This past weekend (well, long weekend) was an annual Northwest Tour get-together for me and four of my local riding buddies, along with some great friends of mine from South Carolina and Montreal. The out-of-area visitors would use my bikes and my car (BMW M2) on some of my favorite roads, over three days. We rented an Airbnb house in Hood River, Oregon as our "base camp," and I mapped out three diverse and fun rides. We had another guy from Alabama, our friend James (who goes by Seamus) who was due to come along, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a school commitment. We decided we'd bring Seamus along in spirit. :) On Thursday once my friends arrived at the airport, we loaded up bikes and a fun car to drive over to Hood River from Boise - off we go! The crew - Zoltan, Mathieu, Tom, Terry, Tim, Tommy, and bwhip. Dinner in Hood River on Thursday night. Seamus approved of the Airbnb place we rented Friday's route - the longest of the trip, over to the beach! On the way there we took the Old Columbia River Highway, which passes some gorgeous (see what I did there?) waterfalls. This one is Multnomah. Lovely morning view of the Columbia River Gorge. Well, the view of the gorge is nice. Those ugly dudes? Not so much. Seamus looked like he was starving, so we stopped for lunch in Rockaway Beach He looked happy after lunch, and seemed to really enjoy the ocean view A little further south, we got a lovely view from Cape Lookout We got back kind of late after slogging through traffic, so it was a good night for homemade pizza from bwhip's pizza oven Saturday we crossed the bridge over the river to Washington, and headed toward Mt. St. Helens. The twisty road north of Carson was one of everyone's favorites. Tim said he felt like he needed a cigarette after that sort of ecstasy. The views up near the volcano were unbelievable. We had sunshine, drizzle, dense fog, a little bit of everything along the way. Not to mention massive dips, crevasses and bumps due to all the seismic activity. Spirit Lake was pretty crazy - covered with dead trees from the eruption all the way back in 1980! We stopped in Cougar for lunch Next we rode the single most insanely potholed road I've ever experienced (and hope never to do so again). It was nuts. I thought for sure one of us would trash a wheel or two. But we survived what seemed like walking in a minefield for many miles. Stressful, especially for the guy leading the way (me). Glad I didn't bring the M2 along this day. The good news was that we were rewarded with a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier once we got to the smoother part. When we got back to the Gorge we snapped a pic of the view from the Washington side. No Tommy or Tim, both of whom got swallowed up by potholes. Not really - we stopped for fuel and they decided to just head home since they didn't need any. Sunday, our final day, we headed southeast for a central Oregon tour. Basically a 300 mile private track in the middle of nowhere. I don't want to say what our average speed was. I'll just let you imagine based on the photos. Then add about 30 MPH. We stopped in Spray (yes, Spray) for lunch at your basic general store/gas station/cafe. The waitress apparently thought Mathieu really liked French Fries. Maybe the accent (French Canadian)? I'm surprised he didn't ask for cheese curds and gravy. Home stretch took us back through Condon and The Dalles, where we loaded up and headed back to Idaho. Mathieu said of Sunday, that in over 20+ years of riding, it was the single best day on a motorcycle he's ever had. When we stopped at the location in the pic immediately above, after 100 miles or so of just flying, Tim took off his helmet and laughed. And laughed, and wouldn't stop laughing. He said he'd never held the throttle open on his VFR for such an extended amount of time. Unreal. All in all, another absolutely incredible trip with a super fun group of addicts! Yet another reminder of why we love motorcycles, good friends, and amazing places to enjoy both. .