Just Another Road Ride (Snow Report)

"Snow, mud, rain, tarmac, coffee, good friends - what more could one ask for?" I said to myself on the way back from my sojourn with my buds Jim Dukes and Dan Hatcher last Sunday. On Saturday I 'should' have went dirt biking with Danny Boy, but didn't. Sunday morning Danno had my tele ringing wondering if we were gonna go hit the dirt. A bit of discussion and mutual sniveling about the snow levels, had us arriving on the road bike idea. Another quick call to Jimbo and it was decided that we would do a pavement scrape - had to at least get SOME kind of fix!

We met just South of Hillsboro, OR, Jimbo on his Bumble Bee BMWR100GS, Danno on his Honda Transalp and me on my hideously purple "Barney" BMWR100GS. We rode over the top of Bald Peak, hit Albertson Road (gravel), connected to one of my fav little routes - Woodland Loop, which then brought us to Yamhill, and then a stint to Carlton for  gas/coffee. After Jim did some wiring mods to my electric vest and a quick anti-fog wipe from Dan, ringleader Danno had a route planned for us, so up the Nestucca River Road we flew.  Nestucca River road has GOT to be one of the best pavement rides in the NW. It certainly ranks right up there as one of my favs, even though there are about 2.5 miles of gravel on it. (Only one road that is better: Hwy 36 between Redding and Eureka, then to Petrolia, and back to Eureka, CA. Shhhhhh.... don't tell anyone about that road - our secret!) At the summit we started hitting snow. After the new reservoir it was snow with tire tracks, so we tippy toed our way and turned up the road to Grassy Flats OHV Area. After approximately .85 miles up that, we'd had enough.

Well, maybe the bikes did, since there was no more traction and we got tired of pushing the behemoths.

After the obligatory Kodak moment, we tried to turn around. 

More tippy toeing got us back down to Nestucca River Road and we headed back towards the reservoir. That's when the rains commenced.  Once there, Danno steered us lemmings onto the muddy Old Bald Mountain Road, which took us around the reservoir, back into the middle of God Knows Where 


 ...and eventually took us to the High Heaven area. We'd only seen a couple vehicles throughout the day and the driver's expressions certainly had the look of, "What the...?"  when they saw us! Since Danno's anti-fog cloth didn't do squat, I had to resort to the classic  hold-my-breath-and-exhale-through-my-mouth-slowly-with-the-shield-partially-open mode. Some awesome flat track racing down that gravel road brought us into Panther Creek Road and we meandered our way back towards Carlton. By then our trusty steeds knew their  respective way to their barns and home we went.

Out of something that was an afterthought, we had an absolute stellar ride! Plus, I got my dirt fix. My bike computer said 99.5 miles and an average speed of 32mph - not bad.
-Tom  2/17/02