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Old 07-18-2011, 10:10 AM   #46
underkill OP
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Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
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.
Things seem bigger to short people! I make Truckin Thumper look like a basketball star!

Either way, it would have sucked to drown a bike and essentially end our trip right there... one of us would have had to ride back to bend by themselves, etc... and I just HATE being wet!

Also, tubs out of washing machines? I can see that! They were painted festive colors also!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:16 AM   #47
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Things seem bigger to short people! I make Truckin Thumper look like a basketball star!

Truckin' Thump bit me right on the ankle when I met him, little people...sheesh. I keed!!

Great report!!!
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:19 AM   #48
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So, I'm going to take a minute and whine about how Smugmug doesn't upload pictures in order... BLLLAAAAAHHHHH!!!! ANNOYING!

Anyway, we woke up to Carol's amazing french toast and bacon! and coffee! real coffee! not that watered down shit they serve at hotels! I'm in heaven! Coffee! and as we all know, everything's better with bacon! Too busy feasting to get pictures of breakfast! Just going to have to take my word for it!

We managed to wrangle all of our gear back into the Giantloop bags, said our farewells to JW and Carol and hit the road! We had mildly planned on taking a bit of pavement to get down the road a ways, but along the way Blinkerfluid sees this tantalizing switchback mountain road up to a viewpoint. Sounds like it might be fun, so we head on up. It kept getting rockier the further up we went. I ended up hitting a rock wrong with my rear tire that sent me into a random flailing and almost over a cliff. Maybe it's because I grew up in Oklahoma where there are no elevation changes, but cliffs just give me the willies. I was not a happy camper at this point. We kept riding though, up and up and up and up... got to a downed tree... Blinkerfluid rode my bike over it because it was, again, at the edge of the cliff. I know, theoretically, that I can ride over it.. but.. I was still a tad upset from my earlier near neath experience and just didn't want to deal with it... kept going up... hit another HUGE tree in the road... there was a path to the right around it.. so I did that... problem solved? Where the hell is the top of this mountain? the view better rock my world! The very last part of this trail was STEEP. Really steep and really rocky. Well, let me say how much I love the MT43 trials tire. Seriously. The KLX doesn't have enough power to break traction on a whim, so couple that with a trials tire, and you have almost unlimited traction... I put that sucker in first and just tractored my way right on up. Take that, stupid 690! I really DO like this bike. And now! the top of the mountain!


logs... freaking logs... Well, that sucks. We were both a little dissapointed at this. Ohwell, I guess. We headed around the giant logpile to some rocks higher up. The view of the surrounding mountains wasn't bad.


The view down to the bikes was a little better though. I'm still a little proud of my KLX.


Flowers!


So I'm totally fine with hillclimbs. I tend to just gun it and hope for the best and for some reason that works great! it's going DOWN that kills me. Ended up killing the bike, getting all funky sideways, dropping the bike, breaking the stupid lever thing on my gas can, and just generally getting all whiny and irritated. Blinkerfluid picked my bike up for me and rode it down the steep part for me. (I can't ride worth a shit when I'm upset) So, once I calmed down a little bit we continued down the hill. Upset turned into angry, and I actually ride really well when I'm pissed! So the rest of the way down was great. I was picking good lines and handling the bike perfect... LOL. I really think I should just start every ride by falling down in a parking lot so I'm good and annoyed the rest of the day so I ride better!

We got back on the main road and ended up in Prairie City for some gasoline and lunch.

I had the "gobbler" sandwich. Turkey, swiss, lettuce, cranberry sauce! Seriously delicious!


Compared to some of the places we HAD been, Prairie City is a thriving metropolis


We heard about some interesting stuff in Sumpter so that was the next stop. Along the way was a scenic overlook for part of the Oregon Trail. I played the computer game as a kid, so I really geek out on Oregon Trail stuff.

The motorcycles are definitely preferable to a wagon!


Darnit... forgot to pack the ammoe and wagon axles... I blame Blinkerfluid for this.





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Old 07-18-2011, 11:34 AM   #49
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Sumpter is an old mining town. The town itself looked to be VERY interesting and slightly touristy rustic. What we were there to see though, is the old gold dredge!



It essentially just sits there and digs a little lake for itself while the gold is filtered and processed inside. They did find gold, but not enough... The dredge closed with around $100k in debt back in the day.


Most of the structure was built with rivets, since welding didn't exist at the time.




The digging buckets


Gears. Some of the stuff was actually driven by a large belt!




Old water pump! I do piping at work, so I got to geek out some more. Blinkerfluid laughed at me.


More water pumps.... Underkill=nerd!




In a fit of epic nerdiness I took this picture with the intent of seeing if I could find the specs of this motor when I got back to the office. I have issues


I actually did a little happy dance for this valve.


YAY! valves and fittings! Also note that there is a little bit of really ugly welding going on.


The dredge was really really interesting! For me at least... I liked seeing the piping and valves and whatnot. Again, I have issues. The next stop was goign to be an old power station conveniently located where there was a gas station. Unfortunatly the station was out of gas until the next day... and we're almost totally out of gas... and in our frustrated haste we forgot we were going to the power station anyway. I was a little dissapointed, but I think the thing we've taken away from this trip so far is that theres no way we'll be able to explore all of oregon in the 11 days we've been given... So we'll have to come back a couple more times to really explore things. I have a couple places I want to hike and wander around in.. so, no big deal.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:46 AM   #50
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Greetings from the BearCat Lodge

Ashley,
You're the bomb! Greeeat ride report and fantastic pictures. Jason, you better hold on to that one she's a keeper. All the adventure guys are lusting after your riding partner. We enjoyed your visit at the lodge very much and you two are welcome back anytime........by special invitation from the cats. We did a head count when you left to make sure no catnapping occured. I think Leo wouldn't have even needed an invitation to crawl into your tank bag and leave with you. Keep up the good work, and we look forward to your next visit.

J.W., Carol & all the kool katz at the Lodge
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:51 AM   #51
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Now begins what might be my second favorite part of the whole trip. The route from Granite to Heppner starts as Elkhorn scenic byway and turns into the Blue Mountain scenic byway and it truly is scenic. Reminds me of the Virginia blueridge parkway, only with no people and more cows.



There had been a large forest fire in this area a while ago. All the trees were still burned but the undergrowth was coming back. It was very surreal. One of the most interesting places I've been in a long time.






I didn't get nearly enough pictures of this area, partly because I spent this part of the ride with the throttle pinned since cranky little red doesnt like high elevation and partly because I had my mouth gaping open the whole time. I'm lucky I didn't swallow a bug.

The terrain started to change again the closer we got to Heppner. Less trees, but more big jagged rocks.




The road into Heppner is just gorgeous. After winding through a valley between beautiful golden hills, it opens up into a giant lake topped with a dam. We were both tired as crap today and honestly, getting a little cranky. We had planned on camping more than we did.. which is once so far... but after riding all day, we just felt like a warm shower and a warm squishy bed... so, while we could have legitimately camped down by the dam at a campground, we wimped out and decided to hotel it. It's a vacation darnit! No sense being unhappy on vacation. Much to our chagrin, the only hotel we could find in Heppner looked like a prison. so... We decided to push on and get a hotel in Hermiston since it was a much larger town. It was on this section that the rocks and hills stopped entirely and turned into rolling farmland.


We didn't realize that Hermiston is RIGHT off of I-85. Whoops. The parking lot is filled with 95% fullsize trucks. Lots of farming out here. We got the last room. Which turned out to be the freaking penthouse suite in the luxurious Comfort Inn! They gave it to us at regular room prices too since it was getting late! Winning! We had a pizza delivered to our room, which we devoured instantly and Blinkerfluid spent the rest of the evening watching shitty movies and I worked on writing in my trip journal!

Miles: 262
Sleep: Totally Stellar
Favorite part: the scenic byways. I didn't get many pictures, but I'll be coming back here!
Bike status: Plucky but uncomfortable
Underkill status: pleased with pizza but my butt hurts
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:56 AM   #52
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Ashley,
You're the bomb! Greeeat ride report and fantastic pictures. Jason, you better hold on to that one she's a keeper. All the adventure guys are lusting after your riding partner. We enjoyed your visit at the lodge very much and you two are welcome back anytime........by special invitation from the cats. We did a head count when you left to make sure no catnapping occured. I think Leo wouldn't have even needed an invitation to crawl into your tank bag and leave with you. Keep up the good work, and we look forward to your next visit.

J.W., Carol & all the kool katz at the Lodge
HEY THERE!

The lodge was awesome! Especially since it was purely by accident that we ended up there in the first place! Wrong turns are the best! We'd love to come back sometime! Thanks for the invite!

Nope, no catnapping! I have enough trouble with my 2 little idiots!


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Old 07-18-2011, 12:28 PM   #53
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Woke up bright and early the next morning! (coffee always helps this! ) I have to say I'm starting to miss Washington's ubiquitous little tiny espresso stands.. I coulda gone for a vanilla latte this morning!

I think I failed to full appreciate how HUGE the farms are out here! I must have been away from Oklahoma for too long.. but.. holy cow! Our goal today was to find the Oregon Trail!

Hey, theres part of it! Kind of silently ironic that one of the first trails full of settlers to this side of the country has a windmill farm in the background.




Blinkerfluid is messing with his GPS again trying to find something cool to see. So I busy myself trying to take a self portrait in a 3" diameter mirror with a DSLR. I didn't quite get it!


more boredom


Very flat, very farmy, and very lost! Ok, we werent that lost...


I'm fascinated by abandoned structures


Are you serious? Curvy road sign? Yes, it turns out, it was! Just because they farm the hills too doesn't mean the roads are straight! This was actually a ton of fun!


Slow? yes, yes it is!


Another picture because at this point in the trip, I'm REALLY amused by this!


We kept winding through hills and fields and valleys until the road just stops. There's a river and theres no way across it. Dead end. Jason had been trying to find the spot where the oregon trail crosses the john day river, but just didn't quite get it. Ohwell. Still an interesting ride! From here we decided to just give up on the oregon trail stuff and move on along.

I love trains! Although I admit that if he'd honked at me while I was taking his picture I probably would have toppled my bike over!


The old and the new...


Watch for livestock? More like watch for guys with guns! SHEESH!


Next stop: the John Day fossil beds! I was especially excited about this because I love geology and fossils and finding things...


Let me just say that the paved road down to the beds from the quaint town of Fossil is fun as crap! It's fast, it's curvy... We saw a Hypermotard and some friends totally hauling ass coming from the other direction! The little KLX did her best though...


Fossil beds!


Ok so, today it was pretty exceptionally hot. So I'll just have to put the fossil beds on my list of things to come back and explore. It looks like the area is best seen by hiking and I wasn't about to try that in this heat with my motocross boots, kneepads, padded shorts and tights. You can't even go fossil digging. Which I understand, I guess, because every asshat tourist would destroy it trying to find a T-rex... but still... Still a very very interesting area to explore though.

We decided last night that even though we had 11 days available for our trip and it was only day 5 that we were worn out and our butts hurt so bad from the seats on our bikes that we were probably done. When it ceases to be fun, it's time to go, so we began to head back towards Bend and the car. It would be nice to spend the rest of our vacation relaxing at home and hanging out with my parents who flew up while we were gone to watch the animals and hang out and go exploring.

We tried to take a gravel shortcut out of Fossil, but it just ended in epic failure. Did find 3000 acres of land for sale though.. Not that we could afford it! We rode to Mitchell to get gas, but either they're out of the gasoline business entirely, or there just plain wasn't any... Either way, bummer. We were both hot, so we ended up finding a cute little park with bathrooms to park the bikes at and hang out a little bit and rest. It was then that I saw the sprinklers! Pressure suit off! Bring it on! I might have chased the water around in a circle at one point. Either way, I was now wet and cooled off! A couple of old men laughed at me, but it was still an awesome idea. I even talked the ever-stoic blinkerfluid into standing in the sprinklers with me. Soaked my shirt in water from the drinking fountain and hit the road!
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:07 PM   #54
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great report! I love reading reports which my model bike is shown :)
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:24 PM   #55
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Gas in Mitchell

The Gas station in Mitchell is closed on Mondays, otherwise I was just there a week ago and he said he's open 9 to 6 Tuesday through Sunday.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:05 AM   #56
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Here's a mostly-correct after-the-fact map of where we went!
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:35 AM   #57
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The Gas station in Mitchell is closed on Mondays, otherwise I was just there a week ago and he said he's open 9 to 6 Tuesday through Sunday.
We must have been there on an odd day off for them, we were there in the middle of the day on Thursday and they were closed. The only other place we had fuel issues on the trip was the Station in Granite being out of gas.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:14 AM   #58
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We must have been there on an odd day off for them, we were there in the middle of the day on Thursday and they were closed. The only other place we had fuel issues on the trip was the Station in Granite being out of gas.
I kind of got the feeling that the times he told me could be a little dependent on if he could find his way to the station. I guess that I was lucky and it was a Sunday so he might have a few more people stopping. I was headed to the Painted Hills and then North on Gosner Rd. to Antelope and I knew that the next gas was in Maupin right at 100 miles away. With my 950 and no extra fuel on board and 60 miles on the trip meter I did not want to play that game, if I'm real easy on it and pedal a little 180 is about it for me! So I had my fingers crossed riding into Mitchell...

If the two of you ever want to spend some time riding around Hood River let us know. CrashClay and I are always looking for a reason to get out on the bikes (not that we need one!).

Great ride report also Underkill, we had fun following along!
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #59
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A Nerd fer sure

Old water pump! I do piping at work, so I got to geek out some more. Blinkerfluid laughed at me.


More water pumps.... Underkill=nerd!




In a fit of epic nerdiness I took this picture with the intent of seeing if I could find the specs of this motor when I got back to the office. I have issues


I actually did a little happy dance for this valve.


Underkill,

You are definetly an engineering nerd. Happy dance dance for a gate valve? Oh please.

It does bring back the memories though. Those old Binghams were good pumps and they'd run 24x7 for years with a little preventative maintenace. Most pumps of that vintage were seriously over engineered.

Looks like a 10" discharge, so they were probably pushing close to 3500 gpm in a low head configuration. I'd be curious what you come up with.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:16 PM   #60
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Underkill,

You are definetly an engineering nerd. Happy dance dance for a gate valve? Oh please.

It does bring back the memories though. Those old Binghams were good pumps and they'd run 24x7 for years with a little preventative maintenace. Most pumps of that vintage were seriously over engineered.

Looks like a 10" discharge, so they were probably pushing close to 3500 gpm in a low head configuration. I'd be curious what you come up with.
I can't even help myself anymore.. I walk into a building and immediately look up and check out the fire suppression, drains, hvac equipment..

and the little heart that blinkerfluid cut out of a sheet of metal with his new torch is the most romantic thing ever... I have issues!
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