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Thread: Seattle to MOA Rally Tips

  1. #16
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvscorpio View Post
    Great feedback, everyone!
    Any recommendations on WA or OR wine country?
    Per some of the above threads, if you travel via the Yakima area to the rally, you will be passing through some of the prime vineyards of the Evergreen state. The area around Prosser produces some of the world's best red wine in particular. In Prosser you can find Vintner's Village, a collection of quite nice tasting rooms. This is located in a small commercial zone adjacent to the freeway and it's well worth the visit. Couple of miles east of that, off the next freeway exit are a few other tasting rooms, most notably Kestrel and Alexandria Nicole, that are also right up there in terms of quality. If you're really interested in wine, I'd recommend searching out a B&B in the area and staying for a day or two.

    A bit further away from Seattle, Walla Walla has a world wide reputation for wine and some pretty fine eats as well. That's a bit of a way outside the shortest routes to the rally, but going this way you could go to Redmond via Pendleton and John Day with some quite nice highways.

    The best concentration of Oregon wineries is just a few miles south of Portland in the northend of the Willamette Valley. The region is mostly known for it's really excellent Pinot Noir, but other varietals are well worth sampling. I'd recommend stopping at Duck Pond Cellars on Highway 99 between Dundee and Newburg, then picking up a winery guide from them. Definitely find your way to Domaine Drouhin...it's a fab winery with a great hillside view location and their wines are over the top in quality.

    Online I would recommend checking out www.washingtonwine.org for more info on the Evergreen State wine biz...be aware that there is a vast difference in climate in the eastside (dry) side of the our fair state, it's quite warm (okay...hot!) in the summer, so be prepared.

    If you'd like more specific feedback on particular wines you're seeking, drop me a note and I'll try to fill in the gaps.

    Cheers! Bill J

    PS. +1 on Dave's comments above...there's a lot to see and ride in the Pacific NW.

  2. #17
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    There are a large number of wineries in Oregon and Washington, and many produce outstanding wines.

    The Oregon winery region is primarily in the Willamette Valley north and south of McMinnville. That's about 120 miles from Redmond, over the Cascade mountains.
    An easy morning ride from Redmond (via Sisters) would get you to Corvallis, and a few miles west to 99W. Following 99W north would take you past 50 or so good wineries. Oregon seems to focus on the reds.

    The Washington wine region is primarily the Yakima valley running southeast toward Richland. Washington produces some great reds, and also some excellent whites. From Redmond, you could ride north on 97 to the Zillah area. There are many wineries between Zillah and Union Gap, and lots of overnight possibilities.

    If the northwest portion of the Yakima Valley doesn't satisfy your wine interests, head southeast toward Prosser. I suggest finding Hogue cellars--in a warehouse setting on the southeast side of Prosser. And for a big working vinyard/winery, ride from Prosser over the hills south to Columbia Crest, up on the crest of the hills above the Columbia River. They may or may not be harvesting grapes during late July, but they have huge vinyards, a tour, tasting room, and park-like setting for a picnic lunch. Or, if you continue down the valley to the "tri-cities" of Pasco, Richland/Kennewick, there are several newer "high end" wineries.

    Of course, there are also wineries along the border of Oregon and Idaho, in the Ontario - Boise area. My own personal preference is for Washington whites such as Gewurtztraminer, our favorite winery being Hogue.

    pmdave

  3. #18
    Agent Provocateur tallyho's Avatar
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    Isn't combining WA and OR with "wine country" an oxymoron?
    Bob Morrow
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  4. #19
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    I suppose this raises the question of OR/WA beers. There are a number of great but small breweries in the Northwest, perhaps because we have excellent water, locally grown hops, and grains in abundance.

    It would be a shame to drink some mass-produced beer from the east coast when there are outstanding beers made locally. For instance, when in Redmond, look for Black Butte Porter.

    My personal preference, however, is Alaskan Amber, from the glacier waters of Juneau, AK.

    But, as a diabetic my meds warn about not drinking alcohol, so my wine/beer drinking is very limited. As a result, I'm not a good source of information about OR/WA breweries.

    pmdave

  5. #20
    Registered User mvscorpio's Avatar
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    My personal preference, however, is Alaskan Amber, from the glacier waters of Juneau, AK.

    Ooh, I had that several years ago during a cruise stop. Good stuff.

    Thanks for the recommendations. I will need to take 30 days vacay for all I want to fit in.
    Last edited by mvscorpio; 12-28-2009 at 09:19 PM. Reason: n
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  6. #21
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    There are so many local and excellent microbrews that I can only skim the surface. In Portland we have several that are usually established in old neighborhoods that have gentrified. Portland Brewing in the NW industrial area, Widmere in a NE industrial area, Roots Brewing and is in a SW commercial neighborhood right near the Lucky Lab, a sort of blue collar (Portland style) brew pub who also make their own beer. Walking Man is in Stevenson WA in the middle of the Columbia Gorge, and Terminal Gravity is in Enterprise Oregon at the entrance of one of the most twisty ÔÇ£pile of spaghettiÔÇØ roads in the country, Hwy 3, Rattlesnake Pass to Lewiston, ID. Deschutes Brewing in Bend, near Redmond, Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, Rogue Brewery, originated in Ashland and I could go on and on. A local favorite is the India Pale Ale (IPA) which is a bit bitter with dark amber color and warming alcohol content. All mico-breweries make this flavor. Ironically a favorite beer of the Portland underclass is Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

  7. #22
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Okay, if we're going to go off topic and start nominating our favorite microbrews, I'll vote for Silver City Brewing in Silverdale, WA. Their Whoopass IPA is excellent, the Ridgetop Red is so good even my wife drinks it, and their version of Hefeweizen is the best I've ever tasted...and they have the national awards to prove it. Small place but well worth the visit. (burp)

    And yeah, they even have PBR on the "guest tap" every now and then!

    Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

    Cheers! Bill J

  8. #23
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    I once drove down to the Olympia Brewery while stationed at Bremerton. I remember drinking a lot of Raineer Beer. this was in 1974 to 1975.
    AKA SNAPGADGET
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  9. #24
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    Let's move on to a travel-related subject: ferry boat etiquette If you head north of Redmond, and west across the Cascade mountains, you'll eventually bump into deep salt water.

    Seattle is separated from the Olympic Peninsula by a deep "channel" locally called "Puget Sound." The Olympic Peninsula is about 1,000 square miles, with the Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the north. The geography is similar up in Canada and all the way to Alaska. There are thousands of islands offshore of the mainland.

    What that means to travelers is that getting where you want to go in this part of the world often means a ferry crossing. In some places you can ride across a bridge, but in many others your choice is to take a ferry or don't go. Over the years we motorcyclists have developed some tactics for dealing with ferry crossings. The WA, BC, and AK ferry systems didn't invent these techniiques. We just started doing things pragmatically, and eventually the ferry personnel learned how it should be done.

    Motorcycles don't wait in line with cars, except as needed to get through the toll booths. Once you're on the dock, you work your way down to the head of the line near the boarding gate. You may find a bike symbol painted on the pavement, or be directed by a dock worker where to park and wait.

    The ferry will arrive, and disgorge all the vehicles on the lower decks, while foot passengers rush off on elevated walkways (with a few exceptions). Once the boat has emptied, you can expect a signal when it's time for you to board. So, while the vehicles are offloading, get your helmet and gloves on, and be ready to start the engine.

    When the deckhand (and or green light) signals you to go, immediately head for the ramp and ride on board. The first mate is the guy who directs traffic on board. If he doesn't point in the direction he wants you to go, head for the forward corners of the car deck. Unless directed to do so, don't ride straight down the middle lanes; look for the triangular shaped areas at the heads of the outside lanes that are too small for a car. The idea is to park the bike so that when the cars get filled in around you, the bike is in the "bike" area.

    When you hear the boat's horn sound on approach to the dock on the other side, you need to hustle down to the bike and get ready to ride. Gear on, key in ignition, gloves on. Typically, the motorcycles at the front corners of the boat will unload first. The mate and deckhands will signal you. It's impolite to not be ready to roll, because there are lots of eager drivers ready to disembark behind you.

    If you arrived late and are parked at the stern, don't attempt to split lanes to get to the front. But when any lane moves, it's OK to follow behind the last car in that lane--even if other drivers arrived on board first.

    Since bikes ordinarily offload first, it's somewhat like the start of a race. Don't get excited if another local biker bumps you or cuts in front. It's the way it's done.

    There are some caveats: if you are driving a trike or sidecar outfit, or pulling a trailer, you may be trapped outside of the toll booth gate by a line of cars. You can either fall in line and wait your turn--or if it's a really long weekend line you can just pretend you don't see the line of cars and pass everyone by right to the toll booth. If there is a mile-long line, it may be not moving because the dock is full, and they will let you pay your toll and squeeze through. Normally, the extra size will cost you a surcharge. For instance, for a trailer or sidecar, the surcharge is the same as for a bicycle. The problem is that you may not be able to squeeze through the "motorcycle" gaps and get down near the loading ramp.

    It's OK to squeeze your machine in however you can, even if the handlebars are sticking through the chains. What's not OK is to scratch someone's car or bend a mirror. When in doubt about what to do, follow a local motorcyclist.

    The Coho ferry between Port Angeles (USA) and Victoria (Canada), some BC ferries, and the Alaska ferries are slightly different because the longer trips over potentially rougher water means you need to tie down your machine. The ferry will provide some old dirty, greasy, knotted ropes. Or, you can use your own clean tiedowns if you remembered to bring them. And once you have it secured (in gear, and with chocks and ropes fore and aft, OK?) you should take everything you need from the motorcycle for the duration of the trip. The car decks may be closed off for security reasons. If you have a motion sensitive alarm DO NOT set it.

    Once you have your machine on board, grab your gear and head upstairs to the passenger cabin. It gets awfully windy and cold down on an open car deck. Larger ferries all have food service, but it's typically overpriced and underquality. If the ferry crossing coincides with your need to eat, you could plan ahead and pick up some food on your way. It's OK to sit in the public eating area and consume your own food or beverages. Ferryboat coffee is so notoriously bad that there are usually latte stands on the docks where you can pick up something better to carry on board.

    Some ferry crossings are so popular that you must book a crossing in advance. What's not well known is that all the ferry systems requiring advance reservations seem to hold back about 30% for latecomers who arrive without reservations. And, with a bike you're likely to squeeze on even at the last moment, bypassing a long line of cars and trucks.

    Ferry tolls are usually a combination of driver (same as a "walk on" pedestrian) and vehicle. If you're creaky like me, you may get a slight discount on the driver portion for old age. At least, if you look old and creaky, ask for a "senior motorcycle." During the summertime, all the tolls may be increased by a "summer surcharge".

    All the ferry routes have published schedules, which are available at tourist offices as well as online. The schedules can be complex and intimidating, but if you read all the little symbols you can eventually figure it out. Note that weekend sailings are usually different from weekdays, and there are more crossings during the summer months than at other times. For complex routes such as those of the Alaska Ferries, you can get really clever and plan how to get off here or there for a day or three at no extra expense, or even catch the right boat that goes to places like Sitka. Just book ahead about six months. The southern terminus (that's "docks" to you flatlanders) of the Alaska Ferries are at the south end of Bellingham--about two hours north of Seattle.

    pmdave

  10. #25
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Just one thing to add, if you think about going to Canada on the BC Ferry to Victoria/Vancouver Island (highly recommended) remember you will need your Passport. Another thing that's changed since the good ol' days.

    If you do go to Victoria, don't miss Butchart Gardens a few klicks north of the City...it's a wonderous place to see.

    Cheers, Bill J

  11. #26
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgadley01 View Post
    I once drove down to the Olympia Brewery while stationed at Bremerton. I remember drinking a lot of Raineer Beer. this was in 1974 to 1975.
    Rainier Beer is no longer made in Seattle.
    So it's fair to say it now sucks. 1. 2. 3.


    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  12. #27
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    GrafikFeat... thats pretty good. the only one I remember was a couple driving up the road, when a group of people with beer cans on ran across the road. the lady in the car said... look dear, a Herd of Rainiers... LOL
    AKA SNAPGADGET
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  13. #28
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    They used to have commercials as good as the beer...
    Remember the Pudweiser frogs? Here is where that came from.



    Then these classics...





    Sorry for the hijacks! No more.
    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmdave View Post
    Let's move on to a travel-related subject: ferry boat etiquette If you head north of Redmond, and west across the Cascade mountains, you'll eventually bump into deep salt water.


    pmdave
    Written like the WSF system rider he is. Well done.

    For those with short attention spans I will paraphrase the most important part: If you're not sure what to do, ask or follow a rider who does. If you don't like talking to total strangers, seems like there is almost always an MOA member waiting in line, ask them. (I'll most likely be on the teal GSPD or checker board F650PD)

    The Ferry Pirates who direct traffic have little patience with tourists, they want that boat loaded and off the dock. It took me a few crossings to figure out how it works, now I can usually spot the newbs from the way they wait in line.

    One more thing: do not, repeat do not arm your alarm or you will be doing the walk of shame as an announcement comes over the PA system "asking" the owner of the vehicle in alarm to come secure it immediately.
    Steve
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  15. #30
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallyho View Post
    Isn't combining WA and OR with "wine country" an oxymoron?
    An oxymoron in Wine Spectator perhaps...

    Their pick for number one wine of 2009 was Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Reserve 2005.

    Cheers, Bill J

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