Couple more days of trip reporting. Continuing from page 3..
110912 Day 11
Up at 0515 and ate light, packed early. Got moving by 0700 or so to beat the heat. Headed up I5 shortly to Gold Hill turn off. Followed signs to Crater Lake. Blasted up mostly straight road through a couple small farm towns to hwy 97 north. A few turns around a big lake and then straight flat out through the woods. Was going 75 mph regularly along with a couple local vehicles ahead. Didnít have to pass them since going that fast seemed like the norm. I had visions of deer jumping out so eyeball scan was in full gear. Woods are thick but not so thick that you could not see ahead a fair distance. Just kind of wierd to have a totally straight road in the forest I guess.
Rogue River along HWY 62 Oregon
Stopped at Union and went to Beckieís Cafe for brunch. Little did I know the place was super slow. I waited half an hour for two pancakes and scrambled eggs. When the food did come out the pancakes were huge, at least 10 inches in diameter. I could barely eat half of it. Nice atmosphere but way too long for typical American simple food.
Outside while donning gear saw an assload of at least 25 or more Harley people getting ready to head out across the street coming out of a big parking lot. I didnít want to get stuck behind that group and made haste getting out of there. Helmet, gloves, oh shit brub brubs starting, leg up, oh shit more brub brubs, key, switch, oh shit theyíre moving, kickstand, start, oh shit they are all brub brubbing, 1st gear, LOOK LOOK, throttle, GO GO GO!!! Barely got on the road before being assimilated into the cruise fest. I passed by them all by the side of the road and could hear them brub brubbing loudly just as they were getting ready to move, they had to hold and wait for me to go by. I just gave a head nod in my florescent space suit and blasted through the gears, I then had a big smile and the road all to myself. Crisis averted, lucky.
Heading towards Crater Lake were some fun curves on good pavement. Noticed a lot of smoke haze so obviously fires near by. Got to park south entrance and paid 5 bucks. Into park stopped at visitors center and looked around.
Crater Lake Visitor's Center
Decided to to the clockwise direction around the crater. Road up to rim from visitors center was very tight climbing up switchbacks in 2nd gear. Not many people out so good times to be had. Stopped at first rim viewing area, very scenic and super blue water below is amazing. Photos do not do it justice. Haze dulled the colors for optimum long distance photos but still spectacular area.
Crater Lake and Wizard Island
Hazy horizon from nearby forest fires
Continued way around and stopped at several viewpoints along the way. Very serene and peaceful area. Lot of exposure in many road spots making the ride more interesting. Took a long break at a lookout and hiked the hillside looking at some of the old sub alpine trees. Altitude around 7000-8000 feet so trees are barely hanging on. Some trees are very old and have strange burls on them which made interesting photos.
I call this guy Burl Ives
Hobbling for views
The infamous Phantom Ship island
Continuing the road was mostly blasting straights to sharp corners. Made a complete lap and stopped at visitors center again. Got a newer map of Oregon and then headed back up the rim road to hwy 138. Got to section heading east on 138 that was completely straight for several miles. It dropped down a grade so you could see the endless road way ahead for quite a while. Thin forest all around with mostly a lot of nothingness. Extended the pegs out on my crash bars and rode it out Harley or maybe itís brub brub style.
On 97 north it was hot and desolate. Lot of straight out blasting through scrub trees and dusty long flats. Got to town of Crescent and got gas and some air conditioning. Loaded the Cascade Lakes road route into GPS and headed that way. Road followed contours of Deschutes river next to lava beds and several lakes. Mostly flat out for the first several miles with interesting scenery. The temps were also noticeably cooler which was nice.
Deschutes River, good beer starts with this water
Cascade Lakes road, looks like bark beetles have infested this area
Cascade Lakes road smooth and quiet
On one section close to the river, happened upon two Harley dudes stopped in the road and flagged me to slow down. There was a tree fall debris pile they were trying to clean up. I stopped and helped them get all the branches and stuff off the road. Would have been bad for a moto at speed. We talked a little about were we were from and where we were going.
After what mostly became non interesting road in the woods, finally got closer to Mt Bachelor and some good cornering through lava rock formations and big views to the mountains all around. Big open grasslands with the river running through it was especially scenic, nice section.
View to Mt Bachelor
Deschutes River and mountain friends
Last stretch of Cascade Lakes road before heading down to Bend
Coming down off the Bachelor ski area to Bend also meant getting back into the heat. I originally intended to stop in Bend but it was too convoluted so I just made my way back to 97 and headed north.
Stopped in Redmond along the way at the Radio Shack and got a connector for my broken 12V charger adapter. Couldnít charge my cell phone for a day or two and it was dead. Put the phone on charge and continued to Terribonne. Stopped there for a snack at the Terribonne Grill and called Wifey to let her know I was still among the living.
Heading out after the break on 97 was lonely and hot. Put my earbuds in and listened to music on the ride. Not something I do regularly but for the long dead straights it is nice to mentally let loose a little bit.
Hit the 26 at Madras and into the basaltic gorge area along the now big Deschutes river section. Road would have been fun but the wind was howling something fierce through there and I was heading into the sun. Rather uncomfortable plus all the traffic was going 75-80 and I wasnít feeling too speedy with all the wind buffeting. Just kept it going and got through it.
HWY 26 view of basaltic formations north of Madras OR
Back to the woods to hwy 35 was ok with big sweepers and very wide fast road. On hwy 35 up next to Mt Hood was nice with a few peekaboo views to the mountain. Good turns on crappy pavement which the Strom likes.
Mt Hood at dusk from HWY 35 north
It was starting to get late and the sun was low so I needed to find a camp spot. Looking at the map there were several along the way it appeared. I found Sherman Camp (all the camps are named after Robinhood places for some reason - duh) to be totally empty and pulled in there. Found an excellent spot right next to the Hood River. In fact I found everything to be awesome because I was the only guy there. Set up tent and went about collecting wood. Had to go across highway to find some good deadfall since most around camp was picked. Got going on fire but initially got butt kicking trying to use tourist map printed on magazine paper. Didnít burn too well, ended up using notebook pages to get fire going.
Sherman Camp near Mt Hood
Spend rest of evening playing uke and eating dinner of soup and sourdough by the fire. Moon was full and bright which illuminated everything nicely. The river was especially beautiful in the bright moonlight. Nice cap to a big mile day.
Avg mph 54.0
TTL ascent 22,454
Max El 7863