Last day of my trip. Had breakfast with Rob at the hotel, where we found out that one of the Harleys that was parked outside had it's top case broken into and some gear that was strapped to the seat stolen. What is this country coming to?
These guys were from the LA area in California, so they still had a long trip ahead of them.
Anyway, after much kissing and hugging
, it was time to say goodbye to my young trip companion and head west.
It was a cloudy day, but warm enough that I was tempted to ditch the heated gear. I figured I'd start with it on, but not electrically on, and see how that goes. As soon as I got out of Walla Walla and up on the hills, it was clear that it's not going to be that warm today. Not yet anyway.
The Blue Mountains framing the valley:
Made good time to Pendelton, where it was getting warmer again. My father used to love his Pendelton wool clothing:
This is cowboy country, so the Pendelton Round-Up is a big deal:
Once south of Pendelton, the scenery changes completely. This is high desert country, a lot more sage brush and shorter grasses pastures than agricultural fields. And really cool canyons for the roads to follow...
The sun was peaking between those clouds, but the wind had picked up significantly, so it was actually cooler than earlier in the day. Also, those wind gusts were strong enough that you had to keep them in mind when cornering, As you move around the canyons, the wind hit you at a different angle and moved the bike in different direction.
And it was a long way down in many of them, so going off the road is not an option:
It seems like these roads have been redone but not completed. Not the lack of any shoulder markings. It seems like a small detail, but when you are on the outside lane and the drops are that long, it really makes you wonder where the road ends and how far can you go before you run out of pavement...
Went by Heppner, Morrow County Seat, so it has some interesting (few) older buildings, like the courthouse:
You need to understand that this is a town where the biggest buildings are no more than 2 stories high, most are a single story (no shortage of space here), so this courthouse, especially on that hill, looks very imposing and impressive. That was probably the idea behind putting it there...
Old style department store - pharmacy, bookstore, restaurant, etc. Anything you need, they sell it:
Back in the high desert on the way to Condon:
Different road, still no shoulder line:
One of my favorite sections of OR-206 on the way to Condon:
Condon is a nice little town, not much in it, but it does have one decent restaurant and a gas station. Ran into a couple of Floridians running an R12GS and Norge (you don't see those every day) on their way to the Olympic Peninsula. Once out of Condon, you go back up to the plateau before dropping into the Cottonwood canyon. The clouds started to clear a little, you could finally see the Cascade peaks:
Mt Hood (just above left of that truck) is about 70 miles away:
A bit of a closeup:
Did I mention it was windy? They don't have miles and miles of these for nothing. Hope it didn't give me brain cancer...
Meandered my way across the dryside, around Mt Hood and down to Portland. I got on I-84, which is supposedly the fast way across town, and ran into a huge traffic jam. Luckily, just before the last bailout option at 181 st Ave. If I had to guess, I was looking at a 15 mile long jam, and remember, there is no filtering allowed here, so you have to stand in traffic with all those cars. I bailed on 181st, took the scenic route on Marine Drive, and avoided all that mess. Was it faster? I will never know, but it was certainly more enjoyable...
A very good and enjoyable ride.
Thanks Rob for coming to visit and eating my bread. It was a pleasure breaking bread with you.