The Great White North - Day 4 - "Into the Volcanos"
Day 4 (7/14/19)
While Boise was a semi-let down, which was mostly my own fault for over hyping it in my head, not much else on the trip was disappointing, including this fourth day where we traveled out of Boise and into Eugene Oregon. If you’ll recall back to a trip planning post, this was a last minute location change. Originally we were supposed to go to Portland but on the recommendation from a co-worker we took this other route leading into Eugene and were not disappointed at all!
And check it out – a nice “action shot” welcoming us into Oregon! Getting out of Idaho was decently uneventful but Oregon, that is a completely different story. It was a lot more green and lush and overall impressive. We took the interstate out of Idaho and then cut over across Oregon on 26 which was an absolutely beautiful ride the entire way. It was mostly flat at the beginning of the ride, but it wasn’t nearly as hot as it had been yet the sun was shining and there weren’t too many other vehicles around so we just sailed without a care in the world…until we realized Bob was running a bit low on fuel. We finally found gas in the itty bitty town of Unity, so we filled our tanks, chatted with a few other riders who were doing the same, and then headed out.
There must have been some sort of other motorcycle rally going on since the guys we chatted with in Unity had just come from one and then we followed quite a few bikes into Prineville. In between the two spots though we stopped for lunch at this quaint (yeah I said it) little spot in Mitchell. I just love these small little town restaurants. They always have something to offer that a big city spot can’t…likely the lack of patrons. Another meal lost to Bob – $20.
Continuing down the road a ways we found a tree just covered in shoes, which we later learned was sort of a thing across the US and we’d just happened across one of them. Thanks to my trusty bike camera I was able to snap a pic of this monstrosity. It even looked like some clowns were pulled over to add to the absurdity. Here is some additional literature on the subject. I believe this one that we got so lucky to encounter and broaden our horizons with is the “Mitchell, OR” one.
Naturally with this new ability to take photos whenever I wanted I was snapping away all day, and since I will quickly run out of room on these pages if all I do is fill them with photos I’ll put a whole photo library out on the site for everyone to scroll through and save some of the better ones for the posts.
Anyway, after we got through Prineville was when we really started to encounter a lot of the beauty of this amazing state. We got lucky it was such a clear day, because as we were riding there were giant mountains off in the distance, standing far above everything else. You guessed it, we were looking at all the volcanoes in the area.
Way off to the north-west one stood so much more predominately above the others, which I believe to be Mt. Hood. Even though it’s only 11,249′ above sea level (which is basically nothing compared to a lot of Colorado mountains) it still appeared to be a monster off in the distance. We also got a great look at Mt. Washington which I imagined was what Mt. Crumpit from the Grinch is based off of.
Continuing down the road a ways we got to a town called “Sisters” which I’m assuming is from the North and South Sister mountains right there it pretty much sits at the base of. Also down south a bit past Bend is a town called Brothers, named…for something I’m sure. The trusty GPS took us over 242 – McKenzie pass which turned out to be an amazing ride. We got a great look at Mt. Washington, the lava fields, some pretty big lava formations, and overall just an amazing ride down to the state highway and into Eugene.
It was a pretty easy ride from there to the hotel down 126. And luckily for us there was another good brewery right next to our hotel so we wouldn’t have to get back on the bikes in search of food and beverage. This hotel turned out to be pretty nice too but was under construction which was sort of a pain in the ass. Also they had one ice machine that took me 20 minutes to find, going up and down the hallways and stairwells until I finally found it. Naturally due to the construction this hotel’s pool was closed too. Not great but wasn’t nearly as big of a deal since it was finally pleasant outside. While we were lounging before dinner I took the opportunity to check on the bike and make sure everything was mechanically sound. Better safe than sorry, especially so far from home. Oil level – check. Chain tension – check. Re-grease chain (been doing daily) – check.
We walked over to the Hop Valley Brewing Co. for some dinner and drinks. So far we’re doing really good on finding restaurant/breweries, this place too had quite the selection of good beers to choose from. It took us a while to power through the flight of 9, and then because they were so good we had a couple more. When it was time to retire for the evening Bob got the ladies at the table behind us to draw the credit card for the tab and I finally didn’t lose one! Little did I know it would be the only one I wouldn’t lose. Oh well, I guess it’s all a part of gambling and from the many years of doing this it really does all come back around eventually.
We didn’t really see any strange looking folks, as we were sort of hoping to from the Oregon Country Fair…granted we weren’t looking either and we were very likely at the wrong location to spot such people. Come to find out, likely most of them were camping at the grounds next to the fair which was probably all for the better. After dinner and drinks and no signs of unique people we wandered back to the hotel, got all of our items packed up for the next day, and let dreams of sugar plums dance through our heads.