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Old 02-11-2014, 08:39 AM   #1
Glow Guy OP
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Talking Planning a honeymoon ride in the PNW

Help. I am in the early stages of planning a honeymoon. My lady and I live in Georgia and have never been to that part of the country and she wants to see Yellowstone. So the basic plan is to fly to Portland or Seattle, and ride to Yellowstone and back.

We are not regular ADVriders. I'm a daily commuter on my Piaggio MP3 400, which I have managed to put 50,000+ miles on in the last 5 years. She loves to go riding with me, but we have never done more than a couple of hours together.

So, I'd like advice on places to stop, see, eat, routes, whatever.

My own research has led to the following "plan". We are going to rent a bike in Portland or Seattle, I'm leaning towards Portland for that. Looking at renting from here http://www.eagleriderportland.com/rentals I would even like advice on which bike to go with. She wants the most comfortable queen's seat and likes the look of the Harley Electra Glide.
I was thinking of maybe doing a one day trip around Portland, maybe to Mt.St Helens and/or out to the coast. Next day, head to Seattle then east. Make it to YS in a couple of days. Do a day there, or two if it is worth it. Then head back thru Boise and hit a hot spring overnighter there somewhere. Maybe 7-10 days total.

Trying to split the line between adventure and comfort. It is our honeymoon and so we want to relax and enjoy it. We will not be taking camping gear, although at home we do a good bit of camping each year. We are not afraid of rustic accommodations if they come with great views of nature.

So thanks, I hope to get some great input from locals to help me plan this once in a lifetime honeymoon ride.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:05 AM   #2
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What are the dates, that could make some difference.


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Old 02-11-2014, 11:07 AM   #3
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Dates are important, we get this white stuff all over the place and it freezes..kinda looks like a coconut slurpee.

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Old 02-11-2014, 11:30 AM   #4
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Trying to split the line between adventure and comfort. It is our honeymoon and so we want to relax and enjoy it. We will not be taking camping gear, although at home we do a good bit of camping each year. We are not afraid of rustic accommodations if they come with great views of nature.

So thanks, I hope to get some great input from locals to help me plan this once in a lifetime honeymoon ride. [/QUOTE]

Input you will get......there can be a crevasse between comfort and adventure.......what are the dates you have in mind?
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:52 PM   #5
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What are the dates, that could make some difference.


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Well, we are looking at doing this in 2016. I'm finishing engineering school by the end of this year and she doesn't want to get married in an odd year for some reason. She is wanting a "spring" wedding, but I have pointed out that might interfere with the honeymoon plans. What is it like up there around May-June. I know that I've gotten caught in a snow storm crossing the Colorado Rockies in July before, so obviously things can be unpredictable.

When do the locals start riding?
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:00 PM   #6
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Well, we are looking at doing this in 2016. I'm finishing engineering school by the end of this year and she doesn't want to get married in an odd year for some reason. She is wanting a "spring" wedding, but I have pointed out that might interfere with the honeymoon plans. What is it like up there around May-June. I know that I've gotten caught in a snow storm crossing the Colorado Rockies in July before, so obviously things can be unpredictable.

When do the locals start riding?
I've only been out here a few years, but I would avoid May and shy away from June. July would give you good weather and probably be before the fire season. Also, some of the higher elevation and less traveled passes would be open (McKenzie and Beartooth come to mind). So much depends on the prior winter snow pack.
Just my two cents.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:01 PM   #7
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Locals start riding when it's above freezing. Judging by what I've seen on the news of Atlanta after Snowmaggedon, you might want to wait a little.

Generally speaking, June is when most of the mountain passes are open for business, so if you land in Seattle, you could wend through Mount Rainier, Mount St Helens or Mount Hood (or all three) on your way through. Also in the area is the road east of Portland along the Columbia which is slabby but gorgeous.

The hard part is: once you get east of the Cascades, there's a whole lot of nothing for about 300-450 miles, depending on your definition of nothing. You could loop north along the 12 or the 93, but again, there's this big dry patch in the middle. (Maybe fly through Salt Lake City?)

Big thing and #1 recommendation is once you get to Yellowstone: the Beartooth Highway (US-212) and Dead Indian Road (WY-296) are truly Bucket List Rides. Be forewarned that they are technical and steep, often without guardraiiiiiiiiiiiils.

If that's too much, just be sure to drop down from Yellowstone into the Grand Tetons and Jackson via the Rockerfeller Parkway. Bring a thesaurus because you'll run out of words for "Wow" pretty quick.

Good luck on the ride (and the marriage)
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:23 PM   #8
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Yeah, no good roads east of the Cascades.







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Old 02-11-2014, 04:25 PM   #9
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Two thots:

1. The best months for riding in the PNWet are July thru Sept. August in the Great Basin (east of the Cascades) can be very hot, so a good portion of your ride between the coast and Yellowstone would be uncomfortable that time of year, depending on your route. Higher elevations = cooler temps. YMMV.

2. Harley's can be rough -- full of vibrations, especially on the long haul. Consider another kind of bike.

Good luck! Done without adequate forethought, this honeymoon could end up in divorce court.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:28 PM   #10
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Yeah, no good roads east of the Cascades.




I recognize 1 & 2, where are 3 & 4.

Yeah, E. OR sux
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:39 PM   #11
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I recognize 1 & 2, where are 3 & 4.

Yeah, E. OR sux
Spiral Highway at Lewiston, ID, and Rattlesnake Grade on Hwy 129, south of Asotin, WA.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:43 PM   #12
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Spiral Highway at Lewiston, ID, and Rattlesnake Grade on Hwy 129, south of Asotin, WA.
Oops. Those I recognize, it's the others I don't know
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:47 PM   #13
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Oops. Those I recognize, it's the others I don't know
Hwy 218 between Shaniko and Antelope, and Hwy 216 between Tygh Valley and Grass Valley. (All Oregon.)



But, there's no reason to go east anyway- it's dangerous; you could end up in Hells.

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Old 02-11-2014, 04:54 PM   #14
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Sounds like a big loop. Maybe something like....

Portland - Take HWY 6 to Tillamook and follow the coast up to Washington and cut over at Aberdeen if you want to take in Seattle. With more time do the Olympic loop and take a ferry from Port Townsend into Seattle, or better yet Victoria then Seattle - But that may be too much. Avoid I5 as much as possible (As well as the other interstates, if you wanna ride interstates you are asking the wrong crowd).

From Seattle, head east over the mountains. Fun areas are Levenworth or Chelan maybe Winthrop. Grand Coulee dam is along the way, but unless you like wide open spaces may be hard to appreciate the landscape compared to the coast and coastal ranges, I'd suggest big miles instead for that day. Crossing Idaho North of Boise is much more scenic. I84 from The Dalles to Idaho Falls is mind-numbing boring IMHO.

Coming back from YS, I'd get off I-84 as soon as you couldn't stand it anymore and cross Oregon on 20 or 26. Consider Craters of the Moon in Idaho for something completely different. There are some really pretty areas in Eastern Oregon, but VERY remote, get gas when you can. Crystal Crane Hot Springs just east of Burns Oregon is my favorite hot springs ever. Bend Oregon is a fun town, worth the look as well. Stop at Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood on the way back is worth a look. You don't have mountains like that!

I-84 between The Dalles and Portland is pretty nice also if you need to make time, although I prefer the view from Hwy 14 on the other side of the Big Columbia.

Keep in mind these states are QUITE a bit bigger and an entire state in a day is A LOT of riding.

Skip the Harley, get the Gold Wing or BMW IMHO....unless you wanna dress like Pirates.

Good luck!!!
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:16 PM   #15
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...
I-84 between The Dalles and Portland is pretty nice also if you need to make time...
If you squint, you can see I-84 down by the river.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_PDX View Post
...Stop at Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood on the way back is worth a look. You don't have mountains like that!
...








BTW: You've mentioned Bend, Burns, and Hwy 20, but you should warn him to not consider the three together.
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