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TwinDuro 12-15-2012 12:05 AM

4 days of PNW wandering: Hood River or bust!
Detective Frank Drebin once said:

"Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with a seat missing, but it hurts."

I have to say, when I went on the following ride last July, I could definitely relate! :lol3

My buddies and I had just got back from pedaling the Seattle-to-Portland (STP) bicycle ride (with seats!), me for the first time, and after seeing a lot of what makes western Washington and Oregon so awesome at 15-20mph, it seemed like a great idea to follow up a 200 mile bicycle ride (on a 36lb. mountain bike) with an 800 mile sub-250cc motorsickle ride on my XT225! :evil It also dawned on me, that after having the XT for over two years, that it had never been on a multi-day trip! Sure, plenty of 300-400 mile day runs, but in the 8000 or so miles I'd had it, no overnighters! I had to fix that and fix it good...

First I had to fix a few other things though... All bicycle-related chafing aside, like any good motorsickle adventure, this one started the afternoon of the day before departure with a half-disassembled bike, lots of cuss mumbling, and maybe some beer.

You see, I had recently gotten an awesome set of Wolfman expedition dry saddlebags and quickly realized that the stock XT225 rear boinger had the spring strength of a gorilla-abused Slinky when loaded with any kind of weight, so a call to Joyce and Rick at Cogent Dynamics set me in the right direction with a new, stiffer rear spring and a set of new front springs to boot:

There was no time to do a front fork rebuild, so just the rear spring went on for this trip (I used the work bench as a spring compressor; don't recommend it!):

With the XT back together and feeling more planted then ever, I took a quick test ride, packed my gear, and called it a night at 1:30AM. My compliments to the good folks at Wolfman, 'cause the Expo drys are sized juuuuuuust right for a midnight beer run to wally world! :freaky

The sun woke me up at 7, and I was more then a little tired, but I needed to ride 250 miles (which I magically turned into 325 miles, more on that later) before sundown... With gear strapped on, no real maps and no commitments for four sweet days, I was set! :ricky

The XT was riding great, and handled the 40+ pounds of junk I had on it without breaking a sweat. I turned off of Pac-Ave in Tacoma and headed down 507, stopping in the historic town of Roy:

When I was a wee lad, I used to head to Roy every summer with my Dad to the antique engine and tractor show... It was a slippery slope, but somehow hit-and-miss stationary engines and John Deere Model Rs got me hooked on motorcycles... :rofl

Next stop was the famed "Stewart's."

Stewarts is a local institution, and so far, I don't think I've had better pepperoni elsewhere. Unfortunately, the lines inside were 5 deep, and they'd only sell me 1 pound of pepperoni at $9.99 :cry

Defeated and without tasty meat snacks in my tank bag, I continued on through Yelm until something caused me to grab a handful of brake and flip a U-turn real quick:

Seriously, how often do you see a first-gen Harley XR750 flat-tracker sitting alongside the road for sale? :tb

This one had a Panther TT frame and 890cc of ironhead fury!

If you don't think that's a beautiful bike, I'm sorry, there's no hope for you... :wink:

How's that for flat-slides? :norton

Curiosity appeased, I hopped back on the goat and headed toward Oakville, running into a small detour that turned out to be a l-a-r-g-e detour...

My goal was to head down Gerrard Creek Road and connect Brooklyn road, N. River Road, Smith Creek Road and Butte Creek Road and end up on the 101 into Raymond. Simple enough right?

Wrong! Somehow, I missed a turn and for the life of me, couldn't get back on track and got royally lost on the myriad of back roads between Oakville and Raymond. A GPS would've have been handy, but alas, I didn't have one. I eventually backtracked and made it to 101 via Highway 12, but it cost me a few hours. Definitely embrassed as usually it takes a lot for me to get lost, especially on pavement. I stopped in Raymond for gas and got some carbs and antifreeze...

...and then ended up in Long Beach. :D

I got some looks riding down the beach, but man, do I love riding in the sand! I stopped for a few to finish the trail mix and pulled my camera out of my pocket just in time to catch this:

The trifecta of straddle-based transportation. :D I finally made it to the bridge into Astoria and beat feet down the Oregon Coast....

... to meet up with ADV's very own (no longer racing like a noob) oregoncoast! :clap I rolled into OC's area at about sunset, which was hours after I'd planned, but Paul and his wonderful wife Laura made me feel right at home, I got my tent set up, and off we went to get a few beers and a badly needed cheeseburger! :deal

I had a blast hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. OC, and talked about all sorts of the best kind of gearhead stuff and listened to some awesome stories from Team Outta Sight's 2011 and 2012 Norra Mexican 1000 class wins, which you can read about here:


The next morning, we went over to Lonnie's and after getting a few wires from the voltage regulator reattached, and the charged battery put back in, fired the SL up for the first time since Mexico, and run she did; best sounding bike ever!

It was awesome watching Paul rip up the driveway, slinging gravel with open pipes blaring. After pulling up, he then said: "want to take it for a ride?" To which I said something like: "Holy shiitake Batman, hell ya!" :wings

I rode the SL with Lonnie on his XR500 and had a hoot for 15 minutes or so on some nearby back roads. My favorite bike, that I got when I was 17 and still have, is a '71 Honda SL350.The Outta Sight Racing SL is 1,000,000 times better then my old SL, with real suspension, good brakes and plenty of power. It was a blast to ride, and was a huge inspiration for my own SL project, which I hope to start a thread on here soon.

It was fantastic to meet Paul, Laura and Lonnie; a truly 2nd to none group of folks! :clap

With rain starting to fall on the coast, Paul gave me a blue tarp and said "I think you'll need this" and sent me on my way Sunday afternoon. Next installment, Tillamook, ice cream and eastbound! :wink:

telejojo 12-15-2012 04:58 AM

How much were they asking for the Harley?

Ladybug0048 12-15-2012 07:05 PM

I like the beach Trifecta shot - nominated it for front page:

Watch out for that Oregon Coast guy, his wife is a sweetheart, but he will lead you astay.

More please. :lurk

sandgroper 12-15-2012 07:57 PM

how much were they asking for the double ice cream cone:lol3

TwinDuro 12-16-2012 12:43 AM


Originally Posted by Ladybug0048 (Post 20258522)
I like the beach Trifecta shot - nominated it for front page:

Watch out for that Oregon Coast guy, his wife is a sweetheart, but he will lead you astay.

More please. :lurk

Thanks for the nomination Ladybug, much appreciated! I just discovered your and Superbug's (DR200s rule!) awesome ride reports and am totally getting back to them right after this update! :D

Your absolutely right about that Oregon Coast guy... :wink: Before I met Mr. OC, off-road road motorcycle racing didn't have much appeal to me, but now I get all hot an bothered every time I see a Kawasaki KDX200 or KTM 200 2-stroke, think hare scrambles sound like a lot of fun and just got a pair of motocross boots. To be honest, I didn't see it coming! Does he have that effect on people? :lol3

Telejojo, the XR750 was priced at a paltry $18k. A bit rich for my blood, but if you want, I can give you the phone number :deal

I like the way you think Sandgroper! :D That double fresh Oregon strawberry & blackberry ice cream cone was probably the best four dollars I ever spent; seriously! :nod

TwinDuro 12-16-2012 02:33 AM

Ok, onward with the quest! :norton

After a Sunday morning filled with OSR SL350 awesomeness, I was on my way to my next stop, my Aunt's home in beautiful Yamhill county! If there's one thing I've learned about living in the PNW all of my life, it's that traveling down 101, and _not_ stopping at the Tillamook Cheese Factory is next to impossible! :lol3

So of course,I did, and man it was packed with not a parking spot to be found! I ran across a vacant flower bed and hopped the XT up onto it, went in, and was immediately confronted with something that I just couldn't walk away from:

Just like stopping to look at Harley XR750s on the side of the road, of course I was gonna get my picture taken in half a Vdub micro bus with full riding gear inside of a cheese factory... completely unavoidable. :rofl

Waiting 20 minutes in line for the aforementioned waffle cone of heaven was totally worth it, and filled with ice cream, I was ready to hit the road. I cruised down 101, the XT humming away content beneath me at 60mph with light rain drops peppering my goggles. I remedied my previous navigation problems at a service station and continued on down the line, turning to go east on HWY 130:

Then all of a sudden, after another hour of riding, something happened! The wet, coastal region of Oregon I know and love turned into something that reminded me a little bit of The Flint Hills in Kansas... Is that wheat? Hot damm! :clap

HWY 130 turned into 22, and then into 18, and soon thereafter, I got distracted by gravel and decided to go as the crow flies for the last 15 miles or so to Amity:

I can't explain why, but I've always felt a connection with open spaces and especially farm land... Most of my family still lives in SE Kansas and NE South Dakota and I was fortunate to get to spend a lot of summers spending time with them as a kid. My first motorcycle ride at 8 years old was sitting in front of my cousin on a Honda XL185 chasing his cattle in a pasture in Day County, so being out here just seemed right... :norton

I made it to my Aunt's in the early afternoon. It had been at least two years since I'd visited, which was much too long, and it was great to see her again!

I wish I had taken some photos, but she had some friends over for dinner and made the best Jamacian jerked chicken with fresh from the garden tomatos and a whole bunch of other really good stuff! I had a great time that night sitting around the living room catching up with my aunt and friends and having more then a few glasses of red wine, it was great! :freaky

Now, don't hear me wrong, I like an Imperial Stout, Porter or growler full of Irish Death just as much as the next guy, but that was some good wine! :deal

I was planning to camp the whole trip, especially since I could pitch the 'ol half dome down by the creek on my aunt's land, but just as quick as the words were uttered out of my mouth, she said "Yeah right, sleep down in the guest room!" One look at that temperpedic mattress and my eyes glazed over and there was no further discussion :snore:

I conked out and must have been asleep for about 13 hours or so, and was waken up the next morning by the unmistakeable smell of hillbilly bacon frying and homemade "blueberry buckle" coming out of the oven... Again no, photos, but trust me, it was just as good as it sounds! :evil I love my Aunt!

After saying goodbyes, my (awesome!) Aunt sent me home with a bottle of her homemade BBQ sauce, and pointed me to the scenic route out of Yamhill... aka: the Wheatland Ferry! :clap

I was a little concerned by the weight limits though... would the XT be acceptable? If I couldn't ride the ferry, would I be able to get the XT going fast enough to ride a wheelie across the river? Could I fill the Wolfman's with air and float the XT across? All good questions!!! :lol3

On the way down to the ferry landing, I saw this awesome 1970 Ford Econoline for sale and immediatly thought of Hayduke's "Vans!" thread!

A lot of fun roadtrips were had when I was a kid in our yellow and brown '79 Ford E250 Club Wagon, so this older brother of the family truckster definitely brought back some good memories... Contrary to popular belief, a mini van is far from ideal for a family road trip. What is ideal is a big ass 3/4 ton van with three bench seats: one for each of us kids to sleep on, and subsequently one for each of us to get knocked off of during panic stops! :eek1

Times were different and even in the first part of the '90s, songs like this still blared out of the 8-Track with a cassette adapter and the fact that the strait-six only got 10mpg with a strong tailwind didn't really matter, because gas was 89 cents a gallon :D:

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Almost there...

Luckily, the ferry crew took the risk of letting me aboard and I happily payed my buck to ride the ferry:

Even though it's a quick trip, it's still a ton of fun, and we shoved off:

The Willamette was looking beautiful as always:

...and then I found myself distracted by trying to figure out the fine details of how exactly the cable-operated ferry worked. How many amps and volts did it take to power those motors? What kind of force was being applied to one side of the hull at all times while on the river? How many trips does this ferry cross the river in a year?

As you can tell, I have no problem keeping myself entertained... :rofl

Right off the boat, I came across some hop fields and my mind immeddiately went back to beer. Mmm... beer... :beer

Never one to let busy roads get in the way of fun, I took the backroads headed east and was greeted with more beautiful countryside with each passing mile:

A cool Oak tree at a 4-way:

...and the great Mount in the distance:

The XT was running like a champ and doing everything I asked of it... It was at about this point that while starting from a stop after taking a picture, I realized it's real easy to pull a sweet wheelie with lots of stuff on the back! :evil

That's all for tonight. Next installment: Spending a night at a secret government compound, cold cervezas with a buddy and all sorts of kick-ass stuff. Stay tuned! :puke1

Starbuck21 12-16-2012 04:50 AM

Looks like a fun trip! Wish I was with you. Be safe! :clap

TwinDuro 12-17-2012 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by Starbuck21 (Post 20260215)
Looks like a fun trip! Wish I was with you. Be safe! :clap

Hey Glenn, good to see you on ADV! Sometime in the near future, I've got two retrospective Honda CT90/110 multi-day rides to post as well, one of them a semi-epic San Juan islands trip... :D

The_Scottsman 12-17-2012 12:07 PM

Great pics! Looking forward to more!

TwinDuro 12-19-2012 01:00 AM

OK, so as I was saying...

I headed directly east and just slightly south of Woodburn and was just enjoying the heck out of everything. I didn't have far to go to visit my buddy, where I was planning on staying for the night, so I took as long as possible to go the 50 miles needed, and managed to stretch it out for about 3+ hours. :D

Here's the XT on the corner of highways 211 and 213, known on the map as where the Woodburn-Estacada Hwy. and the Cascade Hwy. meet at "The Big Burger Drive-Inn." Mmm burgers...:tb

Hope no one's getting tired of looking at the XT, because upon post-trip reflection, it seems to have snuck it's way into about 85% of my photos. :lol3

Cruising along 211 through Molalla, I explored a few side roads and made a big loop around and out of Colton, going down a rural road many miles until reaching the gated and barb-wired topped compound where my buddy (who will be known as "Treepaint" to protect his identity) works, and where I'd be staying the night... :eek1

No pictures of the compound itself, but immediately after going inside the gates, I parked, had a few folks came out of one of the buildings and wonder why the hell I was there, and after a brief explanation, smiles and laughs went around. I was told to wait for my buddy to come back (he was out on "patrol" as we'll call it). :wink:

Treepaint showed up and was in good spirits as always...

Of course, I wanted to see what this place was about, and without even asking, Treepaint took me on the grand tour after approval from the boss. So, we hopped in a Kawasaki Mule 4x4 and man, was it beautiful:

They even had a heard of Longhorns:

I have a video of us bombing around in the mule, but unfortunately, I can't get it to embed right: :cry

After a fun and kidney jarring ride around the compound, we were starting to get a little hungry, so Treepaint suggested we backtrack to Colton and go to El Charrito. It was pretty hot out, so of course we had a few brewskis. I was expecting a luke-warm bottle of beer (fine by me! :D) but instead got an icy mug shaped like a boot to go with my Modelo Especial; AWESOME!!!

Drinking out of an ice-cold boot makes the beer taste that much better! :rofl

Then the food came, and it was amazing. I had a couple of chili Colorado burritos, and man, did they hit the spot!

I can definitely recommend this place. The service was spot on, the food was delicious and everyone was friendly.

After a few hours of shooting the breeze and another beer, we decided to hit up a movie, and went back into Woodburn to see "The Dark Night Rises." I thought it was pretty good, but then again, show me some explosions and techy gadgets, and usually, I'm sold: :rofl

Got back after dark, and as it was a Monday night, my buddy sacked out early and I used one of the spare rooms in the compound:

As you can see, my plans of camping the entire trip weren't working out too well... :wink:

I woke up the next morning at 8, with the sun well up, grabbed a quick shower and hit the road. I was on my way to Sandy, and was having a blast, until the hunger monster struck again. I had just pulled into Estacada, but all I could see from the road was a Subway. I passed it up, and then decided to turn around, taking a side street a few blocks in. That's when I came upon this place:

Uh, yeah, decision made! :dg

Here's the mural that was on the back of their building. As another inmate commented on the "Murals" thread: "It's Zippy and the Pinheads!" :lol3

I ordered up their breakfast special, and was ready to thoroughly abuse their coffee refill policy, and the lovely waitress was happy to oblige:

Scrambled eggs, seasoned home fries and biscuits and gravy (along with 4 cups of coffee) hit the spot, and I was on my way. With Estacada behind me, I rode up through Eagle Creek, Sandy and onto highway 26 until I hit the ZigZag ranger station:

I grabbed a map, and after asking a few questions, decided that getting off the highway sounded like a great idea, and headed up Lolo Pass. :clap

On my way up, I spied this car:

Now, as an avid fan off all things with kingpins and trunnions, I definitely know what this is... Bragging rights to whoever tells me what year, make and model! :deal Also, I'll buy you a beer if we cross paths! :freaky

Alright, well that's all for tonight. For tomorrow, Lolo Pass!

Starbuck21 12-19-2012 05:17 AM

I am not sure what is more impressive; the motorcycle ride or the food you are eating! Quit, you are making me HUNGRY!!! :rofl

rhull1 12-19-2012 07:00 AM

1950 Studebaker Champion??

Apple Jam 12-19-2012 07:36 AM

Lolo Pass?
shoot, now you're in my zone.
I better pay attention :lurk

TwinDuro 12-19-2012 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by rhull1 (Post 20283134)
1950 Studebaker Champion??

Really, really close rhull1! The year and first part of the model are correct, but there are two more words needed for the win... :D

TwinDuro 12-19-2012 09:37 PM

Yes Mr. Jam, I was all up in your kitchen and I didn't even know it... until I accidentally bumped into a fellow Hoodie Inmate (stay tuned). :D

The ranger I talked to at Zigzag said: "you must be riding, are you comfortable with gravel?" to which I replied "yeah, sure, you betcha, dontcha know!." The ranger then asked me what I was riding, and when I told her, she said "Oh, you'll have no problem then, I ride up there all the time on my 750 Shadow." :D

So off I went into the great semi-unknown and every opportunity there was to get off the pavement, I took it, even for just a couple hundred yards:

My first full view of Mt. Hood:

After the above short hunk of two track, I rode the pavement for a little and came upon this washout:

Each passing minute made Lolo look all the more inviting! :D

Then, I rounded a corner and came upon this spur; "why not" says I:

...and down I went:

but almost immediately, the road was dug out:

...but of course, the XT took it in stride and I continued to ride down the road a ways, but it kinda petered out, so I turned around:

I was getting a little toasty, as I hadn't taken the liners out of my gear yet, so I decided to stop and take a break: :rofl

Like my dad says every once in awhile: "It's hard to be cool all the time." :lol3 Well, as it turns out, when the front wheel is off the ground and judicious application of throttle is used along with jerky noob luggage-based wheelie techniques, the bike doesn't steer too well... whoda thought? :wink: No harm done though, and after the XT was righted and the wildflowers were picked out of my visor, off we went.

Back on the pavement, the views just kept getting better and better...

... and got better yet when I saw this sign :clap:

and then just a few feet past the freedom sign, I saw another sign for "The Trail." :deal

The sign for the Pacific Crest Trail immediately brought back memories of reading this book when I was a youngin' and dreaming of doing some serious backpacking:

In 1970, 18 year old Ryback became the first person to thru-hike the entire PCT... all 2,663 miles of it! Can you imagine hiking all the way from Canada to Mexico, for nearly a year, with an 80 pound pack?!?!! :eek1 Nuts I say, simply nuts! :gerg

Then the road got fun:

I love the PNW! I'll never get tired of traveling to places near and far, but know that no matter how far away life takes me, I'll always end up back here...

The powerline roads were smooth (for awhile), so I opened her up... :D

Then I came across the first bridge, a cool wood A-frame that has way more soul then the metal tempo bridges:

Yep, way better then highway 35! :deal

After the nice reprive on the powerline roads, it was back to pavement and back to makin' my way north:

See what I mean? Sure, it's solid and smooth, but no soul: :snore:tough

With that said, the engineer-part of my brain thinks: "good job guys, nice bridge!" :lol3

Yea! More powerline roads... don't mind if I do!

... and back to pavement again:

Then I found my dream shop: :tb

If 300 square feet is good, 30,000 square feet must be awesome! :D

Riding here and there and making all sorts of detours, I finally made it to Hood River. While I was stopped for gas on the outskirts, seriously considering turning around to tour the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile museum (next time for sure!) a guy pulled up next to me on an XT. I figured he'd stop and say "hi," but nope... all right bro, take it easy! :rofl

While riding through town, I wasn't quite sure how to get to the Hood River Bridge to get across the Columbia, so I pulled off onto a side street and saw a few duallys parked on the street and decided to join them. While I was taking a break and studying my map, a guy came out and grabbed something out of the bad ass Katoom 990 Adventure I had parked next to. I turned around, immediately saw the big ADV sticker on the screen, and that's when I met LaDukebob :lol3:

It's a small world... It was a pleasure to meet LaDukeBob, and we talked for about half an hour, and as we were shooting the breeze, we learned from a passing cop that it was free to park a motorcycle on the streets of the 'hood; good to know for next time!

LaDukeBob invited me to TourPros awesome party the following weekend, and as much as I wanted to say I'd be there, I knew missing out on the first two days of the week (it was now Tuesday) would have some reprocussions when I got home... Sure enough, I had to work the following weekend. :cry Next time! :freaky

I pulled up to the bridge (which LaDukeBob set me strait with directions to), and sure enough, forgot to shove my toll somewhere convienent, but managed to pull out my wallet in seconds flat and hummed my way across the grate and back into Washington:

Next installment: The 25 Road, Mt. Saint Explody top and other such natural wonders...

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