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Old 05-08-11, 02:43 PM   #1
reed523
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Oklahoman coming to the promised land. Route advice welcomed.

Hi all,
I'll soon be embarking on the trip of a lifetime and we think we're saving the best for last by ending in Portland. I would really appreciate it if some of you could look at our proposed route and make some suggestions for coming down the Columbia and going through (and coming back into) Portland. I'm just getting the hang of google maps on the new netbook so please disregard any obvious mapping errors. http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,26.938477&z=5

Here's my journal link if you are interested. Thanks in advance for the help!
Keith
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/whenlife
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Old 05-08-11, 07:31 PM   #2
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I have never ridden the section down the Columbia Gorge, so I cannot help you there, but I have ridden from Clarkston, WA to Walla Walla, WA, last year on Cycle Oregon. Highway 12 is pretty much your only option out of Clarkston, and it's got a nice wide shoulder. Rather than stay on Highway 12 all the way to Walla Walla, you might think about following the Cycle Oregon route:

http://www.cycleoregon.com/week-ride...cle-oregon-23/

Look at the maps for "Day 3" and "Day 4".

You'll be sharing Highway 12 with a lot of big trucks. There are also not a lot of services out that way. Big headwinds in the afternoon are possible, riding early is the best.

Have a great ride.
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Old 05-10-11, 02:13 PM   #3
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well, the Columbia is "the great river of the west", but, for something completely different:
From Clarkston go south to Enterprise, and Wallowa Lake. Take the Forest Service road around the east side of the Wallowas to Halfway. Then, west to Baker (check out the Oregon Trail museum just east of town). Climb over Dooley Mtn. and drop into John Day. From there, west to Prineville, where a decision awaits: north to the gorge at The Dalles, northwest on hwy 26 to Portland, or west (three passes to choose from; the Old McKenzie Pass is the most scenic. Pedal north up the Willamette Valley to Portland.

regarding gear choices, I'd go for the two person tent. nice to have a bit of space to spread gear out.

Last edited by moleman76; 05-10-11 at 02:18 PM. Reason: tent comment
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Old 05-10-11, 07:58 PM   #4
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Different how? Keep in mind, the country will be completely new to all of us. I agree and have decided on the larger tent.

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well, the Columbia is "the great river of the west", but, for something completely different:
From Clarkston go south to Enterprise, and Wallowa Lake. Take the Forest Service road around the east side of the Wallowas to Halfway. Then, west to Baker (check out the Oregon Trail museum just east of town). Climb over Dooley Mtn. and drop into John Day. From there, west to Prineville, where a decision awaits: north to the gorge at The Dalles, northwest on hwy 26 to Portland, or west (three passes to choose from; the Old McKenzie Pass is the most scenic. Pedal north up the Willamette Valley to Portland.

regarding gear choices, I'd go for the two person tent. nice to have a bit of space to spread gear out.
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Old 05-10-11, 08:23 PM   #5
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Different how? Keep in mind, the country will be completely new to all of us. I agree and have decided on the larger tent.
Seriously different. The route Moleman76 describes is one mountain after another for days. It's a beautiful ride, deep, deep canyon, down one side up the other, high mountains in the Wallowa and Cascades, then hundreds of smaller climbs in between. This is a serious route, before you do it check out the maps. The route you have mapped is MUCH flatter, but you'll have some impressive headwind for a few days in the Columbia Gorge.
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Old 05-10-11, 10:11 PM   #6
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... The route you have mapped is MUCH flatter, but you'll have some impressive headwind for a few days in the Columbia Gorge.
But he's from OK, so the headwind shouldn't bother him, even if it doesn't come sweepin' down the plain.
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Old 05-11-11, 05:26 AM   #7
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Exactly.
As a matter of fact, by this point, we may be needing a few days of solid wind to begin to bring us back to the realities of going home. I am intrigued by the alternate route, but sounds like we better see how we feel when we get there.

Believe it or not, we have a few hills, you just have to look for them. We climbed 22'000 ft during our cross state bike ride last year.
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But he's from OK, so the headwind shouldn't bother him, even if it doesn't come sweepin' down the plain.
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Old 05-23-11, 12:57 AM   #8
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Seriously different. The route Moleman76 describes is one mountain after another for days.
In my defense, I will offer that I've ridden across Oregon w-e from Eugene twice (Santiam Pass, Bend, Burns, Nyssa) and e-w once (Nyssa-John Day-Prineville etc.) I was younger then (hmm, did the math, 40! years ago for the first trip.

I think I've driven all of the route I suggested, and would agree that Clarkston to the Wallowas definitely has some climbing and descending. The road around the east side of the Wallowas would be great in a sports car, and after the initial climb would have some nice descents. Going west, the descent from Dooley summit to Prarie City would be a treat, as would be the descent into Mitchell. (I stayed in a $2.50/night hotel there, bath down the hall.) Next up would be going over the Ochocos, followed by another great descent to Prineville. I would personally vote for the Old McKenzie Pass finish -- no lava fields in Oklahoma; let's show off the best that Oregon has to offer. (oh, how can we send him down to do a loop around Crater Lake? Maybe find a place to store his gear for a day or two, and do the ride on a bare bike?)

They could skip the visit to Lewiston/Clarkston and just head south from Kamiah, Idaho, and then cross to Halfway, Baker, etc.

Definitely do use one of the on-line tools which gives you a profile of the route. And, maybe plan to return for another visit.
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