After Washington and its rainy Backdrop I headed further down and West towards the Oregon Border and the Ocean.
What can I say, the weather didnt get a lot better but there were more dry spells during the day.
The Oregon Backcountry Routes pretty much kicked my butt with a blocked road gate that made me take a 200km detour to pick up the track again. Some very nice scenery in the End. Oregon is a stunningly beautiful place and the people are so friendly its bordering on feeling “2001 Maniacs” like creepy(nerd reference there).
There were wide stretches of dead and burnt forest that spread a tranquility as only a place where few things live can do.
During the BDR ride I did come across a very high Firewatch Tower. Sadly my fear of heights kept me from going up further than 2 flights of stairs.
I did try Mt St. Helens and even tough I did ride up to the end of the road I didnt get to see anything thanks to constant cloud cover. The Road ultimately took me into Idaho then and what an experience that was. I came across from Portland through the Mt Hood Area Mountains into Warm Springs Reservation and a day that started grey and in showers turned into a beautiful early summer day with the mountain range providing a natural Barrier for the Rainclouds.
Again, the BDR was against me as above 2200m the roads were still blocked with snow. Seeing how most of the tracks featured some high climb I decided to skip the BDR and go for the Snake River and Hells Canyon Area where the Landscape drastically started to change.
The lush green forests changed to praerie/desert style landscapes and the bear warnings on the campsites got replaced by those warning about rattlesnakes. Still Idaho, while a totally different experience from Oregon was beautiful.
Lots of Desert style riding luckily without any sand with lots and lots of legally rideable dirt roads.
One thing I did notice that with every day travelling and talking to the people my understanding of the US grew. The sheer enormity of this country I think explains a lot about the people that live here. With such vastness you cannot think small.
It’s sorta hard to explain but some time during riding in Idaho I was thinking to myself “OK, I get it now” regarding the whole “American way of life”. The DIY attitude in these rural areas is just astounding. It’s kinda hard to understand.
All those thinks that you just shake your head at as european, you really need to experience the country to understand some things.