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Old 07-05-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
XPLORZ OP
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4th-O-July weekend ride: SE Oregon

SE Oregon Ride Report:

Planned a short little ride over a four day weekend over the Fourth of July. Main itinerary was Succor Creek Canyon, Leslie Gulch, Alvord Desert and the Steens Mountains.


Day 1:



Wife and I left the Vancouver Washington area Friday AM, heading up Hwy 14. Snapped a few photos at a rest area while recycling our morning coffee.







We crossed the mighty Columbia at Biggs and slabbed a short distance to Hwy 74. We rode it to Heppner where we picked up Willow Creek Road/Western Route which brought us into Ukiah where we had lunch. Then it was south on 395 to County Road 20 to Hwy 26. Stopped for gas in Unity at the only store.



Originally I had planned on camping at Lake Owyhee State Park but figured we probably wouldn't be able to get a spot on the Fourth of July weekend, so we slogged on in to Caldwell, ID and got a room at a La Quinta Inn.

Day 2:



After some boring straight roads Saturday morning, we hit the start of Succor Creek Rd. Yeah!! No more pavement!!



It starts out through farm land and gradually changes.













Until you reach the canyon.



Stopped at Succor Creek Campground for more coffee recycling.





Gradually changing back to farm land









Then on to Leslie Gulch Road





To the start of Leslie Gulch.



























Finally dead-ending at a boat ramp at Lake Owyhee.





Returning back through Leslie Gulch:







Back to Succor Creek Road which we then followed to Hwy 95 into Jordan Valley for lunch.



We continued on Hwy 95 west to Rome where we got fuel at an OLD pump.



Then another gravel loop to Kiger Road to see the Pillars of Rome.









Back on to Hwy 95 to Hwy 78 heading towards Burns. Long lonely highways....



But my wife still bringing up the rear.



Then we "T" off on Fields-Denio Road along the bottom of the Steens Mountains at the edge of the Alvord Desert. More gravel!



The Steens



The Alvord Desert.



Yup, completely under water from snowmelt from the Steens. We had hope to take a blast up the playa, but no luck there,



The infamous Alvord Hot Springs.





It was 98 degrees out so we passed on sitting in even hotter water, but did see the writing on the wall....



Nice patch job on the plumbing full of bullet holes.



Bikes a waitin.



Alvord Lake. At least its supposed to be a lake. LOL!



Fields Station. Only services in many miles.



We got a room at Fields Station too so we could enjoy a shower after the long, hot, dusty gravel roads. Sunrise over the Alvord Desert Sunday morning.





Lots of dualsporters wandering in in the morning waiting for the store to open. Not 'till 9am.



Day 3:



We headed north up Hwy 205.



Until we got to the southern entrance to the Steens Loop Road.



Whoowhoo, more gravel, lets go.







We made it as far as the campground where the road was gated off due to too much snow. Back tracking we saw a heard of wild horses.



Back on 205 we head north to Frenchglen where we can pick up the north part of the Steens Loop.



Onto the North route.









Until the gate at this end.



GPS says 7490 feet!



Heading back down.





Lunch at the Frenchglen Hotel.



Next stop was a side trip to the Pete French Historic Round Barn.





















After the side trip, it was north on 205 again to Burns where we fueled and headed north on 395 to John Day and a few more miles on Hwy 26 to a campground at Clyde Holiday Rec Area. We put the tent up and ran back into John Day for Pizza and a beer.



Back at camp.



Fire a blazin'.



Day 4:



Monday morning had us heading west on Hwy 26 to Hwy 19 through Spray and Fossil to Condon where we picked up 206 to 97 and crossing again at Biggs for the return down Hwy 14.

Along 19



Have to stop here everytime we pass through.....Maryhill Winery for a proper Zin.



Back at home after 1278 miles.







Cream-o-quail. I also pulled from under my fuel tank, an intact but very much dead starling. Glad I found that before I wound up with maggots in my air box.



The End

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:35 PM   #2
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looks like a great time. nice pics. like the bikes too.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:24 PM   #3
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Beautiful - geeesh the Alvord STILL has water all over it?!?
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:52 PM   #4
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Incredible. Thank you for a fantastic RR.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachs View Post
Beautiful - geeesh the Alvord STILL has water all over it?!?
If I could have brought our kayaks along, we could have went sea kayaking in the Alvord Desert.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:01 AM   #6
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Super report!! Just drove through the John Day area and the bugs were so thick, they sounded like rain. The guy in Burns had to scrub them off the windshield. Sounds like an awesome trip. Thank you for the new ride ideas and the great photos of SE Oregon.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:53 PM   #7
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Excellent adventuring EXPLORZ! Thanks for bringing us along.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:13 AM   #8
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Awesome trip

Thanks for sharing your ride, the route map, and the pics.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:58 AM   #9
Blinkerfluid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XPLORZ
Hey, That was us! (Underkill and Me) We stuck around and had breakfast (including a chocolate shake) once the store opened up. Our report is coming soon, but we're still sorting through pictures.

Great pictures, it's cool to see some of the areas we didn't get to.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinkerfluid View Post
Hey, That was us! (Underkill and Me) We stuck around and had breakfast (including a chocolate shake) once the store opened up. Our report is coming soon, but we're still sorting through pictures.

Great pictures, it's cool to see some of the areas we didn't get to.
Who's the Honey Badger?
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:27 PM   #11
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Great Report. Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch are a hidden gem in Eastern Oregon. Haven't been to the Steens yet, but your report inspires me to go! Nice Pics too! Your wife appears to be a good rider and a tough on too.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:32 PM   #12
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Who's the Honey Badger?
That would be underkill.. her way of reminding herself not to give a shit if she drops her bike.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:33 PM   #13
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That would be underkill.. her way of reminding herself not to give a shit if she drops her bike.
I asked her why it said "honey badger" and she immediately replies "Don't you give shit about it too!" Wasn't too sure what to make of that.........
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:41 PM   #14
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Thumb Nice!

I was hoping we would find a RR from you!






Its nice to know what the north end of the loop looked like. Maybe we should have checked that sign when we drove by ...there was some disappointment about the road being closed.

Get in touch with one of us if you make it down to Bend...maybe for the gathering later in the summer?
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:14 AM   #15
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JayhooRay's excellent ride report HERE.
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