1000 mile oregon loop on klx's
After a good deal of scouring the benchmarks mapbook and the gps tracks I got from dvwalker's, unfinished trip report, my brother and I completed a 1000 mile loop around the oregon desert on our KLX 250s.
This is the route which was very nicely posted by dvwalker using an interactive map.
Thanks to you for the inspiration to head out for places unknown.
Thanks also to Wach's for the generous offer to stable our trucks at his place in Bend, which is where the trip actually starts and ends. Nice place you have Dave!! Hope to actually meet you sometime!!
The plan was for my brother Tony and I to meet up in Bend, park the trucks at Daves place, and hit the trail.
Day one began with some last minute running around Bend and as a result we got a pretty late start. The track led us out of Bend and into the forests that surround the city, and in no time we were blitzing along some great two track trails that eventually wound south.
We passed through a couple of logging shows,
and some cool scenery, and suddenly popped out onto the highway at Crescent lake.
It was about 6pm so we decided to stop for the night at the Crescent lake campground, and try to make some miles the next day to catch up on the schedule.
We got up and rolling nice and early, and headed for the hills.
The variety of terrain was impressive, and we chewed through it pretty quickly, but with many stops to take photos and drink water the day also wore on pretty fast.
What I did not get a picture of was the very large Grizzly that climbed up on the road about fourty feet in front of me as I came around a tight right hander. He had come up the slope on the left hand side of the road, he looked sideways at me as I closed on him at about 30 mph and he bolted down the road in front of me with his big ass flapping in the wind!! His fur was shiny and brown and he accelerated away from me around the corner and the next thing I saw was a trail of dust leading up slope on the right side of the road. He was gone. Talk about fast. I think I peed a bit, I was so happy to see him!!
We passed by the usual benchmarks of trips in this area, but it was pretty stinking hot so we didn't linger too long at any of them.
We hit a lot of this, which makes time but gets pretty old after a while.
more great vistas
and we finally rolled into Thompson Reservoir.
Where we road into a campsite and were promptly offered beer by a couple of fine gents, and fellow ADVrider inmates.
Meet Jim and Dave.
Here is a link the trip report from their ride that weekend!!
We had a good chat with them as we set up our tents. We had actually run in to Dave and Jim a few minutes earlier at Silver Lake while gassing up.
They were heading for the Cowboy Dinner Tree for some meat, and we unfortunately had no reservations, so we set up our tents and went for a swim. Dave brought back some steak for us which my brother scarfed down like a seagull. It was great meeting you guys, and hope to run into you again some time.
After some more good chin wagging we hit the hay with thoughts of riding the desert the very next day!!
We rode fast and without too many stops trying to make up the half day lost so I didn't get many pictures, but I did stop for were these.
We got to Lakeview for a bite to eat and gas and headed off into the bush and some better tighter trails until we hit a show stopper which was a gas pipeline construction that had trenched across the trail two huge ditches. Sorry no pictures as I was more interested in dragging my bike out of the ditch and trying to find a re route. We ended up slabbing it to Cedarville which was a moderate piss off but in the end we got to where we had to be.
We gassed up and rode on up into the hills and made camp at about 7000 feet on a ridge with a great view to the east. It was windy as hell and we had to load gear into the tents to stop them from blowing away.
We had a rough sleep due tot he wind noise but woke happy and ready to go the next morning. We headed back into Cedarville for some breaky at the local beanery.
Onward to Denio Jct.
We rode out of Cedarville and hit the trail which quickly went from this
which was a lot of fun to ride. In many parts the trail was hardly visible and changed from hard packed sand to soft stuff constantly. I can't remember how long it took to get to the Sheldon Antelope Range but we made it there and stopped for a drink and something to eat,
Signs of another asshole with a gun
just about anything with a sign on it has bullet holes through it around here.
The ride through Sheldon was hi speed and fun. We saw the odd person on an atv but not much else, and by the time we got to the other side it was really hot. I could feel burns on the back of my neck and face. I think I was pretty dehydrated as well because we didn't stop much to drink. Eventually we got to the highway and with thoughts of running out of fuel we cruised into Denio Junction. We met a few other riders that were enjoying some cold drinks in the shade and after having a couple our selves we gassed up and headed for the camping spot up in the hills above Denio. This turned out to be a bad move as the ride was at least twenty more miles and the area was occupied by a few hundred head of cattle. Many gates later we came to the clearing to set up the tents but it was completely covered in cow shit and flies.
After some discussion we reluctantly headed back down the hill to Denio and set up our tents on the lawn. Saturday night at Denio is an interesting eclectic mix of characters. Sort of like a bus station in a big city, but with booze. We enjoyed a great dinner there and met some people and listened to their stories, and told some of our own. I am not sure what time I went to sleep but the music went on for a long time after. The morning came soon enough and it was looking like it was time to pay for the late start on day one. We decided tho skip riding out to McDermit and slab it straight to Fields
which is about 25 miles north and pick up the trail there.
We gassed up in Fields and spent a few hours doing some filter cleaning and chain tightening and chatting with the cool little kid that pumps gas.
We headed north following the tracks, next stop Skirk Ranch.
Nice little hill climb up to the ranchers cabin
We hung out here and drank cool water from the artesian well, filled our water bags and hit the road.
A few random shots of the day. We had a herd of Antelope run across our path which was really cool and we got inspected by a couple of stallions scouting for their herd. The horses were one of the main things I wanted to see on this trip aside from some burros which we did not see. Next time.
We hit a few nice water crossings, one of which was right before Skirks, it looked about a foot or two deep and was about 100 feet long, two track with long grass between the tracks, I rode right into it thinking to myself that I should at least look at it first but I was tired and really hot.
The water was about front fender deep with a muddy bottom. I crossed with the back tire firing a roost about ten feet high going about 2 miles an hour, paddling with my feet. I was happy to get through tot he other side and by the time I got off my bike to get the camera out my brother was half way through, paddling away, quite a sight. Unfortunately no pics. I need a helmet cam, so many good shots get missed. Tony made it through and we laughed about it for a while and carried on.
More water crossings and then Skirks ranch.
and a swim in the reservoir which straightened us right out.
We ate a bit and rested for a while and headed for the waypoint that amrked the camp spot for the night.
This spot was not too bad but it was only about 5 pm and we decided to carry on for a while towards a hot springs waypoint. There was a water crossing coming up that we thought would be good to get out of the way tonight instead of in the morning.
If you look at the interactive map on dvwalkers post you will notice right after the day 5 camp there is a small river/wash that you need to cross. We rode along on a pretty well non existent path beside a fairly deep meandering creek hidden mostly by long water grass. I was riding in front trying to keep fairly parallel with the track on the gps and out of the hidden creek. I was doing a pretty good job too, until my front wheel dropped into a hole and I came to an abrupt stop. I put my right leg down into space, and I tumbled sideways off the bike flat on my back into two feet of cool clear water. My bike was on its side nearly upside down, as I struggled to my feet and grabbed my bars I could hear my brother laughing his ass off.
I am glad he didn't have a helmet cam, I think the swear words are still echoing off the canyon walls out there. Actually only one swear word repeated many times….
Once we got my bike on it's wheels we scouted around for a way around but we were pinched between a high rock outcropping on the left and the deep water to our right. We decided to go back to Skirks and camp for the night and figure out a work around. This turned out to be a great idea. We had a really good time camped out in front of the gate and lit a fire on the road and watched stars eating junk food and drinking rye and water.
Next morning I was awoken by a diesel truck motor. I looked out of my tent and saw a large horse trailer being unloaded by a crew of cowboys. I got up and threw on my gear and went to talk to the boss.
We chatted for about an hour, and I learned a bunch of cool stories about the Skirk Ranch and the other homesteads around the area. He also told me that he had not seen that much water in the desert at this time of year in thirty years. He was moving a herd from the range to another area.
I took a few shots while I waited for Tony to get his gear together.
Ruins of the first homestead at Skirks
We decided to head down to the highway and go get gas in Adel. We were getting low on fuel and figured we would double around to the Hart mountain hot springs from Adel and still not miss too much of the trail.
We got to Adel and stopped at the restaurant/bar for gas and lunch. We ended up hanging around for a couple of hours, chatting with the lady and taking a few shots.
Notice the Fox news fear hour on the TV. Every time I hear that shit my blood pressure goes up a notch. You can't get away from it.
The ride up to Hart Mountain went by fast enough and soon we were setting up our tents and looking to soak. It was early in the day so we had lots of time to do some maintenance, and mess around.
Tony had lost his runners a on the second day and had fashioned a new set of moccasins out of what he had available. He wore these throughout the trip. He also refined them each time we stopped to camp. By the time we finished the trip they actually looked pretty good. He kept them to wear around the house.
The pictures here on out get sparse as the riding was more or less gravel till we hit the Bend area.
From Hart Refuge we rode back into Plush for fuel and hit the Hogback road north, and the cut east on the track to Summer Lake hot springs.
We had a great time in the hotspring and chatting with the owner and had a great fire with our dinner. then we hit the sack.
Next morning after a quick dip, we hit the road once again. We had planned on camping at East Lake but when we got there it was still only about 2pm so we decided to high tail it and finish off the ride that day. The ride into the forest was fun once we hit the tighter forest tracks. For me that was the best part of the ride. We flew through the woods not stopping till we started to hit traffic. We grabbed a hotel and after diving into the pool to clean up we headed over the Wachs place to meet him and load up. Unfortunately he was away on a business trip, so we did not get to meet him at all even though our trucks were at his place for a week. Thanks again Dave.
I enjoyed the ride a great deal. We saw some great sights and went to places we would never normally have got to. The tracks were a great help and accurate, and I would recommend this ride for anyone of just about any experience level. Study the maps, watch your fuel and water and have fun.!!
redpillar, glad to hear you got out on the bike and enjoyed the tracks, sounds like you boys had a good adventure. You can not go wrong riding just about any of those roads/jeep tracks/cow trails in that area. Sorry about slacking on my RR, bla, bla, excuse, bla :tough....But you did a great job :clap
Too bad on the Lakeview to Ft Bidwell pipe line divert, the Fremont is a cool NF. When we arrived in Cedarville for gas, turns out burning man was just dumping out so the town was crawling with "burners", very intersting to say the least.
Here's some helmet cam I captured from our day 2 between Thompson Res and Cedarville CA which shows some of the Fremont NF. Sorry the vid is a bit long.
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our day 5 route between Willow Cr HS and camping spot near Shirk range
Going into Funnel Canyon
Regarding the second water crossing past shirk ranch (blue flag waypoint left route map above), you made a smart choice slabbing a workaround to hart mt HS given the wet conditions. That second water crossing would have been much deeper and longer than the first. Also the camping spot you guys passed on past the ranch, was a very nasty mice crap'ola filled old cabin. Only reason we camped there was for our safety, massive lighting storm, rain and darkness :eek1. Those roads can be a lot of fun when they get wet.
The payoff for a hard day of riding going back north towards bend are the are hotsprings at hart mt and summer lake
I got a good laugh out of the fox news comment. Yea I've also noticed that Fox entertainment (as you know it's not news) is typically showing on just about every TV in these small towns.
Sweet! It is good to see some of the same spots I visited on my recent trip. There is sure a lot to see down there!
Looks like you had a great ride. That's some of my favorite country. Thanks for posting.
Thanks for reading guys, my bro probably has some more pictures to add.
dvwalker, it looks as if you had some bad weather there. When we were talking to the owner of Summer Lake he told us that he gets somewhere around 700 people through his place on the weekend before the event. That must be a show!!
Hey RedP, nice report. Thanks for posting it up. Good times there. How is the race light working out? It looks mighty nice on the KLX. Still planning a T1 later this year?
Thanks for the report. I need to ride more of that part of the state. How did the KLX's work out for you?
Hmmm, lots of us seem to be finding Cedarville these days...must be a good spot.
Was Crazy Carl at the bar in Denio Junction? That guy cracks me up. :lol3
Hey Larryboy!! No There was a lady at the bar, and a bunch of cowboys half in the bag, and one young thing dressed in a saffire blue cocktail dress, cowboy boots and nothing much else!!
Cedar ville had a great coffee shop, with some good breakfast cooking.
That was an interesting evening.
Nice report. We don't have Grizzlies in Oregon... Fish and Game would be interested in your sighting if it truely was one!
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