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Cow Tipping in the Desert

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Humunn, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Some new friends and old friends meet up on the Oregon high desert for a little backcountry moto play weekend. Plan is three days at about 150 miles per day.

    Here’s the route. Red to green to yellow.

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    Pretty much a sea of orange.

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    Alex shows up with this cool Landrover. It’s a “do it all” go anywhere rig and he is not concerned a bit about it getting dirty. Says he cleans it out with a leaf blower! :eek1 We had to convince him to throw the bimini top on before we left.

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    Here’s Nate. He and Alex are reunited buds from med school. He lives on the 27th floor of a building in Manhattan overlooking the Hudson. We are not in Kansas anymore!

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    This is Speros. He’s an ER doc with Alex. Boy the stories they would tell us! Yowza!

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    What to say about Jim? Well, he’s an elementary principal during work hours and an immediate, on-call, improv comedian when not.

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    This is Paul. He’s my neighbor and a chiropractor. I used to say he’s my friend but that was before he told me during a visit that I had lost over an inch in height since my 20s. This is a big deal to a guy who is 5’-8 5/8”!!! :cry

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    Mad Dog Mike. Mike and I started riding the Oregon outback together years ago. Mike was either on the throttle or off the bike. No in between. If you are wondering why your medical insurance rates have increased so much, he is the reason. We’ve life flighted and ambulanced him out of the middle of nowhere and even caravanned him out of Baja with people we didn’t know. Middle age finally caught up with him and doctor said he would not replace his hip if he kept on riding dirt bikes. So, he will be piloting the camera and chase X5 for this excursion.

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    Here’s a file photo of Dave. He is the Bad Cowboy. We’ll just leave it at that. Dave moved to the Ville several years ago from So Cal. I found out he was into dirt bikes and had a son the same age as mine. We hit it off instantly!:raabia

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    And a file photo of me.

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    The three amigos.

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    We were all on orange except this DR-Z 400. Had to snap a pic of the TrailTech knock off light. That is carbon fiber! Love it!

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    Group shot.

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    And we are off. First leg today is a 60 miler to East Lake Resort through Millican and East Fort Rock.

    The Principal.

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    Alex making the 525 growl.

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    Speros.

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    Paul.

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    New York Nate.

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    And the Bad Cowboy. He has a hard time keeping the front wheel down.

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    More to come…
    #1
  2. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Momentum is your friend

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA. USA & Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur
    Great country up there. :lurk
    #2
  3. DOCsprocket

    DOCsprocket Sprocket

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    514
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I can't wait to see the details of the trip unfold in this thread, as it exceeded all my expectations. To give it all a little perspective, Nate only started riding motorcycles in 6 months ago, and Speros hadn't ridden a motorcycle in around 15 years. But one of the key services that I offer to my friends is getting them in over their heads, and it'd been a while since I had last jeopardized anyone's safety... So I was due.

    Nate and I had briefly schemed about the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route, but changed our minds because a trip with High Desert Adventures just seemed easier in all regards. Certainly, if it was a guided tour, it would be somewhat mellow, and we wouldn't have to worry about much. I had images of tooling through the desert, listening to music piped into my helmet from my iPhone. I imagined that there'd be some occassional wild life identification by the guides - perhaps an antelope or buzzard or something like that that happens on guided tours. There'd be some "challenging sections" that were specifically selected by the guides to give their guests something to tell their friends about when they returned to their homes, but nothing that would get any body hurt or discouraged. That'd be bad for business. I even though about bringing my BMW instead of the KTM to make it more interesting.

    And reflecting on the times in the past when I had encouraged people to come on an adventure, only to realize that my idea of a good time was surprisingly not shared by most people, sounded like a decent and refreshingly different plan.

    I was mistaken.

    In the first 3 miles, as the trail wandered through relatively deep sand punctuated every 100 yards by a small rock garden, I had the familiar sinking feeling that once again I had roped innocent people into something that would likely leave them maimed or paralyzed and certainly discouraged.

    Stay tuned.... (spoiler alert: No one died, although Speros still, to this day, has only limited use of his hands.)
    #3
  4. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Alex, great comments...especially this one!

    I often have the same feeling at the beginning but they (almost) always are grinning ear to ear! :lol3
    #4
  5. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    So we mosey further south on wide track. Mostly sandy, twisty, whooped a bit and littered here and there with rock outcroppings to keep you honest. A ways down the trail begins to gain elevation while littered with loose rock.

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    Great views looking back to the north.

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    Some vids. Here’s Speros clutching his way to the top. Nice job!

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    Dr. Paul demonstrating his emulating Taddy B with his Erzberg skills. I want your autograph man!

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    Dr. Nate meandering the trail.

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    And digging it out on the 250 nicely!

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    Docsprocket learning how to communicate his feelings.

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    Enough of that. Hmmm…what’s over yonder? Let’s go see!

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    Heading up to the viewpoint on top of the cinder cone. Here’s Dr. Alex tearing it up.

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    Queued up at the bottom.

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    Speros spins out in the loose cinder.

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    And surfaces after the dust settles.

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    In the mean time one of the riders decides to take an alternate route.

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    While Speros gits er done!

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    On the other side is Paul. I spin around to snap these. He was all that…until I pulled out the camera while he was a few rolls down the hill.

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    And grinds it out in style.

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    Here comes Alex straight up the gut.

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    And all the way to the top.

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    Back down off the top we roll through some high speed two track, floating left to right and right to left railing around the sage and juniper. Something like this:

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    And this:

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    Heading south we cross over Highway 20 onto this for a mile.

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    And break off onto a gnarly powerline trail.

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    Super pics from this spot.

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    We drop down into Klotzman basin. High speed sandy cruiser roads surrounded by pucker brush. As I ride my eyes are peeled looking for John Wayne.

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    I roll ahead and stop to take these pics looking back. Cool.

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    The principal getting saucy around the corner.

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    Alex taking it with authority.

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    Speros looking good.

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    Then, BAM!

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    But finishes well.

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    Then a little of this as we connect to the next trail.

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    We roll into East Fort Rock, the “Disneyland” of trail riding in Central Oregon.

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    And cut through an old burn.

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    We continue southwest on some super fun rolling trails and pop out here, East Lake Resort which is in the Newberry Crater.

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    It does not say “no motorcycles”!

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    Lunch spot.

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    After lunch we roll on to the south on some super fun logging roads – wide enough to carry speed but rough with off camber sharp turns to keep you on your toes!

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    Continuing south and dropping elevation on our way to Hole in the Ground.

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    Group shot at HITG. We all did our best “look of blue steel”.

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    Here’s a panoramic vid of HITG. Enjoy the side commentary.

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    We drop to the bottom of the crater.

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    And contemplate who is going to be the sucker and try to climb out.

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    The climb is very doable under the right (moist) conditions. But I haven’t seen too many make it this time of year. Half way up the soil turns to talcum powder with a speed robbing left and right and if you make it past that and can carry enough speed there is a rock garden to navigate to the top.

    Alex steps up and grinds it out on his 525. Nice!

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    And a victory salute on way down!

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    Up next, Fort Rock, Derrick Cave and Christmas Valley!
    #5
  6. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    We exit and ride along the HITG ridge.

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    Looking east. That is Fort Rock in the distance. We will ride right past it.

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    Old two track.

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    I arrive first. Glamour shot of the citrus mistress at the Rock.

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    Here they come, one at a time.

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    We check in at Fort Rock. Read a little bit of the history. Took a lousy picture which I deleted. Refueled the bikes and headed out for our last 55 mile run north, around Devil’s Garden then south into Christmas Valley. Mostly we are on old wagon roads like this.

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    And this.

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    A couple good pics of the boys. Here’s the principal.

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    And Docsprocket railing the two track.

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    Some more of this.

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    And we take a break to look at the largest Juniper tree in Oregon. Gnarly old girl.

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    Back on the horses we motor a few miles to the south and take our last pit stop of the day at Derrick Cave, a massive lava tube. This is looking down into the cave one way.

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    On the other side is an old civil defense bunker.

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    These guys were so interested they actually climbed into it.

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    It’s about a ¼ mile walk to and from the cave. Here we are on our way back. I think everyone is thinking about that cold beer right about now.

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    From Derrick Cave we roll on to the south and east to wrap up the day.

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    At one intersection I spot this.

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    A couple trail shots. Almost there.

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    And in time for happy hour, story (lie) telling and general evening shenanigans.

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    We even had girls show up! All part of the adventure!

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    Sun setting over duck poop pond.

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    And chow time at the Lakeside Terrace restaurant.

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    We all stumbled back to our rooms tired and full. A great day!

    Up next tomorrow we head south through Fandango Canyon to Paisley then up into the Fremont. Last time I was through there (a few weeks back) we couldn’t make it to Slide due to fallen trees. Hopefully they have been cleared since then!

    #6
  7. BrockEvan

    BrockEvan Brock Warwick Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,549
    Location:
    Brea, CA
    dream ride!!!!!! :clap:clap:clap
    #7
  8. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Awake to a beautiful morning over duck poop pond.

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    But the morning light reveals the carnage from the night before.

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    Off to breakfast. Alex goes for the sinker and because he and his daughter are in search of the perfect pancake (or something like that, right Alex?).

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    And a glamour shot of our BMW chase “rig”. Nothing but first class baby!

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    We are off through pucker flats en route to Fandango Canyon.

    I pick up a little salad along the way.

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    Pucker flats.

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    Now, uttering the words “Fandango Canyon” will elicit a wide variety of responses depending on who you ask and their experience(s) in this area east of Summer Lake and the Diablo Rim. Usually it is something like, “do you mean ‘good Fandango or bad Fandango’?” Bad Fandango, while visually spectacular, is a bone jarring rip rap mess of what some call a road. It consumes motorcycle parts every time we ride it. There is also Evil Fandango but that is a story for another time. Today we chose Good Fandango, a nice higher speed cruise run. The only warning is there is a cattle gate half way down that is painted red instead of the usual yellow, and there is a reason for that.

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    Heading south into the canyon.

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    En route.

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    Views in the distance.

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    Down in the canyon I spot this little playa off to my right. Hmmmm, looks like a fun place to playa around a little. So, that’s what we do.

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    We work on our flat track and jumping skills.

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    Bad Cowboy really aired it out on this one.

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    Recess is over and it is time to get back on the trail.

    Next, we encounter the infamous red cattle gate. If you hit this at speed and are thinking it is a standard cattle gate it will launch you, likely only in a flying W if you are lucky enough to hold on. Funny thing is I warned everyone ahead of time so most timidly puttered over it. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything???

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    But not the Bad Cowboy. He’s been here before and knows how to hit it. LAUNCH ON BRO!

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    A few more miles of this.

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    And we arrive in Paisley for lunch. If you go to Paisley, eat at the Homestead. New owners and everything is hand made. Awesome!

    Up next, the Fremont Forest and our attempt to get to Slide Mtn.

    #8
  9. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    After a great lunch in Paisley we ride up the gravel switch back road out of town. It is super slick…like riding on marbles. Here’s a look back at the town of Paisley.

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    A short ways later we get off onto old logging roads like this one. This is one of the best sections we ride IMO.

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    The Principal waving me on.

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    We had been through here 5 weeks before and had to turn back due to blow downs that had not been cleared yet from the winter. As I rolled on through the trail I noticed it had been cleared, at least so far. Evidence of saw dust piles and fresh cuttings on either side gave me hope that we would be able to get through.

    But then, BAM…this!

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    What a mess.

    OK boys let’s take ‘em one at a time.

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    OK, made it around that one.

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    Now what?

    We must have done this 20 more times. Alex high centers his KTM and leaves it there while he helps the others.

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    This picture really tells it all. It looked this bad or worse in person. I’m getting discouraged and trying to formulate a plan B which is really just to turn around and re route around the mess. But the Principal forges on to find a path.

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    Encouraged by a radio call back from him that he is still moving we all press on to catch up.

    Over, around, under…you name it. We finally arrive at Slide Mtn. We are the first ones here this year!

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    Summer Lake in the distance. Winter Ridge on the left.

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    Moto art.

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    Alex on Slide.

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    The guys.

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    The bikes.

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    More…

    #9
  10. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    From the turn to Slide to this point is 2/3rds of a mile but was almost a deal breaker for us in terms of navigating downed trees. Up to this point we were able to negotiate our way around or over them. This last stretch was a doozer though…the road crosses a hillside and there were huge, long trees blocking our path. Some we were able to barely get under but the path around was almost impossible due to the steepness of the hill on either side of the road.

    And what was worse is you didn’t know how much further this would continue and whether you would need to turn around at some point and back track through the mess!

    Fortunately, right about here is when I saw semi fresh four wheeler tracks. I knew we were home free.

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    We were all pretty whooped and enjoyed a little high speed cruise for awhile.

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    Let’s go see Fremont Point.

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    Nice place to take a break.

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    Panoramic vid of Summer Lake from Fremont Point.

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    From here it’s a nice higher speed cruise through the forest north to Silver Lake. We arrive here at the “Deerhorn” Lodge, our lodging for the night.

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    We were all very thirsty. No time to remove protective gear.

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    Post happy hour shenanigans.

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    Up next, the almost world famous Cowboy Dinner Tree.
    #10
  11. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    On bikes and in the chase rig we head a few miles from town to the Cowboy Dinner Tree.

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    We are there a little early and kill some time playing shoes.

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    Seated and served the looks on faces are priceless when the monster meat shows up.

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    The look on her face is priceless too!!! This is Angel. I asked her if she knew why I keep coming back to the Tree. She retorted quickly by saying, “Well, to see me, of course.” I was speechless. She stole my line!

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    Cave man!

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    Speros seems to be taking the lead. Looking like he might be powering it down!

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    And he DOES! Gets a fist bump from Angel. Nice! Paul on the left has that "this bite might make me hurl" look on his face. LOL!

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    Couple post feast pics.

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    Paul and his left over food “booty”.

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    Back at the Deer Horn for a post dinner smoke.

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    And then across the street to the bar for a little pool action.

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    Jim was trying to explain something but no one was listening. Don, on the right, and another riding bud showed up on their road bikes to hang out for the eve. He was obviously not listening either. None of us were too concerned as Jim is an elementary school principal so he’s used to talking without people listening.

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    Lights were out soon afterwards and snoring competition was on!!!

    Up tomorrow, route 5 of the OBDR to Christmas Valley. Stay tuned.

    #11
  12. Colemanfu

    Colemanfu King of all manfu

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,471
    Location:
    DAYTONA USA
    Looks like a fun trip. Well played.
    #12
  13. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Wake up to a beautiful morning in a small town on the high desert.

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    A cup of coffee and yesterday’s GoPro vids. Awesome!

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    The undergarments are taking a beating after two days. Yikes.

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    We head across the street for breakfast.

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    And contemplate the calories in the Big Hoss.

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    Check out the ingredients. What do you think? 10,000 calories?

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    Small town café. Got to love it.

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    Some of us love it for other reasons???

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    Plan for the day is a 65 mile scoot to Christmas Valley on a section of OBDR route 5. The first part, smooth and fast; the second part, rough and bone jarring!

    Here’s the smooth part.

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    Table Rock in the distance.

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    That road in the distance is where we are heading.

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    The last of the smooth stuff.

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    Bottom of the hill the route turns rough. We convene to shed layers and prepare for a 40 mile run into Christmas Valley.

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    More…


    #13
  14. beemerkid

    beemerkid Do you ADV

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Seward, AK
    Looks like yall are having a hell of a time so far.:clap
    #14
  15. cyclocross00

    cyclocross00 n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Manhattan
    this is Speros' boot just as we cleared the deadfall on slide Mountain

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Jvf9Zi1MMRS-dwqn9ftCQMxGWMJnMOKreC1OVq7K_EM?feat=directlink[/URL]

    not really sure how to post photos to this thread yet, but I'm trying to learn.
    #15
  16. K0ncept

    K0ncept Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Whittier Kalifornia
    Looks Like a great time!!! Wish I was there!
    #16
  17. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    After a few miles we stop to check bolts and fillings. Sure enough, we lost some of one. Here we are trying to jerry-rig Alex’s bike.

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    I’m reminded of a joke, “How many riders does it take to fix a bike…”.

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    Just kidding. These guys were great supervisors!!!

    Tried to get the Principal in a compromising picture.

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    Never leave your camera unattended! I suppose turnabout is fair play.

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    Ok, enough trail shenanigans. We bounce down this rocky path.

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    Then stretch it out on a long dusty playa. Love these pics!

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    This is all super desolate country but offers some great riding and views. Here we climb up a long draw. The views are spectacular.

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    Caught Speros working on his trail stoppie skills.

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    More bone jarring desolation (and loving it). Can’t imagine how slow this would be in a four wheeled vehicle! Over the next rise you can see the trail heading up and across the face of the ridge in the distance.

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    We collect at the bottom.

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    I’m first one up to set up for pics.

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    One at a time. Here’s Dr. Paul. That is Summer Lake in the background and Winter Ridge/Fremont further in the background (we rode that yesterday).

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    Dr. Alex.

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    Dr. New York Nate.

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    Dr. Speros.

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    The Principal.

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    And the Bad Cowboy wheeling out in fine form.

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    Hang on…more to come. Next up lunch in CV and a minor mechanical that takes the Bad Cowboy out.
    #17
  18. Humunn

    Humunn Agent Provocateur

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,563
    Location:
    Oregon High Desert
    Dropping down out of the Black Hills, here are Dr. P and Dr. A.

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    We roll in to Christmas Valley and find a shady spot for a break and a bite to eat.

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    Radio cracks and Bad Cowboy is on the horn. Something about a mechanical? Fortunately, he is where the dirt and pavement meet. The BMW X5 chase rig is on it and recovers man and machine.

    The carnage. Bad C rides in the trailer with moto to keep from soiling the inside of the BMW!

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    I couldn’t help myself. I think Mike picked up a little dust the last couple of miles. LOL!

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    Dave having a moment alone. Rear wheel bearings were toast. The axle was banging around inside the hub loose!

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    Break time over we mount up and head north a few miles and make a touristy stop at Crack in the Ground. If you come to this part of the country this should be on your list of places to see.

    In the middle of the hot desert is this massive fissure. It easily dropped 25 degrees or more from the surface to the bottom.

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    Ferns in the desert.

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    Here’s probably how they get there.

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    I just couldn’t resist.

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    Back on the bikes we pick up the pace as we roll through the desert at a spirited pace. Beautiful day!

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    Things were going great, until after this photo.

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    That’s when the ride report’s title was earned. :eek1

    More on that next…


    #18
  19. DOCsprocket

    DOCsprocket Sprocket

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    514
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Awesome report. I love reliving it. Can't wait to sign up for another adventure!
    #19
  20. littlebull

    littlebull tiny mighty mo

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    318
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Hey Greg!

    Can't wait to read the rest. Tony and I just returned from a 3 1/2 day, 700 plus mile loop in nearly the same areas. Maybe we can compare notes at the next meet-up, especially the Fandango part. Our version was a little different than yours.

    Kim
    #20