Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Visiting family

I left work Friday just before 10am under cloudy skies with occasional rain drops on my face shield. The first part of my trip involved interstate freeways: I-84 westbound to I-205 northbound over the Columbia River. Then I merged onto Washington SR14 and headed east, following the river to my first pit stop, a Chevron food-and-gas at North Bonneville.

Once I had a frappucino inside me I continued on until I got to Lyle, Washington where I turned north onto highway 142 and followed the scenic Klickitat River. Hwy 142There were several vehicles parked on the side with small boat trailers behind them, and I saw several drift boats and pontoon boats on the river; fly fishing is popular on the Klickitat.

Once I got to Goldendale I grabbed a quick bite to eat at McDonalds and filled up my gas tank (so I wouldn't have to worry about it two days later on the journey home). I got to my sister's house at 1:15 pm.

An uncle and two aunts on my father's side of the family were visiting from out of state as was my niece and her husband. It was a great visit. My sister's house is fairly small, however, so I brought my small tent and sleeping bag and camped out on the back deck. It was an unusual arrangement but it worked well. I heard quite a few coyotes barking, yipping and howling both nights, some of which were fairly close to the house and barn.Back deck camping

I left at 10am Sunday morning and retraced my steps. I ate lunch at the Big River Grill in Stevenson, Washington -- a grilled salmon salad with coffee -- and crossed back over into Oregon via the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks. I had a few more sprinkles to deal with but they were minor and barely got the pavement wet. I was home by 1:30 that afternoon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Over and back again

I had hoped to go for a long bike ride during my day off yesterday but people at work kept calling me with tech support requests. I still managed to go for a ride but I had a late start.

The weather turned out to be perfect. It was sunny without much wind yet it was cool enough to wear all my gear without being too warm. I rode up the Clackamas River Road to Ripplebrook Ranger Station, then headed south on FS46 toward Detroit.

Rather than go all the way to Detroit, however, I cut east on FS42 which follows the old Oregon Skyline Road in several places to come out near Timothy Lake and connect with Highway 26. I took a quick break at CJ's Chevron, then headed up and over Government Camp to traverse the Cascades a second time in less than two hours. There were a few slow pokes on 26 coming down the mountain but that's nothing new.

I filled up my gas tank in Sandy as I neared home so the bike would be ready for the next ride. Maybe today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Too tired to ride home?

We've had great Fall riding weather lately but I've been concerned about commuting to work. I've been working so many hours that I'm afraid I'd be too fatigued to make it home safely. Sometimes I'll get home and not remember the drive.

Riding motorcycles is a great thing but you need to maintain a sense of awareness of when it's okay to ride and when it's not okay.

I'm taking a couple days off later this week and hope to get some good day rides under my belt. It's perfect riding weather and like to hit some area mountain roads before they get covered with snow for the winter season.