Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 15 - Redmond - Sisters

Today is another easy day, being the last day of the BMW MOA event I had scheduled a short tour around the area returning early to the campsite to partake in the final festivities but first I had to install a new rear tire and change the oil.  I woke up early with the sound of the other campers moving about and proceeded to drop the bike at the tire dealer at the event to install the tire I had ordered 2 days before and change the oil.  I returned to my tent and proceeded to make myself breakfast, Quaker Oats  Apples & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal and a warm cup of instant coffee cooked in my little camping stove.  I picked up the bike a little later and it was time to roll.  I left the campsite headed to Sisters, a town named after the Three Sisters mountains that dominate its western skyline.
Just outside Redmond I ran into a very picturesque ranch with lots of old cars spread out through the field.  I pulled off to the side of the road for the obligatory pictures.

I continued west on route 126 making another stop when I crossed a bridge over a little creek and saw some people jumping in the water.  It was a hot day, low 90's and they were having fun swimming below the bridge.  I felt like dropping all the gear and jump in too! I don't think they would appreciate me joining them in my boxers.

I continued west stopping again when I rode into Sisters, saw the cute little Espresso Junction coffee shop and pulled in for a Latte.  I then moved to the center of Sisters, parked the bike and strolled through the cute little town.  I see an Alpaca store and since my daughter loves alpacas, I went in looking for a gift for her.  I never knew alpaca fleece was so expensive.  I end up buying a hand crocheted green Alpaca hat that I was sure would please her. I move across the street and buy an ice cream at Hucklebearys store, they sell coffee, ice cream and shoes, yes, they are a shoe store too.

I walk around admiring all the little restaurants and the great variety of antique stores.  The town maintains the western look across all the stores, I think it's really cute town.

I leave town, continuing west, now following route 242 also known as McKenzie Highway stopping a little later when I see lots of lava flow right up to the edge of the road.  As I'm contemplating the unbelievable scenery all around me I hear a roar coming up the twisty road, I quickly turn the camera towards the fast approaching wail and snap a photo of a rider coming around the turn at a very high rate of speed.  I go for the second shot but he is already disappearing around the next turn.  The sight got my adrenalin pumping but all I could think was how a simple mistake could turn into a very nasty crash against the lava rocks on the edge of the road.

I continue down the road stopping again at the Dee Wright Observatory, an observation structure at the summit of McKenzie Pass in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The observatory is constructed with lava stones, is located in the midst of a large lava flow and offers an exceptional view of numerous Cascade peaks.

I find it amazing that in between all the destruction brought by the lava flow you find pine trees growing.

I continue west until I meet route 126, I turn right and follow north the beautiful McKenzie Highway, the road twisting along a river now through a forest. I stop at a rest area and take a walk along the edge of the river, the water cold but extremely clean.

I pass the Trail Bridge reservoir and later Clear Lake along the McKenzie river.  I make my next stop when I see signs to a waterfall.

I reach Santiam Junction and get back on route 20 heading back east towards Sisters.  I stop to take a few more pictures, the beautiful bronze statue by an office building and the very picturesque US Post Office of Sisters.

I return to Redmond and stop by the Red Dog restaurant for dinner, the cute place has the walls completely covered with dog pictures.  I later meet my brother at another restaurant downtown where he was having dinner.  We return back to camp and head to the event concert where we stay for a while listening to local bands playing.

Red Dog Restaurant
Last day in Redmond, a short little ride of 125 miles, the shortest day so far but with a scenic and very twisty piece of road along the Old McKenzie Highway.


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