Elbe - hwy 508
Lunch at Big Tom's in Olympia

Trip Date: 7-8-2008

Features:

  • Twisties prior to Elbe
  • Elbe
  • Alder Lake
  • Nisqually River
  • Coal Canyon
  • Morton
  • MT. Rainier
  • Hyw 7
  • Hyw 508
  • Triton River
  • Big Tom's (Olympia)
Hazards:
  • Logging Trucks
  • Deer

 


Elbe and Highway 508 Ride Video
16:9 Widescreen (400 Kbps 19.1 MB)

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Trip Details:

If there ever was a trip that went completely in the opposite direction this was it. Don't stop reading... This was still a great ride. BUT...  It wasn't what it was suppose to be. My bad! My intent was to ride through Elbe and Morton and then on to Randle where we would turn onto hwy 131 and then NF-25. Our next road was suppose to be NF-90 that would take us to MT. Adams,. we were to see a few awesome water falls and a great view of the mountain. On our return trip we were to turn up on to NF-99 and ride the twisties up to Windy Ridge where we would get some spectacular photos of the active volcano.

And now I will tell you what went wrong and how we salvaged the ride with a last minute detour to some new roads and another great burger to add to my burger page.

We departed at 8:45 AM from Tacoma. The sun was out and no clouds in site. Temperatures were suppose to be in the lower 80's/ We couldn't have picked a better day to ride. We enjoyed a short but sweet ride along the Tacoma waterfront. That was soon put behind us by a ride in traffic on I-5 to hwy 512. We made our way to the Mountain Highway (Hyw 7) via the Spanaway Loop Rd. This is a great way to avoid all the traffic and lights on Pacific Ave. We made our way up the Mountain Highway nearing LaGrande. This is a fun little stretch as it's down hill sweeping turns followed buy a long turn at the bottom. What a cool road and what a nice day to ride it. As we neared  Elbe things started to go wrong. A Semi pulled out in front of us and forced us to brake. The driver should have waited for us to pass. My guess is he wanted to be in front of us.  Soon I realized why. He was hauling what smelled like rotting animal carcasses. I know the smell of garbage and I have run across dead animals in the forest and there is a big difference. I backed off on the throttle to put some distance between the truck and us but it really wasn't helping much. As the truck approached the next turn I noticed his rear axels brakes were locking up and dragging the tires. Now we had the stench of the burning rubber and the dead animals. I took advantage of the next turn out and pulled to the side of the road to catch my breathe. The stench was un-bearable. After a good 15 minute wait we saddled up and re-entered the road. As we neared Elbe we were treated by no traffic and some great Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Elbe Washingtonbanked twisties. I pushed my wing a bit to see how it would play. As always it maneuvered very well. I still can't get over how a 900 lbs. bike can handle in the corners as it does. If you have not ridden this section of road and you decide to, you will love it. As we rounded the last turn, we were nearing Elbe. It's always nice to ride next to Alder lake when it's full of water. This is dependant on how much water and when they release from the dam.

The town of Elbe is small and has a Late stand, and some eateries housed out of old rail cars. There is an old historic church, a grocer and a buger stand called Scale Burger. I have yet to try it. That is a priority for the following month. We turned up hwy 7 and rode through Morton and Randle and up NF-25. NF-25 is not the best maintained road. They fixed several bad areas but it still had some really bad areas. These were mostly on the side coming down. As we entered on to NF-25 the sign indicated the road was closed 20 miles ahead. But it didn't say if NF-25 was closed or if NF-99 the road to Windy Ridge. When we got up there they both were closed. It's almost the middle of July. We were not the only folks that were let down. A RV family, a couple cars and a few riders were given the same shaft by the DOT. Or the forest service. Who ever it is that should be opening the roads. The sign said it was closed because of snow. I just road up to Paradise and around Cayuse Pass last week and Chinook Pass the week before that. Its 80+ degrees! It didn't even look like they have gone up the road. The road was covered in pine needle and blown down tree debris. What a bummer! We pulled off to the side of the road to figure out how to save the ride.

Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers  WashingtonThere was only one thing that could save this ride now. A great Hamburger! I talked Lloyd into heading to Olympia to try the Big Tom burger at Big tom's in Olympia. A friend of mine suggested this place and warned me it was a drive through and there was no seating. We heading towards the smell of grilled meat! We back tracked to Morton then took hwy 508 west bound. I have ridden part of this highway before but not the entire thing. It was great! Nice sweeping turns as we rode next to a couple rivers. One being the Triton River. We could feel the cool air from the rivers as we rode on. Soon we were Approaching I-5. I decide to turn right on a road called Johnson Road. This paralleled I-5 but saved us the pain. It took us into Chehalis and we reluctantly turned on to I-5 at that point. It was about 16 miles of I-5 to Olympia. It wasn't too bad. Traffic was minimal and the sun was shining. We turned off on the Olympia port exit and then made our way to Toms. It was a small drive through. We waited for the cars to leave so we could walk up to the window to order. Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Big Tom Toms Olympia WashingtonWe both ordered the Big Tom with "Goop" and everything on it. Not to mention my usual chocolate malt.  The burgers were sloppy and tasted great. The malt was one of the best I have had. The establishment failed the biker friendly test. In fact anyone walking up or expecting a place to sit and enjoy your food, forget it! Folks were parking and eating in their cars. The lot is big enough to have at minimum a few park benches. After a good meal standing, we headed back on to I-5. We took the DuPont Steilacoom Rd exit to avoid the rest of I-5. This is a great road that took us under tree canopy and then near the water. I won't go on from here as it was nothing but traffic lights back to my house. Things started off great and turned very sour but we salvaged the ride. I actually had a good time and ate another great burger!

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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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