It's amazing how a good nights sleep, clean clothes and a shower can change a persons perspective. We took stock of our situation. Jonathan and I were not up to technical riding and we had 3 more days to enjoy some beautiful Oregon scenery. The weather was perfect!
With several old friends stopping by to say hello, I was late getting packed and out the gate. We ran the the truck stop for fuel and donuts.
Decided we would slab it to Farewell Bend and the ride along Brownlee Res. This is the start of the Hells Canyon area. Lots of graded gravel with the occasional hairpin outside turns to keep your attention.
Eventually, the road heads over the hill to Richland and back to slab.
From Richland we slab it to Halfway for another hamburger and fries. The special included a trip to the salad bar – nice. Fuel and down to Oxbow reservoir. Nice narrow gravel road along the reservoir to the start of Hess Rd. What an awesome road. Steep, tight switchbacks on dirt out of the canyon. Kleinschmidt grade is across the river in Idaho. I believe Hess is a little less traveled.
I tried to get a pic of my GPS showing all the turns and switchbacks.
Once at the top we ran into our first hunters. They would now become a very common sight for the remainder of the trip.
Short slab to Hells Canyon Overlook:
Cool views of Seven Devils Mountains in the distance:
Unusual storms had washed out the paved road. We really didn't want those anyway. So we turned and began to head west. As we rode along I was thinking how we had made the turn and now were officially heading home.
Typical FS roads, some good some, not so good. Because of the storms there were crews putting down some really sharp rocky road mix. We just kept moving along quickly. Passed many different hunting camps and quad riders. I think it was the start of Bow hunting season as everyone seemed to be in camo.
Came around a very potholed corner and slowly moving down the road was a red Nissan Sentra loaded to the gills with guys and gear. They had so much gear that it wouldn't all fit inside so they loaded to trunk and tied everything to the whale tail. So funny. Wished I had stopped and taken a picture.
It was getting really cold at the higher elevations. Our loop took us back to Halfway then we headed northwest looking for a place to camp, preferably at a lower elevation, as the sun slowly was going down. Finally came to Eagle Creek and found a great campsite for the night.
I was tired and sore, trying to turn around I hit a rock, the bars jammed my shoulder and the pain shot up through my body and I just couldn't hold it up anymore. Thanks Mark for helping me get it back on it's feet.
It was our only campfire of the trip. Sat around for quite awhile just enjoying the caveman TV and conversation.
Stats for the day:
Checkout the pull from 1750feet at the Snake River up to the top of Hell's canyon in just a short distance. Starts at about mile 115. Wow!