Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spring Ride to Enterprise Anyone?

It's almost time to ride!   The snow is nearly all gone and the sweepers are out.  The weather is almost warm enough for a good long ride.  And there is definitely one in the works.   A few of us are planning to ride the Rattlesnake Grade at the end of May.   To be totally fair, I haven't gone yet.  (well, at least not the whole road).  I'm kind of exited to go.  From piecing all the different reviews of this road together I have, what I think to be, a reasonable preview of the ride.
    The road from Asotin Washington to Enterprise Oregon is a pure slice of motorcycle heaven.  Right off the bat it has several excellent sweeping curves, including 3 that will swing you around nearly 180 degrees.  For a while after that, you have smooth sailing until you reach Field Springs state park.  That is the point where the road really starts to twist in all sorts of directions.  Depending on your speed, it can either be ten miles of the most scenic, or the most adrenaline filled travel that you have ever experienced.  The scenery is breathtaking for sure.  You are essentially riding through a rather large canyon system carved into the earth by prehistoric glaciers and raging rivers that has amazing views in all directions.  But here is where the adrenaline comes in.  If you should choose to push the speed a bit, the mix of the fast curves and the possibility of losing control and crashing in to the wall (or going off the edge and getting to see the canyon floor in the fastest means possible), will absolutely give you the biggest rush of your life.   By the time you cross the Grande Ronde river, at the halfway mark, you are ready for a break and possibly need a place to change your skivvies or maybe to get a bite to eat. Boggan's Oasis is a perfect place to stop.  Boggan's is a comfort food mecca! I doubt that you could leave that place hungry.  The location is also quite nice.  If you keep your eyes out, you may see some goats as well as other wildlife.  
At this point,  if you should choose to keep going,  you get much more of the same type of beautiful twisty roads.   From Boggan's  its quite the smooth and simple ride... until you get to the Oregon border.   At that point, the road turns back on itself, twice!  This is a good time to let you know, that from this point on, until you reach the end of the canyon it is a good idea to watch out for rock slides and other debris in the road.   It isn't unheard of to have a boulder just appear out of nowhere.   That being said, this stretch of road is well worth slowing down on anyway.  The views are amazing and there are a lot of little animals and birds that may just come in to view.   
By the time you pass Paradise Ridge Ln, the bulk of the twisties are done.  Don't fret however, because you will pass through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.  While it pales in comparison to what you just experienced,  the forest is still quite pretty.   So you've arrived at Enterprise, OR.  This may be a good place to stop, have dinner, get a motel and get some rest.  Or, if you are camping, there are several places to look at.   You may even want to go South, on to Wallowa Lake and pitch your tent at one of the prettiest lakes in the Northwest.  It's all up to you.    Just make sure you have some rest before turning around and doing it all again, but in reverse.  

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Street Sweeper- A Haiku

Oh street sweeper, white
Do your job well my dear friend,
I don't want to die