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Well, my adventure began yesterday and I'm having a great time. I flew into Portland and then stayed with my 2nd cousin and her husband for the night in Camas and Washougal.

This morning I picked up the rental Goldwing (2007 Navi model) and we headed north a bit, spent some time with family and then headed eastt to Mt. St. Helens. It was nearly 65 degrees when we left I-5 and by the time we climbed up to 5200 feet in elevation, it had dropped to nearly 40. Oh, yeah, windy as all get out as well. I actually had to turn on the grip heaters for the first time. While we couldn't see the top rim of the crater, we could see a good part of the mountain (or what is left of it!) Even after all this time, it appears positively lunar in appearance in places.

Yes, I have pictures, but my connection here is terribly slow, so I'm hoping to be able to upload them tomorrow night.

Chopin, you'll be interested to hear that the rental has a Kurakyn backrest on it. It took us a couple of minutes to figure out how to adjust the thing, but while it is comfortable, I can see where the bars might cause a bit of an issue for any passenger. I think this only confirms that a Utopia backrest is in my future.

Our plan for tomorrow is to follow the Columbia River, then turn south to Baker City and head into Hell's Canyon. We may have to save Hell's Canyon until the following morning, but we'll see.

Until then...

Rapier
 

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Cool Stuff Rapier, The little lady & I are in Grants Pass for the night. We'll be going through Portland somewhere around 1 pm tomorrow. Ride Safe my friend.
 

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Mz. Vickie asked me yesterday when you are coming back. I told her you just got there. I can only imagine the great scenes and 40* riding temps sound pretty good right now. Gald to hear the Kury backrest is as others have said. I'm vindicated. Keep an eye out at the local Donut Shops in Portland for a dark red 1500 SE with PA tags. Have fun. I'm taking the car down to the eastern shore for the picnic today. Happy Bithday fellow Americans. P.S. Mike. I have the inspection plate in hand, now it's just down to the nuts and bolts and drilling.
 

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Day two of the adventure...

Left Camas this morning with 50+ degrees and a very strong westerly wind roaring straight up the Columbia River Gorge. We travelled on the Washington State side of the river until we got to Biggs, then crossed and had breakfast. Throughout the day it continued to warm up until we finally had approx. 75 degree weather to travel in.

After breakfast, we had to check out a WWI Stonehenge Memorial (pictures in next post in just a few minutes) that was just down the road and then continued travelling east until we crossed into Oregon at Umatilla, then headed south towards Baker City. We got into a room there and dumped our stuff and then headed northeast into Hell's Canyon.

Folks, I gotta tell you - this place is so breath-takingly beautiful that it was hard to concentrate on the road. Oh, and did I mention that Hell's Canyon Road is sometimes called "The Devil's Tail" and I cannot think that Deals Gap has anything on this one, other than length. There were some points where I swear that had I reached over the windshield I would have touched my own trunk lights.

We had a near problem that we were travelling/touring on a Sunday that happened to be July 4th. My riding partner (who happens to be my father) is riding a Kawasaki 1300 that does not have the range of the Goldwing. As nothing was open in Hell's Canyon, we headed back to Halfway, Or. And yes, this place is halfway between Hell's Canyon and Baker City! We found that the ENTIRE town was closed and that they were all walking towards the center of town for the fireworks show. Lucky for us, a family that had 1.5 gallons were willing to sell it to us and we gave them more money than the gas was worth, plus our heartfelt thanks. We made it back to the room in Baker City without issue.

OK, pictures coming next post in just a few...

Rapier
 

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Mt. St. Helens - 7/3/2010

Some of the felled timbers still remain in the stream/river beds.


In the background you can see some of the timber that was felled by the explosion.


Spirit Lake. This is where the elderly, but stubborn Harry Truman remained with his beloved cabin and paid for it with his life.


Positively "lunar" in appearance. The lehar (flash melted glacier water and superheated mud) did this.


Couldn't see the summit with the clouds that day, but you can see the new bulge inside the crater.


Snapped off like a twig and then "carved" by nature.
 

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Day two...

First truly spectacular view of the day. From the Washington side, looking east.


Changed over to near high desert, looking west.


Looking east from the WA side.


Mount Hood in the distance.


With the 30-40 mph winds, having hundreds of these all over the plateau tops makes perfect sense!


My father on his Kawi and the rental Goldwing I am riding.


WWI Stonehenge Memorial. It had plaques inside with the names of the fallen.


The eastern side of Mt. Hood as seen from Stonehenge.
 

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Day two continued...

Do the trucks give you a size reference???!!! These cliffs went straight up!


Looking south from Baker City


Looking north from Baker City


Hell's Canyon. This picture doesn't do it or the road justice. They are both breathtaking.
 

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Those are some awesome pics!!! Be safe!!
 

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Great pictures of a beautiful area. Keep them coming.
 

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Okay, I'm officially jealous... Great stuff. Ride safe and enjoy for all of us..
 

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Great Stuff Rapier. Looks like you are having a blast. Ride safe.
 

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Rapier, looks like you'll be the offical photographer when my buddies and I come east next month and meet up with you boys. Great job on the pics. Ride safe.
 

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Into the Cascades - then out of them just as fast!

The day started with 53 degrees and more wind. Man, that is getting old...

We left Baker City after sleeping in a bit, and headed west on route 7, through John Day and then continued west on 26. Stopped a couple of times to take pictures (will post those in a moment) and had lunch in Prineville. My Dad planned the menu which he called "civilian MRE's". It consisted of cold Progresso soup eaten straight from the can, Maui chips, fresh mozarella cheese and I added a can of soda. I know it sounds strange, but you know what? I was riding with my Dad all over Oregon and that made that meal like a 5 star feast as far as I was concerned.

Onward on route 126, then south on 97 through Bend. We turned west again on 136 to head towards Crater Lake and actually got to a gas station at the resort to refuel before finding a campsite. Well, that was the plan anyways...

Within 10 seconds of stopping the bikes, we were deluged with mosquitoes! I'm talking dozens circling us like we were their next big meal. That put the stops to any idea of actually camping at the lake and as the only thing around the lake or in the parks were vacation lodges, we had to head towards Medford. We got into a Best Western for the second night in a row (hey, at least it is earning me points for a free night sometime), but I'm afraid that extra mileage that we'd have to backtrack and the fact that the summit of Crater Lake volcano will be in the lower 40's and while my Dad has heated gear, I do not. I'll just have to come back sometime to get up there when it isn't so much of a problem.

So, the plan tomorrow is to head towards O'Brian, OR where I have a cousin we'll visit, then on to Crescent City, CA and then turn north along the Oregon coast. Where we'll be at tomorrow night is up in the air, but we're going to try to camp again. I may or may not have a signal to work with, so postings may have to wait until the next night.

Onward...

Rapier
 

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Day Three Pictures

Strawberry Mountain


Our horses and a conestoga. OK, so it isn't really... ;)


Dad and I just east of Strawberry Mountain.


From the John Day Fossil Beds overlook.


More of the fossil beds area.


Incredible plateaus near John Day Fossil Beds.


Mt. Bachelor
 

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Day Three pictures continued...

Rogue River


This one was an experiment with a new cheap camera. Taken on the move... (Have others but this one was the best) This was taken in the Ochoco Mountain Range.
 

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I heard some loud and continuous buzzing last night also. I looked around for a swarm of mosquitoes but it turned out to be emanating from my computer. That's the end of that one. So I decamped and moved to another more hospitable station. " Parallel Universe " ? Perhaps, accept for the fact that when I look around me I see only the familiar neighborhood. Ride on team! I'm with you even though you can't see me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Thru the redwoods and then to the coast road...

We left our hotel in Medford, crossed Fossil's tracks in Grant's Pass and headed to Crescent City, CA where we had lunch with my 2nd cousin, Gordon. He has been building his house, his sister-in-law's house, his Dad's house and a shop to die for. Folks, I can't tell you how impressed I am with his work.

Once back on the road and into Ca, we quickly found that the traffic near and in the redwood trees was just too great for us to find a place to stop. And the road was twisty, so no pictures of them. Will have to plan to see them another time. But riding through them was magical.

We re-entered Oregon and headed north on 101, finding a 20 degree drop in temperature that forced me to put my jacket back on after only having it off for less than 2 hours. The views from the coast road are just gorgeous, but there are numerous road/bridge repair jobs going on and we only made it to Coos Bay before we had to call it a night. I successfuly urged my father to stay another night in a hotel rather than run the risk of waking up in the middle of the night freezing our backsides off.

We also have determined that the planned route, if we continue to follow it, would put us back into Camas, WA anywhere from 4-6 hours later than the turn-in deadline for the rental, so we're foregoing the remainder of the coast road and heading inland from Reedsport tomorrow morning. We plan on taking 36 east until we get to I-5, then running hard back to home for tomorrow (Wednesday) night. We'll then have time for us to run into Portland (Voodoo Doghnuts, here I come!) for a bit, then take the time to clean up the rental for turn-in on Friday morning.

Don't know if I'll have pictures from tomorrow as most will be interstate, but we'll see. Pictures from today are forthcoming.

Homeward Bound...

Rapier
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Day Four

This is a "light" coating of the dead insects that I have had to clean off of the bike each and every morning.


Some pictures of Oregon's rugged southern coast








 
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