The last stretch home.
As soon as you start dropping into the Columbia river, the winds pick up significantly. This is another of those constants of riding to Chase the Snake (OK, it's CtS per se
like the rain, it's spring/early summer in the Gorge) - It's always windy on Sunday when are riding west.
Watch the mirror:
That is one of those curious rock formations you see from time to time on the dry side.
These guys seem to have swapped their cruisers for a pair of Can AM Spyders:
Almost got a ticket for paying more attention to the Spyders than to what was coming up ahead of us. Those dark gray Chargers are really hard to spot...
We stopped in Umatilla for lunch and gas and ran into Steve who was staying at a different hotel, so we missed him in the morning. He was happy to have some company so he joined us for lunch and the ride back. We were still 200 miles away.
Ran into this woodie just outside Umatilla. Not sure about the details, but it looked immaculate.
Steve and Hanna:
When we finally got to I-84, the wind got even stronger, and we still had 175 miles to go...
Clueless Oregon driver:
It doesn't matter how many signs you put up reminding people to stay right, some people have their brain parked in neutral when they drive.
The wind was brutal. I mentioned this before, but riding in the Gorge presents a different sort of challenge. Unlike many other places where the wind blows hard, in the Gorge it changes direction depending on how the road is following the canyon walls. It's not just lean it in to one side and watch for traffic, you constantly have to adjust the bike to the wind conditions.
As we got closer to Portland, about 40 miles out it started to rain. At least it caused the wind to calm down a bit...
We were thinking that we'd all be able to make it into Portland without another gas stop after Umatilla, but just after we passed Bonneville, Hanna motions she went into reserve. So does Steve. The next gas station is about 25 miles away. I really hope they can make it... Traffic was getting heavier, so we slowed down a bit, just to make sure they didn't run out of gas in the middle of the highway. About 10 miles out, my fuel light started flashing too. I mentioned this in Mac's other thread, I got 35.5 MPG on this last run. Absolutely the worst mileage I'd ever gotten on the Versys. Even running up and down the Snake canyons didn't produce anything worse than 47 MPG. When we stopped at the gas station Steve mentioned that he felt as if he had gone 14 rounds with Tyson. And lost...
Surprisingly, as we made our way through town (both Steve and I live on the west side of town) the rain stopped, the sun came out and we had a pretty nice ride home.
It was a fantastic riding weekend (Tyson included
), one of the better long weekend destinations I can think off. Hope you enjoyed riding with us as much as we enjoyed riding it.