2016 Ride Across America

Day 1 - Home to Pendleton, OR - 285 miles
Friday, August 12, 2016

Well, the day didn't start out like planned.  It was plenty warm for Seattle.  I waited for traffic on I-405 to clear out from the morning rush hour, and then I packed the bike up and took off.  It was a comfortable ride down to I-90 and then as I hit Issaquah, there were lighted highway signs warning there was an accident up by Exit 22.  Around the first uphill corner, and then all lanes stopped.  Crap !!!

An hour later, 100 yards progress, and then the State Patrol cleared enough blocking traffic (mostly 18-wheelers) so cars and bikes could use the Exit 20 off ramp to detour and work our way around to get back on at Exit 22.

The route was I-405 to I-90, I-90 (plus detour) to Cle Elem, lunch, Hwy-10 to Ellensburg, Hwy-821 (Canyon Rd) to Selah, I-82 thru Umatilla, OR, then I-84 to Pendleton, OR for the night.  Stayed at the cheap Rodeway Inn, where I had stayed on another group ride or two.

Below are a couple of pictures.

  1. The first is of the bike all packed and ready to go.  Mr. Bill is safely tucked on top of the pillion dry bag that held heated jacket, rain gear, extra gloves, etc.  Notice the orange SPOT tracker I had velcro'ed to my top case.
  2. The second is a really scary selfy I took.
  3. The third was taken at my lunch stop in Cle Elum.  I'd ridden in full riding gear up the pass including the hour spent in the I-90 traffic jam.  99.5  degrees with all that gear on had me plenty sweaty.  Good time to unlayer and get some vents open.  I was going to be later than planned pulling into Pendleton for sure.

I love Pendleton.  It's a town with a lot of character.  Country for sure, and home of rodeos and world famous wool products by the same name.  This evening I had a great steak dinner at The Prodigal Son Brewrey & Pub.  After dinner, I walked the downtown streets, took a few pictures, started back to the motel and then heard the sound of a band echoing off the buildings.  Hum,... where is that coming from?  I walked back to Main Street and saw the band in the middle of the street down a couple of blocks with people standing all around and sitting in lawn chairs.  Turns out it was a band contest of mostly young people.  Rock n roll, jazz, country...  I hung out and listened to a few groups.  Some good, some not so good.  It was a fun evening.  Warm breeze blowing.  Perfect end to a first day on the road.