Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Great Sunday Afternoon Motorcycle Ride in the Yakima Valley

We took our 2nd motorcycle ride of the new year. 2nd. In Washington state. Is that amazing or what? February 15 and we are out on the bike. With lots of other people on their bikes.

The first trip of the year was last Friday, February 13. Just a nice loop through the Wenas Valley, down the grade to Naches, and back around to Yakima.

Today we headed south. All of you on the ground probably didn't notice the breeze, but once we hit 55-60 mph, the wind chill, well, got chilly. But we were dressed for cold. It was great.
The amazing thing about riding a motorcycle, besides the numbing of your backside so that you think you have lost it somewhere, is how much you experience with your senses. I will say 4 senses, as the sense of taste, number 5, only happens occasionally when my visor is up and a bug drops in my mouth and becomes a tasty snack.

But the other 4. Wow.

Of course, one reason we go out is to see things. Sight. Other than the huge helmet head directly in front of my face (my honey is the front seat driver), I have a wonderful view of all that is passing, dare I say, whizzing by. Everything.

Sight. Some things I saw today ~

two bald eagles, sparrow hawk, blue heron, various farm animals, a gopher atop a fence post, wild horses (though not as many as usual), Mt. Adams, pine trees, the valley spread out before me, the sun-bleached white fan fingers of wild horse ribs and bones (once you figure out what you are seeing, one sees bones everywhere), rivers, puddles, mud, the greens of sprouting winter wheat, and so much more.

Smell. Uhm. Today we scented some very interesting odors ~

skunk (numerous), cow poop (it's not all roses on the back of a bike), rotten stuff, the fresh breeze, pine trees, recently tilled dirt, exhaust, and the great outdoors.

Touch. This sense is mostly related to what runs into us (bugs) and the feel of wind and weather hitting our skin. Cold air and very cold air were in abundance. The freedom of hanging out on the back of a motorcycle, flying through the air, is exhilarating. And then later, painful. We are not in motorcycle shape. The buttsy and back were done way before we got home.

Hearing. This one gets a little challenging, but oh, what a treat.

~ the motorcycle engine, the tiny bell that tinks as we go, other vehicles, the rushing wind past our helmets, and once, when we stopped and turned off the motor at the end of the road, complete silence. That was my favorite part.

Motorcycle riding is a multi-sensory experience, one of adventure, and a certain amount of risk. Believe me, we pray all the time. My man is super watchful. Being on the motorcycle is our special time together. Couple time.

Sunday Afternoon Yakama Reservation Route

(The end of the road where we turned around was 46 miles from our home in Yakima.)

~ Head south on I-90.

~ Turn on Lateral A. Follow to West Wapato Road.

~ Head west on W. Wapato Road until it ends.

~ Turn left on Stephenson. Follow through White Swan. (For bathrooms or a snack, this is it.)

~ Turn right on Ft. Road Extension (goes past the high school baseball fields).

~ Turn left. Can't remember this road's name. But you have to either turn left or right. Turn left. Stay on this road for a long time.

~ Follow the road. It becomes Signal Peak Road. There will be a stop sign. Turn left and stay on this road.

~ When you get up into the hills, you will come to a stop sign with some buildings. This is the beginning of the Tribal Land. We can't go there unless we have a host. This is also 46 miles from home and the place where we turn around.

Enjoy the ride.

Angie Quantrell writes from the great northwest where possibilities for beautiful motorcycle rides abound in God's backyard.

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