Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Peoria, AZ, USA
Grand Tour Ramblings
While Judy was out of town at her mom's, I took a little 1300 mile ride around the state collecting GT checkpoints. Thought that I would pass along some highlights.
I blasted down "scenic" I-5 to Roseburg to start my route. Pretty drive and fun road, probably even better when its dry, on 138 up to the Steamboat Inn. It looks like a beautful spot to spend a weekend with your SO.
Next, to the west side of Klamath Lake to Odessa. Odessa will not come up on your GPS, but if you plug in the street address from the passport book that will. If you are coming from the north like I did, after you go thru Fort Klamath follow the sign to Rocky Point and then turn right on Seven Mile Lane. This is a forest service campground with a nice restaurant overlooking the lake. I had a leisurely lunch there and kicked back. If you make this trip a little later when the road is open, you will be treated to a great ride and view as the most direct way is to go over Crater Lake on the North highway.
Oh, did I mention wind? Man was it blowing as soon as you got down into the basin. It was serious wind all the rest of the day!
From Odessa it was down to K Falls and then over to Lakeview on 140 and up to Paisley on 31. Again a fun road except for the wind. Nice little homecooking restaurant for the Paisley checkpoint, but I did a "stamp and dash" and headed for Hines/Burns. Two choices on routes from here. North on 31 and then east thru Christmas Valley or back track on Hiway 31 for 22 miles to Valley Junction. I figured that as I had not been the Christmas Valley route I would go that way, but when I crested the hill outside of Paisely and saw and felt the cold wind and dark clouds, I figured that I would save that route for another time, so back to Valley Junction and then the 100 miles or so up to Hines. Fun road along the lake and NO traffic. In the hundred miles I saw maybe 10 cars. Set the cruise on "slighly above the posted 55 mile limit (LOL)" and was at the Apple Peddler checkpoint in Hines by 7:00. Found the Silver Spur Motel there for the night. Clean, American family run, and $40.00 per night. I recommend it.
Sunday morning, clear, still windy and 40 degrees! Cranked up the Gerbings and off to Jordan Valley. Great ride thru varying desert terrain, snow still on the mountains (where is my camera when I need it), and then you drop down into the plush Jordan Valley. Pull into the JV cafe restaurant and as I am getting off the bike I hear "Jeff!". Now understand that Jorday Valley is the farthest town in SE Oregon that you can get to by paved road and it is 9:00 on a Sunday morning! I guess you just have to appreciate these LD riders, as here in the middle of nowhere is Tobie and Lisa Stevens from Washington also getting an early start on their Grand Tour points. It figures that I would run into them at some remote location, as the first time that I met them was in 03 in Hyder, Alaska! We had a 10 minute catch up conversation about our respective bikes and the upcoming Iron Butt Rally (that both of them were fortunate enough to get into) and then they were off to the next checkpoint and I went in for breakfast. We hope to visit again in St Louis in August at the end of the Iron Butt Rally.
Fully fueled, both me and the bike, it was off to Baker City via the lush farming areas south of Boise. Temperatures now into the 60's and I thought about sheding a layer, but glad I didn't as once I started climbing up out of Ontario, it dropped down into the low 50's again. WOW...The Oregon Trail Interperative Center checkpoint on a hill overlooking the Baker City Valley is well worth the trip and the time to walk thru. Reading some of the history and the diary quotes of some of these early travelers really puts things in perspective and helps you realize how spoiled we are. We talk about how many hours less than a 100 it took to do a CCC and these people only went have way across the US and it took anywhere from the record time of 141 days to six months. WOW! The exhibit is very well done and from the center you can actually look down on a portion of the worn trails from the actual wagon trains. Very Cool.
Home stretch now, up and over the hills, spectacular views of the valley, to lunch in Pendleton and finally time to shed a layer of clothing. From there back into the wind and the gorge (synonomous) and on to Rufus. Perfect timing as the headwind definitely impacted my fuel mileage so my fuel light arrived at the same time as Rufus. Great looking food at the BBQ place and I will make a point to try it next time thru, but on the "home stretch" I just got my book stamped and an ice tea and it was back on the road home.
I had had enough of I-84 so crossed the Biggs Bridge to the Washington side and Hiway 14. This portion of 14 is high up on the hill above the Maryhill museum and you get a great view of the gorge. Note to self: it is also windier up here! 14 is a fun road and definitely not the drone of I-84. It bobs and weaves up and down and in and out along side the Columbia. It was a great way to finish the trip and I was home by 7:30.
A great weekend and a great ride. Thanks for coming along with me if you endured reading thru my ramblings and this whole travel log.