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Welcome to Seattle - the 'Emerlad City' in Washington! The Yukon Goldrush transformed this place, that started out as a pioneer outpost and quiet lumbering town, into a thriving metropolis. Seattle has become the transportation, manufacturing, commercial, and services hub for the Pacific Northwest as well as the largest urban area north of San Francisco, California. And now I already named the starting and ending points of our motorcycle adventure trip - we are riding from Seattle all the way to San Francisco!
Let the adventure begin! Our first riding day we leave the city of Seattle behind us and head towards the Cascade mountains. As we approach Mount Rainier, one of the most iconic symbols of the Northwest, the landscape gets lusher and greener, we will pass lakes, rivers, enjoy breathtaking vies on the snow-covered mountains and ride plenty of curves. As we descend into the Yakima Valley in the afternoon the terrain begins to turn slightly more arid.
Our day starts with a little loop out of Yakima, riding through a beautiful canyon, before we head south. Backcountry roads with little traffic bring us all the way to the gorge of Columbia river, which offers plenty of fun riding, great scenery, and usually an excellent view to the river and nearby Mount Hood. I say 'usually' because we barely can see to the other side of the Columbia river due to big wildfires - the smoke is so dense that we simply ride in a big cloud of smoke. We arrive safe and sound in Stevenson this evening, welcomed by our CEO Rainer Buck and plenty of other Edelweiss riders!
Today is a special riding day! With all the other Edelweiss riders that are attending the Reunion Weekend in Stevenson we will ride through rural Washington and soon get to an area of beautiful barrier lakes. From here we can already see today's highlight and steady companion: Mount St. Helens. The active volcano is very well known for its massive eruption, today it will give us great landscape and unique views. The roads going up the mountain are splendid, too. For lunch Michael will prepare a typical Edelweiss picnic at one of the beautiful lakes. In the afternoon we will enjoy a relaxed ride through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest before we return to Stevenson.
This morning we will cross the mighty Columbia river on the famous Hood River Bridge and head on into the beautiful region surrounding Oregons highest peak, both the core of a nature reserve and an important skiing area. However, Mount Hood is not the only iconic mountain on our way south today. The ride will be characterised by summits like Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington or the Three Sisters, all of them of volcanic origin. The route will take us on smaller forest roads before we reach our destination for today - Bend.
Today is the day of Crater Lake! Soon after leaving Bend we will turn off and enjoy a short but beautiful ride up to Paulina and East Lake. We will have lunch at a lake again, this time it's Diamond Lake. And the next lake finally is Crater Lake - unfortunately the rain clouds bring us snow up there so the view is not the best. The remaining ride will take us along the western shore of upper Klamath Lake to our hotel in Klamath Falls.
It's time to leave the mountains inland behind, let us head towards the ocean! In the morning on our way west we have some nice roads in the Cascade Mountains before we get to Jacksonville. The small city has gained some reputation for its nicely preserved historic district, which was desiganted a National Historic Landmark. We will enjoy a nice lunch in Cave Junction before heading up a twisty mountain road to the Oregon Caves National Monument. There we will enjoy an adventureous exploring tour through an unique cave. Afterwards we'll take on Highway 199 down into California before we reach Brookings back in Oregon right at the border to California.
It's time to ride into the thrid state on the tour: California! And we will see the Californian coastline at it's best today. We will tackle a wonderful section of the Highway One and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the northern part. The coastal road is not our only highlight though. The Humboldt Redwoods State Park is the world's largest remaining contiguous old-growth forest of coast redwoods. Many of the gigantic trees grow to over 300 feet in height. We will even be able to ride through one of them! In the afternoon we turn west back to the coast and the Pacific Coast HIghway becomes a series of glorious turns that seemingly were built just for motorcycles!
Today we will spend a lot of time on the Pacific Coast Highway. First we will ride through Mendocino before we will enjoy a really impressive section of coastal roads: from Bodega Bay to the pullout over Stinson Bay we get a real feel for the difficulty of building and maintaining a road like Highway One. Later in the afternoon we will arrive in the great city of San Francisco via one of the most iconic and famous landmarks in the world representing California and the USA in general: the 'Golden Gate Bridge'. A great tour comes to a great end!