rogue gust of wind blew the KLR over, snapping off only the ball on the end of the front brake lever. Lucky.



Continuing on the Three Capes route, my front tyre washed out on some gravel, then caught again. Ryan behind me did the same. And how could I ignore Ryan behind me? Those KTM headlights are excessively bright, me thinks. The road was closed between Oceanside and Netarts though:



As we inspected the washout, a walker told us we could get through safely, which we could tell, but that cops were ticketing on the other side. While discussing possibilities, a scooter blew through there and, sure enough, got ticketed on the other side. We decided to retrace to Tillamook and 101 it to Pacific City. Once we hit 101 I made Mr. Bright Headlight lead and we made it to the Pelican Brewery 10 minutes before they closed.



We got our NW Fish and Chips and root beer. We were told stories by a former motorcyclist. Then we bought a growler of the Doryman's Dark for later and six big-bombers for taking home. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get the beer five miles up the road to Tierra del Mar without repacking the entire bag.



Once at the cabin, we took some wood and the growler down to the beach and lit a fire. We drank that whole growler between the two of us , talked about everything, admitted that the only shit part of the trip was the absence of our wyfs, and smoked a couple of cigars. Ryan had the Arturo Fuente Anejo – an Opus X with a maduro wrapper, a wrapper aged in Apple Brandy and Cognac casks which imparts an appropriately subtle flavor and sweetness to this fantastic cigar. No Jonathan Drew hosing chemicals onto tobacco here. I smoked an AJ Fernandez Signature, wanting something spicy enough to compete with both the best beer in the world (My opinion) and the beach air. At about midnight the clouds rolled partially in. We could still see 1/3 of the stars or so, but that was the most cloudy it got on our entire trip. At 2:30 AM we finally hit the hay after our longest day in both miles and hours.

More soon...

Theaty Hannington screwed with this post 09-04-2011 at 11:50 AM
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
Theaty Hannington OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Oddometer: 1,163
Day 5:
We woke up about 10:30 or so, thankfully not as hung over as last year's trip/bachelor party. We did a bit of laundry, then checked out the beach. I've been to my Aunt's cabin there in Tierra del Mar probably fifteen or twenty times throughout my life, and it has become one of my favorite places in the world.







So we headed back to the Pelican for -breakfast- lunch. We got more Root Beer and NW Fish and Chips.



This was to be our shortest day, but we planned to zig-zag our way across the Oregon Cascades to Bend. Sure we could do it in 4 hours, but why? So we started by bombing through some great roads in the coastal range that were way too fun to take pictures of (Little Nestucca River Road, then Hebo Road). Abandoning our plan to visit the Spruce Goose at McMinnville we hit Salem, then booked it out to Detroit Lake.



From there we made our way down towards Belknap Springs. In the long sweeping corners of 126 we passed two cops while we were doing about 70. One smiled and waved. Must have been riders. Almost to Belknap Springs we took a break by the river.



Then we hit McKenzie Pass. Ryan and I were agreed that this was the best motorcycling road we had ever ridden. On my buddy's KLR, with an extra sprocket tooth on the front, 75% of the corners were right between first and second, so I struggled pretty hard. I mean, not as hard as the Harley riders trying to run everybody else off of both lanes in the road, but hard none-the-less. Saw a ton of motards up there. I still want to get one for my wyf. Anyways, McKenzie pass rises from the Cascade forests and McKenzie River to a volcanic landscape.



Belknap Crater on right:







Belknap Crater:



And at the top of the pass they have a castle, the Dee Wright Observatory:



View from the Observatory looking South with the pass summit itself visible:



View from the Observatory looking North with the observatory balustrade visible:



We rolled into Bend about 7 or so, parked the bikes, then got our name in at the Deschutes Public House. While waiting the hour to get seated, we decided to get a hotel as Day 6 promised to be long and hot and we were tired. Ryan had a Confluence #2 and liked it enough that he bought a bottle to take home, I had some root beer and a Black Butte 23 . They make such good blue cheese burgers there. They are currently expanding, which they have needed to do for a while. After checking in to the hotel we rode over to the Bend Beer Festival, walked around a bit, then left as it was already winding down to close. No major beer drinking and no cigars for us. We had a short day and needed it. We set our alarms for 6AM and passed out.

More soon...
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:20 PM   #5
Theaty Hannington OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Oddometer: 1,163
Day 6:
This was to be the day of desert. So I got up at 5:50, showered, then fetched some ice for our Camelbacks. Once we got packed and checked out we hit Rockin' Dave's for breakfast. Still some of the best breakfast I have had. So good. We gassed and hit the road up towards Redmond, then Prineville, then Mitchell, where Ryan gassed up again. What a weird little town, Mitchell. Then we hit the John Day National Monument Painted Hills Unit as the moon was setting.







And this may become my favorite shot of the trip, maybe:



As we left and began to head up towards Spray, Kimberly, Monument, and Long Creek, we hit my favorite span of the entire trip for riding. Plenty of elevation changes. Plenty of beautiful views. Plenty of variety in corners. Few cars. I was in a groove. Perfect. I can't really say anything else about the trip from Mitchell to Long creek except, "perfect."







Once we got about 5 miles from Long Creek there was a long lonely stretch.



The gas station attendant in Long Creek told us that earlier in the morning a motorcyclist died on the Ukiah-La Grande route we were planning to ride. Hit a deer. Another the week before. According to him, the state is releasing cougars in the hills which is forcing all the deer into the valleys where the roads are. We ate some delicious homemade ice cream in Long Creek, and enjoyed the scenery. We didn't see a non-beautiful woman the whole time we were there. What is up with that place ? Then we headed out towards Ukiah. 395 from Long Creek to Ukiah is a blast! Ryan led this bit.



Which meant that once we got to Ukiah, I got to lead us through the road of motorcycle fatalities. No pictures through there as I was too busy scanning for deer. I kept telling myself that it was the midafternoon heat, so the deer would be bedded down just then. But, no less than 5 miles out of Ukiah, three huge bucks with massive racks were cooling off in the river we were following, less than fifteen feet away. We saw them early, slowed, and kept going. No other deer sightings for the rest of the trip, but once we got to La Grande we had to have the gas station attendant pull our seats from out of our clenched buttocks. This butterfly had somehow gotten through the bug guard to rest on the radiator.



And sidewalks are for horses in La Grande.



We headed up to Enterprise and hit up the Terminal Gravity brewery, which was having a concert too. Chris showed up to camp with us and ride Day 7 with us.





While at TG, a gaggle of Harley riders pulled up. One stopped an talked at us. Told us there was a rally in Joseph the next morning. We hadn't heard. He told us there would be “Plenty to see. Plenty of frisky people. ." We were supposed to meet my buddy on his VFR at 9:30 in the morning for Cheyenne Cafe breakfast in Joseph. The Rally was supposed to start at 10. We exchanged a couple of worried looks, then refocused on our beer and buffalo burgers. Their cook put a bit too much pepper in the buffalo burgers, but they were still quite tasty.







We grabbed a growler of the Double IPA and headed up Hurricane Creek in the dark to camp in the Wallowas. We ended up almost at the trailhead. We lit a fire to get some light to set up camp by. Ryan and I set up our tents while Chris found an awesome sandbar to lay his sleeping bag out on under the stars. Then we set about to finishing that growler. I'm going to guess that Chris drank half of that while Ryan and I held off a bit on the beer . Chris and I had some cigars: I had a Man of War and he had a Flor de Oliva, I think, while Ryan held off on smoking, if I remember right. There was good beer, so remembering right is unreliable. We gathered water from the river and doused the fire, then about fifteen minutes after we retired it flared back up again so I doused it again. About two hours later the moon came over the valley so bright that it woke all three of us. I know I stared at its beauty for a good hour or so. I felt like I was home, like I was in the Cascades sleeping out on my parents' back porch with my father. After living out here in Moscow for a number of years, it was a wonderful feeling. I slept well. I need to get back there soon, and probably will in late September for a hiking trip up to Mirror Lake.

More soon...

Theaty Hannington screwed with this post 09-04-2011 at 01:59 PM
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:16 AM   #6
Theaty Hannington OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Oddometer: 1,163
Day 7:
Our other short day began spectacularly. I awoke at 6 and opened my eyes to sunrise in the Wallowas. Now, we were up Hurricane Creek, a steep valley, so I couldn't see much.



But the sun was starting to hit the tops of the 9000 foot peaks around us.



I realized that we were next to the trailhead when a pair of bucks I was photographing led me right to it. Most hiking trails have some hook within the first mile or so, something to keep the weary traveler going, so I decided to check out the hook for this one. About 1/3 of a mile into the trial it splits and a little sign points west saying, “Falls Creek”. Well then, hook located. Falls Creek is a tributary to Hurricane Creek. I took a couple of photos, then rushed back to the campsite. In telling a just waking up Ryan and Chris about it, we all three decided to go back up there. It was pretty special.









Alas, it got about time to pack up and leave, so we headed back to camp and did just that. While packing I noticed a bolt holding the luggage rack on had worked itself loose on the KLR so I triple zip-tied it back together. As we came into Joseph, Main was already closed for the Rally and, as expected, Cheyenne was packed. We got our name in line and checked out the one bike that attracted Ryan and I, though Chris loves himself those Harley's. The bike we liked was a 1983 CB1150F. It looked to be in perfect condition, and ridden, so we drooled excessively. We all have a thing for CBs – Ryan and Chris both own CB350s – and Honda – Chris rides a Shadow, N. rides a VFR, Ryan rides the CB for Sunday Rides, and I want an Africa Twin. So this bike had us wholly engrossed for a good ten minutes. Supertrapp exhaust, open K&N filters, white pipes – gorgeous.



Then three Harley's pulled up with their three riders and three wives. They get off and get their name in at the Cheyenne. A table clears up and they just saunter over to take it, but the beautiful waitress explains to them that we were there first and Cheyenne is a first-come first-served establishment. At which point one of the wives declares, “Well we will just flash them and they'll give us their table.” To which another replies, “Great idea!” But the third said, “Girls, they're still young enough that we would just scare them.” Just then a second table opened up and we were able to take a seat as well as them. “Frisky people and PLENTY to see”: Check. Then N. showed up and ogled the CB1100F as much as we had.

Cheyenne Cafe:


After feasting on the Cinnamon Rolls without equal, we hit the road, headed for Wallowa Mountain Road, Hells Canyon Overlook. The road was fantastic except for the Harley riders trying to kill us. Many were in our lane coming through corners. There was a group of ten stopped in both lanes, though all heading one direction, right after a corner. They were crawling along at an RV pace when stuck behind them. Listen, like what you ride, and ride what you like, but at least know how to ride. Some Harley riders are much more skilled then me. But most of the ones we met on that day weren't. (More on this in a second) The overlook itself was impressive.





Eventually we all started missing the 60 mph breeze as it was shaping up to be a hot one, so we headed back to Joseph and through Enterprise on our way back home.

Chris on his Shadow:



Found shade near a gas station:



A few miles outside of Enterprise we saw people crossing the highway on foot ahead. As we pulled up we asked if everyone was alright and they said yes. We then asked if they needed help, and they said yes. That's when I noticed a Harley 10ft below the roadline in a steep gravel ditch upside down. So us four jumped off and helped heave the bike upright and back up onto the road. At which point a gentleman with the group starts making fun of the Kawasaki. “If I'd noticed you were riding a Kawasaki I wouldn't've asked you to help.” “It's a damn good thing you left your gloves on.” “Dude, a Kawasaki rider pulled your ass out of the ditch. Shameful!” And so on. The guy we helped out of the ditch was actually quite kind. I asked him if he was okay, which he was. He said he was trying to turn around across both lanes and accidentally blipped the throttle. He said thank you as his friends were still heckling and we took off. We stopped at the Joseph Canyon lookout after mistaking a coyote for a deer



Then it was on to Buford Grade, then Rattlesnake. Enough has been said about those two grades but I would like to say, “+1 more” to all of that. Great fun, great views, great traffic. Our bikes were getting a bit hot coming up Rattlesnake but once back onto the Palouse, there was plenty of wind to cool them down. We caught up to a group of Harley's just coming down into Asotin. They sure were all over both lanes on the Asotin Grade. So we backed off quite a bit. Still scary. In Clarkston the bikes got really close to overheating so we pulled over and let them cool for half an hour. At which point N. took off back to work. Eventually, we followed him up Old Spiral Highway and then back into Moscow which is where I had my stupidest mistake of the whole trip: checked my mirrors, saw a headlight, assumed it was Ryan and merged, noticing Ryan beside me as I started to merge. But we came through all right, got home, opened up a couple of beers, lit up some cigars, and had a BBQ and a fire in the firepit. A bunch of people came over to visit and it was a blast. 2025.7 miles total for me.

Day 8:
Ryan got up early and rode over the North Cascades Highway back home.

Though that is all of the trip, in a nutshell, there will be more soon. That was one of the best weeks of my life. For two noobs to take their first more than 3 day trip, it was perfect.

More soon...

Theaty Hannington screwed with this post 09-06-2011 at 07:13 AM
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:24 AM   #7
Theaty Hannington OP
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For my buddy who lent me his bike, I decided to take photographs through the windshield at certain points. Here are my favorites of those.

Mt Rainier National Park: Mt Rainier in the clouds from Paradise:



Edmonds-Kingston Ferry:



Olympic National Park: Hurricane Ridge:



Mora campsite:



Olympic National Park: Hoh Rainforest:



Southbound 101 North of Humptulips:



Southbound 101 on the Astoria-Megler Bridge:



Between Sisters and Bend:



John Day National Monument: Painted Hills Unit:





Near the John Day River:







Hells Canyon:



More soon...
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:50 AM   #8
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At the Dee Wright Observatory on top of McKenzie Pass, they have these stone windows. I have never been able to resist taking photographs through stone windows, stone arrowslits, et cetera. In fact, I have three shots from Mont St Michelle on my wall still. While we were there these two neck-bearded fellows and their two bored sons were discussing in the shallowest of terms how to save the world through less energy consumption. They were there the whole time we were and showed no signs of leaving. Getting in everybody's shots, sneering at drivers with particularly fuel-inefficient vehicles, and challenging each others' faintest notions with specifics. A snippet:

"My idea is to build a battery-powered car."
"How? That's right, you don't know how. I'm the engineer here. I know how to."
"Well it needs to recharge overnight."
"Duh. But how are you going to do that?"

Welcome to Oregon, I guess.





















More soon...
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:06 AM   #9
Theaty Hannington OP
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Poetry Damnit!

Day 1:
Burn miles and cheeks.
Pass valleys, dams here
where I used to live.
No time to stop now.

Day 2:
Mt. Rainier squatting
amongst clouds, glaciers.
Switch backs to get there.
Switch backs to get down.

Day 3:
Front of ferry line.
Hurricane ridge caught in calm.
Night in Twilight wood.

Day 4:
Beached driftwood giants
dwarf human forms. Offshore rocks
guilty of beauty, and murder.

Day 5:
Cloudbank moves inland,
Cape Kiwanda covered up,
cigars and campfire still lit,
growler still giving.

Day 6:
Painted hills, sculpted
cliffs – but deer in road make me
too scared to inspect.

Day 7:
Twist wrist to descend
serpentine ridge road,
or ascend bent cliff,
repeat, again, again.

On the 8th Day:
My skin still senses
ocean, or maybe dreams it –
tensing at distance.

+++

More soon...

Theaty Hannington screwed with this post 09-13-2011 at 08:34 AM
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:47 AM   #10
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Great RR ans Pics

Its good to see those areas again...with good pics. I lived in Seattle for 12 years and have driven all those roads. The only shameful part is that I never owned a bike while I was there!
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:50 AM   #11
Theaty Hannington OP
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlikely Cowboy View Post
Its good to see those areas again...with good pics. I lived in Seattle for 12 years and have driven all those roads. The only shameful part is that I never owned a bike while I was there!
Agreed. I mean, I grew up in a dark room around there somewhere, and it all still amazes me so much. I don't understand why people burn miles when everywhere just takes my breath away. The Washington coast is either reservation or National Park, Neah Bay to Aberdeen - preservation's best success yet. Desert, taiga, steep, rain and mountain forests, ice sheets, dry woodlands, grass and shrub and scrub, swamps, beaches, rivers - a single day to reach all in Washington. And if you're just visiting you can largely ignore the politics.

Glad you liked the RR and Pics, sir. Thanks for the comment. Also, I drool over every Hurricane I see. Jealous of yours.

-Theaty
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:04 PM   #12
Theaty Hannington OP
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Things I Wish I Would've Brought:
Baby Wipes.
A Spoon.
A Tripod.
Extra Camera Batteries.
Extra Ear Plugs.
Warmer Clothes.
A Windbreaker.
A Beanie.
Bear Spray.
More Time.
My Wyf.

Things I Didn't Need to Bring:
Cribbage.
As much snack food.
As many clothes.
As much Tobacco.

Things to Buy for Next Year:
Better Suspension (See below).
Bearproof paniers and topcase.
Bigger tent to fit both the wyf and I comfortably.

This one Ryan took of the KLR suspension:



Granted, the rear shock was squeaky and soft before the trip, according to my buddy who owns it.

More soon...
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