Cascade Discovery

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Apple Jam, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
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    I needed an excuse to ride a long ride.
    Yes. NEEDED.

    So, when several ADVers riding the Oregon BackCountry Discovery Route's Route 3 wanted to find a cool way to get home from the center of Oregon, I figured that was just the excuse I needed to take a week in the forest.

    I started the ride from the North end of Oregon with two others, SuperD on his WR250X with some knobby Shinkos, and pigpen on his XR650R with the tires he talked me into last year, Dunlop's 908RRs. I had run the 908RR rear tire twice, but after several front flats, he convinced me to try the 908RR front, despite it's pavement and high speed compromises. Oh yeah!! :1drink I've burned through two of 'em since we rode last September, now on my third, fresh for this ride. They fookin spoiled me with more front traction and stiff sidewalls; I have not had a front flat since, and have learned to trust pushing that front of my heavy 990 into corners like never before. Me likey lots :nod
    But enough of that.....On to the report !!

    We decided to meet up at the Skyway Bar & Grill just West of ZigZag, Oregon. SuperD and I got there about 1pm on that Sunday, even knowing pigpen would be late, as he had just returned from Colorado with his son the night before. Two hard ciders, a great Club sammich,.......and an hour long nap in the trees outside later, pigpen arrives, loaded and ready to ride!! We head up past Mt Hood to Frog Lake, where our dirty journey begins :clap

    It's getting late to get started,
    so after about two hours of riding, we get close to Frying Pan Lake,
    on a very old an unused section of the old Abbott Road.
    This section of old road road is fast dirt-only Dual Sport Heaven, I tell ya !!!

    [​IMG]

    It's Whiskey-Thirty now, and time to camp

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    We found an excellent dispersed cowboy camp next to Frying Pan Lake,
    that looked like it had been camped in for 80+ years, but not overused or abused

    [​IMG]

    Whiskey poured over ice, tents set up and homegrown beef fajitas started (in that order :evil) ...and we see our first vehicle since we hit the dirt.
    An old Scout II comes by revving high in granny gear, but not before having some high RPM fun of some sort just a 1/8 mile ahead on the road we would see tomorrow morning.
    Hmmmm. I wonder what that's about?

    A walk down to the lake after dinner, drink #2 in hand,
    and we spend a good time down there enjoying the evening without the mosqies this late in the year.
    Nice first night. What a gorgeous natural forest lake :norton

    [​IMG]

    More......
    .
    #1
  2. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

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    Coffee, oatmeal, bagels and peanut butter later,
    and I'm the first one back on the road about 9am.
    It doesn't take long to remember that old Scout,
    .....and I get to see what the motor revving was about.

    A HUGE puddle. HUGE, I say, with no way around in the dense forest, and it's edges are steep and slimy looking. OK,....we're going IN !! I have learned one thing in the last six years about riding this big orange pig in the greasy stuff, start at the bottom, because I'll end up there anyway. So I begin my slow ascent into the brown abyss, then,.....boomp! down another foot I drop, likely the hole that Scout had dug the night before. The second thing I learned about this bike is when the going gets rough,....GAS ON !!! :rofl

    I make it through upright, stop on the other side and quickly get off my bike,
    and the first thing on my mind is to warn my two riding partners about the big-ass deep puddle.
    Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and I came to my second thought.
    Grab the camera, and don't say shit :deal

    pigpen is first. He knows something is up, and proceeds cautiously.
    Then,....foomp! down he goes into the deep !!

    [​IMG]

    He makes it out yelling things like "you bastard" but smiling ear to ear,
    smiling right through his helmet.

    SuperD! is next.
    He takes the left line, and it turns out to be only slightly less deep

    [​IMG]

    :rofl
    :rofl
    :rofl

    It's gonna be a GREAT day !! :lol3

    An hour later finds us on a rocky and rutted loop off of the Old Skyline Road.
    Not the paved section as they call it's replacement now,
    but the old 1920s built road, that was the first road through this dense forest.

    [​IMG]

    We had to stop to cut quite a few trees here.
    Apparently, nobody else in pickups with chainsaws thinks this road is any fun.
    Wrong. Good Nasty fun, and a LOT of work.
    We cut about 10 trees that day, and it was warm.
    Jackets off, jackets on, jackets off, etc.
    If this road wouldn't be worth it on the trip back down in a few days, I'da skipped it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A ton of sweat and a fast gravel road later skirting the Warm Springs Indian Reservation finds us at Olallie Lakes.
    This is a series of lakes at high elevation,
    in a corner between the Warm Springs Reservation and the Mt Jefferson Wilderness

    They have a small camping resort there, with a basic store,
    and some Mt Dew is in order to make up a bit of the energy lost cutting that treefall.

    Mt Jefferson dominates over this lake:

    [​IMG]

    The FS4220 Skyline Rd that borders the Wilderness on the way down the other side, is rough, rock, loose, and beautiful. For about 10 miles +/-. No pictures here, we were busy having fun controlling our beasts on the nasty grade down to the Clackamas River Road, about 19 miles to Detroit, Oregon.

    But we're not done with the day yet. We run our longest stretch of pavement that we've ridden in the last day and-a-half, about 8 empty forest road miles to the Breitenbush Hot Springs. Up and over the top, I show them some nice OHV routes designed for Jeeps and snowmobiles. The bottom of this hill puts us 3 miles from Detroit, where we run in for non-ethanol Super, and a stop at the liquor store for replenishing supplies. Back out of town we ride along the lake until they allow dispersed camping again, and we find a great cliffside spot over looking the lake, with a suspension walking bridge in view down below us.

    [​IMG]

    This campspot was a bit over used, with toilet paper graveyards just down the hill. It's comfy enough, and after a GREAT well-earned meal with whiskey on ice mixed with Squirt for pipen and I, SuperD! finds himself at the end of his Labor Day holiday, and must leave us to bust out the fast pavement route back home to the Big Shitty.

    [​IMG]

    Pigpen and I get our first rain that night, not much, and almost pleasant sounding,
    ....until we think of the wet pack up in the morning.
    End of night 2. Sweet Dreams !!
    #2
  3. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman PROUD 2B Riff Raff!

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    :lurk

    I seem to remember a different start... oh well. Missed you at Wet Fest...
    #3
  4. Mr Dual Sport

    Mr Dual Sport Roamer

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    :clap:clap:clap

    In! Keep it coming!:freaky
    #4
  5. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

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    Portland...the newer one on the left side.
    This oughta be good. :lurk
    #5
  6. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
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    Tumalo, Oregon

    Go PigPen! :clap
    #6
  7. Shooby

    Shooby Anti-Cager

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    San Diego
    :lurk
    #7
  8. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mt Hood mud flow
    The night before this RR starts, with you and 20+ others partying on the Farm was indeed the start of my adventure, but I'm just documenting the start of the RIDE here :deal

    I did miss WetFest, and was looking forward to it. But when I got home very damp and very tired late on Friday, a 150 mile pavement slab to get there for just one day suddenly seemed less appealing than it did when I posted my "IN".

    Thanks for reading,...it WAS fun,
    and now I'm enjoying re-living it again from my couch.
    #8
  9. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
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    pigpen and I packed up only slightly damp after the night's light rain, fortunately it quit in the morning, and we set our tents and rainflys over bushes in the morning sunshine while we ate breakfast and drank some coffee and enjoyed the great view of the lake below us.

    South of Detroit is doing some very heavy forest logging right now, so we rode quite carefully up the steep gravel roads up to Coopers Ridge. The big trucks do something great for us though, they scrub off the loose stuff in the corners and leave good traction for practicing fast turns, hanging butts off the side for flexible ballast and better turning traction with the bike pushed down towards the earth.
    Dawg, I love this big orange bike; It's gonna be a forever honeymoon :norton

    We ride a great empty little used road off of Coopers Ridge for the next 15-20 miles, free of the danger of log trucks and traffic. pigpen has to dodge a lotta overgrown tree branches on his XR, but with my shorty windshield and full faceshield and now-flush front blinkers, I just blast right through them all, scratches be damned :1drink

    Mid-morning finds us flying past Tule Lake on a fast gravel Scar Mountain Rd.
    RRrrrrccchhh.....Duuuusssst.....skiiiiiidddd......

    [​IMG]

    I MUST stop for a break at Beautiful Tule Lake. It's the first time I haven't seen fishermen onnit since I found this section of beauty three years ago. The only fisher that day was a Great Blue Heron across the lake, chatting and quacking (?) at us for invading his space on this perfect riding day in Oregon. The temperature is very nice, warm when we're working hard and slow in the tough stuff, and only slightly cool when we're flying along at 60 on the sweet easy gravel.

    More fast gravel South of there finds us at lunchtime on a clear cut to warm up a bit in the sun, about halfway down FS2049.

    [​IMG]

    FS2047 runs the West side of the Little North Santiam River, but 2049 on it's East side provides many more sharp twisty corners to hang our fat-tired tails out on. There is a fine line here between fast fun and disaster, because the log trucks are heavy and thick here, keeping the loose gravel clear of the deep stuff for us to have some great big bike fun.

    As much fun as fast gravel can be to ride on a good moist traction day like today, I struggled hard for three days last year to find the rough and dirty stuff South of Detroit, and so far only had found about 15 miles of non-smooth gravel (through roads only) on this section of the Route. All the good stuff was either gated, or just a spur dead-end. Out & backs are fine for solo exploring, but this Route has goals. We're trying to get somewhere eventually , albeit the loooong and fuuuuun way.

    Where the 2047 and the 2049 join back up at the South end near a great big gravel intersection, I found a little gem of a road that was a series of dead ends on the Detroit Ranger District map, but looked too fun to not ride it. Ha. After a series of short roads, almost circling each other, we found ourselves climbing steeply and bumpily up to one of the best cliff edge lookouts of the trip.

    [​IMG]

    Naturally, there is a rock firepit at the edge of this cliff, and it would be a GREAT place to camp in good weather. It feels quite exposed, if the weather is ugly, however. Some other time, I wanna camp here. No tent, just stars, trees, cliffs and beauty. But we're here just past mid-day now, and we gotta meet four more adventurers at Big Lake sometime this evening, and we still need to get to Sisters for supplies.

    Heading South-ish again, we ride a brushed-in old dirt road full of surprises, twisties and fun, then make a turn down onto a steeeep gravel road heading down to Highway 20, The Santiam Highway. This is a very busy 2-lane highway, but fortunately we only have to ride it for less than a mile, until we get to our next fun turn-off.

    As much as I love fun and crappy dirt troads (trail + road), my V-twin 990 absolutely LOVES the one-lane forest pavers. I learned a hard lesson during rifle hunting season last October (read: fucking dork forest driver season :deal) on a similar road that I don't intend to repeat, but these are fantastic riding roads that don't exist in most other parts of the US and Canada, except in our Great Northwest. I don't care what bike you're riding from a Harley to a DRZ, these one-lane forest pavers are a HOOT to ride :clap

    A bit too soon along this fun road, we turn and head East on a long 20+ mile road with no more intersections (except gated roads) until it ends. This road is fast fun with some very.....interesting....steep drop-offs, which in turn offer some great views of a deep road-less valley, and a great and unique view of the Three Sisters mountains many don't get to see:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At the end of this section, we need to ride the busy Hwy 126 for less than a half mile to our next cut-off dirty road. Here we pass, for the first time noticable, a section of the OLD (and I mean old: 1865) Santiam Wagon Road (clicky). This 3-5 mile (?) section and everything West of here, has been closed to motorized use to limit it's destruction and erosion. It is awesome for hikers, and I've hiked a 20-ish mile section, but what a loss for us moto-goons. We do get to ride a decent portion of it soon, however.......

    Five-ish miles on the ONLY way through the Sister Wilderness, without going way South, puts us back on Hwy 126 towards Sisters. At Jack Pine Rd, we get back on the GOOD stuff. Really, really, REALLY good stuff. Well, actually, really good for experienced riders anyway, and a.....learning....experience for n00bs :lol3

    This road leads us to the deep sand of the Old Santiam Wagon Road that we get the priveledge of riding. This section is for street legal vehicles only, until we get to the borders of an OHV area further East, near Big Lake.

    My point & click camera that I used to hang around my neck got really wasted being exposed, and I finally had to trash it last year. So....my good camera must reside in my panniers for protection, and I find that on the really fun stuff, I forget to stop and take it out to smell the.......moon dust :D of Central Oregon. I owe you guys some pictures of this section. Better yet, get off your asses and go RIDE it. You owe it to yourselves :nod, I promise.

    A lot of fun sand (sit back!) and a LOT of big-ass whoops later,......explanation: the little bikes LOVE this stuff,; the heavily loaded Big Trailies must RESPECT this section a few times through before the real fun begins for them, we find ourselves at Big Lake. This is where we are meeting our group, so we ride in and snag the BEST campsite along the lake on the Big Lake West side, sites #5 and #6. Not cheap at $20 each, but one of the few conventional campgrounds that is worth the price:

    [​IMG]

    I just gotta show you more.....

    [​IMG]

    and a close up of this most awesome bike (I just can't help it: it IS awesome) with the awesome view behind it:

    [​IMG]


    After taking a MUCH needed bath (biodegradable and non-clouding hemp soap, of course) in a surprisingly warm lake, we set up our camp, and find ourselves at 4:30pm, and still in need of resupply before we meet our other riders. We decide pavement is the fastest choice to and from Sisters, but I'm not so sure the direct and dirty route is much slower. It certainly is a better choice than that gawd-aweful highway full of dorks in Priuses and Corollas, big heavy trucks, and Harleys.

    In fact, I would never do it again, even risking camping past dark, which is quite a statement for this 49 year old that loves a simple life much more than hustle and bustle and stress. That section of the Old Santiam Wagon Road East of Big Lake, and the red cinder superbike hiways after it, are simply NOT not to be missed.

    But.....don't do it on GPS alone.....You might find yourself taking a turn on this old portion of the Santiam Wagon Road at the East end of this great Wilderness border section of troad:

    (last year photo)
    [​IMG]

    Do NOT take this right on the 590 road. It is officially the border road to the Wilderness, and it's beginning is quite appealing......and it sucked me in last year while scouting routes. It sucked me deeeep, deeeep, in.....

    (last year photo)
    [​IMG]

    My GPS says it goes through, but my map says NO.
    Trust the "Force" Luke, not your GPS :deal
    Deeper and deeper.....log after log.....rock after rock.....

    (last year photo)
    [​IMG]

    and deeper yet:

    (last year photo)
    [​IMG]


    Yeah, trust me. No matter who you are and what you're riding.....
    .....take the easy red cinder roads to Sisters from here; they're plenty fun

    Sisters is the largest town we cross on this Cascade Discovery Route, and even that is too big for my tastes, but I know how to skirt the traffic on the main highway through town, and we get back out pretty quickly, and slab it back to camp.


    We greet our group, they had just got done riding ORBDR Route 3 from Medford. We have truly excellent and well-deserved steaks and corn-on-the-cob cooked over the campfire, and together we share a half gallon of Evan Williams and Squirt (try it, you'll like it !! :freaky) and a fifth of the best campfire booze ever: Fireball :evil

    End of Day three..
    ....Shit. I'm only half done :huh

    .....continued.....

    .
    #9
  10. blake716

    blake716 nine toes

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    Baton Rouge, La.










    :thumb
    #10
  11. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
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    up on the pegs, CA
    Fun stuff! :clap
    #11
  12. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Clearwater, FL USA
    looks like a wonderful ride. It makes me wonder if I have the skill to ever take on such a place. thanks for sharing with us
    #12
  13. pigpen

    pigpen Gone Riding

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Here goes, probably my first real attempt at helping out on a ride report!
    I learned a few things on this ride, even though I have ridden a lot in the area for the last 11 years and know the area well!
    #1 When Apple Jam calls and says "let's go for a ride" GO! No if, ands, or buts.
    His intimate knowledge of the roads and trails around here are amazing.
    He can cook anything, anywhere, plus it's good eating real food.
    The man can ride a KTM 950 ADV almost anywhere... at speed!
    #2 Bring a chair.... If your bike will haul it... you will want it at the end of the day!
    #3 Don't try to outdrink the 30 year old crowd or Jeff, he's a pro and they are young!
    All kidding aside, I have ridden with Jeff just a few times, Spring Brake last couple of years, including the impassible mud/ fender removal road and last year he asked for some help pre-running this Cascade Discovery Route for input, impressions and suggestions! With his permission I would like to name this route the CDR! Or AJSCDR.
    #4 When he get's out the camera, pay attention!
    When he says we have to clear a few trails, he meant it!
    I decided to go around a threesome of large trees after hand cutting 4 or so trees blocking the trail! Jeff followed, so we decided to clear the trail after this:
    [​IMG]

    Hey Jeff, You OK? ok I have to get this one!
    Fugger!He's ok!
    #5 That KTM is bloody heavy!
    #13
  14. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

    Joined:
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    That was no "crash", just a little ol' fall :D

    Whenever I even begin to think I might not make what I see ahead....^^^^ that happens.
    Gas On, I keep telling myself, Gas ON !!
    #14
  15. pigpen

    pigpen Gone Riding

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    There are way too may views of the roads and trails to stop and take pics of everyone of them, you will never reach your destination, if you have one.
    [​IMG][/url][/IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I should have taken more....but just trying to catch the dust trails Jeff's 950 makes me want to drink water and catch my breath!
    #15
  16. pigpen

    pigpen Gone Riding

    Joined:
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    Jeff looks way better upright than horizontal! Man that bike is big!
    [​IMG]:wink:
    #16
  17. aviatorbdm

    aviatorbdm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Oregon
    Awesome.... thanks for the RR. Just two weeks ago a couple buddies and myself left Wilsonville via Molalla, up the Molalla River in search of a through route to Big Lake and ride the Santiam OHV for a bit. Buddy had it mapped on his GPS. As you mentioned, big mistake trusting the GPS. My big mistake not bringing a paper map. I have never seen so many locked gates in my life. Cripes! Having rode the hills up the Molalla River growing up I thought I knew them. No.

    Hope to attempt it again here soon and use your route.
    #17
  18. pigpen

    pigpen Gone Riding

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Tule Lake for lunch!

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. pigpen

    pigpen Gone Riding

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Like Apple Jam said the ride from Detroit to Big Lake is awesome!
    Sorry to lose SuperD at Detroit Lake. He was an awesome help to move some big trees the day before, I don't think AJ and I could move some of those by ourselves....SuperD really did not know how much work was gonna be involved, well neither did I,:huh
    The bonus of finding two huge campsites, with campfire wood, stumps to rest my body on, a warm lake to rinse off and the incredible views was worth it!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. crowe2815

    crowe2815 kenoath

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
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    297
    Location:
    andamooka South Australia
    That is some very impressive scenery you blokes get to ride around in. Keep the photos and report coming.

    Thanks for posting this up.
    #20