Hotel Coffee & Corners
Day three began with a little crappy hotel coffee and a review of today's route. After yesterday's ride along Hwy 34 I decided that I'd start by taking that ten mile detour just to ride that phenomenal section once again since I'm down here. Basically heading down 34 through the twisties and back to Hwy 20 once again.
My route today includes another couple roads found via my Oregon Butler Map, as well as, a road that I thought I remembered, but clearly do not but more on that later.
Rush hour traffic had cleared up by the time I left the Motel and headed west making quick work of riding from Corvallis through Philomath. Approaching the turn onto 34 a stopped train was doing a great job of blocking traffic. A minute later, with no movement at all, I hopped off the bike and stood in the shade watching them slow walk their way through whatever they were doing to clear up this cock up.
I won't bore you by re-hashing that section of road and instead we'll pick up the story heading west on Hwy 20, which is a pretty nice road for getting to the coast. Today, however, I was here to try Hwy/route 180 / Summit Hwy which is essentially a by-pass/loop road. It curves off Hwy 20 and connects with Crystal Creek Loop that connects back to Hwy 20.
Summit Hwy immediately blasts the inside of my helmet with a large smile. Tree lined, a plethora of corners kept my mind fully engaged as I fly through the this tree-lined beauty. The pavement is mostly good/great with a few places that are a little rougher but the curves and elevation changes brought me to conclude that I hope that riding in heaven will be on roads like this one.
I can't believe how great this road is and I can't believe I haven't ridden it before. Score another one for Butler Maps.
Old Made New Again
A few miles after re-joining Hwy 20 and I'm off heading north on Siletz Hwy/229. I've ridden Siletz Hwy before so I had an idea in my mind what it was like. A nice country road that winds its way into the hills until you get to Siletz which is a very small town with a couple places to eat and a little river side park area. Other than that I don't remember anything remarkable about this road. Nice, yes, extraordinary, not so much.
Today I was hoping to find a place to get something to eat. I skipped breakfast so I could do with a couple eggs.
I stopped at the Little Chief and knew I was in the right place. Love cute little cafes like this.
What the Heck?
Riding north and it was as if I have never ridden this road before. How on earth do I not remember how amazing this ribbon of tarmac was? I know I've ridden this before, but I have no recollection of these corners! So good.
Corner after corner, between route 180 and Siletz Hwy, I am loving today's ride so far. This road curls in and our of the trees along the hillsides and in so doing it crosses the train tracks four or five times only one of which is a modern crossing. The others are a bit sketchy so be awake and relaxed when crossing.
Many amazing curves, corners, farms and overtakes later and Siletz Hwy connects with Hwy 101 a little south of Lincoln City. Realizing I made a mistake by taking off my wind-blocker shirt after lunch, I took two minutes to dig it back out of my bag.
Devil or Angel?
After filling up I made my way north. I got some gas just before the Devils Lake turn off, a road I'd never taken before, so was hoping to find another Butler Map gem. I expected it to be lots of homes lining the lake and there were some, but not too bad. Overall the road was pretty fun little diversion, but you'll want to try and avoid the cagers to avoid screaming at them in your helmet to "GET A MOVE ON" as people tend to not be in a hurry when at the coast.
Next up was yet another road on my Butler Map list of discovers, but I completely missed it. When I got to the Jct at Hwy 22 I ignored my gut and continued left staying on 101 instead of turning right which I knew wasn't the right Hwy (for the overall trip).
A few miles later I realized I had missed Mt Hebo Rd, but I couldn't be bothered to turn around and backtrack. Next time Mt Hebo...next time.
I rolled north up to Beaver and veered off at Blaine Rd/Upper Netsucca Rd to head into the wilderness. Beaver begins as a farm/country road and works its way into a narrow, tight and twisty mountain camping road. Last time I was here, I turned off at Bible Creek Rd, but today my plan was to stay the course into Newberg.
Netsucca becomes gravel shortly after the Bible Creek jct eventually becoming NW Meadowlake Rd. I was told the gravel was about two miles long so I relaxed as best as I could and rolled along at twenty-ish mph avoiding the gnarly stuff as best as possible.
At one point I caught a mountain biker who was on the same stretch of road. I flipped my visor up and we had a quick conversation on the move which, while riding a motorcycle just barely inching along at bicycle speed was a new experience for me. I was seeking a little clarification because at that point the gravel was getting old.
Ah, sweet sweet pavement
Not too much further and the pavement returned. I felt like hopping off and kissing the ground. This section of road follows a stream and is twisty and fun. The pavement isn't perfect so you can't just throw yourself at the road with abandon but you can move along at a good pace if you wish.
The road climbs up out of the trees and off to the right I could see what, at first, looked like a lake but being fenced off like it was I assumed it was a reservoir or something like that. The road continues to twist and turn as I head down to the valley floor just west of Carlton on my way to Newberg.
Carlton is a very small, but kinda cool little town. Not a lot here, but I always like places that are kept up and keep the old school look.