Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 1 - Mount Hood (updated)

Day 1 - Mount Hood (updated)

Day one started out a little late... Jet lag and time zones and all that. We all slept in a bit.

We got on the road after 9am and the temperature was climbing rapidly. We crossed into Washington and followed the Hood River for a ways, pacing a train that was kicking ass through the twists, tunnels and hills. A lot of fun. It was a fun road with lots of higher-speed twists, some elevation changes, some small tunnels, etc. A little traffic, but nothing to worry over.

After the first gas stop of the day, we took a route out to the Mount Hood area and had the mountain in view most of the day. Temperatures were ranging from 40s in the hills to mid 90s in some of the flats and valleys. We did hit some traffic in Bend and Wayne's bike started puking a little anti-freeze, but was fine once we got out of the traffic.

chornbe's Street Glide

Keith's FJR1300

Brian's VFR

Adrian's FJR1300

And a solo of the star of the show...

Most of the roads were some nice higher-speed sweepers with the occasional tighter, twistier section. Nothing that I would call "technical"

Lots of nice scenery along the way, like this river that ran along the road

I need to work on my shooting from the saddle technique. It's bad enough that I had to use the throttle hand for the pictures, but doing it at highway speeds, with gloves on... eh, leaves a bit to be desired.

[I can ham it up though!]

Snow was in abundance everywhere near the mountain, yet the air temperature was easily into the 70s. Crazy!

[Lots of great descriptions come to mind. I'll switch to 'majestic' because 'awesome' is getting a little old]

I don't know what I thought I expected of Oregon, but riding through the country side I found myself being surprised. I guess I expected wall to wall forest, lots of lumber business and lots of logging roads, but not much more and certainly not to the scale I saw. I'm definitely getting an education and filling in some serious gaps in my limited knowledge of the PNW. There are places in Oregon that would give Kansas a run for its money when it comes to flat lands and straight roads. I honestly had no idea. The biggest thing I think I'm learning from being off the East Coast is a new understanding of space. Pennsylvania has some forested lands. The Carolinas have some forested land. What I rode through in Oregon puts to shame all I've seen thus far... density, scale, sprawl and height. But the wide-open spaces are just as breath taking in their scale, too. As I said, I didn't expect this.

A quick shot from the cockpit back through the mirror shows Brian and Keith making use of the ample space on the road

ARCPosse hamming it up for the lens

Say what you will about Harleys, they sure are photogenic on the open road!

And (most of) the route today... The blue line was our original planned route. The black is what we actually rode. As you see, we're constantly updating the route.

We spent the night in Gilchrist, OR. A local recommended the Gilchrist Inn to us as a good place to stay. Adrian called and reserved 'enough for six people', then we headed over. It turned out to be far more than expected. The Gilchrist Inn is AWESOME! For $80/night you get, basically, a two bedroom condo. Full kitchen, living room, dining room, patio, garage, etc. Talk about a hidden gem!


Desmo said...

Good to see things are going well!

Macrobe said...

While I'm on crutches I get to read everyone else's road trips... and sulk. Enjoy. Oregon is a rider's Paradise.

chornbe said...

Crutches?!?!?! My goodness, what happened? Hope you heal up. Should we run by with a pizza on our way by? I'm not sure we're planning on getting in to Texas, but the route remains fluid. We've been pretty far from the original route several times already. Rider ADD I guess ;)