Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Pac Nor-Wet, WA
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).
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."
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!
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:
Like my dad says every once in awhile: "It's hard to be cool all the time." 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? 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 :
and then just a few feet past the freedom sign, I saw another sign for "The Trail."
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?!?!! Nuts I say, simply nuts!
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...
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!
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:
With that said, the engineer-part of my brain thinks: "good job guys, nice bridge!"
Yea! More powerline roads... don't mind if I do!
... and back to pavement again:
Then I found my dream shop:
If 300 square feet is good, 30,000 square feet must be awesome!
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!
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 :
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. Next time!
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...
"Remember, you may have to grow old, but you don't have to mature." - Red Green
TwinDuro screwed with this post 12-21-2012 at 12:17 AM