2017 Loop through Eastern Oregon – Day 2

day 2 map
Day 2 route

Day’s distance: 358 miles
Total trip distance so far: 728 miles

Another sunny day with temperatures ranging from the low 50’s to the low 90’s.

Today’s ride included many miles of just the type of roads I love – scenic, two-lane highways with little traffic and good surfaces.

The day began heading south from Baker along Hwy 7. I’ve been on this road before, on my 2015 Trip to Fossil.  This time, I turned onto Hwy 245 to ride over Dooley Mountain.

The Dooley Mountain Highway, as it’s called, reminded me a lot of Rattlesnake Highway, the nickname given to Hwy 3, not far away. You’ll see few guardrails, gravel shoulders, and logging trucks on both.

A forest fire in August, 2015 burned much of the area.

Dooley Mtn 2
Dooley Mountain Highway
Dooley Mtn 1
Dooley Mountain Highway

The road surface was good, but there was gravel here and there, both gravel kicked up from the shoulder in the tight turns and leftover gravel used this past winter.

The day’s ride was scenic almost everywhere. I took this photo on Hwy 26 after passing through Unity.

Scenic Barn

The next spectacular section was County Road 20 or the Middle Fork Road, named after the middle fork of the John Day River.  CR 20 reminded me very much of the Idaho side of Lolo Pass, Hwy 12. This was about 40 miles of bliss.

John Day Middle Fork

Green hillside

The final “noteworthy-for-its-twisties” section was Hwy 218, between Fossil and Antelope. Where the other two notable sections were new to me, I’ve ridden this road in the past and it doesn’t disappoint.

Hwy 218

Just west of Maupin, where I turn onto Hwy 216, Mt. Hood begins to get closer.

Mt Hood from Hwy 216
Mt. Hood from Hwy 216

Turning onto Hwy 26, I did get startled by a flashing highway information board that indicated I was entering a Snow Zone and I was required to carry chains. Alas, there was no need for chains today 🙂  Someone should turn off that sign.

Mount Hood
Mt. Hood

Tomorrow I head back to Seattle.

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