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Old 04-29-2012, 08:26 AM   #1
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Joined: Nov 2011
From: Columbia River Gorge, Pacific NW, USA
450 miles behind the Cascades...
Sorry no pics

Headed out yesterday, early am, riding my 2000 VFR to the Mckenzie River to attend a Drift Boat gathering at the Eagle Rock Lodge near Vida, Or. (my 'excuse' do do some miles) Pleasant temperature at 8 am, leaving from the Wa. SR 14-end of the Klickitat canyon rd...(Yes, I know, "Why leave such a great bike road to ride elsewhere?") I fueled up at the local dispenser of No Ethanol premium gas (off Interstate 84 at the Dalles dam exit (Hwy 197 for Bend/Yakima) and back west a quarter mile on the old Hwy 30 heading into The Dalles Downtown, Independent station on the left across from the Les Schwabb )
I checked the function of my Beltronics Detector against the ambient signals as I passed the 'cop-shop' at the Dam...Oregon State Troopers out of that DOT headquarters work mostly the I-84, with a frequent radar/laser trap often being run just a few miles east of the Dalles around a blind right sweeper of the interstate.
South from the Dalles on Hwy 197 through the back country of 'odd-named towns'...Dufur, Maupin, Shaniko, Wasco... SR 197 goes through downtown Maupin and climbs out of the Deschutes gorge through some of my favorite corners anywhere....long sight lines and good pavement. At the top of the plateau again, I stopped at the "Mountain Identifier" (rocks painted white to emulate the snow-capped volcano peaks visible all around...Hood, Jefferson, Sisters, Bachelor, Adams...) to pull on my neck gaiter...cooler up at ~4000' elevation.
197 joins Hwy 97 as it comes south from Biggs Junction, Wasco and Shaniko....Truckers use the 97 route, but until you reach Madras, it's still quite remote in character. I've often wondered about the R-2 Ranch, along this section of highway. There's a big fancy sign leaving Maupin..."Private Property, R-2 Ranch, next 28 miles" . They've restored all the fences and old buildings on both sides of the highway....Hmmm, whatsup with that? A LOT of acerage in 28 miles.... both sides of the highway....
At Redmond, I turned west towards Sisters and the Santiam Pass. As I climbed to the summit near Mt. Jefferson and Three-fingered Jack peaks, the clouds were spilling over from the west and the burned trees were emerging from the still deep snow cover. Very near the summit, there were isolated thin ridges of old ice on the road surface and the cinders were thick along the road shoulders but no problem riding. Except for trying stay attentive to the road, with all that spectacular scenery peeking through sunny holes in the swirling clouds...Gorgeous!
A left onto 126, the McKenzie Hwy, towards Eugene and Springfield put me on downhill and the trees again showed more green as I dropped alongside the river. (Old McKenzie Pass road is still closed for snow) Surprisingly little traffic along this often busy tourist road. It is certainly a lot easier and more fun to negotiate on a competent sport touring motorcycle than it is in a pick-up truck or a VW van...I admit I was guilty of a few 5+ vehicle passes along here..
I parked the bike and shed about 30lbs of riding gear and clothing to spend a few hours admiring the boats on the sunny banks of the McKenzie..the back lawn of the Eagle Rock Lodge.
Reversed the trip to return to Lyle, Washington with 450 miles on the odometer. Google quoted me ~4hrs one way for the trip, which I did in about 3 each way. My only complaint was a slightly tired neck from resisting the wind blast ....or maybe from rubber-necking all that beautiful scenery (that I was too busy riding through to stop and photograph) A couple of quick applications of my brakes when the Beltronics indicated incoming electronic surveillance. For the most part, I stuck to the prevailing speed + about 15mph...
Don Hanson

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Old 04-29-2012, 10:19 AM   #2
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Joined: Apr 2011
From: under the viaduct

I Ride: APE
nice cap. i like that run up 197 as well; sweet blacktop, corners. it's been a few years.......

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Old 04-29-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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Joined: May 2011
From: Salem, Or.

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That sounds like a nice ride I love riding the Cascade range. I had not been up to Santiam pass in April or running down 126. It sounds like a great day!

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