Day 0 – The Gathering. Friday, August 3rd, 2012, Seattle, Washington.
Day 1 – Saturday August 4th, Seattle to Vancouver. Sites along the way will include a ride across Deception Pass, and a ride up Chuckanut Drive. Lunch somewhere along Chuckanut. Mileage for the first day will be around 190.
Day 2 – Sunday August 5th, Vancouver to Vancouver Island, via Ferry. After a night of hospitality in Smooth Rider’s hometown, we’ll be ready to let the ferry-man do the drivin’ to picturesque Vancouver Island. We’ll head down to the docks at Tsawwassen and cross over to Duke Point. We’ll then take the amazingly scenic route south to Victoria. We’ll stay in Victoria. Total miles for Day 2 will be 135, + a ferry crossing.
Day 3 – Monday August 6th. Up not-too-early and onto the 10:30 am ferry for a 90 minute ride to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. After lunch in Port Angeles, we’ll ride out to Neah Bay and Cape Flattery for a quick visit to the northwestern-most point of the contiguous US. Then it’s back to Neah Bay and Sappho, and a quick ride down 101 to Kalaloch Lodge. Today’s ride will alternate between riding beside the surf and through the forest all day. 220 miles for the day includes a ferry ride. Another site we’ll visit will be the absolutely amazing Kalaloch Cedar, an ancient tree just a couple miles from the lodge.
Day 4 – Tuesday August 7th. Look out, there’s some serious coastal scenery ahead! We’ll leave Kalaloch Lodge by 9 a.m. and head south on 101. We’ll have lunch in either Holman or Long Beach, near the Oregon border. Along this route, when the sign says “Beach Access”, it’s an invitation to drive the bikes right out to the surf for a photo op! The pre-lunch run will be about 150 miles down the Olympic Peninsula interior. After lunch, we’ll make a quick stop at the Lewis & Clark heritage site (where they first saw the Pacific Ocean), cross the Astoria Bridge, and take a semi-leisurely ride down the coast on Highway 101 to Coos Bay, Oregon. The afternoon’s mileage will be around 240, and we’ll break it up nicely with photo ops and gas stops, including this lighthouse located near the “Octopus Tree” (shout-out and thanks to Don Taco for the tip!).
If the afternoon’s ride seems really long, please remember:
Day 5 – Wednesday August 8th. We’ll leave Coos Bay after a nice breakfast, and say goodbye to the coast as we head inland. We’ll take a “recommended” route inland, Hwy 42 :
Highway 42 will take us to Myrtle Creek (90 miles), where we’ll regroup and gas up before tackling I-5 south to Ashland. All told, about 180 miles for the day. In Ashland, we’ll visit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, maybe take in one of their shows, and hopefully get to hang out with a special guest.
Day 6 – Thursday August 9th. Up and out early from Ashland, we’ll go south and pick up Highway 66 east. South of Klamath Falls, we’ll pick up Highway 97 and head north, stopping in Klamath Falls to pick up a picnic lunch. We’ll take Hwy 62 (Crater Lake Highway) to the south entrance of Crater Lake National Park. We’ll circle the park and come back out to 62, having stopped for lunch somewhere along the way at a jaw-dropping vista (that’ll make it easier to eat…).
Mileage for the morning ride will be around 150. Once back on 62, we’ll head west, pick up the West Diamond Highway, then ride through the high desert north of Crater Lake back to Highway 97. We’ll take Scenic 97 all the way to Madras. The afternoon total will be right around 200 miles.
Day 7 – Friday August 10th.
We’ll head west out of Madras on Hwy 26 through the Mount Hood National Forest to Troutdale. At Troutdale, we’ll turn east on historic and scenic Hwy 30, which will parallel the Columbia River and have (what, again???) _amazing_ scenery and great riding. At some point through here we’ll gas up, and then pick up our standby scenic route 97 and head north again, stopping for lunch in Goldendale, WA. After Goldendale, we’ll cruise up 97 and then pick up 12, riding that to Naches. Mileage for the day: 290.
Day 8 – Saturday August 11th. Not to be outdone by all the other scenic rides we’ve been on this trip, Day 8 has some firepower of its own. We’ll ride 12 west, straight through the heart of Mt.Ranier National Park, right in the shadow of the big rock itself. After Ranier, we’ll be heading south to Toledo to pick up 505 and then 504, riding out to the rim of the crater at what used to be Mount St. Helens. It’s 53 miles in, 53 miles out to see exactly _why_ one shouldn’t mess with Mother Nature! After that bit of humbling experience, it’s back to I-5 and a quick run north back to the hotel, getting the EagleRider renters back in plenty of time to turn in their bikes. Then, it’s decompression time as we’ll bring another LRLR to a close. Miles for the day: 316 (which includes the could-be-optional 125 mile round trip to the crater rim).
Total miles for the trip: +/- 2000, or just about 250 per day average.