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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the beginning stages of trip planning for a ride in August. Destination - Orcas Isle, Washington.

The part of the trip I would like some feedback on is from Joseph, Oregon to Orcas Isle.
Currently my route is from Joseph to Moscow via SR 3 - Moses Lake via SR 26 - then to the coast via SR 207 - superslab to Anacortes where I'll catch a ferry to the island.
Any suggestions? Any thing along the way that I shouldn't miss?
 

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26 to Moses Lk is pretty boring, not much interesting. If time is not an issue, I'd head north at Colfax 195 to 23. Go up to Davenport, then across hwy 2, work up to Grand Coulee Dam, cool light show in the evenings, keep going north to Okanagan then take hwy 20 west all the way to Anacortes. Hwy 20 over the North Cascades is spactacular.
 

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Take a look at US-95 north through Idaho to Sandpoint, ID, west on US-2 to Newport, WA, then west on SR-20 all the way to Anacortes. Max great mountain riding, min straight, flat, & dull. But, not so dull when the wind is strong across the straight & flat parts....

SR-207 is less than 5 miles long local access road in the Wenatchee Nat'l Forest. No superslab along the Pacific ocean coast (and we don't call the edge of Puget Sound "the coast"). I-90 is the superslab from Moses Lake to Seattle (or I-405 around Seattle through different congested cities), then I-5 north to Burlington, SR-20 west to Anacortes. Nobody's idea of a great ride.
 

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I second the HWY 20 route over the mountains, as it is a neat road with neat places like Winthrop for an ice cream cone or coffee. It has great scenery also, though sometimes heavy RV traffic. HWY 20 west of Concrete is boring and straight, so I would hop over to the South Skagit HWY via Gordon Rd. It parallels HWY 20 on the south side of the Skagit river but is just less boring and better scenery. If you come over the mountains via HWY 2 into Everett, you can hop the Mukilteo ferry over to Whidbey and check out a couple old WWII forts and pass over Deception Pass on your way just before getting to Anacortes. I-90, I-405, and I-5 are the major freeways in our area.
 

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Going over Highway 20 in the summer is not to be missed. It is called 'The American Alps' for a reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
26 to Moses Lk is pretty boring, not much interesting. If time is not an issue, I'd head north at Colfax 195 to 23. Go up to Davenport, then across hwy 2, work up to Grand Coulee Dam, cool light show in the evenings, keep going north to Okanagan then take hwy 20 west all the way to Anacortes. Hwy 20 over the North Cascades is spactacular.
Duly noted...I think the 20 gets everyone's vote, and now it's on my route. :thumbup:

Take a look at US-95 north through Idaho to Sandpoint, ID, west on US-2 to Newport, WA, then west on SR-20 all the way to Anacortes. Max great mountain riding, min straight, flat, & dull. But, not so dull when the wind is strong across the straight & flat parts....

SR-207 is less than 5 miles long local access road in the Wenatchee Nat'l Forest. No superslab along the Pacific ocean coast (and we don't call the edge of Puget Sound "the coast"). I-90 is the superslab from Moses Lake to Seattle (or I-405 around Seattle through different congested cities), then I-5 north to Burlington, SR-20 west to Anacortes. Nobody's idea of a great ride.
I'll be on the 95 a few weeks earlier on this ride: http://www.stromtrooper.com/events/163361-strom-cache-rally-june-26-29-idaho.html
As for the rest of your post....very good to know!

I second the HWY 20 route over the mountains, as it is a neat road with neat places like Winthrop for an ice cream cone or coffee. It has great scenery also, though sometimes heavy RV traffic. HWY 20 west of Concrete is boring and straight, so I would hop over to the South Skagit HWY via Gordon Rd. It parallels HWY 20 on the south side of the Skagit river but is just less boring and better scenery. If you come over the mountains via HWY 2 into Everett, you can hop the Mukilteo ferry over to Whidbey and check out a couple old WWII forts and pass over Deception Pass on your way just before getting to Anacortes. I-90, I-405, and I-5 are the major freeways in our area.
Nice! I rode the ferry to Whidbey last year on my way to Alaska. Trying to remember the name of the road I was on that went past the Navy base...butternut... or something like that. Great ride!
ps. looked it up on my blog, Chuckanut road.
Tombstone's Travels: Oregon to 100 Mile house, BC

Going over Highway 20 in the summer is not to be missed. It is called 'The American Alps' for a reason.
Looking forward to it!

Love Joseph, OR. I hope you plan to stay a day or two to sight see. Wallowa Lake has a nice camp ground and there are rentals and a lodge there. You need to ride the tram up to the top of the mt. above the lake.

Wallowa Lake Tramway
I'l only be a day in Joseph, but I've been there before. Great little town!


Wow...good info! Thank you everyone :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Even though you've decided on it, I'm throwing in another vote for highway 20...it's something everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives! :thumbup:
The trip is 'iffy'...I'm on a waiting list for the lodging on the Isle. But now with all the accolades about the 20 I'm thinking I need to make a trip just for that road!
 

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a couple old [pre-] WWII forts
All the major U.S. seaports (and the Panama Canal) had coastal artillery installations to defend the ports from enemy warships. To protect the ports of the Puget Sound, Fort Casey is on Whidbey Island on the north side of Admiralty Inlet. Fort Worden is in Port Townsend on the south side of Admiralty Inlet, and Fort Flagler is on Marrowstone Island just east of Port Townsend, all within sight of each other. They had "disappearing" rifled guns up to 16" bore on parallelogram mounts--rise above the battlement to fire, drop down to reload. These shot relatively flat. They also had 12" diameter mortars that fired a shot that went high, then dropped down on a ship. The invention of the aircraft carrier rendered the coastal artillery obsolete, and most of the guns were melted for scrap in WWII. Fort Casey still has one of the big guns on display. The three forts are all in the State Park system now.

"Deception Pass is a dramatic seascape where the tidal flow and whirlpools beneath the twin bridges connecting Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island move quickly. During ebb and flood tide current speed reaches about 8 knots (9.2 mph), flowing in opposite directions between ebb and flood.[6] This swift current can lead to standing waves, large whirlpools, and roiling eddies."

 

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Discussion Starter #11
All the major U.S. seaports (and the Panama Canal) had coastal artillery installations to defend the ports from enemy warships. To protect the ports of the Puget Sound, Fort Casey is on Whidbey Island on the north side of Admiralty Inlet. Fort Worden is in Port Townsend on the south side of Admiralty Inlet, and Fort Flagler is on Marrowstone Island just east of Port Townsend, all within sight of each other. They had "disappearing" rifled guns up to 16" bore on parallelogram mounts--rise above the battlement to fire, drop down to reload. These shot relatively flat. They also had 12" diameter mortars that fired a shot that went high, then dropped down on a ship. The invention of the aircraft carrier rendered the coastal artillery obsolete, and most of the guns were melted for scrap in WWII. Fort Casey still has one of the big guns on display. The three forts are all in the State Park system now.

"Deception Pass is a dramatic seascape where the tidal flow and whirlpools beneath the twin bridges connecting Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island move quickly. During ebb and flood tide current speed reaches about 8 knots (9.2 mph), flowing in opposite directions between ebb and flood.[6] This swift current can lead to standing waves, large whirlpools, and roiling eddies."

Interesting! I have very nearly the same pic on my RR through that area. About 13 pix down;
http://2mbstonestravels.blogspot.com/2013/06/oregon-to-100-mile-house-bc.html
I met a Navy guy on the ferry ride over and he gave me some good info about the Isle.... To bad I had to burn some miles or I would have liked to stay and explore. *sigh*...
 

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rattle snake grade out of Joesph to Asotin

here's a fave of mine, Nf39 is a epic strom road all paved (not perfect but scenic and fun! if your heading out from Joesph, rattlesnake grade is one of the best roads the PNW has to offer. also when you come through Clarkston the spiral hiway is a great little run also. if you head a bit east at Moscow you can cut your way up on some real nice 2 lane roads all the way up to I-90/ CDA. Then north on to Sandpoint to Newport and on to hwy 20. If you plan an extra day you won't be disappointed.

https://goo.gl/maps/IZsPo
 

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Discussion Starter #13
here's a fave of mine, Nf39 is a epic strom road all paved (not perfect but scenic and fun! if your heading out from Joesph, rattlesnake grade is one of the best roads the PNW has to offer. also when you come through Clarkston the spiral hiway is a great little run also. if you head a bit east at Moscow you can cut your way up on some real nice 2 lane roads all the way up to I-90/ CDA. Then north on to Sandpoint to Newport and on to hwy 20. If you plan an extra day you won't be disappointed.

https://goo.gl/maps/IZsPo
Wow...nice route, and map! Maybe I should take a month off......... :mrgreen:
 

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I'd start SR 20 at it's eastern terminus north of Spokane, spending a night in Spokane, like NE of city at Mt. Spokane. The scenery is great all the way. Spend another night in Twisp/Winthrop, or best, Mazama Cty Inn. Over mts., do the Seattle City Light dam tour and lunch in Newhalem. Power from the mountains: the Seattle City Light tour | MountBakerExperience.com
spend another night in LaConner, La Conner Country Inn - La Conner Country Inn & Channel Lodge because the express ferries lv Anacortes in the AM and you can't get there from Winthrop in time.

Try the Orcus Hotel. It's at the ferry dock and you can probably get in on fairly short notice, not so most other places.

The Orcas Hotel - Orcas - United States

On Orcus, ride up to top of Mt. Constitution. It's a wonderful twisty road and the view from the top is spectacular and take a map up the short trail from the parking lot to the top so you ID what you will see: Victoria BC, PT Angeles, Blaine, Mt Baker, Mr Rainier, Mt Adams, probably even Mt. Hood as you'll above the inversion layer.

Finally, Moto always goes to the head of the line at Wash. State Ferries. You can buy a ferry ticket on-line for moto and then just show up at Anacortes Terminal a couple minutes before sailing time. Cars may wait a few hours but not you on your bike (see, they put a moto on the car deck in places they can't put cars). You're just a little marginal revenue and you let them rake in and rip off the big buck Subarus. US 2 from Spokane is a very lame alternate at least until you get to Wenatchee. But, know that when you arrive Anacortes, you still have close to 15 more min to get to the ferry dock. Cool trip.
 

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Riding on Orcas Island

FYI - On Orcas Island, watch out for slippery roads! Because they get so much rain there, a green moss can grow on areas of the roads where tires don't roll in forested, sun-sheltered areas. I found that stuff to be pretty slick at times :eek1:
 

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FYI - On Orcas Island, watch out for slippery roads! Because they get so much rain there, a green moss can grow on areas of the roads where tires don't roll in forested, sun-sheltered areas. I found that stuff to be pretty slick at times :eek1:
And slippery wet fir needles and wet leaves.
 
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