I have not been riding the FJR much this summer. I was on a dual sport ride in Mexico in March and used up my available vacation time. Couple that with 60,000 plus miles on the FJR mostly on roads in Washington State and it adds up many repetitions of riding the same roads all too often. So this summer I went hiking, did some home maintenance, built a fence and enjoyed a vacation to the Oregon Coast with Linda my lovely bride. It was wonderful.
After a two month hiatus the FJR was calling. The goal was to see some
of the burned areas from the fires in North Central Washington where
thousand of acres burned, hundreds of homes were lost and three
firefighters lost their lives. I wanted to see something different and
ride roads never rode before.
Out of the house at 7:30 I am heading to Arlington where I can get off I-5 and the real ride begins. Here is my route for day one.
Ah the North Cascades Hwy. I ought to wire a mike to and talk about my
thoughts as I ride this road again for the NNNth time since 1975 or so. I
feel for you if you can’t ride this grand road on a whim.
Some falls colors with a power line. I have taken this photo before - it
is a great fall shot less the darn powerline. This photo is a bit
overexposed. Oh well.
The Methow River near Twisp
My route takes me on a few roads never rode before such as the B & O
North Road and the Spring Coulee road. It was along here the fire
damage was coming into view. In this photo the fire was stopped by apple
orchards, with the fence posts on the right scorched by fire. Crazy.
The area east of the city of Okanagan looks like the moon. Cattlemen
who depend on the land are ruined. If their herd didn’t burn, they can’t
feed what cattle they have left. The dilemma is cattle feed is too
expensive and their land is burnt and will not produce grass for at
least two seasons. Most are lucky to have their homes. Replacing a fence
will cost $5000 per mile. Telephone poles have white X’s on them,
meaning they need replacing. It looks like the moon.
What a tragedy.
A structure saved. There was many structures saved. Even from the
motorcycle at highway speed I could see homes still standing but with
damage from the extreme heat, such as buckled siding.
I am near Conconully when I took this picture. This is what the valley usually looks like.
At Conconully Lake.
This is where the road goes from pavement to gravel for 7 miles and area
affected by fires resumes. The gravel road is named Sinlahekin Rd on
Google maps, but it is a Forest Service road. The seven miles of gravel
cuts a significant amount of time to get to Fish Lake Road. Instead of
two down and outs I can ride a loop. I had no problem with the FJR on
the gravel road.
End of Day One.
I was planning on a three day ride but it did not work out that way. Oh
well and that was fine. After seeing burned land mile after mile, a few
more miles is sad but repetitive.
Here is my route for day two.
A photo of the Similkameen River near Nighthawk Washington where it was 39 degrees when I rolled through.
I thawed out on my way to Riverside Washington where I take the Tunk
Creek Road. Good choice - this is a
nice little down and back road one I have not been on before. Tunk Creek also was one of the five
named major fires in North Central Washington in late September and the
damage was along the road was dramatic.
A few burned cars. I saw a burned garage with a burned car.
I returned home via Blewett Pass where I shot a few fall photos.
End of Trip.
- Hi and welcome to my motorcycle trip blog. Here you will find motorcycle trip reports primarily based in the State of Washington. The entire state is my walk in the park. From the Pacific Ocean and Olympic mountains in the west, to the magnificent Cascade mountains, to the desert and agricultural lands in the east, Washington has it all. Born and raised in Washington I have over 40 years of motorcycle experience. Here you will find a wealth of experience regarding the weather, roads and seasonal patterns of this scenic wonderland. Enjoy the ride.