Saturday, June 8, 2013

First real adventure.  Along the southern end of Capitol Forest, then to Oakville, then on to Brooklyn including my first gravel road test, then on to Montesano, and finally home. 115 miles!

Just getting used to motorcycling again after 25 years.  I was taking it slow and easy - no hard cornering or high speeds.  This was a ride that would test all my skills - cornering (slow speed & high speed), shifting, braking, gravel, and freeways.
It was a beautiful day. The ride started out nice - easy cruising up Waddell Creek Road and down to Gate. Then a stretch down Hwy 12 to Oakville where I turned left on to Center Street.  After I crossed the Chehalis River I turned left down Gerrard Creek Road which wound through forests and farms.  I then saw the sign for Brooklyn and turned right.  The speed dropped to 25 MPH when the road entered Grays Harbor County which was fine for me.  The pavement ended and almost immediately into a steep, washboard grade.  I climbed up through clearcuts and recent timber harvests to what I determined must of been the "pass" from the Chehalis to the North River.  I stopped to take a break - so far, so good, about 4 miles on gravel roads.  As I stopped I was reminded to turn the ABS off.  ABS should not be used on gravel roads.
I then proceeded on towards Brooklyn.  Brooklyn wasn't much more than a "wide spot" in the road - a tavern, and a grade school.  After Brooklyn I traveled down the nice and twisty North River Road until I met up with Hwy 101 between Raymond and Aberdeen/Cosmopolis.  I turned right on to Hwy 107 to go to Montesano.  In Montesano I stopped for a quick rest and to decide which route to take home.  I decided on taking the old highway that linked all the small logging towns of Montesano, Elma and McCleary.  At McCleary I got on to Hwy 8 and headed back home.

It was a successful day - country roads, lots of turns, some gravel roads, and some freeway.  I then decided that I was embarking on a great adventure.
Google Maps: Ride Around Capitol Forest

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