My 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.