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Thread: Seattle to MOA Rally Tips

  1. #1
    Registered User mvscorpio's Avatar
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    Seattle to MOA Rally Tips

    Good morning, everyone. I am considering the rally in Redmond and looking to combine it with a trip to Seattle with the S.O. My idea is to spend several days in Seattle, then take 2-3 days to ride from Seattle to the rally. (I will probably rent a bike for the trip; lack of PTO means cross-country travel is out of the question.)
    So regardless of whose bike it is, I need some tips on destinations and routes between Seattle and Redmond. I will also be at the rally from Wednesday to Saturday or Sunday...any recommendation for day trips?

    What sites and routes are on your "don't miss" list? Thanks!
    Maria 2009 F650GS
    www.bmwbmw.org

  2. #2
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    Good morning, I rode from Wisconsin to Seattle Sept '08'. A local club member suggested taking U.S. 12 accross. I Had a fantastic ride and was glad I took his advice. Much more scenic than the slab. It joins up with I-90 in Garrison, MT.
    As to riding from Seattle to Redmond, I don't have any recommendation other than don't miss the Columbia Gorge if you can help it.
    Karen Jacobs
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    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

  3. #3
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    From Seattle I would ride south to Tacoma then work down through Eatonville past Elbe (stop to look at the Shays locomotive) and through Mt. Rainer Nat. Park. Then on Hwy 123 pick up Hwy 12 west. At Randal go south on 131 and take the spur to Windy Ridge. This is in the Blast zone of the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980, and it is still heavily impacted. It was repaved, and there are no pesky trees to shade the road and keep patches wet. The hwy 131 becomes National Forest road 25. It is pretty bumpy, but crazy twisty through very scenic country. Roll on down past Cougar to SR 14 on the Columbia River Gorge and run east to White Salmon for a remarkable loop. Run north along the White Salmon River on Hwy 141 to BZ corners. About ?ยข mile of the BZ Corners Log House restaurant there is a little parking lot where Kayakers put in. Park there and walk down the trail till you see the water. This section of the river is extremely narrow with vertical black rock walls. You can take a few minutes watching extreme kayaking.
    Back on the bike and east out of BZ corners to Glenwood, in the lap of our 3rd volcano, Mt Adams, then high above the Klikitat River through broad sweepers punctuated by hair pins, to the intersection with Hwy 142. Take 142 down the Klikitat canyon back to the Gorge and SR 14 again. Roll over the Columbia River from The Dalles up 197 to 97 and into Redmond.

    This might be a two day ride.

  4. #4
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Hmm, Bob stole my thunder! LOL

    But really +1 to his route suggestion, it was the first thing that came to my little pea brain when I spied your post. Only caution is to go online and check out road conditions in the Gifford-Pinchot NF just before you depart Seattle. Last time I tried that route the road had been closed due to some new landslides the day before departure. No signs until I was about 5 miles south of US-12, and no good roads for easy detours. You could find your way through the back country IF you were riding a GS and had the USFS road maps of the area. There are connections, but some of them are a bit rough.

    If it's open though, it is one extremely scenic route off the well traveled main roads twixt Seattle and Central Oregon...definitely worth a couple of days of riding!

    Good Luck!

    Cheers, Bill J

  5. #5
    Registered User mvscorpio's Avatar
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    Thanks folks, keep those ideas flowing!
    Maria 2009 F650GS
    www.bmwbmw.org

  6. #6
    sportridertex
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    Maria;

    Question in your original posting you say, "lack of PTO" what is a PTO ?

  7. #7
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvscorpio View Post
    (I will probably rent a bike for the trip; lack of PTO means cross-country travel is out of the question.)
    My best guess is, Paid Time Off

  8. #8
    sportridertex
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    Power Take Off ?

  9. #9
    "...Down to the wire..." grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Get out of Seattle fast. The drivers are the worst!

    Head over the Cascades on I 90 to Ellensburg and take 821 (Canyon Rd) to Yakima picking up US 97 which is the same 97 to the Rally.

    This is a nice ride. Even the bit of slabbing on 90 is ok.

    But canyon road is aces!
    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  10. #10
    Registered User mvscorpio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportridertex View Post
    Power Take Off ?
    I like the sound of it...but it is only paid time off.
    Maria 2009 F650GS
    www.bmwbmw.org

  11. #11
    Sagewind1951
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    Add to the I-90/Canyon Road route

    Hi. If you choose the I-90/SR-821 route, get off I-90 at the second Cle Elum Exit (marked 'Wenatchee'). Go East about 3 miles to the intersection of SR-970 (the highway you'll be on) with SR-10 to Ellensburg. This will give you about 25 more miles of the Yakima River Canyon scenery before you pick up SR-821 (aka the Yakima Canyon Scenic Highway) on the east side of Ellensburg.
    If you make the run down the Canyon Road just after dawn, it'll be a little brisk, so dress warmly. At that time of day and year, keep an eye open for bighorn sheep; they come down to the highway and lick the road salt out of the centerline rumble strip frequently at about dawn. I commute that route almost daily, and see them a couple of days a week. Last year there was an eagle pair nesting between the Big Pines and Rosa BLM campgrounds on the river side of the road.

    Another alternate route is to simply go south to Tacoma, ride SR-7 past Pac Forest to US-12. SR-7 is quite windy and forested with some open areas, 12 is open but scenic. You can hit Mt. Ranier National Park on a loop that'll take you back to US-12 also.

    On either of these routes, from Yakima (Union Gap vicinity) take US-97 over Satus Pass to Goldendale (don't miss the miniature Stonehedge replica north of Goldendale as you start down into the Columbia River Gorge).

    For the MOST scenic adventure, you have to go north, either to US-20 (Burlington/Mt. Vernon area), the North Cascades Highway, or US-2 from Everett. If you take US-20, gas up in Sedro Wooley, as services are very limited from there to Winthrop in the Methow Valley. Winthrop has a lot of bed-and-breakfasts, as does Twisp. From there, go south to US-97 at Brewster/Pateros and head south. Alt. US-97 through Chelan is a more scenic route when that choice presents. At Wenatchee, stay on US-97, which joins US-2 briefly through the orchards, then diverges again to cross Blewitt Pass, a nice, winding, scenic stretch to Ellensburg. US-2 is a little less scenic, but not much less, though it is more heavily traveled, and more services are available along it. If going that way, pick up US-97 just east of Leavenworth and take it south to Ellensburg, the Yakima River Canyon and on the Yakima and Goldendale.

    "http://wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/ " is the url for WA DOT pass reports web page, "http://wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/trafficalerts/default.aspx " is the state-wide traffic alerts web page (if you have internet access), and " http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/" is the Seattle area real-time traffic conditions graphics page that shows major highways color coded for traffic volume. This page also has a link to Tacoma area traffic.

    Do try to clear Seattle/Tacoma ASAP; mid-morning Tuesday or Wednesday are usually the lightest traffic times. O-Dark-thirty to 9 am and 3 pm to 7 pm are almost guaranteed ugly weekdays, as is any time after 10 am on weekend days in the Seattle Metro area (Everett/Seattle/Tacoma/Ft. Lewis/Olympia). Also check the baseball schedule, as any home game will bollux up traffic everywhere from 2 pm on. (Seattle Mariners)

    Good luck, and I hope you enjoy selecting from all the great choices for getting scenic routes through Washington. Norm

  12. #12
    12BSWAYED
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    Maria,
    Are you flying into and out of Seattle?

  13. #13
    Registered User mvscorpio's Avatar
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    That's my initial plan. Fly in, stay in Seattle area for a few days, rent bike and head to the rally, return to Seattle, fly home.
    Maria 2009 F650GS
    www.bmwbmw.org

  14. #14
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    There are a number of things to do and see in the Seattle area, and various island trips in the "Puget Sound" vicinity.

    I would suggest a visit to the Hiram Chittendon Locks on the ship canal about 8 mi north of downtown. Just watching the boats come and go is a treat, and at some times of year there are salmon swimming upstream through the fish ladders (with underwater viewing windows)

    Downtown, I suggest a visit to the Pike Place Market. (motorcycle parking at the far north end) Lots of shops to wander. Consider the little south american restaurant overlooking the market about at the center.

    Below the market on the waterfront, there are a number of shops. I'd point you to the Old Curiosity Shop. There is also a tour boat dock near the ferry terminal. I'd suggest either a harbor tour, or the dinner cruise to Blake Island (if they still do that)

    An alternative is to park the bike under the viaduct and catch the WA ferry to Bainbridge Island. Walk into town for lunch or dinner, than back to Seattle with a great view of the city.

    In the Pioneer Square area (three blocks s and two blocks e of the ferry dock) there is the Gold Rush Museum, and also the Seattle Underground tour.

    At the south end of Boeing Field (5 NE of SEA airport) there is the Museum of Flight, one of the most interesting "airplane" museums in the NW.

    If you just want to grab the rental bike and go, consider heading north to Edmonds, taking the ferry to Kingston, crossing the Hood Canal floating bridge, and riding down hwy 101 south along Hood Canal. That could lead you to I-5, south to Olympia, and east via Yelm/McKenna to Mt. Rainier NP. We locals tend to forget that this mountain has something like 12 active glaciers. The old lodge at Paradise on Mt. Rainier is fascinating, and I'd suggest overnighting there if possible.

    From Mt. Rainier, you can either head south to Randle and FS 25 etc. to the Columbia R. at Carson; or go through the park and continue east on 12 over White Pass to Yakima, then south toward the Gorge and Oregon on 97.

    You could easily spend several days in the Columbia Gorge scenic area. At least find the old highway above I-84 west of Hood River and follow it west back to Multnomah Falls. Have lunch here, and maybe hike the short trail up to the bridge. For information about the fabulous roads in the Gorge, both in WA and OR, get a copy of Tom Mehren's book "Guide to Motorcycling in the Columbia River Gorge, 3rd ed. (go to www.soundrider.com; SR store, books.)

    For a coastal alternative to all this, take a two or three day trip around the Olympic Peninsula. For a fun loop, head north to Mukilteo, ferry across to Whidbey Island, ride north to Deception Pass. Return south to Coupeville, head for Keystone ferry, cross to Port Townsend. Spend the rest of the day in Port Townsend. Good high end dinner: Belmont. Cheap dinner: Subway, but take it out to the dock and eat on the pier with a view back toward town.

    Then head west on 101. Lots of stuff to see, but at least take the ride up Hurricane Ridge and back, and stop at Lake Crescent Lodge for coffee and a break. Continuing south on 101, consider the side trip to LaPush, or Realto Beach, take a break at Kalaloch Lodge for a beach walk and Lake Quinault Lodge, and overnight somewhere south, perhaps Hoquiam or Aberdeen. You could make Redmond in a day from Kalaloch Lodge, and that would make a great overnight stop--right on the Pacific Ocean with waves crashing in.

    From the south end of the peninsula it's an easy one day transit to Redmond via I-5 and 26 over Mt. Hood.

    You might think about heading "south" via the Olympic Peninsula, and returning "north" via the Gorge, Mt. Rainier, etc.

    pmdave

  15. #15
    Registered User mvscorpio's Avatar
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    Great feedback, everyone!
    Any recommendations on WA or OR wine country?
    Maria 2009 F650GS
    www.bmwbmw.org

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