Wednesday 20 June, 2012

Day Six – Central Oregon to Washington


As I packed the bike, Kevin made a great salmon and asparagus scramble (leftovers done right!) and then rode with me into town to make sure I got to Hwy. 97. He was a great host and has inspired me to do the same for other travelers. The ride on 97 and 26 northward was [...]


As I packed the bike, Kevin made a great salmon and asparagus scramble (leftovers done right!) and then rode with me into town to make sure I got to Hwy. 97. He was a great host and has inspired me to do the same for other travelers.

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The ride on 97 and 26 northward was darkened by rain and temperatures in the mid-forties. No pictures were taken and some second thoughts about my further travels through the pacific northwest were entertained. The weather brightened after crossing the Hood River on a toll bridge with a road surface of a steel grate. The water was clearly visible through the wide gaps which caused the bike to weave rhythmically. Thanks to my dirt riding the day before I was much less freaked out by the wandering wheels. The shores, shrouded in low clouds were dramatic and steep. It seems Oregon can’t seem to make an ordinary landscape.

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The road hugged the north side of the Hood River and eventually continues on to Portland. I turned north 15 miles in. Winding through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest I caught a glimpse of the south side of Mt. St. Helens. It was mostly obscured by clouds but was still a dramatic sight. I’ll see more tomorrow.

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The many rural and secluded roads are a joy to travel down, but the downside for me is that once I lose cell reception, my mapping and gps is almost worthless. This caused some stress as I hunted for an obscure national forest road this afternoon. I was able to infer its position based on what little map data was cached in my phone. I arrived in the tiny town of cougar to spend the night in a shabby but still quaint motel with walls so thin I could hear my neighbor snoring.

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