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Old 07-17-2011, 11:40 AM   #31
UpST8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underkill View Post
West coast? That'll be awesome! Whereabouts? If it's San Diego I can come down for work and visit you and Dhillr in one swoop!
Still enjoying those pics and words!!! We will be about 2 hours North on San Diego in Ventura. It's been a long time since I have been out that way, but we are looking forward to getting out there and exploring like I missed doing the first time when I was bikeless and carless....A trip up the coast is definitely in order for us, so I am sure our paths may cross again.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:34 PM   #32
Bob
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Nice ride!
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:42 PM   #33
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Great report, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:26 PM   #34
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Dang, I wasn't paying attention and almost missed this one. Great report! I especially like the night photo with the bike, the milkshake looks mighty good I'd ride to SE Oregon for a good milkshake, and flower pictures are always a hit with me.

Good job.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:45 PM   #35
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Great photos Ashley! What was your shutter duration on the star-e night shots? Like Jason I've been dreaming of a desert camping trip to sleep under the stars. Good to see you two wheelin around!
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:02 PM   #36
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This is great. Keep it coming please! I am planning on making it down there the first week of September, this ride report is obviously just going to tease me for the next 5 weeks! Your night shots are amazing. Thanks for posting!
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:26 AM   #37
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JDrocks: Me? Buy and sell bikes? Absurd, sir! but seriously, in spite of all it's shortcomings, I really do like this little KLX250...

Upst8: Theres a guest room up here for y'all if you make it this far north! (can I still say 'yall' on the west coast? not sure. Might be a reason people look at me funny over here!)

Ladybug: You HAVE to get one of those milkshakes! They're amazing! BTW, there's now a bug museum up here in Bremerton, and their logo is a ladybug. I keep meaning to get a picture of it for you.

Mpowers: I'm ashamed to say that Jason took all the night shots. I'm going to assume, iso1600, f2.8, and max shutter time. I never know what that is because I always get bored before the shutter goes off.... I did get one of those Gorillapod tripod things on the way out and brought my little remote shutter with me.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:49 AM   #38
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Alright, our houseguests left so now I can get back to my report! Sorry about that!

So the Alvord desert shenanigans were a bust. We continued up the road a little bit to the Alvord hot springs! We had originally wanted to camp here but the timing just didn't work out that way. Blinkerfluid had read that up on the hill by the springs some miners (i think they were miners?) planted some fruit trees in a little orchard so throughout the year there's fresh fruit up there. Sounded pretty awesome! but, alas, we were there around lunchtime again. The springs have a little trail that goes out to them off the road and the hot water is piped in with a little stopper otherwise I think it'd be too hot, even for me. Half of the little pool has a metal enclosure around it and the other half was open and there are random barrely thingies in there. No idea what they were originally, but they looked reasonably comfortable. if that even matters since you're sitting in some awesome hot springs in the desert overlooking the Alvord not-quite-dry-yet-lakebed. Life is good!

Left side: dusty brown rocks. Right side: Fields of green and water.


The water is really interestingly colored.


Now, I'm sure at least a couple of you are wondering "but what about the actual springs? little sitting area?". Lets just say there were a couple people already in there when we got there and I didn't want to take their picture. Just google it or something...

Well where to now? Burns looked like a larger town that might have gas... so lets do that.




I think Blinkerfluid had us going through Crowley because it would have been more interesting, but that road is closed right now so ya know... so we continued on towards Burns. Passed the town of Diamond. Apparently there is a historical round barn in Diamond that might be pretty interesting, but we didn't stop this time around.

Has anyone else noticed that my license plate essentially spells "ass"? little things amuse me...


Blinkerfluid actually NOT staring at his GPS. I think next time we will make a route beforehand so he can enjoy the ride too... but maybe he just likes to mess around with the gadgetry...


see? blasted GPS again! I think he does it so he doesnt have to smile for the camera... Maybe it's like Pavlov's dog experiment... I've trained him to hear my tank bag zipper and hide?


78 got FUN through the mountains towards the end. It's paved and curvy and tight! I mighta had a little more fun than necessary! Those of you with fast bikes, try to keep yourselves in check with this one...


So we made it to Burns at a reasonable hour. Since we kinda slept like shit the previous night we decided to just hotel it. Forget which budget motel we chose to grace with our presence, but it was right next to some sort of apple-related diner. Diner was pretty good. They had lots of apple related desserts and pretty good food. Next time I might stay closer to the center of town and walk around a little bit. There were a couple stores and stuff downtown. Could have been cool. As it was, I didn't want to walk anywhere anyway. BTW, don't speed through Burns. We saw lots of cops. Oh yeah, there were like 3 gas stations. Awesome.

Miles: 205 (HAHA! but srsly...)
Drops: 1 (KLX is getting slightly less narcoleptic)
Funny stuff: Where there arent real cattle guards, there are FAKE cattle guards. They have the end pieces on the sides of the more major paved roads... and then just paint the lines across it. Cows are DUMB!
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:05 AM   #39
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Woke up after having slept awesome and ready to face the day with the vigor and enthusiasm that only coffee can provide! We geared up and rode 20 feet to the gas station to refill our towers of flammable liquids.

BTW, a note on the gas cans and Giantloop bags. It was brought to my attention that it really wasn't a good idea to do it that way. If a strap breaks or comes loose you have a gallon (or more) of explosives dangling off your bike etc. It worked great for us because it HAD to, but it really wasn't an awesome idea. Just sayin. Hopefully soon I'll be able to buy a tank that actually fits my bike and we'll be good to go. Also, I NEVER needed the second gas can. I used the first one multiple times, but the fuel availability in eastern oregon really wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be. We might have just gotten lucky, but still. My bike goes onto reserve at 90 miles and dies at 120-130. I have a 1.9 gallon tank. A solid 3.4 gallon tank would have been perfect, with a standard 'oh shit' fuel bottle. Ohwell.

Since my bike is desperately in need of that 351cc kit they make, we chose to do FS28 that parallels the large, paved 395. Our next stop was going to be Jordan Valley because there was gas there, but we ended up missing our turn and wound up in Seneca! They had gas too, so it was all good. The terrain had started to change from rocky desert to more hilly and treed.



Again, cows everywhere. I don't know if i've mentioned this before, but I'm a little scared of cows. Yes, they're dumb, but they're also very large, and there were bulls. Having been stepped on by horses a couple of times, I have no desire to get anywhere close to a cow unless it's in steak form.


Gas station.


So as Blinkerfluid's filling the bikes up I start to wander around. It was then that I realized that there was a nice looking lodge right next door with a guy washing a fully farkled out KTM 990. So, since obviously everyone on an adventure bike MUST be part of ADV, we roll our bikes away from the pumps into the shade and go over to bullshit with the dude. Turns out that due to our random missed turn, we stumbled across the famous Bearcat Lodge! That's the benefit to wandering I guess!
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:16 AM   #40
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Here's a link to the Bearcat Lodge.
CLICK THIS!

The owners JW and Carol are very cool. They own the lodge, but it's actually just their home. They gave us the grand tour of the place. It was originally owned by the Hines lumber company and the lodge was for the single men that worked there. Each room was 8' wide originally, but they've been tearing down walls and fixing things up so that there are individual guest suites, a bar, a kickass living room, a gear closet, and a room with bunk beds and futons for you cheap asses out there. He even has a little recording studio! It should also be known that it's called the Bearcat lodge because JW has a bobcat. Not just a large cat, a legitimate freaking bobcat... Unfortunately, said beastie was still out roaming around the mountains, but they had 5 other housecats roaming around. I had a blast playing with them. Let it be known that if you don't like cats don't bother coming cause JW will kick you out.. and if you're allergic you'll just die anyway! Anyway, JW plays guitar. Really freaking well. He has a carbon fiber one too. I'm a total carbon fiber whore, so that was totally stellar! Anyway, since the lodge is their home and not a hotel, it's a "pay what you think it's worth" kinda deal. Leave some money in the bucket on your way out! Interesting way to do things...







Carol makes jewelry out of sunstone


Hines lumber truck. He has all sorts of interesting artifacts around the house.


They offered to let us dump our gear on the front porch and go riding for a little bit. An offer we readily accepted. JW outlined some awesome roads for us and we set off!
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:29 AM   #41
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The riding out this was really IS phenomenal. This is actually part of the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route. Blinkerfluid bought the maps to that before we left just in case. I'd like to do the whole route sometime.

We left the lodge and started in on the forest service roads. The first one we picked had a lot of downed trees to ride over, across, through, etc... I actually had a blast! Usually I'm not so comfortable with technical, but I guess since my bike had just lost 30+ pounds, it was feeling a little frisky!

There were a couple fields with wildflowers.


Jason had been talking nonstop about his stupid 690 and how stupidly awesome it was... So I finagled a trade! I had only ridden it around the neighborhood once, which was horribly awkward since it's literally about 2' too tall for me, and there's traffic and a stop sign (I paused, at least). So, being able to take the beast offroad was a blast! I realize though, that since the suspension is too stiff for blinkerfluid (6'0" around 200#) that it barely even registered I was up there (5'3" 120#s) so the ride sucked, but I can't really blame the bike for that. I also realized that even thought he 690 has 3x the power of my little KLX, I still like to stay in 5th or 6th and lug it around. Although when you grab a handful of throttle in 6th, the 690 actually goes somewhere. the KLX just kinda looks at me funny like "WTF did you think THAT was going to do?" ... ohwell. So, much to my eventual surprise, I actually DONT want a 690! I've decided that sacrificing HP for low weight is what I really want. So, 351 in the KLX and a Triumph Street Triple. Problem solved.

We ended up here:


Apparently it's a fire watch tower! There's a website with all the locations of them, which is handy because this one was currently closed, and I would have really liked to climb on up! The view would have been spectacular!


Bikes for scale. It was really tall. I don't think I would have enjoyed climbing it in motocross boots.


Fearsome adventurers!


Does anyone else think the headlight of the KLX looks like Leela from Futurama? I love that show...
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:40 AM   #42
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I think those barrel things at the hot springs are tubs out of washing machines.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:42 AM   #43
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Moving on....

The Malheur River Ford!



Oh wait... it isn't supposed to be that big? is it? I guess we're just a little early in the year for this one. Blinkerfluid was all about just blasting across it... but I'm on a LOWERED KLX 250 with shit suspension and I've already lost one bike due to water... This situation warranted more investigation. So, because I'm ME, I decide to just strip down to my shorts and go swimming to assess the situation. (really, I was just hot from riding, but whatever) The water was AWESOME. BUT, it was also mid thigh high in the middle and there were babyhead rocks everywhere and it was slippery towards the left side... so... While I don't mind blowing up my bike, because I wanted to fiddle with the motor anyway, I REALLY don't want to have to rebuild a fuel injected LC4. $$$$$$$$$ so, we'll have to come back some other time for epic water crossing pictures. BTW, I would have LOVED to camp here. The water was a blast to swim in, theres a legitimate bathroom, picnic tables, shade! It woulda been GREAT!

So instead of just backtracking all the way, Blinkerfluid finds us another route.

This is our first official Oregon "its ok to go through this as long as you close it when you go through" gate! Very foreign concept after living in Virginia where if you go through a gate you're definitely trespassing and you'll probably get shot at...


Dropped down into a valley with old tracks running through it.


This feels like the oregon trail!!!!


Full speed ahead!


Bribed Blinkerfluid to take a photo of ME for once! Prepare yourselves for the full onslaught of badassery pictured below!


Just horrible riding out here in Oregon. Can't see why anyone would visit this wretched place!
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:50 AM   #44
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The crossing looks the same as I've always seen it. I rode it in the dark one time coming from the other side and it seemed a lot deeper, but I sat on the rock right there and rinsed my feet to put on fresh socks.

You're right, it will kick you to the left a little bit on the far side.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:06 AM   #45
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Remember that part where I mentioned we'd dropped down into a valley?

Cute little water crossing! I GOT this! WHEEE!


Turns out it was just a preview...


The water was deep and fast... No place for a motorcycle. Especially since we were pretty far from any sort of regular road. Of course Blinkerfluid finds a place to cross it further down but theres a ledge you'll have to essentially jump off of, into a stream of unknown depth and hope to hell there's not a ledge on the other side but it's ok because he's going to ride my bike across it... I feel a bit like a stick in the mud, but I hate water and this just screams "horrible idea"... So I finally convince Blinkerfluid that we shouldn't try it and he admits the only way he would have actually done it is if there had been other dudes there to cheer him on (and someone else went first). BOYS... Sometimes they're idiots. Rebuild it yourself, ya big doofus!

Lovely stream though


So we backtracked and came out on the main road. There was a wildlife overlook where, for once, there was actually wildlife! a whole herd of antelope!


Partner in crime


FYI, no matter how many times I've dropped this bike (and I drop it a LOT) I have yet to break off one of the stock mirrors!


We were getting tired and the sun was starting to sink a little lower, so we headed back to the lodge. I've also decided that the KLX is a dog magnet. We're just tooling along, and out of nowhere this freaking black lab bursts out of the forest and right towards me. What the hell!? I manage to avoid it, but seroiusly?! Dogs are attracted to my bikes... I got taken down by a tiny terrier to the front wheel while going **5** mph in a gated neighborhood on my new-to-me 105sx... so what gives?! I really strongly dislike dogs...

We make it back to the Bearcat Lodge where Carol is cooking dinner for us, and a guy on a Buell that rolled in right as we were getting back. JW tells me to grab my camera and jump in the ArcticCat. Okie Dokie! I've never ridden in a sidebyside like that and JW drives like a madman, we go back behind the lodge a way and then UP... literally UP the side of the mountain. Hate to say it, but this was way more fun than Blinkerfluid's old jeep was... sorry dude!

Welcome to the "top of the world"!


That's the entire town of Seneca and the mountains surrounding the little valley it's nestled in. Absolutely breathtaking.

JW and the arctic cat! (he likes cats, remember?)


Well, JW likes to share his toys, so he gives me the keys and tells me to take Jason up there to show him! So I got to DRIVE it too! (FUN!!!!!) The thing was awesome. Very touchy gas pedal though. I think I scared him when we turned to go UP the mountain. (he hates not driving things! what a control freak!) Consider that revenge for tipping the jeep over sideways into that wall of sand in Florida. Women: we may forgive but we never forget! Either way, he'd never driven a side by side either, so I let him take it back down the mountain. The little thing handles steep inclines very well. I had a ton of fun playing with it. We drove by the airstrip on the way back. I don't think I'd have known it was different than any of the other straight gravel roads if JW hadn't pointed it out. There was also a windsock. LOL.

Carol is an awesome cook! we had pasta with vegetables and some sort of chicken! it was great! Very interesting experience that I won't forget anytime soon!

Miles: 127. Quality not quantity, people...
Drops: none! Cause I'm so awesome
Favorite part: Almost skinny dipping in the river
Least favorite part: getting the stare down by a bull with huge horns on his head
Quality of sleep: awesome!
Today: Winning!
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