NM to Oregon Backcountry Discovery Trail
Welp, here it is. Wanted to organize some pictures and have an account of our 9 day trip from Farmington, NM to ride the OBDR. Came out to almost 4,000 miles with about 700 of that off road.
First off,allow myself to introduce...myself on the F800GS. Just recently got in to dual sport about a year ago, but have been riding street for about 10 years. In charge of route planning and navigating. Also bring bowstaff and computer hacking skills to the table.
Next up is my little bro Ben, aka "shit-show Benny" aboard an F650GS. No significant off road experience, but substantial road expertise. Water Purification Specialist.
Last up is the old man, aka "thencamebronson" on a DR650. His normal ride is either a BMW Boxer Cup Replika or the 100k+ mile R1100RS. Also, limited off road expereince, but a lifetime of riding under his belt. Handled all the coffee preparation and also Video-ographer.
DAY 1: ~200 miles. Farmington, NM to Moab UT.
Alright so the plan was to slab it to the OBDR Trailhead as quickly as possible. Bronson flew in from KY, where I met him at the Durango airport. Benny was going to meet us in Reno from Turlock, CA.
Both our tires were looking a little worn so we decided to bring a set of fresh knobbies with us. (I gave two from the tire rack seen below to the DR when I arrived at the airport.) New knobbies were hands down the best thing I brought for the trail.
After grabbing some lunch in Durango we headed to Moab. We didn't really hit the road till about 2:30 that day.
The tires did make for a decent back rest. Was pretty handy on the long highway sections.
Rode past the wildfire near Mancos, CO. Really glad they were able to contain it enough to not jump the highway.
Cahone, CO. :lol3
We were able to unexpectedly figure out exactly how far the DR650 will go with on a tank of gas ... This was about 15 miles outside of Moab, good thing I brought the extra liters of gas [this wouldn't be the last time we used them]
Stayed in a cabin in Moab and caught some good rest for our 4:30 wakeup the next day
Day 2 is when the fun would really start...stay tuned.
:lurk Cant wait for more
The "Old Man" checking in, I'll post pics later, but my only comments for Day 1 are it started at 0500 to catch a flight from Louisville after a week of prepping and packing for a move to California, so by the time we got to Moab I was done. The DR was new to me so give me a break on the gas! I bought it here on ADV just for this trip, and for the off road portion it was great, for the highway it was OK. Oh, and other than a day and a half in Colorado on a rental 250, the last time I rode off road intentionally was in the 70's. The early 70's.
Been looking for a RR on the OBDR, can't wait to hear how the 800GS does.
This ought to be good.
Farmington!?!?!?! No one does this from farmington. where the hell did you really come from??? ( P.S. I really really really wanna look at your f800GS):deal
Yea yea yea, if i can make it you'll find me in the broke ass barely running bike section. aka half way there.:D
DAY 2: 704 Miles. Moab, UT to Fallon, NV (60 miles east of Reno, NV).
We got out of Moab around 4:30 or 5 in an attempt to get ahead of the heat.
Was pretty nice for the first couple of hours with huge views of uniquely Utah views of the desert. Saw a guy in a blue Rallye suit on an HP2 on the 1-70 near Green River. Was loaded pretty light though. Anyone on here?
Ran across this old gas station before we got on US 50. What this picture doesn't show is the leaking bottle of octane booster I brought along because of rumors of gas stations such as these with no premium for my delicate BMW 91+ engine. This would turn out to be bad intel, at least for the places we stopped.
From this pleasant scene we start to grind away on the loneliest road in America, US 50. This is what the majority of it looked like:
Huge basins bordered by endless ridgelines. Over one then into the next basin. Then repeat.
I'm attempting the IBA national parks tour and it's on this day that I check Nevada off the list with a stop at Great Basin National Park. The park has so many breathtaking views and attractions that it was hard to narrow it down to just one picture to truly represent our experience there. This is the winner though:
Yup. The view from the visitors center where we were eating a very light lunch as we weren't exactly craving chicken fired steaks in the hot Nevada desert. I had been to Great Basin before and remember it kind of sucking last time too. Maybe it's cool at night when you can see the stars, or if you visit the caves. Oh well, I got my passport stamps for the IBA NPT.
There's really not a whole lot else to say abuot US 50 other than it's long and desolate. I think 138 miles in between any signs of civilization was the longest stretch.
Pretty cool dry lake beds like Bonneville:
Suprisingly though, the DR was able to cruise around 75-80. I had ridden the DR a couple times back in NM just to keep the battery fresh and make sure everything was good to go for this trip. That thing genuinely scared the shit out of me a couple times on the highway at speeds as mind-blowing as 75. The thing would start a nice easy head shake that could easy turn into a fullblown tank slapper. I would intentionally try to induce this headshake just to see if it was really that bad (:eek1) and the thing would just start shaking. I thought for sure we'd be cruising at 65 all the way to Oregon. Turns out the bags and load really helped settle the DuR650 down.
We began to look for other options instead of Reno since we didn't want to be riding in the dark. We ended up finding a hotel room in Fallon, NV and met up with "shit-show Benny" that night.
Ended up being just a hair over 700 miles. The GS worked like a champ. I had an airhawk on (ya...ya i know) and that made a tremendous difference as that stock seat is good for about 15 minute stretches at a time. Felt like I could do 1000 in a day with not too much drama.
Realize this wasn't the most riveting day to report, but Day 3 gets a little more interesting. More to follow.
Here's my take on Day 2. The plan was to head for Reno and link up with Ben. The route was 191/I70/US50 from Moab. The pic below pretty much sums up day 2:
There were some interesting sights along the way, this is the bustling metropolis of Holden, UT:
Here we are in Austin, NV, where you can buy $2.00 WalMart brand sunscreen at a gas station for $8.00, and be glad to get it.
A map check showed us that Fallon was a logical place to stop and through the interweb we got a room, sent a text to Benny and arranged our linkup. We got there in time for dinner and had a great pizza and a beer. I think the boys went to the casino after I went into a coma, listening to Art Bell and wondering what that US Navy facility in the desert was all about.
Oh yeah, the octane booster. I think I can still smell that on my hands!
He is right about the DR settling down with the load, On the way back I ran up to 90 with no drama. 70-75 was no problem.
BTW, it is for sale if anyone is looking :brow
:lurk this is going to be a good one, I can tell. Farmington eh? My Nephew runs the Toyota dealer there. Your in primo riding country, little on the warm side this time of year but none the less...
Day 3: Fallon, NV to Alturas, CA. I forget how many miles.
So the tentative game plan was to get to Lakeview, CA with plenty of time to put on four tires by ourselves. An easy day with a stop for some coffee in Reno then on to Lakeview. Cool
The plan started off good with an early start and quick ride to Reno.
We took a little look at the maps though and came up with another plan...
The Rand McNally state atlas I was using for the road section of this trip showed Lassen Volcanic National Park only an inch away! Awesome. (I'd thought about doing Lassen in the trip planning but the idea of an easy day sounded good too. You may also start to notice a recurring theme of me dragging the others on "short" detours in order to collect NP stamps for the IBA challenge)
Pretty scenic ride on the way to Lassen:
The weather was perfect too. In the 70s with some clouds.
We get to Lassen mid-morning. Pretty impressive scenery...
The visitor's center.
The volcanoes as seen from behind the visitor's center.
Amazing roads through the park too.
When we get to the end of the Lassen we (shit-show Benny and I) take a look at the maps again. Hmm, Lava Beds National Monument is only a couple more inches out of the way...Sweet! Let's go! We grab a quick 2 hour lunch at a cafe outside the park and consequently have to haul balls to get to the park before a presumed closing time of 4:00.
I'm glad I forget the mileage of this day because this side-trip probably put us over 500 easily when it was originally going to be around 250. We didn't mess around at all getting to lava beds, cruising at 80+ and not stopping for about 170 miles. We get there and I go straight for the passport station and get my stamp. I couldn't care less about the small lava rock formations and we didn't have time for the caves. It was already almost 5 and we were still at least 70 miles or so from the closest major town- Alturas. I was seriously dreading the inevitable tire change that was yet to come.
We get to Alturas and I'm guessing it was around 6. So we still had plenty of daylight. We grab a drink at the gas station, throw our shit everywhere, and get ready to change some tires. Oh, and needless to say, everyone was at a very high level of motivation and energy after the long day of riding and worthwhile detour to lava beds..
The old man got the front wheel of the DR in quick order. He then conveniently walked off to the gas station across the street to presumably buy some more Metamucil. Benny and I pry the old tire off and spoon the new one on surprisingly quick and painless.
As we're working on getting my front wheel off an Alturas Local named Mike shows up to see what the show was all about. This is also a good time to note that if you are feeling lonely and are need of attention, there is no better way to get people to come up to you and engage you in interesting conversation than to travel by motorcycle with extra tires. I'm not generally an asshole, but I can only take "You ROAD all the way here??" "Why do you have extra tires??" so many times before I am able to keep the tire iron in my head and not lodged in their face. That being said, Mike was not the usual charecter and asked if we needed help and what our plans were. I explained what we were doing and he is quick to offer up his yard for us to camp and also that he is buds with the owner of the local MC shop. AWESOME!! Long story short, his buddy is willing to meet us at the shop at 7am the next morning to do our tires right and we were treated to this free campsite, fire ring and all:
Kind of hard to tell,but that's his house in the background on about 5 acres of land. Couldn't have asked for a better spot really. We brought him a case of beer to say thanks then set up camp and kicked back a few ourselves.
The plan for tomorrow was to wake up and be ready to go at the shop at 7, get the tires mounted, and head off to the OBDR trailhead that was about 45 miles or so north of Alturas.
We were all really psyched and ready to get off pavement and start ripping on some fresh knobbies on the long awaited OBDR. Day 4 coming up soon.
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