Today was a lazy morning filled with errors, non-planning and a FIRST.
It started off as a normal day. My alarm went off before 6am, I poked my toe outside and thought that there was too much chill in the air for me to leave. My plan was to head towards Sisters and ride Hwy 242, which is a narrow road through the forest up and down a mountain and through the lava flows. I knew it would be much cooler in the trees so I made use of my time by taking a shower, washing my hair and my plan was to have a quick breakfast
With my bike, overpacked I mounted up and headed to the driveway and as rolled out of the driveway, I made an immediate U-turn back to the office because I forgot that they offered a continental breakfast. This turned out to be a big mistake as the selection was so meagre that I only had a toasted crumpet, small muffin and two cups of apple juice. Now it just seemed silly to have another breakfast even though I wasn't full. I continued onward to Sisters but most of the eateries appeared not to be open so thoughts of buying a sandwich/fruit to have later didn't happen either.
The road starts just outside of Sisters and generally heads East. It starts out straight and Flat, not unlike most of the roads in Eastern Canada, particularly in the Kingston, ON area I am told. As you can see from the sign, no trailers and no Semis are allowed
It was easy to find a flat spot with the Sisters (mountains) in the background. I think that may be a meadow on the other side of the fence. Lately I have been looking for meadows and I thought I saw another one later in the day
The road is straight and flat for miles so I thought that it would be a perfect road for my V-Star buddy
Before long, the flatness is gone and the road becomes continuous curves, left and right in a smooth rhythm with small drop offs, no shoulders and did I say that the road is narrow ?
I eventually round a corner to a viewpoint and the vast view of the lava fields which continues for miles
This road is known as the McKenzie/Santiam Pass Scenic Byway (Hwy 242). It is not a road to be racing around as one error will put you off and down a cliff. It took me two hours not counting photos at the Dee Wright Observatory
The road is narrow as it winds its way through the lava and eventually you get to the summit
It is getting warm so I shed my clothes and put on my hiking sandals
and walk up the flights of stone steps to get to the top
You can look out the stone window frames
I even managed to get into a shot
I had no timetable and spent too much time here. It was getting late and I was getting hungry and I was miles from anywhere. It was also getting very warm
I was relaxing and just enjoying the day. If only I had some fruit or snacks to stave off my rumbling stomach
Eventually I had to leave and the twisties on the East side were more intense than the first, and this was the downhill section. It made me a bit anxious as many of the locals mentioned to be careful and take it easy. I recorded lots of video but it will have to wait until I return home
I have more things to say about the day and the other motorcyclists I met along the way and it is always enjoyable to hear about the travels of others, especially motorcyclists from far away on extended journeys
I also did something else today which I have never done before. Perhaps it is because we are in groups that we stop to re-gather, or we plan lunch or rest breaks.
I also rode the famous Aufderheide Scenic Byway (Hwy 19). Because I got a late start, I think now that it was a bad thing to do as the shadows of the late afternoon were hard to see road ahead on the curves. It is a melodic road with very little traffic, no cell service, narrow in spots with drop offs. There were no scenic pull outs and this was just a twisting, paved forest service road which started at the Cougar Reservoir and headed South to Westfir. It took me over 2 hours to ride this section and I didn't take any photos nor recorded any video which is a first for me. I caught myself off my line a few times and I was lucky there was no traffic coming from the other direction. I only passed a handful of cars on the whole stretch from start to end. I think it is foolish to ride the Aufderheide alone, you should bring a riding buddy
AND the jewel at the end of this rainbow was . . . The first time I have ever seen one in person . . .
My first covered bridge