Last Thursday August 10th was our 21st wedding anniversary. We both took the day off work to go for a motorcycle ride. What better way to celebrate the day, than on two wheels with a picnic lunch.
The night before we were both looking at different maps trying to link together some gravel roads in the foothills west of Corvallis. Troubadour and I left the house about 11 am and fueled the bikes in Philomath and headed west on Highway 20 then turned north on Kings Valley Highway. We stopped at the Ritner Creek Covered Bridge for a quick break and to look at the maps again.
|(DRZ 400 and the Versys 300x)|
|(Ritner Covered Bridge)|
|(Versys 300x, notice we've taken the Kawi stickers off the front fairings)|
We went north a mile or so further before turning left onto a gravel road. I haven't done a lot of gravel on the Versys but so far it is way better than the Gladius ever was off tarmac.
Unfortunately we couldn't get to where we wanted to go. The forestry service is closing all of our back roads and gravel roads due to fire danger and the upcoming solar eclipse on Monday August 21st. We are in the path of totality and the State is expecting one million visitors for the event. (Update - why we aren't leaving the house for the weekend and Monday-Tuesday next week - LINK)
We re-routed and ended up at Fort Hoskins where we took another short break, snacked on bananas and tried to determine what roads might be open.
From Fort Hoskins we took Hoskins Road, a 9 mile long gravel road, to link us to Mary's River Road and and the Summit Highway - another twisty bit of tarmac. Luckily the loaded log trucks behaved themselves and stayed to their side of the narrow road.
|(Fort Hoskins to Summit Highway - the blue route)|
Once on the Summit Highway we were on one of the roads we drove while in the Fiat the weekend prior, which also had a stretch of gravel a few miles long.
We went to Moonshine Park to check out the camping section and thought we'd have our late lunch there. Unfortunately it was $3 a vehicle to park and it was really busy and almost uncomfortable really.
|(Summit Highway to Moonshine Park)|
We were hoping to go north, but once again the gravel road we wanted was closed, so we had to adapt our route and went southwest again instead.
We headed west through Logsden towards Siletz and found the Twin Bridges Memorial Park where we stopped for half an hour or more.
|(Moonshine Park to Twin Bridges Memorial Park)|
|(A picnic in the park - everything is nice and green in the coastal mountains)|
|(The bikes having a rest in the shade)|
|(Suzuki DRZ 400 and Kawasaki Versys 300)|
|(A nice little spot to rest on a sunny day)|
From the park we did another 5 mile stretch of gravel on Sams Creek Road to connect with Highway 20. At Highway 20 we turned east towards Eddyville and then took Highway 180 the long twisty way to Blodgett, which is back on Highway 20. We try to stay off the main highway as much as possible and prefer the twisty back roads that kind of parallel the highway in sections.
|(Eddyville to Blodgett)|
At Blodgett we took Highway 20 east to Corvallis (13 miles) and were back at the house by 5 pm. Our total for the day was 6 hours and 113 miles (181 km), a nice relaxing afternoon.
Now the Versys really needs a bath, it is completely covered in road dust from following Troubadour over the gravel roads, but at least it was earned dirt and not from sitting in the garage.
I do wish I had of stopped a few times along the gravel roads and taken pictures to show you the conditions and scenery, but I know for next time.
It was a good day to be out on the bikes together.
- Au Revoir
" A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance, and tenacity. The order varies for any given year." - Paul Sweeney