Eastern Washington & Eastern Oregon

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AdvLTC, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. AdvLTC

    AdvLTC Adventurer

    Joined:
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    IMG_4984.JPG IMG_4988.JPG IMG_4990.JPG IMG_4994.JPG IMG_5001.JPG IMG_5004.JPG Son 16 year son just earned his motorcycle license last November and between then and May he put 3000 miles on his Versys 300X all within about 100 miles of our house. We had to cancel our first trip due to COVID but went ahead with this trip in late June - 4th July week. We had plan to stay out longer, but we were a bit overwhelmed with the weather changes - My son did great - better then I would have at that age.

    Day 1 - We rode from near Bremerton WA to just outside Trout Lake WA a total of 300.9 miles. No freeway travel, mostly some back roads with one short stint on highway 12 between Morton & Randle. We had a side trip to Windy Ridge with great views of Mt St Helens. The famed Forest Road 25 from Randle south was not as great as we had hoped. It would be a motorcyclist dream except that the road is full of potholes and patch repairs which dampened the fun quickly.

    As this was the first weekend in Washington with things opening up, the few campgrounds that were open were filled. We did manage to find couple nice off grid spots just outside Trout Lake still within the National Forest.
    #1
  2. AdvLTC

    AdvLTC Adventurer

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    IMG_5007.JPG IMG_5009.JPG IMG_5013.JPG IMG_5017.JPG Day 2 - 243 miles from Trout Lake, WA area to Eastern Oregon (near Spray, OR). Leaving Trout Lake towards Glenwood, you loose the woods and the land opens up. Just outside Glenwood (heading east) there are many good camping spots. Between Glenwood and Goldendale, there is a several mile climb full of twists and turns. We passed several sports car in the opposite direct - be careful - one Porsche was way over the line. The fun started outside Goldendale, WA heading south on Hwy 97. We hit the strongest head & side winds I have ever rode in.This was all a first for my son. We knew the crossing over the Columbia River would be windy, when we saw three Harely riders who passed us, turned around at the river and went back. The strong windy gusts lasted all the way to around Fossil, OR. South of Fossil, we hit Rowe Creek Rd & Mitchell Hwy for a combined total of 208 curves! What I love about this part of eastern Oregon, I always find the campgrounds mostly empty.
    #2
  3. AdvLTC

    AdvLTC Adventurer

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    IMG_5018.JPG IMG_5021.JPG IMG_5023.JPG Day 3- Total 234 miles.
    Left camp just as misty rain started, that soon turned to full on rain. Throughout this day we encountered rains showers, heavy rain, wind, and even hail coming down into Baker Oregon. Due to the weather we changed our itinerary completely. Instead of heading south toward Burns, OR we headed east to the only non raining (but VERY windy) spot around – LaGrande Oregon. If not for the weather this would have been a beautiful ride. We passed over couple of 5,000+ feet passed (Dixie Summit 5,279 ft ; Larch Summit 5,089ft) and discovered that this with the wind does bog down the Versys 300. Had to downshift to maintain any kind of speed (55mph uphill). Ate brunch in John Day, OR and ended up at a hotel in LaGrande, OR. Decided to head north into WA the only place that it is not expected to rain the next few days. It was a long hard day, motel bed was nice.
    #3
    td63, Mumbles24 and TwilightZone like this.
  4. AdvLTC

    AdvLTC Adventurer

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    IMG_5030.JPG IMG_5033.JPG IMG_5037.JPG IMG_5038.JPG IMG_5040.JPG IMG_5044.JPG IMG_5048.JPG Day 4 - 247 miles.
    Left LaGrande at approximately 0915, stopped Pullman,WA 1620. No rain today, but we did experience thick heavy fog on pass at Spout Springs north of Elgin, OR. From LaGrande we took Hwy 82 to Elgin then onto Hwy 204 to Weston. First two thirds are forested mountains and pass, then as you drop into open wheat fields in Weston. We hit Walla Walla for lunch. Fueled up and headed north on Hwy 125 to Hwy 124 and then west to Harsha, WA and north on Lyons Ferry Road. Very little traffic on any of these roads. We went up to Palouse Falls SP. It was getting sunny and hot by now. From PFSP we headed east on Hwy 261, taking a break at Starbuck, WA. We continued east to Hwy 127 then north to Dusty, WA. Here we joined Hwy 26 and experience first somewhat heavy traffic all the way into Colfax, WA. Head headed south on Hwy 195 towards Pullman, WA. As expected he had couple of idiot tailgaters near Pullman, we had to pullover for and let them pass. He hit wet rains but missed the rain thru this section also. It was dry before we hit Pullman.
    #4
  5. AdvLTC

    AdvLTC Adventurer

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    IMG_5092.JPG IMG_5052.JPG IMG_5062.JPG IMG_5063.JPG IMG_5064.JPG IMG_5067.JPG IMG_5068.JPG IMG_5071.JPG IMG_5072.JPG Day 5 - 101 miles.
    Approx 4 hours of local riding today. Unfortunately we had strong wind gusts all day long. We took Hwy 27 from Pullman up to Palouse and into Garfield, WA. North of Garfield we went west on Dry Creek Rd – a very nice wide new road, but then turned onff on JW Baylor Rd and headed toward Steptoe Butte. JW raod was more like a muddy driveway thru a wheat field. If fact, its so bad it is closed from Nov -Apr the sign says. It was not to bad and only a few miles. Off JW and back onto the apshalt it was a short drive to Steptoe Butte SP turnoff. Weather was grey, overcast and very, very windy. From Steptoe we headed south to Colfax for lunch then took Hwy 272 east out of Colfax to Palouse. That was a nice road thru wheat fields. Then south on Hwy 27 to Pullman. So windy today we did not want to ride any longer. My notes says coming back from Palouse to Pullman were the worst wind gusts we have ever experienced so far. Be sure to eat at the TOP NOTCH CAFE, Colfax, WA - Excellent food!
    #5
  6. AdvLTC

    AdvLTC Adventurer

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    Day 6 - 254 miles.
    Left Pullman, WA at approx 1045 and arrived at Cle Elum, WA at approx 1820. Today was NON-STOP winds and gusts the ENTIRE day. Hit extreme winds gusts from George, WA down to the Vantage Bridge that had us leaning at a 45 degree angle at times. Very stressful & dangerous. Luckily we were in between the majority of traffic. I enjoyed the ride as we had very little traffic taking backroads thru Endicott, Benge, Lind, Warden, Hwy 262 into the back route to George, WA where we finally grabbed a bite to eat and fueled up at approx 1530. The entire day was spent in open wheat fields and range lands until we got to Ellensburg. The wind was so bad today at Ellensburg, we were just laughing at it – nothing else you could do. We stopped there for a SB coffee.
    IMG_5076.JPG IMG_5077.JPG IMG_5082.JPG IMG_5085.JPG IMG_5088.JPG
    #6
  7. AdvLTC

    AdvLTC Adventurer

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    IMG_5093.JPG IMG_5094.JPG Day 7 - Final Day. 227 miles. Cle Elum to Port Orchard, WA via Yakima River Canyon > Chinook Pass > Enumclaw > Bonny Lake > Puyallup > Hwy 16. A Nice ride thru Yakima River canyon and climbing up Chinook Pass. Mostly sunny, mildly heavy traffic – but no tailgaters. The near the summit (approx 5 miles or so) it turned grey, wet and very cold. We stopped at pass to don rain gear. It was foggy and visibility down to about 3 yards. We stated down the west side when face shield fogged up, then eye glasses. Make an emergency stop to remove them. We were encountering freeing rain/snow mix at this time. At least we could not see over the railing! As soon as we were down in a couple of miles, it was dry and overcast. From Enumclaw all the way thru Bonny Lake, Puyallup, etc, it was bumper to bumper traffic and slow moving. ** Disgusting note - at the top of Chinook Pass, the restrooms were closed due to COVID and to my horror, the parking lot was covered in feces and toilet paper. Disgusting people even piled feces up in front of the restroom doors. A health hazard in the waiting! IMG_5093.JPG

    Entire Trip – 1,605.3 miles Avg MPG – 58.8
    #7
  8. Folly1

    Folly1 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Charleston, SC : Bath, Me
    Great job. A wonderful gift, the ride, for you and your son. You also nailed it with the pics. Thanks for posting.

    Ben
    #8
  9. AdvLTC

    AdvLTC Adventurer

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    Thank you
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  10. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

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    Nice trip you put together there, way to go ! Thanks for posting the details.. Awesome to see you doing his with your son as well.. I live and ride all throughout the same areas as well.. good sauce! :)
    #10
  11. dondesmo

    dondesmo Senior Squid

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    Thanks for posting up your ride report. I've ridden most of those routes through the years and they never disappoint. Well done.
    #11
  12. Old Codger

    Old Codger Been here awhile Supporter

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    Nice ride report and pictures, I got a laugh out of your 2nd. snow picture with the woman walking her dog in the background with shorts on with deep snow all around her...:imaposer
    #12
  13. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    Good to see someone making good use of the X300. A plucky little bike, IMHO...
    #13
  14. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    Nice job. Excellent photos.
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  15. Blancr

    Blancr n00b

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    Enjoyed your report - these trips with your son will be remember forever
    #15
  16. squid2.0

    squid2.0 n00b

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    Enjoyed reading this! Looks like a great trip.
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  17. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Very nice! Looks like you caught the last of our spring green...sigh...but, yeah, that often comes with winds out here.
    #17
  18. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Lovely trip!! Beautiful photos of the low clouds and wheat. May have missed it--the name of the waterfall?
    #18
  19. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Good on you guys for getting out there and great job documenting the trip and posting the pics! You hit some areas of both OR and WA I love, Spray, Chinook Pass, etc. Haven't been doing the asphalt riding thing for a long time now, but miss it terribly when I see shots like yours.

    And as others have said, I hope my son wants to ride with me when he gets to that age. Of my two boys, one has taken to dirt bikes like I did when I was young...truly hope he sticks with it so we can do trips like this. And hell, maybe my younger son will want to drive a chase truck...lol.

    Great job, enjoyed the RR. And I'm curious about those falls too; definitely east of the Cascades somewhere...
    #19
  20. davidaid

    davidaid Adventurer

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    Sounds like we were in the wind at the same time. I went from Coeur D Alene to Puyallup and the wind was atrocious - the worst I've been in. Especially at George for the 10 miles on I-90. Ditto conditions on Chinook Pass.
    IMG_20200701_171057.jpg
    #20