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I had been planning to do a big spring touring trip in southern Utah in early May, but had to postpone it due to being too busy at work. I thought I might do it this past week, but again, work got in the way, along with lodging availability becoming a problem down there as the season picks up. I was really finding myself just itching to go for a nice long ride somewhere, I just couldn’t be gone too long.

As Memorial Day weekend approached, I thought maybe I could do a two or three day ride, leaving Sunday and returning Tuesday, to try to avoid holiday traffic on the road. I also chose a route that would take me on some roads I hadn’t yet experienced, that looked like they’d be great for motorcycling, but that shouldn’t be too heavily congested with holiday traffic. It worked out just the way I hoped!

Originally I had planned to go north through McCall, Idaho, up to Orofino, and spend the first night in Lewiston. The next day I would ride down through eastern Washington and Oregon to La Grande, Oregon, and on to John Day. Then I would return from there to home near Boise. Total loop of nearly 800 miles. However, Sunday morning the weather looked a lot better to the west than to the north, so I decided to reverse the course.

Day One:

The first day wound up being about 320 miles or so, from home west to John Day, and then north to La Grande. The weather was cool and blustery, but I only got rained on very briefly near John Day. Virtually no cars on the road at all, which was nice!

About an hour outside of John Day, moving from pastureland to forest:


Approaching John Day, snow-capped mountains in the background:


I found a cool old barn that wanted me to take a photo of it:


Okay, maybe two:


The road between John Day and La Grande was mile after mile of this:


Another one of those rides where I could stop every five miles to take a pic - it was that good:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Day Two:

Day two was about 200 miles, which included some of the most spectacular, scenic, fun roads I have ever experienced. The route was from La Grande to Enterprise, then north to Lewiston, and west to Orofino.

It didn't take long for the road to start getting very beautiful:


Just outside of Enterprise, Oregon:


I shot a few panoramas - too big for this page, but I'll post links. Check out this view of the canyon!
Panorama

Simply put, the road between Enterprise and Lewiston, Idaho was one of the most spectacular roads I've ever ridden. Amazing, hilly, curvy, grippy, empty. Mind-blowing!

It started out like this, and just kept getting better and better:


Mile after mile of this:


Rides even better than it looks:


Check out this panorama view of one of the curves:
Panorama

Yes, it went on forever and ever. Reminded me very much of Beartooth Pass:


Of course, I couldn't go through Lewiston without stopping by the Old Spiral Highway. I shot a panorama of it to try to capture as much of it as I could:
Spiral Highway

Next, it was on to Orofino, Idaho, about 45 minutes from Lewiston. More beautiful highway, this time along the Selway River.


I found a Best Western hotel in Orofino, that was practically brand new and right on the river. I had a great view from my room:


Mostly beautiful weather all day as you can see from the pics, and no rain until just after I arrived in Orofino. Good timing!
 

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Day Three:

On the final day, I woke up to rainy conditions, but the rain quit just as I was about to leave the hotel (right after I covered everything, including myself, in rain gear). Wet roads, cloudy and cool, all the way to Grangeville.




Finally, after driving down the big hill from Grangeville, the sun started to come out and it began to get warm. This is the Salmon River just north of Riggins:


I stopped at a nice waterfall just off the road south of Riggins:


Good place for a break:


The total route for the day was about 250 miles. Much of the rest of the route was between home and McCall, which I've already taken tons of photos of, so I didn't stop - just dropped the hammer, as I was ready to get home and back to work. Just 10 minutes from home, I ran into a giant traffic jam!


This never happens here. People were out of their cars, trying to figure out what was blocking the road ahead. To turn around and go the other way would have meant another hour on the road, but who knows how long it would be blocked? After ten minutes or so, the cars at the front of the line started to turn around to go the other way. Not a good sign. I was hot, thirsty, ready to get off the bike, (and had to pee).

So, I decided it was time to switch to "Enduro" mode on the Multistrada. I knew a little shortcut that meant about 15 miles of dirt/gravel road, but what the heck. I turned around, rode up Horseshoe Bend hill, and took my little dirt detour. My poor Ducati got all dusty and dirty, but I got home a little quicker than the more conventional route.


Turns out the road was closed due to a bomb scare. Some drivers saw something on the side of the road they thought might be a bomb. They sent out the bomb squad, dogs, robots, the works. Turned out to be just some computer and electronics equipment. Major road was closed for over four hours. Sheesh.

Anyway, a FABULOUS trip overall, and just the getaway I needed. Some incredible new roads I hadn't yet experienced, and I couldn't be more pleased and impressed with the Multistrada. Very grateful!
 

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Great post with the picures and your comments. My old stomping grounds. Thanks for some inspiration! We should all take bwhip's advice and get a way from work and just ride em.
:cool:
 

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Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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What a great trip. The photos are beautiful! :)
 

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Great report! Do you happen to have tracks from your trip so others can try it in the future?
 

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Very jealous. I hope I can get on the darn road one day. I'm always stuck with life or work :(
 

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Fantastic pictures! What great roads and scenery. Thanks for posting!
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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Oh man, excellent pics and write up! Thanks!

The Northwest is the only part of the country I haven't seen on a motorcycle. Definitely on my bucket list.
 

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Thank you for taking us along, bwhip! The photos were phenomenal. Thank you!
 

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well here i am on a wet an dreary morning in the office and im not sure your writeup has cheered me up or depressed me completely!
great report and great pics Bwhip! i hope to get the opportunity to ride in that area someday?! :D
thanks...i think! :rolleyes:

btw, here we would just ride to the top of the line of stationary traffic, its called filtering. i got a ticket doing it once in florida! :(
 

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Absolutly awsome!!! great photos, Man, I cant wait until next friday to pick up my new 1200!!
 

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I'm heading to Oregon in September with some friends for a week... Can't wait. I did some of those rodes on my way back from Alaska in '05... Idaho is awesome... Last year we did a 7 day trip around the NW (OR, WA, NorCal)... Ahhhh, the memories... I wish I could leave tomorrow...

UGH!!! I gotta load a core first...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
bwhip,

Those are some fantastic photos! Mind if I ask what camera you used and what settings?
Thanks! I actually had two cameras with me. Most of the photos were with my Canon 5D Mark III, with a 24-105 f/4 L IS lens. A couple of the shots were with my little Canon S100. I used a variety of settings on both, mostly aperture priority, to get maximum depth of field for the scenery.
 

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Your trip

Thanks bwhip for the awesome pic's and the route. I'm planning on a similar trip over the summer and hope to include some of your route. Have ridden Idaho before and even lived there for a short time. Great state for ridding although Colorado is amazing as well and I'm extremely thankful for living here and being able to take rides that put such a grin on my face and make me feel blessed. It just doesn't get any better then that!
 
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