Willamette Valley Loop

The weather in Oregon this Spring has been extremely cold and wet. Dry, sunny days are as rare as a Congressional Republican in favor of tax hikes on the wealthy. Sunday was dry, partly cloudy, and not overly cold (meaning, it was above freezing). So I rode.

I had never been to Gaston, Oregon so that was my first destination. I fueled up in Sherwood, then headed west through Laurel and Laurelwood, two amazing little communities. The climb up and over the hill between Laurel and Gaston provided phenomenal views east, and then west, of what the northern Willamette Valley has to offer. Once in Gaston I headed south on Hwy 47.

I was getting hungry by the time I got to Monmouth so I stopped at J’s 99 Cafe for second breakfast. Once that was done my GPS got confused, thought Philomath was north of my location, and got me lost in a neighborhood trying to find the highway southeast. I had to use my Jedi Navigation Skills to find it, but once I did it was smooth after that.

The Kings Valley Highway, 223, runs from Rickreal south to Philomath and is a must-ride. I saw 30+ sport bikes heading northward as I rode south. The skies were cloudier the further south I rode but the pavement remained dry. Even the rooster ring-necked pheasant standing on the side of the road in Pedee agreed it was a day worth enjoying.

In Philomath I turned east and crawled through the Corvallis area before crossing over I-5 and into Lebanon. Again, my GPS was ass-backwards and steered me wrong. I had to ride north on Hwy 20 before cutting back east through Crabtree. From there I knew the way by heart and only referenced my GPS for speed verification.

I fueled up again in Sublimity and noticed something interesting, albeit purely coincidental. My second fuel-up of the day was only 7/100ths different than the first, in terms of gallons consumed. Once in Mulino I veered east again to pass through Colton, then up to Estacada and Sandy and home. The day’s ride was 250 miles.

Map route

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