Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The bikers of Bald Peak State Park

Last Sunday was a ridiculously beautiful day in Portland -- the type of day where law enforcement officials should be out arresting people holed up in their homes watching FOX News. (Oh wait. Those people should probably be arrested regardless.)

That being said, my date suggested we take a drive in the country, specifically to explore Bald Peak State Park.

(Note: I just took a look at this website. It's actually called Bald Peak Scenic Viewpoint. . . if you consider a cracked, circular parking lot and picnic table as "scenic". . . . apparently the state parks department does. Sigh. Hang in here with me.)

We first got wind of Bald Peak during a visit to Raptor Ridge Winery last fall. It, too, was a glorious day (it happens here on occasion -- really) and we were captivated by the tasting room's view of the tippy tops of Mt. Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams. The pinot gris isn't bad either.

The tasting room guy  said, "You ain't seen nothin' yet" -- in a far more articulate way, of course -- and pointed us in the direction of Bald Peak, noting that the view from there is downright breathtaking. We were intrigued.

And thus, with the help of The Lady inside My Phone Who Talks to Me, we found ourselves pulling into Bald Peak State Park Scenic Viewpoint Sunday afternoon. . . along with about 150 bikers milling around at the top of the park scenic viewpoint, their "hogs" shimmering like so many jewels in the May sunlight.

Uncertain as to where the brilliant views were to be seen, we inched our way up toward the bikers, me helpfully advising my date to not "pull a Pee Wee Herman."

Despite being trussed up in copious amounts leather, with record-setting tattoos to boot, the bikers were a congenial group and waved us through with whoops and whistles. No view, though.

And so we parked. By the picnic table pictured on the BPSVP website as you would have it. From there, an older lady and gentleman (also a biker) pointed us in the direction of a large stump, and sure enough, there were all four -- not just the tippy tops, but the whole gosh darn mountains. Pretty dang impressive.

But the best was yet to come.

There are no hiking trails at BPSVP per se, but our older biker friends told us about a footpath that takes you a short way down the other, non-mountain-view side of the peak. The biker gentleman then sent us on our way with a psychiatrist joke. And a pretty good one, at that. I think he practiced on the ride out toe Bald Peak.

The footpath is indeed short. And there we joined more bikers -- all completely geeking out about the view: Below us all was one of the best, panoramic views of the Willamette Valley I've ever seen, a giant green patchwork quilt of orchards and vineyards, farms and grazing meadows, creeks and ponds. I think we were all quite pleased to be sharing this treasure on such a fine day.

If you haven't seen some leather-encrusted, mustachioed, top-to-bottom pierced/tattooed biker
get all giddy about Nature, you haven't lived. Just sayin'.
And with that, the bikers gathered up their copious leather items, flexed their colorfully impressive tattoos and, in small groups, so as not to shatter our non-biker ear drums, headed off for their next destination (all mapped out on Facebook -- who knew?) which I believe was somewhere on the coast.

A few even popped a farewell wheelie in our honor. Or so I like to think.

Safe travels, friends.

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