“Just where is the Pacific Northwest?” you may ask. I’m sure there are a variety of opinions on where it starts and where it ends. For myself, I have an expansive definition of the Pacific Northwest.
How ever you draw your map, it starts on the West with the Pacific coastline. Your next choice is how far north and south you want to span your map. My personal challenge with maps has always been that there is “just one more” interesting roadway; just beyond the last pencil line I drew on the map. And so it is with motorcycle traveling.
To the South; I generally draw the Southern boundary when I start getting more traffic in front of the bike than behind… This means that I carry my map no further south along the coast than the Eureka/Mendocino, CA latitudes. Please understand, I hold no animosity towards ‘Frisco, Sacramento or even L.A.; but I have to draw the line somewhere… and the open road calls me onward.
To the East; now that is a challenge… The Coast Mountains (too close), the Rockies (perhaps) but just to the east of the Rockies are some incredible sights and rides! Ok, for myself, I’ll draw the “Pacific Northwest” all the way to the Rocky Mountains (but I won’t be limited by that mountainous wall into leaving out some of the eastern side areas).
To the North; why not just say “I draw the line, where there are no more roads.” It makes it simple, and does not curb my appetite for adventure. And let me say; There is plenty of adventure in some of the wildest parts of the northern reaches. Enough to appease any rider’s sense of adventure.
I’m sure Lewis and Clark would approve of the expansive nature of the area and might even have a word or two of advice for travelers. So, I’m sure, would Alexander Mackenzie and David Thompson who would probably have yearned for a motorcycle (if they had been invented) while they trod across this expansive territory. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you just may catch a glimpse from time to time of their journeys as you follow along and explore the by-ways of the Pacific Northwest.
While this area may be more expansive than some definitions, this may be because I live in British Columbia. Here in Canada we are used to huge, expansive areas; British Columbia covers a little more than 364,000 square miles or the equivalent of Washington State, Oregon State, Idaho State and the northern half of California State with some extra space left over. Add on just a little more (Nevada, Utah and a bit of Montana) and you have what I consider to be the ‘interesting’ part of North America, right in our back yard.
Come along and explore the ‘greater’ Pacific Northwest. You’ll be glad you did.