Hells Canyon – Hood River to Enterprise (June 13th)

I awoke around 9, as I recall, and everybody was already packing or packed. What is it with men and early mornings?! Seduced by the idea of a strawberry pancake breakfast that was suggested the previous evening, we hung around another hour or so to see if the pancakes would appear. I spent some of the time trying to catch up on my picture-taking.

This little truck was cool looking, and I loved the fact that the Lodge was in the middle of an orchard!

The view from the Lodge was pretty great!

Sadly the pancakes did not appear, and even more sadly, we did not get a chance to say goodbye to Chris and Marti. So uh, hey Tourpros, thanks for your hospitality! You are awesome!

We rolled into town, gassed up, and got some snacks. Here’s our motley crew:

In the PM exchange prior to this adventure, John assured me that “Slow and steady will be the rule. Nice back roads and nothing crazy.” Now, John has a bit of a reputation for being a hooligan, so I bore that in mind before I signed on for this ride, but damn. I usually do about 10 over if I’m feeling frisky. I spent a lot of this day chasing the guys over 90mph on various back roads, forest roads, etc, sometimes going over 100, and I still NEVER CAUGHT UP until they stopped! To their credit, they did wait at intersections and we never got separated, but I’d be lying if I said I could name all the roads we went down! Or even most of them. I don’t even remember where we stopped to eat lunch at…

I am stupidly slow around corners. I don’t feel comfortable leaning over very far yet, so only go about 10-20 mph over the posted corner limit. Other than that I was hauling ass. It was good to try to stretch my limits, but there were a few corners with gravel and such that I was happy I was going at a more reasonable pace. One corner I went wide, hit a bump or something coming around, and my bike was super wobbly, but I managed to save it before I touched the opposite shoulder (thank god there was no oncoming traffic!). At one point I had to pull over, we were going through a number of 15mph posted hairpins, and I was holding up a completely different group of bikers by puttering along. Sorry guys!

I only managed to pass Jungle Man/Jesse once all day. I was going uphill at 95+mph, the throttle completely pinned. Jesse was on a WR250 I think, and simply could not go any faster up the hill. Enthused by my success, I almost managed to pass Mark, but he saw me coming, and with a flick of the wrist, was going faster than I was capable of. Later on, when I mentioned this, he smirked and said “Yeah, I wasn’t going to let you pass me”. Pfft!

We passed a few cops along the way, who gave us good long stares, but none bothered to try to catch us. Apparently being in a group is some sort of deterrent? Neat!

I did manage to take one picture at a stop, and it was promptly photobombed.

We rolled into the Log House RV Park and Campground, and set up our gear. There were a LOT of people there already, and we were a day early!

I met Brian and Margaret, who really did their best to make us feel like we were at home, and at $11 a night to stay there, what’s to complain about? After socializing and dinner, I made a nest out of my motorcycle gear and slept like a rock.

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