Join Date: Apr 2015
I Ride: 2015 30th anniversary ZX-6R
The Breitenbush and Clackamas Watershed Ride, pt. 2
Thanks for joining part two of my story. As I noted in part one, the chief reason I've broken this story into two parts is mainly due to limitations on the number of photos that can accompany any given thread post (5).
Also note: Questions/comments you may have pertaining to part one, I will only answer in part one. Likewise, any questions/comments pertaining to part two, I will only respond to in part two. This is merely to reduce/eliminate any confusion for others who might not have read the preceding/succeeding post.
If you have stumbled upon part two of this story, I encourage you to go back and read part one first, and then return to this thread.
Friday 04 November 2016
Once past the narrows of the gauntlet, it is a multiple of wiggle-waggle uphill/downhill complexes that beg to test grit and traction coefficients. The road courses past Austin Hot Springs, which empties at the far bank of the river; next up is the larger Bagby Hot Springs. There are still plenty of 2nd-gear corners to negotiate[picture #1], but punctuating that are dozens of 4th/5th-gear sweepers that are long arcing doglegs that parallel the river which then throw in the random 1st/2nd-gear turns to make sure one is respecting the road, and not taking it for granted [picture #2].
This land was borne out of a torturous geothermal past. The defining feature for the western half of the state is the Cascade Range, which are notable for being created from tectonic/volcanic forces. Oregon, as well as the rest of the western U.S. states that touch the Pacific Ocean is part of the great Ring of Fire that encompasses the entirety of the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean. Along this stretch of the journey I almost always stop and ponder the very special cliff walls that are on my right [picture #3]. They are part of the Columbia River Basalt Group which is spread over portions of OR, WA, ID, NV, & CA. It dates back to the Miocene Epoch (17-14 million years ago), very old rock [picture #4], indeed!!! It isn’t commonly seen because the multiple gigantic Missoula Floods eroded much it . This basalt is notable because it is Columnar basalt [picture #5], which is seen around the world, but in VERY limited cases.
The river runs into a sort of flat section where it slows down and starts widening. But the road makes a short series of climbs in a series of fast sweepers before descending to the town of Estacada, Oregon (el.426-ft). At the edge of town FS46 becomes state Highway 224. Note: this is your first chance to refill one’s fuel tank since leaving Hwy 22 at Detroit. I refill here because I had not fueled since leaving Salem. The gas in Detroit is not exactly cheap.
After refueling, I jump back on Hwy 224 and retrace my tracks for about 150-yards and hang a right onto Hwy 221. This takes me on a generally W-SW heading through rolling farm/forest lands. Next up is tiny Molalla, Oregon, and then onto Woodburn, Oregon. Here, I jump on I-5 and head home. This route covered 181.1 miles from my driveway back to my driveway. I thought about my ride, and looked at the pictures I slowed down long enough to take for the rest of the evening. I reflected how fortunate I am to have control over my personal time/work time and other various responsibilities. I marvel at the engineering prowess the Japanese engineers have bestowed upon my 2015 ZX-6R 636. I thanked God and my wife for my First Gear electric jacket. I came to the realization, that these are the best years of my life. Amen.