My radar detector squawks and gives an unwelcome diagnostic message as I'm crossing the Ross Island bridge. "Service required." Too bad - it'd saved me at least once. I'll have to change my approach a little, looks like.
Just for old times' sake I crawl out Powell Blvd. to Sandy when the countryside gets less grubbily suburban. Done that, next time I'll take the fast way. Up over Hwy 26 to Mt. Hood and a quick run up to Timberline Lodge. Different now - parking is a long way from the lodge unless you're a guest. Forget it. I don't get off the bike, make the loop around and back down. Still a nice ride from 26 up to the lodge, though, 6 miles of very good pavement.
Gas at Government Camp, then down past Hwy 35 to Hood River, looking for the turnoff Don's identified for me. I take the wrong one, go back 6 miles to a gas station for instructions and a top-up, then catch the road towards Timothy Lake. Don was right - one lane road much of the way, beautiful country. A couple miles before the junction with 224 I have lunch beside a mountain stream. Quiet. Clean. Beautiful.
On to 224 and southwards. Next time I'll do as Don suggested and take it from southern Portland through Estacada. But then I'd miss the section I've just ridden.
Very nice ride with some traffic down past Breitenbush to Detroit Reservoir. I was passed by a guy on a Duck 900SS - he lives in a southeastern suburb of Portland and rides down to Detroit when he gets a few hours. Good idea.
More good riding from Detroit down to Hwy 20, a major road across from the valley.
Lots of traffic on 20, so I just get in line and wait for passing lanes into Sisters and on to Bend.
I think next time I'll avoid 20 and head down towards the McKenzie Bridge and back up to Sisters.
I pull into the River House motel in Bend to find a half-dozen Triumphs in front of the office. And more arriving by the minute. Turns out this is a big Triumph rally - but only new ones, I guess. Don't see a single vintage bike. A couple of guys invite me to join the ride on my lowly Suzuki - hmmm, maybe I will. Or maybe I'll sneak into their buffet later. Heh.
Dinner at the motel's restaurant with my sister and her husband. Haven't seen 'em for a year. The food is better than last year, too, but no cheaper. A good time had by all.
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