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Hello from the Northeast! I'm going to be out in Salem, OR in the end of September for a wedding. I've got the whole week off and the fiance is flying back east right after the wedding, so I was going to take a few days, rent a bike and do a little 4 day jaunt through the area (Monday to Thursday). I'm renting a V-Strom DL650 from an outfit called Northwest Motorcycle Adventures. I'm mostly planning on tarmac, but I'm looking for a little dirt and gravel as well (the bike comes with 70/30 tires, and I'd like to experience some more gravel roads on an ADV type bike). Anyways, my plan was as follows:

Day 1 - Depart Portland early morning and head east on 6 and then 26 into Tilamook forest. Here's my big question: I see that there are lots of dirt and gravel roads off of Rt 6 near the Smith Homestead and Jones Creek camping area. I planned on taking a few hours and making my way along those roads and popping out of the forest up near Foss. Does anyone know anything about these roads and their condition? I'm assuming I should be fine with the V-Strom, and in September, I'd have to imagine that these roads are all clear? Anyways, once I come out of the forest, I'm heading up 101 along the coast and aiming to end up in Ocean Shores, WA by the night. Anyone have any recommendations for any food or things to see along that way?

Day 2 - Depart early and head up 101 to Port Angeles. I'm taking the ferry across to Victoria, BC, and up Island Highway (1 and 19) and spending the night in Courtenay, BC.

Day 3 - This is the ferry day. Ferry to Powell River, then Sunshine Coast Highway to Saltery Bay, take the ferry from there across to Earls Cove, continue on Sunshine Coast Highway to Grantham's Landing, then ferry to Horseshoe Bay, then down over the Lion's Gate Bridge into Vancouver, then continuing down into Everett, WA. Spending the night in Everett. If I feel beat up though, I'll just end up riding back down Nanaimo and just take the ferry across to Horseshoe Bay and cut out the island hopping.

Day 4 - Wake up and hit the Boeing Factory tour, then head south through Seattle for a requisite picture in front of the space needle, then high tail it down I-5 back down to Portland where I'm returning the motorcycle and boarding the red eye back to NY.



So if anyone has any suggestions for food or things to see or alternate roads, I'd love to hear them. Thanks in advance!
 

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Day 1 - Depart Portland early morning and head east on 6 and then 26 into Tilamook forest. Here's my big question: I see that there are lots of dirt and gravel roads off of Rt 6 near the Smith Homestead and Jones Creek camping area. I planned on taking a few hours and making my way along those roads and popping out of the forest up near Foss. Does anyone know anything about these roads and their condition? I'm assuming I should be fine with the V-Strom, and in September, I'd have to imagine that these roads are all clear? Anyways, once I come out of the forest, I'm heading up 101 along the coast and aiming to end up in Ocean Shores, WA by the night. Anyone have any recommendations for any food or things to see along that way?
If you head east from Portland, you're not going to end up in the Tillamook forest. ;)

I'm a street (paved) rider only. So, I don't know much about the gravel stuff.

6 and 26 are largely pristine highways....lots of traffic. They are mountain highways and are picturesque, but not the top choice of riding routes. Avoid them as much as you can. 101 is worse...expect to follow a bunch of motorhomes.

One route that I like to send people on is this one...

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Carlton,+Oregon+97111/Beaver,+Oregon/@45.2322833,-123.8364337,10z/data=!4m19!4m18!1m10!1m1!1s0x54953862facf54f5:0x39078b8decf0344!2m2!1d-123.1796697!2d45.2942902!3m4!1m2!1d-123.5164122!2d45.2832435!3s0x54953331b51ef3d9:0x8098fdb1df22566c!1m5!1m1!1s0x54eace3f004ee991:0x612aff5c5c668e59!2m2!1d-123.8265054!2d45.2767726!3e0

Old but largely paved logging roads. Narrow, twisty, a short section of gravel with gravel options throughout the area. It is a much better run to the coast with limited traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I meant west, duh lol. My mistake. Thanks for the routes, I'm going to check them out when I get to a computer!
 

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If I were you, I would avoid Everett,Seattle, Tacoma areas. Very heavy traffic. I lived and rode the area for 31 years and would avoid Seattle at all costs. The Oregon and Washington coast (hwy101) is a nice ride. Mountain riding in eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and BC is awesome. I would explore those areas instead of riding the I-5 corridor south from Vancouver island back to Oregon. Hwy 20 in Northern wa is awesome in every way, So is hwy 410 over mt Rainier.
 

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If I were you, I would avoid Everett,Seattle, Tacoma areas. Very heavy traffic.
Those areas were a hot mess when I was up there in the early 90's. Hated going to Tacoma/Seattle by car on the weekends. I can't imagine how bad it is now.
 

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Are you sure you can go Powell River to Everett in one day? That sounds like a lot. The border crossing can be quite congested in the summer. I got detained once for more than an hour while the Canadians were looking for firearms (none thrre of course, but no point arguing at the time) -- in addition to the wait time getting to that point.

End of Sept is a beautiful time here, really more summer than fall.

Everett is kind of an uninteresting place IMO. I'd consider getting off I-5 at Highway 20, coming down Whidbey Island, maybe find a cabin or house to stay in around Langley. I go on day trips there, amd really like the ambience. Great seafood too, if you have heard of Penn Cove it's right around there. Langley is about 10 minutes from the ferry, and there is a 15 minute crossing, and then Boeing Everett is right at the top of the hill, maybe 10 more minutes. And motorcycles load and unload first from the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If I were you, I would avoid Everett,Seattle, Tacoma areas. Very heavy traffic. I lived and rode the area for 31 years and would avoid Seattle at all costs. The Oregon and Washington coast (hwy101) is a nice ride. Mountain riding in eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and BC is awesome. I would explore those areas instead of riding the I-5 corridor south from Vancouver island back to Oregon. Hwy 20 in Northern wa is awesome in every way, So is hwy 410 over mt Rainier.
The only reason I was staying in Everett is because hotels are cheap and I can wake up the next morning and hit the Boeing factory (I'm a big aviation buff and I love big factories). I was planning on I-5 so I can haul ass and get back quickly because I am on a schedule, but I may take your advice and take I-5 out of Everett and branch off to I-405 to 167 and then ultimately 410 over Rainier. Google maps says that it's closed in the winter, but I'm assuming it will still be open in September? After 410, I'd take hwy 123 to rt 12 and then get back on I-5 for a short bit into Portland. It looks like I'll have enough time for this.





Are you sure you can go Powell River to Everett in one day? That sounds like a lot. The border crossing can be quite congested in the summer. I got detained once for more than an hour while the Canadians were looking for firearms (none thrre of course, but no point arguing at the time) -- in addition to the wait time getting to that point.

End of Sept is a beautiful time here, really more summer than fall.

Everett is kind of an uninteresting place IMO. I'd consider getting off I-5 at Highway 20, coming down Whidbey Island, maybe find a cabin or house to stay in around Langley. I go on day trips there, amd really like the ambience. Great seafood too, if you have heard of Penn Cove it's right around there. Langley is about 10 minutes from the ferry, and there is a 15 minute crossing, and then Boeing Everett is right at the top of the hill, maybe 10 more minutes. And motorcycles load and unload first from the boat.
I've changed my mind as far as Powell River to Everett. All the time tables would be tight and it would leave me with almost no time to see anything in Vancouver. I'm just going to stay near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and take the ferry over to Horseshoe Bay. This will cut out a lot of time and leave me with some flexibility. I'll definitely take your advice though and look for a place near Langley.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions!!
 

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Make sure to check out the Boatyard Inn and The Inn at Langley.
They look great. Unfortunately the Boatyard Inn has a 4 night minimum and I only need to crash for a night, but it looks like the The Inn may work out, thanks for the tip! May have to plan another trip out to the area and stay a little longer with the wife.
 

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One more tip....do NOT cross the border at Can-99/I-5. Instead, cross less than a mile to the east at the truck crossing. It is usually faster.
 

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One more tip....do NOT cross the border at Can-99/I-5. Instead, cross less than a mile to the east at the truck crossing. It is usually faster.
Thanks for the tip!
 

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You mentioned you were going to be in Salem, and you’re an aviation buff...you might want to check out the Evergreen Aviation Museum a few miles NW of Salem in McMinville. You can tour the Spruce Goose, and climb inside of a few other aircraft like the Flying Fortress.

Just a suggestion...

https://www.evergreenmuseum.org
 

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You mentioned you were going to be in Salem, and you’re an aviation buff...you might want to check out the Evergreen Aviation Museum a few miles NW of Salem in McMinville. You can tour the Spruce Goose, and climb inside of a few other aircraft like the Flying Fortress.

Just a suggestion...

https://www.evergreenmuseum.org
Went there a few years ago, I loved it! The wedding I'm going to in Salem is my fiance's old roommate. My fiance lived out in Salem for a a few years so I went out to visit her quite a bit. Loved it out there, wish I could move to the area, but alas my career has me anchored to my current location.
 

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Hello from the Northeast! I'm going to be out in Salem, OR in the end of September for a wedding. I've got the whole week off and the fiance is flying back east right after the wedding, so I was going to take a few days, rent a bike and do a little 4 day jaunt through the area (Monday to Thursday). I'm renting a V-Strom DL650 from an outfit called Northwest Motorcycle Adventures. I'm mostly planning on tarmac, but I'm looking for a little dirt and gravel as well (the bike comes with 70/30 tires, and I'd like to experience some more gravel roads on an ADV type bike). Anyways, my plan was as follows:

Day 1 - Depart Portland early morning and head east on 6 and then 26 into Tilamook forest. Here's my big question: I see that there are lots of dirt and gravel roads off of Rt 6 near the Smith Homestead and Jones Creek camping area. I planned on taking a few hours and making my way along those roads and popping out of the forest up near Foss. Does anyone know anything about these roads and their condition? I'm assuming I should be fine with the V-Strom, and in September, I'd have to imagine that these roads are all clear? Anyways, once I come out of the forest, I'm heading up 101 along the coast and aiming to end up in Ocean Shores, WA by the night. Anyone have any recommendations for any food or things to see along that way?

Day 2 - Depart early and head up 101 to Port Angeles. I'm taking the ferry across to Victoria, BC, and up Island Highway (1 and 19) and spending the night in Courtenay, BC.

Day 3 - This is the ferry day. Ferry to Powell River, then Sunshine Coast Highway to Saltery Bay, take the ferry from there across to Earls Cove, continue on Sunshine Coast Highway to Grantham's Landing, then ferry to Horseshoe Bay, then down over the Lion's Gate Bridge into Vancouver, then continuing down into Everett, WA. Spending the night in Everett. If I feel beat up though, I'll just end up riding back down Nanaimo and just take the ferry across to Horseshoe Bay and cut out the island hopping.

Day 4 - Wake up and hit the Boeing Factory tour, then head south through Seattle for a requisite picture in front of the space needle, then high tail it down I-5 back down to Portland where I'm returning the motorcycle and boarding the red eye back to NY.



So if anyone has any suggestions for food or things to see or alternate roads, I'd love to hear them. Thanks in advance!
Portland traffic will be ****, fair warning. All the roads are under construction in portland, the alaskan viaduct in Washington is under construction also.

If you want to meet up for a beer i'm near Bellingham.

An interesting musuem, if you're into it, is in Everett. It's a collection by former Msoft magnate Paul Allen. It has WWII tanks and aircraft.
https://flyingheritage.org
I grew up in in the general area of Snohomish County, there's a lot to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
May have to plan another trip out to the area and stay a little longer with the wife.
The wedding I'm going to in Salem is my fiance's old roommate.
Wait, you have a fiancé and a wife?

No wonder you need a solo vacation. /forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
Hahaha, it's easier calling her the wife sometimes, plus by the time we come back again, we'll be hitched. One of them is already a handful, I don't know how people lead double lives, who's got the time for that? LOL




Portland traffic will be ****, fair warning. All the roads are under construction in portland, the alaskan viaduct in Washington is under construction also.

If you want to meet up for a beer i'm near Bellingham.

An interesting musuem, if you're into it, is in Everett. It's a collection by former Msoft magnate Paul Allen. It has WWII tanks and aircraft.
https://flyingheritage.org
I grew up in in the general area of Snohomish County, there's a lot to see.
I plan on getting the **** out of Portland asap the morning of the first day. I'll probably set out before rush hour even begins.

I'll let you know about that beer, sounds like a good offer. Thanks for the tip on the museum in Everett, I may try and cram that in there as well, sounds like it's right up my alley.
 
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If you're going through Port Angeles, maybe make time to tide up to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. Nice views of the Olympic mountains and a great twisty road. Up and back on a week day in September should take a couple of hours.

Unless there is something specific you want to see in the Everett area, a much more interesting way to get down to Seattle than I5 from Vancouver is to get off I5 onto WA20 in Burlington and go down Whidbey Island and ferry across to Port Townsend (try the soup and pie at Hill Bottom Cafe and the brews at Propolis Brewery) then down to Bainbridge Island for the ferry across to Seattle, but go through Port Gamble instead of Poulsbo.

Trying to cover so much area in the PNW in so few days ...

Enjoy your trip!
 
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