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Beartooth Highway - 2011 Trip - Day 18

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Start Location: Burley, WA
Ending Location: Union Gap, WA
Miles Today: 524
Trip Miles: 4457
States Visited: 12
Provinces Visited: 0
Low Temp: 54.6° F
High Temp: 82.9° F
Min Elevation: 308'
Max Elevation: 4304'

Route Map:


Today was another great day for motorcycle riding.  But in reality, I guess any day that you don't have to go to work and can just go out and ride a motorcycle all day is a good day - it's just that some are better than others.  The weather was a little strange in that it started out cold then got warm then got cold again and finally got warm again.  So we actually had our vests on and off twice today.

We started off with 200 miles in Idaho that was less than exciting.  It was very flat and very straight and the scenery was not up to what we have been seeing.  As soon as we entered Oregon, we had a dramatic change.  The scenery was excellent and the riding even better. From the Idaho border all the way to Pendleton we had rolling hills, winding roads, and long sweeping curves - great for riding.  The traffic was also extremely light contributing to the overall experience.

After Pendleton and into Washington was mainly farmland with more orchards and vineyards as you got into Washington.  We also got some pretty heavy winds in this part of the trip.  We have seen this in the past - especially in eastern Washington.  Even though the bike, passengers, and gear together probably weigh upwards of 1200 pounds, the winds pushed us all over the road.  You definitely had to lean into the wind to maintain your direction and the combination of the winds and turbulence from the trucks added yet another dimension.

We saw more windmills in all three states today - Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.  I think we have seen wind farms now in every state we visited.  I realize that wind may never deliver a substantial percentage of our power but it's nice to see that there is a definite effort underway to utilize more wind power.  Although I commented previously that the arrangement of the windmills sometimes appeared random, Linda pointed out that the windmills in Idaho were definitely in rows.  In fact sometimes dozens all lined up perfectly.  It's too bad we couldn't get pictures but the camera has just been too unreliable.

Tomorrow it's back to I90 and then home.  We should be home by about noon which is what we wanted to make sure we miss Friday afternoon traffic.