Orting - South Prairie Loop

Trip Date: 1/3/2009


  • Edgewood
  • Forest Canyon Rd.
  • Lake Tapps
  • McCutcheon Rd.
  • Puyallup River
  • Carbon River
  • South Prairie Creek
  • Orting
  • Hyw 162
  • South Prairie
  • Hyw 165
  • Hyw 410
  • Wally's White River Drive-In
  • Buckley
  • White River
  • Hyw 18
  • West Valley Rd.
  • Sumner
  • Hyw 509
  • MT Rainier
  • Many Cattle Farms
  • North Levee Rd.


  • Deer

  • Tight turns (15 mph) McCutcheon Rd.


Orting - South Prairie Loop Video

16:9 Widescreen (400Kbps 19.9 MB)
Photo Show

Trip Details:

It's been about a month and a half since I have published a ride. We have had all the wrong kind of weather so the most riding I have done is back and forth to work and short rides in the evenings and weekends. Even these rides were spread out due to weather  conditions. I woke today with a really bad case of cabin fever. No... PMS Parked Motorcycle Syndrome as Tim Watts recently said. I sat down in front of my computer and planned a route. It was short at first but then I extended it to 93 miles. This is a relatively short ride for me but there is still snow on the ground and I didn't know how much and where. With a once over the bike and a quick pack of the camera gear I was off. I dressed warm right down to my ski gloves. I brought my water proof motorcycle gloves just in case. The ski gloves are much warmer.

Once on the road I enjoyed a brisk ride along the Tacoma water front and past the City center via hwy 705 and I-5. I turned off in Fife on to 20th SE and rode on to Milton Way. The weather was mostly cloudy with some nice sun breaks. The temps were in the upper 30's and thanks to good riding gear I was toasty warm even without a fairing. Once in Edgewood I turned onto Jovita Blvd. and rode another 2 miles. This is a nice little stretch of road that leads into 8th St E. I rode 8th St. E for another boring 2 miles and took the ramp off to East Valley Rd and rode another mile to the left hand turn on to Forest Canyon Rd. This is another nice 1.3 miles stretch of road that winds down to Lake Tapps Rd. Things started getting a bit interesting at this point in the ride as the surrounding area was now covered with snow. The roads were now wet, muddy and sandy. I had to be careful navigating the turns as some sections of road had a fair amount of sand on them. As I made my way down Lake Tapps Rd I noticed the lake was frozen over. This was my first time seeing the lake like this. Since this was a great photo opportunity I couldn't resist. I pulled over in the next clearing to take some photo's and ham it up for the 2008 Suzuki B-King motorcycle ride to Orting and South Prairie WA. Lake Tapps frozen and snow on the gorund. video. While snapping a few photos my camera reminded me my battery was low and it was then I realized I forgot to pack my spare battery for my digital camera. I hate it when that happens. I knew I had maybe 5 or 8 pictures worth of battery so I quickly put the camera away and fired up the B-King to continue my snow bound adventure. I rode another 2 miles to 214th a 2.5 mile stretch of straight rode with only one turn in it. Everything on each side of the road was white. With my gear still holding up to the low temps I pressed on with a smile to my next right onto 120th. This road turns into Rhodes Lake Rd. and continues with some nice turns for 3.8 miles. I then came up on a fork in the road and left was my direction taking me down McCutcheon Rd. Just past the fork in the road the left turn is a sharp turn that crests the hill and this was the sandiest most dangerous turn I encountered the entire trip. As I made my way down the hill and through the turn near the bottom I was reminded by my tires pushing out that even the slightest amount of sand can pose a problem.

At the end of McCutcheon Rd I crossed over the Puyallup river and turned left onto hwy 162. The next 11.4 miles of hwy 162 took me parallel to the Carbon River as well as South Prairie Creek and into the town of South Prairie. This was an excellent area for riding. All back roads and next to no traffic. South Prairie is a very small town with one Espresso stand. I really wanted to stop but my favorite coffee stand beverage is a Mint Mocha "on ice" and well, I wanted to keep my core temperature up. As it was the cold air was begining to penetrate my gloves. As much as it killed me I rode on past and continued on hwy 162 for another 2.8 miles where hwy 162 becomes hwy 165. This only lasted another 1.3 miles and I was turning right onto hwy 410 in the nice town of Buckley home of Wally's Drive-In which was my next stop. This is one place I have a hard time driving by. I stopped in long enough to eat a great burger and rest a bit. I always have one of their Chocolate Malts but with the outside temperature in the upper 30's I decided a hot cup f coffee would be best.

I continued on hwy 410 for 1.5 miles where I made a left turn onto 244th Ave SE which quickly becomes SE 456th way and then 188th. This is a nice sweeping ride through cattle country. There are allot of cattle farms in this area and you will smell them before you see them. I actually enjoyed this little section of road even with the smell of methane in the cool air. Soon my ride through cattle country was interrupted by my  next left onto the Auburn Enumclaw Rd. This is a 11.4 stretch of fairly straight road running through the Muckleshoot Indian reservation and down into the city of Auburn to the hwy 18 junction. This was a decent stretch of road passing the White River Outdoor Theater and paralleling pasture land.

Once at the hwy 18 junction I turned left onto 18 and then quickly turned off onto the West Valley hwy heading south towards Sumner and Puyallup. I took this road to avoid I-5 and all the boredom that comes with it. From 18 West Valley was a laid back 7.3 miles leading into Sumner while paralleling SR-167 the entire time. Once in Sumner I turned right onto Valley Ave. right next to the Old Canary. If you like looking at furniture then stop in at the old canary and you will be in hog heaven! They also sell some pretty tasty fudge in there. Once on Valley Ave. it was a brief 2.3 mile ride to my turn onto Meridian for a couple blocks where I turned right onto Levee road. I usually ride down River Rd. on the south side of the Puyallup River but this time I wanted a change so I rode N Levee Rd. which parallels the Puyallup River on the north side. It was starting to really cool off as the sun was setting. Not that it wasn't cold enough with the sun high in the sky. I made my way down N Levee Rd and on to hwy 509 in Fife. I used the very long on ramp to hwy 509 to clear the B-Kings throat and WOW can this bike accelerate. I reached triple digits long before the merge onto Hyw509. I wasn't intending to do that but my eyes were on the rode not on the speedo and well as soon as I started to let the compression brake the bike I glanced down and oops!. 509 took me west into Tacoma where I turned off onto hwy 705 and then onto Schuster Parkway leading into Ruston. From there it was another 5 miles or so and I was pulling into my driveway. I was really impressed with the B-king's handling in the wet, muddy and sandy roads. For a 170 hp (at the rear wheel) it was extremely well behaved. Not a bad days ride regardless of the weather conditions.   

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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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