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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by bwhip62, Mar 18, 2015.
is that Moki Dugway? ^^^
Thanks! We're sure blessed to live in such a great area for motorcycles (except from December to February!).
i need to plan a trip to that area. we are heading to Seattle next summer so likely will pass too far North to swing down that far. Or maybe i need to make 2 trips next summer??
I just finished reading all of this thread. I really like your pics. You do a great job of combining great shots of your bikes, Really fun looking roads and spectacular scenery. Add in your narrative and I can really picture in my mind what it must be like riding your exciting bikes on those awesome roads. I have not had the chance to do any riding in Washington or Oregon but it's something I really want to do after reading your report. Unfortunately it's a long ways away for me so it may be a few years before I get to it.
Until then I'll just have to enjoy the area through your report. Luckily I also live in an area that has great riding although the scenery is not as spectacular as what you have out there.
Thanks so much! I hope you're able to get out this way to ride sooner rather than later.
Friday morning I saw a very brief window of opportunity, an okay weather forecast, and days getting cooler and shorter, so I decided it was time to go for a ride! I had Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Where to go?
Some old favorites and new roads I’d been eager to check out? Yes! I’d ride out through the Snake River Canyon up to Joseph, Oregon, then north through Rattlesnake Pass up to eastern Washington, and spend Friday night in Lewiston, Idaho. If I hurried (no problem there), I could get to Lewiston just before dark.
Then Saturday, I’d ride to the east and check out the old Winchester Grade road, recommended by my buddy Tom (thanks Tom!). Then head over to Kamiah and Kooskia, and out on a legendary road I hadn’t yet tried – the road to Elk City. Then, head south to home. Nearly 700 miles over the 1 1/2 days, which was ambitious but very doable.
Forecast said “showers around” on Friday afternoon. Often that means dark clouds, but mostly dry. Not this time!
I was hoping to see some fall colors along the way. Seems like an odd year for that around home – lots of leaves falling off the trees, but not the most explosive colors. I definitely saw a fair amount along the way, though most were fairly muted. I stopped to shoot a few along the Wallowa Mountain Road in the forest.
As I approached Joseph, the skies turned dramatic and threatening – with the worst looking ones being toward the north, where I was headed. Uh-oh.
Sure enough, as I got closer to Rattlesnake Pass, the rain started to come down. Harder and harder. And foggy. What is normally a spectacularly scenic and fun road became a little more of an adventure than usual! Lots of big rocks in the corners that had fallen off the hillsides. I just hoped a boulder wouldn’t fall on my head!
I only stopped for one photo (an iPhone quickie) because of all the rain and poor visibility. That’s okay, I’ve taken a ton there on previous trips. Last Year
I made it to Lewiston just as it got dark – soaked! Thankfully my Klim gear is fantastic and kept me dry and warm.
When I got up the next morning, it wasn’t raining, but it was very wet. I figured there wasn’t much reason to visit my local favorite road – the Old Spiral Highway. However, when I left the hotel, the sunrise skies were just spectacular. I knew that the view at the top of the hill would likely be really special, so I zipped up to the summit. Sure enough – WOW!
Unbelievable! Look at that road below. Look at that view! Amazing. Only downside was I couldn’t push at my usual pace on the road, but there will be (and have been) other opportunities.
I rode toward Winchester Grade, hoping it would clear up a bit. I like the dramatic clouds, but dry roads would be nice too. Nope. When I got there it was cold, foggy and a bit rainy. A super twisty and fun road, but again not the best conditions for heating up the edges of my tires. I stopped for a couple of photos between raindrops.
Definitely looking forward to getting back to this one in the dry!
As I got closer to Kamiah and Kooskia, the rain stopped, but the roads were still pretty wet. Great skies for photos, though!
I was really looking forward to the 50 mile (each way) road to Elk City, which is rated really highly on the Butler Map, but I’d not yet ever had a chance to ride it. And it didn’t disappoint! Wow! What a great road. Pretty much 100 miles of this:
Fantastic! I stopped for lunch in Elk City, which is a cute little town in the middle of the forest. Several little cafes and saloons. As I headed back toward Grangeville, I had to stop and get a photo where the road goes under/through this cool rock formation.
I climbed the hill toward Grangeville, and saw this great view of the roads I was just on:
The rest of the ride home was dry, fun and fast. I didn’t stop for more photos since I’ve taken a million of them along that stretch over the years. The Multistrada was its usual brilliant self along the way, and the Pirelli Angel GTs gripped really well in both the wet and the dry. All-in-all, an excellent little 1.5 day getaway! Very grateful to live in such a wonderful area for riding.
I'm jealous! Very nice. I hope to ride Idaho someday.
The conditions may not have been ideal for riding but they were great for getting some awesome pics. I think these are some of your best.
Thanks very much!
Love those images looking down into Lewiston.
Thanks! It was a spectacular sunrise for sure.
I've often stood right there at the top of the Spiral Highway myself and admired that view. If only the mill wasn't right there with its billowing clouds of pollution! LOL. Oh well, it's still an impressive view and the run up and down the old highway always brings a smile.
Very nice pictures.
Spiral Hwy is always fun. Your pictures are so crisp & clear.
We were just on Old Winchester Grade road this past weekend. You don't want to stray to the "no shoulder" side of the road that's for sure.
We also traveled on the Old Whitebird Grade on the Grangeville side. We skipped the Whitebird side of the grade this trip but it's always exciting as well.
Incredible photography in your ride report. Thanks so much for sharing.
Thanks. Yes, the penalty for failure on Winchester Grade looks to be quite severe!
Thanks, glad you enjoyed the photos!
When it's November and the forecast for one of your favorite regional riding areas says high in the 60's, mostly sunny, there's only one thing to do. GO RIDE!!
So, I decided to load up the Tuono and go do a "trackday." Not a traditional trackday at the racetrack, but similar in the sense that I load up the bike and transport it to a "track" of sorts a few hours away. In this case, a three hour drive each way from my home near Boise, over to John Day, Oregon, where I'd start the ride. The plan was 275 miles of some of my absolute favorite roads. Empty, scenic, fast, twisty tarmac with amazing variety. And did I mention empty? Sure, I could ride over and back (and have many times), but the three hours between here and there are fairly boring, and I've done it dozens of times. Plus, even though it was to be in the 60's in the afternoon, along the way there it was in the high 20's (!!), and on the way back it was dark, so who needs that? And it's a pretty easy drive by comparison.
The route I planned was this one, which includes some of my absolute favorites. I thought about not bringing a camera at all (other than my iPhone), thinking the fall colors were probably over with. Maybe I'd just focus on riding this time. However, at the last minute I put the Fuji in my jacket pocket just in case. I'm glad I did!
I got to John Day around 11 AM local time, and it was already pretty warm. However, as I climbed to higher elevations, it definitely cooled off quite a bit! I was glad to have brought warm gear along.
Some great views as you look down into the valley near Monument:
So many twists and turns in these roads, and the fact that I was usually standing in the middle of them when taking these photos tell you a bit about how deserted they are. Like my own private track!
207 North between Spray and Hardman is just exceptional. Fantastic flow!
One of the main attractions along the route is Hwy 206 between Ruggs and Condon. Good Lord what a fun road! Just look at it!
So incredibly fun! I stopped in Condon for fuel, and headed south toward Spray.
I can't imagine a better bike for this trip than the Tuono. It's just absolutely SICK (in the best possible way). Unbelievably fast and responsive, comfortable, nimble, and that glorious V-4 sound. I'll never, ever get tired of that. Absolutely my most favorite bike I've ever owned. And pretty damn sexy too. :)
Near Service Creek I rode past this beautiful tree and just had to grab a photo. Just before my camera battery (which I'd failed to charge) died! Oh well, I got some good shots first.
I doubt I'll get any more long rides in before the snow starts falling, but you never know! I still can't believe how nice this ride was for November. With each mile I reminded myself to enjoy the feeling, since the season would be over soon. And I sure did enjoy it. And I'm glad I could spend just a little more time reducing Oregon's bug population before the end of the year!
There are times when putting the bike in the truck and driving make sense. I've done it myself plenty of times. Glad you were able to get out for a late season ride. Great pics as always
BTW, 75 degrees and sunny here in Alabama this past weekend
Shhhhhh! Quit telling everyone about this place
When I lived in Portland that was my favorite place to ride. Unbelievably good roads in the middle of nowhere. Great pictures like always.
Thanks! Still can't believe the weather was that nice in November.
I bought a new bike in late December, just before Christmas. I decided to upgrade the Multistrada I've loved so much (for six years and 34,000 miles or so), and I bought a 2016 Multistrada Pikes Peak edition.
While I never expect to be able to ride much in the winter months here in Idaho, this winter has been ridiculous! Snow upon snow upon snow upon temps around zero, which never seem to end. So much so, that I haven't been able to put even one mile on the bike since I bought it. And once the snow does melt, the roads are a complete mess of water, sand, salt and chemicals. No thanks.
So, I spent the last few weeks dreaming of riding her, and performing a few mods like an Akrapovic titanium exhaust system, some engine and radiator guards, a super high decibel horn, etc. All dressed up with no place to go.
This past week, I finally couldn't take it anymore, so I looked on the map, and checked weather reports, trying to find the closest area I could that would be reasonably warm, dry, not take too long to get to, and give me some opportunity to at least do a bit of winter riding. I don't mind it being a little cold - I'll ride with temps in the mid-30's to mid-50's and not have a problem since I've got good heated gear to wear. Southern Utah? Nevada? Coastal Oregon? Northern California?
Best alternative seemed to be California for sure. About a nine hour drive to get to the Sacramento area, which could be a good launch point for some fun riding over two days. I'd drive over Friday, ride the weekend, and drive back home Sunday night and Monday morning. Kind of like so many of the trackday weekends I've done in years past, to Thunderhill or Spring Mountain or wherever. Only this time, my track destination would be the streets of northern California.
Forecast looked wet for Friday, but just cool and sunny over the weekend. Good enough. I didn't love the idea of my new baby getting all wet and dirty in the back of my pickup driving over in the rain and snow, but I figured it would be worth it. I surveyed road condition reports online, and found that several of the routes I was thinking about were blocked due to mudslides, from the massive amount of rain and flooding they've been having. Finally I planned a route of about 600 miles, narrowing it down to roads that looked like fun, and seemed to at least be passable.
The route I wound up doing was a little different, caused by a muddy detour. It wound up looking like this:
Friday morning, off I went. As I passed from Idaho into Oregon, it just looked cold and snowy ahead.
As I approached the Reno area, I started seeing highway signs saying that I-80 was closed at the state line to all trucks. I went online and saw that there was also a big detour from the highway due to a mudslide. Wonderful. Still, I'd come this far. I was going to find a way to ride this weekend. Going over Donner Pass was kind of nuts. Snow and sleet, with lots of mud and debris all over the road. Nasty!
As we descended along the detour route, the sun came out and it warmed up into the low 60's, almost magically! Felt so great to see sunshine, green grass, and know that soon I'd be riding. I stopped for the night and sampled some regional farm-to-table cuisine:
I could hardly sleep from excitement (or maybe the double-double in my gut), but finally morning came and I loaded up the bike for my ride. It felt surreal to be actually getting on my new bike and riding it for the first time, this time of year, on a long tour of some new terrain. I was very happy, to say the least!
As I rode, I familiarized myself with the new bike, noting the changes from my previous-gen Multi. Lots of similarities of course, but lots of differences too! I love the new color display, which is bright and full of easily accessible information. Really nice. Seat seems to be a little more comfortable, giving a bit more room and options on sliding forward or back a bit - certainly more than the old one did. I need to figure out a better touring windscreen. The Pikes Peak little carbon fiber one looks cool, but it was noisy! Brakes seemed to be significantly better - very impressive! Suspension felt plush, but way too soft for the type of riding I was doing. I'll have to do some adjusting there. Power was outstanding, and the sound through the trapezoidal Akrapovic was positively badass. I was worried that if I tried to stay at least close to the recommended break-in RPM guidelines, I'd feel completely hamstrung, but the bike has tons of power all through the RPM range. It'll do around 90 in sixth gear before even hitting 5500 RPM, which was generally plenty (or so I've heard).
It wasn't long before I hit the twisties - and it felt SOOOOO good!
This particular road was pretty rough, but it didn't matter. It was still a ton of fun, and they'd just get better and better as I went along. But it had been months since my last ride, so it just felt awesome.
One thing I did notice in a hurry, was how flooded it was everywhere over there! Wet roads with lots of residue from very recent mudslides, roadside waterfalls, and roaring rivers of brown, full of mud and debris. All the land completely saturated and wet.
I proceeded over the top of a big mountain, on a fast, flowing and empty road that was really nice (Hwy 162 / Alder Springs Road). On the map it looked like it would take me on a twisty journey through Covelo and ultimately over to Fort Bragg, my destination for the night. I climbed and climbed, and it got colder and colder. I started seeing a bunch of snow on the sides of the road. Okay, I'm ready to descend now! Suddenly, I saw the dreaded sign which read "PAVEMENT ENDS." Crap. I don't mind a dirt road, as long as it's not that long, and not that treacherous. But not this time of year, especially not this wet year. Deep mud and snow. No chance.
Time to turn around and reroute. Views heading back down the hill were sure nice!
I stopped in Willows for some lunch at the Mexican joint near Thunderhill Raceway, and planned the reroute. I'd head south and pick up Hwy 20 along Clear Lake, which would take me all the way to Fort Bragg. Clear Lake was bigger than I expected, and pretty to ride around.
I finally got to Fort Bragg, and reached THE END.
The end of my riding day, and the continent. Thankfully, they had that special place where Ducatis are frequently known to congregate... I just hoped no Ducatisti would see how dirty my baby was, and kick me out of the Ducati Owners Club.
Thank goodness just down the street was a car wash, where I could remedy the situation, at least enough to get me through the next day.
Sunday morning it was pretty cold in Fort Bragg - about 34 degrees when I left the hotel around 7:30 AM. But the sun was coming up, and Hwy 1 was remarkably empty, which I'm sure is quite unusual! It was so great to be able to enjoy that spectacular stretch of road in relative solitude.
Spectacular! What a gift to be able to enjoy such a cool bike with this kind of scenery, riding a kick-ass fun road - in February??! Very grateful for sure.
At Stewarts Point I turned inland on a very odd little road, that just didn't seem quite right. It was really narrow, bumpy and steep, heading into a deep, dark forest - so dark that I couldn't see the road (or its potholes and other dangers) without opening my dark visor. But when I opened the visor, it was so cold that it made my eyes water. Was this really a road that would take me over to Cloverdale like the map showed? It was really primitive. Kind of fun at the very slow speeds it required, and certainly interesting. But I sure didn't want to get 20 miles into this thing and have to turn around because of some log across the road, or mudslide or other problem. I decided to keep going, and it got better and better. Smoother, wider, with the most amazing diversity. Bright sunlight and broad views, and then back into dark, tight and twisty sections. Amazing!
This closeup view of the map will give you an idea of just how twisty this awesome road is - 45 miles of corners!
I fueled up in Cloverdale, and headed north on 128 to Boonville. Now this was a FUN and FAST road. The flow was amazing! One of my all-time favorites. So great.
The stretch of Hwy 175 between Hopland and Lakeport was INSANE! Super hilly, tight and fun. I happened to come up behind a couple of other guys on bikes - one on a Yamaha FZ and one on a Harley, both wearing jeans and hoodies with their helmets and gloves. I figured I'd be past them pretty quickly (hopelessly competitive sort that I am). No way! These guys were flying - even the dude on the Harley! There were quite a few muddy corners due to all the flooding, and Harley dude would twist the throttle hard coming out of each, sliding the rear end and throwing up a roost, and having all kinds of fun. Later on the flat sections, FZ guy was doing these massive stand-up wheelies, for like a half mile each. They were nuts, but they did know how to ride a little!
All in all, day two of this trip had to be one of my favorite riding days ever. I sure don't think I've ever ridden that many corners in one day, that's for sure! Wow, unforgettable.
I finally made it back to the hotel and my waiting truck, and began the journey home. Ultimately about 680 miles of the greatest break-in period I could imagine. Good weather, a bike that was even better than I'd hoped it would be - and all of this in the middle of winter. And my exhaust system was so happy it decided to turn some pretty colors for me.
It will still seem like forever to our actual riding season up here in Idaho, but this trip definitely helped make me a little less impatient for its arrival.