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Old 07-05-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
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Well after looking at this site from the outside for a couple of years, I finally have something to contribute. This is a story of three co-workers that went on their first adventure ride together...

We couldnt make it to the official start of the route because of snow drifts. We knew this might happen going this early but it was a risk we were willing to deal with.

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Old 07-05-2010, 04:48 PM   #2
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We decided to back track to Lake View and get back on the route where it crosses 395.
Before I forget, I am riding a DR650 with a home made trailer loaded to full capacity...

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Old 07-05-2010, 04:51 PM   #3
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This is what happens when you go with two straps instead of four...
This is me picking up all my crap that has been spread out over about a quarter mile of fs road.

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Old 07-05-2010, 04:58 PM   #4
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After I secured my load (with four straps) we continued on with the trip.
The rest of the day went pretty good, just alot of turning around due to the fact that we were trying to figure out how to use our GPS units.
This is our first camp...
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:01 PM   #5
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The next day started off well, we went in to paisley to top off our tanks before heading into the hills for the next leg.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:18 PM   #6
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That next leg would be our first real challenge. Fallen trees and swampy roads made for a fun trip through the hills above Summer Lake. When we got to hwy 31 we were unsure of where the next gas stop would be so we made the ride into Silver lake for gas and a bite to eat.
From there we took county roads to get back on the route in Christmas Valley. Thats where disaster struck...

My trailer took some hard hits earlier in the day and unbeknown to me the bearings were failing. when they finally went Kevin flagged me down and I was forced to leave the trailer in a secret location to retrieve later.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:22 PM   #7
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That's one heck of a trailer!! What a ride too

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Old 07-05-2010, 05:23 PM   #8
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It took some getting used to but the new set up actually handled pretty well, however I was really testing that stock rear suspension.
As we headed across the valley thunderstorms were brewing, but we pressed on.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:28 PM   #9
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That night we camped in the hills south west of Riley, our bikes were muddy and so were we.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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The next morning we made the trip into Riley for a hot meal and top off with fuel. Brian took the advise of the owner and skipped the next section of the route as it was said to be pretty rough. (Brian is riding the big BMW)
Kevin and I continued on with the route and one of the best sections in my opinion, it was a beautiful and fun ride up to Delintment Lake. We met up with Brian there and had some lunch. Shortly after we left the lake we came across another road that Brian thought might be a little to wet for the tires on his bike. We decided we would split up again and meet at the end of the day in Senica. Kevin and I got into town just before dark, where we found Brians bike outside a bed and breakfast. Thats where we met J.W. and Carol, they were outstanding hosts and invited us to stay there for the night. J.W. was more then willing to give us some much needed pointers on adventure riding and gave us access to his shop before we left to get our bikes cleaned up and back in working order.

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Old 07-05-2010, 06:01 PM   #11
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After filling up in at the local station we headed back to the route, we picked up on the other side of the Malheur ford as J.W. suggested the water was way too deep to cross right now.
As it turns out that wasnt the only ford we were suposed to cross that day and the second one was even deeper. So we took yet another detour.
Later that day we ran into snow again and had to take a detour into Unity after trying several other roads that all ended in deep snow drifts.
The gas station was closed by the time we rolled through town so we grabbed a bite to eat at the local Bar/Dinner and headed back to the route to set up camp with plans to fill up in the morning when the store opened.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #12
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The next day we did just as planned, went back into town and had a good breakfast and filled up with gas. Thats when Kevin discovered that all the detours we have taken on the hwy have been causing his 250 to burn some oil. It wasnt even showing on the stick so we were stuck there until we could get some oil. This is not a good problem to have when your in the town of Unity, as they do not sell oil at the store or the diner. Lucky for us one of the locals over heard our problem and offered to give us some oil out of his own personal shop. So after that we were back on our way and things went pretty well for the rest of the day...
That is until my top heavy loaded bike and I took a corner that ended in yet another spill. Although Kevin and I got a good laugh, we stopped laughing when I realized my clutch lever had broken in the fall. And it was broken in the worst possible spot, right at the hinge. After some calls to the surrounding area for parts we came to the conclusion that if we couldnt fix it somehow I would be done. After a couple of attempts I was able to make it functional again with some wire and a little electrical tape for support, and we were back on our way.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:46 PM   #13
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Later that day we took a trip into Granite in hopes to get some gas and another hot meal. We were suprised to find that the only place to eat and get gas in town was closed on Tuesdays. We took a quick assessment of our fuel supply and decided we had enough in our tanks and our containers to continue. We stoped at a lookout tower along the route and attempted to climb to the top, but it was locked at the last level. That night we camped along the route about 40 miles from La Grande, Brian and I went on a fuel/dinner run into town while Kevin set up camp. We secured enough fuel to get us off to a good start the next day.
On the way back I did have a little run in with a confused deer and learned an important lesson...
Just because the deer has already crossed in front of you doesnt mean she wont try to cross back to the other side when you try to ride by. And I think maybe she learned a lesson too because my front tire came into contact with her back leg as she darted in front of me. I was able to keep the bike upright and continued on my way unscathed. I did go about 40mph the rest of the way back to camp that night though.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:04 PM   #14
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The next day we took a little trip down the frontage road along I84 to a little place called Meacham where we had a big breakfast and got some info from the locals abotu the snow levels on the route towards Tollgate. They said that as of a few weeks ago it was impassible but that didnt stop us from trying. We made it to Tollgate with out any problems only to find out that the only store there didnt have any gas in the pumps. The owner said profits were down and he didnt have the money to fill them. However he did sell us 5 gal that he had in a can for his own use.(for $20) That gave us enough gas to get to Walla Walla. We ran into snow for the last time in the hills behind Tollgate so after carefully studying our maps we decided to just go back through Tollgate and finish up the trip on the hwy.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:17 PM   #15
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So thats it, we went over 1000 miles total with all the detours and it was a great trip over all. I think we all learned a few things and the next one might be a little less painful.

Here are a few more photo's of our journey, enjoy...

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