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Old 07-06-2012, 05:01 PM   #16
Hominid OP
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Originally Posted by Moggs023 View Post
Great Pics, and good commentary
Thanks, it was a fun trip - more on the way, including those elusive wind turbines
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #17
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Day 2 - Stonehenge Memorial


The Dalles to Stonehenge Memorial


Heading North from the bridge at The Dalles on 97 leads to 14 again - The wind is gusting up the gorge from the west.
I'm leaning left into the wind and still moving straight ahead.
I feel like I'm doing a whole different kind of wind surfing.
Once I reach 14, I head on east again.



The landscape is arid canyon land here.


It's still morning, but things are starting to heat up.


I wanted sunshine and warm weather - I'm getting what I asked for and then some.



Tons of nice sweeping curves on 14 - lots of fun and the wind up here is not that bad.



Great pavement and great views of the canyons and river - time to move on.



On the way to Stonehenge Memorial I spot these turbines on my left.



Views from Stonehenge











I was considering continuing east from here, but after talking with a couple guys on BMW's I thought better of it.

I'm Tired, hungry, and at mid-day it is now officially hot!
The bridge from Maryhill to Biggs Junction on the Oregon side is within sight so I head down to see what's there.

It's a fun bridge, but you need to be real careful approaching town.
The one main intersection is a cluster and from what I hear closely monitored by the local deputies.

Lunch choices are limited in Biggs Junction - Mickey D's, the gas station, or the local diner.
I choose the diner so I can sit down and map out the rest of the afternoon.


Next post - making a hairy loop back to Memaloose.

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:22 PM   #18
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Day 2 - Wind Turbines and a Whole lot of Wind - Who'd a Thunk It


Biggs Junction to Grass Valley, 216 and the Deschutes, then back north on 197


I came up with this route over lunch to get me back to The Dalles.
I really don't know what I'm getting into.

It's just a loop on a map after all, but it looks like it will work.
Climbing south on 97 out of Biggs Junction are more wind turbines - a LOT more.

These things are immense - hard to get an idea of how large without seeing them in person.
The pictures just don't do them justice.

A few miles down the road is highway 206 that branches SE to the left to Condon.
I pass by it, but eventually find myself moving away from the turbines.
I want to see these things close up so I make a u-turn and head back to the 206 turnoff.


About maybe 10 miles down 206 and I'm rewarded.



I'm getting hammered by the wind while taking these pics


This stretch of road is wide open and unprotected - the wind is literally howling.
My bike is parked broadside to the gusts and my riding jacket gets blown off the saddle.
It's a pretty heavy jacket.
I'm starting to wonder if one of these gusts could knock the bike over.

I tool down the road a bit further and find a paved road climbing to the left that looks promising.
It took me about as close as you can get to the turbines without trespassing.


Including the bike for perspective ;)







Don't touch the fence!



















heading back to 97 - glad I stumbled on to these views








Getting back on to 97 south gives me a break - got the wind at my back heading away from the gorge.
The landscape is desolate.
Grass Valley isn't much better.



This would be nice if the store was actually open.





Just about everything seems to be closed here















The roadhouse is open, but it's time for me to move on


Heading east on 216 it seems like a mellow ride through farm/pasture land and it was - at first.
I don't see a single car or bike and only 3 ranch houses.

Suddenly there's nothing but rocks and I'm looking at steep grade warning signs.
Here is where I really needed a helmet cam - no places to pull over for a shot.

I spend a half hour winding down the steep grade, engine braking in 3rd & 2nd gear the whole way.
Steep drop offs to my left - rocks to my right, occasional gravel underneath.
I'm averaging 20-30 mph and in a couple of sharp hairpins down to 15.
Spectacular views.

The road eventually bottoms out where it crosses the Deschutes.
This looks like a good place to explore, but I'm on a schedule at this point in the day.
I'll be back.

On to 197 where I head north back to The Dalles.

Facing into the wind again and things get hairy in a few spots.
There were several moments where the bike felt like it was being pushed out from underneath me.
Wind surfing again.

I finally need to pull over and close up the vents on my jacket to minimize the parachute effect.
Stop at the grocery in town to pick up dinner - the blasts are incredible down here.
I almost got knocked over approaching a stop light at slow motion speed - geez!

Battle the wind back to camp.


Next post - Sunday night in camp and a big loop home on Monday.

Hominid screwed with this post 07-06-2012 at 09:28 PM
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:21 PM   #19
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Day 3 - Big Loop Home Via Yakima

Sunday night at Memaloose was nice.
I make it back, prep the fire, and sip on a couple brews while I read some Anne Rice.
I get some nice neighbors from Canada - they're on a car trip to the redwoods.
I was just there last summer so we talk about the area and motorcycles.
He rides a Beemer.

Time for dinner.



Italian Sausage and Chicken Tortellini With Pesto Sauce


Boil tortellini.
Drain Water.
Stir in pesto sauce.
Heat and stir.
Onion roll heated by the fire.
Mmmmmmmm.

Actually got a good night's sleep tonight.

Monday morning - time to head home.
Awake at 7:30 and rolling the sleeping bag and pack before getting out of the tent.
Trying to be as efficient as possible.
Hit the showers, break camp, and eat breakfast of leftover onion roll and trail mix.
On the road at 9:00
I want to stay in the sun on the way home - my route is solid to Yakima - after that I have options.


My eventual route takes me through Yakima and then west on 410 across Chinook Pass


One of the bad things about Memaloose is that if you want to head east from there you're forced to go west to Hood River and then backtrack.
So I'm back to HR to gas up this morning.

The nice thing is that there is a parallel route to I-84 east, the historic columbia gorge highway.
I take the scenic route - it's a nice, relaxing slow speed ride through orchards and then some nice twisty bits.
Just watch for the signs on I-84 east just past Hood River.



Rowena Crest Viewpoint






Gap in the Fence at Rowena Crest


There is a woman (grandma) here with a small child - maybe 4-5 years old.
He pokes his head and shoulders through this gap in the fence.
She looks down at him, asks him if he's scared of heights and then goes back to taking pictures.
Not even occasionaly glancing back to make sure he hasn't stepped all the way through.
A fall over the edge would most likely be fatal.

I'm aghast - start moving toward him and preparing to yell a warning when he pulls back.
If this was my child and I saw this, grandma would be having supervised visits from now on.


Another Fine Example of Parenting.


This pre-teen or tween skate boarder is being followed down the hill by his dad in an SUV.
Apparently he's encouraging his boy's Jackass aspirations.
There's nothing he can do to protect the boy from the front seat of the SUV.
He can only pick up the pieces if things go wrong.
unfathomable.







Enough worrying about other peoples children.

Time to head north on 97.
Climbing out of the gorge is awesome with turbines in the background - they dominate the landscape.
It's hard not to look at them, but at the same time it's kind of important to watch the highway.

when you pop out onto the plain approaching Goldendale the view of Mt Rainier over the hills is striking.
Not many pictures today - I have 270 miles to log and I need to be at work tomorrow.

I eventually make it to Yakima for lunch at 1:00 - the weather is still hot.
Tammy's Mexican Restaurant is where I end up.
The parking lot is full so I take that as a good sign.
I'm the only gringo in the place - another good sign.
Cops in the parking lot the entire time I'm there - not such a good sign.



I Lock the Helmet


Got this lock for a good price from 243WIN.
Yeah, free is a pretty good price.


If your looking for an americanized Mexican restaurant, Tammy's is not the place to go.
Chips and salsa are not presented and apparently not available.
I don't recognize some of the menu items and the names are in spanish.

Rather than come across as a complete rube and play the "what's this, what's that?" game I order the special.
Pollo Mole - the best mole sauce I've ever had - smokey and spicy, but not too spicy.
The homemade corn tortillas are also great.

Two big chunks of chicken, half a breast and a thigh, covered with deep brown mole.
Brown rice instead of that weak 'spanish' rice you see at chains.
I asked for no cheese on the beans - "we don't do that" - cool.

The service was friendly, fast, and not only the best mole, but one of the best Mexican meals I've had.
If I'm ever in Yakima again, I'll be eating here.

I'm stoked for the ride home across 410 and Chinook Pass.
The weather is hot - did I mention that it was hot?
I'm digging the warm weather riding.

Not sure if I have enough gas to make it home so I figure a top off at Whistlin Jack will do the trick.
Just east of Jack's there is a detour around 410 due to a rock slide.
Pay attention to the 35 mph speed limit through here unless you like speeding tickets!

Gas up and bathroom stop at Whistlin Jack and I run into a fellow Vstrom rider.
Jer is friendly and we talk setups before he takes off with his riding buddy.

I'm intrigued with his Drift helmet cam, custom saddle, tool tube, crash bars, and footpegs.


Drift Cam Remote



Tool Tube



Crash Bars



Drift Helmet Cam



Jer


West of Whistlin Jack things start to get suddenly cool.
I took it for granted that Chinook Pass would be open and it was.
What I didn't fully process was that it's July 2nd and the pass has only been open for about 4 weeks.
Plenty of snow pack left.



Time to stop and add a couple of layers.


I've seen it all on this trip - rain, blazing hot sun, gale force winds, and now snow pack.
It's funny to watch people sledding down the pack after being in 80 degree weather less than an hour ago.



I followed this guy and his buddy from Canada for a while.






I'm not stopping - I'm going home.
270 mile day - 800 mile weekend.
Looking forward to sleeping in a real bed tonight.

Hominid screwed with this post 07-07-2012 at 01:15 PM
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:10 AM   #20
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Trip Summary

Best Road: Tough choice - can't pick one.
Anywhere on 14 between Washougal and Stonehenge Memorial
The Balfour-Clickitat side road
206 to the turbines
216 crawling down the canyon to the Deschutes - actually one of the coolest roads ever - maybe this is the one
Climbing 97 out of the gorge toward Goldendale - awesome high speed sweeping curves.

Worst Road: Tie - I-5 south in the rain - I-84 near hurricane ordeal.

Most interesting bike: Jer's 2009 DL650

Most interesting vehicle: Ford 240Z or Datsun F-150, whatever it was. 4x4 Z-car.

Best Food: Tammy's Mexican in Yakima, followed by camp stove tortellini.

Wildlife Spotted:
Countless Hawks, Osprey, Eagles, and Vultures.
Turkey Vulture feeding on a deer carcass - didn't even flinch as I zoomed by on I-84.
A young deer skittish enough to make me nervous - tried to run away from me, came to a fence, almost came back.
Salmon at the fish ladder - Lampreys.
A number of suicidal squirrels - why do they wait until your right on them to squirt across the road?

Fun ride
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:21 AM   #21
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That Z-car is pretty sweet. I have a '83 Subaru GL wagon and a '90 Isuzu Trooper that I was thinking of combining with a 200HP GM minivan V6 that I have laying around. I have almost all the component parts, just not the time... story of my life!
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:16 AM   #22
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Wind, yup, I remember the wind in the gorge. still in the memory bank even tho it was years ago.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:29 AM   #23
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cool helmet lock



Just happen to have a couple laying around - thanks for the idea.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #24
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Z-car

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Originally Posted by Red0ktober View Post
That Z-car is pretty sweet. I have a '83 Subaru GL wagon and a '90 Isuzu Trooper that I was thinking of combining with a 200HP GM minivan V6 that I have laying around. I have almost all the component parts, just not the time... story of my life!
Head across the river and as you drive east through Bingen you'll see it parked on the right side of the road (14).
It actually looks to be in pretty good shape - looks like someone put a lot of work into it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:09 PM   #25
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Cool Helmet Lock

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Originally Posted by eastwa View Post

Just happen to have a couple laying around - thanks for the idea.
Yeah, hopefully the name on the side of the lock will give pause to any dirt bags, they'll give the bike a wide berth, and go looking for an easier target
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:31 PM   #26
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Wind

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Originally Posted by jbcaddy View Post
Wind, yup, I remember the wind in the gorge. still in the memory bank even tho it was years ago.
Yeah, those near death experiences are memorable

I have a few moments from this ride that stick with me

Heading north on 197 to The Dalles at about 70 I could feel the bike trying to skate out from underneath me.
The gusts were at least 30 mph coming from the front and the left at about 45 degrees - do the vector math

Good times
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:47 AM   #27
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- do the vector math
Yeah, I did that in Nevada. Wind from the side at a constant 30+, occasional gusts over 50. I'm doing 75, that should minimize the deflection due to my greater speed.

Comes a point one is simply over-educated and lacking in experience.

End result, shit just happens a lot quicker!
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Excellent, our country is now run by folks that would allow you to smoke pot in Washington State, but not buy a Big-Gulp in New York.

10 State Trip 2010
2011, $1000 in the pocket, how far can we go
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:00 AM   #28
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Try riding a DR350 from Hood River to Portland sometime. Little breezy.

I just took my Strom over the HR bridge on Sunday. It wanders around a bit if you try to keep it straight. I think it feels better if you gracefully weave side to side in the lane intentionally, that way you don't have to constantly correct for the pull of the decking and the wind.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:18 PM   #29
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Grated Bridge Decks

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Originally Posted by Red0ktober View Post
Try riding a DR350 from Hood River to Portland sometime. Little breezy.

I just took my Strom over the HR bridge on Sunday. It wanders around a bit if you try to keep it straight. I think it feels better if you gracefully weave side to side in the lane intentionally, that way you don't have to constantly correct for the pull of the decking and the wind.
I actually considered weaving on that bridge, but was a little too freaked out by the wind

I'll need to try that on my next opportunity - I'd still avoid that bridge in the rain, though
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #30
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Thumb Great trip

I enjoyed your report and the terrific pictures. I'm planning a Sept trip looping from AZ to Montana then west to Wash and Oregon before turning south to ride HWY 1 to LA then back to Scottsdale AZ. I hope to be able to include your route in my trip.

Thanks it looks like you had a great trip.
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