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Old 03-19-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
Rockaway OP
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(OBDR) oregon backcountry discovery route June 2013

Three of us are riding the route in late June. All of us are riding Suzuki DRZ400's. My wife is riding a DRZ400s as well is my friend Bruce. I am riding a drz400sm modified to a trail bike. We are starting in the northern portion of the trail. My awesome mother in law is driving us there in her highlander and trailer with my two kids. Full house in that rig!!

I'll try to post our pregame pics here and keep people updated with our research of the trail. Any help is much appreciated from those of you who have riden the trail and prepped DRZ's for a cross state affair.

Have a great day.

Greg

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Old 03-19-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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Which route are you going on? Walla Walla to Lakeview? I rode that route on a drz and had another drz rider with us.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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I'd like to know more about this too. I'd probably do it on my DR650...

How long are you anticipating it taking to do the trip? I've been looking for some good trips to do this Summer... this might be a good one.

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmagoolin View Post
Which route are you going on? Walla Walla to Lakeview? I rode that route on a drz and had another drz rider with us.
We are taking route 5. I am not sure if the other routes would be available (snow)because of being early summer. I just starting prepping my wife's bike (2000) DRZ400s . Bought new 3.9 gal. Clarke tank along with rock guard. Her bike came with dirt bags and rack system. We tried a gel seat for her, but it killed her butt on some initial rides.

Love the DRZ for it flexibility. Lots of extras available.

Greg
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
I'd like to know more about this too. I'd probably do it on my DR650...

How long are you anticipating it taking to do the trip? I've been looking for some good trips to do this Summer... this might be a good one.

Rob
The trip should take about 8 days. There is a good web site that supports this under (http://www.oohva.org/) with maps and extra info. There are a few routes depending on time of trip. Maps are available to purchase that come with way points and gas and food spots. Nicely put together.

Greg

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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I found a couple of the websites. I think their price for maps is f'ing nuts, and the waypoints are also pretty outrageous. I'm going to work up my own maps and waypoints instead.

I'm looking at doing Route 3 south to Route 2, then Route 5 up to Route 4, and back over to Route 3, then back home. Looking to see if I can manage it in a three or four day (long) weekend without rushing it.

I'm a little concerned about the stretch of Route 5 between Crescent Lake and the Ochoco National Forest. Googling has revealed a nasty section called the Rock Garden which supposedly takes nine hours to cover. I'd love to find photos of it to see if my DR650 loaded with camping gear would handle it okay.

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Old 03-19-2013, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
We are taking route 5. I am not sure if the other routes would be available (snow)because of being early summer. I just starting prepping my wife's bike (2000) DRZ400s . Bought new 3.9 gal. Clarke tank along with rock guard. Her bike came with dirt bags and rack system. We tried a gel seat for her, but it killed her butt on some initial rides.

Route 5 is the one that we did. You can still have snow problems on the Northern end at the time you are talking about. You will need the 3.9 gallon tanks. Eight days will be good, We did it in 5 days. You have to run a pretty fast pace to do that. Would like to take my wife on this trip and think that eight would be just right with her. Gas will be a bit of a problem on the northern section. Granite was wishy washy on gas. Sumpter was dependable. Oohva does not update their maps, so are somewhat out of date. Call all the gas stations to make sure that they have gas and what their hours are.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
I found a couple of the websites. I think their price for maps is f'ing nuts, and the waypoints are also pretty outrageous. I'm going to work up my own maps and waypoints instead.

I'm looking at doing Route 3 south to Route 2, then Route 5 up to Route 4, and back over to Route 3, then back home. Looking to see if I can manage it in a three or four day (long) weekend without rushing it.

I'm a little concerned about the stretch of Route 5 between Crescent Lake and the Ochoco National Forest. Googling has revealed a nasty section called the Rock Garden which supposedly takes nine hours to cover. I'd love to find photos of it to see if my DR650 loaded with camping gear would handle it okay.

Rob
Thanks for the heads up about the rock garden. I'll have to look into that. Have a good night.

Greg
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:12 AM   #9
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Physical Preparation

What is recommended for the preparation of the body for this type of trip? With the one week of riding on mixed terrain - other than carrying some ibuprophen, I am wondering what I should do to minimize stains, aches, and pains before the trip starts!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
I'm a little concerned about the stretch of Route 5 between Crescent Lake and the Ochoco National Forest. Googling has revealed a nasty section called the Rock Garden which supposedly takes nine hours to cover.
Are you sure you have your location correct? Cresent lake is on Route 3 near the intersection of Route 2. Ochoco NF is north and east on Route 4 & 5.

I rode Route 5 last summer with a small band of brothers. None of the actual riding is difficult. There were some muddy sections of road, a little sand, deep ruts, and some rocks but nothing I wouldn't ride on just about any motorcycle outside of a pure sport bike. One of our riders was on a way overloaded KLR with worn out suspenders. His bash plate touched earth frequently in some areas but he did just fine. Our guy on a loaded 990 ADV made it through everything as well but he struggled more in some of the muddy sections.

The difficulties we faced had more to do with August heat in the desert near Christmas Valley and the combination of difficult route finding (many side roads and intersections) and dust while riding as a group. Good food was hard to find too on some of the stretches. I wouldn't be concerned about conditioning unless you are significantly unfit. If you can ride a bike for a full day and pick it up a few times in a row you should be fine.

The days can be long but that is mainly driven by having to spread out because of the dust and then grouping up frequently when the choice of direction was not obvious, trying to avoid having somebody take off the wrong direction all alone.

Sections in the Umatilla and Malheur NF can be real frustrating because they are an absolute maze of roads and trails through the forest where three different maps and two kinds of GPS tell you that what you are looking at does not exist and you can't see farther than 500'. What worked best for us was simply laying out a string of waypoints along the route before the trip on everybody's GPS. That way, even if you are not on the exact road it is easy to figure out which way to go to get back on track. Make sure everybody has their own GPS, prefereably one with topo maps loaded and not one meant for highway work.

I started a resource thread after I got back and others have added useful information. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=820969

There is some good advice here: http://www.soundrider.com/archive/ri...very_route.htm

We found the OOHVA maps useless on the trip but of some value in planning. Sitting down with the OOHVA maps and Google Earth or your GPS software is a good way to plot waypoints. If you search you can find other rider's tracks available for free which works just as well unless you want to do "the official" route instead of just have a good ride through the wilds of Oregon.

Enjoy. It makes for a fine few days vacation.

Edit: this thread needs pictures.

























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Old 03-20-2013, 09:37 AM   #11
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk View Post
Are you sure you have your location correct? Cresent lake is on Route 3 near the intersection of Route 2. Ochoco NF is north and east on Route 4 & 5.

I rode Route 5 last summer with a small band of brothers. None of the actual riding is difficult. There were some muddy sections of road, a little sand, deep ruts, and some rocks but nothing I wouldn't ride on just about any motorcycle outside of a pure sport bike. One of our riders was on a way overloaded KLR with worn out suspenders. His bash plate touched earth frequently in some areas but he did just fine. Our guy on a loaded 990 ADV made it through everything as well but he struggled more in some of the muddy sections.

The difficulties we faced had more to do with August heat in the desert near Christmas Valley and the combination of difficult route finding (many side roads and intersections) and dust while riding as a group. Good food was hard to find too on some of the stretches. I wouldn't be concerned about conditioning unless you are significantly unfit. If you can ride a bike for a full day and pick it up a few times in a row you should be fine.

The days can be long but that is mainly driven by having to spread out because of the dust and then grouping up frequently when the choice of direction was not obvious, trying to avoid having somebody take off the wrong direction all alone.

Sections in the Umatilla and Malheur NF can be real frustrating because they are an absolute maze of roads and trails through the forest where three different maps and two kinds of GPS tell you that what you are looking at does not exist and you can't see farther than 500'. What worked best for us was simply laying out a string of waypoints along the route before the trip on everybody's GPS. That way, even if you are not on the exact road it is easy to figure out which way to go to get back on track. Make sure everybody has their own GPS, prefereably one with topo maps loaded and not one meant for highway work.

I started a resource thread after I got back and others have added useful information. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=820969

There is some good advice here: http://www.soundrider.com/archive/ri...very_route.htm

We found the OOHVA maps useless on the trip but of some value in planning. Sitting down with the OOHVA maps and Google Earth or your GPS software is a good way to plot waypoints. If you search you can find other rider's tracks available for free which works just as well unless you want to do "the official" route instead of just have a good ride through the wilds of Oregon.

Enjoy. It makes for a fine few days vacation.
Thanks for the details. Your firsthand advice is encouraging. I especially like the ideas of plotting the route on GPS before we leave.

Have a good day.

Greg
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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Thanks for the tips! As for location, I was only reporting what I read on another site. Never did see any photos of the rock garden. One guy on an XRL said there were lots of rocks but didn't appear to have a lot of trouble.

I'll try to find other's tracks to use, and plot my route ahead of time. I've been running a Zumo 665 for the past few years which does a decent job, and I do have Topo maps in it, though I'm not real fond of them. I've been installing lots of topo map apps on my iPhone and iPad and hope to have a 7" tablet before a trip like this, since it can live in the map window of my tank bag for easy reference. Or maybe I'll spring for a new Garmin Montana by then. Been looking for a reason to get one. :)

Rob
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:38 AM   #13
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Never did see any photos of the rock garden. One guy on an XRL said there were lots of rocks but didn't appear to have a lot of trouble.
The desert stretch between Riley and Christmas Valley has some long rough rocky sections that can get tiring after awhile. One of our bikes broke a luggage rack in there because of all the bouncing around. My advice is to travel light, keep more pressure in the tires than you might normally use off road, and watch where you are going. Travelling light has many advantages on any trip like this.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:05 AM   #14
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June, huh?

Take plenty of mosquito repellant!

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:55 AM   #15
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Sparrowhawk's advice is spot on.

Use the maps to plan your trip ahead of time. Use GPS routing software. It will save tons of unintentional wrong turns.

However, there are many ways to get from point A to point B in Central and Eastern Oregon. One of the things we enjoy about having access to so much public land. With that, use the "official" route as a guide but don't be afraid to take alternative routes that look good. The OBDR was designed to be passable by high clearance vehicles which does not always equate to the best motorcycle routes. And it will add to the adventure!

Know your bike ahead of time. Be able to wrench on it in the middle of nowhere. Practice at home by using only the tools in the toolkit you will take with you. You will have flats. Know how to change/repair a tube.

The rock garden section referred to is most likely the rocky rip rap mess north of Hwy 20 and Gap Ranch (west of Riley about 15 miles). It would take hours to pass this area in a Jeep but not too bad on a bike, even a bigger CC version. Going north is easier than south. However, if you hit this section heading south the worst part is the very beginning. Big bikes will struggle but take your time and it will get better.

You will be worn out at the end of every day and sore the next morning no matter what kind of condition you are in. Just part of the adventure. Bring your favorite painkiller...in tablet or liquid form.

Hydration is the key. Always fill your camel back with water at every chance.

Travel as light and secure as you can. The less bouncing around the better. You will most likely donate something to the trail gods. I've left plenty out there!

Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the adventure. I am notorious for packing too many miles into too short of time. Better to have time to live the dream, especially if this is your first time (you will never forget it)!

And enjoy the planning process. It is half the fun!

Greg
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