Sunday, July 30, 2006

Washougal Motocross Nationals 2006, part 3

Washougal Motocross Nationals 2006, part 2

I like the way this photo turned out, because it almost looks like a time-lapse shot of a single rider, but it is six different riders who happened to line up this way.

Washougal Motocross Nationals 2006

James Stewart (7) gets sideways as he comes over a jump just ahead of Ricky Carmichael (4) in the first moto at Washougal.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Wind Lake, Part 2

Wind Lake is a quiet, isolated place. I think this picture captures its moody quality.

Wind Lake

Yes, the lake theme continues. On Sunday we went horseback riding on Mt. Hood, up to a place called Wind Lake. It was about a 4 hour trip to get there, have lunch, and come back. There were great views of the mountain, we got to see some wildflowers in bloom, and I took pictures around the lake.

The trip was run by Bar G Ranch and Ride. This was my second trip with them, and I think they are great and would recommend them. My girlfriend thought that this should be the new "standard adventure" when we take out of town visitors to see Mt. Hood.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Munson Creek Falls

LinkMy V-Strom 650 is billed as an "adventure touring" motorcycle, so yesterday I decided to try a little adventure tour. From Portland I rode to Tillamook, Oregon, then south on Highway 101 to the turnoff to Munson Creek Falls, the highest waterfall in the Coast Range. The road to the trailhead is a narrow, bumpy, rocky unpaved road. The V-Strom handled the terrain just fine. A quarter-mile hike in from the trailhead is the view of the falls.

The waterfall is impressive, and it seems very weird because you just don't expect to see such a big waterfall in that area. And without the signs pointing the way, you would never think to go there because the road seems more like a private driveway than the route to a scenic attraction. It was fun, but I liked Falls Creek Falls better, because it is more spectacular, you can get closer to it, and you can see more of it from the trail.

From there, I rode north along 101 to Garibaldi, Wheeler, and then Cannon Beach.

Since it was a summer weekend, Cannon Beach was extremely crowded -- it feels like a packed outdoor shopping mall. I was glad to be on the motorcycle because I was able to find a small parking spot right on the main street. I wandered around and stopped for coffee.

(As you can see from these pictures, I put the Suzuki hard luggage top case on the bike. This is great. It locks, it's waterproof, and it can fit my helmet with room to spare. I was able to take along my camera and other goodies without even using a tank bag.)

Then I headed back to Portland. By that time it was very hot and I was really feeling the heat in full motorcycle leathers. I had my Camelbak on, so I could sip water while I rode. It turned out to be an over 200-mile day, but today I feel great -- the V-Strom is so comfortable, it did not strain my back at all.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Timothy Lake

You may notice a pattern to my travels lately: I've been visiting many lakes in the Mt. Hood National Forest. I've decided that they make a great summer destination. This weekend we stayed at the Gone Creek campground on Timothy Lake. It was great. Some very noisy Steller's Jays woke us up at 5:30am this morning, but that wasn't really a bad thing. I went for an early morning walk and saw lots of birds and some amazing views of the lake. Early morning is a great time to walk around there, because aside from a handful of fishermen, nobody else is awake. So it feels like having the whole place to yourself. Later on when it got warmer, I set up the inflatable raft and rowed around on the lake.

We came home via Hood River to avoid the traffic jam created by the Sandy Mountain Festival.