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There probably are a couple of older ride reports to Windy Ridge out here. If you live on the WetSide of the PNWet, this is one the better rides around here, especially if you start on the south side and take the long way up the east side of mount St. Helens. On one of the local mailing lists somebody was asking about the lower road and digging through the Forest Service website Ted and Jon found out that they planned to have Windy Ridge open for vehicle traffic for the 4th of July weekend. Does 4th of July weekend include Friday the 3rd which most people had off too? Only one way to find out...

My friends Brian (Wee-Strom), Craig (VFR800) and Ken (FJR1300) decided to join the ride, we met in Washugal and headed out east to Carson to go up FS-30. When we got on the road, we saw these two couples on what looked like a long weekend trip, each on his/her own bike.

A nice all white VFR I really liked:


A V-Strom 1000:


The guy on the RT gave the Versys (or was it the Gustavopod) the :thumb::


There were lots of bikes out this Friday. A lot of people were taking advantage of the warm weather and the day off to go out and explore.

The upper section of FS-30 is about 8 miles long and it makes you work on that curve linking technique, because there is almost nothing in between one curve and the next one. Simply fantastic stuff.

This is where it starts getting interesting:



I never thought of Mt. St. Helens as a hat...


Ken was making new friends:


Lots of spring flowers going up the mountain:



Mt. St, Helens peeking between the trees:



Curly Creek Rd. is nicely paved and quite a bit of fun:



Did I mention there were lots of bikes out?



No straight roads up here:



Brian working on his pegs:



This was the first time since the VIAGRA lunch in October (I think it was October) that I rode FS-25 - the road closes in winter due to snow, this was in Oct:


The road had some repairs done, but I'm not sure what is worse, the frost heaves or the new, higher than the roadbed, patches that launch you as if you hit a curb when you hit them... As long as they are not in the middle of a turn, I can live with that.

Still no straight sections:



Gustavo
 

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OK, so Windy Ridge is open, but on this first day of the season, it wasn't just dirty (rocks, gravel, etc.), it also needs a lot of help in the pavement dept.:


But, the scenery never ceases to amaze:



As do the cruiser riders that take ATGATT very lightly:



Looking into the St. Helens crater:



Spirit Lake:



Ken and his new friend:



If you have time to look at anything off the road, there are lots of flowers this time of the year:



We stopped for lunch at the Cougar Cafe:



Ken and Brian:



Brian was headed back to the OR coast, so we took the long way up through Longview:



Considering that this was the Friday of a long weekend, this must be a real lousy way to start your holiday:



Brian and I split at Mist, he headed further west, I went back to Portland. Google says it's about 327 miles for the whole loop. Probably one of the most entertaining loops out of my house, with minimal highway driving and lot, lots of good roads.


Hope you guys (and girls) had a good weekend ride too.


Gustavo
 

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the last time i was out that way was about a year or two after st helens blew its top ! Maybe its time to re visit :)
 
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