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Old 12-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #76
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Day 9: Tuesday, Sept 18th 2012

Willow Creek OR to Summer Lake OR – 191 miles

Woke up before the sun broke the horizon this AM. Bolted out of my warm Big Agnes, grabbed my towel and headed over to the pool to listen to the morning. Tom was still in REM sleep. One the other campers dropped in for an early soak as well, we discussed each others journey that brought us to this current place. Very interesting and like minded fellow, forgot his name. He mentioned that the Whitehorse Ranch did a really nice job keeping the hot springs area maintained when they owned it, but after a land swap deal with the government, they no longer maintain the grounds. According to my fellow camper who's been visiting this area for over 20 years, it's starting to go down hill.

After a relaxing 2hr soak, we loaded up and headed for Fields before the other camps were moving about. Last time through Fields a couple years ago, one of the older daughters was running the store the morning we visited. Neat salt of earth lady, I was really impressed and hoping to see her again. She said motorcycle riders are a notch above hunters in her book, and a long shot over birders. Never forget that...

On this day the mother (Sandy?) was running the show. Another neat salt of earth lady, now I see where the daughter got her oats. Over coffee and the biggest pancake you can flip, got the inside scoop about how the oldest daughter is now hitched and moved away to a city in Cali. Sandy was running the show but had her youngest cute as a button daughter visiting to help out during the peak month. Noticed a for sale sign out front, and when asked Sandy said it was time . Very sad, really good people running this place, will keep our fingers crossed for the new owners.

After a nice visit, full tummies and saying goodbye, we headed for Domingo Pass.



view from top looking west, towards lone mountain



really fun 2 track after descending the pass



group of wild horses up on buckaroo pass





After a couple hours of riding, stopped for a quick break at the old shirk ranch. Condition was a lot worse from our last visit a couple years ago.





heading west towards Hart Mtn range



Pronghorns everywhere you look, the lake shore was lined with small herds







took a more northwestern 2 track towards crump lake. This was an unimproved road with lots of rocks. Definitely a handful, sweat was rolling down my back. This signage at the bottom indicated this is called the old "Military Wagon Road". Couldn't find much on Google. We were just hoping this would go thru to the lake...



the 2 track was really overgrown, not very much travel





Finally found our way to the Hart lake and to pavement and Plush




We rested a bit in the Plush store to get rehydrated. That wagon road was a bit of work, one of the tougher sections of the trip. Wish I had taken more pics...

Looking at the time, we decided to take a fast route to Paisley. Stopped for an excellent dinner at the diner, then headed for Summer Lake hot springs.



We rented this old airstream for the night, very comfortable..



After unpacking, we walked over to the pool with towel in hand for a long soak. Another excellent day on the bikes.

Next up day 10 - Crescent Lake and getting close to home 8(
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:12 PM   #77
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:16 PM   #78
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Day 10: Wednesday, Sept 19th 2012

Summer Lake OR to Crescent Lake OR – 167 miles

After a good nights sleep, we headed back over to the bath house for another soak. Tom's foot was starting to heal, but wouldn't hurt to get more time in the hot sulfur water. The pool had been emptied early morning, and was in process of refilling, was 1/2 full when got in.

Went back to trailer and cooked up oatmeal and coffee, then packed up in the warm morning sun. For the first time of the trip replaced my filter skin. It was time.

Looks to be another epic fall weather day.



Started climbing back up into the Fremont NF on NF-3313, view looking north at the dry lake bed of Summer Lake. We connected with FS 28 and 29 and headed north towards the small town of Silver Lake.



what a treat, gorgeous mostly paved FS road, looking north towards Sycan Butte



Stopped for a quick morning bite in Silver Lake. Lots of TAT riders will recognize this hotel. Spoke with the owner, who also owns the store, and she's more than ready to retire. Similar story to Fields store saga. Hopefully the future owner(s) will be bike friendly and keep the store and hotel open. The Tee-pee lady has good food. Filled bikes with 92 octane.





Tom and I ran our bikes over the truck scale - 600lbs (includes rider, need to go on a diet)



From Silver Lake, we headed back south to intersect with the OBDR route 2. We turned west onto NF-3021, after a few miles ran into this mess...used forest workarounds.





We exception of the blow down (or tree snow load), nice and easy forest service roads. Actually got a little sleepy running these easy roads. So stopped after a couple hours at this camp area for a quick 20 minute cat nap. Nice to see big trees again after the previous sections.



lots of this...



until reaching Crescent Lake. Decided to make this a short day, since home would be easily reached the next day.

off season with kids back in school and so didn't find any souls around this little lake resort. Felt kind of like a ghost town so we decided to rent this plush cabin by the lake. No big hurry to get home. Is that a dirk bike tire track in front the cabin?







Stuffed our faces with a resort pizza then hit the hay....

Next up day 11 - Crescent Lake to home via OBDR route 3
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:23 PM   #79
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Day 11 Route Map



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Old 12-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #80
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Can't keep up!!!

I can't seem to edit video as fast as you can write this RR. It may take me another week or even two to finish up. Since we took less and less footage the closer we got to home my job will be easier than it has been. I'll edit as fast as I can.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #81
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Day 11: Thursday, Sept 20th 2012

Crescent Lake OR to Canby OR 254 miles

Packed up and got on the road pretty early this morning. One of those bitter sweet days, you're looking forward to getting home to the family again, but at the same you're in a groove and want to keep the adventure going.

Plan for today is follow the OBDR section 3 track north past sisters to hwy 20, then as much non-pavement to Canby as possible, home of BackCountryCruizer. Same route Tom and I road a couple years ago in reverse order on our way to the TAT route. I think a vast majority of section 3 is basically snowmobile routes, as marked by the diamond trail markers.

Came across this dead forest section just north of Crescent Lake.





lots of sweet graded roads like this as we ride north



and a wee bit soft and dusty in a few other areas. Tom and I parted by a few minutes in the dust sections





massive Wickiup reservoir



we started to see a lot of smokey haze in the distance, the lake provided a good vantage point. wiki says depth ranges from 20 to 70 feet. I've heard this has some good fishing...







almost in our backyard again, skiers paradise and the naked Mount Bachelor



as we moved closer to the town of Sisters, became apparent our route was going to take us thru a serious forest fire. We stopped and talked to a forest service gent that was stationed at a road closure on NF-4601. He said the road was closed due to the massive "pole creek" fire. We asked about continuing north on a different spur (4602) and he thought that was a dead end, but we're welcome to try. No back trackers in this group.

After a few miles, near Triangle Hill, the spur basically petered out into a game trail, no sign of recent activity in many years. Looking over the topo, we could see this was an old logging skid road many many years ago, but looked like it headed in our direction. Was slow going for a bit with branches, trees, etc, but we scratched our way thru till finally the road started to open up again. Neat area...sorry no pics thru the fun section.

The forest fire was just a couple miles to our west. Danger close.... We later learned this area was definitively closed from the north and east access points. Good news was the the smoke was being driven north, towards the town of Sisters.



We quickly moved our way towards Sisters, hoping to not get in trouble by a patrolling sheriff or fire fighter. Sorry crap picture, but quick snap and shoot after finally arriving and driving down main street in Sisters. Kind of gives a sense of the thick smoke, in an otherwise cloudless day. Stopped to get a bite at Bronco Billy's, not bad, a little pricey...



Rejoined the OBDR route 3 heading north after leaving Sisters. We road thru the remains of another forest fire from a couple years ago.



Looking southwest thru the muck towards the Cascade range and mount Washington



found ourselves riding thru a small ohv area on NF-811 near Big Lake. Didn't slow down a bit, like a cow on the way to get milked.



Pushed on crossing hwy 20 and a short pavement section of hwy 22 north. Turned off on NF-2266 then NF-1164. This was a really neat area to ride thru with views of Mt Jefferson and Buck Mountain to the east. Arrived at Detroit lake via graded gravel service road NF-060. Started to get late in the day so we continued on hwy 22. Tom and I know this area well since we do day rides here, there's a shortcut from Detroit lake up and over Lookout Mountain. This is a private timber area, but the gates can be manually opened. Don't tell anyone...



Our shortcut home crosses under the bonneville power administration (BPA) transmission 500 kV line. Only about 40 miles from home.




Pulled into Tom's casa just before dark

254 miles today, in total 2300 miles of good times the past 11 days, and memories to fill a life time. Tom and I went inside and enjoyed a beer. It tasted so good ...I got back on the bike in the dark for my last 20 miles home to see my beautiful wife. Shower and bed felt so good, no place like home.





The End - really was blessed to ride with an excellent riding partner, and see some of the most amazing backcountry of our Western USA. For me this trip allowed me to lay witness some of the best riding of my life. I'm sure Tom will say the same. Now as I write this and easing back into the daily pattern of life, this experience will help keep things in perspective.

Can't wait for the next trip....all smiles...

Thanks for reading!!!
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #82
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Day 11 Route Map



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Old 12-14-2012, 08:10 PM   #83
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Great Job!!

Awesome ride report!! Thanks for sharing and putting in the time and effort to put this together. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:10 PM   #84
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I finally got to check out the videos - great report - thanks for posting
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:25 AM   #85
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Thumb Bravo

Great ride report and amazing pics !!! I'll have to hit Utah next and the T2 brings back some memories
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:38 AM   #86
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Fantastic ride report! I really appreciate the time you took to post your great photos and story. I've added Utah to my bucket list of trips.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:23 AM   #87
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #88
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Video for day 6

Still working on the rest of the video. I'll post as I get them done.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:25 PM   #89
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Great trip and report. Too bad about the smoke around Sisters, OR. We had a lot of that this summer and fall with all the PacNW fires.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:35 AM   #90
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Great trip Dale and Tom, thanks for sharing! I am curious as to what you guys used to store your raw video files on from your gopro's? We are starting to plan an OBDR trip in late July next year and I shoot a lot of Pics and Video.
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