A friend, Ben, showed me this map sometime early in the winter: map. We decided that this should be the first trip of Spring, and scheduled for April 10/11. We rode down to near Reedsport, camped for the night, and then rode home up HWY 101, taking the famous HWY 53 shortcut to 26. I'm getting ahead of myself, though, because the BLM (bureau of land management) road was even more exciting than HWY 53.
We met at Genie's in Portland for breakfast (awesome food, by the way) with a few other people that weren't coming on the trip. Those that took the trip were thrice: myself and friend Ben (from IRC) and Heather (from school). Afterward, we headed out toward McMinnville battling traffic the whole way. It lightened up past McMinnville, however, and 99W all the way through Eugene was a decent ride.
Us in McMinnville (Heather and Ben, with my bike in the foreground):
After 99W, we headed onto the BLM road. It was paved, but every once in a while we'd come around a corner to find a tree, boulders, piles of landslide mud, or all three in the road. It was great! We stopped at a place with a few waterfalls for pictures. First, my bike in front of the only waterfall I noticed:
And me (image by Ben - thanks!):
But it turned out there were waterfalls in the river across the road, too!
Once, we stopped to explore a muddy trail that was too tempting to ignore. Here's me sliding my heavy-ass bike through some mud:
Just as we were about to leave the BLM road it started raining like crazy. We made it to Reedsport by 4:00pm and had dinner while deciding what to do next. By the time we left, the rain had stopped briefly. We rode up 101 for a few miles and found a camping spot. After setting up it started raining hard again so after a few hours of standing around our damp, smoky fire, we gather in one tent to chat for a while. We retired to our own tents, woke up the next morning and headed out.
Muddy camp site, where my bike sunk in when I tried to use the center stand, and tipped over:
We headed up the 101, ate breakfast in Florence, and then Lunch in Nehalem, Which, is the start of HWY 53. An 11-mile stretch of non-stop curves. Most of the 20-30 MPH (suggested) variety. It is a great road, much like the road from Stevenson, WA up to Windy Ridge on Mt St Helens, but compressed into a shorter space.
We were having too much fun for pictures on that road!
There was one more of me by the waterfall, and a final group picture (taken by me, so excluding me) at our last rest stop:
It was a great trip! Good company, good riding.. perfect way to start spring!