ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-10-2012, 05:57 PM   #1
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
Oregon Loop to the Palouse

Our Lolla-Palouse-a trip
Humongous basalt flows, rolling wheat fields, stupid scrub desert, the Columbia Gorge, beautiful forests, and two snow covered volcanoes. Not to mention lovely riding roads. Thus was our Oregon loop and SE Washington trip the 9 days before Labor Day.
Ol’Badger and I had not done a trip since our 2010 Tour d’CA . He had been busy in 2011 and I did a solo ride to Boulder, CO . So we were looking forward to this ride. We had checked out the roads and Oregon Scenic Byways in eastern and central Oregon. And Ol’Badger had run across articles on the Palouse area in Washington. So we put together a trip which wound up like this google map.
My SPOT map is here, but I forgot to turn tracking on for the first 3 days.
Or in Google Earth like this:
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 09-28-2012 at 05:33 PM
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
Here are some photos to get started.

Albert Lake


The Palouse (borrowed photo)


Mountain Roads


Mountains

Valleys


Potatos
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
Day 1 – Bay Area to Redding, CA – 270 miles

Redding is home to Jack’s, the best steak place we have run across in all of our travels. It is good enough that given any excuse we will plan on being in Redding for dinner, whether we are staying there or not. So no surprise that our first day took us to Redding. The straight path is 250 miles via I-80 to I-505 to I-5. I played around on Google and found a parallel path to the west starting just south of Vacaville. (google map link)


Nice hills and farmland. We hit the tail end of a bicycle race – it looked like they were doing time trials. Then through a nice canyon along CA 16 and 20. Hot, and all the hills were “golden” (meaning dry, dead grassland).

Ol'Badger and bikes





Unfortunately we had to bail out at Williams so I cannot tell you about County Road 306 north. The beginning was narrow and had many patches, but the route it took at the base of the foothills looked really inviting. Another time, perhaps.


Stayed in the same motel as the first trip through Redding 10+ years ago (now called Hilltop Lodge). Seen better days, but clean (enough) and had suitable A/C and shower. Caught The Bourne Legacy before the late sitting at Jack’s. A good motorcycle ride movie. And dinner was great as usual.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
Day 2 – Redding to Burns, OR

350 miles is a long way for us in a day (we prefer to mozy, stop a lot, and meander through towns). But we needed to get to Burns to make our schedule work. The ride up CA 299 to Burney through a National Forest was lovely. We had breakfast there, but were surrounded by fires and the air was brown and full of smoke. Most were either out or under control, and none blocked our way. But it was sad that it was not clear. Burney to Alturas took us through pine forests, valleys of pastures and train fields, and ridges to go over and down. Long stretches of black asphalt with white stripes on each side winding up and down and through the woods. It was nice.

From Alturas we went north on US 395 past Goose Lake and onto the Oregon Outback Byway. Two years ago we had ridden a dirt road dike across a long stretch of the full lake. This year it was completely dry. Not much of a ‘view’ from the northern town of Lakeview. About 20 miles north at Valley Falls we stopped to rest. Here the byway goes west but we stayed on US 395. Across from us was Albert Rim – the largest fault scarp in the U.S. – rising 2000 feet above the valley floor.

Dry Goose Lake


Byway Info



Geology Lesson



Albert Rim - 2000' up



At the foot of the scarp was Albert Lake, 12+ miles of beautiful blue alkaline lake with brine shrimp and waterfowl. Low hills on the west in contrast to the huge scarp on our right. The road ran along the base of the scarp with the edge of the lake on our left. It was lovely, and far too short.






Because after that was desolation. Dusty brown two foot tall scrub brush, extending as far as the eye could see to either side of us. We rode 70+ miles on long stretches of straight road with absolutely nothing around. A strange beauty, only it went on and on and on. Fortunately the wind was from behind us and it was only about 90 degrees. A camera shot from the ground would not have done it justice; here is a cut from Google Satellite View:


Eventually we hit U.S. 20 and stopped at the Riley Post Office and convenience store where we talked to a guy hunting antelope and another rider on a 2010 RT. From there it is 27 miles to Burns – into the wind. We arrive, get nice room in the Silver Spur Motel, and have so-so dinner. Should probably have had the steak after all.


We buy cookies and ice cream at the Safeway and head back to the room.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 09-14-2012 at 08:39 PM
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
Bob
Formerly H20Pumper
 
Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
Oddometer: 2,451
Looks like fun.
Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
tvbh40a
PSUViking
 
tvbh40a's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Idaho home of the fiesta bowl champ BSU bronco's
Oddometer: 1,392
I have been to that steak house

Yup, so-so even if you have the steak. Nice route. I am in.
__________________
"Do today what other's won't, so you can do tomorrow what other's can't." Jody Sears-West Point
“It is not enough to want to make the effort. It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals."
Just tell her my wife said it's OK-Handy
tvbh40a is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
Day 3 – Burns to Baker City – 190 miles

The A/C failed in the middle of the night. Fortunately it got cold enough outside that just using the fan worked fine. Most mornings in Oregon were chilly – always below 50 and occasionally below 40. We talked to a couple from Joseph on a K75 headed for Medford. They gave us good info about the forest service roads and recommended Rattlesnake Ridge to Clarkston. Then we had a relaxing coffee at a nice place and looked at maps. Finally off through forest, then a canyon rising slowly to a plateau and a long 2000’ drop leading into the town of John Day. There are many things named after Mr. Day in Oregon – river, town, lava beds, forest. You can read about him here.





We headed east and stopped in the only eatery in the tiny hamlet of Unity, the Water Hole Cafe. The new owner had painted cars for Toyota in Seattle for 20+ years, then up and moved to eastern Oregon! It was interesting talking to him. Good BLT, too!



Local countryside


After food and drink we headed east to Mount Dooley (map and photo), also called Oregon’s “Little Dragon”. Now, never having ridden *the* Dragon, I cannot compare the two. But I certainly enjoyed it – tight curves back and forth on the way up, slightly less so on the way down. Beautiful forests and vistas. Here’s a link to a Rider magazine article about it. We came in from the south.

Going up:


Looking back


Heading down:



As we ride into Baker City, we pass the turnoff to the Elkhorn Scenic Byway. Though it is in “the plan” and there is enough time, we are hot and cranky so head on to Baker City and find a good place in town at the Bridge Street Inn.



Lo, a motel, says Ol'Badger


Now it turns out that we had not done proper research on Baker City (nor as much research in general as most of our trips). It has attractions. There is an 80 ounce gold nugget on display at the U.S. Bank (impressive). The old Geiser Hotel is worth a visit.






This house caught my eye


The museum looked interesting, but unfortunately closed at 4pm. But that may have been good, because we also discovered that the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center was only 6 miles east of town and open until 6pm. We head out there and it is quite a find! Built high on top of a hill that overlooks the Baker Valley, it has wonderful displays and descriptions of the peoples, their travels and travails as they made their way from Independence MO along the Oregon Trail. There are even places in the sagebrush below where the remnants of the wagon trails can be seen and walked. It was a great find and we highly recommend it. Elkhorn Loop will just have to wait for another day.

The countryside they came through


In these


Leaving these tracks


As they headed to Baker Valley





We topped of the day with dinner at Barley Brown's Beer Pub - with good food, beer, and conversation. A fine day.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 09-14-2012 at 10:15 PM
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
dave6253
Dauntless
 
dave6253's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Oddometer: 2,950
Thumb

Great start Ceej! I'll stick around for the rest.
__________________
dave6253 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 11:08 AM   #9
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
Day 4 – Baker City, OR to Clarkston, WA – 250 miles

We wake, pack, and leave with the sun in our faces. Once past the Oregon Trail center and over the mountains to the east, we find ourselves in a lovely river valley with beautiful green fields and a nice road weaving through them.




See the landslide? It blocked the river for months.


We arrive at the little town of Halfway (we never did find out what it was half-way between) and have breakfast at Stockmen’s (recommended by our motel staff last night).








While waiting for our order, I pick up a ‘brochure’ sitting on the window sill and find it to be one of the Come Ride With Us motorcycle maps that we were advised to pick up but had forgotten to look for. Unfortunately it is for Central Idaho and only has a bit of where we are riding. Their HQ is in John Day; probably could have found them easily there.


We continue along the now narrower river valley to Oxbow and the Oxbow dam. We went upstream a few miles to look back and see it. There is no wind; the surface of the water is like glass. Ten miles further upstream (south) is the Brownlee dam; the road continues into Idaho to meet U.S. 95. From Oxbow, the Snake River flows north into Hell’s Canyon. Twenty-two miles downstream is the Hell’s Canyon dam where the road ends. We go that way for 3-4 miles just to get a feel for it. The canyon itself is the deepest gorge in the U.S., ranging 5000’-8000’ from the bottom to the highest peaks on either side (yeah, I’m a geology nut).



Oxbow Dam (center right)



Hell's Canyon reservoir




From Oxbow we backtrack about 8 miles and take Forest Road 39 (Wallowa Mountain Loop) north to Joseph – a long gradual ascent along a creek, Hell’s Canyon overlook, up and down and back and forth, then a long descent to Joseph. Good road, lovely forest, nice ride.






Hells Canyon Overlook:




Joseph reminds me a lot of tourist towns in Colorado. We park, walk around, then sit a while with a cold drink. Did not go south to see the lake and the excellent glacial moraines that form it (but I could see the east one as we rode into town). I would have had there been more time (why is there so little “more time”?).




We stop at the tourist office to ask about Rattlesnake Ridge. Are immediately pegged as on BMW’s by the guy there – he runs the Ridge on his Ducatti! We get good scoop from him, then head for Enterprise where we gas up and head north on OR 3. The first 40 miles are beautiful – wooded much like CA 89 in the Sierras. Then as we approach the Washington border we enter the Grand Ronde river basin and begin our ride to the bottom and back up again. And quite a ride it is! An incredible valley with the road making switchback after switchback. This is my only photo as we entered:


Most of the time the gorge was to our left and the valley wall to our right. All pullouts were on our left, and generally at blind curves. That and the narrowness of the roadway left me without any other photos. I found some from other inmates: post and a video. What the video does not show is that it is a million feet down on the left side! Here is the Google map of that section:



We finally get to the top on the WA side and ride 25+ miles along a high plateau to Clarkston where it narrows and we descend once again to the Snake River. What a great ride. We stop to consult map, AAA guide, and Mr. GPS to find a room. Jack and shower are first on our list. Then we have dinner right there in the hotel – a $$ treat to ourselves, but we can have a drink and then walk home! A good end to a great day.


Our hotel with the mountains of WA across the Snake river. The Palouse is just on the other side.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 09-17-2012 at 05:17 PM
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 11:35 AM   #10
Humunn
Moto Prozac
 
Humunn's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Sunny Central Oregon
Oddometer: 1,019
Awesome adventure!
__________________
High Desert Adventures
Backcountry Motorcycle Tours
www.highdesertadventures.net
2009 KTM 450 EXC The Citrus Mistress - 2004 KTM 250 EXC 2T plated Little Miss Britches - 2010 Yamaha FZ1 Legally Black
Humunn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 06:05 PM   #11
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
Day 5 – Clarkston to Kennewick – 213 miles

We did not vote this as the best riding day of the trip, but it was by far the most colorful. I'm probably going to go a little nuts with the photos, so most will be put in separate posts following this one.

Temperatures are cooler and there is no smoke! The sky is a beautiful blue with just a few high white clouds. We have a full, sit-down breakfast at the hotel (included with the room) so we are both rested and full when we take off – across the Snake River to Iowa, meandering through Lewiston (which has more of a downtown than we saw in Clarkston), across the Clearwater River and up highway 195. There are alternate routes from the River Road: the Old Spiral Highway (to Uniontown) or Steptoe Canyon and Rimrock Roads to Colton. But, ya makes yer choices and ya moves on.

Over the ridge at the time and we are on The Palouse – a rich fertile farm land of some 3000 square miles atop the huge basalt flows that formed most of southeast WA and northeast OR. The surface is not flat like the fields of Kansas or Nebraska, but is undulating dunes of glacial loess. The roads wind through the fields and little towns with large grain elevators. And all over everywhere were fields of grain (mostly wheat) and Canola beans. Most of the fields have been harvested, but some remain full of golden stalks ripe for cutting. Of those cut, the patterns of the combine and thresher are varied and beautiful, following the contour of the land. Everywhere you look is different. Pictures in separate post.

Here is a satellite view - Clarkston/Lewiston are in the center at the bottom. You can see the Snake River flowing west, then northwest from there. The dotted line up the middle is the WA/IA border. The Palouse is the light green area to the right and mostly left of the border. Spokane is a little ways above the top center of the map.




Finally we wind up in the little town of Palouse – a sleepy but very colorful place about 10 miles north of Pullman. Sleepy because most stores are open 3-4 days a week from 11-5 – or less! We walk around and take pictures. I'll put those in a separate post.

From Palouse we head west to Dusty and check out the store.


The proprietor suggests an alternate route to Palouse Falls along a newly resurfaced road. We cross the Snake River several times and encounter trucks delivering huge trailers full of grain to ports along the river where barges take the grain downriver to trains or all the way to Portland. We finally leave trucks behind and have the road to ourselves. The green strip of farmland narrows at Starbuck (no coffee shop) after which we encounter a narrow, open, motorcycle-scary bridge, high over the Snake River. An even higher railroad trestle was above us. Then the road ascends to the Scablands. Soon we arrive at the turnoff to Palouse Falls – 3 miles of nice packed gravel roads. The Fall was just like the pictures I had seen, only real! Photos in separate post.

Side note – the geology of this region is fantastic and for decades was literally not believed. There is an excellent and readable book on the events: Glacial Lake Missoula. These links also give good information: nps.gov, pbs.org, hugefloods.


We leave the Fall and work our way back to the main road to Pasco, WA. We are practically the only vehicles for 40 miles. More wheat fields, then full and half-circle irrigated crops of corn and onions and other stuff. We finally hit the tri-city area of Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick. We head for the latter so we don’t have to go through traffic in the morning and find an OK motel.

Dinner is at a WA brew pub chain with good beer and an outlandish pile of potatoes on every plate. When asked why such a huge amount (1/3 would have been sufficient) the waitress replied, “We don’t give refills (on fries) like Red Robin , so we give an 11 oz. serving.” Incredible!


Back to the room we settle on the route and stops for the remainder of the trip. Since we cannot find a place in Sandy or Estacata, we decide to cut them out and stay at Government Camp.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 09-18-2012 at 10:40 AM
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #12
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
The Palouse

Riding through the fields




The colors were incredible




Some fields were being harvested








The tracks showed the contour of the land



And quite a bit of power generation to the west
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 09-18-2012 at 04:46 PM
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 04:51 PM   #13
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
More Palouse Photos















__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 09-18-2012 at 05:39 PM
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 05:03 PM   #14
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
The town of Palouse

Welcome



The entire town was full of bright colors





Some funky stuff, too












What looked like a great museum was closed that afternoon



Interesting artwork
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 09-18-2012 at 05:38 PM
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #15
1200gsceej OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
1200gsceej's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,215
Palouse Falls and the Scablands

Starbuck - the community, not the coffee shop


Entering the Scablands
Up ahead is the river, a high RR tressel, and the scary motorcycle bridge (no place to stop to take pix; narrow, open sides, long drop)


Palouse Falls
The scablands were created by multiple huge floods during the last Ice Age. By huge, I mean perhaps hundreds of feet over my head where I am standing. The Palouse Fall is the result of the "trickle" of water still flowing after the floodwaters passed.


Here's a good picture of the basalt flows that covered this whole region. There are more when we rode through the Columbia gorge.


Looking downstream from the Falls
The floods did not just fill the canyon; the swept across the land stripping away all vegetation and scouring down to rock.


Here is a panorama


I repeat myself here:
The geology of this region is fantastic and for decades was literally not believed. There is an excellent and readable book on the events:Glacial Lake Missoula.These links also give good information: nps.gov, pbs.org, hugefloods.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
1200gsceej is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 05:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014