The PNW Trepidation Tour 2020

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Turkeycreek, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Another late start but who cares.
    We refined our loading and it went pretty quickly. The travel guitar is also secured better but I do have a plan to improve it a bit.

    We had coffee and a breakfast scone in Packwood, very good. The place is named Josie's I think but I'm not sure. It seems they are big bicycle fans. Lynn was bundled up again.
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    The plan was to head back up into Rainier NP and then east through Longmire and Paradise, loop around then down to Spirit Lake and Mt St Helens. From there we would head back west and find a place to stay.
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    We got skunked, the road to Longmire was closed 10 miles from the entry gate so we turned around.
    We pulled over near the gate and spoke to Bill and Madeline, a local couple riding GSAs . They told us to take the route through Randle then to the Windy Ridge Lookout.
    So not skunked after all. MC riders are great.
    A fairly flat ride to Randle then onto FR 25. Paved, good shape, and twisty. We turned onto FR 99 towards Windy Ridge. Skunked again! The gate was closed and locked. We turned around and pulled into the adjacent rest area and struck up a conversation with Bernie and his orange 990 bike. He was also pretty bummed about the gate being closed. He told us he and some friends are planing a Colorado ride in August so we started talking places to see. We spent about 20 minutes. Bernie took off and we screwed around a minute or two more. Then I heard yelling through the trees coming from the area with the locked gate but I could not make it out. We finally wheeled around and out of the lot. I looked up hill to my right and Whaaaaa? The gate was open! Now it made sense - it must have been Bernie yelling to let us know it was open. Again - not skunked. Had we not run into Bernie and spent some time we would have left and missed St Helens today.

    The road was narrow and twisty. A bit of temporarily repaired winter road damage in places. And spectacular. Trees and vistas. Like Colorado but different. I would like to come back and ride it on 2 wheels sometime.

    We reached the first overlook.
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    The whole side of the caldera blew out May 18, 1980. 40 years ago. If you remember, it was a real life BFD. I was living in Denver then and like much of North America we had fine ash on our cars for several days as the plume spread east. Some of the forest has come back naturally and some with replanting.

    We rode back down to FR 25 and turned towards Cougar, WA. It was 60+ miles of twisty roads and glimpses of Swift Reservoir. It was a real workout horsing the rig through all those turns. Lynn is helping on the right handers by leaning into the turns. I need to show her side sidecar racing videos so she can refine her technique. My arms and shoulders were tired by the end of the 135 mile day but that will get better.

    We checked into the Lone Fir Resort in Cougar at about 6 o'clock. Yale Lake is across the road and we have a nice cabin. I made a new friend here
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    He seems OK with the restaurant here using his name for their Yeti Burger.

    We will head towards Olympic National Park tomorrow. Unless we do something different. There are lava tubes in the area one can visit and lave tubes are cool.
    #41
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  2. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Glad you got to see windy ridge - hopefully you can see hurricane ridge as well for sake of comparison :)

    We’ll be passing you tomorrow as we head south (to PDX for long-delayed dental cleanings), but if you’re going to be around the Olympic Peninsula longer than just tomorrow, maybe we can do a little riding together.
    #42
  3. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    I'm not surprised the higher elevation roads were closed, but good timing on the opening of FR-99. :thumb

    Was it open all the way to Windy Ridge or only up to Bear Meadow? Last year, IIRC, the last section to Windy Ridge didn't open until after the 4th of July. With the Forest Service budget being what it is, they no longer plow the higher elevation roads to get them open by a certain date, rather they wait until it's mostly melted away then they "fix it" (FSVO) and let people through. They used to get it ready for the summer season by Memorial Day. Those where different times and different budgets...

    I would have said try to go up to Johnston Ridge on the west side, but I am not sure that road (and the visitor center) are open yet. The visitor center due to COVID-19 rather than snow.

    Looks like it's going to be downright hot tomorrow (yes, for us PNWet types, weather in the 90's is hot... :knary). Stay hydrated. :jkam

    Gustavo
    #43
  4. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Another late start and some annoying tech nonsense with Sena and Samsung not wanting to play nice. It all worked fine on the dining room table before we left.

    We loaded the rig in and went looking for food. The cafe at the motel was not open for breakfast so we went to the gas station/food mart. Coffee and a shared breakfast burrito - kind of gummy but it filled us up.

    Today it was west to the Olympic Peninsula. We rode down the valley towards Woodland and made a few quick stops for some odds and ends. Avoiding interstates is a goal but we had to do a few miles on I-5 north before we could head west. We were across the river from Oregon.
    After the mountains water was the major feature



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    We were both tired and it was cloudy and cooling down. We ended up in Raymond. A town built on lumber. Weyerhauser is the reason there is a town.
    Tomorrow we will continue north to Port Angeles.

    Tomorrow we wi
    #44
  5. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    You're going to P.A.? You should ping fellow DMC sidecarist @Metalcarver. He lives there. Knows the best motels and eating spots.
    #45
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  6. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    There’s a good beach for walking and watching surfers in Westport - Point Chehalis, by the lighthouse - is you’re up for some leg stretching. Often lots of sand dollars on the beach too, if you’re into that sort of thing. (Low tide is 0945 tomorrow)

    Edit to add:

    I like how you’re building suspense - a real cliff hanger here:


    ;) :lurk
    #46
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  7. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

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    Used to be some nice hot springs at Olympic Hot Springs, SW of Port Angeles. But that was 40 or more years ago.....
    #47
  8. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    They’re still there, but we agreed as a state not to tell tourists about them - so keep it on the down low, k?

    Secret Link
    #48
  9. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    We were happy to leave Raymond this morning. There were mechanical rumblings all night which I attributed to the Weyerhaeuser lumber mill 2 blocks from the motel. We rode to Sheila's Cafe for breakfast. The town must have been something a few decades back when the mills were really cranking. Nice architecture.

    It wasn't quite raining but close enough as we gassed up and headed north again. We crossed the Chehalis River to Aberdeen and decided we should have pushed on yesterday. Lots more lodging and food options there.

    We passed through Neilton and thought about Noshoes. Just north we were in the Quinault rain forest. We pulled into the resort area and got some coffee
    upload_2020-6-24_22-29-16.png

    We didn't explore because it looked like the rain-like mist was intensifying
    The road took us a bit farther to the west and were rode along the bluffs overlooking the ocean. The photo is washed out but is was impressive with the clouds low and the sea and sky melding.
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    We got to the town of Forks and for some reason I thought of @Ohio_Danimal. Weird.
    We had a nice Mexican meal.
    The hwy curved towards the east and we found ourselves riding along the shore of Lake Crescent. A glacial lake that is an incredible blue color and very clear. According to Wikipedia, there is a lack of nitrogen in the water that inhibits algae.
    upload_2020-6-24_22-42-46.png

    We arrived in Port Angeles. We both decided we like it here. We had our first real dinner at Kokopelli's Grill by the ferry dock. We will spend 2 nights here. I have some maintenance items to take care of and we want to head up to Hurricane Ridge.
    #49
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  10. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    I forgot to mention that we have no plan past tomorrow
    #50
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  11. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    That's the best plan of all.
    #51
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  12. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    We took yesterday off. Did almost nothing. I checked the air in the tires and decided to add some air. I plugged it in without really looking and no pump?
    After several hours of intensive trouble shooting of the entire electrical system and googling the problem I was able to isolate the problem.

    upload_2020-6-26_13-7-56.png

    The end of the plug was no where to be found in the tool bag. I walked a few blocks to the parts store and bought a new plug with a pigtail. I knew the soldering pen would be a good idea. Fixed it and we have air.

    I also affixed this to the car. Shameless self promotion.

    upload_2020-6-26_13-21-43.png

    We looked around town a bit and just took it easy.

    If we get moving we will hit Hurricane Ridge
    #52
  13. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Hey I have that sticker on my truck, bike and tool box!
    #53
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  14. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    And the kids at the school thank you!
    #54
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  15. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Friday the 26th.
    Kind of cool in Port Angeles with some fog and clouds. We waited for things to clear a bit and headed to Hurricane Ridge.
    upload_2020-6-28_21-33-22.png

    At just under a mile high - 5242 and being so far north it captures the moisture off the Salish Sea and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the average snowfall is 400 inches per year.
    The visitor center and several overlooks provide great views of the Olympic Range.

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    This guy/gal was pretty acclimated to having people around but the few kids who tried to pet it were thankfully not able to get close

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    We hung out and enjoyed the view. This young lady took a nap in her folding hammock

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    Next, we head east then south on the other side of the peninsula.
    #55
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  16. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Port Angeles was a great place to visit and the farthest north I have been in the lower 48 but it was time to move on. The bike is running great and the 955i triple pulls like a champ. The car feels good too. We can run at 60 mph comfortably. Don't tell Lynn but I had it at 70 for a minute or two.
    So many places like visitor centers, museums, restaurants, boat tours are closed but we don't feel deprived. So many PNW inmates have offered info on places and have even offered meals and places to stay. We are just happy to be out and moving even it means dealing with closures and social distancing.
    #56
  17. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    Looks like you keep having a good time and surprisingly good weather. We had rain on and off most of the day today, only a few hours south from where you visited today. So where are you headed tomorrow?

    Gustavo
    #57
  18. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    A bit of a slacker on the report. Will have something tomorrow
    Too busy fooling around with my new 3/4 size travel guitar for the camera
    upload_2020-6-30_22-41-25.png
    #58
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  19. SeanF

    SeanF Long timer

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    :lurk
    #59
  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Glad I caught back up on your RR - looks like you guys are having a great time. If you need anything when making your way south and go by PDX, feel free to ping me - happy to help.

    Dig the travel guitar; one of the things on my bucket list is to learn how to play an acoustic guitar.

    Keep the sticky side down :thumb
    #60
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