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Map Washington-Oregon Trip 2017

10 days
2382 km / 1489 miles

Early August 2017 Jayne and I started on our Washington State motorcycle trip. Due to work restraints I couldn't take two weeks, so we had to make due with 10 days. Also the only time that I could take off was in August, which is not our favorite time to ride, because of the heat and mosquitos. Then the day we took off was the hottest day of the year with a high of 106F (41C). We rode from Portland, Oregon east through the Columbia Gorge and soon made our way north into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. We stayed at Takhlakh Lake and rode north to Mount Rainier. From there we went east to Yakima and north again. In Ellensburg we couldn't stand the heat anymore and decided on an early stop at a Motel with pool. The next day we continued north to the fake Bavarian town Leavenworth, where I had a really good Schnitzel. We had planned to visit a few ghost towns a bit further east, but due to the unbearable heat we skipped them and went north instead to the North Cascades National Park. After crossing the mountains and coming back to civilisation  we took a ferry to Port Townsend and continued to the Olympic National Park. From there we continued south along the coast, and believe it or not, not only did it rain, but it was really cold. So cold actually, that we decided to get a motel for the last night on the road.
The best time for such a trip is summer, since some of the areas are on high elevations and snow must be expected until late spring and already again in late fall. But in Summer you have to expect higntemperatures in low elevations.

The road conditions are generally good. Even most of the gravel roads are in decend conditon.

In terms of safety wild animals and wildfires are probably the greatest thread. Not only bears can be dangerous, but mountain lions and even racoons can be dangerous. We always left our food in locked aluminum panniers when camping. In regards to wildfires it is advisable to ask at ranger stations about current conditions and expected fire direction.

Motorcycles are loaded and ready to go Before the trip we were worried if the trip could happen at all because of all the large wildfires in the area. We decided to start anyway and be ready to change plans along the way, if needed.
We stopped at several ranger stations along the way to ask about current fire conditions and exact fire locations.
Jayne taking a test
Since the forecast was for well above 100F (35C) we wanted to leave early, but Jayne had to take a test, so we didn't hit the road until noon.

We rode interstate I84 until Cascade Locks and took backroads north from there.
Backroad in Gifford Pinchot, Washington
Gravel road in Gifford Pinchot
We took some gravel roads in Gifford Pinchot National Forest and enjoyed the views of Mount Adams. Mount Adams
Motorcycle riding gravel road
After a rest in Trout Lake, we continued our trip north.

We stopped at a ranger station and Jayne got her picture taken with Smokey The Bear.
Jayne with Smokey the Bear and The Big Burn
Motorcycle camping at Takhlakh Lake in Washington
We had reserved a campsite at Takhlakh Lake. Good thing we did, as it was full. One more reason we hate to travel in August - way too many people out there.

After riding in the crazy heat we took refreshing a swim in the lake.
Jayne swimming in Takhlakh Lake

Motorcycle aluminum panniers and top cases

Made by an experienced motorcycle traveller.

Motorcycle Aluminium Pannier

Motorcycle Aluminium Top case

Motorcycle Aluminum Top box

Panniers available in 47l, 40l and 33l
Top boxs available in 20l and 36l
Silver/Grey or Black

Motorcycle Aluminium Top box

Motorcycle Aluminum Trunk

Motorcycle Aluminum Top case

Quality is essential, not only on a RTW tour.