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Old 08-06-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
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Jax 28 hour 450 MI GO-RILLA tour of Mt. St. Helens WA.

My first RR!

I live in Maryland and had an opportunity to fly to Portland OR for a few days.
I did a 2.5 day 1100 mile guerrilla tour. One day in a cage (650 miles in Oregon) and 1.5 days on a bike (450 miles mostly in Washington). This RR will be about my mountain ride on the bike, but I'll throw in a few pix of the Oregon coast cuz you FFs need to see that too!!
I rented a G650GS from http://www.bmwor.com/custompage2.asp?pg=rentals
BMW of Western OR in Tigard. Andrew will set you up. A one day rental consists of the first day and until 5PM the second day... Pretty sweet.

I decided to go with the suggestions of CrazyBrit here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=461915 . Thanks again CB and the others who responded. ADVrider.com riders are the BEST!!!

Like my father before me.....I'm a geezer, and I have NEVER seen such beautiful scenery on such EXCELLENT MC roads! A serious treat for an ol peg scraper like me. My biggest problem was: How to do some throttle twisting and scenic touring at the same time. I managed to get mostly scenic touring done. The place is just too spectacular to concentrate entirely on the riding. Alot of low rpm 2nd and 3rd gear riding.



Map of area: http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/04maps/ima..._10x13_web.jpg

I was headed toward the mountains by 10:30 on Tuesday 7/29/09
By the end I had run the entire length of FS 90, 25 (2x) and 99 (2x).
FS stands for Forest Service.
Here we go...........

The bike on FS90 with Swift reservoir background:


BTW.... the new G didn't really stand up to my 05 F.
It could be how the bike was set up, or maybe bad gas, but a twist of the throttle didn't mean instant on like my F.
It was more of a delayed reaction thing which took me a bit to get used to. Otherwise, the bike felt just like mine.

More from FS90:


Into Gifford Pinchot National Forest on FS25:


The sign I just passed said "ENTERING VOLCANIC HAZARD AREA"....This is too friking cool. Ohhhh the twisties...I pretty much owned the roads up here .

FS25:



My first view of Mt. St. Helens, FS25 continues:



FS25 keeps on giving:



Don't drift too far west.... you'll be airborne long enough to read a Darth Peach RR.



In a day or 2, I'll take you up FS99 to Windy Ridge, then onto an attempt at Mt. Rainier, and to Mt. Adams. Thanks for going with me!

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Old 08-06-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
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So far-real nice. SHWEEET ! Darth Peach shout out.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:44 AM   #3
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FS99 To Windy Ridge

This road is the finest MC road I have ever ridden on. It is also where I became a HUGE PNW mountain riding fan. It runs from relatively untouched forest through varying degrees of destruction from the 5/18/80 eruption. 56 people let loose the mortal coil that day.





Though it seems like the trees here fared ok, you can see how the hillside has sagged a bit:


The forest begins to show serious damage...The trees have been dead for almost 30 years. The beast is looming in the upper L:


I triple dog dare you to tell me this doesn't look like a great road.




And the perfunctory FYYFF!:


Getting to look more like eastern AZ high desert:


The place is still all mine!:


The biggest obstacle to getting twisty with it is the occasional rock(s) on the turns.


Some of these pix are going up and some are coming down. I tried to present them in a linear way.


I'm doing this live so.... I'm gonna send this portion... and get back to you with the rest.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:25 AM   #4
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On to Spirit Lake

FS99 is a great road, but don't let it catch you napping:







Spirit Lake is about 1/4 mile from the end of FS99. The lake was the home of Harry R. Truman. For those who never heard of him, Harry was an octogenarian who had spent many years on Spirit Lake as the proprietor of a lodge right on the lake shore. He was convinced that the mountain had no chance of erupting on the NE side, which is exactly where it did erupt burying the lake, the lodge, the cabins, 16 cats and Harry R. Truman. After his life Harry became a bit of a local hero, even if he died in a sorta Darwin Award winning way. Under these conditions, I would have stayed too.

Spirit Lake:




The debris on the right is the debris from the eruption 29 years ago. The lake is bigger now because the hard debris collected in the basin during the eruption raising the water higher:


The mountain from the same spot as the lake pix:


I included some utube stuff because it gives several images of the Lake, Lodge, the road, Harry and Mt. St. Helens before 5/18/80.
Sorry for the songs..








This one has an interview of Harry:









CBS News clip just after the eruption.







And the finale of FS99:




Looking Right toward N. You can see the SW portion of the expanded Spirit Lake:


Looking Left toward S. Steeming and still rumbly, Mt. St. Helens:


And 180 degrees behind me is Mt. Adams to the E:


And sadly:


I'll get back to you with my attempt at Rainier and Mt Adams.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:36 PM   #5
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I'm always impressed with the beauty of Washington State. Great report.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
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Gorgeous!! Would love to see your Mt. Rainier report
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:37 PM   #7
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Great report...it's always interesting to see what we take for granted around here through someone else's eyes. But next time you should try our "four volcano" route.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:49 AM   #8
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David, Zadok, GB and Mad Kaw.
Thanks for the kind words.

Mad, your post made me think of doing a RR around central PA....way taken for granted by me, but really a dual-sporters wonderland.

GB I'll be disappointing you with my Rainier report. The route I picked was closed for repair. :(

I've got a few more comments and pictures to come, but the bulk is already up.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:15 AM   #9
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Nice RR. Looks like some cool roads



The roads around Rainier (if you were planning 123/410) are nowhere near as good though there are a couple good spots with spectacular views of the mountain.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit
Nice RR. Looks like some cool roads
.
HA.You should know!!!...crazybrit is the person who recommended FS99 as the place to go!!!
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:10 AM   #11
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Long day ends.

Back on FS25 going north toward Randle.

If you look closely, there is a couple ahead of me riding a KLR650. I had seen them from time to time all afternoon. I met him later at the Packwood Inn. We talked bikes for quite a while.



Evidently, until recently FS25 was closed for quite a while on the N side of St Helens. I got this story from a guy I met at the dealership when I returned the bike.
Me: Man... You gotta get your arse up to FS99
guy: DUDE I FU*&ING OWN that road!
me: Have you been up there lately?
guy: Yeh me and my buddy went up to do 99, and when we tried for Randle, to get some dinner, 25 was blocked. The bitc# is that my buddy had a smaller tank than mine and he ran out of gas before getting halfway back to Cougar. I had just enough gas in the 1200Adventure to get us both back.

I really had to watch it... the G can only go around 250 miles until it goes dry. I would have been SCREWED if FS 25 was still blocked when I got there. Insert picture of a guy in MC gear and a helmet hitching 70 miles to the nearest gas station.


The culprit:


This bridge had to be built to replace one that might have been washed away. Just a hunch, but it seemed new and sorta temporary.



That's pretty much the first day on the bike.
I tried to get a hotel in Randle but none there had air conditioning. Though not needed normally, air was a necessity today. Temps in the valley broke 110F! Up the mountain where I was, it was a much more manageable @ 90-95F. Normally high temps in the valley get to between 75 and 85. Both days on the bike were record breakers. I had my mesh jacket, and I kept my t shirt wet under it. I was fine, and may have benefited from the heat keeping the not so serious tourist at home.
So I made on for Packwood, about 20 miles to the E on hwy 12. I stayed at the Packwood Inn. 60$ for the room with the "best" air conditioner. A decent place to stay.
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ADVers are out of control and that's their charm, they don't line up, they don't have standards they follow, each and every one does their own thing. They know how to ride free - Bugsister.

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Old 08-13-2009, 03:00 AM   #12
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Day 2...Wednesday 7/29

I got my butt out the door at the crack of 10AM. What can I say? I'm an early riser. I was shooting for dawn, but the curtain just blacked out the room soooooo nicely.

I decided to go for Paradise on HWY706 on the south side of Rainier.



One happy FF!


This is going to be great!


about 100 yards past the Stevens sign I was denied.... A landslide had blocked the road. I learned of this at the entrance gate to the park.
I will insert a picture of the directions to Paradise which include a pretty serious backtrack and lots more time than I can spend. I am 200 miles away from the dealership, it's 10:30 already.... bike needs to be back by 5. ... I gots to punt. Despondent... I took no pictures.
I decided to go back down FS25 toward FS90, then up to Mt Adams.
By the time I got back to the place where I saw Rainier through the trees the clouds had gathered obscuring the mountain.... So I never did get a picture of the mountain.

HWY12 between Packwood and Randle:


The water in the rivers and creeks north of St Helens had serious amounts of volcanic ash in them.
The river that flows next to HWY12 from FS25:


There are lots of these really intriguing gravel logging roads all up and down 25. Had I had more time, and gas, I would have explored one of these. In hindsight, I should have planned for that instead of Rainier and Adams. I'm still having a great ride in a great place.

SOOOOOO

Game ON! FS25 went a little faster this time....what a blast. No pix though....Very little stopping to smell the flowers. Again the place was ALL MINE MUUUUUHUHUHHUUHUHUHUAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Take a left on FS90 toward Mt. Adams:


Not as great of a road as 25 and 99, but fun none the less.

12:20PM 311 miles on the bike at this point. 111 miles since I got gas. 70 miles til I can get gas. 140 miles until I return the bike.

This sign was not duplicated on the way back down.... the road just turns to gravel and rock with no notice. Stand up and gas it:


Now I'm east of St. Helens and the water is clear:


And the grand finale of the Mountain ride, Mt. Adams:

130 miles later, the bike is returned at 4PM. An hour early.

Thanks for coming along.

As promised, I will post 2 or 3 pictures of the Oregon coast.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:19 PM   #13
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As promised:

Some pix of the Oregon coast.

It was 70 degrees on this side of the coastal range. It was 105 on the east side of the coastal range. 90 miles apart.

Oswald West Park.
There is a really pretty hike into this beach




South of Oswald W.








Next time I get out to the west, I NEED to spend more time. A month wouldn't do it... maybe a year.....
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:15 AM   #14
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When I went to Mt. St. Helens in the summer of 04, I was blown away by the evidence of the power of that blast. At times I just parked my R1150GS and just stared , dumb struck at the damage from 20 years before.
Thanks for sharing and bringing back the memories of that great ride out there.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:20 AM   #15
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My pleasure. I had the same kind of dumb struck awe that you did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley
When I went to Mt. St. Helens in the summer of 04, I was blown away by the evidence of the power of that blast. At times I just parked my R1150GS and just stared , dumb struck at the damage from 20 years before.
Thanks for sharing and bringing back the memories of that great ride out there.
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