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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So a few years back when I joined my old man rode out from Ontario to BC and we did a 3-day tour together around Washington and BC. At the time he was on his Harley (which he had been riding for 15 years) but things change over the course of time. His best friend (and riding partner, my dad doesn't like to be around lots of people) died of cancer a year or two ago and he actually lost all interest in riding. That same friend had been bugging him to get off a Harley and on a Beemer insisting he was not that typical cruiser douche. He and I talked a bunch and I happened to mention that no wonder he was bored of riding on that fat pig and that if I were him (with his wallet) I would go buy a Multistrada S. A year later and my 68 year old father is now riding his 100th anniversary Pikes Peak Multistrada like a kid with his first new toy, every time he rides he texts me from across the country about how happy he is (mostly that he kept on riding). What a beast of a machine.

Which leads me to this year, he was rejuvenated and wanted to ride out cross-country again to do another tour! We have been planning this 4 day route for about 6 months now and have a few local friends that are along for what we are calling the PNW tour. In reality the goal is hell's canyon in Oregon. Below are the routes we will likely take with photos to follow when we return. This site needs more of these threads IMO so I'm happy to share my experiences, to me these types of trips are why I love riding.

Day 1: https://goo.gl/maps/mFTwd8uVjKq

Day 2: https://goo.gl/maps/AsjzSLpZz3F2

Day 3: https://goo.gl/maps/WxNd3wzpJY82

Day 4: https://goo.gl/maps/92oJF9uNrfT2

Safe riding everyone.
 

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Good for you and great that you can share this with your father. Take lots of pics and post them up.
 

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Dude, do not stay at Carson Hot Springs! That place is sketchy as hell. I mean hippy weirdo freaky sketchy. Unless things have changed since the last time I was there. (I applied for a job there in 2009 and interviewed. I turned it down.) Of course, if you're into sketchy be my guest. The main spa is 100 years old and looks like it hasn't been updated since. There's a newer hotel addition but it looks like it was built by the lowest bidder. The old spa stinks of sulfur, and all you'll see is old fat hippies walking around naked.

There's a hotel or two in Stevenson (which is pretty close) and lots of places to stay in Hood River and a few in White Salmon. Oh, and a decent Best Western in Cascade Locks.

The ride north from Carson to Randal is the bomb. However, last time I was up there four or five years ago the last 20 miles before Randal was pretty destroyed. The road was full of badly patched washouts.

If you have any extra time, do take the side ride out to the Windy Ridge viewpoint on Mount Saint Helens. It is quite the experience to look right into the crater.
 

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Beer, I sent you a PM
 

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Do it John.
Then post pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks crash. I knew about the viewpoint road but not sure we'll have the time that day. Will be about 6 hours and 35 minutes of riding to make the 5:30 ferry and then still 1 and a half hours to ride up island home, so we'll be wiped. I booked at the Rodeway Inn in Stevenson instead, looks also super old but I don't really care, just a place to sleep and less expensive, only adds 18 minutes to our day. We stayed at the Idle a While motel in Twisp a few years back and tolerated that, even a shitty fishing cabin in Pillar Lake BC. with no running water so my bike trip accommodation standards aren't too high. I knew the Hot Springs was kind of sketchy but was going to give it a try, figured it was just the one night.
 

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The Bonneville Hot springs resort is upscale hipster, but not at all sketchy like the other ones. It's 10 minutes from Stevenson. Or if you really want to drop some cash, the Skamainia Lodge is between both of them . The Friday night seafood buffet was rated in the top 10 buffet in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Bonneville Hot springs resort is upscale hipster, but not at all sketchy like the other ones. It's 10 minutes from Stevenson. Or if you really want to drop some cash, the Skamania Lodge is between both of them . The Friday night seafood buffet was rated in the top 10 buffet in the US.
On these types of trips I try to keep cost as low as possible but thanks for advice. I saw a few of the Ritzy places but totally not worth our cash (especially with the exchange rate). Ultimately its spend as little $ while getting a clean bed (no bugs, clean sheets), internet, and air-conditioning. Don't care about road noise or amenities or any of that crap. You should see the cabin we stayed in at Pillar Lake. No running water, plywood floors, creaky cots, and few lights. Not going back there but its all part of the experience on these types of things.
 

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Normally it's my invites that are suspicious.
 

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Yes I understand completely. If you want cheap, crash out on Crash's couch.....
Oh.......you'll pay through the ass.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Day 1: Nanaimo to Clover Island, Kennewick

Day started out with a 5:15 ferry ride out of Duke Point, we were originally slated for just the four of us to ride this trip but picked up one of our regular group members Derek for the first day.

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The ferry ride was, although early, a good start to the trip. The orcas decided to put on quite the display and were breaching completely in their full glory. It never gets old seeing an animal that big launch into the air........ Great sunrise and onwards to the border crossing.

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We met my dad who had been riding out from Ontario in Sedro-Woolley at Joys Cafe. Always fantastic food and guarantees my at least once a year chicken fried steak fix. Something that amazing just simply isn't served in Canada very often. We ate and rolled out on South Skagit road, a nice pre-cursor to the upcoming Cascade mountain range and a much better option to the main road leading to Concrete. The 20 is a fantastic road and as such we led a spirited rip up to Lake Diablo for another traditional photo or two.

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Onwards to Winthrop for some Milkshakes and more great riding.

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Derek then split off and away we (4 of us) went south towards Kennewick. There was a fun section of road coming out of Chelan Falls but for the most part the twisty roads were over for the day. Most of the remaining excitement surrounded the a-hole who was texting and crossed their car halfway into our lane before swerving back. Came about a foot from ploughing me as the first rider and if I hadn't swerved I would have probably had only one leg right now. Good reminder to stay vigilant at all times for sure. Thoughts of turning to go after the driver were in our minds as we continued in an (almost literally) straight line south to the hotel. God damn do I need a beer.

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All is well that ends well, today was pretty good and started us off on the right foot for what was going to be an epic 4 days.
 

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Man, I need to get up to the North Cascades Highway again someday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Day 2: Clover Island to Baker City (via the Hell's Canyon loop)

Woke up for day two with strong anticipation of making our sort of "destination" in Hells Canyon this afternoon. Today was definitely going to be a warm day and the three of us that had them made sure to soak our cooling vests and have them ready in our luggage. We set out towards Milton-Freewater for our breakfast destination at around 8am and enjoyed the nice one hour cruise through some nice farming back-roads. Was nice to be off the main highways again, more everything good including wildlife. Was cool to ride past a falcon sitting on a post right next to the road and I contemplated what a fantastic animal they are as we arrived at "Wee bit o Heather" for food. Was a cool old building that clearly used to be a drive-in restaurant. Breakfast was fantastic, big farmer spread for myself (and a milkshake of course) and we headed on our way. We stopped in Elgin to relax for a few minutes and out came the cooling vests......

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Next stop was Wallowa Lake, we rolled through Joseph, a fantastic little tourist town and stopped at the Lake to cool off. The old guy and myself went for a dip and the others did some maintenance on their bikes. Great place to relax and take in the fantastic scenery since today was a shorter riding day (based on our usual distance/time)

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After the lake we headed back to Joseph for another milkshake and just to enjoy the little town for a bit. It was nice, and we left after 30 minutes to start the scenic loop for Hell's Canyon. I had read in a number of places that it was a beautiful loop but that it was also slightly sketchy. My initial thoughts as I was reading that was that it would be no big deal, whatever right? Lol, whoever wrote that was definitely right. Some really nice sections of the road for sure, but there was a lot of sand and there were considerable sections that had no guard rail and a (minimum) 50 meter drop off the side straight down. Not as spirited of a pace as we had hoped but was absolutely gorgeous, and eventually we landed at the viewpoint at the top. That particular 3 min stretch off the road up to the viewpoint was actually one of the best sections of road that day, super fun.

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We headed down from the viewpoint and enjoyed the rest of what the road had to offer. We stopped at a mountain stream and re-soaked our vests and continued on our way. As we rolled towards Baker City the heat cranked up at least 5 degrees out of nowhere. Basically it was like driving into a blast furnace (for someone from Canada), we were bumping along real good until we slowly came up behind a pickup with faint yellow letters on the back. Baker County Sheriff.......probably time to slow down. We had an issue with the hotel reservation but got it all sorted out and ate next door at the Sumpter Junction. Decent food. Not as good at the wine that Cap'n Ron brought with him from California which we consumed much of as we discussed moments from the day. Some chain lube time then bed ready for tomorrow.

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Day 3 was planned as the best riding roads and we are all looking forward to them. Day 1 was good, Day 2 was GREAT.
 

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Joseph is a cool little town, We've done the Hell's Canyon ride a couple years back. I have to laugh though about Fossil. I've heard the same story about 10 times, either from motorcycle people, or hunters. Everyone is way down home there
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
some pictures are not working :furious:
Which ones? Wasn't sure anyone cared too much so wasn't worrying too much about it

Will post last day tomorrow.

Edit: see what you are talking about. Will fix tomorrow since those are best photos of trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Day 3: Baker City to Stevenson, WA

Today, with much anticipation, had finally arrived. All of the research I had done about the area said these roads were going to be A+ as such smiles were all around as we got ready to leave in the morning. A number of themes had been occurring on this trip (my dad has always made sure there is REAL butter everywhere we go) with one in particular starting to trend more strongly, that being the discussion of Hardley's/cruisers. Especially considering the fact that my dad was a recent Harley convert, we all had some good laughs about the lack of some return waves while we rode that took place from some of the more stereotypical people that ride those types of bikes. Ron, always the comedian, decided to start seeing what it would take to get a reciprocal response and was doing some pretty elaborate hand signals. Simple things, simple minds........ We headed from Baker City to the the Austin House Cafe through one of the many national parks that are scattered across Oregon. What a fantastic road! Mile after mile of high speed sweepers with fantastic scenery and pristine pavement, was a fantastic warm-up to the roads to come and ended at the stellar little restaurant near the junction for the 7 North. After, thats right, a milkshake and some food, we ripped up the 7 towards Long Creek and then Kimberley. Another amazing road! We really picked up the pace and were having a great time flying through this pastoral type scenery with an excellent variety of corners. The only stop we had was for some random roadwork, and as we rode we kept our eyes open for some of the cattle guards in the corners (which were easily identified with the yellow markers on side of the road).

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We eventually landed in a small town called Fossil. We parked outside of a small house in the shade for 10 minutes to take a break. Once we stopped an old lady came out and asked if we needed anything, water or whatever. We thanked her for the offer and let her know we would just relax for 5 minutes and be on our way to which she offered up the 4 rocking chairs on her porch. We again declined and thanked her and she went back inside letting us know to knock if we needed anything. As we laughed about how many dead motorcyclists were piled under the porch that had gone in "for a glass of water" we got ready for the next stretch of road. This was it, Fossil to Shaniko. 129 corners in 50 miles, need I say any more?

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The next 50 miles went by way WAY too fast. This was very close to if not the BEST F***ING ROAD EVER. Ok so yeah, there are lots of great roads worldwide but this is most definitely one of them. 11/10 for corners, road quality, traffic, and most importantly a significant lack of back bacon to make your day more expensive. This was the fastest pace on the trip, even my dad, who does not get a chance to ride (like we do in our group) was getting some. The lack of strips on his tires in Shaniko was a testament to him pushing himself a bit out of his comfort zone. Couldn't be more proud of him for the pace he maintained. The photos say it all.

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