|07-26-2012, 10:35 AM||#1|
Utopia for the Realist
Joined: Dec 2009
Linking ORBDR to WABDR - South to North and Back to Back
Preface & Planning Phase
I have been drooling over cool RR and overnight Adv. rides for a long while. I have done a ton of dirt riding with my 05 KTM 525mxc, but mostly day trips and a handful of week long camping trips (out of an RV) riding a given area. Below is my wife and I riding East Fort Rock just to get a sense of what I was used to .
I had never done a multi-day trip off the bike, but I was determined to make that change. The backdrop of needing to get hell out of civilization is that I'm a second year medical student at UW that routinely neglects studying to check-out all the adventures of fellow inmates... while trying to convince myself that an "adventure of the mind" is just as cool (its not in case anyone is curious). I'm currently going into a stretch of about 2 years with virtually no breaks so it was now or never to cut my teeth and grab some daddy pants. I was going to do a ride solo, but then a high school buddy pulled the trigger on a 1998 DRZ 350 and liberated some time from work, and was on board for the adv! Safety in #'s right? I was stoked to have a partner. Its great when things work out. So I commenced looking for something doable within my experience/budget/balls that would consume ~2weeks & stay within my ability to deal with the catastrophic failures that seem inevitable with me at the helm.
In the end, for my first Adv Ride I ended up settling on linking up the Oregon Backcountry Discover Route with the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route. I'd heard all the buzz about WABDR and watched the DVD, and since I grew up next to St. Helens I figured I'd be nice to ride through SW WA. I went to a talk at South Sound BMW where I heard a bunch of stuff, and I walked away with a plan that had the WABDR as a 4 day ride, so that's what I planned on. Since that was already ironed out (tracks n maps) I turned my gaze toward the ORBDR. There was a ton of info on the different sections, but for my purpose it seemed that Route 3 was the best fit and thanks to a post HERE by dvwalker where he posted a connector from the ORBDR - I figured I'd just do that!
A few emails from another inmate Humunn from High Desert Adventures (Awesome guys!) and I had what I needed to get the route planned - everyone should hit them up for their tours! After I bashed my head against a Garmin GPS unit for a while tryin to figure it all out, eventually I did get the tracks that I needed put together with some $ and tears (both are retarded looking back with what I know now). It seemed like the tracks and the RRs about the ORBDR Route 3 had 5 Days of riding to get through Oregon putting my total riding days at 9.
I didn't have a way to get the bikes down to the starting line and monkey butt on my KTM seat meant I'd do anything to not to ride 7.5hrs on slab, so I thought U-haul (!) would do the trick. I searched and there was one on the west end of Klamath Falls, OR which was reasonably close to our trail, so that became the starting point for our link up to Route 3 of the ORBDR.
The plan overall looked like a two state backcountry route from south to north with 9 days of riding and 2 for travel. Which seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Here is how the overall path looks on Google Earth.
Dates of Travel were 14th of July to July 21st (plus a few hours on the last day because we drove back home from the border on the same day we reached it... got home to SW WA ~2ish in the morning on July 22nd)
... here we go!
Day 0 - To the starting Line
I started packing the night before we left and finished in the wee hours of the morning. Stressed out that I was doing all completely wrong and it would obviously lead to my death. One of the things I bought specific for the trip was a Giant Loop Coyote bag w/ a 12L GL dry bag which both went on the bike w/out issue and made me feel like a total bada$$ - which we all know is the point . Also, knowing the miles I'll be in the saddle and the 4inch wide seat of my RFS, I hit my seamstress mom up to make me a little thing I saw somewhere here on AdvRider (but I can't remember where). I called it the SissySeat, here is a pic of it pulled from the trip (in my excitement I missed plenty of photo ops). Its real basic. Three Pads sewn into a piece of fabric with two flaps off either side with a pocket big enough to slide in a 2liter soda bottle. There are two straps that have some buckles that went under the seat to secure it. You can see the grommets which were used to lash the flaps back under to the main butt pad with however much slack you'd want to get the right support for the cheeks. It worked great! It carried 4Liters of extra water and gave a much needed wider seat w/ some extra padding. If you find yourself interested, PM me. I know she'd make more for a fee.
Here is what I packed:
I left the packed bags off the bike & loaded her up in the morning to shoot down to NW Portland where my riding buddy Chris was snagging the 10' U-haul from.
Here is my bike - loaded up for the trip to the U-haul in NW Portland
After a small delay due to no ramps on a 10' U-haul truck, 10min scramble found a pallet, and then we got loaded up and Jammed out. Here is Chris giving his best "Blue Steel" at the wheel before we head South.
We obviously made it to K-falls, eat some Applebees and crash at Motel 6 ready for the following day.
Day 1 - Klamath Falls to Prospect
Out of the gate our mission was to ditch the U-haul and off-load the bikes out of sight of the office, get road psi in the tires and top-off the tanks. We got the first one done no issue, phew! Then we got some gas but the air threw a wretch and fired up the heart rate a bit when I plugged the air hose onto my stem and the SOB got stuck and started draining my air instead of pumping it up! I was shouting the worse things I could think of at the nozzle to no avail - finally it came off after chewing off my threads and leaving basically no pressure in my rear tire. I scrambled to find my bike pump amongst all my crap and to my dismay I couldn't find it! Crap, I thought. If I forgot that what else did I forget? We limped over to a Wal-Mart that was just around the corner and struck up a conversation with the dudes running the shop. Awesome guys. They pumped us up with air and even gave me a tire gauge (another thing I forgot) to use on the road. Thanks fellas! I also ran into the store and snagged a small bike pump for the pack just in case. FINALLY we hit the road an hour later than we planned.
Our track had us heading out Hwy 66 West to hook up with Clover Creek Rd to Keno Access Rd. In the end it felt like a million miles of pavement because I was lathered up looking for some off-roading after the slow morning start! Here is a shot heading west on Clover Creek Rd.
An Obligatory Glory Shot prior to finally heading into the hills toward Howard Prairie Resort, our first fuel stop. Weather is pretty sweet for riding but HOT if your not moving!
We jammed through what felt like a short jaunt in the boonies along an easy paved FS road until we hit Howard Prairie just before noon. It was a cool place with a bunch of happy looking people. I mean fuel, ice cream, and fishing... what more could you want? Had a good chat w/ the guy manning the pump about the trip and then took off, choosing to snag lunch on the road as we're still completely at a loss on how time works on this trip. Hindsight would had me chilling out and getting my grub on at the restaurant!
We hit the roads again and finally found some good dirt/gravel. Here's the basic jist.
That continued for awhile until I pull up and stop, waiting for Chris (I ride way faster and have the GPS so we have freq wait-ups to make sure nobody is lost). Here he is coming around the corner. After he pulls up and I'm giving him some crap for driving like a gma and he goes "Do you Smell Something?"
Then there was a short silence followed by panic after we see smoke coming from under his Giant Loop! We strip the bag, use some water to cool things off and take stock of what is happening. This is what we found. Sweet right?
The preamble was basically this. Chris, a smart guy and a software developer, while installing his Giant Loop decided that the heat shield included with the bag didn't fit very easy onto the expanded part of the DRZ exhaust AND with the bag loaded on the fender there was still "airspace enough between the existing rubber spacer and the fender that no heat shield was needed." Well, he was wrong. It was GOOOOOEEEEYYY and a perfect example of needing to follow directions even when you think you know better. Cuz You Don't!
I was at a loss for how to get us going as we didn't much in the way of materials to keep his bag off his tail pipe. No soda or soup cans to work with. I was convinced all we needed was some metal. As I was crouched on the ground it hit me... I drove past and looked right at it. I can't say much... but it was metal, soft enough to bend, had some 9mm holes in it (song title Gotta love Hill-Billys w/ 9 millys!), and it was just laying around the last corner in a ditch. For the record, I am sure it was a panel off an RV or something but who knows!
After a little TLC, here is what the trail Fab cooked up as a replacement fender. I doodled a bit here to protect the owner of the RV it fell off of .
Now that we are once again trail ready we start rippin. We stop off in about 10 minutes to make sure our trail fab was still sub-fusion reaction temperatures and it was so we kept on cruising to make up some time. It was warm outside so when we came across the Rogue River, we figured it was a good chance to wash off some dust.
Not long after that we got into Prospect, OR to a much needed break. By this time we're feelin like I'd imagine Clint Eastwood does for being Clint Eastwood = BadA$$... because of the triumph over the first major curve ball of the trip. The love was flowing so it showed in the pic. Here's our glamour shot.
And another one about an hour outside of Prospect. I was feeling good after the Tasty Burger was good and digested when we came across a string of really cool meadows. One of them had a neat camp by a spring. All very cool except for the mosquitoes which were still very present.
A ways later just of NF-700 Chris got a bit crazy and went down. No biggie just the first trail side tip over of the trip. He tried like hell to get up before I could snap a pic but didn't make it!
After an awesome ride through the southern parts of the Prospect OHV system we popped out on some pavement around 8pm to make a choice about camping on the first night, or slab it back to Prospect for lodging. This is the face I got while describing a soft mattress and a hot breakfast.
I think he was starting to crack but then we opted for camping because of how epically manly we were... So we hit the trails again looking for a good spot to post up. We made it a ways further but twilight came fast and I figured the first flat spot would do, so we settled here - in the Umpqua Nat. Forest NE of Crater Lake. Mosquitoes were insane as soon as we stopped. We threw up the tent asap. Changed out of our riding clothes and jumped into the tent under flashlight guidance. Day 1 was in the bag.
Here is our stats for the day.
And the Tracks
... and then to Day 2!
Ktm-Kalama screwed with this post 09-21-2012 at 02:32 PM Reason: Added dates of travel
|07-26-2012, 12:05 PM||#2|
Utopia for the Realist
Joined: Dec 2009
Day 2 - North of Prospect to ??
We were both layin there awake prior to daybreak for a few reasons. The first reason was that it was COOOOLLLLDDD! Our 45 degree pack bags were pathetic in terms of warmth. Stupid choice for sure. Even stupider, I went to sleep with just my underlayers on, no socks because I was hot when I went down. But a few hours later it felt like I didn't have a stitch on and MAN was I cold. I got up in the middle of the night to layer up and put some socks on but it didn't help much. Second thing that had us up in the morning was neither one of us had a sleeping pad (which didn't help the warmth situation), and although the ground was flat and not all that hard... it was way harder than the last time I fell asleep on it (I had also drank considerably less this time, as in nothing to drink). Lastly we were up due to itching like crazy. We had changed with a haze of buzzing around us. I put on some DEET repellent and they still got me. Chris didn't and he was worse . He had a few nasty ones right on his face. Needless to say we both felt like a pair of Double D Noobies in the morning.
We laughed it off and got rolling in the morning. Our first destination was Diamond Lake for fuel. It felt good to get moving again and the engines meant warmth! I came across a few deer as we rolled through a few meadows, here are the ones I caught a picture of. Doe w/ a little bambi.
First cool thing we ran into was Mo's Memorial Camp. I have no clue as to the story of this place, but I wish I could have camped there. Looked legit. Only issue was there were dump trucks making gravel runs along NF-100 over to Hwy 136 so the dust and noise were heavy.
... and part of the main campsite (hopefully some inmate can fill me in as to the story here)
We continue on gaining in altitude as we headed for Diamond Lake. It was cold up there, and we were thankful we had our riding jackets still on from the morning. As we reached the top of the hills we ran into real boggy type road conditions and sure enough we found our first snow of the trip up here. This is NF-3703 west of Mt. Bailey.
No problems initially but after NF-999 splits off and some spotty snow we hit this. I pushed forward scouting the road over the snow around the next two bends but it kept going from what I could see. I was skating on top of the ice most of the time and made the call to backtrack around the snow.
My re-route was not creative at all. I was getting frustrated panning the map looking for a cool connection. The map said where we hit snow was only ~11mi from Diamond Lake, but a quick chat with one of the dump truck drivers informed us snow was still lurking around "all" those roads so we buzzed back down to the slab figuring he knew better than us. We poked around a bit with some dirt roads south of Diamond Lake and found this odd little stretch of slab that paralleled the hwy. Most of the trees seemed close enough together that you couldn't walk between them. We both agreed it was a bit creepy. I kept expecting a hooded figure to pop into view when I looked backwards.
Diamond Lake Resort was awesome for breakfast. We ate good and rested up a bit, chatted it up with the folks running the restaurant, and filled the camel pack with the great tasting spring water fountain just outside the lodge. We rambled up a dirt road past the gas station where we had filled up prior to eating, Racoon Drive or something like that, and continued on. After a rocky few miles the road opened up into this gravel super hwy.
Road was wash boardy at slow speeds. Around 60mph it all smoothed out. Took this clip underway.
Not long after, traveling along NF-60 we entered the Deschutes National Forest.
Not even 2 minutes after getting into the Deschutes National Forest & getting in front of the sign this gaggle of beasts showed up from the Pacific Crest Trail that crossed the road about 100 yards up from the sign.
The guy on the far left we learned was heading to Mexico on foot. The horses, dogs, and people were all part of a group just enjoying the outdoors. We didn't hang around long because the bikes were making the horses jumpy... and I don't know for sure but I always feel like horse people are giving me the stink eye when we cross paths riding.
We had good fun and made good time as we made our way up to our next fuel stop Odell Lake Lodge. We jumped onto a super fun road that parallels the rail road off of NF-60 south of Crescent Lake where we were able to have a bit of fun in the mud
Here is another little mud bog. Looked like 4WDers lines the mud w/ logs to keep from getting stuck.
Few more miles and we found ourselves at the Odell Lake Lodge. A very cool place that I found out later has a great slice of pie... that I left uneaten . We hung out for a bit, topped off our tanks and drank a cold soda then took off again. If I did the ride again tomorrow I would have stayed longer for sure and ate the damn pie!
After Odell Lake we started heading east along NF-4680 and ran across the Cinder Cone I've seen in Humunn's ride reports. Here is a panorama from atop the big lava rock pit. I think that is Odell Butte off to the right of the picture.
The sections of road going west of Hamner Butte north to Wickiup Reservoir were fast but I don't remember much to look at. We pretty much just cruised until we hit the reservoir via NF-6220. Then took NF-44 to Wickiup Rd around the reservoir. Lots of Campers and smooth roads. In a blink of an eye we were past Wickiup Reservoir and west of La Pine at a Waypoint for a detour to Gordy's Truck Stop, which we took. It didn't look like much, but it was a great break and great food. I had the Monte Cristo because I wanted breakfast and lunch at the same time. It was a good choice. Sadly I only have one picture from that stretch and its us pulling out of the parking lot at Gordy's.
We backtracked to the start of our detour and continued heading north. This stretch of road was awesome. Smooth fast and tighter than most of the stuff we had been riding. All along the way I noticed this little ant hills on the surface of the road, they popped out because the roads were red volcanic rock but these little guys were white sand. I'm a geek I guess but I thought they were pretty neat.
It had gotten pretty overcast since we were at Diamond Lake and the sun was starting to get low in the hills as we continued on pushing north.
We were chewing through miles on FS Rd 45 and then turned onto NF-4613 to snag this shot with Mt. Bachelor as the backdrop.
We continue to northward and popped onto Co Hwy 46 and then a short time later into Bend, OR. We decided to snag a room because we rolled into bend ~1hr before dark and didn't want to search or camping that late. We hit up a Motel 6 again and started unpacking. It was just before dark when I was giving my bike a quick looking over. I had bent over to take my seat off in order to readjust my SissySeat when I noticed this little sucker!
Did ya see it? Here is a close up. Crap!
Crazy part was that the tire had held solid pressure for who knows how long. I imagine it wasn't in there for very long but now I needed to make a plan. I had tire irons, but I only carry a tube for the front tire, which can work in the rear to get you out of the woods in a pinch but that not the case we have here. We have a patch kit but its late and I didn't want to monkey around in the parking lot (the place was a dive next to a strip club). So I figured the fastest best bet was just to limp into a bike shop asap and get them to put in a new tube.
Also that night, because it was 4 blocks down the road we washed a load of laundry at a coin op. Now of course we didn't pay attention to the hours so we went back to rotate an hour later and our crap was locked inside... !
Bend 2 Riders 0. ugh.
We figured it was time to crash anyway... we'll deal with it all tomorrow!
Stats for the day
Tracks for the Day
|07-27-2012, 02:03 PM||#3|
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Sunny Central Oregon
I'm reliving it all through your RR.
High Desert Adventures
Backcountry Motorcycle Tours
2009 KTM 450 EXC The Citrus Mistress - 2010 Yamaha FZ1 The Black Pearl
|07-27-2012, 02:06 PM||#4|
Made For Adventure
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Touratech USA - Made For Adventure
|07-27-2012, 02:11 PM||#5|
Joined: May 2002
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
One day the BDR group http://www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/blog/
will have an official map/dvd/gps track for the Oregon segment
|07-27-2012, 03:03 PM||#7|
Utopia for the Realist
Joined: Dec 2009
Day 3 - Bend to Detroit Lake
I woke up early to chase down our laundry being held hostage at the coin-op and then started calling all the bike shops in Bend looking for someone to swap my tube. They all opened at 9am so I left a bunch of messages like a typical dope wanting to get back on the road. I twiddled my thumbs until 9 and then called down the list again with the local Pro Caliber shop manager saying he could be me straighten out, so we buttoned our gear up and limped across town to the shop. On top of not being a morning person Chris was sleeping like he was dead that night, so he was still a bit in the fog when I snapped this in the shop at Pro Caliber.
It took awhile to get the tire swapped but to their credit, it looked like a crazy day for them. Although I could have done the tube swap myself, my thinking was the time wasted was worth not wrestling around in the parking lot... I always end up with bloody knuckles and pissed off when I use tire irons. Since the day was already kind of a bust I figured I would take the opportunity to change the oil in my RFS and clean the air filter. We ripped out of the shop with the fresh rear tube and posted up to give my bike a refresher. Air filter done and tools out to drain the oil and... Nuthin. My drain plug had seized enough that I started to round the plug. I lubed it trying to keep the faith, had a flathead in there with some counter pressure which soon degraded into bashing... and still nothing. The factory 13mm open end is all I had aside from metric sockets that couldn't reach, so no 6 or 12pt to help out. CRAP! "Well" I thought, "She'll make due with a few more hours on the oil I guess."
So we packed up and started heading northward.
We headed out Tumalo Loop Road to NF-370. I really liked this area. There was a bit of moisture on the ground, it was still overcast so the dust wasn't bad, and the lighting was great. The strobe effect with sun through the trees tends to get old. We clipped along with nothing eventful until we hit some leftover snow just east of Three Creek Lake still on NF-370. It didn't us up at all but I was worried that it was going to turn us around like back near Diamond Lake.
Like I said before the clouds were hanging pretty low in the sky and it kept the temperature pretty chilly. Here is one of the Sisters (I think S. but I'm not sure) showing the cloud level as we cruised up NF-16.
We rolled up to a little clearing with a lake in the high country and pulled off to take a picture. Right when this camera flashed I saw the first Dual Sporter I'd seen the entire trip. Guy rippin down the road in what looked like a Yamaha (WR450 I think?). I waved but he was on the move and didn't pull off. I wonder if he'll ever read this RR?
We continued on and I really loved this stretch of road. It was my favorite at this point in the ride. Really great riding, views, and conditions. This is what it was all about for me. After we came down into a valley we took a pic while soaking it all in totally high on life.
As we continued on northward I saw a little curly track peeling off of the Old Santiam Wagon Rd and it looked like it ended in a viewpoint so we followed it. The trail ended up being a load of whoops and really loose lava rock at the top but in all it was totally worth it. What a spectacular sight. Here is a panorama I stitched together (or a link to a better view HERE). That is Black Butte just left of Center and on the right I think its N. Sister. We hung out at the top for a while just shooting the breeze and jumping around on the old watch tower footings. Glad we choose to explore this one.
Another pic from the backside of the lookout (looking north) with the loose lava rock approach.
We got back onto the Old Santiam Wagon Road and finally the overcast clouds started to let loose a little rain. The first we road through on the journey. The track that we were following led to a trail that was closed after some scrambling around we found our way onto NF-2676 and were on our way.
We popped out of the woods just west of the Hwy 22 Hwy 20 interchange. Now at this point I realized that I had missed a fueling opportunity in Sisters which wasn't a big deal in that we still had plenty of fuel, but because of the hang-up in getting out of Bend earlier that morning... time, fuel, AND the fact I still had a seized oil plug preventing me from changing my oil we chose to buzz up Hwy 22 to Detroit Lake directly. This meant we missed out on whatever the next off-road section had to offer I was grumbling all the way.
We got to Detroit no problem and my mission was to find a 13mm 6pt wrench. There were no hardware stores in Detroit so I just went into the local market and started chatting with the lady behind the counter. She was greatly helpful, taking me into the back of the store and ratting around through her grandfathers tools. We didn't find anything but she did point me to a bulletin board with a simple message that read "Mechanic 503-854-3131." I called the number and after a few minutes later I met Clark. This guy was a riot. I met him at his shop after nothing but a short phone call explaining a bit about what I needed... which was basically to squat in his shop for ~30min and use his tools. We beat him to his shop just before he pulled up in a Jeep driven by his sister. Before I knew it he cracked a cold one and started shooting the sh!t, evidently I had called on a beer run for a planned BBQ... but he had no worries. He continued tellin stories about jumping cars on a MX track. Showed me the whips he was jumpin. Got me lined out with the tools and even got on the floor to help get the oil plug loose. Not only did the guy knew his stuff but he was a real gas to hang out with that afternoon. In the end I gave the guy some $ for beer but he never ask for anything.
I highly suggest if you ever need something in the Detroit Lake area give Clark a call - tell him your an Adv Rider - and I'm sure you'll find yourself in country hospitality in short order. Here is his card.
We ate a good dinner at the Korner Post and stayed at the Detroit Lake Lodge (tad expensive but we negotiated a bit and got it a little cheaper). We settled in, took a good shower... and got ready for another awesome day in paradise.
Stats for the day
Tracks for the Day
Ktm-Kalama screwed with this post 07-27-2012 at 06:51 PM
|07-27-2012, 04:27 PM||#9|
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
This is fun
|07-27-2012, 05:15 PM||#10|
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Seattle, Wa
I did WABDR last year, and I am hoping to do the OBDR in the near future. Thanks for the preview.
|07-27-2012, 06:39 PM||#13|
Utopia for the Realist
Joined: Dec 2009
Day 4 - Detroit Lake to ...
We had a great night sleep at the Detroit Lake Lodge. Much cushier than we were expecting but it was literally the only room open in the town so we took it. We Got up, packed our GLs onto the bikes and got traveling choosing to forsake breakfast until we had got further northward.
Our tracks headed out Breitenbush Rd SE (NF-46). In a wink we hit the gravel and snapped this pic on while we were fresh
From there it was one switchback to another, gaining altitude in a hurry. Riding was great with the roads basically just following the ridgelines. In no time we were above the fog line and glad we had hand warmers hooked up. Here is a video of at a gravel pit just to show the fog towards the top of hill - just before connecting with NF-6355.
Roads were great and kept getting better as we covered the territory. I have to say my favorite of this section came as we approached the MT. Hood territory from the south prior to Timothy Lake. Here is a shot of what many of the miles looks like, very cool old dense forest. This is of SE Oregon Skyline Road... at least the unimproved section.
After that we rode out from under the lush forests onto a stretch of gravel that connected us to NF-42. We figured it was a good chance to cook up some of the food we'd been carrying but not eating. So we unpack for a bit to cook some steel cut oats. Best this about this little spot were the wild strawberries that were growing all over just off the side of the road. Waiting for the water to boil I picked a handful and man was that a good choice! Also, the mosquitoes were once again prevalent so keeping moving was a good idea.
We lingered for probably 45min enjoying the silence and the good eats then got back to it. Pretty standard fare all the way up until we ran into Timothy Lake when we came out of NF-5740. We had seen basically nobody while in the backcountry the whole trip, and I expected a bit more people at Timothy Lake given the proximity to the Pacific Crest Trail and good roads... but the place was empty. We pulled in just long enough to snag this shot and bounced.
Our tracks led us over by NF-4280 to a trail that pretty much paralleled the road but this is what greeted us after riding around another handful of downed timber. In only took about 5 min to find a different connector so all was well.
Now this section of the trip I had also routed around the Warm Spring Reservation because of some RR where inmates told stories of being escorted by tribal police back into town. I wanted to avoid that so the only time I touched the reservation was for this little 10sec hairpin. Lol, in the end I think I would have rather gone through the roads inside the reservation... but aside from some boring gravel we were no worse for the wear.
We then took a right, following our nav, off Abbott Rd that looked like it used to be a snowmobile track... but evidently Uncle Sam decreed its death in the recent past and we were greeted by this crap I was being stubborn (to Chris's discontent) and rattle-trapped my way through this crap figuring the backhoe operators get bored after 1 or 2 hundred yards. Well I was wrong. It kept going even after the trail branched... both directions. I tried to follow a deer trail for awhile also with no luck. Ah well... guess another workaround was in order...
We caught up with our tracks on NF-2660 north of Clear Lake and before I knew we had barfed onto Hwy 26. We followed that for a bit, then onto Mt. Hood Hwy for a few seconds and then peeled off toward Trillium Lake on NF-2656. Here we drove past an old lady. As we passed she kinda looked up and threw up a hand oddly. On first glance I figured she thought we were going to fast (which we probably were technically but very much within the realm of good taste). I decided that her face was more worried than annoyed so I flipped a b!tch and went to make sure everything was OK. She ended up being lost and confused about where she was having gone for a walk by herself. She was concerned because it had been over an hour since she was with her husband, who she said was at the Trillium Lake Day Use Area. I took off my helmet and got her over to look at my GPS unit... got her lined out and saw the worry drain from her face when we could see that she was literally 300 yards from where she had been trying to get. I ask if she needed anything else and parted ways... but I wish I could have given her a lift, she looked exhausted.
It was the only point of the trip where I wished I was driving a car.
Moments later we arrived via NF-2612 to the south end of Trillium Lake... and to people! Something we'd got used to not seeing.
We bopped on down NF-2612 and crossed Still Creek god knows how many times. There were a ton of mtn bikes on the road and one truck full of forest workers but not a whole lot going on. Here is one of the crossings while I waited for Chris to negotiate a tribe of pedal people (another good look at my SissySeat - which I LOVE at this point!)
The road ended up being closed where we planned on getting back out to Hwy 26... so we had to track further north and then backtrack to Rhododendron... but eating at the Still Creek Inn was worth it! Here we just pulled into the parking lot to get rid of some monkey butt and get our grub on!
We ate well and I coffee'd up pretty hardcore and decided we push further north until Hood River and see how we felt, because at this point we're way off our "original time frame." To get there it's Lolo Pass Road, something many of the inmates from the PDX area have documented all to well. I felt like I'd ridden it before because of all the pictures on AdvRider, but just to prove that I've popped that cherry, here is another one for the pile.
The miles went by pretty fast (both because of enjoyment and because we were flying) and we ended up in Hood River with enough time to sit, have a brew and a cookie at the Horse Head Brewery, and decide we weren't yet done for the day so we saddled up said goodbye to the OR leg of the trip!
I don't know what it is about SW WA but it lights my fire. We ripped up the road and found the dirt asap. I really loved this southern section of the WABDR. Lots of stuff to play on, tight trails with sticks all over the place... just felt like home. It goes without sayin we were fired up having ridden across OR so I start dinkin around trying to jump anything in sight. Here is one such event on NF-86.
(now really, I was catching massive air but camera timing was an issue so this is about as good as it gets, really... massive air I swear! I've got skillzz )
Maybe it's because of how I felt after checking out my "mad skills" on the camera or because we had just passed Wo-Mann Butte on NF-070 but all of the blooms caught my eye. So I used the opportunity to frame up some bike pics my wife would enjoy.
We also started getting some great peeks of Mt. Adams.
There were some odd little camps and trails that we poked around for a bit but pretty much just kept jamming on NF-8821. It was getting late, about an hour before dusk and I had been keeping my eye out for a camping spot for the night because there was no way we were going to make the push into Packwood. It was like a gift from heave then when NF-8821 dumps onto NF-88 and we see the big parking lot of the Flattop SnoPark with its associated beautiful lodge . I didn't know what it was at first but I took a circle around the parking lot then up to the front of the lodge and saw there was no door. Like any self respecting AdvRider I explored... and it was toasty warm from being cooked in the sun all day. It had a roof. It had a picnic table and benches for sleeping. We had found our camp for the night. We rolled the bikes. Walked to nearby creek to filter some water for dinner, kicked back, and watched The Green Lantern on what remained of my tablet's battery until I was unconscious.
(Sorry for the blur - camera doesn't do very well in low light conditions. Also, I hope that if anyone finds shelter here like we did you respect the resource. We made sure to pick up after ourselves and even picked up some trash and nails left scattered around. I imagine "squatting" in not condoned but likely tolerated if there is some mutual benefit)
A great end to a great day!
For our Oregon Leg - all told it was
Total mileage ------------------------ 667miles (by breadcrumb)
Total time ----------------------------- 3days and 16hrs (we crossed into WA about 430pm on our 4th day)
Total time Moving ------------------ 17.5hrs
Avg. Moving Speed ---------------- ~35mph
Stats for the Day
Tracks for the Day
... onto Day 5!
|07-27-2012, 06:44 PM||#14|
Utopia for the Realist
Joined: Dec 2009
After doing Route 3 I think doing the run to Walla Walla would be a blast! Lemme know how it goes!
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