Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rattlesnake Pass, WA129 / OR 3

It was another boring, warm, sunny day. After the Spiral Highway we headed West crossed the bridge into Washington state and fuelled up in Clarkston. From there we followed WAl29 south


it starts out impressive, a few miles of switchbacks as you increase in elevation. Soon you are at the top and you transverse miles of flat farmland

(BlueKat with her photogenic Ninja)

We noticed a barn in the background and stopped for a photo break. The speed limit is 55 mph and we were tired of following a car which was creeping along at 30 mph. We had passed him several times and when we stopped this time, he passed us again . He was the snail and we, the hare. But slow and steady wins the race so he was now in front again .

I looked at Ron and asked him to give me a cool pose "man", and he countered right away as if by instinct he knew what a cool look looked like


I had heard so much about this road but so far it was just a straight ribbon of asphalt taking us to the outskirts of Hell's Canyon and miles out of our way, I mean, we could have taken another straight road to get to our temporary home down in John Day, OR . We knew that this was going to be our longest day

After about an hour of straight boring riding we started to notice the terrain changing and we were now approaching a canyon


There are not many places to pull over. Ron and Kari overshot the gravel shoulder and ended up at the 2nd curve ahead and waited for me


Soon I caught up with them. We decided early on that if anyone saw a photo opp then just stop and the group will wait at the next crossroads, or turn around.


the scenery was just stunning, and we were gloating at the sight of the road ahead


Notice that the roads also seem to be cambered especially for us


It was so nice to be able to stop and breathe in this view, but since we had a long ride ahead of us we had to get on our way


another click and we are off . . .


soon we cross into Oregon


We decide to minimize our stops as we were getting behind and had to cover some miles. This eventually turned into an 11-1/2 hour day arriving in John Day, OR just before 7:30pm, a mere half hour before the restaurant closed


  1. Love the photos! I would love to ride a few roads like that. Looks like younger getting some decent weather. Safe riding!

  2. Awesome views, and good weather, too. You must have been quite disappointed when you came back home.

  3. I wanna ride there!
    I wanna ride there!
    I wanna ride there!
    I wanna ride there!

  4. Wha cpa3485 said...

    So was it as much fun as it looks?

  5. Dar: Most roads in Central Oregon are like that. They follow the river and are nice and curvy. Some are scenic and viewpoints are mostly gravel. You can't always stop for photos

    Charlie6: You were behind us by one day. If we had known perhaps we could have changed our route to accommodate. I knew your route to Hell's Canyon would take more time than the mileage would indicate. You should have filled up in Enterprise or Joseph. I have driven NF39 several times but didn't know where the washout was

    SonjaM: The weather was nearly perfect. Boring sunny, hot days mostly. It only changed when we got near the Gorge and back towards the coast. I had to ride 600 kms mostly in rain, and heavy downpours just south of Bellingham.

    Jimbo: If we had more time we could have gone back and forth, but time was tight. Can't you bring your bike when you visit your relatives (Vanc, WA). Lots of roads similar in the Gorge

    Richard: It felt so great to be able to just angle your bike from corner to corner in a continuous sweep (back and forth). Kari fell in love with OR207, it was a great road. I felt like a racer

  6. It sounds like you were thrilled to finally get off that straight road and into the curves. They sure look appealing from the images.

    But I find it interesting that your last comment is about food. I'm really surprised the post didn't end with food porn. :)

    Great report and images.


  7. I love riding in that area! However, repeat after me. Oregon has no good motorcycle roads.

  8. I loved Oregon, I also passed John Day, actually had breakfast there.
    Beautiful pictures, what a trip, I'm jealous