Christmas Valley, Oregon
Ride Report 2/3/09 to 2/4/09
Christmas Valley, Oregon
ADV rider-Smilin Jack
Loaded up the trusty Honda CB 250 “dual-sport” and headed east from Lebanon, Oregon toward Christmas Valley, Oregon. This was going to be a 400 mile camping/hunting trip rolled into one trip.
Included in the load was a tent, sleeping bag, cooking stuff, food, water, 1 gallon of bike fuel, 45 auto pistol and a 22 rifle. I rode past several weigh stations but didn’t stop.
I encountered packed snow, ice and frost on Hwy 20 between Tombstone and Santiam summits. The road had been sanded, but had ruts of bare ice, so I drove on the shoulder at a prudent 25 mph.
When I reached Bend, it was a quick food and fuel stop and then continued 25 miles south on Hwy 97 and turned left on Hwy 31 toward Reno, Nevada. After going over a pass, I came to the junction and followed the signs to Fort Rock and then Christmas Valley.
More fuel at Christmas Valley and then headed a mile south of town and turned left on Crack-in-the-ground road. I followed this gravel/sand road about 8 miles and came to the parking lot for the hiking trail. This was a good place for a pit stop and then kept going 7 miles to Green Mountain camp ground.
The sand road had lots of deer tracks, mud, ice, snow and deer walking away from me. I lost track of how many deer I saw, but would guess over 200 that evening. I was going pretty slow, trying not to scare the deer too badly. This is their winter range and they don’t need any running to degrade their ability to survive the cold winter.
When I got to the camp ground, it was nearly dark, so quickly set up the tent, got the Therma-rest blown up and fluffed the sleeping bag. By the time it was dark, I had my LED headlamp in use, cooking dinner and writing in my journal.
The wind was picking up so I only stayed outside long enough to call my wife at home and my son who lives on the east coast.
I went to bed, but got up shortly to put on my First Gear insulated rain suit as pajamas. It was well below freezing at bedtime and surely would get colder by morning.
I woke up many times during the night, hearing deer hoofs in camp and coyotes howling near and far. Somehow I managed to stay in bed from 7 PM to 7 AM without getting up. It was sure handy in the camp ground to have tables, fire rings and an outhouse .
When I got up in the morning, the snow drifts had a good crust on them. I got a picture just before the sun popped over the horizon.
After a fast trip to the outhouse, I dug in the grub box and got coffee going and decided to have an apple and Zoom cereal for breakfast.
No, I never did use the 1 gallon of Honda fuel, but I was ready if needed.
I had made several lightweight cook pots from non-stick tin cans. I’d learned to do this while a BSA scout leader. I used empty 2 liter soda bottles to carry my water, deciding 4 liters would be enough. I could always fill them in town later.
After not seeing any rabbits on my morning walk, I decided to pack up camp and head back toward town and look for a better rabbit hunting area. I’d talked to the gas station attendant the day before and he said this was a slow year for rabbits.
I headed back toward Bend, checking several side roads along the way. The closer I got to Hwy 97, all the side roads had closed signs (deer winter range) so I just kept heading to Bend.
I stopped on a side road to lube the chain. I’d put a few ounces of chainsaw bar oil in a plastic bottle with an applicator tip. It worked very well but was messy.
I decided to stop at Fort Rock State Park to wash my face and stretch my legs. The flush toilet even had a heater inside, probably so the water didn’t freeze.
It was cold enough that I wore a stocking hat inside the helmet and the neoprene face mask on the highway.
This is one of the side roads I checked for rabbits. There are miles of nothing but sagebrush to see. This area was once the floor of a large inland sea or lake. I tried to get to Hole-in-the-ground, but the road was closed because of the deer winter range. The Hole is about 1 mile across and very deep. I have been there many times in the past. Google earth shows it nicely, about 10 or 15 miles west of Fort Rock, Oregon.
I stopped at the Santiam Pass Snow Park to stretch my legs on the ride home.
Counting all the stops, it was a six-hour ride each way.
432 miles total trip = 69.79 mpg
6.19 gallons fuel used
Total cost for trip… $14.50 for fuel used. What a two-day adventure!
Christmas Valley Ride
Here is another picture from my central Oregon ride. It was sunrise from my camp on Green Mountain, southeast about 100 miles from Bend, Oregon.
Road to camp site
Here's the road to Green Mountain campground. Didn't see any rabbits, but lots of deer. There was snow patches at the upper reaches of the road, but I was able to ride through it. My riding suit legs were covered in mud but dried at camp. I ended up wearing the riding suit as pajamas, because the sleeping bag wasn't doing too well at 25°F (-4°C). With the suit, knitted cap and neoprene face mask, I was very warm for sleeping, even with the wind blowing the tent.
Great ride report jack.... You are a true adventure rider! :D
Right on Dude! Nothing like getting back to the basics!
You are touch with the true spirit of adventuring! :clap
Thanks for posting your report smilin jack. Know the area well! I work in Prineville, live in Redmond durning the week and back in Portland on the weekends, were my wife is still working until we sell our home. If you're ever interested in meeting up for a ride or need help over in Central Ore let me know. cb750, xt225
Keep the Adventures coming :wave
Over the pass on moto in the winter!!!! You got some tires on yah! Nice work.:bow That is adventure riding.
Nice!:thumb I didn't realize it was possible to do this type of ride on a non-GS.:lol3
Very cool RideReport and ride. I used to rabbit hunt at Christmas Valley a lot. Did you find any deer antler shed horns:ear
Great ride, great photos, great time, thanks for sharing:thumbup
Riding about on small bikes
I'm going to take a ride one of these days to the south coast of Oregon for some scouting... spring bear season starts April 1st and my truck gets 14mpg.
Don't know when, but would like to plan on camping to make it a two day trip. My riding partner has the XL350 seat in the shop to be recovered. Then he needs insurance. I've been riding the CB250 to work just about every day, even in the rain. My Firstgear suit keeps me warm and dry, and also wear rubber boots for the commute and keep shoes under the desk at work.
I had better tires on the bike last summer and fall, but they only lasted just short of 7K miles.
I want one!
great adventure and I love your choice of bikes, other than worn tires and minimal suspension, it makes more sense than trying to wrestle the tonnage and mass of 1200 c.c. "dirt bikes" .
I love Christmas vally
My grandparents lived and farmed just 10 miles out of Christmas valley. A guy could spend a lifetime exploring that area and still not see it all. It is one of the most incredible places I have ever been. Haven't been since my grandpa died 3 years ago. Would love to go back.
Hey I have the same action packer box on my DR 650. its a hell of a case . its the 3rd bike its been on :norton its a great addon rather then a expensive box that can take a beating and still not look all messed up.
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