Planning a honeymoon ride in the PNW

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by Glow Guy, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Glow Guy

    Glow Guy Adventurer

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    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. :ear
    #1
  2. mrmagoolin

    mrmagoolin Been here awhile

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    What are the dates, that could make some difference.


    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    #2
  3. purplepeopleeater

    purplepeopleeater The Official VW Nut

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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.

    :D
    #3
  4. BSkye

    BSkye Been here awhile

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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. :ear[/QUOTE]

    Input you will get......there can be a crevasse between comfort and adventure.......what are the dates you have in mind?
    #4
  5. Glow Guy

    Glow Guy Adventurer

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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?
    #5
  6. beemerron

    beemerron machine washable

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    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.:D
    #6
  7. caminante

    caminante Adventurer

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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. :D

    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) :1drink
    #7
  8. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    Yeah, no good roads east of the Cascades. :D

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  9. pHelix

    pHelix Eternal n00b

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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. :lol3
    #9
  10. beemerron

    beemerron machine washable

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

    Yeah, E. OR sux:rofl
    #10
  11. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    Spiral Highway at Lewiston, ID, and Rattlesnake Grade on Hwy 129, south of Asotin, WA.
    #11
  12. beemerron

    beemerron machine washable

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    Oops. Those I recognize, it's the others I don't know
    #12
  13. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    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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  14. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

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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!!!
    #14
  15. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    If you squint, you can see I-84 down by the river.

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    BTW: You've mentioned Bend, Burns, and Hwy 20, but you should warn him to not consider the three together. :d
    #15
  16. DiggerD

    DiggerD Been here awhile

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

    +1 What Scott said.
    Portland to YellowStone is 1000 miles...one way. The states out here are BIG.
    This is a great place to ride bikes..but it not the easiest roads to ride. Very few guard rails....etc.

    Tour Portland, go to the coast and then see Mnt St, Helens in the same day??
    Nope! Not going to happen.

    You want a nice sweet heart ride....look up Two Bobs ride in the ride reports.
    Canada Rockies...big open roads...Woot!
    #16
  17. Mr Dual Sport

    Mr Dual Sport Roamer

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    I'm getting married in June and our honeymoon is also a ride. Bit of a different approach then you, but getting out still the same. Also posting in regionals http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=949730

    Like others have said, the dates you want to go are very important to sugestions. Everything is very seasonal here. In my opinion, mid to late July or mid to late September are the perfect times to explore the pacific NW.
    It's hard to go wrong on state highways and county roads, and there's lots of them!
    You're going to get overloaded with suggestions.
    #17
  18. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

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    Well, Georgia isn't exactly small, but distances are a consideration out here. If Harney County were a state it would be larger than each of six of the others.

    Well, there is that...

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    ...but that just makes the ride interesting. :ricky
    Nothing to see at the Coast anyway.

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    And, why would you want to go to Mt. St. Helens?

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    #18
  19. oldmonkeybut

    oldmonkeybut Digital Emigrant

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    I've done the Yellowstone thing on my Harley and on my Beemer. Both were good choices. Rule #1. Keep Momma Happy. If she isn't happy ain't nobody happy! With that in mind a Gold Wing, Big Harley or a Big Beemer would be a good choice. Stay on the pavement and off the interstate as much as possible. I normally take hwy 26 through Prineville to Mt Vernon. Then hwy 395 to Ukiah and hwy 244 to La Grande. Then hwy 82 to Enterprise and hwy 3 to Lewiston. Hwy 12 into Montana. If I pretty much just ride it takes me two days from the Oregon Coast to Missoula Montana. From there you have choices either head for West Yellowstone via Ennis or do one of my tricks and head for Glacier Park. You can drop out the East end of Glacier and hook up with Yellowstone from the East. My favorite time of the year to do this is right after Labor Day. Yellowstone SUCKS during peak tourist season. Let the rugrats go back to school then the herd thins out considerably. June is too early around here for the high country.

    There is nothing wrong with spending your time touring Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, Crater Lake, Redwoods and back up the coast.

    Rule # 2....Be Safe

    Rule # 3....Have Fun
    #19
  20. oldmonkeybut

    oldmonkeybut Digital Emigrant

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    You couldn't be more wrong if you were paid. Climb out from under your rock. There is a whole big world out there. Go check it out then report back.
    #20