Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Rain Finally Paused Ride

I didn't call this post "the rain finally stopped ride" because I fear it has only just begun.  From October 1st through 5 am October 27th, the Willamette Valley in Oregon received 7.8 inches (19.8 cm) of rain.  We are on track to beat a record high in 1994 of 8.04 inches (20.4 cm) of rain for October. Read the details here ---> LINK.

We were almost giddy when the weather forecast for last Friday was dry and we both had the day off.

With the TW200 sporting a new battery and Troubadour's DRZ 400s race ready we jumped at the chance to get out on the bikes.

A few months ago when Troubadour was out tearing up the back roads with some friends from work they passed a field with some highland cattle, or 'Heilan Coos' as one might say in Scotland. They are gaining popularity here in Oregon but you don't usually see them by the side of a road and he didn't have the chance to stop that day.

A route was planned so that we could take advantage of a dry day. A pleasant 80 mile loop over some gravel forestry roads linking up with some asphalt to find the cows.

Friday was our day. We'd tried previously on September 25th but the dead TW200 battery stymied those plans.

We left the house around noon with the sun trying to shine through the high clouds.  We headed west beyond Philomath and then turned south onto Woods Creek Road. We took Woods Creek Rd to Tum Tum Road, then to Harris Road, which took us to the Harris Covered Bridge at Wren.

(Corvallis to Wren via Woods Creek, Tum Tum Rd, and Harris Rd)
The gravel was in pretty good shape with expected potholes and puddles. We stopped along the way for a few photos.

Tum Tum Road

(Somewhere along Tum Tum Rd)

(2013 Suzuki DRZ 400s and 2009 Yamaha TW200)

(The Woolly Bear Caterpillars were out as well - looks like a bad winter)

(Photo by Troubadour)

(Troubadour was taking pictures with his phone)

(Helmet selfie)

(My artsy contribution for the day - in a tire tread puddle by the bikes)
Somewhere further along Tum Tum Rd Troubadour spotted some smoke.  I mentioned through the Senas that there was also a small helicopter.  He spotted it and also noticed as it looped around that it was spraying something over the clear cut that was burning.  We were pretty sure it wasn't water so we held our breath, blipped the throttles, and took off around the bend and over the hill.  The last thing we wanted was the pilot laughing maniacally as he chased the motorcyclists with herbicide or insecticide.

Harris Rd.

(A TW200, a horse, and a pioneer apple tree on the right)

(Posing the bikes with some distant fall color)

(Troubadour's 2013 DRZ400s)

(The best show of fall color we'd see all day - hard to find in forests of evergreen Douglas Fir)

(Troubadour going to pick some apples)

(The TW 200 and Troubadour - successfully picking apples)

(A view of where we'd been)
Harris Covered Bridge - Wren, Oregon

(Harris Covered Bridge over the Marys River built in 1929)

(Photo by Troubadour) 
From Wren we rode North on Kings Valley Highway and then turned west on Alexander Rd.  This took us over some back roads and gravel roads to Fort Hoskins.

(Wren to Fort Hoskins via Kings Valley Highway and Alexander Rd)
 We made a stop along on the way when we saw this red barn.

(Beautiful barn along Alexander Road)
We noticed a for sale sign nearby and looked it up online when we got home. If you find yourself in need of an old farmhouse and 53 acres, which includes this gorgeous barn, you'll only need to pick $850,000 off your money tree.  Here is a link to the listing ---> LINK.  Check out the photos, they are quite something.

Fort Hoskins

At Fork Hoskins we stopped for a spot of tea and a snack.  "Fort Hoskins was actually one of three forts (which were unfortified posts) built by the US Army to monitor the Coastal Indian Reservation in Oregon in the mid-19th century" To read more click this ---> LINK. We made sure to pack along the Jetboil thinking we might need a warm up.  Since the sun came out we weren't chilly, but the hot tea was still welcome.

(Our view at Fort Hoskins - they are renovating an old fort residence)

(Photo by Troubadour - waiting for the water to boil)

(A tree with some fall color at Fort Hoskins)

(Me acting silly at Fort Hoskins - photo by Troubadour)
From Fort Hoskins  We took Luckiamute Road to find the Highland Cattle.  A few miles up the road and we found them. Unfortunately we couldn't get close enough to pet them on the nose. There was a double fence and one was electric on their side.

Heilan Coos

(A mama cow)

(and her two yearlings - she didn't want to leave them)

(One baby was curious enough to stand up)

(The rest of the cows in the pasture)

(This one was curious but wouldn't come any closer)

(The beige one on the left was the bull)

(Troubadour parked off the road by the gate)

(Enough 'fertilizer' around for the mushrooms to grow)

(I parked up on the side of the road)

After the cows, we continued on Luckiamute Road and made a loop north and east until re-joining Kings Valley Highway.  From there it was a short stint south until we could turn east on Maxfield Creek Road. We were aiming for Berry Creek Road/Tampico Road because it was another short stretch of gravel.  Turns out it is now paved. Doh!  Wonder when they did that.

(Fort Hoskins to Corvallis via Gage Rd, Burbank Rd, Kings Valley Hwy,
Maxfield Creek Rd, Airlie Rd, Berry Creek Rd, Soap Creek Rd, and Sulphur Springs Rd)
We made one quick stop along Airlie Road to take a few pictures of another barn in the sunshine.  The lighting wasn't great but we managed a few pictures.

(A barn somewhere along Airlie Rd)

(Looking Northeast across the Valley towards the Cascade Mountains)
Troubadour took a little longer to take his pics than I did so when he finished he found me leaning on my tail bag waiting patiently.

(Photo by Troubadour)

(Trobairitz & her TW 200 - photo by Troubadour)
This was the last stop of the day.  We managed to get home by about 4:30 and the sun was still shining.  We only rode 80 miles (129 km), but we had a great afternoon out on the little bikes.

It rained some yesterday morning and it is raining again as I write this Sunday morning. It has been for a few hours.  We may break that October rainfall record yet.

UPDATE - as of Friday Corvallis has actually seen 11.25 inches (28.57 cm) of rain. I was actually going off of Eugene's rainfall totals to the south of us.  Here is an article from our local paper yesterday.  LINK.  And yes, it is still raining now.

- Au Revoir

"Autumn repays the earth the leaves which summer has lent it." - George Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)