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Old 08-08-2008, 07:15 AM   #61
Humunn
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NICE!!!
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:11 AM   #62
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Day Two: Homeward Bound

We're up at 5:00 and earlier, raring to go. We are pleasantly surprised that it is actually fairly wam out--maybe 55 degrees. We ease out of town to a little place called Lake City which has an old Shell station and an old Flour Mill. The GPS points us up toward the mountains.

The temperature droms fast and we take a couple of warming breaks. The tracks to Cedarville were mostly from older tracks obtained from other riders, this day will be tracks planned by Greg off of the GPS maps and Google earth.

The ride is good topping out at about 7,800 feet, then dropping down.







We are trying to find a trail that shows up on both of our GPS units, but it looks like it is eith not there any more or was a very old road that now has a stream cutting through it. Greg hikes to the other side and sees a road that has not been used for years. This is not passable.

We try to circumnavigate to get to the other side, which we do, riding in a perfect square. It is no mystery when we find the road which we originally were to come out on is marked "Dead End." We are not more than 100 yards east of the point on the other side of the stream where we could not pass.

The trail is picked up again and points us directly at a gate that says in no uncertain terms "NO TRESPASSING." It looks to be a great trail, but we have spent about an hour trying to route arouns this obstacle and are burning gas, go we ruefully decide to slab the 14 miles into Lakeview, OR for food and fuel, ending up at what looks to be a converted Denny's that is now called Jerry's (but is has always been Jerry's the menu says). Breakfast is good and we're really ready to go both body and bike fueled.

We head north for a couple of miles on the highway and turn off on some great gravel roads to the west, riding past the petroglyphs, eventually coming out on highway 31 at Valley Falls. A couple nore miles of pavement North and we turn off on THE OLD HOCHKISs ROAD.

Now, on the GPS this is a great big fat brown line. We are headed straight for the little tiny dashed line which we hope is a road along the West side shore of Lake Albert. You would think the big fat line would be the good road, and the small dashed line would be the crappy trail, but no.

This is literally THE OLD HOCHKISS ROAD--no exaggeration:



Sometimes it is easier to ride off the raod than on it. You should see the digs in my skidplate from all of these rocks.

We see the lake and Old Hochkiss becomes very sandy with some rocks when it drops over a small ridge down to the lake side.



This is one of those cases that you always see where comments state "The hill is steeper than it looks." It is farily steep, not impossible or anything, but if we have to come back up this thing, it is going to be a chore with it getting hot out, the soft sand, the 120 degree left hand turn with the rocks in the sand, not to mention our fairly used up tires.



So, I'm looking for a place that won't be too hard to put my gear, because I am going to take it off if we have to ride up the hill, but as soom as we reach the lake side, the dashed line is like a sandy super freeway!

We make our way through a closed gate, and head North. This is a great part of the ride covering many, many miles, riding very fast. I am not sure of the area but I think it is called Fandango Canyon.



We are headed to Christmas Valley, pick up the Fandango Road, ride past the place where I crashed a day earlier, ride over the ridge and hit Christmas Valley. Now, Christmas Valley is no place where I would want to live, but it sure feels like coming home. From here it's just another 100 miles of well known familiar trails.

Originally we decide to ride straight over to Fort Rock and China Hat Road cutting throught the Christmas Vallye agricultural land and "semi-secret" by pass, but Jim takes a turn toward Derrick Cave and we head that way. No trip through the area is complete without a blast down the 500/600 trail and 650 trail.

We do eventually pick up China Hat road, riding past other groups of ATVers and a gagle of guys on new Huskys. finally hitting Bend after 602 miles.



I was pretty tired, for about a day, but I am looking forward to the next big ride out into the desert and hopefully into Nevada. Maybe a three or four day ride of 1,000 miles or so?

Anyone game? Lets go!!
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AHRMA17L screwed with this post 08-08-2008 at 08:39 AM
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:32 AM   #63
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The Tire: Kenda Carlsbad K772F

As mentioned, I slipped a new Kenda Carlsbad tire on the front of the XR after hearing some good things about it from the Baja guys.

The tire almost new with about 30 miles on it at the beginning of the trip.



I mounted it in the "intermediate" direction and initially, the traction was phenominal. We were in some pretty rough and rocky terrain and it was tough on the tire. The knobs lost their edge pretty quickly and traction went out the door. Oddly, the center knobs look like they got feathered.

The tire after 600 miles:



I would like to say a couple of things though. I never got a flat, the carcass is stiff so it protects the rim pretty well, and the knobs did not chunk or break off. One other item is that I ran the Carlsbad "Sticky" compound tire in the hard direction on another bike about a year ago and it didn't wear in the same manner.

Now, I do not know if that is the direction the tire was run, or due to the rubber compound, but I wouldn't buy another standard compound Carlsbad and run it in the intermediate direction again for off road/dual sport use. I might try another and run it in the "hard" direction, but the tried and true Metzler Unicross tire I used to always run, which they just brought back, and Greg used on his DRZ still looked great!

I'll be buying the Unicross next time, although I would use the Menda Carlsbad for a track only bike--a place where the terrain is not so rocky and the tire would not accumulate as many miles.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:59 AM   #64
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Great narrative Jon! Ready for the next one myself and yes, radios next time. On Unicross: front held up very well, rear not so well. Lots of chunked and flapper knobs.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:32 AM   #65
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Yes, great wrap-up Jon! I'm ready for more, I can take a Fri and Mon off and make a 4 day trip like you suggest........Greg? I know you're already route planning!
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:36 PM   #66
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Jon,

It's amazing what 600 miles of rocks and sand will do to a tire. Your Carlsbad looks pretty tough now. One question on your bike: what is on your headlight? Looks like a cross or tape in a + pattern. Is that to protect the lenses from breakage?
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:25 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taco250
Jon,

It's amazing what 600 miles of rocks and sand will do to a tire. Your Carlsbad looks pretty tough now. One question on your bike: what is on your headlight? Looks like a cross or tape in a + pattern. Is that to protect the lenses from breakage?
Those are industrial strength velcro squares that attach a lexan headlight guard. I broke three of the glass headlights simply from rock roost (not crashing), and since I have installed the guard, no more cracked headlights.

It's funny, you are the third person to ask if it is a cross. The other two guys asked if I was religious man.
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"Look...My old man is a television repairman. He's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it." Jeff Spicoli, Fast Times.

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Old 08-13-2008, 10:20 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHRMA17L
Those are industrial strength velcro squares that attach a lexan headlight guard. I broke three of the glass headlights simply from rock roost (not crashing), and since I have installed the guard, no more cracked headlights.

It's funny, you are the third person to ask if it is a cross. The other two guys asked if I was religious man.
We're all worshipping something.

The cross I was thinking of was the type you see on ambulances or like the Red Cross. You did talk of a crash in the report and I remember you had a get-off last year over here when riding your DR350 sooo..... . Anyway, I've got a similar lense cover for my KLX. Brad21 gave the goodies to make it. It's really practical farkle to have.
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