BMW News

BMW Hood River Tour Recap–2014

View down the Columbia River Gorge from Rowena Crest, US Highway 30.  Photo by Ken Theimer.

View down the Columbia River Gorge from Rowena Crest, US Highway 30. Photo by Ken Theimer.

Wow, what a great tour! August 16/17 was a beautiful sunny weekend for drivers and navigators on our Hood River Overnight Tour. Early morning we headed around the east side of Mt. Rainier and then on to Mt. St. Helens viewpoint at Windy Ridge. Twisty roads in the National Forest provided a great forearm workout as we steadily ascended through remnants of the 1980 blast area. Arriving at the viewpoint, our group enjoyed the panoramic vista before us: a cloud filled volcanic crater, still recovering Spirit Lake, and new vegetation in the vast blow down area.

After our picnic lunch, we descended into the shadows of Mt. Adams to the east. Turns gradually became longer and small towns reappeared, until before us lay the broad expanse of the mighty Columbia Gorge. Note: stop at river, turn left.

Snaking along the river on the narrow Highway 14 right of way with a long, speeding train, Hood River emerged in the distance. Our final thrill only cost a dollar. Peering down at the river just over our hoods, we carefully crossed the toll bridge on its two-lane, no-shoulder, steel grated bridge deck. Did I mention the famous Hood River wind? Both hands on the wheel, please.

The town of Hood River was truly a great way to end the tour. Several of us met for dinner to relax, get better acquainted and share favorite moments from our 200+ mile trek. For those who needed more, Sunday provided many more driving, shopping, and wine touring opportunities up and down the Gorge. Another great trip!

But you say you need one more Tour before the season ends? Then you won’t want to miss the Hood Canal to The Ridge Tour on September 13. It’s the only Tour that takes you onto the race track! Sign up now for the Hood Canal to The Ridge Tour.

Starting at the Federal Way Starbucks, we’ll take the scenic back route to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and along the scenic and twisty roads that line South Puget Sound and Hood Canal, about 175 miles round trip from Seattle.

Our destination will be The Ridge Motorsports Park near Shelton. We will be allowed to run a handful of slow speed pace laps during the lunch break of the BMWCCA High Performance Driver Education day. No helmets or inspection will be required.

Sign up now to reserve your spot! See the full article for more details.

 

Ed Walker

Tours Coordinator

 

First stop at Greenwater, road to Hood River.  Photo by Jim Walker.

First stop at Greenwater, road to Hood River. Photo by Jim Walker.

 

 

Forest Road 99 to Windy Ridge Viewpoint, Mt. St. Helens.  Photo by Doug Eng.

Forest Road 99 to Windy Ridge Viewpoint, Mt. St. Helens. Photo by Doug Eng.

Windy Ridge, gathering of members.   Photo by Doug Eng.

Windy Ridge, gathering of members. Photo by Doug Eng.

 

Clouds lying in Mt. St. Helens crater. Photo by Doug Eng.

Clouds lying in Mt. St. Helens crater. Photo by Doug Eng.

View down the Columbia River Gorge from Rowena Crest, US Highway 30.  Photo by Ken Theimer.

View down the Columbia River Gorge from Rowena Crest, US Highway 30. Photo by Ken Theimer.

 

Rowena Crest, US Highway 30 near Hood River above the Columbia River Gorge.  Photo by Jim and Julie Lange.

“LOVE this road!” Jim Lange at Rowena Crest, US Highway 30 near Hood River above the Columbia River Gorge. Photo by Jim and Julie Lange.

 

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