Crescent Lake OR to Canby OR – 254 miles
Packed up and got on the road pretty early this morning. One of those bitter sweet days, you're looking forward to getting home to the family again, but at the same you're in a groove and want to keep the adventure going.
Plan for today is follow the OBDR section 3 track north past sisters to hwy 20, then as much non-pavement to Canby as possible, home of BackCountryCruizer. Same route Tom and I road a couple years ago in reverse order on our way to the TAT route. I think a vast majority of section 3 is basically snowmobile routes, as marked by the diamond trail markers.
Came across this dead forest section just north of Crescent Lake.
lots of sweet graded roads like this as we ride north
and a wee bit soft and dusty in a few other areas. Tom and I parted by a few minutes in the dust sections
massive Wickiup reservoir
we started to see a lot of smokey haze in the distance, the lake provided a good vantage point. wiki says depth ranges from 20 to 70 feet. I've heard this has some good fishing...
almost in our backyard again, skiers paradise and the naked Mount Bachelor
as we moved closer to the town of Sisters, became apparent our route was going to take us thru a serious forest fire. We stopped and talked to a forest service gent that was stationed at a road closure on NF-4601. He said the road was closed due to the massive "pole creek" fire. We asked about continuing north on a different spur (4602) and he thought that was a dead end, but we're welcome to try. No back trackers in this group.
After a few miles, near Triangle Hill, the spur basically petered out into a game trail, no sign of recent activity in many years. Looking over the topo, we could see this was an old logging skid road many many years ago, but looked like it headed in our direction. Was slow going for a bit with branches, trees, etc, but we scratched our way thru till finally the road started to open up again. Neat area...sorry no pics thru the fun section.
The forest fire was just a couple miles to our west. Danger close....
We later learned this area was definitively closed from the north and east access points. Good news was the the smoke was being driven north, towards the town of Sisters.
We quickly moved our way towards Sisters, hoping to not get in trouble by a patrolling sheriff or fire fighter. Sorry crap picture, but quick snap and shoot after finally arriving and driving down main street in Sisters. Kind of gives a sense of the thick smoke, in an otherwise cloudless day. Stopped to get a bite at Bronco Billy's, not bad, a little pricey...
Rejoined the OBDR route 3 heading north after leaving Sisters. We road thru the remains of another forest fire from a couple years ago.
Looking southwest thru the muck towards the Cascade range and mount Washington
found ourselves riding thru a small ohv area on NF-811 near Big Lake. Didn't slow down a bit, like a cow on the way to get milked.
Pushed on crossing hwy 20 and a short pavement section of hwy 22 north. Turned off on NF-2266 then NF-1164. This was a really neat area to ride thru with views of Mt Jefferson and Buck Mountain to the east. Arrived at Detroit lake via graded gravel service road NF-060. Started to get late in the day so we continued on hwy 22. Tom and I know this area well since we do day rides here, there's a shortcut from Detroit lake up and over Lookout Mountain. This is a private timber area, but the gates can be manually opened. Don't tell anyone...
Our shortcut home crosses under the bonneville power
administration (BPA) transmission 500 kV line. Only about 40 miles from home.
Pulled into Tom's casa just before dark
254 miles today, in total 2300 miles of good times the past 11 days, and memories to fill a life time. Tom and I went inside and enjoyed a beer. It tasted so good
...I got back on the bike in the dark for my last 20 miles home to see my beautiful wife. Shower and bed felt so good, no place like home.
- really was blessed to ride with an excellent riding partner, and see some of the most amazing backcountry of our Western USA. For me this trip allowed me to lay witness some of the best riding of my life. I'm sure Tom will say the same. Now as I write this and easing back into the daily pattern of life, this experience will help keep things in perspective.
Can't wait for the next trip....all smiles...
Thanks for reading!!!