Centralia & Discovery Bay Loop

Trip Date: 6/30/07

Features:

  • Narrows Bridges
  • Twisties
  • Hood Cannal
  • Potlatch State Park
  • Fat Smitty's  (Home of the Smitty Burger)
  • Car Inlet
  • Purdy Beaches

Hazards:

  • Deer

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Trip Details: 

It's been almost 2 weeks and no rides! Cabin fever has set in and I decided to feed the need. I sat down Thursday and planned the ride for the weekend. By Friday the weather was not going to be forgiving up at Stevens pass which just happened to be part of the route.  The weather in the south sound area was supposed to be partly sunny so I decided a ride along Hood Canal would be in order. I decided to head south through Roy, Yelm, Tenino and Centralia and up hwy 12 to hwy 108 and on to hwy 101 along Hood Canal and on to Discovery Bay to eat a Smitty's burger. A buddy of mine wanted to make the ride as well to put some miles on his 2003 Goldwing which he just purchased. I have been trying to come up with a nick name for him for some time. Today it hit me... I will refer to him as "WingMan".

We met at my place at 9 AM. After a 30 minute jaw jacking session we climbed on our bikes and headed to the near by Coffee stand and Fuel station. Once topped off we headed up hwy 16 to hwy 512 where we exited after only a few blocks to take the Spanaway loop road. This road is key to ones sanity as it allows you to by pass mass traffic and stop lights on Pacific hwy 7. Unfortunately the ride through Roy and Yelm left us stuck behind caged riders that seemed to do 5 mph under the speed limit. By time we passed Stewert's Meat's in McKenna they had turned off and we got behind more caged riders.  As we approached Tenino I was disappointed in the amount of traffic out there. Another sign of urban sprawl.   The roads between Tenino and Centralia cleared up and we were finally away from the masses of cagers with only us Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Centrailia Washingtonand the roads. We were treated to a run of straights, sweeping curves and farmland. I have to say, I was really impressed with the roads and the scenery in this area. We made a stop to take some pictures and let some blood back into our back sides. The rest stop was short, about 15 minutes. We started the bikes and headed towards Centralia. As we road through, I was eye balling land. I got to thinking that this wouldn't be a bad place to retire some day. As we approached hwy 12 we past a sign stating Aberdeen was only 39 miles. I thought about changing the route and riding through Westport. After a few miles I talked myself out of it figuring 280 miles would be enough for the day. hwy 12 soon lead us to the hwy 108 junction where we turned off to head towards hwy 101 near Olympia. As we made our way to hwy 101 I was like a kid in a candy store and couldn't wait to sink my tire rubber into the twisties I've come to love on this stretch of road. 101 parallels Hood Canal for quite a ways and when your tired of turns you just sit back and enjoy the scenic views of the Canal.

 

As we approached the Canal I figured a good rest stop would be Potlatch State park. I have been there many times when I was a Scuba Diver. We used to dive there for Dungeness crab. As we pulled into the park I noticed a group of maybe 10 bikes. There was a group of riders standing behind them talking and taking pictures. We pulled in near the others and climbed off for a beverage and some Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Hood Canal Washingtondown time. Within 10 minutes we were approached by several of the riders as they looked over my camera and Ram mount setup and WingMans Wing.  One of the lady riders referred to the bright yellow Goldwing as  Bumble Bee. At first, I thought their bikes were all cruisers but it turned out one couple were riding a ST and an FJR. We talked a bit and they seemed like a great bunch of people. I think the big thing I like about boating and biking is most of the time the people you run into that share the same enthusiasm for the sport are very pleasant fun people. The world needs more people like this these days. After looking over our bikes I went down to theirs to have a look at the ST and FJR. I was surprised to see after market pipes on the ST. That ST was the first one I have seen with a pipe mod. I noticed the plate read "Cowgirl". Right on! She fired up the ST for me to have a listen to the pipes. It had a low growl at idle which is much different then the stock whine. The FJR had allot less cargo room up front then I'm used to but I really liked the gauges and the look of the bike. Now day's Honda, Suzuki or Yamaha, they are all built with the highest quality. It's really hard to go wrong. Myself... I'm a Honda man probably because I have owned many of them and they have always been very reliable. I wouldn't doubt that that's the same reason he purchased the FJR. It wasn't long and we said our goodbyes as they all grouped up for a group ride picture.

By this time "WingMan" was really getting hungry. I knew this because he had mentioned it twice now. We had about 48 miles to go before we would be sitting in front of a Smitty burger. If we didn't get moving soon "WingMan" would waste away on me. :-) The 48 miles brought us more and more twisties and breathtaking scenery.  One thing about riding Hood Canal is it's never a average ride. Every time I ride it I can only refer to this stretch of road and the scenery it has to offer as nothing short of Stellar! As we approached the end of Hood Canal I had been riding behind a tanker truck that was really cramping my style. I started to notice his second tank trailer was having brake issues. I started to smell burning rubber as his rear trailer brakes were intermittently locking up. Soon he wasRoad-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Fat Smotty's Discovery Bay Washington intermittently dragging the rear wheels leaving 40 foot skid marks. I backed of a bit and sure enough the driver realized there was a problem and attempted to brake and turn off on to the shoulder. When he did this, the rears locked up for good and his trailer began skidding and started to get sideways. Luckily his trailer only veered sideways about 4 feet as he brought the big rig to a stop. By this time I was happy to pass him and be on my way. Soon we were approaching Discovery bay and as always, Fat Smitty's came up on me quickly. As I rounded the bend there it was. We pulled in and I could tell WingMan was ready to eat. If you haven't eaten here the Smitty's burger is an award winner and looks like a Big Mac on steroids. It's a must try at least once. We didn't even read our menu's because we knew it was going to be the Smitty's burger. As the waitress approached our table with out burgers WingMan could only laugh. This was his first time there and he couldn't believe the size of the burgers. This was the first time I barely was able to consume the massive burger. WingMan couldn't do it. It turned out to be more burger then WingMan could handle. I got a kick out of that. We paid our tab and headed out stuffed.

We headed back to and up hwy 3. This is a basic stretch of road with no thrills with the exception of crossing the Hood Canal bridge. As we headed towards Purdy I was much more impressed with the roads and surroundings. We were riding beneath the canopy of the trees that let enough sun light through to make the leave glow a bright green. This is another area I really like. It wasn't long and we rounded the final turn prior to Purdy and the salt water  became visible.   I always like this crossing but it's also the last scenic part of the trip. From here we joined the masses in a ride east bound on hwy 16. I followed WingMan as we made our way across the Narrows North Bridge. As we approached the 6th Ave. exit, I blew my horn to bid WingMan a farewell and an end to another great ride. For the most part we had sunny skies with only a brief section of road that had grey cloud cover looming over the hills near the Canal. All in all, you can't ask for anything more. 


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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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