Tuesday, July 18, 2017

240 Miles, 2 Lattes, 4 Barn Quilts, and a Dozen Lamborghinis, Oh My!

Several weeks ago after being inspired by a barn quilt picture taken by ToadMama, I started researching to see if there were any barn quilts within a days ride of Corvallis.  I found the web page for the Tillamook Barn Quilt Trail. Tillamook is about 90 miles northwest of Corvallis and is famous for its creamery and cheese factory as well as being on Highway 101 at the coast.  We made a mental note that it might be a fun ride one day to see how many barn quilts we could see.

We thought that might be a good option for a last hurrah before sending ScooterBob off to Princess ScooterPie.  So, Troubadour took a peek at the maps to see how we might get there all while avoiding as much traffic as possible.  The last time we were there on bikes was in October 2014 when we went to the air museum ---- blogged about in this LINK.

Saturday July 15th was the day. We made a quick stop in Corvallis and then headed west towards Philomath to fuel the bikes.  From Philomath we headed west on Highway 20 then turned north onto Kings Valley Highway which lead us to Dallas.  Troubadour seamlessly lead us through Dallas and before long we were waiting to turn west onto Highway 22.  And we waited, and we waited.  There was so much traffic it took us a bit before we could pull out and I think I even bounced off the rev limiter on the Versys.  Sure wished for the v-twin power of the Gladius at that point, but we made it.

After 12 miles on the highway we turned north towards Willamina where we could take a back road further north/west.  We were looking for Bible Creek Rd, a one lane twisty forestry road heading northwest.  We missed the turn and ended up on Bald Mountain Access Road.  It too was a twisty one lane forestry road, it just took us further east that we were expecting.  Longer ride in the forest for us and a gravel section too, bonus.

The photo below is where we stopped to check out the map to make sure we were heading in the right direction and that the road would for sure intersect with the one we were aiming for - Nestucca River Road.

(Bald Mountain Access Rd looking back at where we'd been)

(Bald Mountain Access Rd looking at where we'll go)
We eventually came out on Nestucca River Road and stopped at the same information kiosk we stopped at in 2014.  We rested a few minutes, drank some water and ate an apple for a late lunch. The kiosk is right where Bible Creek intersects Nestucca River Road.  It was a happy accident that we missed our original turn since Bible Creek was closed and a detour in place.  From there it was a nice easy ride into Beaver where we made a left turn (north) onto Highway 101.  Heavy traffic on that stretch of highway made it seem like the longest part of the ride.

The first stop in Tillamook was Five Rivers Coffee Roasters at the north end of town and across from the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was easy to find, easy to park. It was a nice building with lots of natural wood inside and was complete with a pretty picnic area out back off the highway. We each ordered a 12-oz vanilla soy latte.  Unfortunately I forgot to order them extra hot and with an extra shot of espresso.  They weren't very warm or strong.  Live and learn, the place had great ambience though.

(The picnic area at Five Rivers Coffee Roasters - Photo by Troubadour)

(Parked at Five Rivers Coffee Roasters in Tillamook, Oregon)
We stopped and rested for a bit and discussed not only the barn quilt trail, but also the smell of dairy air derriere.  One thing about riding in the land of cows is the smell.  Oh, the smell.  As Troubadour had his phone out taking the picture above a group of exotic cards drove by heading south.  There were about a dozen in all different colors.  PolarBear guessed after seeing a picture on Facebook that they were Lamborghini Huracans.  Not too sure why they were all headed south but it was cool to see.  They all had a label on the side like it was an event, but I can't remember what they said and it is too hard to see in the photos. All car photos by Troubadour.  EDIT - Thank you to Kari, aka Bluekat for the following link on the Lamborghini tour.  LINK.

(Lamborghinis on parade - a red one)

(And a blue one)

(And a black one - there were also green ones)
While stopped we took a look at the map and figured out a route that would give us the most barn quilts.  First off the following.....

(ScooterBob admiring the barn quilt)

(The Tiger, the Versys, and ScooterBob in Tillamook)
While stopped at the barn above Troubadour noticed a little rubber ducky on the ground.  He nestled it in the cables of my dash and it is now my little talisman.

(Rubber Ducky you're the one....)

As I mentioned in my ScooterBob post on Wet Coast Scootin (link HERE) ScooterBob decided to base jump off my tail bag after the above photos were taken and was subsequently banished to the ground lest he pull a Humpty Dumpty and we had to put him back together again.  We fought really high winds all day and didn't want to take any chances with another wind gust.

Back on the bikes we quickly realized that just because it was called a barn quilt trail didn't mean they were all on barns.  We bypassed the ones on the side of metal sheds and ugly outbuildings and ones that were really hard to get to or you had to ride into a dairy farm to see.  We did stop at the fairgrounds below for its colorful 'barn' quilt.

(Barn quilt at the Tillamook County fairgrounds)
As we were riding along we came to the conclusion that for a couple of vegans going into farm country for barn quilt pictures maybe wasn't the best idea.  Damn, your food stinks when it is growing.  We decided to cut the trail a little short and if there was easy access to barn quilts on the way back to Highway 101 we'd get them.  There were two more.

(Another barn quilt - further off the road)

(A little harder to capture at that distance)

(One last barn quilt - just couldn't get the truck out of the picture)

(And across from that barn quilt - cows!)
We made it to Highway 101 and turned south.  We decided to ride south to Hebo where we would turn onto Highway 22, the Three Rivers Highway.  Traffic wasn't even doing the 55 mph speed limit for the 19 mile stretch between the two towns.  At times we were lucky to be doing 45 mph. We were glad when we turned off that the rest of the traffic stayed on Highway 101.

The stretch of highway between Hebo and Valley Junction is such a beautiful section of two lane back road with smooth asphalt and sweeping curves along the river.  At one point we did stop for a rest and a snack since it was after 5 and lunch was only an apple.  Luckily we still had some trail mix and a couple of Cliff Bars.  The last pictures of the day were taken along Highway 22 where it intersects with Hiack Creek Rd.

(Troubadour taking a rest)

(The Versys 300x now sporting OEM hand guards, center stand, and heated grips)
We made one more stop at the Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area.  A State Park just before Valley Junction. It has some informational displays regarding the 27 different tribes of Native Americans that were moved from their land to the neighboring Grand Ronde Indian Reservation. There were also picnic areas and restroom facilities.  From there it was an uneventful ride home.  We headed east along the highway and then south to Corvallis.  We arrived home at 7 pm with approximately 240 miles (386 km) on the odometer 8 hours after leaving the house.  The Versys averaged 65 mpg for fuel economy and I made it on one tank of gas!  It is nice that it has a 4.5 gallon fuel tank. One gallon more than the Gladius and I can go almost 100 miles further on a tank.

On Sunday we boxed up ScooterBob and he was mailed off to Princess ScooterPie yesterday.  He should arrive in Victoria within a week or so.

Also on Sunday we were lucky that Don and Karla from Two Vegans Two Wheels were traveling home to Bend though Corvallis.  We were able to meet up for coffee and hang out for an hour or more.  We visited like old friends, but forgot to take any pictures.  Next time!

- Au Revoir

" This coffee tastes like mud!  Well, it was ground this morning." - Old Vaudeville Joke