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Old 09-22-2014, 10:27 AM   #1
OrangeYZ OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Oregon
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The Oregon Backcountry Trail Ride of Idaho and Montana Discovery Route

The Oregon Backcountry Trail Ride of Idaho and Montana Discovery Route

I think that title covers about what JamesW and I did, or tried to do:
- Ride out of Oregon with minimum pavement (sort of like the OBDR)
- Ride a bunch of trails in Idaho (Sort of like the Tour of Idaho)
- Go into Montana, refresh on tires and oil, get out without smoking the new tires on the way back into Idaho

Screencap of my GPS before we left:


Oregon: We didn't ride the OBDR. We rode a few miles of one of the National Forest Roads which I think is on the OBDR, and then said "Hey, there be motorcycle trails this other way!" End of our riding on the OBDR.

Idaho: If you ride a dual sport in Idaho and want to tell people about it, you have to think of a word other than "Tour" to describe it. Birdcool already took "Trek" so that was out. Turns out that Trail Ride is available, and also is close enough to what we did.

Montana: There's no Montana Backcountry Discovery Route, and when there is, it probably won't include many of the excessively paved roads that we took. But they got us back to Idaho without making us too miserable, which is good enough.


Bikes of the ORBCTRoIDMTDR:

Mine, a 2007 KTM 540EXC, plus auxilliary power unit by McCulloch


She's a little used


JamesW's 2011 530EXC.

With about 1/3 of the miles, this bike would generate far less than 1/3 of the motorcycle related drama on this trip.

Honorable mention, my truck:

I could have ridden dirt roads from Medford to Bend, and James could have ridden the highway from Portland to Bend, but that would have sucked. Then once in Bend we could have ridden the highway to Prineville, but that also would have sucked.
So we would both drive to Bend and meet at a friend's house. I brought my mom. We would put his bike in my truck and drive to Prineville, where we would start riding and Mom would drive my truck home.


But how would we know where to go?
These:



And a few of these:


Also James's phone has a GPS. That was handy.

But how would we know where we could ride motorcycles on those?
A whole lot of these:

Many more than shown, these are just two we picked up on the way


And a few hours on this:



With a little bit* of this on the topos so I wouldn't have to carry the MVUMs, or bring my computer with me

*I think I spent most of last winter marking up the topos with the green sharpie!

And so we're off!

In search of these:


A little bit of this:


This will be ok too:


Safety not Guaranteed. Must bring own weapons*. I've only done this once.


*That's not true, loaners are available. See you Tour...sorry, Trail Ride Guide for details.

OrangeYZ screwed with this post 09-22-2014 at 05:13 PM
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:28 AM   #2
Bob
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Looks great!
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:42 AM   #3
OrangeYZ OP
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Not a lot happened on day 1 (Saturday, August 30), but then again day 1 started around 1 or 2pm.

From Prineville, we rode East on Hwy 26 about 10 miles, then north on Mill Creek Road until we got to Grizzly ATV Trail


The weather was getting off to a bad start. It rained a little bit, then when we stopped so I could put on my rain jacket, it rained a lot.

The moment we stopped and pulled ear plugs out, we heard thunder roll for about five solid seconds.

Back on FR27 east to Hwy 26. West on Hwy 26 for about 3 miles then east on FR2630. Somewhere around here we stopped for a 20 minute break and the storm passed by us.
I think all of this is the OBDR so far, up until South Fork Road on the South Fork John Day River. Here we took FR6370 into the woods until we got tired of riding and looked for a campsite.

How to find a campsite:

1: Be inna woods


2: Find a spur road


3: Ride to the end of the road


4: Keep on riding


5: Campsite


James had a bivy tent kind of thing to put his sleeping bag in. I had a thing that was basically a fancy space blanket. He was a lot more prepared for rain than I was. Luckily I found a spot where a big tree got most of the rain before it got to the ground. Little bit of rain overnight.

I almost didn't bring a sleeping bag, thinking that the space blanket bag thing would be enough and very compact. Then while riding to work a few days before taking off, I said to myself "Self, it's kind of cool here in August at 1,300 feet and 7am. It's probably going to be really cool in September at 6,000 feet and 3am." Found room to bring a sleeping bag. That was a good idea!
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:57 AM   #4
AnimalDr
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this should be interesting. I'll go along.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:28 PM   #5
redog1
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Thumb Looks good,

I'm in.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:42 PM   #6
OrangeYZ OP
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Like a schmuck I started posting this before having alllll of the pictures uploaded.

Day 2 was the best day out of the first two days (maybe even the first 2.5 days), and these are the only teaser pics I can post until I get home today:






Also I forgot to mention it was a two week trip. Planned between 2 and 3 thousand miles, came up to about 2,300 miles.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:04 PM   #7
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Thumb In!

Thanks for posting! Working on the planning stages for an epic milestone birthday trip next spring/summer..Idaho Oregon Colorado Utah are in the crosshairs..light bikes, camping etc.
interested in seeing how this goes!
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:21 PM   #8
hotlaps
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:49 PM   #9
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Yee-Haw! Dirty Joe & JIMMAHHHH ridin' on the dirt sickles.
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:18 PM   #10
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..........

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Old 09-22-2014, 05:41 PM   #11
OrangeYZ OP
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A week before this trip, my brother went out to scout for deer, and I went with him because "Hey, free trip to the woods!"
The day before this trip I witnessed him borrowing my dad's truck to go bow hunting with.
Despite these clues, it did not occur to me that this was the opening weekend of archery season until we passed the umpteenth hunter camp and third dude on an ATV with a bow.
So we saw a lot of people in the woods.


Day 2 actual.
We awoke to the sounds of elk bugling, or people sounding like elk bugling.
Packed up camp, which was not as wet as it could have been and went into Mt Vernon for breakfast and gas. A short rip up Hwy 395 to Magone Lake Road and two hours of gravel roads later we were at Winom Frazier OHV Area

This map only needed to last for two days, then it could be kindling


In the above post, the first teaser pic is the first ATV trail we came to at Winom Frazier. Here is another one:


And some single track, dropping off of Chimney Mountain or something


And some more single track going down the east side of Lookout Trail


Did not get pictures, but the chainsaw came in handy with clearing logs out of the trail before we even got out of Oregon. I cut two logs out of the way, and then rest we went under or over because it was starting to get late.
The day sure got away from us, it was now 3 or 4 pm, and I knew we had a ways to go to get to La Grande for gas and dinner, then get back into the woods for a camp spot.

Found time to get this picture of the Elkhorn Mountains (repost from above)



We went to La Grande, ate at the pizza place across from Walmart and rode back through the hills in the dark to this campsite (morning picture)


It did not rain the tiniest bit, but my space bag gathered every bit of moisture out of the air and collected it on the inside. To be transferred to my sleeping bag five minutes before I woke up. James' tent bivy did the same thing.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:03 PM   #12
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Don't worry Joe I got a couple photos of the inaugural log cut!

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Old 09-22-2014, 08:33 PM   #13
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Looking forward to the Idaho report. I'm in.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:46 PM   #14
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Nice start. Im in.

BTW, "Trek" rider and motorcycle trekking is offered up as a standard label for long arduous trail riding trips on a true dirt bike. No royalty required
Im hoping it catches on actually to distinguish our type of riding from ADV and DS which are bigger bikes and more dirt road oriented.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:57 PM   #15
OrangeYZ OP
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Day 3: Beginning of the Idaho Part
We backtracked up Ladd Canyon Road to Wolf Creek Reservoir Road and headed toward the town of North Powder. I brought enough sticky GoPro mounts that we could put one on James' helmet and he could video me riding down the road.
Good thing too, otherwise we would have missed this SICK AIR!

Also my tail light works. Weird.

Wolf Creek Reservoir just outside of North Powder


North Powder is a small town halfway between La Grande and Baker City on I-84.
Restaurant, yes had a chicken fried steak which was good and big.
Store, yes got my Mt Dew fix
Gas station, no which is why we had gone to La Grande the night before.

We went northeast on whatever Hwy goes northeast out of North Powder for a while to Govt Gulch Lane and then Telocaset Road. Telocaset Rd is a gravel road that would take us past the easy-to-miss Reeves Mtn Rd and all the way to paved Hwy 203. Oops.

But, we found our way to Road 67 and then 77 on Eagle Creek


Road 77 would take us most of the way to the town of Halfway. I don't know the geographical significance of calling it "Halfway," but I do know that it has ethanol-free premium and beer. Also Mt Dew, because I knew the next morning would be a long ride into any kind of town.

I kind of wanted to go north out of Halfway into the woods and then take the Hess Grade Road down into Hells Canyon, but it would have added about 2 hours to the trip, and we wanted to get to Idaho in time to pick out a nice campsite. So we hit Hwy 86 past Pine Creek to The Oxbow.
Pine Creek has a store with wine and fishing lures and not much else. Copperfield (the Oxbow) has less.

Where the Hess Road is on the Oregon side of the Snake River and goes down, the Kleinschmidt Grade is on the Idaho side and goes up

On the Kleinschmidt looking at the Hess


On the Kleinschmidt looking up it



Up in the hills of Idaho just outside of Hells Canyon is the town of Cuprum. Not a lot there, but when we stopped in the shade to rearrange maps, the guy who came out of the nearest house to visit us was also a dirt biker! He was itching for an excuse to ride, so he hopped on his DRZ and showed us the shortcuts out and back from the Hells Canyon view points. Also confirmed that the lake we were looking at camping at would indeed be nice!

On the way out of Cuprum


Snake River from Kinney Point


Eagle Cap Mountains in Oregon, from Sheep Rock Viewpoint


We got back to the main road, and Arlen went back to his house with cold beer and a hot shower, and we went towards Black Lake with coolish beer and dirty air filters.

The road to Black Lake is 14 miles of Not-Kidding-Around.


But worth it!



Pretty sure this was the best camp site of the trip, I can only think of one other that was close.

And some clean air filters drying


I brought two spare filters, one of them was pretty crumpled and had a tear going about halfway through the glued seam. I oiled that one and put it on, not planning on ever cleaning it again.

I slept with just the pad and sleeping bag, didn't use the space blanket bag. James slept on top of his bivy tent, but got inside when the wind picked up in the night.

Stats for the day:
First person we met in Idaho went dirt biking with us
Campsite was epic and empty
Idaho > Oregon

Also:
First (only) meal was around 10am
Number of mirrors on James' bike: 2

Tomorrow we would hit some real trails
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