Shelton & Tenino

Trip Date: 10-26-2008


  • Chambers Creek Rd.
  • Dupont Steilacoom Rd.
  • I-5
  • Olympia
  • SR-101
  • Capitol Lake
  • Eld Inlet
  • Old Olympic Hyw.
  • Oyster Bay
  • Olympia Oyster Co
  • Lynch Rd.
  • Little Skookum Inlet
  • Totten Inlet
  • Mammersley Inlet
  • Shelton
  • Oakland Bay
  • Little Rock Rd.
  • Little Rock
  • Black River
  • Old hwy 99
  • Hyw 507
  • Tenino
  • McIntosh Lake
  • Rainier
  • Yelm
  • McKenna
  • Bunkhouse BBQ
  • Views of Mt. Rainier from hwy 702 and 8th
  • Deer


Shelton & Tenino Video

16:9 Widescreen (400 Kbps 18.5 MB)

Photo Show

Trip Details:

Fall is here and the trees are preparing to shed their leaves. Today's weather proved to be one of the best for late October with temps  in the low 60's. We departed Tacoma at 9:45 AM in the brisk 41 degree morning air. This is the time of year the fair weather riders begin preparing for winter as they store their bikes in the garage. In my case, I will milk every decent day that fall and winter have to offer. Temperatures may be on the low end but good riding gear will keep me warm and dry.

Our ride began heading down 6th Ave. in Tacoma towards Titlow Beach. From there we made our way up along Grandview where we were treated to some great views of the Narrows and Sunny Side Beach. You can actually see the salt water from the Narrows to  Nisqually Reach. We rode Chambers Creek Rd. surrounded by trees exploding with falls colors. Just beyond Chambers Creek we rode through the town of Steilacoom and turned left on the Dupont-Steilacoom Rd. I always enjoy this route as it's a great way to avoid I-5. As we rode between the rows of fir trees we past a soldier on the side of the road. He was in full gear and looked to be reading a map. It wasn't long after we past the Fort Lewis range where we seen another group of soldiers. 2 Blasts from my horn and a big thumbs up got a big reply of waving arms from them. I always try to show our troops I support them.

Once in DuPont we turned onto I-5 and rode 14.4 miles through Olympia and onto SR-101. This wasn't to bad for I-5 mostly due to the fall colors of the trees. We past Capitol Lake on our right just as we turned onto 101. The lake was like glass ringed with yellow, red and gold leaved trees with the state capitol building perched above in the background. Wow! That would have been a cool picture! We rode on 11.3 miles to the southern most tip of Oyster Bay where we turned off onto the Old Olympic Hyw. This was a stellar section of road. The falls colors were overwhelming . In fact I would have to say this was the most colorful area of the entire ride. 1,6 miles up the road I spotted a road leading to the Olympia Oyster Co. We rode down it to see if we could get a good view of Oyster Bay. The plant was closed but we got right down on the water. The view was incredible as we stood behind a short pile of oyster shells looking south over the bay. This was a great opportunity for some pictures.

One point I'll make right now is that, once again, we were riding roads we have never ridden. We turned onto Bloomfield Rd. which lasted a short 4.4 miles but it was new road to me and I enjoyed every mile of it. Bloomfield intersected with kamilche Point Rd. on which we turned left and followed it 3.3 miles paralleling Little Skookum Inlet and on to SR-101. 101 took au a brief 1 mile to our right turn on to Lynch Rd. Once again we were riding new road 8.4 miles along the north west side of Little Skookum Inlet and Totten Inlet. Our next turn was left on Arcadia Rd. Arcadia Rd. ran 7.1 miles just east of and parallel to Hammersly Inlet. This brought us to Olympic hwy and 1.2 miles through the small town of Shelton and near the southwest end of Oakland Bay.

A left turn and another 1.2 miles down Railroad Ave. and we turned left onto Shelton-Matlock Rd. We rode this road 11.4 miles through some great open range, colorful fall canopy and fir tree forest with a mix of sweeping turns and long straights until we came up on a small lake on our right. This seemed like a great place to stop and use the port-a-potty. The name of the lake Nahwatzel Lake. Its a small lake but beautiful to say the least. There were several folks fishing and one guy pulling his boat out. It turns out he just got his endorsement and is riding a Suzuki DR650 dual sport. We took time to snap some photos and eat a snack to hold us over until we reached the Bunkhouse BBQ in McKenna. After our rest we rode 4.1 miles to Matlock. Here the road intersects with another but we only stayed on it a couple blocks where we turned right on to the Matlock-Brady Rd. This road was straight with minor turns. It stretched just over 11 miles to where it became Middle Satsop Rd. Middle Satsop Rd. took us 6.9 miles through the town of Brady. At the end it intersects with SR-12 where we got a great view of the Satsop Nuclear power plant. The plant was a failure and the plug was pulled on it long ago. From here we could see the two giant cooling towers perched up on the hillside.

We rode 6.2 miles east on SR-12 past flat land and farms as the road soon became hwy 8. We rode hwy 8 for 20 miles while enjoying the changes in landscape from open flat area to turns with trees covered in fall colored leaves. This was an enjoyable section of road that, near the end, turns into SR-101 for a short 6 miles to the I-5 exit. This took us back through Olympia and on to little Rock Rd. where we enjoyed some great country and again a change up between evergreens and brilliantly colored trees. The weather had warmed up to the low 60's and we were getting a bit hungry. We turned left at this point on to Old hwy 99 which we rode for 8.9 miles through yet more colorful country side. Fall riding just doesn't get any better! We soon turned on to hwy 507 and rode through the small town of Tenino. I was surprised at the number of riders that came through in the opposite direction.  I always like to see folks getting out and making the best of the season. The way I look at it is, if you ride year round your riding skills will always be sharp.

From Tenino we rode approximately 16 miles through Rainier, Yelm and on to McKenna. As we arrived in McKenna I could see Stewart's Meats on the right.  I couldn't help myself so I stopped and picked up $70 worth of pepperoni and beef jerky. If you havn't tried their meats you are missing out. Once I had the meats stored in my side case, we rode a couple blocks further up hwy 507 to the Bunkhouse BBQ. Once again I had a great burger and Malt. I give this place a #1 for burger joints because I have tried about 7 of their burgers and they all were excellent. The Malts are great too. One of the attractions to the Bunkhouse is the Trail Boss burger. Its 4 lbs of meat on a plate size bun with the works on it. If you can eat it in 1 hour you get it for free along with your picture on the wall and a hat that says "I kicked the Trail bosses Ass". I tied but it kicked my ass. I haven't tried since. I do want the hat so I suppose I will have to go in and eat the thing. As we were eating a group of young kids came in and one of them ordered the Trail Boss. Not only was he going to eat it he wanted to beat the record of 11 minutes. I decided to stick around to watch this. It was a sight to be seen. He ate the thing as if he was in a pie eating context. he was cramming the thing into his mouth to the point his cheeks were completely full and he was beet red in the face. 3/4 the way through he started having problems as food was trying to come back up. He made a mess f things and the waitress couldn't bare to watch anymore. Everyone in the place was watching him and guess what, to my surprise, he ate the thing and did it in 10 minutes 30 seconds! My stomach hurt from watching him. The waitress returned with his trophy hat and he was sure proud of himself. I can tell you this, he will be hurting the rest of the evening and into tomorrow.

After an entertaining late lunch we were back on the road. We rode east on hwy 702 to 8th where we turned left. Once on 8th we rode 9 miles through Fort Lewis land stopping for pictures of Mt. Rainier a couple times. From here we rode up hwy 507 to Pacific hwy and then the Spanaway Loop Rd. This road took behind Pacific hwy and we avoided allot of congestion. From here it was 512 to I-5 and then home. To sum this ride up I have to say we had awesome weather, spectacular fall colors and some new roads. The views of the water ways were great as well. If your looking for a good fall or winter ride this is it. I would, however, avoid riding this in temps below freezing.

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