For my birthday week, we planned a motorcycle trip from Spanaway, Washington to Lassen Volcanic National Park and Redwood National Park in California, riding south through Central Oregon and north along the Oregon Coast for our return loop home.
It’s the longest bike trip I’ve done to date at 1,500 miles!
Our first partial travel day got us well on our way. We finished work and then rode from our house to Carson, Washington by way of route 131. The highlights of this winding, backwoods road included very few cars, lunch at the Huff ‘n Puff hamburger stand in Randle, and amazing views along the eastern side of Mt. St. Helens.
We stayed with a very nice family in Carson who had several units in their home dedicated to AirBnB guests.
There wasn’t too much going on in this small town along the northern Columbia River Gorge, but our AirBnB welcome packet included a coupon for a free beer sampler at Backwoods Brewing Company, which was within walking distance of our accommodations. We enjoyed a peaceful albeit warm walk to the brewery, waited for some outdoor seating to open up, and enjoyed sharing our sampler and a wood-fired pizza for dinner.
Our server was lovely, the vibe was fun, and it was a really wonderful first day of our trip!
The next morning we crossed the Columbia River and rode into Hood River, Oregon for breakfast at Pine Street Bakery.
My new motorcycle, a BMW F650CS, sits a bit higher than my previous Buell Blast, and I was really noticing the difference as the wind whipped me around while we wound along the Columbia River to our breakfast spot. Several gusts truly felt like they were going to blow me right off my bike, despite Brian’s reassurances that I was hardly moving around on the road from his vantage point.
Let’s just say I was thankful for a moment to recover and reset when we pulled up to Pine Street. The coffee and pastries hit the spot and were just what we needed to fuel up for our first full day of riding.
Carson was a perfect launching point for our motorcycle trip, or any trip taking someone through central Oregon. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to stay along the gorge, I recommend it!