ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Day Trippin'
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #16
ORexpat OP
Oregon Expatriate
 
ORexpat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: West of Seattle . . .
Oddometer: 2,698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick650 View Post
Great write-up and a lot of your pictures are incredibie. I always look forward to anything you post Dan. If retirement gets boring you would make a great motorcycle touring editor.
Ha! Thanks, but I could only wish . . . . .
__________________
Old . . . and . . . Slow

ORexpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2013, 10:22 PM   #17
ORexpat OP
Oregon Expatriate
 
ORexpat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: West of Seattle . . .
Oddometer: 2,698
Saturday.

There are huge areas in Oregon that I’d not seen, apparently choosing to mis-spend my youth figuring out how to get away from the small town where I’d grown up. Today was to get me to more of those places.

Dawn was cold and frosty. Not hard frozen, but frost on some of the grass near my tent.







Juniper berries



RockyRoad and I pored over a map, plotting courses and waypoints like Ancient Mariners embarking on voyages to the unknown . . .


Or maybe we just said “Heck I’ve never been to Christmas Valley, let’s ride south . . . “ So that’s what we did. RockyRoad, Easy-Z, S1Marks, and MortimerSickle. Although after the ride down Oregon 27 over miles of gravel, I think S1Marks should change his name to "90ongravel" or something like that . . . .





Out of the trees, into the desert, then back into the trees, and back into the desert . . . this part of central Oregon is absolutely amazing. We turned west on US 20 for a few minutes (and I could catch my breath from trying to keep up with another group of amazing riders. I was later to find out just how good they are).

I hadn’t been able to see the Cascades when I rode to the Crooked River on Thursday, and yesterday we were heading east, away from them and into the Ochoco’s. Cresting a slight rise, there they were in the distance, glorious in their spring snowcaps. From left to right, Mt. Bachelor or ski area fame, Broken Top and the South Sister which SweetBird climbed in her youth, and the Middle and North Sisters, which I’d climbed a couple of centuries ago . . . or so it seems.




A left turn on Moffet Road soon put us on volcanic cinders used for the roadbed. Dark red, the gravel was deep and loose, prompting S1 to keep his speed down to mere double digits—and also a suggestion to air down a tad.








Usually the transition from forest to desert is gradual; Ponderosa pine to jack pine to Juniper to sagebrush. On China Hat Road the transition was like a baseball bat—forest, forest, forest, and WHAM, desert!


Cabin Lake campground at the edge of the forest. (A portion of that mis-spent youth of mine was spent putting myself through college as a logger, mostly east of the Cascades. One of the secrets I learned about Ponderosa is that, if you get very close to the dark fissures in the bark and take a big sniff you’ll be overwhelmed by a pure vanilla odor—as if you’d opened a big bottle of vanilla extract right there on the spot. Another glorious scent of the forests of eastern Oregon).





Immediately after leaving the Cabins we break out into the desert and see Fort Rock in the distance.



Easy-Z stopped for his photo . . .




Fort Rock was our first real stop. I’d camped here in the 70’s when it was un-posted private land. The State now owns it and no camping’s allowed. If it was I’m sure the area would be trashed and that would be a shame.













The Rock itself is volcanic. Apparently, millions of years ago shortly before I was born, hot magma swelled up from the earth’s core, hit ground water, and started to cool even as it oozed out. It built a large cone which was later eroded by an ancient lake right about where our bikes are. Indians lived here for thousands of years and their artifacts, sandals and such preserved by the dry desert air, are still being found.

Settlers and ranchers apparently like it too—well enough to have established a graveyard here in the shadow of the rock. It’s still actively used, but many of the markers harken back to pioneer times.

















Some of the newer markers spoke sadly of family tragedies; at least we can imagine so. Note the motorcycle and trophy, and the dates of death . . .



Others show both humor and faith. I suspect that ol’ Leonard was a real hoot in his time.





Lunch was at the Fort Rock Restaurant and Pub. (Anyone wanna buy a restaraunt)? Since there were five of us and the restaurant portion had only booths, we asked to sit in the bar . . . a fitting place I’m sure. Mortimer, Easy, Rocky, and S1, left to right.



















We decided to ride to Table Rock. (I think it was a secret plot to expose my motorcycle ineptitude, or something like that . . . ).




So up we go. I had the best (only) map, so I was leading through a nice desert two-track . . . then it got steep . . . then steeper . . . then the switchbacks began . . . everyone stopped to evaluate the next portion . . . and I chickened out. The idea of dropping a 600 pound motorcycle over the side here just wasn’t appealing. The other four, brave and skillful studs that they are, went on and made it. I turned around at a flatter place in the narrow road. Carefully, but without much problem.


The road they did . . .








Some views before I descended.







I wound my way back down one switchback and stopped at a parking area at the first switchback. Beautiful views to the southeast.







Looking back up the road.



Here comes the crew!













Back at the county highway, on flat ground.



Fuel in Christmas Valley, then north on a fast gravel road to see Crack in the Ground. Literally!




















Shadows were lengthening, evening was close, so we essentially hauled ass back north along China Hat Road to Highway 20 then north again to camp. Well, “90ongarvel” and some of the others hauled ass; I went pretty fast and spend a lot of time getting more comfortable at a good rate of speed—but still got to camp several minutes behind the gang.

Great day, absolutely lovely country, and the weather couldn’t have been better. And best of all, my fellow riders didn’t even get mad at me for going slow . . . Yea!

End of Saturday; tomorrow’s Easter Sunday.
__________________
Old . . . and . . . Slow

ORexpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 04:25 AM   #18
XC Rider
Motorcycle Vagabond
 
XC Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Out in the country
Oddometer: 2,851
Thanks for sharing Dan; always love your ride reports & photos.

Will there be more!?
__________________
XC Rider
"Motorcycles have put me in touch with wonderful people. As a result of that, I have an elevated idea about how good everybody in the world is." - Ted Simon
My Ride Reports.
SpotWalla: WHERE IS XC RIDER!?
XC Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 05:11 AM   #19
manfromthestix
Lost in Space
 
manfromthestix's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Lexington, Virginia
Oddometer: 2,148
Nice report! I grew up and learned to ride in New Mexico and just love the desert. I need to get back there and revisit some of my old haunts... I have been close a few times but was kind of afraid what I might find so I didn't make the effort to go look up the old homestead. I lived in Wyoming for decades and toured the West extensively, including the Seattle - Portland area, and loved checking out all the geological features that govern the climate and ecosystem. I rode through Hood, OR one afternoon at 96 degrees and by the time I reached the Coast a couple hours later it was 50 and foggy, with me freezing my ass off. I've been to places on the Big Island of Hawaii where the climate on one side of town was a verdant rain forest and literally only a few blocks away it was a total desert. I drove back and forth marvelling at it enough times that it finally pissed my wife off. I love that stuff!

That's pretty good, The Crack In The Ground! I'm a geologist so I enjoy visiting rocks. I'll bet you guys cracked a few jokes while you were there, eh? So, was it all it was cracked up to be? You were smart to ride slowly, got to be careful riding in terrain like that or you'll fall and crack your head. The names of some of these things just cracks me up. I love the crackle of a roaring campfire after a long day of riding. That was a crackerjack of a report, brought back some good memories! Maybe I'll take a crack at another trip out that way soon, but it's a long haul from Virginia. Well, I'm supposed to be at work so I'd better get cracking!

OK, enough, sorry. No, I'm not a crack addict, just too much caffeine I think.

Doug
__________________
"If it doesn't blow smoke and make noise, it isn't a sport!" - radio ad for shop in Bozeman, MT
manfromthestix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 08:11 AM   #20
MortimerSickle
Semi-Adventurer
 
MortimerSickle's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Rainville, Orygun, where moss is a road hazard.
Oddometer: 11,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORexpat View Post
...
The other four ..., went on and made it. I turned around at a flatter place in the narrow road. Carefully, but without much problem.
...
We were just afraid to turn around where you did.
__________________


I miss round headlights.

"When I was a young man, I liked to race my horse...." -
G.H.W.S. 1878-1962
MortimerSickle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 11:13 AM   #21
LittlePosum
Scrappy Marsupial
 
LittlePosum's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Bend, Central Oregon
Oddometer: 306
There lots of desert ground to cover out here in Oregon. Great home coming ride report, welcome back! Perfect riding weather too. I love this place.
__________________
Dizzer 433
Lexi 220R
LittlePosum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 11:41 AM   #22
ORexpat OP
Oregon Expatriate
 
ORexpat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: West of Seattle . . .
Oddometer: 2,698
Quote:
Originally Posted by XC Rider View Post
Thanks for sharing Dan; always love your ride reports & photos.

Will there be more!?
Thanks, Denis. You don't do so badly yourself!! You and any of your bikes--the KLR, the KTM, and any 250 Yamaha you pick up would love this country. And there's lots of Harley guys too!

I've still got to write up Sunday's return trip. The weather was fantastic--got to see all the Cascades--The Sisters again, Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Jefferson, Hood, St. Helens, and Adams. Rainier also close to home, but didn't take pictures in freeway traffic!

Also have some more trips planned, including a Beemer rally in my home town in June. And one in the Sawtooths where I used to work for Outward Bound, back in the day.
__________________
Old . . . and . . . Slow

ORexpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 11:47 AM   #23
ORexpat OP
Oregon Expatriate
 
ORexpat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: West of Seattle . . .
Oddometer: 2,698
Quote:
Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post
Nice report! I grew up and learned to ride in New Mexico and just love the desert. I need to get back there and revisit some of my old haunts... I have been close a few times but was kind of afraid what I might find so I didn't make the effort to go look up the old homestead. I lived in Wyoming for decades and toured the West extensively, including the Seattle - Portland area, and loved checking out all the geological features that govern the climate and ecosystem. I rode through Hood, OR one afternoon at 96 degrees and by the time I reached the Coast a couple hours later it was 50 and foggy, with me freezing my ass off. I've been to places on the Big Island of Hawaii where the climate on one side of town was a verdant rain forest and literally only a few blocks away it was a total desert. I drove back and forth marvelling at it enough times that it finally pissed my wife off. I love that stuff!

That's pretty good, The Crack In The Ground! I'm a geologist so I enjoy visiting rocks. I'll bet you guys cracked a few jokes while you were there, eh? So, was it all it was cracked up to be? You were smart to ride slowly, got to be careful riding in terrain like that or you'll fall and crack your head. The names of some of these things just cracks me up. I love the crackle of a roaring campfire after a long day of riding. That was a crackerjack of a report, brought back some good memories! Maybe I'll take a crack at another trip out that way soon, but it's a long haul from Virginia. Well, I'm supposed to be at work so I'd better get cracking!

OK, enough, sorry. No, I'm not a crack addict, just too much caffeine I think.

Doug

Thanks for the compliments, Doug. I grew up in a small town not far from Prineville and the Oregon desert was never far away. I never realized how amazing some arid places can be until I moved away. Not sure I'd like to live near Fort Rock or in Christmas Valley, but I love to visit and camp in those wide open spaces. There's something really special about deserts; Edward Abbey captured it well in Desert Solitaire.

Yeah, Crack in the Ground is a funny name, especially with modern connotations . . . or a good dirty mind! But it's sure an apt description!
__________________
Old . . . and . . . Slow

ORexpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 11:48 AM   #24
ORexpat OP
Oregon Expatriate
 
ORexpat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: West of Seattle . . .
Oddometer: 2,698
Quote:
Originally Posted by MortimerSickle View Post
We were just afraid to turn around where you did.
You guys afraid? Ha!

But I sure was impressed by your riding. I'll hopefully get better at some of the jeep trails, but what I really want to improve is fast gravel riding . . . y'all were haulin' ass!
__________________
Old . . . and . . . Slow


ORexpat screwed with this post 04-04-2013 at 12:56 PM
ORexpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 11:51 AM   #25
ORexpat OP
Oregon Expatriate
 
ORexpat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: West of Seattle . . .
Oddometer: 2,698
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePosum View Post
There lots of desert ground to cover out here in Oregon. Great home coming ride report, welcome back! Perfect riding weather too. I love this place.
Me too. All this in your backyard . . . although eastern Oregon knows how to do winter sometimes . . . Anyone who doesn't know the term "gumbo" just needs to ride in the desert after a rain or a snow melt . . . .

I'll get back there . . . RockyRoad's been talking about southeastern Oregon . . . .
__________________
Old . . . and . . . Slow

ORexpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 12:33 PM   #26
MortimerSickle
Semi-Adventurer
 
MortimerSickle's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Rainville, Orygun, where moss is a road hazard.
Oddometer: 11,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORexpat View Post
...but what really want to improve is fast gravel riding . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORexpat View Post
. . . RockyRoad's been talking about southeastern Oregon . . . .
That's a good place to practice.


Whitehorse Ranch Road, out of Fields, OR.
__________________


I miss round headlights.

"When I was a young man, I liked to race my horse...." -
G.H.W.S. 1878-1962
MortimerSickle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #27
Mr Dual Sport
Roamer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Bend, Oregon
Oddometer: 1,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by MortimerSickle View Post
That's a good place to practice.


Whitehorse Ranch Road, out of Fields, OR.
There's some REALLY fast riding out that way!
__________________
You're never lost till you run out of gas....
Mr Dual Sport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 09:47 AM   #28
ORexpat OP
Oregon Expatriate
 
ORexpat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: West of Seattle . . .
Oddometer: 2,698
Sunday morning. Easter.

The night wasn’t as cold as Friday, no frost. Wake up, off to the head (old guy habit, sorry . . . ).

Another stunning sunny day, not a cloud in the sky above the canyon. Perfect Easter morning. I could have been in church, maybe I should have been there. But I was camped by the Crooked River and glad of it. As fine a place to spend an Easter dawn as I’ve ever seen.

Highlighting the hills to the north; you can see Oregon 27 just above the far treeline.




A different way to look at it. I need to explore black and white photography more. That's what I was into in college; why not go back to that, too?





Dawn touching the hills to the south.





Sun creeping down the rock wall opposite camp.




And the rising sun reaches the camp. Easter sunrise on the Crooked River. Halleluiah!



A lazy breakfast around the campfire gave a last chance to catch a whiff of juniper smoke before leaving for home.









Perhaps back to sleep?










Packing, I didn’t realize I’d shared my tent space; off to the sage with you, my out-of -focus friend!




After more ethanol-free gas in Prineville, I rode back north on US 97 and 197. No rain today, the mountains were out in all their splendor.


Jefferson. I hope at least, I climbed it several times back in the dark ages of my college youth.




I couldn’t resist taking multiple shots with the LCC as I rode. Heading towards Madras.




Mt Hood




Mt St Helens is the stubby snow covered peak in the center that looks like it’s lost it’s top—because it has; the shoulder of Mt Adams is at the right edge. I’m not very good at 60 mph photography . . . .




Both SweetBird and I climbed St Helens years before it erupted. We were stationed at Whidbey Island when the erution happened. I was on an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean when I heard about it. SweetBird on the other hand actually heard it. Even closer to home, she knew a photographer in college who was on the mountain when it blew; he died.


When I came back from cruise I drove to see my Mom in eastern Oregon and stopped near Yakima to collect some volcanic ash from the side of the road. I still have it; gray ash in a small jar on a bookshelf in remembrance of the people and the mountain.


Instead of riding west on I-84 this time, I crossed the Columbia at The Dalles and turned left on Washington 14 which travels the north bank. Another road I’d never been on; two lane, small towns, incredible scenery.





Mt Hood again, from the northeast.









A rest stop along Washington 14 provided a chance to use the better camera. This sign talks a bit about the complicated geology that underlies the Gorge, central, and eastern Oregon and Washington.





Looking back east up the Columbia.





Looking west. There were many riders out for a day ride on this warm afternoon. She was on an F800ST, her boyfriend was on a Blackbird. We had a nice conversation. He'd owned mostly BMW's; his family was of German heritage and he talked about how he'd "broken the mold" by buying a Honda CBR1100XX.





And then . . . then, I just rode home. No more photos. Tired. Up I-5, over Tacoma Narrows bridge on 16, then 3 to Casa del Expat.

About 1300 miles for the trip; 400 each way to camp and about 250 each day of riding in eastern Oregon. Wonderful weather, some fast and some challenging riding. Met some good people,


It was a fine way to begin my re-acquaintance with home . . . . There will be more ride, more places that touch the past.
__________________
Old . . . and . . . Slow

ORexpat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 10:39 AM   #29
ONandOFF
-ROAD-
 
ONandOFF's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley riding wonderland
Oddometer: 5,326
Awesome, Dan!

Thanks for sharing a slice of your beautiful space out there.
__________________
Let's ride!!! - No offense, but there've been a lot of people over time who were just as sure, yet got it wrong. - Una necedad, aunque la repitan millones de bocas, no deja de ser una necedad. - "you know that I could have me a million more friends and all I'd have to lose is my point of view" (Prine)
ONandOFF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 11:43 AM   #30
DCrider
Live from THE Hill
 
DCrider's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Oddometer: 4,009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORexpat View Post

so Wayne know you stole Cato?

Looks like a great trip D, don't know if any of that group is part of the Portland ADV crew, I met up with them for happy hour 2 yrs ago while there on business and top notch folks (like all us here ), and where I first met the infamous Radioman.
__________________
ADV'ing from America's fine Crapital...
DCrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014