Washington Discovery Trail on KLXs

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by redpillar, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    On a spur of the moment decision my brother Tony and I decided to go for a trip through the back country of Washington. I had seen a couple of trip reports on the WBCDT so I down loaded the tracks and did a bit of reading and the next morning, after an early morning ferry ride I met Tony across the border in Blaine.

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    It did not take too long to head out on the hours and hours of slab work that would get us to the start of the trail at Cascade locks on the Oregon border. We ran down the I-5 and 405 to Renton and then headed inland for some really nice country road riding south on the Maple Valley Highway. Then through Enumclaw and further south through Packwood, Randle, and south down NF25 and Wind River Road to Carson. I have to say that the run from Randle to Carson was a blast. I think that is the first time I have actually payed attention while riding on pavement. I am not sure how long it took to get to Carson but by the time we had a room and went for dinner it was dark.
    We bedded the bikes down for the night.

    More to come after dinner

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    And keeping with our plan awoke at 06:00 to start the day with a few calisthenics, and a "complimentary continental breakfast and coffee" .

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    The route starts just up the road from the hotel and we hit the gravel grinning through our helmets.

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    The trail is pretty easy riding and we just bombed along climbing up into the forest enjoying the morning air.
    And finally stopped at a wide spot in on the road for a drink and to take in the scenery.


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    The variety of scenery on this route is amazing. You really have to make yourself ride past a lot of things you would like to stop and photograph or you would never get anywhere. We continued on our way, stopping only for the odd picture and to drink water, as it was wretchingly hot.
    We found some pieces of BMW.

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    Took more photos

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    We ate up trail.
    How can you beat roaring through green forest and bright purple wild flowers!!!

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    Each day seemed to end with a really great bit of windy pavement down country roads to a gas stop and something really cold to drink,

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    and a campsite somewhere pretty nice,

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    a place that makes you feel like you are sitting at your dining room table with the kids...

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    My brother enjoys playing with all the stuff he brings along with him, so from the time we stop to make camp till we go to sleep he fiddlefucks with his stuff.

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    We were kept up by some drunken noisy campers hooting and hollering till about four am, so we got up about an hour after they fell asleep and stealthily broke camp, we pushed our bikes down the trail and happily warmed them up right beside their tent. My bike really needs to be wound up to get it going in the morning, so does Tony's. We left Rimrock Lake in a cloud of dust and a roost for the tent wall and hit the trail extra early.
    We climbed up into the hills

    Rimrock Lake from above.

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    Views of Rainier and Adams and some great riding along ridge tops were the order of the day. Around every corner and over each rise we were met with WTF moments of wicked vistas.

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    The riding is fast and easy but it was hot as Hades, so we stopped a bunch to eat apples and drink water.

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    We rolled down along more great ridges and down to a creek where we ran into this fellow, who was waiting while his buddies tried out a new KLR, he looked crazier than a shit house rat so

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    when he offered us a beer Tony said yes , but I was too hot and wanted to go so I went ahead.

    I rode down out of the hills and stopped to take a few shots in the shade.

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    I love looking at horses

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    and farm stuff

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    I was waiting for quite a while for my brother and decided that he had crashed and was bleeding over a bank so I retraced the track till I saw him coming out out of the hills. I turned around and rolled along the pavement into Ellensberg and filled up at the Esso. I was just finishing and knocking back a monster coffee when Tony rolled in and mumbled something about some problems and that he was going to wash his bike....I was so hot I didn't pay much attention so I went back into the gas station to drink another coffee drink and ponder why you would want to wash your bike in the middle of a trip.
    Finally I went out side to find that Tony had spread his stuff out and was hosing his bike down and that everything was a sort of orange color. It turned out that he had an extra bag strapped onto the back of his bike and it had come loose, caught in the sprocket and that the BEAR SPRAY that he had in there had exploded and sprayed the whole back end of his bike and all the shit he had in the bag. There was also a spare butane canister that had taken a pretty good pounding as well, basically the makings of a dirty bomb.
    I decided that I would go back into the gas station and chat with the owner and knock back yet another monster coffee drink to let the pepper smell dissipate, and listen for the Hazmat team sirens.
    Eventually I went back out, to find that he had finished the hosing phase of the cleanup so I grabbed the hose to give my head a wash down because it was that hot. Suddenly I could feel a burning sensation in the outside corner of my right eye and down the side of my face, it hurt quite a bit but I went into the washroom and lathered up with hand soap and the pain went away in a few minute.
    We decided to go and get some groceries and a new bag to replace the old ripped one so Tony pulled on his helmet and in a moment started yelling and swearing while long strands of snot ran from his nose!! I quickly fumbled for my camera while he pulled his helmet off.
















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    Unfortunately he was able to retract the long snot strings before I got the shot but suffice it to say that he looked a bit like a walrus.

    Tony ran into the store and butted into the lineup for the ladies bathroom postulating a string of curses. He scrubbed his face with the hand soap and emerged no worse for wear, except for the bleeding eyeballs and tear streaked dust that looked like a bad eyeliner job. We left before the Hazmat or Swat team arrived and headed for a nearby Albertson's to amaze the customers with our filthy demeanor and grab some groceries and a means for Tony to pack his stuff.
    All this and it was barely 1 in the afternoon!! It was stinking hot and we still had a way to go. While Tony repacked again I waited in the shade with an iced coffee. We had started at about 04:30 that morning and had not eaten yet but I was buzzing pretty good now and wanted to ride!!!

    We climbed up out of Ellensberg up to Table mountain on a winding paved road, and into th woods.

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    We rode along a cool ridge with some views, past Lion Rock.

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    Not too many pictures but we finally came to the sheep sign.

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    I told Tony you could get a sheep with a happy ending, and he believed me. :D Little brothers believe anything you tell them.

    We stopped at Haney Meadow horse camp for the night.

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    Tony fiddlefucked and I watched and we both had sneezing fits anytime either of us touch any of his gear. All in all a pleasant night with a fire and star watching and laughing about what happened that day. I fell asleep despite the gallon and a half of Monster coffees I had consumed and I think I heard Tony making bleating noises in his sleep. Maybe he was just snoring.
    #1
  2. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    We woke at the crack on dawn and after some oatmeal we hit the trail which started out with a nice rutted dirt road through the trees and climbed up in along some airy ridge lines and eventually to some great views at Devils Gultch Overlook.

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    Not too many pictures because the riding was fun and fast, and we dropped into Cashmere for a quick lunch and some dinner stuff and back on the trail.

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    The day had taken us from thick forests and desert and back again with incredible views at each turn.

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    Another cool ridge ride.

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    Cool power line picture

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    We took a break in a shady spot for a bit and Tony decided that his knee pads were too hot so he dropped his pants and stuck a couple of big pine cones between the pads and his knees to get some airflow. I rested while he spent the next fifteen minutes trying to get the sharp pine cone chunks out of his boots.

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    We got rolling again past a lot of this.



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    Along trails that curled through the trees like long caves.

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    Until we came to this spot.

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    Where we had the best french fries on the planet. Really nice people run this place so stop by and spend some money there.

    We rolled along through even more great easy riding

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    We started the descent to Lake Chelan where we hoped to nab a campsite and a swim.

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    We got both.

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    #2
  3. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
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    Yet another oatmeal breakfast and a stop in Chelan for some coffee and we set out again with full tanks.

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    We were in no hurry at all and just sort of messed around on the trail riding up the big side banks of the road and heading down little side trails to see where they went, and eventually we got down the the Methow River where we stopped for a drink, and I tried to get the perfect river bend picture.

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    We headed toward Carlton but found that the gas station is now closed

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    So we headed up the highway to fuel up and retraced back to Benson Creek Road and back on to the last leg of our trip.

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    There was lots of this on the road

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    so I knew we needed to be wary of these guys.

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    We adjusted our speed accordingly until we got out onto the windy chip seal road and blasted away happily. No pictures of the last leg which was just as much fun as all the others. We eventually got to the highway crossing which we had decided to cut off to head to Winthrop. We dabbled along the ditches and power line roads instead of riding on the pavement for quite some time. Eventually we found our way to Winthrop, where we camped for the night.

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    We had a great Mexican meal in town and slept well. The next day would be the pavement ride back to Blaine through the Cascades. Every time I have riden the Cascade Highway it has rained, and this was no exception.

    A quick fuel stop

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    And I actually made the 3:15 ferry home in time for dinner.

    This trail was an absolute blast to ride. It is very easy riding with the most spectacular views which pictures can only hope to exhibit. I would recommend it to people of any level of experience that has a desire to get out in the back country on their bike. I have been to Washington state many times but never imagined that it had such a diverse character.
    #3
    JSTNCOL likes this.
  4. Ronin ADV

    Ronin ADV Gear addict

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    625
    Location:
    Northern Sierras
    Nice pics. I particularly like the one in the ruts along Bethel ridge. This was one of my favorite parts of the ride.
    #4
  5. blkadvR

    blkadvR Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    On the sunny side of WA
    Great ride report redpillar! Love seeing/recognizing all those places from another rider's perpective. :thumb
    #5
  6. danceswithcages

    danceswithcages Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    263
    Location:
    Virginia
    Nice report :thumb

    Curious how you like the KLXs? I'm thinking of downsizing from my DR650, leaning heavily to the WRR, but I'm still looking...
    #6
  7. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
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    17,295
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    Little brothers...:bash
    #7
  8. AtlantaViking

    AtlantaViking Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    Hotlanta
    I'm probably a complete ass for saying this, but HOLY CRAP DID I LAUGH MY BUTT OFF reading the Bear Spray story - very well written. I feel terrible for saying it (I really don't:rofl)- but that was just hysterical.
    #8
  9. PacificPT

    PacificPT Been here awhile

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    Aug 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    987
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Hard not to laugh picturing a maced Kawasaki....
    #9
  10. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Thanks for reading and for the comments, I am very impressed with the KLX and it's versatility. The WRR is more power full out of the box and a more modern, but I think is considerably more expensive. With a 351 kit the KLX becomes a much more serious ADV bike and way more fun to ride. The motor is pretty well bomb proof. They handle very well and will take anything you want to throw at them.


    Here is a link to a killer deal on a KLX

    http://www.kawasakiforums.com/forum/klx-250s-71/fs-09-klx250s-36494/

    Usually you can find a left over at a dealer for around 3500.
    #10
  11. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Ya my brother is pretty famous for getting us into trouble of some sort, you should hear the Thai gem scam story….

    Hey larryboy, you sold your Garmin I see, man I would love to have a 376.

    Thanks for reading guys.
    #11
  12. Big Bad Ron

    Big Bad Ron Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Thanks for your report. I would like to do that one some day.
    How many miles or Ks did you do in a day,Total miles, and how many days did it take you.

    Ron
    #12
  13. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    The first day was about 350 miles on pavement to get to the start. I think we did a couple of 200 mile days on this trip. not including ride down, it was three and a half days back to Winthrop. Definitely do it, the ride is really fun, there are a ton of spectacular camping spots. I will go again early next year.
    #13
  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Fort Collins, Colorado
    :thumb
    #14
  15. deej

    deej Deej (Deric)

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    519
    Location:
    Washington State
    What an epic ride report, thanks for sharing. I didn't even get the KLX out this season, I was too busy riding the new ST 1300......so many bikes....so little time. You'll have to stop by the Olympic Peninsula next time. Later man!
    #15
  16. IDRIDR

    IDRIDR Take me to the River

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    Another great ride report there Redpillar. Your bro really got it good this time, poor fella.
    #16
  17. tony.bike

    tony.bike n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
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    9
    Location:
    White Rock B.C.
    :muutt When you say "your bro got it bad this time" Do you mean the ride or the report? :D It was actually worse than what he said. I had the jumbo sized bear spray can which i purchased at a military surplus store. Looked like a small fire extinguisher. I balanced the weight on the other side with my toolkit, both inner tubes and a bunch of other really heavy stuff i should not have brought.
    #17
  18. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    May 24, 2005
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    Tumalo, Oregon
    Great report there RedPillar :clap

    - I gotta get up there and ride north of the Gifford Pinchot someday!
    #18
  19. wanderlost

    wanderlost Been here awhile

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    Oct 29, 2007
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    Tacoma, WA
    Thanks for the laughs. How would you rate the difficulty of the ride? Could an noobie/ LOOONG out of practice dirt rider on a heavy road bike make it with just a change of tires or is a dedicated dirt bike necessary?

    Paul
    #19
  20. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
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    901
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Hey Dave, This ride is really fun, you should definitely give it a go. Glad to see the shindig didn't get out of hand!!

    The difficulty level of the trail would be easy with the odd patches of deep ruts which would only cause trouble if you went barreling into them and not see them first. There are some work around routes in the tracks for big bikes which would probably take you around some of the steeper rocky down hill sections. What kind of bike are you talking about? There are some sections that I would not want to ride a big bike down just because of the large loose rocks and the consequences of falling down a side hill and not getting your bike back out. Have a look at the website video and this may give you a better idea.
    #20