Millican Plateau kicked my...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by robhar54, May 5, 2008.

  1. robhar54

    robhar54 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    476
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    ...*ss!

    Trailered my Xchallenge down Friday with a bunch of guys on KTMs -- a 125, a 300, a couple 450s, & 525s & a 530, and another Xchallenge. Stayed in the Riverside Motel Friday night, and had a fantastic meal at the Pine Tavern.
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    Blasphemy I know, trailering a dual sport...
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    ...but it was the only way we'd make it down there and back in two days.

    Breakfast at Jake's was massive, by the way.
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    Rode Saturday and drove back Saturday night. For those that haven't been, Millican Plateau is a vast high desert ORV area about 20 miles east of Bend, OR, around 4,300 feet above sea level.
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    At the Four Corners staging area...
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    The trail started out pretty easy, and I was feeling good...Looked kinda like this:
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    As it turned out, I was in way over my head. This was literally my fourth day riding off-road. One day on the Husky, the two days of the GS Novice Clinic, and then this: Single-track trails in the desert, about three feet wide, with eighteen inch berms on both sides, and six to twelve inches of deep silt in the center. We started out on Trail 55, for those that know it. It's a green trail...the easiest. I fell three times in the first, oh maybe ten miles--twice on the X...

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    and...

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    and then once on my friend Bong's 450EXC.

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    Thoroughly tuckered out, I decided to let discretion take the better part of valor, and baled when we reached a road. I just didn't have enough experience to instinctively do what was needed to get my self turned when the front wheel was floppin' around in the silt. I'd get headed off the trail and up the berm and do the classic target fixation, look down and boom. On the ground. If I had had the body memory to steer without thinking about it, and the confidence to gas it and go faster, I would probably have been ok. Though I admit it was a lot easier on the lighter bike, my bike was not the limitation. The other rider on an X got along fine. It was also a physical thing--at 4300 feet above sea level, 53 years old and out of shape, I got hit hard by the falls and getting the bike back up. Good incentive to start working out!

    As it was, while the rest of the gang headed back out for more punishment--I mean fun--I got a nice dual sport ride in, up to the top of Pine Mountain. It was a great little ride.

    South down 20 miles of Geo. Millican Road, the up the red gravel Pine Mountain Road hrough nice woods...

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    To the Pine Mountain Observatory...

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    Looking back down on where all those guys were riding...

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    I'm gonna put the panorama in the next post...

    Eastern Oregon is a great place to ride. I hope to get a lot more practice in and get back there and try it again.

    Rob in Seattle
    #1
  2. robhar54

    robhar54 Been here awhile

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    The view from the top of Pine Mountain...
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    Rob
    #2
  3. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
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    4,775
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA.
    I hate sand.

    Thanks for the Ride Report.
    Q~
    #3
  4. funhouse

    funhouse Overdue

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    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    thx for the overview.........i've always got my boat behind my truck when going thru Bend so have never seen this country......bruce
    #4
  5. robhar54

    robhar54 Been here awhile

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    Just realized I had two images of the same get-off there...but the second one looked just like the first! Except no one was there to snap a photo. :D

    Questor, I'm not too fond of sand either! Maybe in a year....

    Funhouse, one of these days, ride there. Fantastic street riding in the area as well. A bit further north and east, the road from Antelope to Fossil for example, is phenomenal. As is Aufdeheide Scenic Byway, further east.

    And here's why I like this bike: Did that ride on Saturday, rode it to work today.:clap

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    -RH
    #5
  6. spdrcr37

    spdrcr37 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
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    Location:
    BPOE
    Glad you had fun despite your trail woes, way to go. It was great weather to be riding in. I'm surprised that you guys picked Millican as your destination, coming all the way from Seattle. It's one of the last resort places to ride for most of us around here. The silty sand gets pretty bad in the summer, but it's one of the very few places open in the winter. Further south you would have had a much better time.

    Next time you come this way, let me know and I'll show you some great trails. I'll swap my 450 for your X for a while if you want to try a lighter bike again on the S/T. I'd love to try yours.
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Great fun on the X in your backyard!! Thanks for the report and pics. :thumb
    #7
  8. robhar54

    robhar54 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    This was a group of Ducati riders from desmonorthwest.com who are also dirt riders. We've got a couple buddies in the area (maybe you know them--Scott Siegmund and Scott Wilcox?) who turned us on to this spot. They are very good riders, so the silt doesn't bother them--in fact they love it. The rest of my friends are very good riders as well--several raced motocross back in the days of Ossas, riding dirt for years, etc.

    How far south? I'd love to hear more about that...

    Yah, the weather was perfect, really. I can see how it'd get unrideable by summer.

    Absolutely! That'd be a blast. I'm really enjoying this bike. Not quite sure what I'm going to do when my F800GS arrives....keeping both is not an option. :cry

    Rob in Seattle
    #8
  9. Bong

    Bong Been here awhile

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    Jan 18, 2004
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    Seattle, WA USA
    Hey Rob, your bike looks a lot cleaner for you commute this morning!

    Keep at it and you'll see a world of difference next time we hit the trails :thumb
    #9
  10. robhar54

    robhar54 Been here awhile

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    Funny, no silt at all on my commute this morning! :D Whew!

    Thanks man! I hope so. My wife was telling me about a book on visualization for skiers that might be good...

    -Rob
    #10
  11. ducmons

    ducmons Been here awhile

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    Rob, great report. Man that was a fun day. We need to let our X's get together sometime and mingle.

    How you liking the X on the commute to work?
    #11