Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pictures From Oregon

Oregon MC Trip - Fall 2010 - a set on Flickr

I didn't edit these so no guarantees on the quality - just quantity.

Here's a picture of a fat chipmunk that turned out pretty good -


This trip pushed me over 10,000 miles on the Concours since I got it in California last February. Those are pretty much all road miles since I hardly ever use it for commuting. I have to say it's been a remarkable bargain considering the places it's taken me without a problem.

Dee Wright Observatory

Originally uploaded by Jack Crossen
This observatory/viewfinder is on top of McKenzie Pass. It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and completed in 1937. Dee Wright was the Forest Service foreman in charge of the construction.

There are windows in the stone walls that line up with the various peaks in the area. There's a brass compass on top with marks for the various peaks as well. It's a really interesting place. The road up to the McKenzie Pass summit is limited to vehicles less than 35 feet because of the tight radius turns.

Oregon Fall 2010

I really enjoyed Oregon. Three days was just right to explore the area around Sisters. I rode over Santiam Pass a few times, McKenzie Pass and Tombstone Pass. I got to visit the Dee Wright Observatory on top of McKenzie Pass - super cool spot. Went south of Sisters until the road turned to gravel and got rough. I visited the Belknap Hot Springs Lodge on the McKenzie River - very nice person at the front desk gave me a map and invited me to tour the gardens. Went to Camp Sherman which is on the Metolius River. Cool store and nice clerk. Looks like a good spot for flyfishing.

Iron Bike


Sweet Home.

It's foggy up ahead which is weird after coming from the sunny side. The ride over Tombstone Pass coming down here is great. Lots of twisties, good road, nice river and fall colors.

I'm just going to head on to I-5 and super-slab it home to Everett.

Perfect time of year to be here, very few people and not much traffic in the places you'd see lots of tourists in the summer.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mill City Oregon

I'm taking a break at Papa Al's.

Beautiful drive from Silverton to Sublimity. It's the Christmas tree capital of the world and smells great.

I'm east of Salem and about 60 miles from Suttle Lake. I love this country!

We Ride At Dawn

At least I might ride at dawn if I get off the computer. This is a picture of one of my favorite bandanas. It's a rare one now - it came from Harlowtown, Montana and was a special offer that came with Cream of the West Cereal. B got it for me. I had two of them but one of them blew off my neck somewhere on the road.

I'm all packed for my trip to Suttle Lake and the Sisters, Oregon area. Changed the oil and filter on the Concours Saturday so she's ready to go. I'm bringing my own food - Odwalla Bars, nuts, oatmeal, noodles, and tofu. I can heat up water with my Jetboil for breakfast oatmeal and dinner noodle/tofu.

I'd like to go to Crater Lake but I don't think that's going to happen on this trip since it's a day ride round trip from Sisters, Oregon on the route I'd like to take and I don't want to be in a hurry.

It will be a good trip to Suttle Lake, Sisters, Santiam Pass, McKenzie Pass, Dee Wright Observatory and whatever other new sights are on the way.

I'm looking forward to getting some wind in my face and oxygen in my lungs.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oyster Run - 2010

I'm glad I went up to the Oyster run in Anacortes. There were thousands of bikes, riders and onlookers. I was expecting to see lines of motorcycles on the roads going up there but I think I saw more police/sheriff vehicles than bikes on some of the back-roads. It was foggy and drizzling and I didn't get on the road until after noon - but there were still lots of people and motorcycles in Anacortes.

There was live music, snacks, vendors selling motorcycle stuff, food, drinks and even a Bandido booth selling T-shirts to support the Bandidos? There were some nice looking oyster shooters on ice. They shut down main street to cars and let you ride your bike and park it in the middle of the street. There's maybe 10 blocks of motorcycles on both sides of the street, down the middle and on the side streets. The majority are Harleys but there's plenty of other types too - so it isn't a Harley only event by any means. There were quite a few families with little kids and older folks (like me) walking around just taking in the atmosphere.

I only saw one accident - an Electra Glide missed a corner on Highway 20 going out of town and ended up in the ditch - they were putting it on a wrecker when I passed by.

I didn't see anyone acting stupid or causing trouble. The only wheelies I saw were some kids riding mini-bikes and one guy riding an ATV in a vacant lot.

I imagine the shop owners in Anacortes are pretty happy to have so many people in town spending money. I saw plates from California, Oregon, B.C. and Montana.

I took the Pioneer Highway up and I-5 back. There were a variety of stands and things going on for motorcycles on the way up there. Food/drink/music type stuff. I'm looking forward to going next year when hopefully the weather will be a little better - although I kind of like cool and some rain, or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

I didn't bring a camera and only took a few pics with my iPhone but here's a oyster run 2010 - Flickr: Search that has some nice photographs.

57 Chevy Bike

Ninja Line

Runnin With The Oysters - On a Motorized Bar Stool

Taking the Old Three Wheeler For a Spin

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Going to See The Sisters

The weather is looking good this coming week in the Sisters, Oregon area so I'm planning a ride down there Monday. Staying Monday and Tuesday night at the Suttle Lake Lodge in a rustic cabin since I don't feel like packing camping gear for a two night trip.

I'm really looking forward to exploring that area - it looks really pretty from Highway 97 and from what I've read and heard it's a great spot for riding a motorcycle.

View Trip to Sisters Fall 2010 in a larger map

This should be a simple trip - change the oil and filter on the bike today, throw some rain gear and a spare set of clothes on the bike Monday and then head south.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Trip to Paradise

I rode to Paradise today for my last ride of the summer. It was a nice day but Mount Rainier was in the clouds so the views weren't as spectacular as they can be. On the plus side traffic was very light and it's only 5 dollars to enter the park on a motorcycle (15 dollars for a car). It was about 300 miles round trip with my winding route.

I made it home with an hour to spare since Fall officially began at 8:13 pm local time today.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Three Pass Blast

I rode over Stevens Pass, Blewett Pass and Snoqualmie Pass this afternoon.

It was drizzling on the way up Stevens Pass but sunny on the East side of the Cascades.

It was a pretty quick trip - one stop for gas and one at Owen's Meat Market in Cle Elum to get a pound of jerky.

Motorcycle was running great, clothes kept me comfortable and it was good riding weather.

Nice day for a ride!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Planning a Trip to The Three Sisters

It's about 400 miles to Sisters, Oregon from Everett. The Three Sisters mountain range is a little Southwest of there (pretty much due East from Bend).

I'm hoping for some nice weather in September or October otherwise maybe next summer when I can take a week - there are lots of interesting looking roads in that area that take you through forests, by rivers, lakes and mountains.

This is a snip from Sound Rider article about the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway -
"Up one pass, down through the other, reverse the route and repeat as necessary! The town of Sisters makes a great start and ending point for this magical loop that offers it all. Fantastic scenery and some of the most technical riding you’ll ever encounter on public roads."

Here's a longer article Tails of the Three Sisters and the Google Map satellite image showing the Three Sisters -

McKenzie Pass is on Highway 242 and Santiam Pass is on Highway 20 on the map above.

Dee Wright Observatory is on McKenzie Pass.

Three Fingered Jack is north of Santiam Pass.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Nice Ride Up Whidbey Island Today

It was drizzly and grey Saturday morning in Everett. Nice and sunny over on Whidbey Island though. I started out going south but the weather in the convergence zone was getting worse so I looked around for where it looked less cloudy. Looked better up North. I took the Mukilteo Ferry to Clinton. The fare for a motorcycle and rider is $3.80 which you can't beat. I was the first motor vehicle on and off. Also the only motorcycle which is unusual.

I pulled over to the side of the road on Whidbey to eat a snack. There was plenty of room to pull over on this 2-lane road. I was a couple of feet away from the white line on the side of the road.

A Sheriff's Deputy pulls in behind me. I'm thinking I'm going to get a lecture about something - or a ticket or who knows? He asked me if everything was okay and just wondered if I needed any help. He smiled and patted my shoulder.

Part of the reason for my trip was to scout routes into Anacortes. I found a really nice spot while doing that called Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory. There's a nice beach for looking at sea things, with picnic tables, group shelter and a lady with a bunch of samples of things you can see in the tidepools and on the beach. There were a few divers there - but very uncrowded considering it was Saturday on Labor Day Weekend . There were plenty of people on and near the Deception Pass Bridge - but I don't think most people get off the main Highway 20 route and it was raining south of there - so Rosario Road was very quiet.

You get to Rosario Beach by taking Rosario Road which is about a mile north of Deception Pass Bridge. The turnoff to Rosario beach is about a mile down Rosario Road. You can continue into Anacortes on Rosario Road and Marine Drive.

This is picture of the statue of the Maiden of Deception Pass at Rosario Beach.

The Maiden is part of a really interesting Native Story. This site has pictures of the carving process.


Marine Drive has grooves in it that caused my front wheel to wander and the Concours handles pretty good on the highway. It'd be worse on a Sportster. The grooves look like a "feature" more than anything temporary. I wonder if those grooves are there because there are expensive houses on the scenic bluff overlooking the ocean and they don't want motorcycles zipping around. In any event it's just a short hop into Anacortes.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Oyster Run - Last Sunday of This Month

The Oyster Run to Anacortes is the last Sunday in September this year - the 26th. In 2008 the crowd was estimated at 15 to 20 thousand so there will be lots of bikes and riders. Highway 20 is the only main road into Anacortes and it can be busy and slow on normal weekdays and weekends - so if you're in a hurry it's probably best to stay away from that area on the 26th.

There are four main routes to get up there from Everett - ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton and ride up Whidbey Island, Marine Drive past Kayak Point to Stanwood and then Pioneer Highway, I-5 and Highway 9.

The first two are the most scenic and interesting. I'm thinking the Marine Drive/Whidbey Island route and then west after Deception Pass to see if I can avoid traffic jams using the smaller roads on the west side of Anacortes.

There are other more round-about ways to get there - Highway 2 East over the Cascades and Highway 20 West would be a fun weekend. Riding up to BC and taking the ferry from Tsawwassen to Vancouver Island and the ferry back to Anacortes would be interesting but would add some time sitting in ferry lines, border crossing time and the cost of a couple of ferry rides. $27.45 for the ferry from Sidney to Anacortes and $36.60 for the ferry from Tsawwassen to Vancouver Island (it's a lot cheaper on a motorcycle than driving a car - plus you get to be the first on first off).

It would be fun to spend Saturday in the Bellingham area and ride Chuckanut Drive South on Sunday morning - through Edison and into Anacortes.

Lots of choices.