GPNDG 2006

Herein are chronicled my experiences at Gather 2006! 

GPNDG 15... what the heck is that you ask? it's the Greater Pacific Northwest Dryside Gather that's what. and this year i had the privilige of being the BOSS for number 15. (wow!) ok, i know what you're thinking: "what is a Gather?" and "how did you get to be the "Boss" or whatever?". most folks that read this will likely already know the answers. for those that don't, go here:

that'll give you an idea of what this particular institution is all about. as for who WetLeather is, surf on over to here:

so let's get on with this year's story! in january i'd started soliciting volunteers. after a couple of changes, my crew was set, plans were made, menus composed and shopping lists filled out. the site, crescent lake, was picked the year before with the date being dictated by availability of this popular site:

you can see a sample of the  sheer beauty right here:

 a couple weeks ahead of the Gather i was invited, along with my good chum and wingman brett, to spend the night at one of the former BOSS' homes. 

here's a good shot of brett playing tourist at the evergreen museum of flight. the spruce goose was way cool. (more on that later!)

mark morrisey lives in beaverton OR and offered a pleasant evening of excellent scotch and great cigars as a way to start the Gather off right. who could refuse? when i told him of our planned route, he even offered up some very entertaining alternatives in oregon to help us tilt the horizon a bit. way cool... as an additional bonus for brett and i, we didn't have to pack our gear along. he'd loaned his truck to one of our members who wasn't quite ready to ride that far and i had the good fortune to have my good friend wendy cart my gear. (thanks dahlface!) that meant that brett and i, without the extra weight of camping gear, could turn and burn to our hearts' content. woohoo!

tuesday 8/22 dawned cloudy and drizzly in maple valley. brett was riding down from burlington to meet at my place and we'd leave about 11am for points south. he arrived just after 10:15. i said my goodbyes and off we headed. our route looked something like this:

Gooz' Place to Kelso Routing…       
Maple Valley - Hwy. 169 to 410 Enumclaw (south)       
Buckley – South Prarie (162) – Orting       
Orville Rd. – 161 (Eatonville)       
WA-7 – Morton (508, Right)       
508(~15 miles) – Cinebar Rd (LEFT)       
Cinebar Rd – Silver Creek Rd       
Silver Creek Rd – US 12 (Right)       
US 12 (1.5 miles) – Fuller Rd (Left)       
Fuller Rd – Spencer Rd (Right)       
Spencer Rd – Jackson Hwy(603, Left)       
603 – 505 Right to I-5       
I-5 to Kelso (Exit on Hwy 432)       
<< Fuel in Kelso  - ~140 miles >>  

 everything from maple valley to 508 was very familiar. the only variable was orville road as that was being repaved. from cinebar road on would all be new to both brett and myself. it sure looked good on a map! we gassed up and headed south. it seemed every minivan was out to impede our progress that morning. no sooner would we pass one or two than another or three would get in front of us. even when we hit orville road we were held up by a couple of the things! then to make it worse, we came upon a caravan of construction equipment being moved. call it 5-7 tractors and trucks of various sizes AND another minivan to boot. finally a short chute appeared and with a twist of the wrist, brett and i squirted past and enjoyed a nice romp into eaton. *whew*

we stopped in morton for some liquid refreshments and a stretch where we met up with this little fella and his very sweet grandma. they were headed to long beach for the kite festival that week. she was very curious about our travels and where we were going etc. as i said, she was very sweet. although shy, her grandson sure didn't shy away at the chance to sit on the dragon. just look at that kid's grin! who knows? maybe due to the kindness of some grayhaired old guy this kid will grow up to be a world champion MotoGP rider. (hey, it could happen!)

after morton came and went, we headed west on 508 which is a lovely two-lane road through the country. lined with farms and passing through villages, it's one of my favorite motorcycling roads. it's not remotely technical with the exception of some nice bends about 12 or so miles out of morton. those are a lot of fun when ridden with a bit of 'brio' as it were... and which we did. unfortunately, one of WA's finest scanned us pretty hard just coming out of the final bend in the road which almost brought the proceedings to what could have been an expensive end. however, as he was just going *into* the bends he most likely could not get safely turned to pursue had he even wanted to. (we weren't going THAT fast after all.) fortunately cinebar road appeared just then and with a quick exit, stage left, we left the scene for friendlier surroundings. *whew*

to be honest, 60 to 65 was our top speed up to then and even that was quick for the roads we were on. a series of lefts and rights and we were on lovely, lightly traveled roads until I-5, about 20 miles from kelso. highly recommended! at kelso we exited on Hwy 432 and stopped for fuel and a bite of lunch at some non-descript diner. soon we remounted and crossed into oregon where we picked up the following route:

Kelso to Mark’s Routing…      
Hwy 432 – 433 (Left)      
433 – US 30 (West, right)      
US 30 to OR 47 (Left)      
<< Brett takes the lead >>      
OR47 to Veronia      
OR 47 - Timber Rd. (Right)      
Timber Rd crossed Hwy 26      
Timber Rd/6 to OR 8 (Gales Crk Rd)      
OR 8 into Forrest Grove      
Maple St./Fern Hill Rd. (Right)      
Fern Hill Rd (1.5 miles) –
Blooming Fern Rd (Left, ~1.5 miles)      
At Tee, Jog! (Right – Left – Right) –
Johnson School Rd      
Johnson School Rd cross 219      
219 – Burkhalter Rd      
Burkhalter Rd – Rood Bridge Rd (Right)      
Rood Bridge Rd – Farmington Rd (Left)      
Farmington Rd (1/2 mile)– River Rd (Right)      
River Rd – Scholl’s Ferry Rd. (7-8 miles)      
Scholl’s Ferry Rd. – Roy Rogers, (Pass light)      
Loon Dr on left past light (Left) to TB1's home!     

once on 47 i let former roadracer and wingman extrodinaire brett take the lead. things *started* well but we soon came across several patches of gravel mid-turn. it seems that ODOT was replacing drainage culverts and had not bothered to clean the gravel off the road! this went on for a few miles then cleared up and we resumed The Pace. my riding was improving as the day went on and with brett setting really nice corner entry speeds (my weakest skill). once in Veronia, i resumed the lead as i 'knew' where we were going. more nice two lane roads and little traffic. woohoo! i made one small error towards the end where i jogged L-R-L instead of R-L-R but we quickly recovered and not long after we pulled into Mark and Roger's driveway.

from there the evening devolved into tall tales, wonderful mexican food washed down with copious amounts of alchohol and we wound up the night in their lovely backyard amidst a lovely garden and the soothing sounds of a waterfall punctuated with some *excellent* scotches and cigars. 

  ahhhh.... it's a guy thing.