Washington Backcountry

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Dread Pendragon, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    (Scroll down, trip report starts on post #11)

    I've started threads before starting trips, but I haven't updated it during the trip. This trip I'll see if my Samsung Galaxy S3 (with the advrider and smugmug apps) will do the job.

    Paul (from Klim) is a friend of mine who asked me if I wanted to ride the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route with him and some family and I jumped at the chance.

    Paul, three of his brothers, a brother-in-law and a cousin-in-law were all planning on riding the WABDR. Not being related (not even having met anyone but Paul) I am the odd man out. But I think that I'm the only one to do this type of ride before, so I'll try to earn my keep by acting like I know everything worth knowing, and doing this trip report for their family to read.

    One of the group had to cancel at the last minute (sorry you couldn't come, Frank), which leaves six of us. We'll all ride together the first four days (Stevenson to Chelan). Three will end their trip in Chelan, while the other three complete the WABDR (Paul, Grant and myself).

    I'm on my XR650R (she may not look like much because I've made a lot of special modifications myself, but she's got it where it counts).

    Paul will be on his BMW Dakar 650.

    Grant picked up a Yamaha TTR250.

    Rolf will be on his Kawasaki Sherpa 250

    Benjamin and William: one will be on another Sherpa, and I don't know what the other will be riding.

    I am so very much looking forward to this ride! Thanks to everyone who contributed to (and are still contributing to) the WABDR thread here on advrider.
    #1
  2. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    :lurk
    #2
  3. Rey & Vann

    Rey & Vann Vagabundo

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    Subscribed! Especially since there are so many 1/4 liter bikes in this show!!!
    #3
  4. Herbivore63

    Herbivore63 Adventurer

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    Subscribed...I just finished the whole route two days ago. What a great ride. One quick observation. We found the sections north of Chelan to be our favorites. It's all good, but the northern part is beautiful with nicer riding. Those of your group cutting out early should call in sick for a couple extra days! Good luck...
    #4
  5. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    Im in
    #5
  6. G-ree

    G-ree Adventurer

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    Woodland, WA
    When are you going?
    #6
  7. Belgian Waffles

    Belgian Waffles Been here awhile

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    #7
  8. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    Great pictures and very cool bikes! I'm going to send the link to your rr to the other guys in my group.

    We'll be in Richland, WA on Saturday, then on Sunday make our way to Stevenson. The ride itself, assuming we're able to stay on schedule, will be six days, so we should be able to go at a rather leisurely pace.
    #8
  9. SnakeBreak

    SnakeBreak Been here awhile

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    Pullman Washington
    Have fun and I look to forward to your report. :clap
    #9
  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    :thumb
    #10
  11. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    Friday morning I drove from Logan, Utah up to Rigby, Idaho to meet up with Paul, Grant, and their families. We loaded up three of the bikes and piled into the van. Paul needed to stop by his work to see if his Sidi boots had shown up (nope, he has to use his old boots).

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    We then drove to Richland, Washington, arriving just before midnight. We dropped the kids off, then they took me to my sister's house in West Richland and dropped me off with my bike and gear.

    Saturday I did a few things to get ready, but (for once) I was mostly ready and was able to just hang out with my sister's family. In the handful of trips I've been on I'm always in chaos in the final hours as I try to pull everything together. I keep marveling about how nice it is to relax and and hang out. It's the calm before the storm I suppose.

    This morning I'm slowly getting the last things packed on my bike. Two of the guys in the group will be coming by around noon to pick me up. Some of the other guys grew up in Toppenish and wanted to go to church there this morning with their mom and see their old neighbors. So our trio will meet them in Mabton and start heading toward Stevenson.

    Paul said they worked on their bikes a lot yesterday. Paul worked on his battery some and replaced his footpegs.

    Grant only recently bought his XT225 and hasn't had time to get it all sorted out. Apparently his rear breaks are worn down, but the couldn't find a replacement pair in the tri-city area, so they ordered some that we'll pick up along the way after we start.
    #11
  12. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Quite the group of bikes!
    In.
    #12
  13. roespan

    roespan n00b

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    PNW paradise
    I've got a group of 5-6 starting in Stevenson aug 10. :clap. Can't wait. We hope to kiss Canadian soil. Thanks for the detour info and please keep it coming.

    We'll be on bigger bikes (f8, 12gsa, cagiva,klr) but did the OBDR last summer and survived! Kinda freaked by some reports of 'baby head hill' and not just because of the infanticide inspired name:eek1:cry

    Ride safe, all.

    Roespan
    #13
  14. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    I haven't yet figured out how to post pictures from smugmug using my phone, so most of the ride report will have to wait.

    We're at the Super 8 in Ellensberg. Day 1 was nice. Yes, it isn't technical riding, but for anyone new or feeling rusty it's a great way to get your sea legs under you. Either way it's fun to ride. We ran into a guy who ran his truck off the road in the mountains (pic coming).

    Day 2 (today) we rode Bethel ridge, then took a detour to avoid difficult riding. Unfortunately the detour was difficult & we ran into private property.

    One wreck today. No permanent injuries, but Rolf has a huge bruise on his thigh & a broken windshield.
    #14
  15. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    We made it to the Tri-City area without incident. I spent the next day (Saturday) with my sister and her family. The rest of the group hung out with their own family and did some last minute work on their bikes. Paul put some huge footpegs on his BMW Dakar 650. They changed the oil on Grant's Yamaha XT and found substantial metal shavings in the oil! Will the bike make the trip?

    The next morning William and Rolf picked me up at my sister's house. William was on Paul's BMW and sent his WR250 on the trailer.

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    The others went to church with their mother in Toppenish and met us in Mabton ( :thumb Sethro303). We met at a gas station, geared up, and started riding to Stevenson.


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    Here's my XRR
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    Rolf on his Sherpa
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    Paul reclaims his BMW
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    #15
  16. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    The brothers grew up in The Dalles and a number of places in Washington. The plan was to swing by some of their old stomping grounds, including the intersection Paul was born at.

    Taking a break.
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    This was somewhere along the way:

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    Years ago a landowner built a Stonehenge replica for his British wife. It overlooks the Columbia River.

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    Paul found the master bedroom in the remains of Fred Flintstone's house.
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    The Webber boys
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    I think this was in The Dalles. This house was apparently where some of the guys went to scouts. Now it seems to be a historical site.

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    We stopped in a parking lot by the intersection Paul was born in and a car pulled up behind us. It was a local police officer (not on duty) who rides an XR650R who was curious about our bikes. He seemed like a great guy, except for the fact that he thought my 7 gal IMS tank was preposterous (I get that a lot). He took this picture for us.

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    #16
  17. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    They drove by their old house and told a few stories.

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    We stopped by this place and Ben told us the story of falling through the ice once when he was a kid doing a paper route.

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    Eventually we crossed back over the Columbia River and I thought the metal grated bridge was going to tear the knobs off my tires. I inspected the tire after, though, and they seemed fine. We eventually made our way into Stevenson to a hotel.

    In the parking lot of the motel I tried to move my bike and put too much weight on my kickstand and it broke. I leaned the bike up against a fence to park it for the night and hoped to find a welder in the morning. Otherwise I was going to spend a lot of time on this trip looking for things to lean my bike against.


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    #17
  18. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Now serving just Snohomish County
    I hope you get your kickstand fixed. It sucks to have it broken! At least it will be easier than trying to find something to lean against in Nevada.

    I recommend the Pro Moto Billet as a replacement if one is available for your bike.

    Keep it coming! :D
    #18
  19. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

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    A burger place across the street from the Motorlodge we were staying at had amazing hamburgers.

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    Indeed.

    The next morning someone (Paul or Rolf?) went over to the hardware store to ask if they knew anyone who might be able to weld my kickstand for me. A lady there gave them a name and number of someone in Carson, the town between where we were and where we hit dirt.

    They weren't answering their phone and I didn't want to rely on being able to find him when we drove through, so I rode down the street in Stevenson to see if I could find someone there. I found a auto body shop (filled with classic cars being worked on) and a guy there welded it for me for $10. Whew!

    I forgot to get pictures of any of that, but thank Rolf that we have pictures of most other events because he was usually the one to remind us to take pictures of our precious moments.

    I went back and put it on my bike and it worked. I got a voicemail later from the guy I tried to contact in Carson, saying that I was misinformed and he was not a welder but a professional assassin. (I might have misheard that last part, poor call quality.)

    Paul's nifty panoramic photo (might have been from the previous day driving along the Columbia):
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    STEVENSON TO PACKWOOD (or actually past Packwood to Camp Zarahemla)
    Once we hit dirt roads we felt the WABDR had officially started for us.

    Ben
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    William and Paul
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    Oooh, purdy
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    #19
  20. Dread Pendragon

    Dread Pendragon throttle to the donk

    Joined:
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    One of the stories I heard about Ben and Grant was that as kids they once spent a week on a motorcycle in a contest to win it, which they did. Ben rode motorcycles for years, but once hit a deer and broke bones, had other motorcycle trauma, and in his 20s while living in Arizona quit riding. This trip was the first time he'd ridden in the last three decades and he was a bit nervous about it.

    Ben (in blue) and Grant (black):
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    While the entire WABDR is beautiful, Stevenson to Packwood is the only segment that takes you through a temperate rain forest. We don't have pictures that reflect the difference, but it is different from the rest of the route.

    More pictures of us and our bikes:
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    Paul, Grant, William
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    Rolf
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    Me
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    Grant
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    #20