Author Topic: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.  (Read 9562 times)

Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2011, 05:23:14 pm »
For the ride around Flathead Lake, The Girl had her camera, which I won't have pictures from for another month, so you'll just have to believe me on this one.



The map says MT 93 is a scenic drive down the West side of the lake.  I call BS.  While you see the lake a bit here and there, what you really see is the towns surrounding it.



This is quite a body of water.  We rode down to Polson on MT 93 and made our way to see the dam holding back all this liquid:











We traveled back North on 35, the road bordering the East side of the lake.  What a beautiful drive that was.  Right next to the lake, through cherry orchards, a few small towns, and past a brewery that was a bit to far away from home base to stop at.  We continued onto 206 and into Columbia Falls.  The Girl wanted to stop at Belton Chalet to eat dinner.  Sounds good to me.



After stuffing our gourds, we headed out into the darkness to take the hour ride back to the East side of the park.  It was then I noticed that our Cardio headsets decided they weren't gonna pair up.  Great.  Her first ride at night, and I wouldn't be able to hear a thing she might have to say.  Oh well.



Heading back on 2, I realized about halfway to Two Medicine that I forgot to take my insulin after dinner.  Great.  I love diabetes.  Thirsty as hell, I pulled over onto the road leading into Goat Lick.



She clambered off the bike and stumbled away like a drunken sailor.



"You OK?"



"Look at that!"



She was staring at the skies, in awe of the ammount of stars showing in the sky.



Last year while visiting her in Voyageurs NP, she rented a houseboat, which we laid on the roof for about three hours one night staring at the beauty of the night sky.  That was awesome.  This night was as well.



After a bit of stargazing, and pumping myself full of insulin, we headed back to Two Medicine.  We stared at the stars a bit longer out by the lake, then headed in for the night.  She said that ride home was one of the best she's ever taken.  Apparently she likes night riding.



Tomorrow:  Going to the Sun in the early morning.



-darrell
It's a tough life, if you don't know how to live it.

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Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2011, 05:34:40 pm »
I forgot to mention, while in Wyoming I had called ahead to Fastoys in Kalispell Montana and ordered a set of PR3's for the bike.  I wasn't sure the stock tires would be able to push much further than there.  Ended up looking like I coulda maybe got another thousand on the rear.



I got to Fastoys on Friday after arriving in Two Medicine.  They fitted my tires, changed the fluids, and blew about 10 pounds of dirt off the bike for me.



Excellent service and easy to deal with for a guy 2500 miles from home.



-darrell
It's a tough life, if you don't know how to live it.

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Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2011, 05:53:24 pm »
Now that I have the days all screwed up, I know for sure what day this ride was.



Wednesday, we woke up early to hit Going to the Sun before the crowds came out.  We were rewarded.



It was pretty overcast driving up to the East entrance, but started to clear as we arrived. 



To say this park is beautiful is an understatement.  It has a way of making you feel small.  Everything around you is larger than life.  Rocky peaks, giant snowfields, lakes, rivers, it has it all.  And this is what we were treated to that morning:



























Logan Pass parking lot wasn't even full yet.







She thought this pose was too boring:







She suggested:







Or:







We continued on:











When we got to the West side, we had breakfast, then turned around and headed East.



If you can only do Going to the Sun one way, I recommend going West to East.  It's a much more dramatic ride, plus you're right next to the edge.



































It was a beautiful ride today.



-darrell
It's a tough life, if you don't know how to live it.

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Offline Dan

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2011, 06:03:14 pm »
Great story, did a similar trip, and had I known I would have went up to glacier, went into yellowstone instead, was not as bad as I had heard...  We rode quite a bit, and had friends there, that lived by the old fthful inn...  We had a blast...  Wish u the best Dan
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Offline ZG

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2011, 06:34:21 pm »
Very nice Darrell, thanks for posting that for us, I totally enjoyed it!  :thumbs: 

Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2011, 06:43:24 pm »
I still have two more weeks of riding and pictures to post up.  It gets better...

-darrell
It's a tough life, if you don't know how to live it.

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Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2011, 06:43:58 pm »
While I was visiting The Girl, we poured over the maps of the West, discussing where I should go next.



Her: Olympic National Park



Me:  West, or Southwest.



Her:  You need a plan.



Me:  I planned on coming here, the rest I make up as I go.



Her:  Augghhh



So, I guess I made a rough plan.  I wanted to see the sign that warned of a road hazard for the next 99 miles.  I believed that to be in Idaho, on 12.  So that would be the direction I would head.



Thursday we said our goodbyes and I headed off in the general diection of Lolo Montana, the start of Rt 12.



Well, first part of the plan successful:







Not a few hundred feet beyond, jackpot:







The guys in Cody weren't lying.  12 was a beautiful road, following the banks of streams, weaving though the hillsides:







I continued on 12, into Washington, and into one of the cities I've always wanted to say I've been to.



I don't know if a Bugs Bunny cartoon when I was a kid put this place into my head, along with Albuquerque, but I just needed to see it:







Looked like a nice little town.  Never knew wine was so big out here.  But, I managed to find a brewery for dinner and tasted the local fare.  Not bad, not bad...



-darrell
It's a tough life, if you don't know how to live it.

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Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2011, 06:55:10 pm »
Stumbling back to my hotel that night I knew I had decisions to make.  Am I gonna head North to the Cascades, West to the coast, South to scenic rides through the Oregon Mountainsides?



Since I made it this far, one thing is for sure though:  My sister and BIL live in Corvallis.  I need to get over there to pay a visit.



With that in mind, I looked over the maps of Washington and Oregon and made a rough plan in my clouded vision.  I would head North.  West.  Maybe a bit South first.  A solid plan.



-darrell
It's a tough life, if you don't know how to live it.

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Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2011, 07:16:54 pm »
The next morning I headed West on 12, then jumped Southwest on 730, entering Oregon.  I jumped onto 82 North but got off as soon as I crossed the bridge.



I then followed 14 and the Columbia River going West.











View of Mt. Hood from 14:







I continued on 14 until I reached Carson.  I turned North there and picked up Rt 30, took that to Rt 51, then jumped on 25.  What great roads.  Not a single straight stretch to speak of.  Oh, and the views weren't bad either:















You don't see this in Jersey:







I continued on 25 up to Randle.  I then headed East on 12 to 123.  I was this close, I might as well see all the snowy peaks in these parts:











I went West through Mount Rainier National Park, then headed South on 7 back to 12.  I took 12 over to I5, with a stop for a reminder of the local speed limits.  Thanks for verbally remindng me, and not putting it in writing.



I took I5 up to Olympia, where I then jumped onto 101.  The Girl's reminders of how nice Olympic National Park had been ringing in my ears all day, so I had to check it out.



Her's where my refusal to backtrack bit me in the ass a bit.  There's very little on 101 in the way of hotels, and what there was, was full.  I rode up to Sequim till I found a hotel with a vacancy, but the clerk's refusal to drop a triple digit price when the place had barely anybody there caused me to continue on.  I knew I shoulda backtracked to Olympia.  Oh well, on I go.



I pulled into Port Angeles around 10 pm.  The first place I stopped said the whole town was booked and I'd have to backtrack to Sequim.  No way.



The next place I stopped had one room left, for less than what the hotel in Sequim wanted.  I'll take it.  Mc Donalds and a sixer and I was out for the night.



-darrell

It's a tough life, if you don't know how to live it.

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Offline Jeremy Mitchell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2011, 07:26:44 pm »
Great pics, I can't wait for my first trip out west.
Keeping the economy going, one tank of fuel and two tires at a time.

Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2011, 07:38:27 pm »
After the early morning run in Glacier, and seeing Ike's pics of when he heads out early in the morning had me decide to get up early to venture into Olympic National Park.



Since I got into town late, I had no idea what I was in for.  A quick peek out the hotel window gave some clues:







I decided to do Hurricane Ridge Road.  Wise decision.



On the way up there, looking out over the waterways:







Looking the other way:







Back towards the water:







I continued up the road and was greeted by view that just about took the breath away.  Pictures just don't do it justice.  At least my pictures don't:















Amazing.  It was a 180 degree view of the mountain ridge.  What a sight.



I was able to get out of the park before any traffic and jumped back on 101, heading toward Forks.



I jumped off of 101 just before Forks and continued West on 110, and headed towards Rialto Beach.



And, there I was:







The Pacific. 







I made it clear across the country.  What a difference in waterfronts.







I grabbed a quick shot before leaving:









I checked out the Hoh Rain Forest, then continued South on 101.  The coast was beside me the whole ride.  I think.







I crossed back into Oregon on 101 and headed towards Tillamook for the evening, the whole way in the misty fog of the Pacific.

It's a tough life, if you don't know how to live it.

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Offline Conrad

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2011, 09:04:12 am »
Great pictures, great write up, and a great story Darrell. Thanks again for sharing it with us.
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Offline Strawboss

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2011, 09:36:05 am »
Wow, cool stuff! That is something I'd like to do someday.
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Offline darrell

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2011, 01:28:53 pm »
I had been in contact with my sister in the previous days, and we had figured a mid-afternoon meet-up would work best for her.  No problem.

I rolled into Corvallis at 11 am and attempted to locate her place. 

Not hard.

My sister is a vegetarian, and grows alot of what she eats.  When she lived back here in Jersey her front yard was everything edible.  I quickly saw her home in Corvallis was the same, just on a smaller scale:




I had some time to kill before she got home, so I set out in search of a cure for my pancake craving.  A diner was quickly located and I had my fill.  Still lots of time before she gets home.

I decided to go explore downtown on my own for a bit.  I located some motorcycle only parking, donned my sunglasses, secured my gear, and set out on foot to see what I could find.

Not 200 feet from where I parked was the doorway to a place called Block 15.  A brewery.  How convenient.

I sat myself down at the bar and sampled the local fare.  Good stuff.  Really good.  I settled on the Duke IV and proceeded to cleanse my brain of the weaker cells.  After my fill I continued on my exploration.

I checked out the storefronts, poked my head into a few places, and generally got the lay of the land.  Pretty soon the pancakes had wore off and I was looking for something to top off with.  It was then I found myself in front of American Dream Pizza.  Their list of toppings was somwhat bizzare, but it called to me.  I ended up ordering a smoked gouda and artichoke heart slice of pie.

I filled up a large soda, plopped myself in a seat on the roof, and proceeded to thoroughly enjoy a very tasty slice of pie, all while doing a little people watching.

After a bit of a rest, I checked the time.  Where does it go?  Time to start heading back to meet Sis.  I called friends back  home on the way back to the bike.  Floods, earthquakes, and a looming hurricane was all that I was missing.  Looked like I picked the right month for vacation.

I pulled into my sister's driveway and couldn't help but chuckle at everything she had going on in that front yard:



Sunflowers, hops, rosemary, basil, blueberry bushes... it was quite a garden.

Sis pulled up not 5 minutes after I put my kickstand down.  She pedals to work, as it looked like a lot of the folks do around there.  Bike trails were abundant.

After unpacking and a bit of catching up it was decided a trip back downtown was in order for dinner.  Since my Brother in Law had their car for a trip out of town, I'd have to make like the locals and pedal.  No problem:



We ended up going to another brewery, Flat Tail Brewing, for dinner.  Her friend was the brewmaster there, and he had some deliscous brews lined up for tasting.  I ordered some BB-Q, washed it down with a few pints, and ordered his habanero-cucumber brew "El Guapo" for dessert.  It was damn tasty.

The ride back to her place was a bit more challenging than the ride there, but amusing nontheless.

After arriving back at her place, the fridge was raided and my BIL's home brews were tasted and approved.  He's won a few awards for his brews, and I was amazed at just how tasty each one was.

I managed to make it to my bed that night, tastebuds happy and belly full.

I'd wait to plan where I was going the next day for the morning.
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Offline st2sam

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Re: Got A Month. Just One Planned Stop.
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2011, 05:13:41 pm »
WOW   awesome ride and report Darrell, thanks for sharing.
I'm looking forward to the rest of the story and in the mean time, this one's for you  :chugbeer: ...........
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