Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Old McKenzie Highway (242)

Ron and I are on vacation this week. More of a "staycation" than vacation, but that's ok. We aren't lacking for great things to do close to home. Today's itinerary: Highway 242, the Old McKenzie Highway.

We take Marcola Road and Camp Creek Road to Highway 126. Marcola and Camp Creek roads have nice sweeping curves and get us to Highway 126 without having to ride through Eugene/Springfield.

I haven't been over Hwy 126 for many years. It's not anything special for riding, but it has nice scenery, and it's pleasant along the river. We take a short break at a boat ramp, and discover an old swinging bridge crossing the river. There is a sign that says it has historic significance, but no details are given. Now I'll have to research it out and see what I can find. Onward to 242
This is the only picture of the curves on this road. We sacrifice one lowly 35mph corner for a photo opp. We have some nice 15-20 mph curves ahead. You don't waste those curves on picture taking.
Nice little straight stretch before the fun begins.
We have just rode through motorcycle heaven! :)
Coming up on the lava fields with Mt. Washington in the background.
North and Middle Sisters
 The ride has been so spectacular I didn't even notice the mountains to the south until we pulled off the road.
Mt. Jefferson
We make the requisite stop at Dee Wright Observatory to stretch our legs and take in the scenery. It's such a surreal setting. It's nice to visit mid-week when the crowds are thin.
We head back down the road toward Sisters and lunch. More sweet curves! Once again I forgot pics of the food. We have deli sandwiches, and a fabulous slice of berry pie before returning to the valley by way of highway 20. We practically have the road to ourselves...not one truck or RV on the trip home. Way to end the ride.


  1. Looking at these beautiful views brings to mind a difference between this and my urban scoots. You get beautiful vistas, twisties, and mountains on the horizon. I go looking for pink flamingos. Not necessarily complaining, but it sure is different :-)

    Thanks for taking me along.

  2. That is a wild looking area around the mountains. That is all lava rock? Such an alien looking landscape from the normal trees and meadows. Love it. Thanks for stopping for a few of the pictures. :) -Lori

  3. Love your pics! I'll be taking notes and using your examples to improve my photo "skills".. :)

  4. I was there in July during my cross county trip, loved Sisters and the loop through Dee Wright Observatory. I haven't reached that part in my blog, been too busy. My last entry was the trip up to Fort Bragg from San Francisco. You guys are so lucky to have those roads for riding. I had so much fun on route 242 and 126. I did it clockwise, so I went down on 242. Lovely pictures. Nice job :-)

  5. Wow, another set of fantastic pics. That volcanic landscape makes it an eery place despite the blue skies. And these little escapes make obviously for a wonderful staycation.

  6. Kari:

    You're getting quite proficient at the curves, but sometimes you have to relax and enjoy the scenery. WHAT NO FOOD PHOTOS ? and NO photos of poor Ron .

    safety first, which no shoulders it may not be safe to stop

    Wet Coast Scootin

  7. The lava fields look pretty interesting. I like rock frame in the last photo from the observatory.


  8. Hi Keith,
    lol - No pink flamingos...except the plastic ones! :)

    Hi Lori,
    Yes, One big lava flow. One moment you're in the trees, and the next, you go around a corner and see this enormous flow stretching for miles.

    Hi Ken,
    Thanks, I'm glad you like them. :)

    Hi George,
    I'm looking forward to when you get to that part. :)
    I rode it clockwise a couple years back. I definitely like going up the sharp curves better than going down, but both ways are fun!

  9. Hi Sonja
    242 is close to where we crossed the mountains from Bend. Too bad there wasn't time to ride through that way. It's quite a ride. Maybe next time! :)

    Hi Bob,
    lol - I'm not anywhere near proficient in curves, but I can make it around them albeit at a more sedate pace. This ride offered up some awesome skills testing. A secret: we did get pics of Ron and me, but they were kind of cheesy. They'll never make it to a public place! :)

    Thanks Richard,
    It is an interesting and unusual place.

  10. Love the lava - what a terrific looking place with the steep lava slope set against the mountains. Trust Bob to comment about the no food pictures - I always forget to take these as well. Riding during the week is so much more fun than at weekends, with much less traffic around.

  11. Hi Gary,
    lol - yeah, Bob and his food pics...gotta remember the important stuff.
    Tourist spots or campgrounds are the worst on weekends. Unfortunately that's the usual time we get to go anywhere. This week has been a treat.

  12. Smart move doing the mid-week ride. It is so busy up there on the weekends, or it was the last time we ventured up. Looks like you had beautiful weather for it too.

  13. Hi Trobairitz,
    Perfect timing and weather. I think we only had two cars in front and both pulled over as soon as they could to let us pass. :)

    Vacation over ... back to our regularly scheduled life.