Ah yes. That was indeed a good breakfast.
So the dirt part of the detour to rejoin the TAT basically took us from 202 South crossing over 140. Lousy photo of the map here, I'll try and replace it with a scan once I fix the scanner. Basically at the point where OR202 makes a sharp 90 degree turn from West to North, we turned South onto 6126D Funnel Canyon and followed that to a T junction where we headed West, then South West on 6176 before joining 140.
Not long after turning off from OR202 there are several dry lakes that were visible on the map above
Then the road starts climbing into the Basque Hills. The cabin Brian took pics of is in the distance here. It was a good climb to reach it. Really a fun morning riding, quite unexpected. I definitely would like to go back and explore this area more.
After the cabin the road basically crosses a large plateau as you approach Hwy 140 .... Fast riding. Here Brian is pulling in:
Soon after we reached Hwy 140 and headed West for a couple of miles before turning South and entering the Shelton National Wildlife Refuge:
We're back on the official TAT route at this point but the riding wasn't that exciting, just well graded gravel roads leading to Catnip Reservoir where Brian mentioned we stopped and I pushed
The riding and scenery improved as we descended towards Calcutta Lake and headed into the Antelope Refuge:
Cow Lake and Middle Lake:
Leaving the Refuge:
Antelope Refuge Sign:
South of Cow Lake, the TAT turns off the main 34 road and heads across the desert for about 12 miles before eventually rejoining Fort Bidwell Road.
I believe this is Wimer Place. Brian tested out the pump and it was working:
Track across the desert, the rear D606 is getting a bit worn by this point:
Heading due West, Fort Bidwell Road is in the distance:
Then the trail zigzags North then West a few times following a fence line:
before joining Fort Bidwell Road. They were doing some road construction on this road. No caution signs, no one way traffic and pilot cars, just totally torn up with diggers and graders heading directly at you. It reminded me of riding in Mexico. This picture is actually at the end just after Mosquito Lake before the road climbs and becomes Barrel Springs Road. The condition of the road was pretty decent by this point. I wish I'd stopped earlier and taken a picture of the section where they'd tilled the road so it was basically 6" of deep soft dirt with a domed center camber.
Brian is stopped somewhere ahead in the switchbacks taking the video. I do love my reaction when I pulled up
This is where they were quarrying for the road construction material:
Shortly after we're back to a well graded road for the last bit into Fort Bidwell:
Pretty area but the town had closed down years before:
$1.08 years before to be precise:
There were a couple of other mercantiles that looked as if they'd been closed for decades. The only place open was the USPS, Brian stopped and was able to fill up with water from their hose.
After this we headed North towards Lakeview. I don't have many pictures for some reason:
I should have taken more as the Dismal Swamp area is quite pretty. Got to see a genuine Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route sign where it ran along the same route as the TAT.
My airfilter was in need of cleaning at this point. The only place in Lakeview was KBE which sells ATVs. I called them and it didn't sound like they had anything I really wanted. Once we got into Lakeview we went to the Ace Hardware to see if they had anything as KBE had long since closed but the guy said the manager was still there so we drove over to KBE. All they had was a K&N cleaning[saline]/oiling kit for the cotton/wire-mesh filters. The guy swore the cleaner would remove Belray. I didn't see how that was possible but he guaranteed it, so I handed over the $15 and we left in search of a motel.
The first motel was full so we circled round and we ended up at the Executive Inn
. The Indian owner was selling the room "quality" hard telling us that they had just installed new furniture. When I checked out the room they'd managed to fit the worlds largest armour inside, truly comical as it took up about a fifth of the floor space. For some reason that I still don't understand, we took the room.
We hung up the laundry (Brian's picture) -- let me tell you, that didn't go down well, more in the next installment -- and I proceeded to try and clean my airfilter. Obviously the K&N saline didn't dent the Belray
so it was back to using gasoline (outside the room this time, I did wonder if the room at the Super8 in Moab still reeked of gas, I was half expecting to find a penalty charge on my VISA when I got home) but the oil half of the recharge kit seemed to work ok and would see me home.
Then it was another installment of our Mexican Cuisine grand tour of the West before we hit the sack. Plan for the following day was to ride the OBDR route 5 from Lakeview to Summer Lake, then take Route 2 West towards Chemult where we'd stop for the last night.