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Old 04-03-2014, 02:28 PM   #1
CatFlap OP
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Joined: Apr 2014
Location: Near Mt. Hood, Oregon
Oddometer: 156
Eek Zuma to Christmas Valley and back

Now for something completely hilarious. This was actually a few years ago. But it really is my best 2 wheeled trip so far using as much forest roads and such as I could fit in. From Sandy Oregon to Christmas Valley Oregon.

Left early Friday morning only to find that my pack job just was not going to work (Anyone remember the "Penny Racer" pull back cars from the 80's?......)

So I hurried and repacked like I normally do for closer camping trips. And got out about an hour later than I wanted.
Got down to Detroit and filled up all my gas a couple hours later. Headed for Blowout road. Got down that several miles to find it being logged and closed. Crap, that was my forest road way for half the trip to Sisters. So back to Detroit where I topped up the gas again and then just said screw it and hopped on Hwy 20 and blasted it. The shoulder was fine enough for most of it to just ride that white line and wave the 70mph cars and semis on by.
Once I got to HooDoo ski area I bailed back onto forest roads and picked up Santiam Wagon road. It's a historical road from the pioneer days. Most of it is closed and protected but the section from HooDoo/Big Lake to just north of Sisters is open to vehicles.
And man was it fun. ATVs have most of it all whooped out. And standing on the passenger parts of the floorboard had me pretty much just wheelieing through them. Riding dirtbikes years ago is coming back to me.... hehe

Rode though a recently burned out area. And then got to Hwy 22. Took that down to Camp Sherman rd where I picked up another forest road headed south to Sisters.
This would be my mistake, for the distance, I should have just blasted the hwy to Sisters.
I ate stool on that road around a loose downhill corner when the front tire hit a rock. Slid about 15 feet (was not going but 10-15mph) on my side with the Zuma on my leg. Worst part is, I landed on my keys. Still got a big cramp in my leg from that. Tore the heel off my boot too.
Kicked the Zuma off my leg and got and up shook myself off. Picked up the Zuma. And put it on the stand. My rain gear is torn up and I'm banged around but seem fine. The Zuma has a broken fan shroud and is dirty but all else seemed fine, the floor board plastic all popped back into place where rocks had jammed up in it. After a few kicks it started back up.
Decided to push on. This would be a choice that once I hit Bend and "That Road", I would question........

From Sisters I said screw it again and and dropped the idea of zig zaging the ranch roads to Bend so I hit the hwy again. Once I hit Bend It started pissing down rain relentlessly. Got gas and a Harley rider was there (not on his Harley though, it WAS raining after all....). He took pics to show his biker buddies and said that this was one of the most hardcore things he's seen once I told him where I was from, where I was going, and the route I was trying to take. He told me about riding Sprees years ago and how scary they were. And that he wanted to get another small bike/scooter just for screwing around on (I'm surprised how many Harley riders secretly want a scooter that I meet).
Anyway I grabbed some lunch. Found a liquor store so I could grab a bottle of whiskey as I remembered that I forgot mine for camp.
Then took of out of Bend on China Hat rd/NF 18. This runs mostly gravel straight from Bend to Fort rock, and would be the ultimate hell on my trip.
China hat rd ended up giving me two choices for about 95% of it's length. I could ride in the nasty washboard that was spaced about 2 feet apart from logging trucks so it threw you all over (2" of suspension travel...). Or I could hit the deep soft ridges of gravel that sucked the front wheel in and tried to throw you down. I fought that road for hours. I love riding gravel/dirt roads. I hated that. At least the rain stopped soon after I got on it.
But eventually I saw Fort Rock and soon after I was on pavement again.
I then weaved my way into Christmas Valley where I got gas and sent out the "I've made it!" texts and FB posting. From there it was about another 45min to camp where everyone but one person was blown away to see me.
See, this is an annual trip for me. But I usually take the 4WD down and we have a big get together and wheel the dunes and local trails. This year I just could not afford the gas to drive down there. But I could afford to fuel the Zuma.....
So I only told the guy that lives down there I was coming down on the scooter. And he kept it a secret until my arrival.
"WTF?!"s were had by all. Took me about 12 hours to get down there.
The rest is usual camping stuff. The ride home was pretty much a reverse except I did not take the road I crashed on, I just took the hwy. I did however have to take China Hat back up. So that was really the only part of the trip back that was a bit nasty.

Right now I'm sore as hell. But glad I did it. Even though I had parts I was cold and wet, sore.... I still had a grin on my face most of the time. You just can't help it blasting through the countryside on a little scoot. Heck, I had a big smile and laughed my ass off about 20 seconds after picking the Zuma up off the ground after my wreck.
I was told when I hit camp "The ultimate test of man and machine, the ultimate display of lunacy."

On to some pics. (most are from the trip home I think. On the way down I just wanted to get there in time for the gas station in CV)
How I was originally packed. Two things didn't make this work. One, wheelies were about the only way to travel. Two, it had to come off every 50 miles to put gas in it. So I repacked the way I normally do. (I was trying to avoid wearing the "TARDIS" on this one, my ALICE pack.)


Hit Detroit.


The Zuma found some lunch on Blowout rd.


Gas stop on Santiam Wagon Road.


After the fall.


Arrival in Christmas valley.


Got camp set up.


The line up of rigs this year.


Packing up to come home.


Some recent forest fire area pics, it was like this for most of the length of Santiam Wagon rd.



The best gravel road I had been on. You could just cruise 40mph on it.



Santiam Wagon rd. This is more what most of it looked like and it was a freakin' blast. Can kinda see some whoops ahead where it looks like shadows across the road.



Steamy dirt.


A fellow scooter club member I think caught this one on their way back home from Central OR. It got posted up on my FB.


Home and done.


Some aftermath pics. Broke some things and got a few scratches.





I've since dumped the ALICE pack (we call it the TARDIS) in favor of a smaller one. I really only needed the room for my old huge sleeping bag. Now a compression sack and lighter bag fits under the seat.

Other trips on it have been out to Fossil, many trips to Bend, and a few to the coast. All camping.

Got something slightly bigger now though for the solo stuff. And will just abuse this when the club wants to scooter camp.
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