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Old 08-30-2010, 08:47 AM   #106
LittleWan OP
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Day 6: 7/12/10 Christmas Valley, OR to Riley, OR (Chickahominy Campground) 83 miles


Whew. We were up ‘til 1:30am with Norm and Slime (“Route, damn you, ROUTE!”).
Part of the problem was just learning how to properly place the “vias,” so that Norm will follow dirt roads and trails, instead of being "helpful" and routing us onto highways and pavement.

We also had to learn how to force Norm to route in areas where Delorme said there were no roads at all.
Y'know, since that always works out so well for us...


Again, as I mentioned in the comments (previous page), most of our big issues from yesterday
(lost routes, having to follow tracks where the left turns showed as right turns and vice versa, Norm automatically re-routing us onto the pavement)
had to do with not knowing Norm very well and being unfamiliar with Delorme in general.

Now, what we were discovering was that our copy of Topo 9 (the newest, just-released-and-poorly-tested version of the Delorme mapping software) was no longer functioning properly.
It pretty much died that night in Xmas Valley, having lasted all of 1 week.

We didn't have a backup disk - we were trying to travel light, remember?


The tech support for Delorme and Topo 9 sucks ass. I had to actually register with Delorme and sign in with a screen name in order to view the forum for Topo 9.
I guess they were trying to hide (at least from the casual browser) the number of issues and problems that Topo 9 users were experiencing.






We still had Topo 8 in the computer (from a 1 week trial period with a Delorme PN-40), and it seemed to work okay.
It was useless to us now, but it worked.

Norm, being the newest Delorme GPS, only could understand Topo 9 (the newest mapping software).
Unfortunately, now something had happened to Topo 9 and the program could no longer create a route.
We were super screwed.

After hours of frustration last night and very little sleep, this morning (monday 7/12),
Matt had the idea to try Topo 8 to make a route, and then use Topo 9 to load the route into Norm.
That seemed to do the trick - he would create his routes in Topo 8, then save them.
Open Topo 9, re-open the routes in that, and then load them into Norm.
Thank goodness, he didn’t delete Topo 8 when we loaded Topo 9.

It was tedious and backwards, but it worked.

So, having spent another 3 hours on the Norm/Slime rollercoaster this morning, we were finally ready to get on the road.
It was almost checkout time, anyway. Whew.
Good thing we didn’t have far to go. Riley, OR was only about 80 miles away.

We had a brief lunch at the Food Barn, and then got on the road around noon.
I wasn’t anxious to start today’s riding - I knew we had a bunch of sand coming up and I was a little nervous.





It didn’t help that we started off the day with some road construction. The flagger told us that they had just dumped a huge load of “base rock” on the road and it was “pretty thick.”
Also, watch out for the trucks that were dumping the gravel, because they were going to be coming back to pick up their next load.

Hmmm. What’s base rock? All I could think of was this song (you only have to listen to the first 10 seconds to hear what I mean)
Oh, goody - base rock is large gravel chunks. Nice and sharp. In deep, loose piles.

Make base rock your favorite! I took this photo before we got to the deep stuff...




The base rock was super thick at the beginning of the road, and then we got to the deep, loose dirt that didn’t have any gravel yet.
They had just gone though with the water truck and the water guy did an extra good job of soaking the ground. Thanks, water guy!
There was lots of fresh, slippery mud and giant puddles.

As an extra bonus, the empty gravel trucks were blowing past us from the opposite direction.
At one point we were slipping and sliding around in the mud, with huge equipment everywhere, when a couple of steamrollers came barreling at us.
Matt just started laughing, it was so shitty - could it get any worse?

I really wanted a photo of the steamrollers, but it was just too slippery to reach for the camera. I needed to just stay loose.
and sit quietly.

Then we got to the sand. I was able to get a quick shot of this mini sandstorm




Here’s a better shot of the sandy road




The wind whipped up some huge dustclouds and at one point we were in total whiteout conditions.
Glad we didn’t run into any gravel trucks or steamrollers then!

I had been completely freaked out about today’s sand section, but after the scary base rock/mud/sandstorm just getting to the start of the trail...the trail itself was really fun.
The sand looked deep and scary, but was surprisingly ridable.
Lots of twists and turns and little whoops.


I really wanted to take pics, but Matt was going too fast for that.
The overloaded schoolbus (almost 1100 lbs including us, camping gear, and water) really needs to keep up speed in the sand.
It’s not a good time to be waving the camera around.
You guys know that, right? Go fast in the sand, even though it’s scarier than shit.


I was sad when it was over.





Back to regular old sage brush




Gah. Double track. Kinda rocky like yesterday...




But with a smack of sand.
Actually, I got to really enjoy the sandy parts - they were so smooth and comfortable after rattling around on the stupid rocks.



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Old 08-30-2010, 09:02 AM   #107
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That's why I took two gps' last year, good thing I did too because the Zumo went blank leaving the house.


If it wasn't for that darn Norm, you could have ridden thru the dunes and gone around the road work.


BigWan on Romper Room..that would have been something to see.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:35 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redog1
MAKE ROMPER ROOM YOUR FAVORITE!!!
Hee. That went over like a lead ballon

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
That's why I took two gps' last year, good thing I did too because the Zumo went blank leaving the house.
Oh, I thought you brought that extra one as a sacrifice to Thor
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:57 AM   #109
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Day 6 continued...


I asked matt to stop here so I could take a pic. We decided it was as good as any place to stop for a pee and some water. There wasn’t a soul around.










Here and there we got some better sections of 2 track (fewer rocks) and matt made pretty good time.




Other times - “Make slow-ass rocky shit your favorite!”




After a while, all the road photos look the same. Sage brush, 2 track, rocks...
Here’s a shot of Matt. Happily waiting while I open a gate...





Whew. This is just like being in Nevada, on the TAT...










At one point (maybe here?) Matt said, “Oh my god, this is where I was lost...”
In 2008, he had spent hours and hours going through the same gates over and over.

He was hurt (could barely move his right arm), exhausted and completely lost (using just the OBCDR map booklets). Good times.




Maybe it was here?:




Wow, why in the world would you want to come back and do this AGAIN?
(Hi, larryboy )
Oh, yeah. It’s the Summer of Stupid.


So, even though Norm had been messing up yesterday, for today’s riding, things were working well.
And, compared to Matt’s 2008 experience with the maps, using the GPS was way, way better.



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Old 08-30-2010, 10:05 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan

Wow, why in the world would you want to come back and do this AGAIN?
(Hi, larryboy )
Oh, yeah. It’s the Summer of Stupid.


, me too..same place, big rain storm, mud, lost trail..ended up going overland thru the sagebrush for a couple of miles. I found it easier to navigate the last time heading north for some reason.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:23 AM   #111
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So is your username Garmin
Thanks for today's most interesting update.
Like Larry said carry 2 gps (and Map)
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:11 AM   #112
LittleWan OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob
So is your username Garmin
Okay, people - just to be clear:



and




I just haven't gotten to the part of the story where we are one with Norm.

By the end of the trip, Matt could re-route any time, any place. Totally winging it, on the fly. He would re-route while we were blasting down the road, in the dirt, without slowing down.

Norman the Delorman, rules!

It just takes some time to get to know him


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Old 08-30-2010, 11:24 AM   #113
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Day 6 continued...


Matt, chillaxin’ while I open the gate...
He reminds me of RoboCop in this photo.



This was a nice gate.



More double track.




and gates.




Snack break.





I get so focused on the road, sometimes I forget to take pics of the scenery.



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Old 08-30-2010, 11:35 AM   #114
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:30 PM   #115
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Can't wait to hear more about Norm..

I'm a little frustrated with my Garmin also, probably user error, but frustrated none-the-less. we'll see after the TAT trip next month.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:04 PM   #116
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Littlewan, you are kidding us, right??



LIttlewan , you are tell us this relaxed, smiling, carefree,happy young man is the one and same that has been 'running you over snowdrifts/rocks, ranting at 'NORMAN" , making fast tracks and with a "take no survivors" type attitude???

This RR keep a smile on my face, and as I have said in your earlier RR, I wished , when I was still coaching FB , I had 33 just like Matt
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:34 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale B.T.
LIttlewan , you are tell us this relaxed, smiling, carefree,happy young man is the one and same that has been 'running you over snowdrifts/rocks, ranting at 'NORMAN" , making fast tracks and with a "take no survivors" type attitude???

This RR keep a smile on my face, and as I have said in your earlier RR, I wished , when I was still coaching FB , I had 33 just like Matt

You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar and clearly a man of impeccable taste.
I would ride with you anywhere, at anytime.
Matt
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:48 PM   #118
LittleWan OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale B.T.

LIttlewan , you are tell us this relaxed, smiling, carefree,happy young man is the one and same that has been 'running you over snowdrifts/rocks, ranting at 'NORMAN" , making fast tracks and with a "take no survivors" type attitude???
Hi Gale!
In a word, "YES!"


<----- Matt



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Old 08-30-2010, 02:24 PM   #119
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:55 PM   #120
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Day 6 continued...


So, we were going to meet with Gravitycheck (Trayce) today. He was going to have a long day, riding up from the bay area.
There isn’t much in this part of Oregon, so finding an easy place to meet was going to be tough.
Trayce wanted to meet in Riley, but Matt didn’t want to “sit in a gas station all day.”

Instead, he looked on google earth and found what seemed to be a campground.
We arranged to meet Trayce there, at a place none of us has ever been to, in the middle of nowhere. Hope he makes it!




We got to the campground, Chickahominy, and it was hot, windy and bleak.
There were a couple of sites with a few metal slats (for wind/sun protection)
but they didn’t offer much of either and the ground was hard pokey gravel. Not very inviting.
The other sites looked better, but we didn't feel like roasting all afternoon in the direct sun.





Matt really wanted to jump in to the reservoir - “do you see any ‘no swimming’ signs?”
What? Ewww.The water looked so nasty, I’m sure they didn’t think they needed signs.


We decided to roll on over to Riley instead. There’s not much to it. Just a gas station/archery shop and a post office across the street.
I thought I took a photo of the outside, but I guess I didn’t.

It was getting pretty warm by the time matt finished getting gas.
A couple of pirates were eating ice cream bars out front. Hmm... that looks good.

They had some tables and chairs inside and the air conditioning was cranked up.
Next thing you know...




We were camped out there for the next 3+ hours, pretty much “sitting at a gas station all day.”


Matt was stoked about the outlet (for charging the helmets and computer) and the ice cream.
I had a blue otter pop, but I was still bored out of my skull.


I decided to do a little reading. No, not this...




Instead, I read a bunch of Bow Hunting/Archery magazines that were sitting on the table and learned more than I ever wanted to know about scent blocking clothing (might be good on a bike trip, actually ) and camo.


When I saw this stuff, I thought it was camo toilet paper (!), but it’s just camo tape. Oh. Not as interesting.





We had a nice view of the snacks




Had lunch




Just when the gas station people were getting sick of us (they were very nice and, we did spend some money there - gas, lunch, snacks, more snacks, and water), we headed back to the campground.


LittleWan screwed with this post 08-30-2010 at 05:02 PM
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