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      09-01-2020, 06:32 PM   #1
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Drives: 2018 M2
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Idaho, USA

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Took my M2 to the Beach (and the forest, and the desert, and...) [many pics]

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After working the last couple of weekends, I decided it was time for a little getaway. I've been wanting to get back to the Oregon coast and some of my favorite roads along the way. Figured I'd make it a four-day weekend, as I had a pretty ambitious route. 1,600 miles in four days would be a bit much for me on one of the motorcycles, so I decided to take the M2, which is certainly a great option!

I had plans for shooting a bunch of video along the route, with GoPro and drone, and of course I can't help but take a few photos wherever I go too. I started the trip Thursday night with a freeway drive to Pendleton, OR (about 3.5 hours from here), so I would have more time for shooting and fooling around on Friday.

Things started pretty decent on Friday. I shot some GoPro action driving the really fun and deserted stretch of road between Pilot Rock and Heppner, and snapped a few drone pics as well.

It's really fun, and you could go an hour or so without seeing a car or bike pass through.

As I drove past Heppner toward Condon and then on toward some other favorites like Shaniko-Fossil, the air got more and more nasty with smoke from forest fires. Really bad. Terrible for visibility (and photos), and not much fun to breathe. I was bummed, but still trying to enjoy just driving, without worrying so much about my "art."

I was driving south from Condon toward Fossil, I road I've ridden/driven many times. Always super quiet. Long straight stretches between fun corners here and there. I don't even want to say how fast I've gone there before on different bikes. Let's just say stupid fast. Friday I was really just cruising, not in any particular hurry. As I rounded a bend into one of the straight sections, my radar detector went off. It was too late, there was a Sheriff coming the other direction, and by the time I heard/saw him, he'd already popped me. Usually I get more warning, but we both hit the straight at the same time on opposite ends of the road, so the timing was perfectly sucky. Pulled me over and wrote me up for 74 in a 55. Dammit. Unreasonably slow speed limit through there, in my opinion - but I may be slightly biased.

I managed to go through all of 2019 without getting a ticket, and was hoping for the same in 2020. Oh well.

Between the choking smoke and the ticket, I was seriously contemplating pulling the plug and just going home. I wasn't that far into it, and was wondering if the air was going to get any better so I could do my usual photo thing, and I didn't like the fact that I'd really have to be super cautious about my speed for the next 1200 miles or so. After an hour or so of driving toward a point where I could turn right to go home, or left to continue, I finally decided to keep going. I'm glad I did.

The air did clear up once I got past Bend and headed further west, and I wound up driving some of my most favorite roads in Oregon, exploring some great new ones, and enjoying even cruising at a reasonable rate of speed (with a few very careful exceptions). Shot a bunch of photos and videos. Along the way I drove through deserts, forests, along the ocean, rivers - pretty much every kind of terrain you can imagine! It was really fun, and this car is just such a blast to drive.

Here are some pics from along the journey. I'll edit all the video when I get some time:

Wolf Creek Road near Eugene, which leads into Siuslaw River Road - my favorite in Oregon

Upper Smith River Road

Enjoying the clean air and trying to forget about the ticket

Driving across the bridge while the drone took my picture was kind of fun while stressful

Heading east from Roseburg toward Diamond Lake

This happened before, twice during, and after the trip (of course)

This hairpin above in the middle of the forest was super tight - 10 MPH on the sign, so you had to brake really hard. I enjoyed the extra guidance someone painted in the road entering the corner.

Of course, the corner exit was pretty funny too.

Sunday I drove from Ashland, Oregon (far south-central), briefly into northernmost California (redwood country), and then back up along the southern Oregon coast, which I just love. Always. How can you not, with views like this - especially when they feature a Long Beach Blue M2?

It's not always sunny and nice like this at the Oregon coast, but it was really beautiful (though quite windy!) while I was there. Can't believe how stable the drone stays even in 40 MPH gusts.

Not very crowded, either. One of the advantages of going the weekend before Labor Day, I'm sure.

Sunday night I stayed at my favorite little hotel in Florence, with a lovely view of the Siuslaw River Bridge. I was really hoping for a nice sunset, because I thought it would be cool to try to get some photos of the sunset behind the bridge with the drone! It was kind of hairy flying it out over the river, knowing that if it went haywire or I screwed up the controls, it could be gone forever, but it was worth a shot. The sunset wound up being pretty darn perfect, and I was super happy with the shots I got.

Long drive home on Monday, but made it back with enough daylight to give my baby a proper bath, and make some dinner for me and Mrs. Whip. Definitely glad I didn't quit after the rough start to the trip, and had a really nice getaway. It wasn't easy watching other cars pass me now and then (I hate that!), but I sure don't need any more citations. Very grateful, as always, for the beautiful areas I can visit without too much of a journey, and the fun car and bikes with which to enjoy them!

Last edited by bwhip; 09-02-2020 at 07:55 AM..