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Old 10-03-2012, 10:01 AM   #91
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It was late when we left Ellensburg and we had a bit over 100 miles to Chelan, hopefully arriving before dark. Being so far North in mid July, the days were long giving us a good amount of daylight. The scenery varied greatly as we rode North from the sagebrush and into the Wenatchee National Forest. The arid cool was a welcome break from the constant sun and heat that had beat down on us all day. I had been sweating profusely and consuming a ton of water. Luckily we seemed to drink water at about the same rate the bikes sipped fuel, by the time I ran out we had to refuel.



I find this area of Washington shows a great contrast of environments where the rivers provide irrigation for the immediate area, adding color to the otherwise drab high plains desert.



The ride stretched on, 100 miles is a lot of highway after a full day of trail. The relief from the heat kept us going as we dropped down into Wenatchee, though we were all pretty bummed to be missing out some great trail.


A nice sunset, the Wenatchee National Forest in the distance.

We arrived in Wenatchee and it was still friggin' hot. The temperature rose significantly after descending a few thousand feet to the Colombia river valley.



We grabbed some food and adult beverages, then headed North on 97 looking like we may be headed for another wildfire.



We were, but luckily for us this one was contained to a hillside. It didn't look like they were doing much to fight the fire except for keeping it away from the homes at the base of the hill.



After an excellent section of twisties we popped out at the shore of lake Chelan right at the state park campground.






We turned in to the campground and went to find the "host" as the place was jam-packed full.
The host gave us illogical directions to find a place to pitch a tent, and after riding around for a while looking we just gave up and found an open space somewhere. The campground was overfull and insanely busy. People racing around in cars, revving bikes, trying to have family cookouts next to kids playing drinking games. Setting up, we wondered if we'd even get any sleep.
It wasn't my ideal place to camp but we had stretched our days so long that trying to find a trail-side spot would have left us riding to camp in the dark, exhausted. We got showered, set up, and went for a little walk sipping from a bottle Bernie picked up earlier. Surprisingly, the place quieted right down at dusk - the park rangers were out in force to ensure that. Someone had complained about our setting up where we did, but the ranger - satisfied that we weren't causing trouble - let us be. We hit the sack before too long though still closer to midnight than I'd like. Tomorrow would be another long day.

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Old 10-03-2012, 03:14 PM   #92
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Day 10: Oh, Canader!


After some much needed rest, a late morning saw us riding towards the town of Chelan a little before 9:00. The road to Chelan was a pretty ride along the shore by the lake of the same name. The sun was already pretty high and beating down on us as a constant reminder of how hot it was going to be.



Only a few clouds in a bluebird sky on the way to Chelan.



Once in Chelan, I found a gas station and we stopped to pick up fuel and trail food for the day. Another breakfast of redbull and granola bars :)
Outside we met one of the local characters in his converted Jesus-van. He spent the better part of half an hour trying to convert us three while we ate, eventually letting us know "Jesus looks out for motorcycles" and driving away in a van that couldn't start fast enough.

Circling around the end of the lake we turned off rt 150 onto a small windy road that would climb North to Echo Valley Ski Area. Past Echo Valley the road turned to dirt and started to climb up into the mountains, the dust returning with a vengeance.



I really enjoyed the climb - minimal washboard and loose rocks kept my speed up and trees were few and far between providing amazing views around every corner. I sped ahead while Bernie and Shawn staggered to keep the dust down.



The dust was so bad that Bernie stayed quite a ways back, allowing me to grab a few choice photos.




The views were incredible, ever improving as we wound our way around the hills to the North.



Zoomed in, Bernie in the distance now at least half a mile back.



I love this photo



After climbing for some time the landscape began to change as we gained significant elevation in the mountains. Starting the day at around 1000', within an hour or two we were well over 5000' and climbing.



Even bits of forest here and there.

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Old 10-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #93
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How're you guys finding these interesting roads?

BTW, I like that photo a good deal too. OTOH, they all are great.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #94
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Most of it is the WABDR http://www.wabdr.com/

Really, this is an excellent route. I took to calling it the Adventure Super-Highway because a lot of it is FAST. Not the most technical, but sure as hell was fun!
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:43 PM   #95
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A wildfire had burned here not more than a few years ago, grey and blackened skeletons of pine trees were all that remained. A young forest, still only grass yet, grew up from below.





Speeding through the burned forest, the cause of the fire was evident at every viewpoint. Beetlekill. The bark beetles attack the trees, killing a host tree in a matter of weeks. They can take out an entire stand of healthy pines, leaving a standing dead forest waiting for a wildfire.



Still finding snow - the heat had gone down to a more manageable level high up in the mountains.



We started playing leap-frog, every few miles snapping photos and letting someone else take the lead.


Bernie getting a little off course

We rode on with plenty of beautiful views to enjoy.


Looking out over the Oknaogan National Forest towards Colville Reservation

The road was narrow and winding, descending down before a bit of tarmac.





Then, a much needed break for Shawn while we got attacked by horseflies



A little bit of road, with a welcome stop for gas and supplies,



and then back to the trail.




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Old 10-04-2012, 02:09 PM   #96
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Most of it is the WABDR http://www.wabdr.com/

Really, this is an excellent route. I took to calling it the Adventure Super-Highway because a lot of it is FAST. Not the most technical, but sure as hell was fun!
What a great resource if ever I'm near there. Thanks.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:29 PM   #97
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The trail constantly varied from hardpack dirt to gravel or sand - though it was always dry. The dust was so bad we spaced far apart, Shawn sometimes at least a mile back. I led here and because of the many turns we doubled back a few times. Sometimes I couldn't see on the map well enough, others I was just having too much fun and missed a turn. Did I mention it was dry?



We made a good pace and covered quite a few miles quickly. Ascending was a lot more fun than descending - each of us had a few close call moments coming into a corner too hot downhill. We had been pushing hard, an doing it for days on end now.




Now in open range country I was constantly on the lookout for livestock roaming around. Mostly they got out of the road for us but if you come across an ornery bull ya just never know.


An ocean of pine, and just a little dust.

A nice, fast descent brought us down to into the pine forest below. I zipped along as the road transitioned from hardpack to light sand, keeping on the throttle to keep things...LOG! I pulled the clutch, stomped the rear brake and concentrated on keeping the front from locking up as I came skidding to a stop just a foot from a downed tree entirely blocking the road.
I figured being sideways in the dust would be enough warning for Bernie as I got the bike turned around to negotiate a little off-trail excursion around the tree. He skidded to a stop in much the same fashion and we waited a piece for Shawn who was nowhere to be seen, so we decided to carry on down the trail.

Shawn caught up at an intersection, then a short bit of road saw us riding an excellent stretch of trail up Loup Loup Canyon.



Despite the heat the canyon was a nice break from the dust and the road had significantly more grip. A large number of livestock further up the canyon kept the pace under control. I also saw something we hadn't seen in miles... potholes!



Emerging from the canyon onto a ridge for a bit, the trail quickly began to descend towards Conconully.



Nothing technical, but it was fun and being so narrow added to the excitement.



A few switchbacks





Shawn's turn





Then I gave chase



A little pavement brought us to the small town of Conconully where it's perfectly legal to drive your quad or side-by-side down the road. They roared all over town while we stopped in for gas and some much needed ice cream. We sat outside for a bit watching the local color. The town was kind of a free-for-all with people riding around in the back of pickup trucks drinking beer, and kids on quads everywhere.



And a even more important swim in the lake just outside of town.



Refreshed, refueled, and rejuvenated, we climbed back up into the mountains.





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Old 10-04-2012, 05:24 PM   #98
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The beach was full of people setting off bottle rockets, smoke bombs, whistlers and volcanos. And the sun was still bright in the sky. Kids were smashing up fireworks on the rocks so they'd just fly around randomly. The "punk" kids in their pickups in the parking lot were firing more towards the beach. We would flinch every time something went off. We got to see firsthand why fireworks are illegal in a lot of places.

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A little pavement brought us to the small town of Conconully where it's perfectly legal to drive your quad or side-by-side down the road. They roared all over town while we stopped in for gas and some much needed ice cream. We sat outside for a bit watching the local color. The town was kind of a free-for-all with people riding around in the back of pickup trucks drinking beer, and kids on quads everywhere.
Welcome to the Wild West, you guys are catching the best of the best on this trip
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:20 PM   #99
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Nice RR so far. keep it coming!
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:37 AM   #100
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The road turned to dirt just past town and we rode north, quickly gaining elevation. We had climbed from around 2000' up to 6000' and would stay around there for quite a few miles. Rounding a corner I caught a glimpse of rocky peaks, still capped with snow from the long winter. Skiers in Washington must have fared much better than the miserable conditions in the rest of the US this year.





We zipped along at a quick pace and enjoyed the cooler air at altitude. Riding through the burned forest was a little eerie, but allowed great photos and better views.





Crossing a cattle guard we ran into the only other vehicle we saw on the trail all day, a forest service truck taking things a bit slower than we.



We had a great time alternating the lead - after a few miles the leader would stop, snap photos, then drop back like in a pace line.


Me


Shawn - good lean for a dirt road :)

This wildfire must have been significant considering the area that was burned. For miles and miles we rode through the skeletons of a young forest.



Interestingly, some trees had burned significantly more than others leaving nothing left but a long slender trunk. Other trees merely had needles and small branches burned off.



The scale of the burn was spectacular, I found the areas which were spared to be particularly interesting. What factors contributed to a stand of live trees surrounded by burned ones? Wind, tree health, fire fighting?



Bernie took the lead with Shawn not far behind in the switchbacks.



The landscape has become less jagged, the mountains here more rolling.



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Old 10-08-2012, 09:37 AM   #101
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Nice RR so far. keep it coming!
Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:38 AM   #102
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Welcome to the Wild West, you guys are catching the best of the best on this trip
Haha we were a bit surprised at Crescent City...
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:59 AM   #103
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We motored along at a good pace enjoying the scenery, keeping things under control due to all the loose gravel.



The burned forest seemed endless.



Occasionally the road would get rougher, clearly a new path created after the forest fire.



The smooth stretch of dirt was a welcome change.



The scale of destruction was breathtaking, yet beautiful.



We took a short break, Shawn had to do a little trail side repair on the saddle bags.



And then set off



The trail took us through some nasty crushed rock sections of road and then spit us out in a valley. Turning off the main road we began to climb.



A spectacular view awaited us. Stopping long enough to enjoy the vista, Bernie led onward.






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Old 10-10-2012, 08:56 AM   #104
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It's official -- this goes on my bucket list.

That truly does look like a road designed solely to take one's soul to heaven while leaving their body on Earth.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:09 PM   #105
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Sorry for the delays, life is crazy!

Bernie took the lead as we climbed further, passing through the trees from clearing to clearing. Rounding a corner I see Bernie stopped in the middle of the trail starting to turn around, a bull (likely a steer) staring him down.



A big boy, he stood there stomping his hooves and kicking dirt until the three of us grouped up. With all of us present he decided to clear the road for us and the rest of the herd followed suit. We let them get clear pass by, keeping an eye on the big one.



Shortly after that we cleared 6800' altitude, and began to descend. Every few hundred feet we dropped the temperature jumped up noticeably. The boundary of the National Forest was near, and it was getting later in the day.



We continued winding our way down and heading North in a roundabout way, passing through more burnt forest.



The landscape was beautiful and the road well graded. We made good time through here without any of the previous days drama. It was nice not to see any sand for a while, but I missed the technical sections of mid-Washington. None of us missed the heat.



Little did we know what we were in for. Lower and lower we went, the temperature already reaching the mid 80's. We continued the descent with the tiny town of Loomis, WA growing closer every minute.



Mountains gave way to broad flat valley, carved over time by release of glacial lakes, formation of rivers and eons of rainfall. With plenty of gas but no water, Loomis would be our next stop.




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