PNW-GT OR1 and WA1 BUCK-moto loop, Sun-Mon Jun 13--14, 2021
Overview / Naration
The two easiest goals for the 2021 PNW-GT are OR1 Nehalem Bay State Airport and WA5 Ilwaco Airport.
I had planned to grab both of these in one day of about 300 miles and 6.5 hours, but then Kathi expressed interest in doing them too! YAY!!
So I figured we could make this ride more beginner-friendly by breaking it up into two days.
I found a little B&B with great reviews in Seaside Oregon, more or less in the middle and made a reservation. That nailed down the dates, which is dangerous in the Pacific Northwest where it rains pretty much any time of year. As the day approached, it looked like we would definitely have some rain and the route kept getting adjusted. We ended up with this plan to attempt a run down to Nehalem, but with an option to bail out and go directly to Seaside if the rain was too strong
The night before, the weather prediction looked like if we left in late afternoon, the rain would have stopped and we could make it to Seaside dry, more-or-less.
But with unstable weather, prediction quality is strictly limited, and the next morning it looked like maybe we should leave early rather than late. We scrambled and took off about 11:15am.
Instead of exploring the mountains on the way, we bombed down highway 26, straight into Seaside, arriving pretty wet at about 1pm. Fortunately the wonderful staff at Starry Night Inn let us check in early and we took advantage of their blow dryer to take the edge off damp crotch ;-)
After changing out of our wet clothes and drying out a little, we went for a walk around town, had a bagle, a BLT, some excellent coffee, and visited the oldest aquarium on the West Coast. They gave us the senior (age +64) price without asking. I guess I was looking a little grey and disheveled.
This is our actual Day 1 route Day 1: 94 miles, about 2 hours
Happy motorcycling couple arrives (just a litte wet) at the lovely Starry Night Inn in Seaside
The next morning, it was super foggy at the coast, but not raining.
We took this route down to Nehalem. Highway 53 is fantastic!
Day 2 to OR1: 34 miles, about 1 hour
Official rider pics at OR1
WA5 Ilwaco State Airport
We drove up the coast on 101 stopping for gas in Seaside and for lunch at El Tapatio Astoria before crossing the tall bridge.
Day 2 (part 1) to WA5: 53 miles, about 1 hour
Astoria Bridge view from restaurant El Tapatio
Then across the bridge and up to... Wrong end of the runway for offical pics, but just in case
Official pic at WA5 Better than the official pic, but Kathi doesn't like her chipmunk cheeks in the Nolan helmet ;-)
This was our plan to return through the mountains in Oregon via Jewel and Mist then Longview.
But it was already 2pm and that route was going to take at least 5 hours.
We had already done far, far more than double Kathi's longest day to date so we decided to take Highway 4 back home.
We are going to have to go back for Jewel and Mist some other day.
Day 2 (part 2) back home: 124 miles, about 4 hours
We almost made it home dry, but managed to find a massive downpour for about 15 minutes on I-5 south near Woodland. But then it stopped in time for us to almost dry out before reaching home at about 7pm.