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Member Travel Story-- (4 part travelogue)
San Francisco or Bust!
submitted by: Leonard/Marilyn Woelfel
Chapter MN-C

It all started with a group from southwestern MN, Chapter C wanting to see the west coast by route Hwy 101. Route plans were made by Bruce Johnson and Randy Lokre and presented to the group. Input was requested and plans were made. Several Members from South Dakota Chapter L wished to travel with us also. That would be 8 couples total, 4 bikes and 4 trikes. We traveled with the same group to 2011 Wing Ding in Knoxville, TN for 9 days and we all jelled well. A 16 day trip sounded doable.

Leonard Woelfel contacted several GWRRA Members by email from the states, areas which we were going through to see if there were specific sites, roads, restaurants to try along the way. He received several responses; one from Boyd and Gay Jeffery from Idaho who emailed him, along with Lee Nelson, and suggested routes, if our time frame allowed.

San Francisco or Bust!

June 30: We departed from our driveway outside of Mankato, MN at 6:20 am, arrived in St James and met up with Randy/Jan Lokre from St James, Rick/Jennie Eckstein from New Ulm and Bruce/Colette Johnson from LaSalle. We had an uneventful full day ride to Gillette, WY crossing South Dakota without stopping for any sightseeing, our goal was to put on miles today. In Gillette, we would recommend Humphrey's Bar and Grill - great food and atmosphere.

July 1: We crossed Wyoming and found the state to be adventurous. In many places it seemed so desolate and wondered why people lived there and then the next stretch was gorgeous and western-like. We ran into two cattle drives on the highway and in the mountains. What a site! Temperatures fluctuated from 64 in the mountains to 98 degrees in the valley. We met up with the rest of our group, Red/Leigh, Ann Redman, Delman/Wanda Larson, Jerry/Ann Rigney, Myron/Claribel Grussing at Idaho Falls, Idaho. When settled at the motel, we contacted Boyd and Gay, and they drove all the way up from Black Foot to meet us. They suggested to go out for dinner at Jakers - great food and accommodated our group of 18 well. Highly recommend it! It was great putting faces to their email. We had a good time.

July 2: This morning we left at 7:30 (got to sleep in)! We rode Hwy 20 from Idaho Falls to the Craters of the Moon National Monument. It wasworth getting off the bike and discovering the different lava formations and unusual trees and plants. If weweren't on such a tight time frame, it would have been great to go down into the bat cave, but too many miles to go and not enough time...something to experience someday when we return. We, Leonard and I, decided to split up from thegroup and try out Hwy 21 (part of the scenic drive that was suggested) knowing that it was going to add another 150 miles to the day. We had a great ride going through the Sawtooth National Forest andMountain Range. We stopped at an off side gasstation/restaurant in the middle of nowhere- Smiley Creek Lodge and had excellent trout which was seasoned withcapers. After riding lots of curves, up and down hills we made it into Baker City, Oregon and joined the rest of our group.

July 3: Baker City crossing the state to destination Newport, Oregon. Nice but a long ride on Hwy 26 to 126. At Sisters we took the scenic ride southwest on 242, McKenzie Pass, (another ride suggested by fellow GWRRA Rider). It had everything - curves, curves, and more curves, lava runs, snow, and at the summit of McKenzie Pass elevation 5,325 it was cold! It definitely was worth the extra time. Then north on 126, west on 20 to Newport. We went to Mo's down by the harbor for supper and had fish stew - very different but good.

(Ed. note: Tune in next month for part two.)

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