What do a couple of Seattle area adventure riders do while waiting for the last of the snow to melt off high
roads around the Cascades and Olympic Mountains in the middle of May? They head 335 miles down the
road to central Oregon natch.
My riding pal Brent and I have been reading the great ride reports by the Bend area gang and having ridden
through there a couple of years ago on the way down to ride the OBDR back north, it seemed like a great
idea last November while trying to keep afloat in one of the wettest months on record.
Our first thought was to ride some or all of the OBDR route 4 which starts at Sisters, Oregon and takes you
through the heart of the Ochoco Mtns before ending at Seneca. And while that is still on my list to ride,
to be honest, a lot of the OBDR routes are pretty tame; scenic, but not much of a challenge and I was
wanting to get a little more action for this trip.. and the Bend boys did NOT dissapoint.
So with a little pre-planning on the Northwet forum, we set up two rides. One on Friday which was a big
double loop around the town of Sisters, for about 135 miles total and then a ride Saturday that was a
similar big double loop centered around the town of Prineville for a total of over 200 miles.
Each ride was spectacular and while seperated by only a few miles, they were quite different in nature. The
contrast between the two routes was remarkable and while the riding and views were incredible, the
hospitality of the ride leaders and the other local talent is what capped them both as among the most
memorable adventure rides I've been on
Now, before I go on... my reports are usually resplendent with ample photos, but there was one
ehhemmm... mishap (which was dutifully documented and will surely make it's way to the thread) that
put my faithful Canon Powershot out of commission for the rest of the trip.. however, there was no
lack of digital imagery of the days events as I think just about everyone of the 13 riders had a camera..
and besides, I think it only fitting that they help document the rides as it was just as much their
adventure as it was ours.
ride took us from Dave's awesome ranch up a little known "secret" trail
that was a great way to warm up for the day. It was there that I provided a little bit of entertainment
for the spectators waiting on the 12ft high bank that was our egress route from the trail we were on
and was to be my first "Quixotic windmill" moment for the day.
From there, it just kept getting better and better with high desert landscape quickly turning to lush
pine forest, with miles and miles of off-pavement riding (the only pavement for the entire day was the
7 miles out to Dave's place and back from our hotel).. The ride included single track, double track, wide
open sections on forest roads.. a creek crossing, a stop at atop Three Creeks Butte that has a
fantastic vista of the prettiest mountains in the central Cascades and that was all BEFORE LUNCH!
After lunch at Sisters, the roads and scenery changed as we climbed to a high plateau and rode up to
the edge of the Deschutes River Canyon that rivals some of the best canyon landscapes anywhere. Riding
south back towards our starting point, Dave took us through more great two track and another, larger
creek crossing, and then through a couple of ORV areas that had us riding through deep walled canyons
on some great, fast single track that eventually became sandy whoops that tested our strength
so we truly had it all on this days ride.
So hopefully, in the next day or two, some fantastic photos will be tagged on to this report and I'm
here to tell you, as you'll soon discover what many of us in the Northwest already know, that Central
Oregon is an adventure riders paradise. (just don't tell anyone
Here's a map of day one to get the party started