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Old 12-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #77
dvwalker OP
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Orygun
Oddometer: 708
Day 9: Tuesday, Sept 18th 2012

Willow Creek OR to Summer Lake OR – 191 miles

Woke up before the sun broke the horizon this AM. Bolted out of my warm Big Agnes, grabbed my towel and headed over to the pool to listen to the morning. Tom was still in REM sleep. One the other campers dropped in for an early soak as well, we discussed each others journey that brought us to this current place. Very interesting and like minded fellow, forgot his name. He mentioned that the Whitehorse Ranch did a really nice job keeping the hot springs area maintained when they owned it, but after a land swap deal with the government, they no longer maintain the grounds. According to my fellow camper who's been visiting this area for over 20 years, it's starting to go down hill.

After a relaxing 2hr soak, we loaded up and headed for Fields before the other camps were moving about. Last time through Fields a couple years ago, one of the older daughters was running the store the morning we visited. Neat salt of earth lady, I was really impressed and hoping to see her again. She said motorcycle riders are a notch above hunters in her book, and a long shot over birders. Never forget that...

On this day the mother (Sandy?) was running the show. Another neat salt of earth lady, now I see where the daughter got her oats. Over coffee and the biggest pancake you can flip, got the inside scoop about how the oldest daughter is now hitched and moved away to a city in Cali. Sandy was running the show but had her youngest cute as a button daughter visiting to help out during the peak month. Noticed a for sale sign out front, and when asked Sandy said it was time . Very sad, really good people running this place, will keep our fingers crossed for the new owners.

After a nice visit, full tummies and saying goodbye, we headed for Domingo Pass.



view from top looking west, towards lone mountain



really fun 2 track after descending the pass



group of wild horses up on buckaroo pass





After a couple hours of riding, stopped for a quick break at the old shirk ranch. Condition was a lot worse from our last visit a couple years ago.





heading west towards Hart Mtn range



Pronghorns everywhere you look, the lake shore was lined with small herds







took a more northwestern 2 track towards crump lake. This was an unimproved road with lots of rocks. Definitely a handful, sweat was rolling down my back. This signage at the bottom indicated this is called the old "Military Wagon Road". Couldn't find much on Google. We were just hoping this would go thru to the lake...



the 2 track was really overgrown, not very much travel





Finally found our way to the Hart lake and to pavement and Plush




We rested a bit in the Plush store to get rehydrated. That wagon road was a bit of work, one of the tougher sections of the trip. Wish I had taken more pics...

Looking at the time, we decided to take a fast route to Paisley. Stopped for an excellent dinner at the diner, then headed for Summer Lake hot springs.



We rented this old airstream for the night, very comfortable..



After unpacking, we walked over to the pool with towel in hand for a long soak. Another excellent day on the bikes.

Next up day 10 - Crescent Lake and getting close to home 8(
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'12 KTM 350EXC, '09 Yamaha WR250R
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