The day Sean and I traveled the Great Klickitat Circle, the weather was clear and comforta
Klickitat Washington Circle
Motorcycles are so niche that when we purchase a bike we are also buying a lifestyle associated with the make and model. We ride Harleys because of the raw power and the company's rich history but our love of baggers stems from their connection to the open road. In an age of cookie-cutter customs, a bagger reflects the needs of riders wanting a workhorse and thoroughbred; a bike for people more interested in cruising than talking about cruisers.
We set out to cruise the ancestral lands of Klickitat Indians aboard an '08 Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide and a powerful '00 Valkyrie Interstate. At the north end of the 50-cent toll Hood River Bridge, connecting Hood River, Oregon, to White Salmon, Washington, we began our adventure by heading west on WA14 towards the Mt. Adams Wilderness.
With the wind scratching our faces and the sun warming our leathers, we up-shifted into Sixth gear. The 96-cubic-inch engine overshadowed the Sex Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun" glaring from the Harman/Kardon stereo as we rode deeper into a land rich in folklore but lacking services.
Klickitat mythology explains the mountains surrounding their land in southern Washington originated when Supreme god Tyhee Saghalie and his sons Klickitat and Wy'east moved to the lower Columbia River. The brothers quarreled over land, so Saghalie made Klickitat move north of the river and Wy'east south to bring peace in the valley.
The fighting resumed when the brothers fell in love with a woman named Loowit. When Loowit chose Wy'east, Klickitat was so saddened, that he forever hung his head in shame. So angered by his sons quarreling, Saghalie transformed Wy'east into Mt. Hood, Loowit into Mt. St. Helens, and the saddened Klickitat into Mt. Adams, explaining the mountain's flattop.
Exploring the land Klickitat and Wy'east fought over and passing picturesque views of their eternal resting places, let us remember the old cave explorer's motto: "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time."
Blasting down deep forest hallways, a rider feels a deep sense of truly getting away from
The price on this long-abandoned pump in Glendale was just over a buck a gallon. Makes you
This laughing deer skull reminded us why we ride sober, wear full armored gear, and stay a
Columbia Gorge To BZ Corner 11 Miles
Golden grasses and emerald oaks painted the scenery as we carved north, leaving the Columbia Gorge via alternative WA141. Fifteen- to 25-mph constant-radius turns trace along the White Salmon River and paved our way into Washington's interior. A sign explained that we had "left a natural scenic area;" implying the road ahead would be sub-scenic.
Mt. Hood shines above the great Columbia River while the 100hp Valkyrie waits for the twis
Through a stop sign, we continued north following signage to BZ Corner and passed a fruit stand selling local cherries and huckleberries, for which the region is famous. Entering Husum, locals employ mailbox defenses, including steel shielding and hanging the boxes from chains to deter mailbox baseball attacks on a lackluster Friday night. With views of Mount Adams' 12,276-foot peak in sight, we throttle into BZ Corner 4 miles later.
BZ Corner To Glenwood 19 Miles
Since The Logs restaurant had stopped serving lunch, the only eatery in BZ Corner was a gas station/grocery store at the WA141/BZ Corner-Glenwood Highway junction. Sandwiches cost $3-5 and riders can fill up on food, fuel, and hydrate before heading off into the high desert. Riding east onto the BZ Corner-Glenwood Highway, little traffic and maintained pavement allowed us to set our own speed limit. We passed thickets of oak and maple trees swaying to an intermittent breeze while signs warning of cattle crossings failed to deliver as promised.