Monday, May 30, 2016

Redmond to Harrisburg OR

Today's drive was from Redmond to Harrisburg OR.  We've done it before, but we were a little soft on the details, so I'm documenting for the next time.  This will be a boring post.
But first, here are the Sisters.  They used to be called Faith, Hope and Charity.  Now they're known as North, South and Middle.

The most direct route is via US20. However, the Tombstone summit is east of Sweet Home.  The Mountain Directory West guide tells us that there is an eleven mile stretch of 6% descent.  The grade is steady with 25, 30 and 35 mph curves, on a narrow two lane road.  After the eleven miles, the grade eases to 3% for many miles.  There are signs telling drivers that vehicles over 50 feet should not take US20, and they're right.  US20 is the middle gray line.
The bottom gray line goes over McKenzie pass which is barely passable by automobile.
Thus, we went US20 and then north on OR22, which is the blue line.  

It's a beautiful drive.  One of the things we always forget is how much descending there is.  After you go over Santiam, there is a lot of downhill.  Between Santiam and the eventual on ramp to I5, 4,000 feet of elevation is lost.  US20 and OR22 have some pretty good descents, only Santiam is signed.  Once you reach OR226 it becomes more of a rolling grade, but the trend is still downhill. Please make a note of this.

The route turns south onto OR226 in Mehama and continues through Lyons.  It then goes to Scio and makes another south.   Both GPS units were trying to take us down tiny little farm roads after Lyons.  Scio!  The turn is in Scio!

Eventually OR226 will rejoin US20 at this intersection.  Go right!

US20 runs into I5. After that, it's easy driving.

Despite the holiday, traffic was not horrible.  We were on the road by 8 am, and getting through Sisters (a small tourist filled village) was not bad at all.  On the two lane roads, traffic in front of us was very light.  Getting up early was a good thing.  Every NFS campground we saw was full to the gills.  If they all left at the same time, traffic was going to be bad.

We're here for the week getting things fixed at Erik's, and having fluids changed at Cummins NW in Coburg.  It will be a long four days and may not generate anything interesting enough to write about.  There are few things as tedious and being in the shop with one's home.


  1. Oh how we can relate to your last sentence!
    You were wise to leave early yesterday. We went for a hike and as we were driving to the trailhead in the morning traffic on I-5 was very light. It was much heavier on our way home around 2.
    Hope all your work goes well.

    1. As it so often happens, we are having two steps forward, and then one backward.

  2. You'd think the GPS's would know better by now. They need to have a place where you can enter the size of your vehicle. Until recently, 18 wheel truckers would be routed over Last Dollar Road, dirt/muddy county road that turns into a narrow steepJeep trail and a "shortcut to Telluride. No place to even turn around for miles.

    1. That's what makes me so crazy, one of the GPS is a truck GPS and we entered BIG dimensions to keep us off those roads. I guess it's time for an upgrade. We've reverted to paper maps, much more reliable.