Friday, June 26, 2009
Day 36 - Ashland, OR to Pendleton, OR. Crater Lake!
Day 35 – Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Start: Ashland, Or.
End: Pendleton, Or.
Trip Miles Today: 436
Total Trip Miles: 8962
The trip is getting to be pretty close to 9000 miles now and this afternoon the very first pangs of “get home itis” began to creep in. From now on, every place I go will be closer to home than the last but I’m really nowhere done yet! Today, for example I banged out over 400 miles and visited one of my absolute favorite places on earth, Crater Lake National Park.
I got an early start because I knew I faced a long day. Off by 6:30 am I was headed north on I-5 out of Ashland. It was only a short stint on the super-slab today though. At Medford, only about 15 miles away I had the great pleasure of getting off the Interstate an on to California Rte. 62, The Crater Lake Highway. The highway generally follows the path of the Rogue River, which originates high in the cascades near the north side of Crater Lake. By following the river’s path the highway lends itself to many beautiful vistas over the 70+ odd miles from Medford to the park. Much of the route passes through the Rogue River National Forest. Especially notable is the Rogue Gorge, carved by the river over eons. A number of picture stops and a few stops just to say “Wow” caused the trip to proceed at a fairly slow pace. I was, nonetheless, at the Crater Lake National Park South gate by just about 9:00 am. Since first visiting Crater Lake in 2005 I have longed to go back. To me it is among the most beautiful, and tranquil places I know. I was fortunate, once again to have a visit unspoiled by inclement weather. The weather gods dealt up another perfect morning! Photo ops and stops to simply “take it all in” ate up over an hour before I Ieft to continue northward. Jumping on Oregon Rte. 97, I proceeded, in turn through Bend, Redmond, and Madras. Somewhere North of Bend the character of the terrain and of the entire environment changes. Out of the dense pine forests where I have spent the past few days and into a more desert like, more barren region. Still, however, always in sight are the snow capped peaks to guide one. Mt. Hood, and the Three Sisters, now visible to the West as I have moved into the central part of Oregon. Late in the afternoon I reach the Columbia River Valley and the east end of the Columbia River Gorge. It lives up to its reputation by being both considerably hotter and a fierce wind is swirling. No so much fun for me (and all those people in campers), but good news for the windsurfing crowd, who are out in force! At the Columbia I turned eastward, once again on the interstate, now I-84, for the quick 100 mile blast to my overnight destination, Pendleton, OR. I plan to stick around here for the next day or so. As I mentioned yesterday, I have come to the Pendleton area, in particular a little town called Athena for the 10th edition of an event called Hodaka Days. For those of you unfamiliar, Hodakas were popular 2 stroke dirt and street bikes made in Japan and sold exclusively in the United States by a company called PABATCO (Pacific Basin Trading Company) whose headquarters was in Athena. I am kind of a fan and actually Lisa and I have a “project” Hodaka at home. I hope to have pictures and stories from this event tomorrow and maybe Saturday before I turn to the serious work of covering the 1700 miles between here and home. Hope you still enjoy the story and pics. Thanks for being here with me.
Many more pictures to see at http://jackb1.smugmug.com
The 2009 Ride to Alaska for The Austin Hatcher Foundation is supported by RevZilla.com , Philly's Premier Destination Motorcycle Gear and Apparel store and by Hermy's Cycles of Port Clinton, PA.