Dubya's Twisty Fun Central Oregon Non-Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ORexpat, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    This is ADVrider, so you're expecting broken bones, blood, catastrophically crashed motorcycles, and all sorts of mayhem, right? I mean, it's not an adventure if someone's not in the emergency room . . .

    Well, not here. Just a few photos of a perfectly pleasant 4-day long weekend farting around on a few of Central Oregon's finer pieces of pavement. So I titled this little thread a "non-adventure." The wee little Kawi W650 ran fine, there were no crashes-mine or anyone else's that I know about, and the only real issues were a touch of rain and thunder, and a nice stout breeze in the Columbia River gorge. But that's not particularly unusual either . . .

    The occasion was the annual Fireflight Rendezvous, a BMW airhead gathering at Maupin's public park on the Deschutes River. I can't recall offhand how many years this has been going on, but I've been there most of the last 5 years. Usually on my old Beemer /5, occasionally on one of the newer oilheads, but this time it was Dubya's turn. She hadn't been on even a short tour for several year, and she had some luggage added since the last ride to Portland, so she deserved the exercise.

    I live on the Kitsap Peninsula, west of Seattle. I won't bore you with photos of the ride south on I5, 'cause after all it's just a damn interstate. But heading up the River Of The West on Washington 14, it starts to get scenic right quick.

    The obligatory stop at Cape Horn, looking up river. Beacon rock is in the distance, just north (left) of the river.

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    Though I think I like the B&W shot just as well.

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    Some of these photos have been posted other threads. Patience, grasshopper, there's a few new ones here too . . .
    #1
  2. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    The weather was gorgeous . . . until it wasn't. I crossed the Columbia at Hood River with a really fun crosswind and headed south on Oregon 35. Fun twisty highway, but majestic Mt Hood was looking a little dreary by mid-afternoon. I'll bet you're thinking that the folks that were headed to Maupin from Portland, over US26, were getting pissed on. You'd be right.

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    A quick left turn on Forest Road 48 and some of those clouds and associated wetness are behind me.

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    Don't you think B&W makes the weather look more brooding and ominous though? :D

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    I've always thought shitty weather looked better in the rear-view mirror . . .

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    If you've spent any time at all in Oregon and Washington, or British Columbia, you'd know that the mighty Cascade range makes for one hell of a rain shadow. Yeah, those poor stiffs in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver BC might be dealing with a shit-pot of rain, but often the weather gets a wee bit drier as you travel east.

    And so it was. Dropping into Tygh Valley, things are definitely looking up.

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    #2
  3. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    I'll bet you're not surprised that Central Oregon has it's share of odd-ball roadside attractions. Cutting right through the "town" of Tygh Valley I came across this, and of course had to take some photos.

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    It looked even better with sweet Dubya alongside.

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    For those of you who must insist on color . . . .

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    #3
  4. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Thursday evening saw a half dozen folks, all on old airheads except for one brave soul on a Norton, drift into camp. Beer was drunk, dinner was eaten, acquaintances were made or renewed, and life was good.

    I'm kind of an anal, quasi-organized sort of guy, so my focus on this trip was to take a few photos of places nearby that I'd ridden before but hadn't taken decent pictures. Plus I had my "good" camera with me, stuffed into that tiny Wolfman Enduro tank bag. So Friday was a riding day.

    Right out of camp at the city park Bakeoven Road twists uphill for a couple of fabulous miles. Switchback after switchback until you reach the plateau above. Maupin and the park are just out of the photo at the bottom right.

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    I've read that sheep ranching was one of the big industries around here years ago, and cattle and grain, along with the occasional hemp field, still rule. But like any agricultural landscape, there've been successes and there've been some failures over the years. I found this one just a few miles east.

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    But I like the mood that B&W provides of this old homestead.

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    I think this barn across the road went with the old house.

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    #4
  5. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Bakeoven road swoops and dips over the high prairie for another 20 miles or so before it skids to an end at US97. A quick left and the semi-almost-maybe-sorta-wannabe ghost town of Shaniko begs for some photos.

    Here's the old hotel. I didn't try to catch up the the local gossip as I hadn't been here for a couple of years, but I was told that some rich Portland guy bought up the Shaniko Hotel and several other lots around town, then got into some sort of tiff with the locals. One of the lots he owns/owned had the main (only??) town well, and he cut off that water. Dunno if it's true, but it makes for a story. The Hotel and cafe are closed, and have been for years.

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    At least there's still a functioning post office.

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    I guess if you're flying over the town, you can figure out where you're at . . .

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    But Bambi knows just where the picking's good.

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    There's another tiny, almost-abandoned town just a few miles south of Shankio. Antelope. A storied history, for a short time in the 70's taken over by a cult that had purchased a nearby ranch and then burrowed into the town. But that's long past and there ain't much there now. But there is one hell of a fine road between the two towns!

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    It's not long but it sure is fun!

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    This set of curves have been featured in a number of ADV threads, most notably by inmate bwhip62. If you wanna see really good photography rather than my waste of electrons, search inmates and check out his road riding thread.
    #5
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  6. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Central Oregon geography and geology are fascinating. Hundreds or thousands of times over the geologic past massive lava flows covered most of eastern Washington and Oregon. Washington had the Missoula floods that created the Channeled Scablands, but Oregon was spared. Instead, millions of years of lava flows and erosion created fabulously scenic landscape. It would be great fun to build a thread just on the roads and scenery within a couple of hundred miles of where I was, but I guess that's for a later thread. For now, here's a couple of samples.

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    Eroded buttes and cliffs, with flatter fill lands in between, are the norm. (By now, you've probably noticed that I enjoy taking B&W photos, so here's another):

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    Also common are cliffs of columnar basalt. Different flows and eons of metamorphic processes have created an almost endless variety of geologic sculptures, but here's a sample. I couldn't resist the morning sun highlighting the columns.

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  7. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Friday night was the major carousing night for the airheads. Of course, since most of us are older than dirt, and nearly as old as those basalt columns in the previous post, we didn't carouse enough to raise the ire of the local constabulary.

    Nice lineup of bikes that evening. Check out that Norton.

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    I don't think I'd complement the lineup of people quite as much, especially since I'm in there too thanks to my timer. But you can make up your own mind.

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    #7
  8. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Saturday was another riding day for me. There's another very cool road that leads from the Deschutes River just north of town up to Grass Valley. Sherars Bridge Road.

    Sherars Falls have been ceded back to the Warm Springs tribes for traditional fishing. Just a few folks there, not sure anything was running. And with the massive loss of salmon habituate in the northwest, we may not see many big runs again. Sure hope I'm wrong . .

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    But the river is heavily used for recreational fishing and river running. A cool fall morning didn't stop these folks.

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    Not everyone stayed in their rafts . . . .

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    He got picked up in an eddy just below the rapids. Lost his paddle though!

    BTW, that's a fish hatchery on the far side of the river.

    I looked for a decent place to photograph the cool curves and hairpins on Sherars Bridge Road. I rode it three times (:happay) but never found a safe spot that gave a decent view. The lowest hairpin (labled 10mph) is hidden behind that cliff . . .

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    Shaniko and Antelope have managed to hang on and maintain some semblance of an identity. Kent has not. Here's it's gas station.

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    Check the price . . .

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    I never have figured out what this damn thing is, along US97 in Kent. Any ideas?

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    #8
  9. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    That evening the weather caught up with us. Thunder, lightning, all the bad things were threatened. Some folks decided to play it safe and ride back over the mountains before the rain came. Well, they rode right into the rain and got drenched on the way home.

    Most of us just had an extra beer or two and when the storms got as far east as Maupin we just crawled into our tents and read a book while Thor played in the skies overhead.

    Sunday morning dawned fabulously cool and clear. Those unfortunates who went home the evening before paid the price. It would be fine here until late afternoon again-by which time we'd be long gone.

    Mt Hood from Sherars Bridge Road near Grass Valley.

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    Further north, Mt Adams in the morning sun.

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    The rest of the ride home was pretty uneventful. US97 to Yakima, US12 over White Pass. Rainier was socked in and rain began in Packwood, though it didn't last that long. The only real rain was the last 10 miles before home!

    How was the W650 as a touring bike? Surprisingly good. Hagons shocks had the preload cranked up, and the seat, which looks stock but isn't, was tolerable. I had enough room for all my stuff and though I carried a couple of liters of gas (the tank's only 3.9 gallons) I never needed them.

    The tires are getting close to their end, and the front's causing just a bit of headshake passing through 45 mph, but the bike was rock steady at highway speeds, loves 65 and above. A big bump while well heeled over in a curve causes a wiggle; I suspect that's due to frame design, though I should repack the swingers and steering head bearings again.

    Fuel economy? High around 63 on the freeway with a tailwind, low around 54, hard in the twisties with a noticable headwind.

    It was fun. No blood, no guts, no pistons along the highway. Just a good time on good roads. Not much of an adventure . . . .
    #9
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  10. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    You took some great pics and obviously rode some fantastic roads. I need to get my ass back out that way again as it's been far too long.
    #10
  11. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Thanks, viajero. Idaho's got some great roads too!
    #11
  12. RVFlyer

    RVFlyer En Route

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    Kinda confused for a minute there....thought you had taken a trip with a less-than-distinguished former occupant of the White House, maybe doing some brush cutting and tree clearing along the way (I’ve heard rumor you’re good at that). But I see you’re talking about a different kind of dubya
    #12
  13. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Yup, a Dubya650. :rofl:rofl:rofl

    I don't hang with high-falutin' folk . . . don't have enough money for those crowds . . :imaposer
    #13