Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to Pick a Ride

     Billy and I each own a copy of a very dog eared road atlas. Every time we return from a motorcycle ride, we get out our atlases and highlight the roads we traveled.  Of course, the Oregon page has more yellow than any other.

     There is also a page in the front of my atlas, where I have highlighted the states and provinces I have ridden.

     So how do we pick a place to ride? That's easy; go someplace that isn't yellow yet! That's exactly what we did on Friday. We had a beautiful day ahead of us, and the desire to go for a ride. We pulled out the dog eared atlases and found a road to the coast that was not yet yellow. Packed a few snacks, filled up the water bottles, and away we went.

     The road from Hillsboro to Yamhill is one we've traveled many times, but after that, it was uncharted territory. We turned west, and soon came to a fork in the road. In my mind, we should have taken the left fork, but we took the right, and came to a sign that said "Pavement Ends". Don't get me wrong, we love riding off pavement, but two logging trucks came out while we were getting our bearings, and we decided it wasn't a good choice.

     Back at the fork, we got back on the right track. The road was beautiful, with lots of good curves and twisties. We did encounter a gravel stretch. It wasn't long enough to qualify as an "off road" ride, but added a little excitement. Our road came out in the tiny town of Beaver, where we headed north, on Hwy 101, toward Tillamook.

     Being Labor Day weekend, we did encounter some holiday traffic on 101. We took an impromptu left turn, to get away from the crowd. This route took us along the coast, to this beautiful lookout.

     We followed the road to Netarts. We've seen signs pointing the way to Netarts many times, but have never been there. It's one of those places that you have to go to on purpose; it's not really on the way to anything. Since we were so close, and it has that great, funny name, we made a quick visit to Netarts. Not too much to report, just your average seaside town, but it's fun to say Netarts!

     Heading north, we thought we would stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, for a bathroom break and a few samples of cheese. Not a good idea. Everyone and their dog was there. Lots of people waiting in line for ice cream and cheese samples.

     Crowds are not our thing, and besides that, Tillamook stinks. I mean it REALLY stinks. I know it takes a lot of cows to make cheese, and I know cows are kind of smelly, but this is a "you fell face first into a fresh cow pie, and got some stuck in your nostrils" kind of stink. Time to head home.

     We headed back to Hillsboro on a road that Billy had ridden many times, but was not yet yellow in my book. He said it was fun, and he was right. Lots of curves and good views! When we arrived back in Hillsboro, we got out the highlighters. 200 miles and more yellow roads. Pretty good day!


  1. Sounds like a good ride! I rode 368 miles yesterday. Up 224 to Estacada, the out to hwy 46 to Detroit. Then headed out on hwy 22 to hwy 20, then to hwy 126. Stopped in Walterville for lunch with Mike Mackie, rode his new Honda XR 650 L for a few miles. Takes a little getting used to riding mostly a full on dirt bike on the street. It sits tall, very tall. Of course encountered smoke from 3 different fires..

  2. Hi Kristi, Looks like you had a good ride too. We ride Hwy 20 a lot. Beautiful! There was a lot of smoke in Hillsboro yesterday. The east wind that is keeping us so warm, is blowing all the smoke down from the mountains. Cough, cough!