Oregon 2018. McKenzie Bridge.


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September 13th 2018
Published: September 13th 2018
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Oregon 2018. McKenzie Bridge.
The Middle Fork Ranger Station confirmed that the road we were to use was closed since the fire was still active. It was due to rain for most of the day so the decision was taken to use the regular roads to head towards Eugene, through Jasper and then join the Highway 126 at Springfield to head west to Harbicks Country Inn by the McKenzie river. A total of 76 miles and only 420 metres of ascent. It started to rain lightly as we set off at 8.30 and so the roads were wet and the traffic was heavy with all sorts of vehicle, rdpecylogging and other trucks. The side margin was narrow in places and they drove a bit too close for comfort at times making the first half hour a test of nerve. The rain stopped, the road dried and the riding became easier and quite pleasant. We were travelling alongside the Willamette river, which has been damned in 13 places in order to control the flooding, which used to cause such devastation and loss of life. The first covered bridge of the day was at Lowell crossing the Willamette. It was built in 1945, replacing a previous one. They were covered to protect the timbers of the bridge and lengthen the life of whole structure. They were popular from the mid 1880’s until the 1950’s and many are still maintained as monuments to the past. From this point the 58 was wider and more pleasant to ride. The Eugene district has 12 sawmills and some were on this road so a photograph was compulsory. What was more important was the collection of restored 1940’s American tractors outside one garage on the way to Jasper. Jasper was a bit of a let down so onwards to Springfield and the east along the McKenzie river. Here we saw another covered bridge and fishermen on the river. More importantly I had my sandwich at the side of the road with delicious blackberries free for the picking before chicken in breadcrumbs at a service station deli. Some of the letterboxes are a delight today with a hen and a vehicle engine being favourites. Upon arriving at the Harbicks Inn a timber lorry arrived and I took a photo only to find the driver owned the inn and the restaurant across the road. He was a youngish guy who just drove the lorry for fun. It wasn’t fun when they passed me this morning in the rain. Great meal tonight in the Takoda Restaurant and we are getting used to the American portion sizes. It is just as well we are cycling the carbohydrates off otherwise we would look like the Yanks in little time. Am I being PC here? We have booked ourselves in for breakfast at 7.59am to ensure a quickish getaway. Is it bedtime yet? Yawn.


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