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Day 273– 7th September 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 7, 2009

Monday – Happy Valley, Oregon

How come my GPS took me up a goat track, huh 😕

After some breakfast I packed up, well, not much to do there at all, in fact it took about 3 minutes as I had not unpacked! We had been chatting when I mentioned I was having a BBQ in Portland this evening sometime, but I would probably want to get there by around 6pm ish. Duane and his family were out camping for the weekend so it was no point going too early, but as it was nearly 10am, I should probably get moving as John had shown me some nice scenic roads to take and if I got behind, the slab was always just over there in case 🙂

Nice meeting you and your family John, I know you sort of felt a bit bad about not being able to help me with my tech needs, but no worries, we tried, that is the main thing. So, my general plan was to take some back roads south and west to follow some scenic areas. This was mainly following the river with a bit of a breeze and a bit cool, but it was a relaxing ride.

The river then headed east and I kept going south into burnt land, maybe wildfire but it could have been crops at some stage.

Now, I took a lot of photos as usual when riding, but I am have extreme difficulty with operating the damm thing now, it is becoming a frustrating job to take photos, so it looks like another email will need to be sent soon! This is the quality of the photos lately, all due to the wrong mode being used, but it is too hard to operate properly now 😦

Well, Sunnyside was a good place for fuel and food, I had not been to an Arbys, and probably won’t go back! I thought it was a hamburger joint, but it seems to be sandwiches, but I did see a crispy chicken sanger and ordered that, it turned up and was sliced meat, not like the menu at all. It may have been me, not understanding what I am ordering, although I want a number 8, small size with a drink etc should be easy to work out. Never mind, I chatted with some people there who asked where I was from. They told me that if I smell anything like smelly socks on the road, it will be the ripe hops on the vine 🙂 I did see the hop vines and a smell, but it was not unpleasant.

The road going up this range was excellent, very wind swept and a bit cool but it was fun, although I did stop to add a liner 🙂

Now, here we come to confusion. Because I was trying to select all these tiny roads from the map, I was putting in destination points that matched the road, just to give me a visual reference. When I got to the small town of Bickleton, my GPS said take this road, the town is at the centre of the black circle and it told me to go west, or left the way you look at the map. I did that, but it turned to dirt straight away, no worries, I was not expecting it, but I can handle it. It seems it only went for 1.9 miles before it turned left, so I thought it may go back to paved there, so off I go. 🙂 The black dotted red line is dirt, the black dotted blue line is dirt that I did not go on, so who knows what is there 🙂

But no, the left turn took me along a road that the sign said was un improved! That’s OK, maybe it will get better later on?

Or maybe not, this road seemed to be getting worse all the time, the GPS was adamant to go straight ahead?

This road was turning into a goat track real quick, what’s going on?

Then I got caught between a y junction, go right through a gully full of boulders or left, left was a bit downhill and I ended up here!

I then had to make my way back and up the small hill, I managed to seriously bottom out on a big lip and pulled up for a rethink of where I am and what is ahead, it seemed to be getting worse not better 😯 This is looking back at what I just came up and then where I am stopped.

I got off and walked the hill to check what was happening up top, it may just be the worst parts are over, my GPS was saying go ahead one mile and turn left onto 142, the yellow road ahead on the map.

Now, I am not a chicken and the road seemed no worse up top, but there were a few factors that made me make the decision to turn back at this point. I can handle big gonnies(rocks) if need be by letting the tyres down, which I had not done yet, too lazy 🙂 I could handle the climb and I could even handle the big hollows up the hill, even if I knew I was going to bottom out a few times. But, I was not prepared for steep climb + hollows to bottom out on + big gonnies all at the same time, definitely not out here by myself. If someone else was with me, then yes I would have had a go, but discretion is sometimes the better option.

So, I managed a 10 point turn in the narrow track without dropping it and headed back, I had seen this sign on the way in, but I do not think it is a no entry type sign, I am not sure.

And after finally getting back on the main dirt I stopped for the sign I saw on the way in, I actually believe them wholeheartedly 🙂 8)

And after nearly an hour playing around in the dirt I am now back on pavement, which I was glad of at this stage as it was nearly 3pm and I had used up any spare time I had. But, this turned out to be fortuitous for Tony and Nick a bit later on 🙂

I headed through Bickleton again and took a different road, this one took me more south towards the river as I now needed to make up time. This road was just chockers full of 90 degree bends around fields of nothing except wind generators, so I knew I was in for a windy afternoon as well as tractors and the like, but I did make it to the river OK!

Now, I was following this highway 84, still in Washington when I saw things ahead, on the left a truck and on the right a motor bike, they had a jerry can and so there was no need for me to stop, or so I thought at the time. I had slowed, waved then moved on when just up the road walking my way but on the other side of the road was another rider, no bike though. I slowed and sort of got a wave, but I was on a corner, but after going around I could see his bike parked on the shoulder. I turned around and asked him what was up, this was Nick, they are both out of fuel. The truck driver came up to us, but he had no more left, so I offered what was in my tank and they went back to Nick’s bike, while I went to see what was up with Tony, he had not moved after getting fuel?? 😕 Both these bikes are Vstroms and it seems Tony had no electric start and needs a push 😦 After a quick think, I said you wait here, we will fuel up Nicks bike, then all come back and push, sounds great. So I go back and let Nick do the dirty work of inflating my bike 🙂

This was a harder job than we thought as the tank was only half full and fuel was hard to get out. I offered to ride the 6 miles to the servo and get a gallon of fuel, while they went back and push started Tony’s bike, yep we are all in agreement, so I shot off into the setting sun and fuelled up down the road.

I returned pretty quickly only to see them coming towards me, I saw them as they saw me and they waved and as I noticed a driveway just up a bit, I anchored pretty hard and pulled over. The ground was not paved here as I thought, so this is where I am not sure if ABS would have made a difference or not, because the back wheel locked up after coming over the paved edge into the gravel and that slowed me down, plus the front wheel pushed a wall of gravel in front of it which kept me out of the ditch, but unable to move backwards 🙂 Nick and Tony came and parked and pulled me backwards a few feet, just enough so I was not pointed downhill 🙂 So, they each took a half gallon each and we went on our merry ways, them to Portland via some back roads, me via the slab now as I was seriously behind schedule. Nick did offer to fill my tank but I had just done so, what goes around comes around, I may need a hand myself one day, nice meeting you and rubber side down and of course full tanks next time eh!

So, I continued along the Washington side of the Columbia River for a short while, it was starting to cool down a bit but still fun to ride 🙂

Then I crossed over as it looked like I would be another two hours taking this scenic route, it was now 5pm, so I crossed into Oregon and took the slab for the next hour until I arrived in Happy Valley.

I met up with Duane and his family, plus his next door riding neighbour Wayne and his family and we sat around with a beer and also had a BBQ dinner, well met and it was great meeting you all. The photos are shocking, sorry, some of the worst framing I have ever taken, maybe I was too sober 😕

There was a bit of confusion after dinner when I mentioned I may go down and get a couple of beers, this turned into the fire being broken up and the boys coming with me, they then took me to a pub 😕 Ahh, they thought I wanted to drink in a pub, no I said, I just wanted a couple of beers from a shop to take back and sit around the fire 🙂 Doh, we all laughed and a quick phone call was made to home, get the fire back together again 🙂 So, myself, Duane and Wayne sat around chatting for a while, but not too late, they were all tired from a weekend of camping, well they call it camping, in an RV 🙂 Wayne said he had some stuff at his place which I may be able to use to make a lead that goes from a USB port to my GPS to charge it on the bike, so we shall see 🙂

All in all an interesting day 8)

Day 337 miles and 542 km
Trip – 35,432 miles and 57,022 km


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6 Responses to “Day 273– 7th September 09”

  1. DS said

    Nice road, errr I mean path, bet you had fun there…

  2. John said

    Well…goat track…huh….how about that. You must be thinking I had it in for you 🙂 Not sure how you got off the main road there and onto the dirt track…well, maybe your GPS has it in for you…telling you to leave a perfectly good paved road that is going where you want to go and trying to get you down a shortcut to nowhere 🙂

    • No worries m8, I knew it was not you, when I looked at the map again, one road was paved and one had dirt sections, the GPS is friggin useless

      It is all part of the adventure anyway 🙂

      Cheers TS

  3. Glad I came back to this site some new very interesting items which I wanted to know more about. Great work on your site.

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