Our Oregon Trail

Tuffy’s for breakfast in Kelso, Washington. Michelle waited on us this morning but forgot to warn us how incredibly large the portions are. Mike requested a biscuit with some honey instead of toast. You can see the enormous roll below. Compare it to the coffee cup. A full order of biscuits and gravy included 2 of these monsters. Crazy.

We debated about exactly where we were headed today. Mount Saint Helens and Astoria Bridge were the two primary candidates. If we tried to do both, the mileage was going to push our limits in time and distance. After a lot of discussion, we decided that we have seen enough bridges and headed for Mount Saint Helens.

I’m not sure what did me in but I was feeling pretty nauseous today. It started early this morning and I thought it would get better but not so. By the time we rode the 30 miles to the Saint Helens visitors center I needed to stop. I encouraged Max and Mike to go on and that I would wait for them in the visitors center. After drinking a lot of water and laying on a bench in the shade I started to feel a little better. The picture below shows how close I was able to get to the mountain.

Mike and Max were able to get about 30 miles closer but still not up the final run to the mountain. The park had shut down the road due to the current virus situation. I did purchase a hat pin for my map at home even though I didn’t actually run up to the mountain. Is that cheating?

By the time the guys returned to the visitor’s center, I was feeling much better. It was time to head for McMinnville, Oregon where our hotel rooms were waiting. The GPS told us that the route we had selected had two road closures. A quick look at the map and we decided to follow I-5 South. Wow! I certainly wasn’t prepared for what we encountered. I-5 took us directly through Portland. It was some of the worst traffic I have ever been in. To top it off there were several inconsiderate drivers who wanted to see how close they could get to our rear wheels. I guess they needed a closer look at our Indiana license plates.

We peeled off of the interstate to follow what we envisioned was going to be a 2 lane quiet highway. Our GPS had other ideas and directed us on a grand tour of Beaverton, Oregon. Not that we think Beaverton is a bad town but we were tired of fighting traffic and just wanted to leave civilization behind. WAIT – hold that thought. I see a Dairy Queen. Beaverton is not so bad after all. DQ is the perfect spot for an afternoon break. No pictures were taken here. Honest, I just had a glass of water.

Mike met a really nice gentleman who gave us directions to get to McMinnville. Thank you Jordan. It was nice to meet you. I thought it was funny that we were 46 miles from our destination before the GPS took control and we found ourselves with 53 miles to go.

The final miles were not as idyllic as I wanted. The two lane road was heavily traveled and we were on our toes the entire way (not to mention on our clutches, brakes, etc.). The temperatures also weren’t as cool as I had hoped – it was still in the mid-80’s when we pulled into the Red Lion Motel in McMinnville.

Dinner was right next door at the world famous Golden Arches Restaurant (also known as McD’s). It wasn’t exactly fine dining but we were able to enjoy the much cooler evening weather.

Most restaurants in Oregon are limited to outside dining. The hotel pool is closed for the rest of the year and the breakfast offerings have been eliminated for the same period. At least they are not messing with 3 …… mature Hoosier bikers.

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