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Old 07-31-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
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Dam multitaskin’ July 2011

I’m a long time RR lurker/reader and have gotten great enjoyment out of others ride reports. I feel it’s only time that I give back to this great community here and make all of you feel better about your own ride reports by writing one. It’s gonna really suck. Good luck reading the following crap I’m about to put on your screens.

Here’s some teaser pics to get us started.

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Old 08-01-2011, 07:42 AM   #2
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Doesn't multitasking include captions? For instance, who are the wimmin? I do like the apparent destinations.
Jaysus, son, get with it.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by what broke now View Post
Doesn't multitasking include captions? For instance, who are the wimmin? I do like the apparent destinations.
Jaysus, son, get with it.
That's why they are called teaser pics.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
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I suppose I should give a little background about this ride. I had several things to accomplish over the course of the next 9 days.

First -
I have done this little thing we do here in the NW part of the US called the DamTour. ( The basic premise is that you ride to specific dams and take your picture at it. This is my 3rd year doing it. At the start of this ride I needed to go to 7 more specific dams. 5 left in Washington, 1 in Montana and 1 in southern Oregon.

Second -
The weekend of the 23rd and 24th some of my family was getting together in Lewiston Idaho for a mini reunion type of thing. I committed to getting there on Fri evening.

Third -
I wanted to see family in the Boise area that couldn’t make it to the reunion thingy…as long as I was in the neighborhood.

Forth -
I wanted to devirginize myself to dirt/gravel roads.

Those were my goals and I’ll tell you right now that I accomplished them. So if you have ADD or something you can go ahead and stop reading cause you know how it ends…… sorry.

Oh, you’re still reading???
A little bit about me then.
I’m 41 and have been riding motorized 2 wheeled vehicular modes of transport since Oct 08. It has all been on pavement, twistier the better.
I’ve put on roughly 75k miles since then. I do mainly sport touring, I started on an FZ6 which I had GIVI hardbags on and rode it all over the western US.

After reading many RR's on here I started getting the bug for more “adventure” type riding and so I added a totaled DL650 to my stable.

Looks really totaled doesn't it? A fuse, putting the turnsignal back on and a new peg it was ready for the road.

One of my goals above was to devirginize myself to the dirt. That’s kinda misleading because I had taken my FZ6 in the dirt before but I was more limping it through the forest and snow than actually riding it.

I need some real dirt riding.
I have owned the WeeStrom for over a year now and by damned I’m going to do something with it that it’s supposed to be for. I’m gonna find some dirt on this ride.
I know it’s an 80/20 bike, so graded gravel roads are all this dirt noob is really looking for.

Enough rambling lets start this ride.

Day one.
Thursday July 21
Portland Or – Twisp Wa
Let me start by saying all of you guys that get up and on the road by 6am are crazy. I don’t care what anyone says, you won’t convince me otherwise.
I need my beauty sleep damnit….. (I don’t think it’s helped any though)

I get up and out the door by the crack of 9:15am and start heading north. I have a pair of pants out for repair at MotoCorsa in Portland, so I decide to stop by and see if they have any word yet on when they’ll be returned. Well I get there 15 min before they open so I head next door to the Jack in the Box for a nice healthy breakfast.
I head back over after I’m done eating and low and behold. Not only do they let me know when the pants will be back, they hand them to me. This makes me happy and in a dilemma at the same time.
See, I have 2 happy trails panniers and a givi top box totally full of my crap. I have no room to put this 2nd set of pants in any box. Oh well, I put them in a plastic bag and bungee them to the pillon seat. Problem solved.

It’s now about 10:30 and I have the goal of snagging 3 dams today. Wynoochee on the Olympic peninsula, Dugualla on Whidby island and Upper Baker in the North Cascades.

It’s nice and sunny in Portland but as I travel north on the dreaded superslab of I-5 it rains off and on. It’s only little patches of sprinkles to start with but when I get to Castle Rock Wa. it’s really starting to come down. I pull over and change into my freshly returned pants which are supposed to be waterproof and put on my froggtoggs top.
They both do a superb job of keeping me dry. I just wish that I had some water proof gloves too…/shrug.

I get near Wynoochee and it gets sunny and the rain goes away. This make me happy. I'll stop typing and post some pics.

Made it.

Dam snag pic.

Other side of the dam.

Looking down from the bridge. You can see my shadow on the bridge on the rocks below.

Well that dam is down. Onto the next one. Take me there trusty Mr Garmin!!

WTF Garmin??? That road is closed. I have to reroute but I successfully make my way up to Port Townsend.

I think thats Mount Olympus but I could be totally wrong.

From there I hop on a boat. I'll save you from that dreaded song I was thinking about linking. But I will say " I'm on a Boat"

Waiting to board. I get my own "special people" lane I guess.

Backing away from the dock.

I went and looked around the ferry a little bit and found this.

I think every one needs one of these. I'm not sure how this red tube is gonna help if someone is dieing though...

Docking at Whidby Island.

On my way to my next dam I spot something that brings back memories.

While I was in the Navy, I worked on these guys little brothers. These are EA-6B's a 4 seater electronic warfare plane. I worked on the A-6, an attack plane. The A-6's dropped bombs and shot missiles. Cool shit.

I make it to the next dam.

I know it doesn't really look like a dam but it holds water back, so it counts.
Found this on the backside of the dam.

I make my way to the final dam of the day as it's getting dusk.

I still need to get to the other side of the North Cascades before stopping to be on track for my Fri evening arrival in Lewiston.
I press on. Oh, it starts raining again.
I wanted to camp but it's dark and it's raining.
As I'm riding I start thinking about the news and about how there are record heatwaves and droughts in much of the US. I just shake my head as I turn my heated grips on high and try and keep my visor clear of all this rain. Status Quo in the PNWet.
Route 20 through the mountains seems like it would be an awesome road during the dry, warm daylight hours.
"Hey, there is still snow up here" I say to myself as I crest over to the backside of the pass.

I go through Winthrop and stop at the gas station which is just closing and start looking for a hotel. Don't wanna camp in the rain. I'm just too big of a wuss.
Withrop looked like a cool town. It was set up all Old Westerny and there hotels were proud which reflected in their prices.
They recomended I head on down the road to Twisp.

h2oboy screwed with this post 08-02-2011 at 07:55 AM
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:59 AM   #5
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Dam tour

How well I can relate to the cold rain in the North Cascades. Highway 20 is more fun in the sunshine!
Looking forward to the rest of your report. Doing my first Dam Tour this year.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by busdriver803 View Post
How well I can relate to the cold rain in the North Cascades. Highway 20 is more fun in the sunshine!
Looking forward to the rest of your report. Doing my first Dam Tour this year.
DOH.... I actually did do HWY 20. THe Dam was at Baker Lake north of Concrete.

Good luck on snagging dams. It's a blast.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:25 AM   #7
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Nice RR!

Looking forward to further adventures...
'08 KLR 650

"Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle." - Anonymous
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:11 PM   #8
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Day 2 Twisp - Lewiston

Day 2
Friday July 22
Twisp Wa - Lewiston Id

I get up after a good nights rest in a warm bed to hear a motorcycle pulling out of the parking lot. I poke my head out and notice that there is only one other bike still in here. There was probably 15 or so when I pulled in last night/this morning ..... friggin early risers.

I was staying here.

Heres the rest of the place.

I drink my morning go juice.... no not coffee. That stuff tastes bad when it gets in my mouth. I think I had a Monster this morning.
Then I head off for my next dam. That would be North Dam at Electric City Wa. The Grande Coulee dam is 2 miles to the NE.

North Dam

From here I'm headed for my second and last dam of the day. This will also complete my 8 Washington dams for this years DamTour.
Sullivan Lake Dam, I'm coming for you... Fear me......

Once again I'm following the ever knowledgeable Mr Garmin.

WTF dude??? Garmin you suck. Oh well, this road is at least paved and it's only 8 miles until the road is “closed”. I might as well check it out. I may find a way passed. Well at about the 8 mile mark I do indeed hit a road closed sign. This is where the pavement ends but it's a nice graded road on the other side and I see lots of tracks.
SO good so far lets press on. Well it turns from a nice graded road to a compacted rock road. Then it turns into a not compacted rock road. Remember I'm a friggin dirt noob and almost drop it a couple of times in these big loose rocks. I can tell that the further I go the further down in go in the road construction process and it looks like they are still bull dozing around the corner.
I turn around and head back in defeat
I'm now back out to Highway 2 west of Davenport when I notice a small animal just inside the fogline of my lane. I don't get a good look at it but I feel a little thud on the toe of my boot. “Poor little chipmunk” I think to myself.
I get to Reardan when I stop and grab a Subway. I come out after lunch and see the following as I approach my bike.

Well I guess it wasn't a chipmunk.
Nothing I can really do about it but scrap the little guy off of my peg.
Get back on the WeeStrom and head for the NE corner of Wa and Sullivan Lake.


Other side.
Now it's time to head for Lewiston and hang out with some family.
Eastern Wa turns into rolling hill country. Lots of farms.

I get to Lewiston and I'm excited because I'm going to head down Rattlesnake grade and film it all on my GoPro. It's not an HD, it's one of the original ones not that it matters. I haven't had good luck with my GoPro the few times I've tried using it. I tried to film me heading up to Wynoochee dam and only got about 30 sec before it stopped recording. I tried to get some at Sullivan lake and I actually got quite a bit there but I had the camera pointed in a weird way and it doesn't look good or exciting.
Now at the top of Rattlesnake Grade I turn it on and start down. The video stops just as I'm tipping into the first corner. Of course I didn't realize any of this until I got home and could actually watch it..... GAHHH....... I figured something wasn't right though when I got to the bottom and went to turn it off. It was saying video 9 when I started at video 3. I think there is too much vibration the way I had it mounted and it kept turning it on and off.
Anyway, that whole rant means... no videos for you.....

We are camping at Hells Gate State park. It's kinda weird being this close to a town not to mention we were in these cabins and not tents.

Hmm... this last pic is from my phone which I used a picasa account with. not sure I like this little pic

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Old 08-03-2011, 02:11 AM   #9
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Mate I love the big exciting far off adventure reports on here as much as anyone and like to think I actually ride the Australian equivalent of far off exciting places (read desolate, dry, remote and hot places).

I mention this because you talked yourself down at the start of this report. I have enjoyed your report every bit as much as those.

There are different types of adventures, You write well, the dam tour is a great idea, the countryside is picturesque and your photos are fantastic. Keep it up.
Difficulties be Damned
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PilbaraGoat View Post
I mention this because you talked yourself down at the start of this report. I have enjoyed your report every bit as much as those.
Thanks for the kind words.
I guess some of my self deprecating humor and sarcasm doesn't come accross very well in a RR. I didn't really think this was going to be the worst RR ever.
More to come. Oh and it does become more ADVish later on.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:19 PM   #11
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Fri evening - Sun Afternoon

Fri evening July 22 - Sun Afternoon July 24
This time is spent with family doing family stuff like playing cards and dominoes.

My cousin takes all of the little ones out tubing on the Snake river most of Sat.

My great aunt is up from LA for the event. She's 85 by the way and has more energy than I do.

She wants a photo op on my bike which I oblige with. Unfortunately all of the pics were taken on her camera and are now in LA.

I did take a pic of a shirt in the store there with my phone.

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Old 08-03-2011, 11:12 PM   #12
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Day 4 Lewiston - Salmon

Day 4 (day 3 riding)
Sunday July 24
Lewiston Id – Salmon Id

So after morning and lunch family festivities it's time to hit the road. I have miles to make, dams to snag and adventures galore.

I head east out of Lewiston with Montana on my mind and Lolo pass in my trajectory.
Lolo pass is quite a nice road. Not technical but lots and lots and lots of sweepers. I get into a grove and end up catching a 1200GS who is going at a nice pace and I settle in behind them. Oh ya, they are 2 up and hauling ass. I was impressed. I'm not admitting to breaking any laws but I will say we saw lots of vehicles in our mirrors that used to be in front of us and none the other way around.

Meet Russell and Wendi

We eventually pulled in for gas and the one thing I found amusing was the expression on his face and tone of his voice when he stated “No one ever comes up on me from behind”.
Now that could be interpreted a few different ways but I'll go with “he rides kinda fast”...

We go our separate ways. They are headed to Glacier NP and I'm headed to Clack Canyon Reservoir for the Montana “bonus” dam. It's South of Dillon Mt about 20 miles.

Dam snag.

See where Clark is pointing out there? Those white raft looking things. Those are actually picnic table shelters.
Think the water may be a little high?

That Dam is done now. That completes all of the bonus dams. All I have left now is the Gerber dam near Klamath Falls Or.

Time to head towards Nampa Id for more family time.

On my way around Clark Canyon Res I spot this.

Gotta stop and smell the rainbows. Wait... that's not how the saying goes.... oh well.

Now I'm headed back to Idaho. The wind has picked up and I notice dark clouds to the south. They don't seem to be coming to me even though that's the direction the wind is coming from.

I see a bird just hovering ahead of me riding the winds.

He started flapping as I went to take the pic.... stupid bird.

Here's what lies in front of me.

I have told Mr Garmin to take me on the shortest route. He has told me to go over Lemhi pass.

Well Lemhi pass is a gravel road. I ride on past with lots of excuses going through my head as to why I shouldn't take that gravel road.

I'm a dirt NOOOB.

It's getting to be dusk.

I'm a dirt NOOOB

My GPS is almost dead. (oh ya, I didn't tell you all I lost my charging cable somewhere on Lolo pass) I have a Rino 530 and it can't charge in the cradle I have to charge it with AC in my tankbag.

I'm solo and a dirt NOOOB

WTF?!?!? This is what I wanted to do and now I'm gonna puss out?

I kick my own ass and turn around.

Lets do this.


Looking back from where I came.

Tah Dah... I made it to the top. (or so I thought)

That is Lemhi Pass but continuing on to Idaho, you still climb more.

Now it's starting to get dark and I'm looking for a nice place to camp. I spot a deer but am to slow to get a pic. I continue looking.
What's that in the road ahead? It's dark.... OMG it's a friggin bear and he's running down the road. At least it's away from me.
So, I look at my dieing GPS and see how far away Salmon actually is. I don't feel like snuggling up to a black bear tonight.

Now remember I'm a dirt noob right? I'm now going down the backside of Lemhi pass in the dark. I feel pretty good with myself. I don't even come close to going down and I think I'm going along at a pretty good clip.(at least in the straighter sections).....

I make it to Salmon and get a hotel.

It has been a good day.

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Old 08-04-2011, 01:30 PM   #13
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Day 5 Salmon - Nampa

Day 5 (day 4 riding)
Monday July 25
Salmon Id - Nampa Id

I wake up fairly early for me get packed up and out the door.
My immediate goal is to find a power cord for my gps. I still have the adapter the cord plugs into so I'm lucky there.
I have success at the Radio Shack. Now time to make some miles. My main focus right now is getting to Boise to see my brother who wasn't able to make the reunion.
From Salmon I head south on the 93 and have breakfast/lunch in Chalis. From there I take the 75 west towards Stanley.
While the roads and scenery are awesome I neglect to take any photo's on my way to Boise except the following couple while stopped for construction in Stanley.

They are looking at the Sawtooths to the SW of Stanley.

I end up hitting more construction but no real delays until I got to Banks. There was major construction going on here. I must have gotten there right after they let my lane go for the previous round. I was sitting there in my black leather jacket and dark pants sweating my balls off. It was not fun.
Hwy 55 is brand new asphalt from Banks to Horseshoe Bend. But it's also a 35mph and no passing construction zone the whole way.
Needless to say I had miles of cars in front of me....boooo. This is a fun road when no one else is on it.
I get to Boise and hang out with my brother for a bit, then head of to Nampa and my parents house.

On the way to Nampa I decide I need to swing by Happy Trails and see if they have anything new and exciting for the WeeStrom.
It just so happens that they do. They have just come out with a fork brace for it.
I have heard from other WeeStrom owners that a fork brace makes a huge difference in the twisties.
I guess I gotta buy it then. Well I am informed that I am the first person to have actually bought this new product of theirs.
I just went out to the garage and took these couple of pics.

I wiped the dust off for this pic =)

So I bought it and they handed me the tools to install it right then and there. Quick easy install and it did make a huge difference while cornering. I don't have the front end wallowing around up there it's nice and planted. I can't believe I have gone this long without a fork brace.

I take off from there and get to my parents house to do more family stuff for the next day and a half.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:45 PM   #14
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Days 6 & 7

Days 6 is more family stuff and visiting friends. Take my great aunt to the airport for her flight back to LA.

Day 7 (day 5 riding)
Wed July 27
Nampa Id – Burns Or

In the morning do more family stuff then say “see ya laters” and take off in the early afternoon.

My goal for today is more dirt. I want to go over the Owyhees from Murphy to Jordan Valley..

I stop at

in Walters Ferry to top off my tank.

What flavor would you like? And look.... all ethanol free.

I'm talking to some old ranchers who are there at the station also. I'm trying to get some intel on the road conditions and such. They tell me how to get onto the road and tell me that there are better ways of getting to Jordan Valley. They are well weathered and look like they have lived a life full of hard work. They are in a truck pulling a horse trailer. I wouldn't expect them to want to go on the roads I'm looking for.
I thank them for their time and punch in shortest route on Mr Garmin and I head out.
Mr Garmin isn't taking me the way they said. Oh well... Lead on Garmin....

This route isn't taking me down to Murphy before heading over. Then again, I don't think the old guys sent me down to Murphy first either. Oh well, Garmin knows a way.

I get all the way to Reynolds on Upper Reynolds Creek road when I come to a gate and a big sign stating “Road closed to the public” Sorry no pic. It also said to take Black Mountain or some other road.
I turn around and Mr Garmin reroutes me. Hey he's taking me over Black Mountain Rd. Cool, that should be open the whole way.

My first warning sign should have been that at the beginning of Black Mountain road there is a parking lot. This is where you can unload your quads and horses and dirt bikes etc.

But whatever this doesn't look that bad.

I get in a few miles and then the fun really starts. The road starts getting rutty and bigger rocks start appearing and short patches of loose golf ball to baseball sized stretches.
I'm putting all the lessons I've learned to use while reading these RR's. Stand on the pegs, let the bike do what it wants, stay loose and if in doubt, give it gas.
Well I'm doing pretty good and every thing is working. My body is loose, my thottle is gas'n it and my bash plate is bashin it.
I tried to take it easy on the bash plate but sometimes there's nothing I could do about it.

I make it up a fairly steep rocky section (remember I'm still a dirt noob. 1 Lemhi pass run doesn't make me an expert)...and I stop and take a break. There is another steep section right in front of me.

Here's some pics.

I'm rested enough now with my 2 min photo break to continue on.
I head on up the hill and around the corner and what do I see???

I see this lady and a couple of support trucks.
They are doing a pioneer reenactment. There are about 200 kids and they are headed up to Silver City.

Cool stuff.

They were spread out for a couple miles ahead of me.

This is the spot we split ways. They continued on up the ridge to Silver City and I followed Mr Garmin towards Jordan Valley.

I kept working it. I was having fun but I was starting to get fatigued by now. I had one close call where I got tossed off of the road and into the ditch. I didn't go down thought. I was kinda proud of myself.

Bad ditch.

That rock was being a pain as I was getting out of the ditch.

Can someone get LDF and Dr Rock and ask them if that's bear poo in the bottom left of the above pic?

Proof my bike was right there.

My first gate... ever..... I had to share that moment with you guys.

I continue on passed the gate after I put it back up. The road is now getting worse. There is a rut in the middle of the road and it's filled with rocks.
I'm trying to stay out of it but I end up getting sucked in. I'm not carrying enough speed and I fall over. First drop in dirt (while adventure riding. Dropping my FJR in the dirt by a freeway offramp doesn't count)......ever..... I'll share this with you also....

It's at this point in time I realize how heavy my bike and crap actually are. I get my bike stood up but I can't get it on the side stand due to the slope of the road and hill. While trying to maneuver the bike to a more stable position, I drop the bike again. Damn that thing is heavy. I go through the whole routine again. Get it up try and get it to a leveler spot unsuccessfully and drop it. Now it's in a spot that is actually worse than where I started from. Between the new position and my having worn myself out picking the bike up before I can't even get the bike upright now.
I drink some water and I'm feeling some effects of heat exhaustion.
I leave my bike where it is (not that I have a choice at this point) and I go lay in the shade at the bottom of the hill.
After I start feeling better, I approach my bike with a new plan.

First I carry my top box and pannier which I had previously removed, down to the shade.

Next I spin the bike so it's pointed downhill instead of uphill.

I then lift the bike easily and take it down to the flat shady spot also and regroup.

There is one minor issue when I spin the bike.

That would be my front brake lever. Crap.... oh well I'm riding dirt anyway. I don't need no stinkin front brakes...

Also, on one of the times I dropped the bike I ended up ripping a seam in my pants.

More ventilation I say....

I pack back up and head out again.

I get up near the top of this section, hit a rock and get sent off the side and drop it again. There is no shade here, my wheels are actually on the downhill side of the bike this time so I quickly lift it up and continue on. No pic ...sorry

I'm taking it nice and slow from now on, I'm too tired and my reaction times have slowed tremendously.
I don't drop it again.

Holy crap I made it back to at least a graded gravel road.

Minor fixer upper if anyone is interested.

Yeah, I have made it back to civilization or at least Jordan Valley. I stop at.

for an early dinner and to take a well deserved rest.

Meet Emma, my waitress.

I'm all rested up and ready to hit the road again. My gps is getting low on juice again. I go to plug it in and I can't find the clip on adapter. I tear all my bags apart to no avail. I wanted to camp near some hot springs in the Alvord area.
No way I'm going to head out there with a almost dead gps and never been in the area. I resign myself to head to Burns where I can hopefully find a new brake lever and a gps clip on adapter.

The ever eventful road to Burns.

I get to Burns, get gas, get a hotel, take a shower and head to bed.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:38 PM   #15
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Day 8 Burns - Somewhere in the woods

Day 8 (day 6 riding)
Thursday July 28
Burns Or – Somewhere in the woods

I wake up today with several things I'd like to accomplish.

1 – New brake lever
2 – gps power clip adapter thingy
3 – Gerber Dam (my 20th dam to complete this years DamTour)
4 – a tad more dirt
5 – get within striking distance of Portland for an early afternoon arrival.

Well I call around Burns and go to a couple places and I strike out on both the brake lever and gps power. The gps still has some juice so I'll leave it off until I get closer to Gerber Dam. When I get closer I'll turn it on and tell him to route me shortest distance. That should give me a little bit more dirt.

That part works out fine. I get closer to Gerber and Mr Garmin does indeed send me via some dirt.

It's a graded dirt road. Then he send me off of the nice graded dirt road down a not as nice road.

Where I come to another gate.

After the gate I start getting into goat track stuff. It's not really technical at all seeing as it's flat and not rocky. But there definitely is very little to no traffic through here. At one point I'm going through a grassy area and I have to constantly consult the gps to ensure I'm still on the trail.

I make it to Gerber dam and get my Dam snag.

I take a little break there in the shade and just enjoy the view and the rice crispy square with m&m's that my mother sent with me.
I'm in my 40's and my mom still wants to be all motherly. Somehow I don't think that'll ever change.

Now that I'm done snagging all 20 dams for this year I should start heading home. There is only 1 thing that I want to hit on my way home.

This is a FS road that connects hwy's 58 and 126. I had never been on it but kept hearing about it and I was going to make it happen.
From the south it starts in Westfir. As I was approaching it I saw this covered bridge.

This pic doesn't do the bridge any justice. It looked awesome from the side as I was approaching.

I don't have many pics of the actual road because I was enjoying myself to much but there was a straight stretch where I stopped and took these pics.

It was starting to get dark and I wanted to actually camp. I have been lugging around all of this crap and haven't used it. (many of my trips end up like that though)

The tent I decided I didn't want to put up.

Camp for the night.
Somewhere in the forest on the Aufderheide.
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