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Monday, June 10, 2002
Oakland to Lyle, WA
Interstate to Weed, CA, then US 97/197 to The Dalles, OR. I-5 is nothing much until you get to Mt. Shasta, where it becomes somewhat interesting. Make sure you wear your helmet on 97 past Upper Klamath Lake, as the clouds of gnats and whatever else breeds in the irrigation canals by the side of the road will be sure to overwhelm you if you don't. A guy upstate in Bend took one look at the insect carnage on my helmet and said dryly to his wife, "Musta come up past the lake." Took 62 up around Crater Lake, which was totally worth it. Very, very pretty, although a bit chilly. 97 to Bend was nice, lousy from Bend to Redmond, and great from Redmond to The Dalles (I turned off onto 197 past Madras). Unfortunately, it was dark so I didn't get to see it as much as I would've liked, but the night sky was beautiful and it stayed semi-light until like 10:45.
Mt. Shasta viewed from the south.
Mt. Shasta viewed from the north.
Logs at a sawmill on the Klamath River. The entire town smelled like wet sawdust. (I'm not kidding!)
Crater Lake.
Crater Lake.
Crater Lake.
It was cold up at the lake.
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Lyle to Clarkston, WA
State Highway 14 along the Columbia River to I-82, then 124 to US 12. Riding along the Columbia was fantastic - all vineyards and rolling hills with magnificent vistas of the river. 124 and 12 were nice open roads, although not particularly memorable.
The John Day Dam on the Columbia River, just east of The Dalles, OR.
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Clarkston to Forsyth, MT
Best riding day of the trip. US 12 across Idaho to Missoula, then 200 to Great Falls, 87 to Roundup, and 12 to Forsyth. US 12 across Idaho was breathtaking - it runs alongside a river winding up through the mountains to the Lolo pass. I found myself saying, "We should move to Idaho," more than once, although they take the speed limit pretty seriously in Idaho, unlike most western states. 200 was a great road and then 87 was your basic western dream highway across "big sky country," which it most certainly is. Met a guy from Great Falls who had worked the bucket brigade at Ground Zero. There are towns on the map that I swear consist of no more than an abandonded barn about 50 yards back from the road.
Have I died and gone to heaven? This road, US Highway 12 through the Clearwater Mountains up to the Lolo Pass, was the best of the whole trip.
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Forsyth to Jackson, MN
State Highway 59 to US 212 to Belle Fourche and then I-90 the rest of the way. 59 and 212 were OK, not particularly memorable except for abundant construction. Oddly, I passed at least three military convoys this day. I should've gone south to Sioux City instead of staying on I-90 to Minnesota.
Friday, June 14, 2002
Jackson to Youngstown, OH
Interstate marathon the rest of the way home. I figured out that I was going to hit Chicago at Friday afternoon rush hour unless I went south to Des Moines and picked up I-80, so that's what I did. Can someone tell me what happened to Ohio? It's like this second rate midwest state and they have this beautiful six lane turnpike that drives like butter after pounding your way through Indiana. Are they actually spending your toll money on improving the road? Some politician must have friends in the paving industry.
Just to throw in a bit of roadside nonsense, I stopped to see the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, MN.
Saturday, June 15, 2002
Youngstown to New York City
310.8 miles across Pennsylvania on I-80, not that anyone's counting. The only day of rain on the whole trip. I actually enjoyed Pennsylvania more than usual - I didn't say "Why don't they just nuke this whole state?" once. But why don't they?
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