The warm and dry weather has been great for getting out on your bikes, but the great weather has also increased the fire danger. This situation has restricted access in some areas. As I write this note, there are no closures that I am aware of in the Olympic National Forest that will effect the route that we used last year, but that may change at any time. I may have to alter the route or cancel the ride altogether. Contact me before you head out. (360) 830-5927 or email@example.com
Dick Casey requested a date swap because the weekend that he planned for the North Cascades ride conflicted with the start of hunting season and the hunters filled the lodging in the Winthrop area. So, the ride will be held Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12 instead of October 4th and 5th. The ride as planned, will start shortly after, 10 AM, at the Skokomish Indian Reservation Chevron Gas Station on US101, just north of the SR106 junction and south of Potlach and finish at Hunter Farm on SR106, east of US101. The start and finish are only a few miles apart.
The first days ride is about 60 percent gravel Forest Service roads and will go over 3000 feet in elevation at Dusk Point. Sunday will be mostly paved back roads, much easier and quicker. My guess is that we will finish before 2 PM as last year we finished around 1.
Be sure of your motorcycle's range. There are no gas stations between the start and Humptulips, about 100 miles. Please don't let a little thing like running out of gas stop you from coming along. Let me know if you think that you will have a fuel crisis and we will figure out a way to deal with it. Don't worry; we won't leave you out there. Last year we had lunch at the Red Rooster in Humptulips. This year, my wife Rona, may be able to meet us along the way and provide lunch and fuel.
The entire 200-mile ride can be done in one day with some determination, but for the larger slower moving group, I am planning an overnight stop in Copalis Beach. The motel and restaurant choice is slim in Copalis Beach, but if you can't find what you want for a room and dinner there, Ocean Shores is less than ten miles south on SR109. For the thrifty travelers and those who like to camp, there are State Parks in Copailis Beach and Pacific Beach.
The route is easily ridden with an old dual-sport, street scrambler or Enduro motorcycle and a street bike can do fine. It should be an enjoyable day and half ride through some beautiful scenery. The fall colors will be in full bloom, especially the bright red Vine Maples. The roads are low traffic with just enough challenge to them to keep it interesting. I would like to continue holding this event annually and hope that there will be a few more of you interested in riding it this year.
Herb Gaudreau /Summer 03