Rawhyde Pacific Northwest Adventure Rallye - June, 2010
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On June 22, 2010 I left El Dorado Hills on my BMW, headed north for Leavenworth, Washington. On June 24 through 27 Rawhyde Adventures in partnership with Touratech, Inc was putting on the Pacific Northwest Adventure Rally in the mountains east of Seattle.
I spent three leisurely days riding up Hwy 97 to get there. The trip was pleasant, but uneventful with one exception. In Bend, Oregon I spotted a couple riding a loaded up BMW R1200GS. We waved at each other as they left the highway into a commercial area. The next day, north of the Columbia River, I stopped to take a photograph, and the same motorcycle pulled off the highway to talk. They too were headed to the Rally. We wound up riding together the rest of the day, pitching our tents in the same area, and spent a lot of time together during the activities. They also introduced me to another interesting fellow who I wound up riding with and talking with.
As is typical with a Rawhyde event, we had a great time riding interesting country and eating a lot of good food. There were also interesting discussions around the campfire in the evenings and throughout the day with lots of great people.
The Touratech people led some of us on some very interesting rides. Although they were billed as "easy", almost everyone, the Touratech people included, felt they should be reclassified. One of the highlights of our rides was the view from Sugarloaf Peak Lookout - see video right.
The second day was particularly interesting. After spending all morning riding on some interesting roads, some of which might be classified as "moderately" difficult, we hit the pavement about noon. I was very hungry as was everyone else that I talked to. We thought we would cruise back to camp, eat, and relax for a while. Not to be! After a few miles of smooth pavement, our leader turned off onto a dirt road that quickly got narrower and more difficult. We negotiated some very rough sections that resulted in lots of tip-overs and pucker marks on seats. Things kept getting more and more difficult and soon we were faced with a dilemma - do we turn around or do we plunge into the unknown. We voted for plunge ahead which turned out to be a good choice, however, we spent nearly 3 hours on one particularly difficult 1/2 mile section. I think we were all a little proud of ourselves for conquering this piece of road.
Here are a couple of short videos of me and another fellow negotiating one of the washed out sections of the road. Only modesty prevents me from bragging that I was the only paying customer to successfully get through this stretch without falling down. Two of the Touratech folks leading the ride made it through on their smaller bikes (KTM640 and BMW650 Xchallenge) but I was the only one to make it on a larger machine.
The ride back home as also pleasant and uneventful with another exception. Just north of Goldendale, WA, I came up behind another rider heading home. I passed this fellow, and he in turn passed me - and I passed him again, wondering what he was doing. He then settled in behind me and we rode on together. I thought it a little strange until I pulled over for gas in Goldendale and so did the other rider. It turned out to be one of the guys that shared the big adventure of the previous day. He had left camp at least an hour before me, headed for Portland, and it never occurred to me that I would ever see him again. It was a pleasant surprise. Since it was lunch time, we decided to eat together ................. an enjoyable meal, indeed. I hope to meet up with him again some day.
Rather than take three days getting home, I blasted on to Klamath Falls, OR that day and cruised on in about 3:00 PM the next day.
I've decided that if Rawhyde is holding an event within striking distance, I'll be there. At our last night of the rally there was a drawing for prizes. I was fortunate enough to win a free entry to Rawhyde's Pike Peak Adventure in August. Although it's not exactly close to home (1200 miles), I think I'll be there.