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Thread: West of Seattle . . .

  1. #1
    Old . . and . . Slow ORexpat's Avatar
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    West of Seattle . . .

    Just moved back to the Pacific NorthWet; after unpacking 500 million (or so . . ) boxes the sun comes out and I'm jonesing for a ride--even a short one!

    Near Seabeck, The Brothers in the background--Olympic Mountains.

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    A little haze in the sky.

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    North along the Hood Canal.

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  2. #2
    Old . . and . . Slow ORexpat's Avatar
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    Who could resist a view of Mt. Rainier on a clear February day?

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  3. #3
    Old . . and . . Slow ORexpat's Avatar
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    A few days later, the weather's a bit more normal but still a nice day for a ride. Besides, the RT needed a bit of exercise!

    Hod Canal bridge in the background

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    Port Gamble is an old mill/logging town that's been restored/maintained as a tourist destination. Nice place.

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    Hood Canal bridge again, in the far background, from the Port Gamble cemetery.

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  4. #4
    Old . . and . . Slow ORexpat's Avatar
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    Last shot from Port Gamble, fitting . . . about 1700 and time for sounding evening Colors . . . .

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  5. #5
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    Where did you move from? Weren't you in Virginia?
    2000 R1100RS
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  6. #6
    Old . . and . . Slow ORexpat's Avatar
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    Yep-good call. Moved from NOVA back to the PNW after retiring for the second time. More riding, hopefully!

  7. #7
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    Well, it looks like very nice riding out there. I am a central Virginia guy. Don't head up north of Fredericksburg if at all possible. I know you have not been there long, but how would you compare the PNW to Virginia?
    2000 R1100RS
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  8. #8
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    I've never ridden the PNW. My dog and I will be sidecaring out from Vermont for the rally. The more I learn of the PNW the more inclined I am to take the direct route skipping much of the scenic stuff between us to maximize my time in that region.
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
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  9. #9
    Old . . and . . Slow ORexpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluehole View Post
    Well, it looks like very nice riding out there. I am a central Virginia guy. Don't head up north of Fredericksburg if at all possible. I know you have not been there long, but how would you compare the PNW to Virginia?
    My take, and based much more on memory than recent experience!

    While I've just moved back to the area, I grew up on the "dry side" of the Cascades in Oregon, went to school in Eugene (wet side), took up mountaineering then, and was stationed in the Puget Sound region twice.

    There's a huge climate difference between the east and west side of the Cascades. East is, by and large, dry. Forests are mostly pine, with some fir, and juniper. Lots of prairie and sage, depending on the location. West of the mountains is wetter, greener, trees are bigger, etc. Salem is on the wet side but in the middle of summer rain is much less likely.

    Lots of paved forest roads--many more than when I grew up here. Lots of gravel logging roads too. And log trucks always have right of way!!

    For much of the year the west side is damp. But to put that in perspective, where we live gets about 45 inches of rain a year. (Some areas west of the Cascades are more-much more). Northern VA gets about the same amount. But it sure is different. Much of the rain in VA is in thunderstorms and "deluge" rains, then its clear and sunny. And hot and humid in the summer.

    The Puget Sound region is a maritime climate, and it's gray and overcast a lot. And rainy and drizzley too. But very few lines of heavy and dangerous thunderstorms like in the mid west and east.

    Mountains normally get snow--lots of snow--in the winter, and many areas are closed until snow melt in the late spring and early summer. Everything should be open for the MOA rally this summer.

    Because of the climate difference east to west, the region has a tremendous variation in scenery. The drive/ride through the Columbia River Gorge is just one of hundreds of spectacular areas. Moving in to the area last month we saw two herds of mountain sheep and the best rainbow I've ever seen within 20 miles of each other.

    One thing for sure. If you don't like the scenery on one side of the mountains, ride over to the other side and it'll be different!

  10. #10
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    Interesting. I did not know about the west-east, wet-dry thing and that they are two different areas. As you know we sort of have that thing here. Working your way west you start off in Tidewater, roll through Peanut Country into the Piedmont and then the Blue Ridge. But it sounds like the change is much more dramatic out there and not a gradual shift in geography. One thing for sure, the pictures you and others from that area have posted, make it look like a wonderful place to ride.
    2000 R1100RS
    1972 R75/5

  11. #11
    Old . . and . . Slow ORexpat's Avatar
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    I really love riding the Blue Ridge, West Virginia, etc. Gorgeous roads and riding. I expect the west will be even better; if the paved roads are not up to the Dragon, the thousands of miles of forest roads will make up for it!

    I found the climate zone change in the east to be quite gradual overall; even Dolly Sods is a logical extention of the terrain below it. But the Cascades really are different--radical climate, topography, and biological diversity. Quite striking, and quite incredible.

    See you in Salem? (With 20,000 of our best friends)!

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