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Old 01-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #16
Motoguy
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Agreed. I also love the desert versus riding in the trees. This past summer I took the motorhome and we trailered the bikes over and stayed in a campground near Frenchglen in the Steens and rode and came back each night to sleep in comfort. My riding partner does not like to sleep on the ground. I prefer carrying my backpacking gear on my bike and camping in remote areas in the desert.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:16 PM   #17
Humunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit View Post
This was the route, red arrow was where we skipped the fence just after the hot springs, blue where we ran into n2moto, green is Domingo Pass, where we were originally planning on heading, purple our escape route and orange where we actually reached OR202. I think it was about 7.00pm when we got to the highway.

GREAT report. But like a Deja Vu moment for me when you said something about "getting late" at the hot springs. I could feel it coming. We did almost exactly the same route in the summer of 2011 and got hijacked by what appears to be the same gate! Roaring Springs ranch takes their land ownership seriously. I had even surveyed all of this prior to the trip on a BLM map and figured we could get through where the corners of public lands touched. NOPE.

Our almost identical experience starts about mid way through page three here:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=707424

Here's our track in the same area. The red dot is the gate. We didn't even make it through but headed south to what we thought might be a passage at Coyote Gap. It actually got much worse. We backtrack west to the yellow dot where we bushwack a mile or so to get on the road near the Three Lakes water holes. At about the black dot one of our riders has an off the trail and truly Divine experiences and runs into a 5 gallon container of fuel...in the middle of nowhere. At the next intersection we head south then back up through Funnel Canyon to Fields, arriving at midnight with enough gas for us all to go another 4 or 5 miles!!!

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Old 01-12-2013, 01:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by crazybrit View Post
I thought that club wasn't accepting new members
You and Tony have been Hosers since you first started hanging out with the WetLeather crowd. There is no membership, you're simply tainted by association...

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Old 01-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by crazybrit View Post
It's mostly an issue of time, riding from PDX would add 2 days to the round trip and we'd be covering stuff that we could do on a day ride. Also, I've become a bit of a lover of the desert open vistas, riding in the trees doesn't do much for me, unless it's single track.
The windblast and extra gear to be carried is also a PITA. Not enough dualsport bikes have wide ration transmissions
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:11 PM   #20
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The windblast and extra gear to be carried is also a PITA. Not enough dualsport bikes have wide ration transmissions
This is why you need the mightly Katoom. I have a mid gearing and it'll pull 80 happily, well once I balanced out the rimlocks. It's a fantastic dual-sport bike.

I'll try and post day 3 soon, just waiting for some videos to upload.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Humunn View Post
GREAT report. But like a Deja Vu moment for me when you said something about "getting late" at the hot springs. I could feel it coming. We did almost exactly the same route in the summer of 2011 and got hijacked by what appears to be the same gate! Roaring Springs ranch takes their land ownership seriously. I had even surveyed all of this prior to the trip on a BLM map and figured we could get through where the corners of public lands touched. NOPE.

Our almost identical experience starts about mid way through page three here:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=707424
Fantastic!!! For you "we run smack dab into a locked Roaring Springs Ranch gate which blocked the Old Military Road right at the top of the rim." For us, I don't recall a gate at all at the top of the rim, there was one at the bottom but it was unlocked. We didn't hit locked until we'd turned South and ridden maybe 10 miles along the valley floor.

Anyways, thanks for posting your report, the fuel can full of gas is amazing. Lucky you hit it, since even after using it you were on vapor by Fields. Yeah, Funnel Canyon looks like a main road and it's a lot better than Old Military but it's not anything I'd want to be riding in the dark dog tired. I thought our experience was fun but you trumped it big time! Thanks again for posting!!!

Too bad I'd not read the report before we left. Losers!

---------------------------------------

Anyways, here comes day 3.

We had a good nights sleep at Fields Station. Got up, changed filter skins and had breakfast. I love Fields Station and everything about it, if you've never been, go! but I must admit, I don't like their scrambled eggs. Blech, but the lady was so nice I decide discretion was the better part of valor. Either way I leave still hungry.

The plan was to ride upto the Alvord. Goof off there, ride back and then find Domingo Pass (which was originally our plan the night before), then head North towards Frenchglen.

Obviously the land access issues of the night before weighed on us and whether we'd have similar issues exiting to the North. We'd talked the night before to the owner (filling the ice chest) about Roaring Springs Ranch (thanks Humunn for reminding me of the name) but he's already left to go hunting, my assumption is not in the Catlow Valley One of the most amusing things to me about exploring is when you talk to locals and try and get "inside scoop". I'm always expecting them to know all and it invariably turns out that 90% never leave the paved roads.

I call up the BLM @Burns at the semi-suggestion of the people working at Fields and they are beyond useless. Then a guy hanging out there hands us his hunting map which has everything we need. They sell copies at Fields, so we buy one. It looks like we're set to avoid any repeats of yesterday.

Here was the route:



Heading North from Fields, Alvord ahead:



Goofing off on the Alvord. Personally I preferred Weed Lake (just South of Harney Lake, which we'll visit tomorrow) as it was softer and you could trivially break the rear loose, much fun, but you can't beat the expanse of the Alvord:









After this we rode back South to Fields station. It was cold so we stopped for a hot chocolate and Brian got some fuss:



After this it was back on the bikes, South for a short ways then West towards Domingo Pass:

Just off the highway:



Climbing up towards Domingo Pass (Pueblo Mountains):



Dropping down the other side towards Catlow Valley:



The pass road switchbacking down towards the valley floor:



Friend in the road:



Brian riding down the switchbacks:



At the bottom of the switchbacks you'll reach this gate beyond which is the valley floor. After this the roads are a bit of a maze, map shows dozens of roads. The night before I'd surveyed the map and matched what I thought was the route onto the gps and marked some way points. I turned out to be dead on:



From here the route takes us South West away from the valley to more varied terrain, I think this is Box Canyon Reservoir:







Towards the right of this picture you can see a rocky outcrop which is a small pass we were about to climb through, straight ahead is Lone Mountain:


Climbing up towards the narrow pass:



Dropping down the other side, I remember it being loose, rocky and rutted in places, really glad we weren't trying it the night before:



Waiting for Brian to come down:



After this we took a short break at the bottom overlooking Hawks Valley. I took a cool video here but I seemed to have deleted it

After this we're on the main Ackley Camp Road (#6126) heading towards Bald Mountain, fun riding, great views:



Old sign near the airstrip:



Stopped at the junction just before Bald Mountain, to the left past the water tower is a fun climb beyond which is the cabin:



The cabin itself, we stopped here on out TAT detour last year, someone had tidied up inside quite a bit since then:





P1030575 from Tony Jones on Vimeo.



Not a lot of great prose today, one of the downsides of waiting months before writing the report, anyhow we took a break of about 15 minutes at the cabin and then pressed on taking a short cut on some two-track to cut the corner to Beatty Butte Road, which is the main drag North:



On the way we ran into a herd of wild mustang:



Brian waiting for me at the junction with Beatty Butte Road:



There were 4 or 5 long fun silt sections on this road, the first:



Another, no problems as long as you keep the speed up, 50mph plus was about perfect through them:



Looking back from higher ground, silty road and Butcher Flat below:



Escape route to the North, Frenchglen is out there in the distance:



This was a fun section of road, quite a few silty sections. One was deep, rutted and had a couple of right turns and I biffed it good. Brian catches up with me and says "man, someone really messed up along there"

Video I took along that route:

P1030589 from Tony Jones on Vimeo.



Brian stopped amongst the sagebrush, just before Rock Creek Road:



We managed to again run into some private land, about a mile mile before Rock Creek Road. Nothing fenced so we just closed our eyes and rode through quickly. After this we took a right onto Rock Creek Road and it was about 20 miles of fast gravel before we joined back upto OR205. For the next few miles evidence of last years fires was easy to spot alongside the road, finally we dropped into the twisties that lead to Frenchglen.

Brian had made reservations at the Frenchglen hotel, the main hotel is run by the State of Oregon but the concessionaire has built an overflow property behind called the Drovers Inn. We eat at the Hotel, it's family style and there was a ton of food.

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Old 01-13-2013, 09:57 AM   #22
Humunn
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Very nice! Great to see what that area looks like in the daylight. When we rode through their (heading south) in the dark the desert became alive with critters. We had a contest to see who could thump the most jack rabbits. They were everywhere!
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:25 AM   #23
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Awesome scenery!!

Rode that route from east to west one time, from the Steens to Paisly, thru Hart Mtn, north of Abert, doubt I could figure out how I did it, but I never saw any gates.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:50 PM   #24
Mehaniotis
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Awesome scenery!!

Rode that route from east to west one time, from the Steens to Paisly, thru Hart Mtn, north of Abert, doubt I could figure out how I did it, but I never saw any gates.
You had to cut across Hart mountain little south of Frenchglen .The dirt track you were on went by the Ranger station on Hart Mountain before you dropped down in to the warner valley . Spent many of nights camping and Hunting Chukar in that general area . The Hot Srings a 1/4 mile south of Alvord Ranch was my regular stopmping grounds and the best Milk Shake in Oregon is found in Fields.
Thanks for the Memories.

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Old 01-13-2013, 04:21 PM   #25
MadChap
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Mark640 and SuperVW and I found that same locked gate in the middle of the Catlow Valley that you found. We were able slide the gate up and drag the bikes under. Took over an hour in the blazing hot sun. I don't recommend the same to others. Awesome riding out there. The RR on our trip is in my signature line.

Tim
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:01 PM   #26
Remarksman
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Day 1

Looks like it’s well past time to get cracking on this ride report!

Well, three months of not getting to it is pretty much par for the Loser course, right?

HanksMyBuddy’s place:


Ford Road -- finally hit some dirt after wending our way through the greater Bend metroplex:


Intersection with Green Mountain Road:


Had some sandwiches for lunch at the gas station in Christmas Valley, after a quick stop at the tractor supply store.

Fandango, yeah it’s a little rocky:


I just love the way Fandango Canyon has a sharp side and a smooth side:




Tony is in this photo somewhere...


Day one statistics:


Stayed at the Sagerooms in Paisley -- nice large room, and the front porch looks right out onto the main road:


Here it is from the front the next morning as we're packing up:

Remarksman screwed with this post 01-13-2013 at 09:03 PM Reason: Added Sagerooms photos
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:22 PM   #27
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Day 2

Day 2

It doesn’t get much more wide-open than this:


Another rocky stretch:


The cattle drive we caught up with:


Looking back toward the long powerline road we arrived on, the cattle drive was just on the far rim of the slight valley you can see crossing the powerlines:


Heading in toward Hart Mountain and Plush:


We had lunch at the Hart Mountain Store:


Hart Mountain is, like, an antelope refuge or something:


Still in the Hart Mountain area, this was marked Black Canyon road:

This is the one that was still "seasonally closed" even though by the calendar it was supposed to be open again. We rode past some signs about Fire Danger Road Closures at the Hart Mtn. Ranger Station without reading them very carefully...

There is some strange stuff out in the middle of no-where:


Old Military Road:


My shadow is only 30 feet long, what could go wrong?


Beautiful evening colors, thanks to forest fires somewhere:

This was the road that led to our first locked gate.

Statistics for Day 2:
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:48 PM   #28
Remarksman
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Day 3

Fields Station:

I really like this place, despite Tony’s dissatisfaction with the way they cook the eggs. My peeve here is that the mattresses have some kind of rubber cover under the sheet, so I wake up all sweaty. Oh yeah, and they close down at 4:00PM, so you’d better think ahead for food and check-in if you have any kind of long day planned.
Still, it has a wonderful outpost kind of feel.

We went up to the Alvord playa just to see it, and messed around a bit. It was pretty darn chilly in the morning.


The east side of Domingo Pass is the sort of dent between the two big hills on the left:


Looking back toward where the last photo was:


Looking west from near the top:


Another odd structure in the middle of no-where:


The photo name says I think this was Lone Mountain:

It was cool because the road sort of goes right into the rocks.

Tony’s on that road through the rocks:


Tony walked quite a long way back to get a video of me coming up the hill with the water tower near the little cabin... dedicated videography, but where is the video?

Actually, I have a bunch of videos, but I started trying to put together a nice video of the trip back in October, then gave up and went back to work :-D

If you look closely, you can see Tony’s dust cloud on the right, and the mustang herd on the left:


Moments later, the mustangs run across the road, since mustangs do seem determined to cross Tony’s path :


Tony crossing one of the Silt Pits of Beatty Butte Rd E:


This might be the butte that Beatty Butte Road is named after:


Guano Slough:

Howdy partner, we just rode through Guano Slough.

The Frenchglen Hotel:


We actually stayed in the Drovers Inn, which is behind the historic hotel:


Statistics for Day 3:
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:25 AM   #29
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The odd structure with the greenish roof is a Guzzler put there for wild life. It collects water from condensation that collects on the underside of the corrugated roof.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:35 AM   #30
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Killer ride guys and great pics. Yet another route I need to ride. Great stuff.
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