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Day 1

Last weekend (July 6,7,8 the last one I had off) I made a three day, 1500 mile blitzkrieg (all back roads) through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Incredible scenery and what a variety of roads there were. If I had more time off I would have slowed down and taken more time for pictures, but this was after all a blitzkrieg. This kind of majestic beauty will leave you asking, if you go to Yellowstone, where’s the good stuff? We are surrounded by it here in the northwest and very lucky for it.


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The trip started off on a comical note, funny now but it wasn’t then. I backed the immaculately prepped bike out of the family room right into two big surprises my chocolate lab left me. It took an hour to clean it all. The beauty of motorcycles is once you have ridden a few miles, all is forgotten. Now all I could think about was the incredible scenery and the thunder coming from that sweet Ducati motor. Yeah, that’s the other thing, I forgot earplugs. No turning back, it’s a blitzkrieg.


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I started out by heading through the mountains to Detroit Lake. 90 miles of ROUGH, twisty mountain roads and I was on the gas hard to make up the time I lost with the surprise that Miss “Eleanor Rigby” left me. Not sure this was a good plan, starting out a blitzkrieg with a brutal road that takes a lot out of you. The Multi carried me through, the touring mode softened up the road and after fueling at Detroit Lake it was off to Prineville for breakfast at the Cinnabar restaurant. Great food and pretty waitresses, oops did I say that out loud.

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Leaving the high desert, I headed east on 26 through the Ochoco National Forest, and mountains. Coming to Mt Vernon, I fueled up and headed north on 395 where I came upon the Monument Church in the middle of nowhere. Some great scenery on this road.


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At Ukiah I headed East on 244 over to La Grande. It was hot there and I was spent. Time to man up, it was after all a blitzkrieg. Refueled again and headed north on 82 to Enterprise. I was dehydrated , hungry, and tired when I got to the Ponderosa Inn. I hit the refresh button, got something to eat, detailed the bike and put her to bed. I was glad to have brought a cover as a thunderstorm rolled in, but was gone in an hour. The Ponderosa is a pretty nice motel, very reasonable, and full of bikes and characters.



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DAY 2
I hit the road early at 5:30 AM heading north on 3 towards Lewiston and got to see a beautiful sunrise over Joseph Canyon. Nobody else on the road yet, what great solitude.


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Continued north towards Lewiston and came upon an incredible winding canyon road, Rattlesnake Grade I think it’s called. Lots of 20 mph corners. Getting closer to Lewiston it turns to farmland again.


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I headed east from Lewiston on 12, a few miles out of town and it starts to get pretty again. I went through Orofino and stopped in Lowell to refuel. That’s where I saw Mr. Easy Rider on his Harley chopper. The characters that you meet on these trips are simply amazing. Just before Lolo pass I had a close encounter with a magnificent elk cow and her calf, beautiful animals. Now I know why they have a 50 mph limit there. I continued on into Missoula where it was already 101 F. I refueled and headed for Cour de lane. I arrived in St. Maries, ID At 5 PM totally exhausted, completely dehydrated, and totally fried. I got a little carried away with the Blitzkrieg and didn’t stop for food or drink all day, not too bright in this heat. I stayed at the Pines Motel and again met a lot of characters. The Ducati always draws a crowd at the motel. St. Maries is a cute little town that really takes you back in time.
 

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DAY 3
I hit the road at 4:30 AM to beat the heat and headed south on 95 down through Sanders, Potlatch, and Pullman, and Lewiston. It was beautiful rolling hill farm country on the way down to Lewiston. I refueled and headed west on 12 to Walla Walla and then crossed over to Umatilla along the Columbia River. I refueled again in Boardman and finally stopped to eat in The Dalles at El Mirador restaurant, my favorite. It was a short scenic trip down the Columbia River gorge after that. Do not follow my example for schedule. On paper it looked like a breeze, in real time I promise it was not. The big Ducati was incredible with great handling (even loaded) and plenty of horsepower for passing. I really loved this ride, we are incredibly lucky to live here.


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Nice Rat! :cool:

Thanks for the pics and write up. Makes me homesick.... :(

-SM
 

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Indeed, thanks for sharing! I have very fond memories of being one of two dampened and bedraggled motorcyclists being granted refuge from the storms overhead in a kindly old woman's barn, right on Hwy 12 there in Idaho, shortly after Lewiston. Good times!
 

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Great report, thanks for posting! Trips like that are a BIG reason why I ride. I'm a new MTS owner...2012 S Touring...its great to see other MTS owners doing multi-day trips on their bikes. I hope to do such a trip on my new bike early this fall. I just need to find a better windshield for those occasional, but long, interstate runs. Airflow is smooth for me with the stocker, but its so LOUD....even with my ear plugs in and my shield down.
 
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