ride would take us east of Bend with a staging area out in the middle of the desert (which is pretty much all there is east of Bend for quite some ways) Greg, our ride captain for the day figured it would be easier to start closer to Bend then our original staging area in Prineville and then we could get off the road right away rather then having to slab it another 20 miles to P'ville. This was a great idea; but the problem is, two guys from Renton sure don't know where the heck Four Corners is (it's about two miles south of Alfalfa, Oregon as we found out) and Greg's instructions about turning right at the first sage brush past the four way intersection wasn't much help
After the greetings, sniffing of tails and hand shaking, we lit em up and headed North towards P'ville. The first few miles was more of the sandy, whooped out single track (oh joy!) similar to the day before and my arm pump from the previous days ride through the white stuff was just beginning to wear off.. but it was the price of admission, so I gladly rode it without complaint. It soon smoothed out to nice fun, and fast two track, with one big ol hill along the way. Greg led us up to another great vantage point (sure are lots of buttes around this part of the country - and they make fabulous vistas of the surrounding landscape.) After coming back down, we rode 4x4 type trails.. with a another hill climb or two and finally hooked up to a bit of pavement down in to Prineville.
After a quickie gas stop, we headed out for a 45 mile loop up in to the Ochoco Mtns that was a mixture of smoothly paved twisties, some fast gravel and dirt roads up to the probably my favorite part of the two days ride (hard to pick, but this trail was special), the Green Mtn Trail. I'll let Brent and others fill in with some of the shots, but this was basically, a nice, fairly long (8 mile) smooth (i.e. no 4ft high root steps like we have up here) trail with plenty of bermed turns, a few tighter sections between the trees and just enough up and down elevation changes to keep it real interesting. The soil had enough moisture to keep it nice and chocolaty and low on the dust too.
After that gorgeous piece of dessert, we rode more gravel and dirt fire roads down through some beautiful pine forests interspersed with vibrant green mountain meadows on to a little side trip to a place called Stiens Pillar (again, watch for some of the coming photos) that was in a fantastic little valley that I plan to own some day.
We then hightailed it back to Prineville for more go juice, and then continuing south we ran right up to the edge of the Prineville Resivoir and followed some more awesome super twisty and freshly paved roads high on the banks above the man-made lake. This soon turned to hard pack dirt roads that rolled through the hills and canyons around the north side of the reservoir. Another blast through the desert again for miles and miles of two track fun through the aromatic sage filled landscape.. our destination was the town (if three buildings in a sea of sage be called a town?) where we had some gut busting lunches and had the usual discussion about past, present and future rides.
After leaving Brothers, it was a continuation of the same two track riding but soon we got in to the hills again and the views were fantastic. At several points while stopped, you could see the riders dust trails stretching miles ahead in to the distance. We soon came upon the last destination stop of the day. Another high butte that even had an observatory, but it was getting on in the day, and we had quite a few miles to go, so we all shook hands, lauded each others riding skills and promised to do this again the next time we decide to drive 300 miles to go on a day ride
- and rode dirt and gravel as far as we could towards town, then jumped on hwy 20 for the remainder of the ride back to our hotel.
220 miles said the trip computer, but the smiles, new friends and awesome sites were again, immeasurable.
A map of day two