February 6th, 2007
Freshly back from Baja, thoughts of warm days and star filled nights are still drifting through my head. Although the worst of the broken pavement that leads into Puertecitos from San Felipe has been freshly paved, the road south of Puertecitos leading to Gonzaga Bay and beyond is worse than ever! It's easy to forget that the so called road is actually an official highway. Rumor is that it's all going to be paved someday soon, but rumors like that are abundant in Baja, and more frequently than not never come to fruition. Well that's just fine with me, as according to the saying coined by Mama Espinosa... "Bad roads bring good people-- good roads, bad people." Although it's barely fit for travel by automobile, or more likely because of that, it's the perfect road for off-road vehicles. Encounters with autos are likely to be slow traveling, if at all. First timers will marvel that there is any development at all along this stretch of road, let alone travel trailers and houses. "They brought that stuff down THIS road?" is the first thought that comes to mind.
It's along this stretch that GripTwister's oceanfront property is being developed into a place with something to offer to off-roaders. We eventually hope to offer overnight
accommodations to riders heading north or south along the Sea of Cortez, as well as cold beverages, food and snacks, internet access, and also limited parts and repair services for those just passing by. I spent the last few weeks here working on the place, and it always amazes me how much of the traffic on the "highway" is ORVs.
If riding in Baja sounds like something you'd like to do, there's still a few spaces left for the April Baja ride, so give us a call today to get yourself signed on.
November 7th, 2006
A big thanks to Nicholas Williamson from Australia, whose article detailing his ride with GripTwister Tours around the Olympic mountains back in June was picked up and printed by Trailbike Adventures Magazine. I'll see if I can get permission to print some excerpts from it here. "TBAM", as the Australian magazine is referred to, did a nice multi-page spread with oodles of color photos taken by Nick.
I'm going to add a new section soon to the website that will feature the GPS coordinates of some tricky little bits of trail to ride, some of them with a surprise at their end. The "bits" will all be challenging or interesting in some way, but additionally, you might score yourself a prize for reaching the trail's end. Most of them are known to very few people. In fact, most are the type that if I didn't tell you there was a trail there, you would just ride on by it. These will initially be on the Olympic Peninsula, but may spread.--More Info--
October 25th, 2006
If you've ever dreamed about riding Baja but just haven't gotten around to fulfilling
that dream, then you've come the the right place! We're heading down in April for five days of riding in the northern state to some of Baja's great places. Leave the hassles to us and enjoy some of the finest dual sport riding in the world. We're departing the Seattle/Tacoma for the border staging area on April 14th with bike's in tow. We have room in the support rig for 3 riders and their bikes on a first-come, first-served basis for a small additional cost. We're keeping the group size very limited on this tour to maximize our efficiency and flexibility, so sign up early. This ride is classified as GS friendly, but
aggressive tires are highly recommended. --More Info--
September 14th, 2006
Thanks for your support Adventure Riders!! The riding has been great in the Pacific Northwest this summer, and quite a few of you have made the tour around the Olympics already, with some even making it what appears to be an annual affair. There's still plenty of good riding days ahead to complete the tour, so don't feel like the best is behind us. In fact, September and October are historically great months to do "The Loop", as most folks consider the Labor Day weekend the "end of summer" and don't head for the hills again until next year. That means even less traffic on the roads, and less competition for accommodations, be it a motel or a four-star camping spot. We still have copies on our shelves ready to ship, but at this time of year we let the inventory dwindle in
preparation for the slow sales during winter months. Once they're sold-out, further sales of the tour package are assembled on a per order basis until next year's edition is released, so a quick turnaround is not assured.
June 23rd, 2006
It's official... the 2006 Edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour is now shipping! Improvements have been made, but we've kept the price at $39.95... a deal at twice that price! Note that just a complete set of maps to cover all the roads in this tour would cost you over fifty bucks!! And they wouldn't even BEGIN to offer the convenience and the wealth of information that's provided by our tour package. I'm so sure that you'll feel that it's a great deal on a great tour, that if you're not completely satisfied with the tour package for any reason, just return it with the tracklog from your trip and I'll refund your money. How's that for a guarantee? What do you have to lose?
2006 Edition of the Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour
June 10th, 2006
It's almost here... the 2006 Edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour will be shipping next week! Yes, the snow has finally melted enough to allow passage at the higher elevations on the tour. The rhododendrons are in full bloom and the forest is full of wildlife. In fact, on this year's reconnaissance trip, we came across FIVE bears at various places along the route!!
Owner's of previous editions who never got around to the tour will be happy to know that the route has not changed this year, though it has been updated and improved to reflect the current status of camping opportunities. We've also added even more
side routes to beautiful and interesting places along the main route. The BIG news for those of you who desire to get dirty is that Route X is once again passable... Yeah! It had to be truncated a bit, however, due to a permanently closed section, but it didn't get any easier. Please avoid riding this optional route alone. Get your
2006 Edition of the Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour for all the details! Orders are being taken now for the first printing-- don't delay!
March 5th, 2006
Spring is in the air as far as I'm concerned. I've been putting off applying new rubber for the season for a while, but it
absolutely must happen soon. hard to get up to speed as quick with slicks. Look for a sample of the Rally race to follow shortly after.
Lot's of people are wondering when the much anticipated 2006 Edition of the Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour will be released. Demand has been high even during this, the off season. We no longer have copies on the shelf of the 2005 Edition, but anyone wanting or needing it can still get one here, though we'll need a couple of days to print and burn your tour package before sending it. Please specify this in the "Comments" section of your online order. Otherwise, we will put you on a waiting list for the first printing of the 2006 Edition, which we can only release once the
snow pack of the entire route is diminished sufficiently to pass. End of May is the likely month, but with this winter's
snow pack, it could be later if spring doesn't arrive on time and with some
gusto. All preorders will be included in the first printing.
People have been asking why no dates have been announced yet for Baja tours. Well, due to a back injury this summer and some major renovating about to take place at the
GripTwister compounds, I'm only scheduling private tours this winter and next spring. We'll also be making improvements to GripTwister's Baja beachside property in the coming year, such as adding a bunkhouse, desalination system and beefing-up the solar electric system. Remote Baja is just that -remote- and that means self-reliance for even the basics. I'll post the coordinates soon, and though I'll only be there infrequently during the next year, I invite fellow riders to stop by and say hi and enjoy a cool one on me if they're going to be in the area.
August 4th, 2005
I'm very sorry to say that I will be unable to host the Fun-Ride that
was scheduled for August 27th---29th due to a back injury. There is
a great group of folks that are still going to do the ride, and as long
as you or your riding partners have the Olympic Loop GPS Tour package loaded
into your GPS, they would be happy to have you join them for some great
riding. For more information on joining them, please check out the
thread at the advrider website. The link for the relevant discussion
over there is
In the next few days, I'll be working on a page devoted to current information
and updates regarding the Olympic Loop GPS Tour. Road closures and
detours, current conditions, and any updates/fixes/patches for the GPS routes
will be posted there to help you get the most out of your trip. The
OlyTour Update page is here.
June 16th, 2005
GripTwister Tours now has it's own beachside property on the beautiful
Sea of Cortez near Gonzaga Bay. In the future, we hope to offer additional
options to your private Baja tour groups, such as windsurfing, fishing,
hiking, 4x4 trips and more, including comfortable accommodations at the water's
May 18, 2005
Well, the 2005 Fun Ride was a big success this year, in spite of Sunday's
weather. Ten riders from the greater Puget Sound area took part
in the event on a variety of different dual-sport bikes. Saturday's
weather was quite nice for the most part, yielding some great views of
Hood canal and points beyond from several good vantage points. Even
Seattle's skyscrapers could be seen on the distant skyline! Sunday
delivered the wettest and coldest weather of the ride, but everyone endured
the foul weather and low visibility to enjoy the most technical day of
riding the tour offers. The skies cleared just before we reached camp
for the night on the beautiful Clearwater river, which lies between the Hoh
and Queets rainforests. It rained during the night, but everyone was
well prepared with good tents in which to stay dry. Sunday we awoke
to skies starting to clear again, and the weather got progressively nicer
as the day went on, once again revealing some great views, this time of the
lush valleys of the southern Olympics and points beyond. By the time
we came full circle to Shelton, we had logged over 550 miles of riding, and
about 85 percent of those miles were on dirt roads in varying degrees of
condition. Everyone who finished this tour was a noticeably better
rider than they were when they started. Thanks to all the great riders
who attended this years event! We may have an "encore" ride in the
late summer or early fall for those who couldn't or wouldn't make this one,
and for those who just can't get enough of a great thing. Check back
often for the announcement, and for a ride report with pictures from this
Fun Ride as well.
May 1, 2005
Just two more weeks 'til this year's GPS Fun Ride. I'll be reviewing
and updating the route this week. I have to ride for 3 full days
to check every mile of the route for washouts and other obstructions (poor
me!), then a day or so to make the changes to the 2005 Edition, if necessary.
The 2005 Edition will be ready for shipping via priority mail on
Saturday. Customers in western Washington could have it in their
hands Monday, or by Tuesday to customers in the broader west coast. Pre-orders
will now be taken. To purchase on-line through PayPal, go
April 4, 2005
Magellan brand GPS owners rejoice!! The
long awaited Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour is now compatible with
MapSend software for downloading into your favorite Magellan GPS receiver.
In fact, as part of GripTwister's continuing commitment to deliver
great dual sport adventure products, all our GPS rallies and tours will
be compatible with Magellan units as well as Garmin from now on.
March 18, 2005
You heard it here first!... A
true GPS Rally race for dual sport motorcyclists in the Pacific Northwest.
Routes will be posted at midnight, and must be completed
within the next 48 hours. Tracklog must be submitted no later
than 60 hours after the route is posted. Winners determined by analysis
of GPS tracklogs. Cash prizes. Stay tuned for
including rules, rallies, entrance fees, etc....
March 12, 2005
The dates have been set for the 2nd annual
Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour Fun-Ride and Campout. It's
a 3 day ride May 14 - 16. Go here
for all the info.
January 31, 2005
I've recently returned from Baja, where the rains of January have turned
much of the northern parts into vast seas of beautiful green. The
weather was perfect. What are you waiting for?
December 12, 2004
I've put up a few panoramic pictures from Baja on a new page in the media
gallery. To check 'em out, click
. Still a few spaces left on the January Baja
tour. Beat the wintertime riding blues with an unforgettably
fun trip through northern Baja. Special pricing for groups
of riders! Go
for more information.
December 09, 2004
Still a few spaces left on the January Baja tour. Beat the wintertime
riding blues with an unforgettably fun trip through northern
Baja. Special pricing for groups of riders! Go
for more information.
October 01, 2004
Coming Soon!!! Highly detailed maps of Baja
for Garmin GPS receivers!!! Now you can download
detailed maps of Baja into your GPS that show detailed
coastlines, main roads, minor roads, local roads, 4x4 roads and
two tracks, trails, cities, towns, camps, ranchos, sites, arroyos,
rivers, lakes, dry lakes, missions, Pemex stations, mines, quarries,
microwave stations, airstrips, and more! For more info, click
September 01, 2004
Well, the Fun Ride was this last weekend and Monday. Turnout was
pretty low, with only 2 riders showing up, one from Canada,
the other from Seattle. This year's was the inaugural ride,
so next year should be a better turnout. Though we never
got rained on, there was a substantial cloud cover that was like
driving through soup at high elevations on Saturday and Sunday. The
great views this route has to offer were not to be seen on this trip
until Monday, when the weather turned fabulous. We'll be doing
this again next summer, tentatively in late June or mid July.
August 26, 2004
News Flash!!!! The Forest Service has just
lifted the ban on campfires today due to the recent rain!
This means we'll get to have a campfire
to socialize around and cook on at campsites during the Fun
Ride, as we had planned. About 3 inches of rain fell on
western Washington just this week.
August 23, 2004
I'm back from an eleven day Baja tour, and as usual, it was a great
time! Sadly, the beaches of Playa Malarrimo have been
washed almost clean of all flotsam and jetsam that has always
made it a historically fertile ground for finding unusual objects
from the world over. Only time will tell if it will return
to it's old self. However, the coyotes there are just as
bold as ever! It's not unusual to see them out and about
during the day there, looking for an easy meal and a drink. You
can't leave ANYTHING unsecured during the night, or it will be dragged
away by the devils. Laziness found me searching the nearby
dunes for one of my boots one morning.
The Fun Ride and Campout
is this weekend. If you're not already committed, why not join us? This ride is suitable for
any class of dual-sport motorcycle, even the big boys. I'll
be selling the Olympic Mtns Loop Tour without the accompanying
booklet or CD-ROM on Saturday morning for just $18! If you
want the whole package with the booklet and CD-ROM, let me know
by Thursday evening, and I'll bring you a copy. You'll still
save the $4 shipping cost. For more information, click on the
link above. I'll be showing a mini slide show of my recent Baja
trip on Saturday night, and I'll answer any questions you might have
about riding in Baja, or about Baja in general.
July 11, 2004
Two weeks late, but finally on sale! The Olympic Mountains Loop
self-guided GPS tour is now available. Sorry for
any inconvenience the delay has caused, but I think the improvements
I made during that time make it a better tour and keeps it
true to it's claim to take the innermost circular, non-backtracking
route around the Olympic National Park. During final production,
I noticed a squiggly line on one of the maps that would link two
roads in the route up and shrink the circle. It had to be
investigated. Because of that investigation, I recently
added to the route a road so untraveled that the Forest Service
itself didn't know what condition the road was in yet this year.
"Be careful back in there..." is what the Forest Service said
when I told 'em I was gonna have to go in for a look. I then
donned raingear and rode 300 miles that day to go do some more "research",
where I found out why! Let me just say that it is the
perfect little addition to this dual-sport tour! A buy button
has been added to the main page for that tour. True to my word,
it's selling for $24.99 Click
to go there.
June 24, 2004
Well, a final run around the Olympics last weekend showed the roads to
be in BAD shape. The northern slopes saw the worst
of it, with some roads experiencing multiple impassable washouts.
But that was my problem, not yours! I'm making the
necessary changes to the GPS routes to get around these washouts
so you don't have to waste your time looking for a "good" route.
The tour will be available for purchase online starting
June 29th, and will sell for $24.99. Click
to see what's included in the package.
On August 28-30, there's going to be a three day/two night
fun-ride and campout
following the Olympic Loop Tour route.
A special deal on the GPS tour will be offered in
conjunction with this ride.
for more info about the Olympic Mtns
BAJA RIDERS!: There are still spots open on
the October tour... get your buddies together and join us
for the ride of your lives!
on Baja rides.
June 15, 2004
The snow pack in the Olympics has risen to high enough levels to allow
circumnavigation of the Olympic Loop Tour, and the roads
closed by the Forest Service are open once again for the
summer. At this time I can't verify the condition of
the roads, i.e. whether there are any impassable washouts or
slides. A complete reconnaissance mission of the Loop will
be completed the week of the 21st, after which you may purchase
the tour on this website. In mid July there's going to be
a three day/two night "fun ride" and campout following the Olympic
Loop Tour route. A special deal on the GPS tour will be offered
in conjunction with this ride... stay tuned for more information.
April 25, 2004
Well, a reconnaissance mission shows that the snow pack is still keeping
riders in the Olympics below 2,700 feet elevation, meaning
the Olympic Loop Tour is still not on the menu. Stay
tuned. With the coming warm weather, it shouldn't be
too much longer.
April 23, 2004
I've responded to a fair share of emails about the availability of the
Olympic Mountains Loop tour. A future dual sport
rider arrived to our family in February, and has delayed
it's introduction for reasons I'm sure you can imagine. But
enough excuses, you say! Okay then... allow me to run
the route to check for new road closures due to winter and spring
washouts that might change the course temporarily (I'll post them
here), and put the finishing touches on the accompanying reference
guide, and this thing is ready! MSRP is $24.99, but stay
tuned for a special limited time offer in conjunction with a kick-off
group ride of the entire loop this spring or early summer. If
you want more information about this tour, click
March 19, 2004
We've added an "all inclusive" option to
the October Baja tour. For those desiring a
tour that includes all meals and accommodations, we've
got you covered now! Now you can just relax and enjoy
the riding as we take care of all the details. Click
for more info.
December 29, 2003
Baja tour dates just announced!!
We've put together a really great deal on a Baja tour. You've always
dreamed of riding Baja, now's your
chance to turn those dreams into reality! The
dates have now been set for winter 2004.
Sign up early to assure yourself a spot. We're only
taking 6 riders on the first tour...
October 10, 2003
Okay, it's been a lot of work, but the Olympic Mountains Loop tour is
just about completed. I'm putting
the finishing touches on the package, which
is going to include a CD-ROM with the Garmin .mps files
as well as printable files containing detailed instructions
and descriptions of the tour on it, and a small but
sturdy quick reference/index guide with laminated pages
for taking with you on your ride. If you want more
information about this tour, click
August 12, 2003
While out logging a portion of the "Olympic Mountain Loop", I came around
a bend and there was a coyote in the
road. I stopped as quickly as I could,
about 15 feet from the coyote...and he didn't run. Without
shutting off my engine, I started fumbling for my camera,
knowing I'd be lucky to get a shot of his tail as he
leapt into the brush. Boy was I in for a wonderful
surprise! He very inquisitively yet cautiously
walked up to me on my bike to within 7 or 8 feet of me and
stared at me and paced back and forth. After several
minutes of this dance, he eventually wandered up the
road and off into the brush, so I put my camera away and
fired up the bike. Before I could put it in gear, the coyote
jumped back into the road and walked up to me again! Needless
to say, I grabbed my camera again, and proceeded to get more footage
of our interaction. He let me walk up quite close to
him while he was eating the ripe berries off the bushes just beside
the road. It was an incredible experience, to be able to
be so close to a wild animal for so long without him running
off. Even revving the engine on my thumper didn't spook
him. I'm telling you, heaven is right here on this very
earth. Look for the video to be in the
Video Clips, Photos, and More
Various short video clips, audio clips, and photos from locations on
our tours. Check out some of the amazing sights and sounds you'll
encounter on one of our tours!