I had plans to go fishing last Saturday, but those plans fell through so I decided to take a ride on Shoot to Thrill instead. But where to go? I remembered my very artistic and talented sister was one of the exhibitors at the Maryhill Museum Arts Festival, near the junction of SR14 and Highway 97 in Washington, overlooking the majestic Columbia River.

The weather was perfect for a ride, too. The sun was shining, there wasn’t a lot of wind, and it wasn’t going to be uncomfortably hot.

It didn’t take long before I was up and over Government Camp and veering off onto Highway 35 northbound. I took NF44 east past Camp Baldwin and began to smell the smoke from a wildfire. I couldn’t see where it was coming from until I went through the small town of Dufur and got onto Highway 197 north. Just as I was descending into The Dalles, I could see the source of the smoke from a wildfire on the southwest side of town.

I stopped at the Chevron for a snack and struck up a conversation with Dylan, one of the attendants, while he was taking his break. We talked about bikes, cops, and a few other topics before I got back on the bike and crossed the Columbia. I got onto SR14 and headed 17 miles east to the Maryhill Museum.

Several exhibitor tents were set up on the lawns in front of the museum. Most sold artwork or crafts, including my sister, Tami (www.tamlencreations.com). My arrival was a total surprise, she had no idea I was coming. Although we tried to talk, she had numerous customers so my visit was mostly symbolic.

I headed back to The Dalles where I filled up my gas tank (and said hi to Dylan once again), then headed south on 197 back into Oregon. This time, instead of heading back home on NF44 through Dufur, I kept going south to Tygh Valley where I headed west toward Wamic. There were lawn mower races going on at the Pub-N-Grub and I slowed down as I rode past the dusty event.

Soon I was zipping past Rock Creek Reservoir and getting sideways on the wonderful road between Wamic and Highway 35. Before long I was up and over Government Camp once again and back home in plenty of time for dinner.

Here is the route I took there and back.