We rose pretty early on Sunday for the final stretch home. Lance rose earliest and saw a doe and fawn near the house, capturing them on my camera. When I popped out of bed to see them, they were gone.
Russell cooked us breakfast and we geared up for the long ride. Weed, CA to Portland, OR is approximately 350 miles, a 6 hour drive if taking I-5 the entire way home. Jerome would be leaving the group here to continue south, but Russell rode with us almost to the Oregon border.
Prior to departing Weed, Russell treated us to his art exhibit at the local library. At least a few of his paintings have ended up on BMW club shirts.
When we headed out, we took Old Hwy 99 north towards Yreka. After Yreka the side road is 263 and follows the Shasta River. It was a very scenic road and a nice alternative to I-5. About 15 miles from the border we bade farewell to Russell and picked up I-5 northbound. For me this is no fun and I’m always looking for side roads, but we stayed on I-5 to make some time, stopping in Grants Pass for lunch and once more for fuel.
After some map consultation and debate, we agreed to leave I-5 for some more enjoyable side roads. Just south of Eugene we took exit 163 towards Curtin, and jumped onto the Territorial Hwy. We passed Lorane, Veneta and Elmira. I was pleasantly surprised as we passed the King Estate Winery, a vineyard I have been wanting to visit, but have not had the chance so far. We were too pressed for time and too messy to enjoy a wine tasting, so we noted the location for a future visit. The road was scenic and much more pleasant than I-5. https://www.kingestate.com/
We made our way over to 99W and followed that up through Junction City and Corvallis, then 233 to Dayton, passing several vineyard signs nearly every mile. This is a very beautiful area, with smaller roads, vineyards, and slower traffic than I-5. The sun was getting lower and the temperature began to drop, calling for another garment adjustment.
At Dayton we picked up 99W again, and passed through Dundee and Newberg, pretty much ground zero for the Willamette Valley wine country. On 99W through Dundee you pass the Argyle and Four Graces tasting rooms.
In Newberg we turned onto the Wilsonville Road, a really nice motorcycle road. By this time it was dark, and I was slightly concerned about deer in the road. We continued on Wilsonville Road out to I-5 and took that into Portland.
The total hours in the saddle on the last day was about 12, with stops for lunch, fuel, map reading and ice cream. Comparing my pre-departure odometer reading to the final reading upon arrival at my sister’s house, my bike registered a total of 1,266 miles for the trip. All the bikes were slightly different, but in the ballpark.
The 1987 K75S performed well, averaging 55 to 60 mpg, with only the clutch cable issue. Once the cable was replaced, all went well. I will be putting together an emergency kit to carry on future trips.
The lesson for today: 12 hours travel time on a motorcycle is just a bit too long for me. My hands and thumbs were sore the next day, so for future rides I will keep that in mind.