ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Day Trippin'
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-08-2011, 10:14 AM   #1
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 659
I joined an Eastern Oregon KLR gang for a day

Lights wrapped in delicate bubbles of blown orange glass hang from thin wires, casting a warm glow over the block letter menu board. I don’t see what I want so I ask the lady behind the counter, “can you make me a Mexican Mocha?”

“Sure,” she answers cheerfully.

KLR Klub

The ride over from Boise was invigorating, my hands like a McDLT, the cold side staying cold, the hot staying hot (I suppose you have to be a certain age to remember those ads) on the heated grips. It’s probably best that Jessica is sitting this ride out. She doesn’t think cold and fun mix well.

The other four guys venturing out for the day’s group ride sit chatting at two tables near the front of Moxie Java here in Nampa. Some of us have ridden together before, some haven’t.

Meet at Moxie

Once we’ve finished our drinks and given anyone who might want to join time to show up, the ride coordinator, “Special” Ed, begins leading west around Lake Lowell toward the arid lands of Eastern Oregon.

Hog wild

“I grew up in this area,” he explains when we stop to soften our tires for the rough dirt roads ahead. Gesturing, he describes curiosities to be found in these hills—thundereggs, petrified wood and milky agates harboring dark plumes and filaments.

It is intriguingly different from my own boyhood adventures in North Idaho around ponds and forests, giant predatory diving beetles and plasmodial slime molds.

We turn onto dirt tracks that remain tepid until curving between cliffs that cloister a surprising riparian area along Succor Creek. We each splash uneventfully through the shallow water crossings then pause to regroup.

Succor Creek Shortcut
Wet your whistle
Succor Creek

Succor Creek

Sage shade

Invisible rays unimpeded by clear skies bring the welcome warmth of nuclear fusion to our skin. It feels good after the morning’s chill. Some of us shed layers before we continue uphill from the creek to intersect its namesake gravel road. We are a little concerned to see so many trucks parked there. Dust may be on the day’s diet.

First break

Our quintet veers right from Succor Creek Road to continue west on Fisherman Road. A roadside election is held to determine whether we will stay the course down to Lake Owyhee State Park at the water’s edge or follow Upper Tunnel Road to view the dam from above. We decide to see the park.

Fisherman Road

Fisherman Road to Lake Owyhee

The road deteriorates as it descends along a tributary to the main canyon. We ride along what looks like the coarse ruins of an old brick building, rocks red and mortar white. These natural stones, though, were fired not in factories but the subterranean furnace that gave this broad area remarkable character.

Viewing moment

Our group slowly slinks and leapfrogs down, different ones stopping here or there to view or photograph the strange volcanic world unfurled before us. Palisades across the water are drab indication of molten rock that repeatedly engulfed the world of indigenous creatures leaving land barren and brown.

Lake Owyhee State Park

Drawing near to the park, we splash inconsequentially across a trickle of water that must have raged earlier in the year to wash away half the road. If you’re thinking of driving a truck down here, be prepared for some clever maneuvering.

Autumn gauntlet

There is nobody at the park or campground. Given the space, we revert to men’s restroom rules of proximity when parking—not too close.

Not too close

Not too close

“Owyhee Reservoir is a 53-mile-long lake, filling a narrow, deep canyon brimming with colorful volcanic rock formations” (Oregon State Parks brochure). From the park, we have only a relatively mundane preview. You must float to see the rest. Or go overland to Leslie Gulch, a complex of what looks to be medieval architecture, flying buttresses, spires and parapets, formed of wax burnt orange, bubbled and slumped.

Lava lady in the lake

Lava lady in the lake

More layers are shed as we lean against our machines or lounge in the grass to eat a summer sausage or peanut butter sandwich while discussing divinely revealed Words of Wisdom pertaining to KLR health.

“Have you unhooked the fiddleymebip yet?”

“I was thinking of installing the zargamater. Have you tried it?”

And so on.

As we leave the lake behind, Ed uses his grabby clutch to pull up a nice long wheelie across the upper parking lot. It’s that kind of day. Next stop: Leslie Gulch.

these images are hosted at flickr
this post was automatically generated from my blog
text and images are © Copyright 2011 Jason Abbott. All Rights Reserved. ■
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/ _
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
killurtv
free range moron
 
killurtv's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: central oregon
Oddometer: 640
Wow!! Super nice photos, that has to be one of the most beautiful and dramatic areas to visit in Eastern Oregon. Thanks for posting!!
__________________
one day I will learn, until that day... fuck it.
2001 HONDA XR650R
killurtv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 11:52 AM   #3
Loud Al
.
 
Loud Al's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Forest Grove, OR
Oddometer: 3,897
__________________
A Quick Trip to Big Sur


Allan
Loud Al is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #4
Scott_PDX
Leisure Engineer
 
Scott_PDX's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Portland...the newer one on the left side.
Oddometer: 3,012
Great pictures. Love those fall day rides, looking forward to the rest of the story.

Hey, one of those KLR's looks a bit "funny". Maybe it got the Gelende Strasse upgrade (or downgrade depending on how you look at it).

-= Scott
Scott_PDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_PDX View Post
Hey, one of those KLR's looks a bit "funny". Maybe it got the Gelende Strasse upgrade (or downgrade depending on how you look at it).
Sounds like you're referring to the one that was relatively heavy and hard to maneuver.
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/ _
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 08:05 PM   #6
Special Ed_65
A.K.A. Special Ed
 
Special Ed_65's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Nampa ID
Oddometer: 169
Great pictures and RR as usual Jason, here are a few of my pictures.




Dropping down to the Owyhee reservoir...KLR 1 and 2


KLR 3



KLR 4


The lone BMW in our KLR posse



I don't want to get a head of Jason in his storry so Ill stop here.
__________________
A.K.A. Special Ed..... They let me ride in the back of the Short Bus

http://www.motoidaho.com/
Special Ed_65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
RedRockRider
Beastly Adventurer
 
RedRockRider's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: St. George, UT
Oddometer: 1,338
Thanks, Jason & Gang

Nice photos, nice write-up. Good lookin' KLR gang plus solo BMW!
__________________

RedRockRider - WR250R, TW200, Versys, Vulcan 900 LT, Zuma 125

Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976
RedRockRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 11:53 AM   #8
Rainshadow
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Bend, Oregon
Oddometer: 370
Beautiful pics and RR! Love that area.

Any red legged devils (chukars) flying around?
Rainshadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 11:57 AM   #9
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainshadow View Post
Any red legged devils (chukars) flying around?
I didn't notice any but maybe the other guys did. I saw a good bit of wildlife, not surprisingly, at dusk.
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/ _
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 03:59 PM   #10
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 659
Part 2 of 3

Apparently I’m still too busy lamenting the loss of a lens filter to notice the wild horses. Some dummy twisted the high speed compression knob the wrong way, all the way to hard, and made a paint mixer of the tank bag where I keep camera gear. At least I know why the trail seemed so bumpy.

Spot the wild horses

Wild horses

It is an unimportant peeve but enough to send me to thought-land instead of savoring the present experience. Ed stops and draws our attention to the three horses standing as sagebrush sentinels.

These areas are home to about 150 wild horses in several herds and bands of various sizes. Historically, these free-roaming animals have lived out their life on the Owyhee Front, feeding, watering, breeding and foaling (Wild Horses of the Owyhee Front; see also Idaho’s Wild Horses).

Where I would expect only reptiles and rodents, I am impressed these large animals survive, even thrive. I guess life can be hewn from most any circumstance.

Dead reckoning

We continue south, stopping occasionally while Ed checks the route or points out the interesting consequences of cataclysmically shaped land. It isn’t a place I would call “pretty” but I believe it exhibits a purity and directness befitting beauty.

Some days are like that
Three Fingers Rock

Three Fingers Rock

Bearings
Hope you packed a snack

As we descend again nearer the water, the road becomes a chute between natural stone walls leading to an abrupt drop to rocks below. Ed suggests it could have been a buffalo jump in centuries past. It’s certainly a bad direction to go when pursued.

It isn’t big game lately driven to their demise, however. We peer with curiosity over the cliff at a later model pickup smashed dramatically below, it’s contents spewed around. Accident? Suicide? Theft? There isn’t a scenario that fits the evidence very well but we decide it must have been theft and a joy-ride.

Oops
Sleuths

What we don’t guess is the stranger-than-fiction truth, that after allegedly murdering his landlady, Ted Kestner “drove to remote eastern Oregon in his pickup ‘to end his life’ by driving off a cliff … Right at the last second, he jumped out of the pickup (and) let the pickup go off a cliff” (Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe, Idaho Statesman, Sept. 6, 2011).

From here, Kestner travelled on foot to a Lake Owyhee cabin and took an older couple hostage for a few hours before fleeing on their ATV and ultimately being captured by “a posse of close to 65 officers” (KIVI-TV, Sept. 5). He is scheduled for a first-degree murder trial on February first.

Suicide abandoned

“I know where we are now,” Ed reports. We’ve enjoyed some two-wheeled wandering to enhance the day’s adventure but from here Ed knows the wander-less way to Leslie Gulch.

6299951111

Dust billows as we pick up speed on the two-track south. We come up behind three ATVs bouncing grey-haired folk along bumpy hills. Three of us get around but two of us remain stuck behind long enough to formulate another peeve:

While drivers of trucks with trailers and cars in general quickly see me in their mirror and pull to the side of dirt roads, ATV riders rarely do. I commented on this after riding the Lolo Motorway with my brothers. It happened during my ride with Jessica a few weeks ago.

Please ATV riders, watch your mirrors. If not for me then for your riding buddies.

6300491456

We pass a procession of fifteen ATVs in tight formation coming the opposite direction, their riders taking advantage, like us, of what might be the last warm weekend. We nod or wave to each then gladly get beyond the concomitant cloud of dust.

Prefacing the grandeur of Leslie Gulch, formations around us grow taller, orange and red hues materializing from taupe, as we continue south.

6299953243

The dirt tracks we’ve followed intersect the gravel gulch road just a quick jaunt from the gulch itself. “Ride slowly and look around,” Ed suggests after pulling off at a wide spot. “We’ll meet up at the bottom.”

Funny flare

Entering Leslie Gulch

We crawl individually past the gauntlet of stone giants once molten, now ashen, orange and disfigured, stopping occasionally to ponder different impossibilities. It’s incredible to visualize how this must all have looked as it was formed—super heated ash, fire in the sky.

6300506850
Rock faces

Rock Faces

The kids’ rooms

The rest of the team, the KLR gang-proper, is thinking they’ll make an expedited return home from here. I plotted a possible route to the nearby Jordan Craters in case time permitted. Although a little late in the day, I think I’ll break from the group and make a run for it. Dust-free riding and extra time for photographs sounds like a nice change of pace to end the day.

6300500392

“Were you thinking of running over Mahogany Mountain?” Ed asks.

“Yeah.”

“That was all fenced private land last time we tried it,” he warns. “All that land around there is.”

The price of progress

Ed’s local knowledge is likely spot-on but I’m curious to have a go at it nonetheless. My wife usually has some words for such misplaced confidence but she isn’t here to correct me now. I have headlights, heated grips and hutzpah. I’m sure I’ll be fine.

I watch a moment as the others take off, waiting for their dust to settle. Already the day has been dulled by the approach of evening.

these images are hosted at flickr
this post was automatically generated from my blog
text and images are © Copyright 2011 Jason Abbott. All Rights Reserved. ■
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/ _
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 06:01 PM   #11
Mercenary
Mindless Savage
 
Mercenary's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Ft St John, BC Canada
Oddometer: 970
two words: Spec-tacular
__________________
2008 DR 650
We can handle it....We're Canadian
Mercenary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 07:41 PM   #12
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruger65 View Post
here are a few of my pictures
Sweet. Thanks again for leading. I'd never find my way around all those unnamed (to my maps) roads without guidance. Now I'm curious to hear about the get-off that happened after we parted ways.
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/ _
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 08:11 PM   #13
WRC51
Gnarly Adventurer
 
WRC51's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Hydesville, Calif
Oddometer: 430
Nice RR, man that country is just beautiful.
WRC51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 09:41 PM   #14
Special Ed_65
A.K.A. Special Ed
 
Special Ed_65's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Nampa ID
Oddometer: 169
Get-off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Abbott View Post
Sweet. Thanks again for leading. I'd never find my way around all those unnamed (to my maps) roads without guidance. Now I'm curious to hear about the get-off that happened after we parted ways.
We took Poison creek road back to Marsing and it was about a mile from my mud-fest earlier this year.

"I hate Mud"


I believe we were exceeding the speed limit, when we came to a blind 90. I was able to get slowed enough to make the corner. I then stopped to see how the other KLRs would handle the corner. The next one blew through the corner and into the sagebrush hitting a large rock. luckily he did not go down. the 3rd KLR slowed before the corner and had no problems. The 4th was not as lucky, his Michelin Anakee did not help much on the marble covered road and he got out of shape quickly and high sided.




The damage
__________________
A.K.A. Special Ed..... They let me ride in the back of the Short Bus

http://www.motoidaho.com/
Special Ed_65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2011, 09:43 AM   #15
Jason Abbott OP
Long time Idaho rider
 
Jason Abbott's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Oddometer: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruger65 View Post
We took Poison creek road back to Marsing and it was about a mile from my mud-fest earlier this year.
When I first saw the picture I thought you were saying you ran into mud this time. ... but I see, it was just the same spot as earlier.

Quote:
The 4th was not as lucky, his Michelin Anakee did not help much on the marble covered road and he got out of shape quickly and high sided
Ouch. I can see getting off in the weeds in that situation myself. I ran a stretch of cow trail along Mahogany Creek that would have been easier on the KLRs and locked 'em up once for some antelope (I believe I was exceeding the speed limit, as you say ) but managed to keep 'er up. I'm shooting to get that list bit of report up today.

Thanks again Ed.
__________________
Photo ride reports: http://trailimage.com/ _
Jason Abbott is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014