The worst part of having too many hobbies is how to divide ones attention to them. A good weekend in the PacNw can cause quite a conundrum. Hike? Not yet, there is still too much snow in the mountains. Should I climb? I suppose so, I am in dire need of some conditioning in preparing for the summers adventures, but who wants to "post hole" and carry a pack. Kayak? Yes, another great choice... but then I'd have to load the boats, pick a place and then there is the motorcycle. Motorbike trip? Hmmm. it has been a very wet and cool winter. The mountain passes are just beginning to open up. I always want to tour the Oregon Coast on my bike, but the mountains... what to do? Oh yes, I can ride the Oregon Coast to Newport or Florence and cut over to central Oregon and enjoy some snow covered volcanoes. Yes, my friends, this was the plan. The weather called for overcast skies, but no rain. Maybe I'd get lucky and catch some sun. It was a wonderful 3 days of riding along the ocean through the mountains and out on the high desert and even some unexpected rain!!
I didn't take the most direct route to the Oregon coast. Rarely do I travel 4 lane blacktop. Instead I wound my way through Yelm, Tenino, Centrailia, Raymon, Illwaco and then to Astoria. From there I traveled through Seaside and spent my first night in Nehalem Bay State Park.
It was a bit on the chilly side and the winds off the ocean didn't help matters.
After I set up camp and had a bite to eat, I took off to have a look around. I toured the beach along Manzanita and got this shot.
The setting sun was just ripe for pictures.
Many residents were having a BBQ with wine and deck chairs all set up for the impending beauty.
I made my way up to Oswald West State Park. This is the view looking back toward Nehalem Bay.
My parking spot, where I would witness a spectacular show from Mother Nature. BTW, one should read more about Oswald West and his contributions to Oregon history and the preservation of this fantastic coastline.
Before the actual sunset, I got a sneak peak of the opening act.
More of Nehalem Bay.
Spectacular roadside construction.
The remnants of the show made for some profound thinking.
I sat there quietly in my church pew, enjoying the sermon, when a jet contrail appeared. Normally man's creations leave a blight on the land, but tonight it was like trim frosting on the cake.
It began getting dark... I had a cigar, hot cocoa with Bailey's waiting for me at camp.
This was my view as I left Newport. This day, I toured down the coast. I must admit, I was surprised at the amount of traffic and development. I had not been south of Tillamook for 20 years. The going was slow and the remote magic that I remembered of the Oregon Coast was gone. Maybe my time up in the remote north has jaded me forever. I wanted to continue south, but time was ticking, I had a date with some volcanoes.
Gretchen longing to ride south.
Hwy 20 up towards Santiam Pass.
I road through Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon, and Sweet Home before I finally pulled away from the traffic and lights and up into the mountains. It was a looong muggy ride through these towns. The only highlight of that stretch was a chance drive by of the Hewlett Packard Headquarters. I knew they were locate din Corvallis. It just so happens they are along HWY 20, next to Mary's River (A tributary of the Willamette River).
Santiam pass is beautiful. I took a side road and discovered Mt Washington.... In Oregon ????
Three Fingered Jack in the distance.
Close-up of Three Fingered Jack. I wish I could come back and climb this peak. The Pacific Crest Trail passes near here.
A video of a "Grizzled Adventure Rider" at Santiam Pass
Warning - Exhaustion and middle age helmet hair. May not be suitable for all audiences.
Mt Washington from the hwy.
Too bad the sun wasn't shining :-(
My last picture of the trip. A salute to Adventure Touring. Currently, I have very few stickers on my panniers, but this one, on the back of my Pannier, seems fitting. I spent the night in Sisters Oregon. A great little town. The next morning, I found my way through Redmond and over too Biggs Oregon along the Columbia River. I love the ride through this area of high desert along hwy 97. It is pretty lonely country and there are many small towns to pass through, like Kent, Wasco, Moro, etc... Many have the classic grain elevator and/or Water Tower. If you catch one of the residents as you ride through town, you are almost certain to catch a friendly wave.
While eating lunch in a restaurant in Biggs, I noticed 3 gentleman looking intently at my bike. They were pointing and such at certain places. Before long, they all took out there cell phone cameras and began taking pictures. I am certain, they were discussing and dreaming about having a bike like this or...
.... or they were admiring BMWs engineering work of art.
Oh yes, I will be back again someday. The area around Sisters, Oregon is too beautiful to stay away from.
Until next time....