Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oregon is Spectacular

I woke up to mild temperatures and overcast skies this morning. I was on the road at 7 and headed toward Oregon. Just outside Portland the skies opened up and the rain started to fall. After about fifty miles it reduced to just sprinkles. I was planning on getting off of I 5 in Salem and heading SW on state 22. I kept looking at the clouds moving that way and thinking about just going to Medford. But, the lady at the campground said it was the route to go, so I went.

Making the decision to go that way was a great one. After an obligatory breakfast stop at Denny's, I was in for a spectacular ride.

Wait a second! Don't all of you stop at least once at a Denny's for breakfast on all your rides? It seems I always stop once for some reason.

Back to the ride. State 22 to Bend, Oregon has some of the most scenic roads I have ever been on. The adjectives to describe all that I have seen on this trip just aren't enough. Every time I've thought it couldn't get any better, it does. This area is lined with deep, lush, green forest. The trees along the highway are in to 80 - 100 foot range, but appear to be 200 feet tall as they grow up the mountain. The road was in perfect condition and it was a motorcyclists delight with a mix of sweepers and tight turns. Then you turn a corner and enter a burn area. I don't know how many acres were burned, but the damage is vast. I also noticed that in all the damaged area there were trees that survived virtually untouched. There are many lakes and/or rivers lining the highway as well. According to the HOG Touring Handbook there are many other miles of great riding in this area. Something to put away for another day I think.

It was gas in Bend and then onto US 20 to Burns and the start of scrub brush scenery and long flat sections of roadway. From here all the way to McDermitt, Nevada it was about the same. A mountain to climb here and there, but generally flat and endless. Once in Nevada I rode into Winnemucca for a dinner stop at 4:30. I decided to find a camp spot there, but didn't have any luck, so opted for a small motel. The small cities are really spread out and I was afraid I would just keep riding if I didn't stop.

Be sure to put Oregon's two lanes on your must ride list. If this brief glimpse of what they have to offer is an indication it will be well worth your efforts.

1 comment :

  1. paul:

    i agree with you. Oregon has the most spectacular roads & scenery too. We just missed you by a couple of days. We just returned from Hell's Canyon Area (Le Grande, Baker City, John Day and we stayed at LaPine, which is just south of Bend, Oregon. I'm working on my ride report which i will post on my blog once i gather my thoughts but I'm having trouble finding time since summer has finally arrived and I'm out riding.