Sunday was a fantastic Spring riding day. It was a pleasant temperature, without being too hot or too cool, and there was a slight hazy overcast to the sky that kept it from being too bright. I have several riding options near my home that offer a great bang-for-the-mile value — lots of scenery, very few stop signs or stop lights, and close enough I don’t have to ride an hour just to get to the fun stuff.

I descended down Ten Eyke Road into the Bull Run valley below Sandy and wound my way through Aimes, down Gordon Creek Road, and up Evans into Corbett. I turned east and headed up Larch Mountain Road behind a series of slow cars. Everyone and their brother was out sight-seeing. I had to pass several cars, some of which were courteous enough to pull over and let me by.

The road to Larch Mountain has several stretches through timber that remind me of photographs and video I’ve seen of the Black Forest in Germany. Tangentially I’ve heard some speculate that the road up the Clackamas River from Estacada to Ripplebrook is equal to Lolo Pass in Idaho. The parallels of scenery between area routes and those found in more exotic and well-known locations are intriguing.

For whatever reason, perhaps state budget cuts, the gate to Larch Mountain was still shut due to snow — what snow? — so I had to turn around and head back down. There was easily a dozen cars parked at the gate, presumably hiking nearby trails.

Crown Point overlook
Crown Point overlook

I stopped at the Portland Woman’s Forum overlook, which gives a great view of the Crown Point Overlook just upstream. I dismounted, drank some water, took some photos, gave another motorcyclist directions, then headed back the way I came.

Blind motorcyclist
Blind motorcyclist

I took a photo of myself before departing, then realized afterward that I look like a blind man with my dark sunglasses.