Or Seattle-Tahoe-Santa Cruz-Seattle-LaPaz-Ensenada-LaPaz-Palm Springs (Aug-Dec)
Though the race has come and gone, I have finally decided that this warrants a ride report, as it not only spans a couple of days, it spans a few months of riding and exploring the west coast of the United States and the Baja Peninsula.
Be forwarned, this may contain images of 'other" vehicles, because we all know, the Baja 1000 isn't just about motorcycles, though it would be cool to have a race just for the bikes wouldn’t it?
I won't start at the beginning, because at this point we’ve been on the road a few months. I could write a ride report Palm Springs-Death Valley-Mohave-Joshua Tree-Borrego-Seattle-California-Utah-Baja 500 Ensenada-SoCal-NorCal-Oregon-Seattle (March-Aug)
but that’s for another day. And at this particular time we’re headed down to the Lake Tahoe ADV summit. We leave our temporary living situation in Seattle and head out on the road, taking the long way down of finding any detour that we haven’t covered before through Washington and Oregon. I love this area, the mountain roads are always so awesome.
We found a few of our usual suspects that were willing to come film with us over the third weekend of August. With Whitney K and Bob B our Seattle posse in tow, we would arrived our separate ways down to Bend, Oregon where they were enjoying perfectly blue skies and warm temperatures.
Our first stop with just south of Portland at the REI to get some new sleeping pads. Our previous NEMO pads though nice and soft and comfortable we both found way too narrow and taking up so much room for the amount that we use them. We went back to old faithful, Exped, but managed to find some featherlight versions that pack up about the size of a water bottle. They are much wider than the nemo and come with an inflator “bag” to cut down on all the blowing.
After finding a camp not far outside Portland, beneath large fir trees,
(check out the string of lights Whitney gave us!)
Joe and I had found our way down via the 224 Clackamas Highway, a scenic byway along the curvy Clackamas river. We didn’t make much distance south, but enjoyed the roads as they curved back and fourth through the National Forest area.
With a quick stop an Detroit Lake for lunch, the locals encouraged us to take our time down McKenzie Highway 242 which has a few famous curved as well as scenic views of South Sisters through miles of lava fields.
The curves were short lived, littered with four wheel tourists, but once the highway opened up, the lava fields with the towering Sisters as a backdrop was breathtaking.
Amongst the lava fields lays the Dee Wright Observatory, a spiral of hand laid lava stone tower above the highway with windows cut out for viewing the outlying mountains in the distance. The hight gives the viewer an appreciation for miles of lava rock that inhabit the landscape.
From McKenzie Highway, we head down into Sisters to find camp food for the night before finding a camp spot tucked along the Metolius River some way down from the Headwater where it springs up from the ground. At our camp it’s a fast flowing river, and all the good spots are occupied with fifth-wheels and motorhomes all enjoying their peace and quite with their generators and gas bbqs. We were roughing it though, while I set up camp, Joe went to acquire water for cooking and I attempt to make a gourmet camp dinner of Pad-Thai and pot stickers.
Since we’d be camping it most of the way, we decided on an upgrade to our cooking set, as well as some new accessories as well (having previously lost our cooking bag), I got a two pot cooking set that is way better set up for two people. I told Joe we were going “Gourmet” and vowed that we would NEVER pick up freeze dried food ever, ever again. Why the gloves? Cuz I’m a klutz and I tend to burn my fingers all the time.... These are awesome, work on your bike, make food.. works for anything!
I glance around camp and some how feel a little out of sorts with the lack of bear boxes. I throw all garbage away, and put any smelly items into our panniers. With all the bear warnings around the area I’m surprised at the lack of facilities. Did I mention though, a camp site in Oregon is a meager $12 USD? As dusk sets, and our bellies full, we drift off into peacefully sleep with the sound of the Metolius roaring by, and perhaps some bears in the bushes.
Morning rolls around and we head to Bend. We have a bit of work to do, so we beeline it to a Starbucks for the ice coffee and free wifi. In the afternoon, we meet up with Harold from Giant Loop and get a tour of his shop. We always love visiting Harold, he’s an ambassador for Bend and a very generous person. We were lucky enough to meet up with his wife Michelle so it wasn’t all talk about motorcycles til the wee hours of the morning.