“I want to work in a cube behind a desk while my friends are out exploring the world on motorcycles this summer!”
…Said no one ever.
It sounds crazy when it’s phrased that way. I know this might surprise you, but being a motorcycle blogger has nothing to do with sitting in a dimly lit room hunched over a laptop slowly developing carpal tunnel while eating Cheetos and drinking Diet Coke. I know… Shocking.
It’s about capturing those wind in the face moments from the road.
We’ve had a truly incredible run of good weather here in the Northwest. Summertime is in full swing and these warm, sunny days have the roads filled with bikers. It’s possibly record setting for the number of days without rain in July and last Saturday I had the chance to put on 200+ miles riding to Tygh Valley and around Mt. Hood. Some buddies were headed to Run 21 for a couple of days and I was doing a ride along for the day to get some “seat miles” before I set out on another longer trip to Utah/Nevada in a few days.
Run 21 is put on by the SE Portland Chapter ABATE of Oregon. The event is an old-school biker rally and has been held annually for 14 consecutive years. There is a great outdoor concert venue nestled in Tygh Valley and according to the rally flyer there was a good line up of music this year.
Our group headed out east on I-84 mid-morning and there was a strikingly white Mt. Hood in the distance against bright blue sunny skies. We stopped for lunch in Hood River, and as we departed you could take in the scent of peach and pear trees in the warm fresh air. At Mosier we took the Highway 30 scenic road up to Mayer State Park and the Rowena Crest. From this vantage you can soak in the wide-angle views of the Columbia River and the Gorge. There happen to be a “Bikers For Christ” meeting at the crest with 30+ riders in attendance.
We headed south at the junction of I-84 and Highway 197. We stopped in the small farming town of Dufur for some refreshments and walked through the historic Balch Hotel lobby. Nice B&B if you’re ever in need of a laid back weekend.
We continued on toward Tygh Valley where the rest of the group planned to exit for the camp ground. Unfortunately at the junction of Highway 197 (The Dalles-California Hwy) and Tygh Valley Road (map HERE) there were two motorcycles involved in an accident.
It was about 3pm and according to the Wasco County Sheriff department the two riders were side-by-side and somehow got hooked up and went down. No automobile was involved and no citations were issued. One rider was taken by ambulance to Mid-Columbia in The Dalles and the other rider was taken by Life flight to Emmanuel Hospital in Portland. No names or additional information about the riders conditions were reported. Hopefully all goes well for these riders.
I had to backtrack a little around the accident on old US Hwy 197 (Tygh Valley Rd) and then headed west on Highway 216 (Wapinitia Hwy). This is a nice two-lane road that skirts through a short section of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and into the forest boundary. I intersected with Highway 26 and headed up over Government Camp and then back into Portland.
It’s an awesome time to be outdoors on a motorcycle, and I hope you’re taking the opportunity to put some serious miles on your bike.
Photos taken by author.