Morton - McKenna Loop

Trip Date: 4-12-2008

Features:

  • Elbe
  • Alder Lake
  • Nisqually River
  • Coal Canyon
  • Morton
  • MT. Rainier
  • Mossyrock
  • Riffe Lake
  • Mossyrock Dam
  • Mayfield Lake
  • Mayfield Dam
  • Cowlitz River
  • Centrailia
  • Harmony
  • Chehailis
  • Centrailia
  • Skookumchuck River
  • Highway's 7, 12, 507 and 508
  • Skookumchuck Rd
  • Johnson Creek Rd. (Great Twisties!)
  • Bunkhouse BBQ - Best Burgers in Washington!
Hazards:
  • One Anal Jack Russell Terrier (Near La Grande)
  • Deer

 


Morton - McKenna Loop Video

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Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads destinations ride video Mossyrock Dam Washington Honda Goldwing

Trip Details:
 

After wet cold start to spring we finally got a break. Temperatures today were going to be in the low 70's. I had been waiting for a  chance to make this ride. Mark from our Puget Sound Sport and Touring ride group had planned a group ride to Elbe. I decided I would combine the two rides as I was going that way any way. I met up with Mark, Mark's wife (forgot her name.. My bad...) and Chris. We had a diverse set of bikes made up of a Honda VTX, Harley, Kawasaki Ninja and my Goldwing.

We left the Thunderbird Lounge parking lot and made our way towards Highway 7 riding the back roads. Once on Highway 7 we headed East towards La Grande. We couldn't have had a better day for riding. I noticed quickly that allot of other riders took advantage of the weather as well. We came up on a larger group of sport bikers. Maybe 30 bike total. They were resting on the side of the road.  As we approached La Grande we were startled by a group of dogs attempting to shorten their life span as they darted towards each riders front tire. One Jack Russell Terrier in particular, was extremely anal about his intensions. Chris about took him out! I slowed way down to try and get around the Jack Russell but it suddenly turned lunging at my front tire. I lost sight half of him as he went under my fairing. He some how spun around and got away before I plowed him into the pavement. All this and I had one dog left to get around. I guessing the owners don't give a rip if they lose a dog or two. If they did those dogs would be fenced or tethered.

Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads destinations ride video best hamburgers burgers Scale Burger Elbe WashingtonOnce Past La Grande the fun began. In this area are allot of fun twisties. You also get a great view of the Mayfield Dam and Alder Lake. As we maneuvered through the turns we passed many riders heading the other way. The ride to Elbe is a very popular ride especially when good weather has been absent for some time. As we rode into Elbe we made our way to Scale Burgers. This is a little walk up window type burger bar. I here the burgers are great but I have yet to try one. As much as I wanted to I had another 100 miles to ride to eat a Bunkhouse BBQ burger. We pulled into the gravel lot and there must have been 50 bikers enjoying the food and sun. I hung around to chat with the riders in our group as it was my first time meeting them. Great bunch of folks and I look forward to riding with them in the future. After a bit of jaw jacking I said goodbye and pointed my Goldwing east down Highway 7. I made my way across the bridge over the Nisqually river and rolled the throttle open and let my Wing accelerate to a comfortable 75 mph.

To give you an idea about how cold it's been this spring, there was still snow on the ground as I made my way through Coal Canyon. This is a neat area with some great views of the hills and MT, Rainier from time to time. Soon I was approaching Morton. The plan was to stop and fuel up at the Chevron at the Highway 7 and 12 junction. I decided to make a stop near the lumber mill to get some photo's. I heard a river just across the railroad tracks. I river I never noticed before. This is another reason making more frequent stops is a good thing. I always seem to stumble across something new or cool. As planned I stopped and fueled up at the Chevron in Morton and then headed west on Highway 12. About 8 miles up Highway 12, I stopped at the Mossyrock Dam. A guy I grew up with is an electrician on the dam. In fact I decided to stop in and see him since he is not far off my planned route. My next turn was only 3.2 miles west of the dam. I turned onto Highway 122 and onto Birley Rd. My buddy has a gravel driveway that is long and has a couple steep inclines. I made my way up the drive only to find he wasn't home. I should have called. :-)

Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads destinations ride video best hamburgers burgers Washington Honda GoldwingI made my way back onto 122 and 9 miles along Mayfield Lake to my next right turn on to Cinebar Rd. Cinebar Rd. took me another 4.6 miles onto Highway 508. 508 took me another 15.6 miles as I passed through the little town of Onalaska. At this point my prime objective is to avoid I-5 and ride some new roads. They looked good on the map so why not? At this point I turned onto Jackson Highway and rode another 13.6 miles passing through Chehalis and Centralia. I really enjoyed the roads in this area. Allot of farm houses and barns. As usual I made several stops and took pictures. Centralia was a bit busy but I it was short lived as I made my way out of town.

Pearl St and then Downing St took me out of Centralia to highway 507. I rode highway 507 6 miles  to my next turn onto Skookcumchuck Rd. I was really impressed with this area. The roads were great. Almost no traffic and great turns. Skookcumchuck Rd winds along the Skoocumchuck river for 6.2 miles and actually crosses it so I rode on both sides. At the end of the 6.2 miles of great riding it got even better. I turned left onto Johnson Creek Rd and made way through some awesome 6.2 miles of great twisties. Watch the video and judge for yourself.  I can't say it enough, these roads were really fun!

After all that fun in the turns approached the Highway 507 junction. 507 took me 8.2 miles and through Yelm. At this point I was really getting hungry. I was also getting close 2.5 miles to the Bunkhouse BBQ in McKenna. It was just a few minutes later I pulled into the lot at the bunkhouse BBQ. As always the smell of the burgers grilling was more then I could stand. I chatted with a few bikers as they were leaving and made my way in to a table. As usual the food was awesome! I had the Barn burner. Its loaded with Jalapeņo's and pepper jack cheese.

The rest of the ride was 507 through Roy and into Spanaway and on to Tacoma.  Once again I had great weather, met some great people and rode some new back roads. I couldn't have asked for a better day.

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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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