Crater Lake Ride
Deschutes Canyon Day1

Trip Date: 8/1/2008

Features:

  • Elbe WA
  • Nisqually River
  • Coal Canyon
  • Hyw 7
  • Hyw 12
  • NF-25
  • NF-90
  • Wind River Road
  • Hyw 14
  • Columbia River
  • I-84
  • Hyw-35 (MT Hood Highway)
  • MT Hood
  • US-26
  • Warm Springs Indian Reservation
  • Deschutes Canyon
  • Deschutes River
  • Pelton Dam
  • Lake Simtustus
  • Lake Billy Chinook

Hazards:

  • Deer
  • Poor roads, dips, bumps and pot holes (NF-25 & NF-90)

Crater Lake Ride Day 1
Deschutes Canyon

16:9 Widescreen (400Kbps 19.8 MB)

Day 1 Day 2  -  Day 3

Trip Details:

Crater Lake has been on my "to ride" list for quite sometime. I have been waiting for a good 4 day span of weather to make the ride. Earlier this week things looked good. Of course we are talking weather and that is something no one has any control over. That said the weather took a bit of a change and the night before we were expecting rain. We got that rain! In the morning Mr. weather man assured the public that the weather was in fact moving north. There would be some intermittent rain showers south but nothing ugly. KOMO news displayed pictures from the tower cam in Seattle and re-assured the public. Sparse, intermittent showers. We were headed south so this was all in our favor.

8-1 9AM sharp I was loading the remainder of my gear. I had most of it packed and ready to go the night before. Once Lloyd arrived we were off, heading up I-5 and then to Highway 512 to Steel ST. This is a back way to avoid all the lights on Pacific Avenue. Our first stroke of luck came in the form of a road closure that put us on to Pacific Highway. We slowly made our way to the Roy "Y" and continued left on the mountain highway. About this time we were given a nice rain shower. In fact I think the same cloud followed us all the way through La Grande, Alder and into Elbe. We stopped at Scaleburger for lunch as the sun was trying to cut through the clouds. After a burger and  a Chocolate Malt shake, Road-Quest.com Motorcycle ride to Crater Lake Oregon OR. Honda Goldwing GL1800 Alder Lake Washington WAwe departed Elbe and road towards Morton. As we made our way up highway 7 through Coal Canyon our friend the rain paid us yet another visit. This time the rain stuck with us through Morton, Randle and NF-25. NF-25 is 37 miles of twists and turns that will definitely put a smile on any riders face. Unfortunately for us it was raining. The early sections of NF-25 were in pretty bad shape. There were allot of deep dips and potholes. The road crew did patch some sections and improve them but it seems it just gets worse every year. As we neared the Windy Ridge turn it was clearly posted that NF-99 up to Windy Ridge was still closed. Rumor has it the forestry service didn't have funding to do an early plow and waited for the snow to melt. Once they got up there they found many sections of road tat are washed out. As of yet there is no date published for an opening. We followed NF-25 all the way to the NF-90 junction. The rain stayed with us the entire time. We have great rain gear so we didn't get wet or cold. We followed NF-90 enjoying some nice turns in the rain. There was a two block section of road that had an oily residue that caused our tires to push out a bit. NF-90 is a short but sweet 9.2 miles of paved forest road with ample twists and turns. This section of road is amazing when dry. We rode NF-90 to Wind River Road. Wind River Road stretches for 27.3 miles and intersects with hwy 14. Approximately 1.5 miles down Wind River Road and we were treated to 5.7 miles of fun twisties. After that there were sweeping turns and relaxing straights until we ended up on US 14 west bound. We followed this until the bridge crossing that would put us on the Oregon side of the Columbia river. This bridge has a 50 cent toll. We rode I-84 west bound for 19.2 miles and all of it in the sun. Yes! The sun! Bud it didn't last long. When we turned off on to the MT Hood highway (US 35) we were starring into some angry clouds. As we neared MT Hood it was plain as the clouds that hung over the mountain that we were not going to enjoy a spectacular view or any view of MT Hood for that matter. We just blazed on by riding 39 miles on hwy 35, still enjoying the rain fall that has stuck with us like a bad cold. None of the rain bothered me one bit as I knew we were in for a treat when we got to Crater Lake. Cresting the pass brought not only more rain but colder temperatures. I was glad when we started down the other side. The further south on US 35 the better the weather got. We were due for some sun and we got it. It Road-Quest.com Motorcycle ride to Crater Lake Oregon OR. Honda Goldwing GL1800 Alder Lake Washington WAwent from one extreme to the other. We soon turned on to US 26 as we ventured out into Oregon's desert. 13 miles down US-26 we entered on to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.  We came across a bunch of fire fighters battling a grass fire just off the highway. The fire was mostly contained but they had a ways to go. As we were making our way down US 26 we came across a bridge that spanned a large canyon. We pulled over to take some photos. The view was great. The canyon was very deep and looked like a mini version of the Grand Canyon. I was impressed and started to take a liking to the terrain.

The temperatures felt like the low 80's as we pushed on. US 26 finally brought us 39 miles across the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and to a couple camp grounds in Deschutes Canyon. This is where we planned to try to find a camp site for the night. This was a last minute no reservations, sleep where you can ride. I was really hoping we would get lucky and find some place to rest for the night that wasn't road side. The first camp ground (Pelton Park) was full. We proceeded up the Road-Quest.com Motorcycle ride to Crater Lake Oregon OR. Honda Goldwing GL1800 Deschutes Canyon Lake Simtustuscanyon road past Pelton Dam to Lake Simtustus. There was a small camp ground called Canyon Camp. Luck would have it, they had two sites left. We took the larger of the two for $25 a night. The lake was gorgeous as was the road that twisted its way along the east canyon walls. It wasn't the greatest camp site and the ground was not level but we had a private deck that was hanging off the side of storage shed. We pitched our tents and setup camp. There were showers available in a single wide that was converted into a shower slash restroom. Once we had camp setup we headed back to the reservation to the only diner for miles. It was a rustic diner called the Deschutes Crossing Diner. We ordered country fried steak and waiting 15 minutes to be handed menus once again. They were out of the steaks!. I settled for a sandwich and a cup of chowder. The chowder and sandwich were great but it took for ever to get our food and our check.

Road-Quest.com Motorcycle ride to Crater Lake Oregon OR. Honda Goldwing GL1800 Deschutes Canyon Lake Simtustus camping camp groundOnce back at the camp site the sky slowly turned dark as the sun went down behind the canyon walls. I was amazed how the stars lit up the sky. We don't get that in the city due to all the mercury vapor lights that wash out the sky at night. We just sat around talking and watching the sky. I was lucky and got a glimpse of a shooting star. It was short lived maybe 2 seconds. We soon turned in to our tents. The ground was not comfortable at all but its a small price to pay for this kind of experience. I laid in my tent with the front open watching the sky wishing the ground was a little softer. I was soon treated to a second glimpse of a shooting star. It wasn't soon after I faded off to sleep.

 

Day 1 - Deschutes Canyon
Day 2 - Crater Lake
Day 3 - Oregon Coast

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