8-09-04 Cougar, Washington to Bend, Oregon
I did not quite
know where I was. Cougar wasn't
on my map. I backtracked east to the Gifford Pinchot National
of the park employees at the station were from San Diego. Both
loved their new home. Al used to ride scooters
for the mpg. He moved up to a 90cc 2
stroke when he moved to the mountains, since the scooters had a tendency to poop out on the climbs.
They directed me to the
30 south to Carson… a five mile downgrade with no straight stretches for those
who love curves.
The weather was
just great, the air changing from warm to hot and back to warm. As I traveled through the mountains, the
temperature constantly changed. I
would ascend a hill into a strata of warm air and then descend into pools of cool
air. I could feel the passage of colder air moving through the ravines. The road took me into Carson, Washington for lunch. I could ride for a long time in those
I stopped at
an overview to take pictures of Mt. St Helens.
A different side? The mountain had a different
The 14 swung east,
alongside the Columbia River on the Washington side. The road passed through several short tunnels.
temperature finally heated up enough for me to stop at a riverside park,
remove my jacket's inner lining, and to open the jacket's vents.
over the Columbia River at the its junction with 97.
There was a long climb out of the river valley to a 2500' pass. The air seemed to cool slightly.
there were the Cascade volcanoes in the distance. The
Cascades rise in isolation, unlike the continuous range of the
Sierras. As one
disappeared behind me, there would be one to the right pacing me and
another looming ahead. I stopped at a marker with pointers to the
peaks, but someone
had stolen all of the labels.
This area of the 97 was fairly
unpopulated. There were huge fields of what, wheat, hay,
hops? Interesting patterns left by
agriculture swirled the hillsides.
The 97 ran fairly
straight with passing lanes to get by the occasional slow traffic. I held the bike at a constant
65 – 70 mph indicated in a 60 mph zone.
I stopped for a soda. The Deschutes River ran through town, alongside a large landing. Maupin was a big put-in spot for river rafters. There was a constant stream of SUVs with
rafts on roofs, and trucks hauling trailers loaded with canoes driving by.
From Maupin, the 97 linked to
Madras. After Madras, the character of
the road changed. The approach to Redmond passed
through the heart of town with 4 lanes of traffic.
Past Redmond, the 97 became a quasi- freeway heading to Bend, Oregon
located close to the center of the State of Oregon, I exited on the first road with signs indicating hotels and gas.
I needed both, along with a decision to stop
early to get decent maps from a visitor information center. I picked out two maps highlighting scenic roads to the Cascade volcanoes. What was left was to figure out where I was in
Bend. Klamath Falls was a straight shot of about 2.5 hours
away, but I would look for a long, indirect route in the morning.
I called my parents. My
dad asked me to find and check out an aircraft builder of RV airplane kits at the Bend Airport. His
name is Dutch, and he sells a lot of planes to the population of Ottawa
Executive Airport, where my father's airplane is based.