Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Stonehenge: Washington State Style
If you ever find yourself in the area of the Columbia River Gorge between Oregon and Washington, consider yourself lucky to start with. Of the many good riding roads in the area, one of the best takes you to Stonehenge in Maryhill, Washington. Set on a hill overlooking the eastern end of the gorge, and offering spectacular views. Including the US 97 bridge just to the west of Stonehenge, that connects Washington and Oregon.
Stonehenge was built in the early 1920s as a war memorial dedicated to the men of Klicitat County that had been "sacrificed on the altar of war" during World War One. The sightlines are the
same as at the original in England. So if you are there at dawn on the morning of the summers solstice, the sun will rise at the same point as it does in England...the same with the moon.
Back in the 80s, the Outsiders MC held a run here everyear. It was quite the bash, and bikes would come from all over the NW to do "the henge". There is a campground less than a mile away, and a gas station and store about the same distance. Good food and cold beverages are to be found close by too. There is a lot to ride to and check out within a short few miles of riding from Stonehenge.
Depending on your state of mind, Stonehenge can go from cool, to flat out fucking trippy. Its kind of hypnotically relaxing too...especially if you have already put 600 miles or so behind you. Even though it is by two of the main highways in the area, it is
amazingly quiet. With only the wind blowing through the gorge to really make any noise.
So if you ever find yourself up here in this neck of the woods, and want to find some cool place to ride, or just a quiet spot to kick back and cut loose, let me know. I'll be more than happy to either show you, or at least show you how to get to some of the best riding in the region.
This is a strange kind of place...in the NW, you can ride from the ocean beaches; through dense woodlands and over mountains to dry arid landscapes straight out of some western movie, to monstrous prehistoric waterfalls now dried up. You can ride from Stonehenge to a Bavarian village to an Old West town. All of this in a day. IF, you know how to do it, and where to go. So come on up to the NW and have a ride. I am sure you will be glad you did.