It turned out to be a loop day. My ride began heading west through town and onto I-84, then over the Columbia River via the I-205 bridge. There were a lot of people out and about. Once in Washington, I headed east on SR-14 and followed the Columbia upstream. Unfortunately it must have been a rally day for the Anti-Destination League as driving 10 mph under the limit seemed to be the goal of every cager.
There were large numbers of motorcyclists on the road as well, and I saw several V-Stroms mixed in with a couple BMW’s and more cruisers than I could count. Passing opportunities were few and far between. I pulled into the Chevron at North Bonneville, fueled up the bike and myself as well with a breakfast burrito and a frappucino.
There was no wind in the Gorge, a rare thing indeed. Several various county law enforcement officers were seen heading in the opposite direction, but I never had a chance to go more than 5 mph over the limit (I seldom go more than 10 over) so speeding tickets were definitely not an issue. I crossed back over the Columbia via the toll bridge at Hood River with climbing temperatures and headed south on highway 35.
The highway around the back side of Mt. Hood had significantly less traffic and I only had to pass two slow cagers. The cool temps past Mt. Hood Meadows felt refreshing and the massive piles of snow on the road side demonstrates just how much snow the Oregon Cascades can receive each winter.
I stopped briefly at Government Camp to drink some water and wave at a toddler in the rest area showing obvious fascination by the two-wheeled astronaut stopped nearby. For the first time in a long time I was able to ride unhindered down the road from Government Camp all the way to Rhododendron, without any trains of slow cars to follow.
By the time I got home the temperature was already in the mid 70’s. The total loop covered 160 miles and took close to four hours.