2012 UT/ID/OR 2300mi 11d Outback Ride via UTBDR, T2, OBDR

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by dvwalker, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    Pocatello ID to Rogerson ID – 215 miles

    After the drama from the previous evening and morning medical logistics on pill hill, Tom and I couldn't wait to get back on the bikes and get out of town. I was feeling normal again. We configured our GPS over to Martin's T2 track. The track took us south on 2nd Ave then onto Mink Creek Rd. We passed the zoo and the Portneuf river as we exited Pocatello for the last time.

    In our brief time spent in Pocatello, I was impressed with this town. In addition to a great location for riding as Byways mentioned, it was obvious that folks living here really care about their community, homes, schools, parks, zoo, etc. The city has the idyllic friendly feel of a small town, but also all the major conveniences of a medium sized town. Idaho State is also located here, so good mix of youthful energy. Hopefully one of our future routes will intersect this city again.

    Not too far out of town, stopped on Mink Creek Rd to pay homage to Martin where his T1 route intersects the T2

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    heading west now towards Oregon on Knox Canyon rd, super nice fast graded gravel

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    not too far past this point on flint canyon rd, entered an area that had a recent grassland wildfire that wiped everything out for miles. With all the fire truck traffic, road is now extreme deep +1ft poof dust, no pics as we were both in survival mode. Take note of waypoint "Deep Silt Flint Canyon" in the gpx file. Road improved to unimproved dirt after 4 or 5 miles. Dust in every orifice on bike and body

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    Flint Canyon steadily ascends into the Sawtooth NF, where trees and lush green bunch grasses finally return

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    road turns into Hartley Canyon, unimproved packed dirt, just the way we like it

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    stopped for a quick break and listen to swarm of buzzing flies at the sublett guard station

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    continuing west, used this culvert to pass under I-84 and temporarily escape the relentless sun. Only about 20 miles north of Utah border

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    these antelope didn't bolt but kept a weary eye as we passed

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    grabbed some gas and food in Almo at the well restored Tracy store. You can tell this 1894 store is a labor of love for the shop keeper. I had an apple and ice cold slushy, Tom ordered a loaded deli sandwich. We sat outside on the patio and chatted with a nice family taking a car break.

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    quickly passed thru the city of rocks, bad timing as this was a Saturday and the place was crawling with Subaru's and rock climbers

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    not too many pics the rest of the day, we just had a blast riding. Road thru the small town of Oakley and passed Goose Creek Reservoir. Ascended back into the Sawtooth NF. Our plan was to find a nice quiet place to camp.

    Then around the next turn, stopped and talked to our first advrider of the trip near Badger mountain. Dang forget his name, but he was riding a ktm and in week 3 or 4 of a long trip after already completing sections of the TAT, T1, WABDR, OBDR and now the T2. He told us to get ready for an upcoming treeless 300 mile of rocks. He said it was the worst section of his entire trip. Didn't sound like he liked the open desert sections. In any case, we were the first advriders he had encountered on his trip and extremely happy to stop and talk.

    After departing ways, we looked for a place to camp but the area was absolutely crawling with hunters riding side by sides, quads and big dodge 3/4 ton PUs. The service road was a solid cloud of dust. Biggest concentration of people we've seen of our entire trip. Tom and I decided to descend from the mountains and into Rogerson to get away from all the people. We setup camp in the RV park

    This is where we met Helen who owns and runs Rogerson gas/store/RV park. Helen is a 87 year young salt of the earth gal who built Rogerson back in 1987. Her daughter and son help out, but Helen wears the pants in this business. Neat old gal. She charged $10 for the tent space and access to shower and crapper. Spent the evening in the bar chatting with Helen's son and closed the place down.

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    Day 6 conclusion 215 miles, 1195 total

    Next up Bruneau Canyon, South Fork of Owyee, and McDermitt NV
    #61
  2. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
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    #62
  3. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    Rogerson ID to McDermitt NV – 245 miles

    Nice waking up with the sun this morning, for a change, after a stretch we wandered over to the store to see about coffee and breakfast. Helen was slowly opening the place, she had coffee brewed but needed to heat the cook top. We were in no hurry so excepted the offer to wait for breakfast. Tom and I felt guilty watching this neat ol'lady work, but when help was offered she said we would get in the way and slow things down. So we relaxed and helped ourselves to multiple cups of coffee watching and listening to her talk about the people, the town and share their stories :gerg. I should mentioned Helen uses a cane, and it's like an arm extension pulling and pushing needed items. But it can also act as a weapon if she feels like it. Helen's daughter arrived a bit later and took over the cooking duties.

    After a nice breakfast, we repacked and filled up our bikes with the good stuff (9x octane and non-ethanol). Next gas stop will most likely be Owyhee, which is 130+ miles, so Tom filled his gas bladder just in case. We're heading out into the big empty.

    Weather looks perfect for today. Plan is to follow the T2 track west then branch off on our own track into Oregon.

    Heading west out of Rogerson on paved road 1520

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    Salmon Falls Cr Reservoir. Helen mentioned her father helped build this dam. Noticed a bit of leaked on one of the side walls. Excellent natural valley to place a dam.

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    heading down into cedar mesa canal, from this point forwards unimproved pan head rock infested 2 track, very nice...

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    an occasional fleeting antelope, this big buck was really moving

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    in this featureless area, saw this strange shape on the horizon, after miles and miles this came into focus

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    as far as the eye can see, American version of the Russian steppes

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    2 track started to get really soft and silty. It was good to work off some of the food intake from the previous couple of easy days

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    following in the foot steps of others...

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    next up Bruneau canyon and west beyond...
    #63
  4. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    road was graded gravel, WTF, thought this was going to be a technical section...

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    found this air force radar station a few miles down the graded road, which explained the road improvements. Apparently to keep track of pilots in training, this was located south of the Saylor Creek Aerial Gunnery Range.

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    this is more what we were picturing...

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    after 10 or so miles of pan heads, the amazing Bruneau canyon came into view

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    looking back up after descending the east canyon. The top section had a few small steps, but nothing to crazy

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    I've seen this old 50s(?) truck in a few other RRs. This was a one-way trip for this ol'working gal. Noticed a winch setup in the back of the bed, most likely used to deliver/receive materials from the river floor, someone simply trying to scratch out a living

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    the river bottom coming into view, recall reading about a hot springs...need to check it out

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    thankfully, bridge was still structurally intact

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    steam was raising from a small stream flowing into the Bruneau river. Looked hot and inviting, hard to see in upper right of this pic. Great place to camp but it was still too early in the day to settle down...too bad

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    after a brief stop with no shade, got going again and started ascending the west canyon. Tom went first...

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    up and up, keep it going, momentum is your friend, then a 90 degree switch back picture left towards top of wall. Trick here is keep the throttle pinned but steady...Grade doesn't come thru in the pics. Much bigger steps on this side towards the top of the rim. Reviewing my track history it indicated the ascent was around 15% grade and 19% on the descent, seemed like a lot more.

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    Luckily, we both kept our momentum going and got over the last big steps without a problem. Sorry no pics, both of us were in stay upright survival mode...After a good workout and on top of the rim, we stopped for a snack break and to cool off using one of the old building walls for shade.

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    Next up Owyhee...
    #64
  5. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    To help provide a better perspective than still pics, here's a non-stop rim to rim video previously recorded by motorcyclejazz (aka Martin) creator of the T2. Of coarse, the video doesn't do justice showing the technicality of grade and rocks.

    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7fi7yqYWWMM?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #65
  6. vwdrvr66

    vwdrvr66 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    185
    Location:
    Iowa
    Great job, you have me wanting to pack up the bike and go.:cry
    #66
  7. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    2 track continued what seemed like forever

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    sheep creek crossing, dry hole this time of year

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    track started to become less traveled

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    then almost non-apparent. GPS indicated stay the coarse and after a few miles we should run into squaw creek reservoir then hwy 51...

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    back on less traveled 2 track

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    we reached hwy 51, then turned south and traveled the 15 miles to Owyhee NV to fill up and get food. Wanted to buy some beer for camping tonight, but discovered the town of Owyhee, which is on the Duck Valley Indian reservation, is a dry town. Had a good meal at a local deli and chatted with one of elders. He really opened up and curious after realizing we were riding the steal horses.

    Next up South Fork Owyhee river and beyond...
    #67
  8. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    after a nice break in the town of Owyhee, headed west on the road to infinity "Bia-9"

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    passed juniper basin reservoir, many herds of pronghorns on the lake shore eating the mouth watering grasses

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    big bull cow in picture center, he was outnumbered by the pronghorns, but stood his ground

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    still on the T2 route for a few more miles, we choose to go right and stay in Idaho

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    after about 20 miles of rocky 2 track on top of the mesa and offically off the T2 route, we arrived at the owyee river canyon. The sun was starting to set fast, so started looking for a place to camp

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    really hard to imagine a boater pulling a boat down the last 20 miles of pan head, silt filled 2 track. The sign-in sheet didn't have too many names on it

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    passed 45 ranch main house on our right then found a good place to ford a mile or so later

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    still a good flow for this time of year

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    no problem crossing, we scanned for a place to camp but the entire area was marked private 45 ranch and no camping. Also the ground was covered in cow pies, so we kept moving west into the bright setting sun

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    looking back east on one of the valley descents

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    I took point on Tent Cr road and into the setting sun. You had to be really careful, the road was soft and silty with pan head rocks just below the silt. After a couple big hits we slowed down our pace to save our rims.

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    We were both really getting tired at this point. Discussed either setting up camp in the dark, or running the remaining 30+ miles on NF-083 into McDermitt. Since we had so much fun on our last night ride, we decided to ride on into the night.

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    After a cold last few miles we pulled into McDermitt NV around 8:45pm, then located a cheap hotel room with 2 beds. After a hot shower and downing a couple quarts of gatorade we felt rejuvenated again. That was an absolute blast of a day, took a long while to settle down and go to sleep.

    Next up Day 8 - Willow Cr Hot Springs and B-24 crash site...
    #68
  9. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
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    #69
  10. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    McDermitt NV to Denio Jct NV and Willow Creek OR &#8211; 176 miles

    After a previous long day, we took our time this morning. This was a planned rest day. Thought was ride into Willow Creek Hot Springs, setup camp, then visit the B-24 crash site in the afternoon.

    Started the day by walking across the street to the casino for breakfast. Then packed up and topped off our tanks as usual.

    I would classify this place as a dirty biker hotel. Not recommended to take the Mrs....

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    just outside of town started out on this 2 track heading north, good way to start the day

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    quickly ended up on whitehorse ranch road heading west, super fast graded gravel. This was a freeway compared to the roads traveled the previous day.

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    Much of the area between Jordan Valley and McDermitt was involved in a recent large grass fire. Significant grazing was impacted so this herd was being fed daily from trucked in hay. What a hardship for the ranchers in the area. I'm sure there will be fewer ranchers in business next year as a result. We past by a number of burned dead cattle. Very sad situation. We were told by locals that the cattle losses were in the hundreds, and most likely in the thousands. Not to mention the wildlife. Story here...

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    Quickly made our way over to Willow Creek hot springs,unloaded the bikes and setup camp early. Surprised to find the place packed with 4 other camps. We took the luxury of riding the rest of the day on unloaded bikes.

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    Heading towards Denio Jct, road thru a large herd being relocated to better grazing. Hard to see in pic. Cows on right wanted to join the fun...

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    Stopped in Denio Jct (TAT fame) to eat lunch

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    Next up visit to B-24 crash site...
    #70
  11. byways

    byways byways

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,342
    Location:
    Idaho
    :eek1:eek1:eek1

    You guys are amazing, as is this journey. One of the very best I've read.

    You're even making Idaho look good.
    #71
  12. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    After lunch, we started making our way towards Propeller Meadows and ascending into the Pueblo Mountains.

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    the last hill climb into this special resting place was steep and rocky. Again keep your right wrist pinned and steady. The crash site lay just below a 7000ft saddle, the flight crew was so close to making it over but just lost too much altitude on a banking aileron turn coming up the valley.

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    memorial courtesy of Hodakaguy and friends

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    remains of engine #2

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    found engine #3, not too far, really intense heat to melt aluminum

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    hundreds of shredded bits scattered over the landscape

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    view looking north just before leaving the crash site

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    Retrieved and signed the guest book stored in a waterproof otter case. Then descended back into the valley and stopped at the Denio Jct gas station/restaurant/bar. No hurry to return to camp, plus it was kind of warm for a northerner, so we sat outside drinking ice cold beer and watched the day go by. Traded stories with the locals, got the inside scoop on the grass fires and drinking habits of the patrons.

    Just before sunset we returned to Willow Creek to eat dinner and settle down. Heated up some water for simple freeze dried dinner and coffee drinks. Then walked over to the pool for a long soak and watch the night sky rotate around the north star.

    Another really nice day on the bikes

    Next up Day 9 - Summer Lake OR
    #72
  13. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Now serving just Snohomish County
    Now you are starting to get into some familiar territory.

    Great report! :D
    #73
  14. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

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    #74
  15. refokus

    refokus Just Learning

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
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    North Phoenix
    Great RR! :thumb
    #75
  16. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
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    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    Willow Creek OR to Summer Lake OR &#8211; 191 miles

    Woke up before the sun broke the horizon this AM. Bolted out of my warm Big Agnes, grabbed my towel and headed over to the pool to listen to the morning. Tom was still in REM sleep. One the other campers dropped in for an early soak as well, we discussed each others journey that brought us to this current place. Very interesting and like minded fellow, forgot his name. He mentioned that the Whitehorse Ranch did a really nice job keeping the hot springs area maintained when they owned it, but after a land swap deal with the government, they no longer maintain the grounds. According to my fellow camper who's been visiting this area for over 20 years, it's starting to go down hill.

    After a relaxing 2hr soak, we loaded up and headed for Fields before the other camps were moving about. Last time through Fields a couple years ago, one of the older daughters was running the store the morning we visited. Neat salt of earth lady, I was really impressed and hoping to see her again. She said motorcycle riders are a notch above hunters in her book, and a long shot over birders. Never forget that...

    On this day the mother (Sandy?) was running the show. Another neat salt of earth lady, now I see where the daughter got her oats. Over coffee and the biggest pancake you can flip, got the inside scoop about how the oldest daughter is now hitched and moved away to a city in Cali. Sandy was running the show but had her youngest cute as a button daughter visiting to help out during the peak month. Noticed a for sale sign out front, and when asked Sandy said it was time :cry. Very sad, really good people running this place, will keep our fingers crossed for the new owners.

    After a nice visit, full tummies and saying goodbye, we headed for Domingo Pass.

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    view from top looking west, towards lone mountain

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    really fun 2 track after descending the pass

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    group of wild horses up on buckaroo pass

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    After a couple hours of riding, stopped for a quick break at the old shirk ranch. Condition was a lot worse from our last visit a couple years ago.

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    heading west towards Hart Mtn range

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    Pronghorns everywhere you look, the lake shore was lined with small herds

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    took a more northwestern 2 track towards crump lake. This was an unimproved road with lots of rocks. Definitely a handful, sweat was rolling down my back. This signage at the bottom indicated this is called the old "Military Wagon Road". Couldn't find much on Google. We were just hoping this would go thru to the lake...

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    the 2 track was really overgrown, not very much travel

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    Finally found our way to the Hart lake and to pavement and Plush

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    We rested a bit in the Plush store to get rehydrated. That wagon road was a bit of work, one of the tougher sections of the trip. Wish I had taken more pics...

    Looking at the time, we decided to take a fast route to Paisley. Stopped for an excellent dinner at the diner, then headed for Summer Lake hot springs.

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    We rented this old airstream for the night, very comfortable..

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    After unpacking, we walked over to the pool with towel in hand for a long soak. Another excellent day on the bikes.

    Next up day 10 - Crescent Lake and getting close to home 8(
    #76
  17. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

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    #77
  18. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Oregon
    Summer Lake OR to Crescent Lake OR &#8211; 167 miles

    After a good nights sleep, we headed back over to the bath house for another soak. Tom's foot was starting to heal, but wouldn't hurt to get more time in the hot sulfur water. The pool had been emptied early morning, and was in process of refilling, was 1/2 full when got in.

    Went back to trailer and cooked up oatmeal and coffee, then packed up in the warm morning sun. For the first time of the trip replaced my filter skin. It was time.

    Looks to be another epic fall weather day.

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    Started climbing back up into the Fremont NF on NF-3313, view looking north at the dry lake bed of Summer Lake. We connected with FS 28 and 29 and headed north towards the small town of Silver Lake.

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    what a treat, gorgeous mostly paved FS road, looking north towards Sycan Butte

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    Stopped for a quick morning bite in Silver Lake. Lots of TAT riders will recognize this hotel. Spoke with the owner, who also owns the store, and she's more than ready to retire. Similar story to Fields store saga. Hopefully the future owner(s) will be bike friendly and keep the store and hotel open. The Tee-pee lady has good food. Filled bikes with 92 octane.

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    Tom and I ran our bikes over the truck scale - 600lbs (includes rider, need to go on a diet)

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    From Silver Lake, we headed back south to intersect with the OBDR route 2. We turned west onto NF-3021, after a few miles ran into this mess...used forest workarounds.

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    We exception of the blow down (or tree snow load), nice and easy forest service roads. Actually got a little sleepy running these easy roads. So stopped after a couple hours at this camp area for a quick 20 minute cat nap. Nice to see big trees again after the previous sections.

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    lots of this...

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    until reaching Crescent Lake. Decided to make this a short day, since home would be easily reached the next day.

    off season with kids back in school and so didn't find any souls around this little lake resort. Felt kind of like a ghost town so we decided to rent this plush cabin by the lake. No big hurry to get home. Is that a dirk bike tire track in front the cabin?

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    Stuffed our faces with a resort pizza then hit the hay....

    Next up day 11 - Crescent Lake to home via OBDR route 3
    #78
  19. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

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    #79
  20. BackCountryCruizer

    BackCountryCruizer Gnarled Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Willamette Valley
    I can't seem to edit video as fast as you can write this RR. It may take me another week or even two to finish up. Since we took less and less footage the closer we got to home my job will be easier than it has been. I'll edit as fast as I can.
    #80