Hell's Canyon Rally 2009
Road to Historic Baker City
Day 1

Trip Date: 6-12-2009

Features:

  • I-5
  • Columbia River
  • SR 14
  • Horse Thief  Lake State Park
  • Crow Butte State Park
  • Plymouth
  • US 395
  • I-84
  • Pendleton
  • Umatilla Indian Reservation
  • Emigrant Springs State Park
  • Hilgard Junction State Park
  • Historic Baker City
  • Hell's Canyon Rally Hog Wash!
  • Oregon Trail Motel

Hazards:

  • Deer & Elk


Road to Historic Baker City Oregon
Day 1

16:9 Widescreen (400Kbps 15.2 MB)

Day 2   Day 3

Trip Details:

 

Road to Historic Baker City

The Hell's Canyon Rally is held in the Historic Baker City of Oregon every year on the second week of June. This year was the 10th annual event and I was invited by founders Steve and Eric Folkestad to the Rally to accept a life time achievement award for my contribution to the sport of motorcycling due to the work I have done with this site. It was an honor to attend but more so to cover the event and bring a good representation of what it's all about back to those who are not familiar with it. I hope I hit the mark this time as this is without a doubt, one of the funnest events I have covered. Enough said, let's get our ride on!

Lloyd Duncan and I departed Tacoma WA at 7:30 AM under partly cloudy skies and 56 degrees. The trip ahead was 450+ miles and we had one more rider to meet along the way. our third rider was Doug Cushing of Vancouver Washington. Doug owns and operates Northwest Motorcycle Adventures which is a great motorcycle rental service that services the Seattle WA and Portland Oregon Area. After a long and eventless ride up I-5 and on to SR 14 we made a short detour to pick up Doug. We then made our way back on to SR 14 heading east. Our small ride group consisted of 2 Honda Goldwing's and a Suzuki V-Strom. Due to the length of the ride and the Road-Quest.com Hell's Canyon Rally 2009 Baker City Oregon day 1. Hells Canyon motorcycle ride OR. WA Washington Columbia River gorge.forecasted thunderstorms I opted to leave my Suzuki b-King in the garage and saddle up the recliner on wheels. SR 14 was a 171 miles of straights, sweeping turns and twisties as we paralleled the Columbia river on the North side. The sun was burning through the clouds by now and the view along the river was amazing as we carved our way through the turns and passed through several short tunnels carved through the rock walls. We soon entered the small town of Plymouth which was home of the Plymouth Tavern, our first stop for food. Apparently they forgot about rally day. No fault of the rally planners as all businesses along the way that were official stops were notified way in advance. Never the less we pulled in to find bikers leaving quickly as they had waited too long and decided to go elsewhere. From what we understood some waited for over an hour for a cheeseburger.

After lunch we headed a short 2 miles to I-84 where we road 129 miles through eastern Oregon. Early on we encountered several storms one of which was a heavy down pour that caused water to run across the asphalt forcing us to greatly reduce our speed for safety sake. It's times like these one can really appreciate riding a fully faired touring bike. We encountered these storms as we crossed through the foot hills into eastern Oregon. Once on the other side it was sunny and 82 degrees. The sun sure felt good and it lit up the landscape and white cumulous clouds making for some beautiful scenery the entire way to Baker City. We soon made our next right off Road-Quest.com Hell's Canyon Rally 2009 Baker City Oregon day 1. Hells Canyon motorcycle ride OR. WA Washington Columbia River gorge.I-84 on to Campbell ST to the strip mall where the first rally stop was located. As we pulled in there were approximately 30 bikes and more arriving behind us. Allot of folks can't take the Friday off so they arrive Saturday. We wanted to beat the crowd. Victory had a booth as well as many others. The Hell's Canyon Rally booth was present selling merchandise and taking registrations for the event. If you participate in this event there is a minimal fee that helps keep this rally going. these guys do allot for the riders, Baker City and charities so please be sure to register for the event. this can be done at the rally or via their web site in advance. HellsCanyonRally.com At the front entry to the lot was the Hog Wash. This is a sectioned off area where the riders could get the bugs and road grime washed off their bikes so they were nice and clean for the bike show. The Hog Wash was free but it is recommended you donate some cash (what ever you are comfortable with) to the wash as it goes to the charity Relay for Life. It was here I got to meet Eric and Steve Folkestad for the first time. These guys were busy but a pleasure to meet. They really work hard to make this event the best it can be.

Road-Quest.com Oregon Trail Motel Hell's Canyon Rally 2009 Baker City Oregon day 1. Hells Canyon motorcycle ride OR. WA Washington Columbia River gorge.After a brief meeting we departed the strip mall lot and rode another 2 miles through Baker City down main street and to the Oregon Trail motel. This would be our crash zone for the next two nights. The motel was rustic but very clean. most of the parking stalls were occupied by motorcycles and more were arriving. The operators of the motel were friendly and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. This little town doesn't get allot of business so this rally allows them to make allot of income in just a couple days. In fact I noticed that all the businesses seemed to provide great service to it's patrons. The prices in Baker City were very reasonable as well. I think we paid $3 for a Mirror Pond Pale Ale and the rooms were $60 a night I think. For those who couldn't book a room there was plenty of tent spots at the local high school. I believe they charged $30 fort he weekend for camping. Dinner was fish & chips and Ice Tea. We stopped and had a few beers then turned in for the night as we had a long day ahead of us. Day 2 was our ride into Idaho and into Hell's Canyon to visit the Oxbow and Hell's Canyon dams and the Snake River.

 Day 2   Day 3

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