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Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 1373.58 miles / 2210.6 km
  • Ride Time: 1 day
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $104.39
  • State: Washington
Submitted by:
SimplyLisa

Destination:
Baker City, Oregon

Route:
N South Tacoma Way to 80th St Ct SW (.4 miles)
Turn Right on S 74th St for (1.1 miles)
Merge onto I-5 North drive (12.1 miles)
Exit 142A to WA-18 E to Auburn (27.8 miles)
Merge onto I-90 E to Spokane (84.9 miles)
[Fuel Stop: North Bend Exit ; to insure you make it to Ellensburg, WA]
Exit 110 to I-82E / US 97 S to Yakima continue to follow I-82 E into Oregon (143 miles)
Merge onto I-84 E to Pendleton (123 miles)
Exit 302 for OR 86 E to Richland/Baker City (.2 miles)
Turn Right onto OR 86 W (.6 miles)
Turn Right onto Hughes Lane (1.1 miles)

Trip Log:
The morning of departure was a bit cloudy and cool. We opted to leave the rain gear stowed and start out wearing our jackets and chaps. We were good to go until about 15 miles into the ride on WA-18. We pulled over and donned the Frogg Toggs (http://www.froggtoggs.com/ ) Shortly after we pulled over a very nice WA State trooper stopped to chat. My husband “had” to bring his Korean made air rifle for fun along the way and I feared having a rifle case strapped to his bike would catch all sort of unwanted attention. So, less than half an hour from our start we were talking to a state trooper. Luckily enough as soon as he found out my husband had just returned from Iraq that was the end of the concern.

We set back out toward I-90 and the peaks of Snoqualmie Pass were hidden by angry, deep purple clouds. I resigned from the point of deciding to go on the cross country tour I would get wet, but I can’t say I didn’t hope I would have a little more time on the road before becoming drenched. I love the scenery on WA-18, but much of the way they keep the speed limit to 55. That road is a big highway, with two lanes running each direction with a median, and there is hardly ever any traffic riding on it, even during rush hour. It’s patrolled rather frequently, too, so you either decide to throw caution completely to the wind and realize your inner speed demon (which I have done along this stretch of road) or you play it safest, sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. This morning we were in no hurry so we enjoyed the ride. To be honest I don’t think our caffeine was working for any of us.

Shortly after merging onto I-90 E we stopped at our normal fuel-up stop, North Bend. It’s easy enough to get off, get back on, and has gas, quick food, and a place to relieve yourself and it is always brimming with motorcyclists. Do make sure to top off the tank before setting out to cross Snoqualmie as the fuel stops beyond North Bend are super pricey. Crossing the pass is one of my favorites on a bike. Especially if your timing is right and you aren’t stuck in weekender’s traffic. Definitely do not try to go east across ‘any’ pass of WA on Friday afternoon/evening or any pass going west on Sunday afternoon/evening. Find alternate routes, plan on staying later (wherever you are) or leaving early. You will wear your clutch hand out! Puget Sound folks love their weekends in the outdoors so the highways become pathways for the MASS exodus on Friday’s after noon. The pass was cloudy and misty, not raining, and soooo cold for June. Brrrr. But by the time we made it to Cle Elum we were riding under bright sunshine and blue skies. A quick stop in Ellensburg was required to take off the Frogg Toggs and top off the tanks before heading south on WA-82 toward Yakima.

From the time you turn onto WA-82 until you reach Yakima the scenery is scrubby desert land filled with scrub sage. It’s the western edge of an Army training area where they train soldiers for working and surviving in desert conditions. Once your make it to Yakima it becomes green as that is what Yakima is – an irrigated desert patch. Many of my friends label Yakima the ‘armpit’ of Washington, but I don’t see it. Yakima is the home of the Yakima Nation and they grow heaps of produce, herbs and some of the finest HOPS grown in the world. They are one of if not the only self-sustaining tribe in the country! Well then! That big white topped mountain to the west is Mt. Adams, one of the 5 peaks in Washington State topping 14,000 feet. As you pass Yakima you will cross Union Gap. To me, this seems like the grand entrance to the land of the Palouse – wheat and grain belt of Washington. The hills begin to roll as you pass through vast farmlands.

Toppenish, WA: If you have the time, stop to visit the fine folks of Toppenish to see the historical murals they paint on all the old historical buildings. It’s really a site to see and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

As the road leads toward Richland/Kennewick pay close attention to your signage as it is easy to get turned around. As you cross the great Columbia River you will also be leaving WA and entering Oregon. It is always a breathtaking sight to see the Columbia River! Just remember you want to be heading toward Hermiston. (Later I will post some of my most favorite rides through this area.) It is a long stretch into Pendleton, so relax and put your feet up as you’re experiencing some of God’s country and great roads to ride.

Pendleton: We stopped to eat here, but just before we exited (about 2 miles out) Dan’s jacket flew through the air. It’s a good thing I was trailing a bit. After running back a quarter mile and dodging a few big trucks that eye-opening side adventure was behind me. Yoikes! Dan had the GPS and decided on a steak house, but once we arrived they weren’t open. From there he found this great little place – Como’s Corner Bistro. Unfortunately, they couldn’t guarantee they could keep pine nut residue from my plate so I opted out (deathly allergic to the buggers.) At the suggestion of two ladies who owned the shop next to the bistro, I decided on a BLT, potato salad and lemonade from the Rainbow Café just around the corner. All three of us thought I wound up with the better end of the deal… so did Sir Remus who quietly waited for his square in his little home on the back of my bike. The ladies who owned the shop (see the pics) told us we would need to get over the Blue Mountains before the sun set because of the wild aminals that wonder around across the roads. We took their word for it and hit the low road.

The grade of the climb out of Pendleton into the Blues is high, but affords a fabulous view if you dare to take your eyes off the road ahead of you. Once above the main climb we leveled off into what seemed like Bonanza country with flat to hilly vistas littered with spindly pine trees and ponds. Luckily we didn’t see any of the big game mentioned, but we saw the signage that warned travelers. The sun was beginning to descend as we crossed over into Baker City valley. Wow! Snowcapped mountains to the east and wide open views of grassy farm land ahead. I had already called ahead to Mountain View Camping to let them know we may stay with them. They were expecting us and greeted us with, “Well, you made it!” Road tired and grimy we paid up and found a patch of grass to call home for the night. We left the daughter and Sir Remus to set up camp while we rode out to find some grindage and libation for the night. This place offers a General Store, hot showers, a pool if you want a dip, gorgeous grounds that are shared between tent and RV campers, but the best part outside the fact that they welcome bikers… the view! (see pic.) After a shower and a couple 12 ounce curls it wasn’t long before I was ready to be horizontal and it was lights out.

Locations of stops:
Comos Corner Bistro
30 SE Court Ave.
Pendleton, OR.

Rainbow Café
209 S. Main
Pendleton, OR 97801

Mt. View RV, INC.
2845 Hughes Lane
Baker City, Oregon 97814

This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Washington. This motorcycle route has 12 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by SimplyLisa in February. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by SimplyLisa

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 4 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 5 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 6 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 7 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 8 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 9 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 10 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 11 for Baker City by Morning (WA to OR)

Ride Scenery:

Historic SitesUrban/ResidentialParksFall ColorsLakesForestMountainsRuralRiverDesertFarm LandPlains

Best Time to Go

Spring, Summer, Fall

Road Characteristics:

Straight RoadSweeping Curves RoadTwisty RoadRolling HillsLight TrafficSmoothAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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