OBCDR - The Southern Halves Adventure 7/12~18/09

Whip out those license plates and winkies! Talk about whatever you want, as long as it's about dualsporting.

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OBCDR - The Southern Halves Adventure 7/12~18/09

Postby Tawmass » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:42 pm

Walt Koch, Dan Hatcher, Mike Moore, Joe Fuller, Scott Wilson (chase truck) and I are embarking from La Pine, OR back to La Pine again incorporating the southern sections of both routes of the Oregon Back Country Discovery Route (OBCDR). Here is our itinerary and proposed routes:

7/11 – Saturday Night/Sunday Morning
Meet at Rick Aldridge's house in La Pine, OR and stage from there.

7/12 – Sunday Night
Spend the night in Oakridge after riding the Huckleberry Flats OHV System.

7/13 – Monday Night
Spend the night at the Union Creek Resort near Prospect, OR after riding the Prospect OHV System.

7/14 – Tuesday Night
Spend the night at the Hyatt Lake Resort East of Ashland, OR.

7/15 – Wednesday Night
Spend the night at the Hunter’s Hot Springs Resort, Lakeview, OR.

7/16 – Thursday Night
Spend the night at the Summer Lake Hot Springs, Paisley, OR.

7/17 – Friday Night
Spend the night at the Christmas Valley Desert Inn, Christmas Valley, OR.
Dinner at the Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant, Silver Lake, OR‎

7/18 – Saturday Night
Home!

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Last edited by Tawmass on Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Danno » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:35 pm

Last night I got home from one of the best rides I've ever been on! I just found out that everyone else made it home safe, also. We had a couple of flat tires (with the chase truck there, how fortunate is that), a leaky radiator, a few pinched wires, and a loose turn signal... No crashes or scary, near crashes! A very successful 7 day tour of southern Oregon, indeed!

Joe Fuller planned the week out with lodging all pre-paid for each night. Scott Wilson was the "Pit Tootsie" and took care of all the chase truck duties. He had all our bags waiting for us in our room every night. That guy is over the top! Mike "Hamster" Moore, a later minute fill- in, was a huge asset with his Ham Radio knowledge and rock solid riding skills and attitude. Walter Koch was also very knowledgeable with radio info. He got us on board with some excellent radios and "Pilot Style" headsets. With "Push to Talk" buttons mounted on the bars and noise cancelling mics, we had easy to understand communication, nearly the whole time! Imagine being able to hang back 2 miles, out of the dust, and using both lanes on wide gravel roads, and having a 2 minute warning for on coming traffic! Tom Niemela was our GPS router/planner and found some pretty tasty, out of the mainstream, backroads. We "definitely" got off the beaten path! I was just along for the ride and helped where ever I could, mainly things like useless trivia, a specialty of mine... Also, I tagged a few bikes, and for that reason I've dubbed this ride, "The '09 Joe Fuller - That Guy Ride". With all the planning and work Joe put into this very successful week, I think he should have major props!

There will be pictures and videos to follow, so stay tuned! Danno
"I usually tighten my nuts better"

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Day One

Postby Tawmass » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:22 am

Getting There
I’ve wanted to do the Oregon Back Country Discovery Route (OBCDR) for literally years. I’ve even planned it with various people, but something always seemed to pop up that threw on the brakes to the project. This year however, my friend Joe Fuller really stepped it up and threw a stake in the ground to go. He had a large invite list, but alas many people couldn’t go during mid July. When the smoke finally cleared and the money was laid down, it ended up being Joe, Dan Hatcher, Mike Moore, Walt Koch, Scott Wilson and yours truly. Scott would be our chase-truck dude, which made our adventure massively more enjoyable.

As the days wore down, we all amassed the major and minor items we would need for the trip. Highlights included updates for our high-zoot radios, of which Walt was able to provide. He’s always had a line on those things and the new ones ordered were complete with tuned antennas, noise-canceling microphones, push-to-talk switches and helmet speakers. He set us up good. Mike is a ham-radio dude in his own right (aka: a hamster), so interjected his expertise there also. As the instigator of the adventure, Joe laid out all the lodging details for the trip, which took a large amount of time. Dan is a skilled map guy, and is an expert in fixing almost anything with baling wire, duct tape and vine maple. Scott brought his organizational skills with his chase-truck piece and being a GPS junky and geek, I tried to bring my best mapping and route efforts.

On Saturday night, Danno and I arrived at Rick and Debby Aldridge’s house in La Pine, Oregon (and their wonder dog, Sage). Unfortunately Rick was at a business meeting in Portland, so Debby was kind enough to put up with the antics of Danno, Mikey, Walterio and I on Saturday evening of July 11. Scott and Joey spent the night at Scott’s Sister’s house in Sisters(?) and would show up on Sunday morning. Danno, Mikey, Walt and I did some unloading of bikes (Mikey unloaded his right into a tree!), went to a local watering hole for dinner and had fun with the local lady spinning CDs and singing karaoke, then headed back for the evening. That evening brought out the first of many drinks peppered throughout the week.
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Day One
The next morning had us waking up to beautiful Eastern Oregon sunshine as we started to mill around and get our bikes and gear bags in order. Debby even made a pot of coffee for our sorry butts – she was such a kind and gracious host! Mikey wondered how the bottle of Jim Beam got on the hood of his car. The rest of us knew. :)
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Scott and Joe showed up around 8:30am, so we could be ready to roll by 9am. Yeah, right. Optimistic at best, however it was a great goal. Joe pulled his Suzuki out of Scott’s chase truck and – the front tire was flat. Yep, he’d pinched it while installing a new tire. Then he and Scott commenced to fixing that, while the rest of us loaded our bags of gear and other paraphernalia into the chase truck. Once they got the tire fixed, it was time to line up for a group photo, so we fired up the hogs and went to line up. Uh oh, Mikey’s bike wouldn’t start. The starter just kept spinning the motor, but no spark. WTF? Just about the time we started to consider jump starting his spent battery, it finally came to life. Turns out it was flooded deeper than the Columbia River in Winter. I instructed Mikey to ‘hold the throttle wide open with no choke’, which would clean it out. Well, he took me quite literally and, once it finally fired up, the motor started to redline as I screamed at him to let off the gas! Egad! Cool, at least his bike was finally running.
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Danno had secretly created stickers for everyone’s front fender. All but one said, “NOT that guy!” One sticker said, “That guy!” and was on Joe’s bike. You see, he acquired that name while on a past Tim Morton Baja Trip and it has stuck ever since. I guess his flat front tire was almost expected then! We lined up our scoots for the obligatory Kodak Moment, smiled and all hit our starter buttons. Everyone fired up but Joe. WTF? Now HIS bike wouldn’t start. Joe was completely dejected now and the ‘That Guy!” moniker was becoming a reality. Just look at the photo and you can see it in his face. Then his Suzuki’s body parts started to get disassembled and the ohm meter was being poked and prodded throughout the wiring harnesses. Danno took control using his expert electrician skills and eventually found that a few wires were shorting by the steering head. Some wire stripping and electrician’s tape later and the big Suzuki was alive once again to a round of cheers. Joey had cleverly packed some hydration bags to carry extra gas, since he figured he was the one who would need it most. Turns out it was unneeded. Good thing, since, if he would've crashed, you might have seen the mushroom cloud from Portland!
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Finally, at the crack of 11:30am, we were off as we all waved good bye to Debby and Sage. Thanks Debby for taking the group photos! I had already created a cool looking route that would end us up in Oakridge, where we would meet Dan and Devin Bolin for a trailride at the Huckleberry Flats OHV Area.

We meandered around the West side of La Pine looking for a way to get into the forest and proceed to getting into the off-road sections, but the dead-end roads kept hampering that. Finally we just hit the highway and went about five miles out of the city limits, then dove into the off-road sections. Finally! Man, it was dustier than a popcorn fart, so I was glad I was out front. We were ALL glad we had the radios, so we could spread out too!

We wound our way through the backroads and came to Wikiup Reservoir. Dang, it was clouding up and was blowing a COLD wind! Everyone donned their jackets, except me, since I had left mine in the chase truck by accident – doh! Higher and higher we went on our way towards Waldo Lake. Holy crap was I cold! So cold in fact that I could have cut glass with my nipples, since I was wearing Moose vented gear! Then we went on a long, red-cinder road (Wikiup Bypass Road) that became rougher and rougher. The washboard surface was brutal and the road went for miles. How bad was it you ask? We were ALL whining about it on the radios, plus (after miles and miles of this punishment) I looked at my left mirror and it suddenly just broke off from all the vibration. Damn!
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We wound our way by Waldo Lake (the second biggest lake in the state, FYI) and started dropping altitude down to Highway 58. Thank God, since it finally started to warm up a bit. We rode Hwy 58 a few miles, then jumped off onto the South side on a gravel road. The road eventually started to parallel the railroad tracks, which are a main-line railway – remember that. After a ways, the road just went down the right of way for the tracks and vanished. We all started to search around to where the rest of the road was and eventually discovered that it continued – on the other side of the tracks. Okay, no problem, so I crossed the tracks and figured I’d get a few pictures of the others doing the same. Only problem was, nobody was able to cross the tracks. Walt, Joey and Mikey all took turns at trying to cross, but kept getting their wheels hung up, since the tracks were spaced apart perfectly so that both wheels would come up to a track. Tires were spinning, railroad ties were getting new rubber burned onto them, Joe tipped his bike over, and that’s when the realization set in by everyone that this was a MAIN thoroughfare for trains and they had NO REASON to blow a horn or whistle, plus it was a blind turn. The guys kept spinning their tires, glancing to the left and right for any sign of a locomotive. It would have been disastrous if something did come, but the guys doubled up to help each other across and all was well. A stressful situation indeed!
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We then continued on the old, dotted-line two track, that then descended down the mountain and eventually dumped us onto Hwy 58 again. A vote was cast and we all decided to just hit the highway to Bolin’s place, since it was so late, and we took off.

Arriving at Bolin’s house, Dan and Devin were both wondering where the Hell we’d been and we went through the morning’s issues, then followed with a round of introductions. Devin was then ready to take us on a trailride in the Huckleberry Flats Area, along with his buddy, Dave Hall. We opted to check in at the Oakridge Motel, (where Scott had all our gear set out, designated and totally set up. He even had custom OBCDR t-shirts for everyone – what a guy!) dump most of our gear and get some petrol first.

Once done, we hooked up with Devin and Dave, then headed North from Oakridge. That’s when the rains started to come down. However, Devin took us on some sweet trail! Devin and Dave were clearly in their element and we weren’t on or heavy and unwieldy dualsport bikes, however nobody was whining and were grinning ear to ear with the trails. After numerous trails and obstacles, we ended up at the actual Huckleberry Flats Staging Area and set onto the designated trails. What a letdown after riding the initial fun stuff. It was all hardpack quad trails, which by the way was incredibly slick due to the rains, forcing me to take things down a notch, after almost lipskidding three times in the greasy, wet dirt, right in front of Danno, much to his delight.
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After that, we met Dan Bolin at the staging area and it was decided that everyone had had enough and was ready to gravitate back to the hotel and get cleaned up for dinner. Okay, cocktails too. So we followed Dan Bolin back down the mountain (a beautiful drive!) to our rooms, got cleaned up and met Devin and Dave at a local Mexican restaurant. We had a great time there, tons of laughs and couldn’t believe how many of the locals that Devin Bolin was related to! Afterwards we headed back to the rooms and called it a day.
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And this was merely day one of our seven-day sojourn!
-Tom
Note: All pictures from Scott, Dan and I can be seen HERE. Walt's pix can be seen HERE.
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Last edited by Tawmass on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Tawmass » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:16 am

Day Two
It was Monday morning and everyone was stirring around. After the prior day’s chill, my bed was still cozy, but it was a riding vacation and there were miles in front of us! Walterio, Mikey and I hiked down early to the local espresso stand and got our fix. Upon our return, the others were up and starting into the daily drill. We all piled into Scott’s truck and headed down for breakfast at a local Oakridge restaurant. Afterwards we packed our stuff, reviewed the day’s route with maps and GPS, uploaded the routes to all the GPS’s and headed out. Doing this GPS work each morning was critical, plus I would put a waypoint in Scott’s chase-truck GPS and set it to autoroute, so all he had to do was listen to the GPS and end up where he needed to be. We all headed South to Hill Creek Lake and pointed the bikes toward our end-of-day destination at Union Creek (just South of Diamond Lake). We road Road 23 for quite a ways, as it narrowed down to one lane, then gravel road. We stopped at one vista point to relieve our coffee and we could actually still get reception from Scott’s truck, even though he was miles away.
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As we slowly made our way over the divide to the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, we again headed up over Kelsay Mountain, then dropped down by Lemolo Lake.
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At this point, we decided to try out a trail that paralleled the road. What a treat! This was good stuff and changed things up a bit.
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Then we headed down the long, fast Road 60 to our predetermined lunch stop just North of Diamond Lake to meet Scott and our chase truck. Once we found him, he was already sunning himself and had set out our Subway sandwiches and mosquito spray. Turns out he had quite the dirt-road drive following the GPS!
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We finished lunch and continued South to Diamond Lake and caught some very fun, fast and dusty two track we had ridden before at MRA’s Diamond Lake Dualsport Ride. We then made our way to the top of Trail 39 (a favorite trail of the area) and dropped on down.
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Then we dropped down, crossed Hwy 230 and rode another favorite single track trail called Minehaha Trail. After that was some very fun two track and trail that was used in MRA’s ISDE Race a few years back, then our route eventually led us to our destination at Union Creek, where Scott had once again laid out all our gear bags and had our rooms ready. We were living large! We got cleaned up, then it was time to find some dinner in nearby Prospect.
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We got to Prospect and was going to hit the historic Hotel, but the cost was prohibitive, so we hit the local restaurant/bar. The drinks ensued and so did the mayhem with our waitress Megan!
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After din, we made it back to our cabins, built a fire and fought off mosquitoes the rest of the evening while Mikey practiced his F-bombs.
-Tom
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Postby Tawmass » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:20 pm

Day Three
It was a glorious morning in Union Creek as we woke up and headed to Becky’s Café for breakfast. The food was great and, come to find out, the waitress and I knew mutual friends (I grew up just South of there in Shady Cove).
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As we waited for everyone to get loaded up and ready to roll, I again uploaded everyone’s GPS with the day’s tracklogs and routes. On this day, we would end up at Hyatt Lake for the night.
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Our first order of business was to hit the epic Golden Stairs Trail in the Prospect OHV Area. Danno, Walt and I had been on this before, but couldn’t remember exactly where it started. After much surfing through the GPS, we found it. Taking off, we pointed our trusty steeds in that direction. We hit a few quad trails and two track that was wayyyyy dusty. Thank God (and Walt) for the kick-butt radios! We made our way past Abbott Creek Area, then to the top of Woodruff Creek, where we finally found the top of the Golden Stairs – oh yeah. None of us had ever gone from the top to the bottom direction before, so it was a change. As hoped, it delivered! It was a most excellent single track up to the top, then it had the handful of switchbacks, which were too tight for our fork locks, so we had to jockey around them.
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About 2/3 way down, we stopped for a group-grope photo, then continued on. I did upload an unedited video of that section you can view by clicking HERE.
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Joey, Mikey and I stopped at the Prospect Ranger Station for some maps, then we met the others at the Prospect Store for a quick snack for lunch. And check out the local corkboard posting for pest control – awesome!
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We then went just South of town to the bridge and checked out the incredible waterfalls under the bridge, then continued our way out Red Blanket Creek Road and onto the Butte Falls–Prospect Highway.
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This road eventually led us back into the Rogue River National Forest (back onto the OBCDR) heading South towards Mt. McLaughlin (sometimes called Mt. Pitt). It was becoming quite warm and I was glad I was wearing Moose Sahara (vented) gear. The view in my mirror was a massive dust plume . As I continued down the roads, butterflies would routinely slam into me, then one time a solid ‘thunk’ hit me in the neck and I figured it was just a larger butterfly. Two turns later, I rounded a left turn and heard a loud whining sound from the back of my Suzuki. I quickly stopped and started inspecting the rear of my bike, looking for something broken. About that time Joey and Mikey pulled up and started to get off. A few seconds later I felt something moving in the lower right section of my jersey. I suddenly realized that it could be a bee or hornet and started jumping all around, pulling the back of my jersey up and yelling at Joe, “Get it out! Get it out!” He didn’t know what I was talking about and I kept hopping around like a cat on a hot, tin roof, when BANG – sure enough I got stung – and good. Joe somehow whisked the offending insect out of my jersey, but the damage had already been done. Damn, that hurt! Turns out the sudden whine I heard was a piece of red, cinder rock getting lodged into my chain guide.
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Okay, it was break time, so we passed around the flask of our favorite energy drink. We then soldiered on and made our way to Lake of the Woods (per Danno’s request) and hung for a few minutes.
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We were running late, so did a reroute of a more direct line to our destination of Hyatt Lake. We of course did some exploring along the way on some back trails. We eventually came to Hyatt Lake and snagged our respective cabins, which were new prefab units. It was hot so we commenced into the refreshments.
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After getting cleaned up, we were just about to contemplate dinner, when my very old friend from Medford, Glenn Putnam showed up on his big KTM! What a treat! So we all headed down to the local restaurant for a nice dinner and more refreshments. After dinner, Glenn needed to leave, then we all relaxed in the hot tub and called it a night, since the next day was to be the longest day of the trip (to Lakeview).
-Tom
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Postby Tawmass » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:17 am

Day Four
After a hearty night of sleep, everyone started milling around doing their morning rituals. We were all up at the crack of dawn, since we knew this was the longest day and we didn’t want to run out of daylight before we got to our hotel in Lakeview. Scott was feeling lousy the day prior, but he was finally back to his disgusting self again on this day (nice striking pose Scott). Were we waiting on Hatcher again? Hey Joe, you’re missing a bolt on your muffler’s endcap!
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We idled out of Hyatt Lake and started into the OBCDR tracklog. It was good road, then we hit Greensprings Hwy. Holy smoke, the OBCDR merely went down the Greensprings Hwy. to Topsy Reservoir. What the ???? That was weak, but follow it we did.
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Upon arriving at Topsy Reservoir, the OBCDR tracklog finally headed off road again. We took a small break at the reservoir, read the history boards (it was crazy what the settlers had to go through to get to the Willamette Valley!), I reminisced about swimming and riding in this area during college, then we headed South, just East of the Klamath River.
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We rode above the Klamath River Canyon for a ways, then the route headed East and down into the valley. Evidently we annoyed some local rancher, who was saying that we were riding too fast. The OBCDR then ran into the town of Doris and that was it. We were on our own now until we got to Lakeview. We had planned a rough route that would get us there, providing there were no locked gates or other issues.
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From Doris, we took a jaunt North to Klamath Falls to meet my old college/riding buddy Jim Heath. It was a yawner ride up Hwy 97, but we eventually rode into Klamath Falls. Wow, the town sure has changed in the 20+ years since I’ve been there.
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We found the restaurant and bellied up to the table for brunch. I called Jimbo on his cell and he headed on down. As we were sitting there teasing the waitress, a familiar face showed up to my surprise – it was Gary Schaeffer! Holy smoke, he hadn’t changed a bit! A bit later and Jim showed up – he’d shaved all his hair! Man, it was REALLY great seeing those two again after all these years. And they’re still riding plenty!
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We bid farewell, then pointed our trusty steeds South to Merrill. More pavement, we topped off with petrol, then started East out of the valley and into the mountains. We snaked through the mountains following our tentative route, then caught some old two track and we came to our first (of many) fence crossing. Mikey already had donned his custom Moore Suntan Lotion on his nose.
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We eventually made our way deep into the national forest lands and tried to find a route up to (what we surmised) was a scenic, mountain overlook. We tried like crazy to get to the summit, as we followed the GPS dotted line trail markings, but logging had disintegrated the path and we had no choice but to turn around. We made our way back to the main road and came across and old garbage dump in the middle of nowhere – ugly!
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We then found another option (from scant two track) that took us around on the backside of the peak, which finally allowed us to get to the summit. We were all pretty stoked that we actually made it, in fact we named it Joe’s Peak in his honor. The flask of tequila came out and even Joe took a pull (he hates tequila). As you can see, he really liked it!
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We then descended and continued our Eastern journey. After a few hours we started to approach the Western edge of the valley hosting Lakeview. We rode up to a lookout and could see Goose Lake in the distance.
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We came down from the peak and found another dotted-line road that wound us down the mountain – this was gnarly! Scarcely even a path!
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After a bit, we hit the valley and made our way to Lakeview. Coming into town someone had a funny quad in their front yard. We finally found our hotel and a waiting Scott. As usual, he had our bags set out in the rooms and everything was in order. We were living large! We got cleaned up and went to dinner at Mario’s in Lakeview – a great place to dine, then we called it a night.
-Tom
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Last edited by Tawmass on Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Tawmass » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:05 pm

Day Five
Quote of the Day: “Danno, you put the U in pussy!” (Tom)

After a night of good snooze (I slept with earplugs to drown out Danno’s snoring, although he said I was. Don’t think so!) We were up at daybreak again wondering where the coffee was. Scott faithfully unlocked our hogs from the front of the hotel. There were these little bugs EVERYWHERE on the outside of our rooms - weird! I happened to notice that Joe’s bike was missing a seat bolt that held on his rear rack. I later noticed that he was missing two rear-fender bolts - where's the Loctite?! There were chickens lurking around our parking lot, along with a cute little, squatty-body puppy. He just made himself at home and came running inside our rooms.
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We decided to skip breakfast and have brunch after we got back from the Goose Lake Loop. You see, we were now back on the OBCDR tracklogs, which started in Lakeview. There was a loop that headed Southeast of Lakeview, ended at the village of Goose Lake, then returned. I had again uploaded OBCDR logs to everyone’s GPS that included the original OBCDR tracks, plus a few additions I had found. By the way, we finally talked Joe into running a GPS on his bike, plus continue using his radio (sans helmet speakers). We started out heading East from downtown Lakeview, immediately hitting dirt roads. As we were leaving, Scott got on the radio and eluded that he was at the top of the peak ready to take pictures of us coming up the hillclimb. We heard that, stopped, and inquired to him whether he was really up there or not. No response. So unsure, we decided to sidetrack to the top of the mountain above Lakeview. Turns out Scott was yanking our chain (imagine that!), but it was a worthwhile trip to the summit nonetheless – an impressive vista!
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We then sailed up the main gravel road towards a little, dotted-line trail I’d found on the maps. After some confusion in the alder trees, I found it and what a rewarding ride it was! It was basically antiquated two track that transformed into quad trails – great stuff!
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We exited that incredible side trek and sailed our way to an OBCDR route that started out on two track, transferred to very rough quadish trails riddled with boulders and kept climbing us up higher and higher. Suddenly we were at a most incredible summit (8200’)!
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Then, just about ¼ mile from the summit, the tracklog diverted us onto a trail. What was this? Sure enough we were directed onto a quad trail! Although it had plenty of loose boulders and small windfalls, it was a hoot! At one particular point, there was a busted windfall across the trail. To get around it, I had to ride up on the bank (between the two exposed ends of the windfall log) and drop back down to the trail. No biggy. I rode up the bank, started to drop back down and heard a snapping sound. Upon dropping back onto the trail, I radioed the guys telling them to be careful on that bank, since I just tagged my radiator shroud and hoped I didn’t scratch up my plastic. It was nothing, so kept on rolling.
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This incredible trail descended us down, down, down, going by mining operations and many small lakes and ponds. Eventually we came out on the highway, just outside of the berg of Goose Lake. As I waited there for the others to show, I again got a faint whiff of anti-freeze. Could this have been coming from my bike? I looked, and sure enough, there was a small, pinhole stream of fluid exiting my radiator. Dammit! Time to execute Plan B. I limped my leaking Suzuki into Goose Lake. Whoa, nothing but a couple houses, so we pulled over in the shade and we let it cool down a bit, while I scouted water from a local faucet. It wasn’t ‘that’ low, so the decision was to just ride the pavement North back to Lakeview, which we did at about a 45mph average.

We eventually came into Lakeview. I saw a pickup with a couple bikes in the back, so I rode up to the guy and asked him if there was a radiator repair place in town. He told me to follow him and we ended up at a local auto-repair shop. The old boy eventually came out and said he didn’t have the equipment to fix it and that I should go to Deiter’s Auto Body and they might, so I followed the guy in the pickup down there, while Mike, Dan, Joe and Walt went to lunch.

Upon arriving at Deiter’s Auto Body, I was introduced to Don and he came out, inspected the situation and said that the radiator needed a small, tig welder, of which there wasn’t one in town. After analyzing the situation, he thought it could be fixed with some epoxy and radiator sealant, so he gave me a plate of lacquer thinner and a small wire brush to clean the radiator off. I pulled off the shroud and laid the big Suzuki on its side in the hot sun, then began cleaning the damaged unit. Evidently what had happened was, when the windfall caught my radiator shroud, it had pulled the plastic so far around that it separated the side plate of the radiator, where it was welded to the radiator body, therefore producing a small crack in the seam. I worked the wire brush for about 15 minutes, then Don mixed up some industrial epoxy and applied it in the offending area (below). We needed to let it dry for about 15 minutes, so we visited over a couple bottles of water. He showed me pictures of his crotch-rocket bike that he totaled a couple years prior, then we talked about his Harley that he now rides, plus compared notes for his impending divorce. His old pooch even waddled in for some attention. After 15 minutes, he mixed me up some industrial, radiator stop leak. “Don’t use that crappy stuff you buy in the auto parts stores!” he said and produced some grey powder stuff, mixed with a little water. He even gave me some spare powder in a plastic bag, in case I needed more. I then up righted the Suzuki and inserted his magic potion, and followed it with bottled water. I fired up the Suzi, and it didn’t leak a drop (nor the rest of the trip!). I was elated! Don wouldn’t take a red cent from me and commented, “Hey, we’re all brothers!”

I am forever indebted to his unselfish help and I urge anyone who happens into Lakeview to stop by his business (South end of Lakeview) and just say “Hi” and offer to buy him a beer! Thanks Don, you rock, Dude! A care package will be in the mail.
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I left Don’s Auto Body and eventually found the boys at a local restaurant chewing the fat with a local postman, who’d lived there all his life. We topped off with petrol and headed North on the highway to get back onto the OBCDR track again.
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The pavement wasn’t too long, then we got back into the Fremont Forest again, where the route turned into gravel and dirt again. Did I already mention how awesome the radios were? There were herds of cattle everywhere.
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Just about cocktail hour (Walt was getting withdrawals), we descended out of the mountains and rivers into Paisley, where we then had to go North to Summer Lake to our day’s lodging. Wow, was this place funky! Plus Danno, Joe and I had our building on the other side of the place. We got there and it was disgusting – dead flies everywhere and hot! We all fought for the shower, where it took us at least five minutes to realize that the soap didn’t completely rinse off due to the soft water. Then we piled into Scott’s truck and headed back to Paisley for dinner. There was only one restaurant, one waitress and one cook, but we made the best of it when they opened up their bar for us.
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After dinner we returned to the Summer Lake Hot Springs. We were definitely in the high desert again. We all suited up, hid our cocktails and headed to the hot springs. Whoa baby, was it hot! We befriended a very nice retired couple from Crescent City, CA that were on tour – he on a V-Strom and her on a large scooter – cool! But the mosquitoes were viscious! In fact, I forgot to mention Paisley’s annual celebration is the Mosquito Festival! After we couldn’t take the mosquitoes anymore, we called it a night.
-Tom
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Postby Tawmass » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:12 pm

Day Six
Quote of the Day: “Frank loves that 911 crap!” (Walt)

After spending a night in the Amityville Horror House, the sun shone its morning light to a beautiful Summer Lake sunrise.
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We decided we’d all pack up our gear, go to Paisley for breakfast, and continue on our way. As we all turned onto the highway to Paisley, I heard Dan talking to Walt on the radio, “Hey Walt, that back tire sure looks low. In fact, it’s flat!” Evidently Walt had acquired a sizeable nail in his back tire just before he hit the tarmac, so we all turned around and went back to our night’s lodging and the tire changing commenced. It was changed in a record time of about 1.5 hours or so. Danno threw a bandanna over his bald noggin to keep the skeeters away. We then headed down to the local restaurant for breakfast, which took forever, but was good.
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After breakfast, we were quickly back on the OBCDR tracklog and made our way to the first of many stunning vista points overlooking Summer Lake.
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We continued onward and eventually dropped off the upper shelf above Summer Lake and started getting on old two track, which eventually led us onto an extremely rough two track stuffed with rocks – it sucked! You can’t tell from the front/back photos, but it really was a PITA to ride!
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We FINALLY descended into Christmas Valley to our hotel, that Scott had once again set our appropriate gear. Wow, the shower sure felt great, plus it was Walt’s cocktail time! Scott shows below how to take a picture using your ear, and Mikey practices his martial arts.
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After getting all cleaned up, it was time to take off to the famous Cowboy Dinner Tree! Danno had bragged this place up quite a bit, so we were all filled with curiosity.
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After a 20-30 mile drive, we finally made it! Wow, this place was funky – and out in the middle of BFE! Rustic might be a better word, but it was packed like sardines in a can!
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And just lookit the size of those steaks – a side of beef! A full bird, for those that got chicken! We also had some big laughs from the couple sitting at the table next to us, who were from Rockaway Beach.
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Once finished trying to stuff ourselves, we packed our take-home boxes and checked the gift store, then visited the nice lady behind the counter. That’s when we noticed the dude out back doing the cooking, so visited with him awhile. Then it was back home to hit the hay again, to rest up for our final day.
-Tom
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Postby Tawmass » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:51 pm

Day Seven - The Coup de Grace

It was great to sleep in a clean room! After spending the night at the Hot Springs Hotel in Paisley, staying the night at the hotel in Christmas Valley was like living at the Ritz! Whoah, it was our last day – dang! It went by WAY too fast! All good things must come to an end...

On this day we were to hit yet more single track, this time close to the China Hat area, but first we had to get there. We were no longer on the bonafide OBCDR – we were making our own routes back to La Pine. We skipped breakfast in Christmas Valley, making an assumption that the restaurant would be open in Fort Rock. Bad assumption. By the time we made the droning pavement scrape to Fort Rock, the sign on the restaurant said they didn’t open until 11am – oof. So we hit the little/gas station, had a few bites of energy bars and headed toward Hole in the Ground before it got too hot out.
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We headed out the highway and onto the dirt roads, which led us to the actual Fort Rock. Fort Rock was a bonafide fort in the old days.
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Leaving there, we headed towards Hole in the Ground. On the way there, Joe was riding beside me, suddenly a group of quail started scurrying across the road in frond of me, all decided it was time to fly at the same time, and I had this gaggle of flying quail in front of me going all directions. Sure enough one of them didn’t fly fast enough and hit me in the chest protector, and then bounced off. Bet that scared the feathers off him! Then we started up the edge of the mountain that was Hole in the Ground. Looking back, I could see the dust plume coming from Walt and Mike, with Fort Rock in the distance – cool. I had to ‘feed the bears’, so waited at the edge, while the others rode down into the hole, and then tried to climb out the other side. The key word here is ‘tried’. One by one Joe, Walt and Dan got stuck on a big rain rut. Mike was smart enough to not even try it. Danno even tried it multiple times – wasn’t happening!
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We took off out of Hole in the Ground and started towards the Paulina Lake and Ice Caves area, where we found multiple, kick-butt roads autorouting with the GPS. We happened upon some bodacious single track and even more fast, technical and fun two-track roads too! At one point Joe got lost, but thanks to the radios, we found him. Then Danno got lost, and again the radios saved the day. Did I mention how damn cool those things were?
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Then Walt and Danno got pulled over by the local sheriff and he only checked their driver’s license and tags – no problem. If they would’ve been on a major highway, then Walt may have gotten dinged for blinkers and such, but otherwise no problem.

We slowly made our way back to La Pine in the dust and dirt. As we pulled back into the Aldridge’s residence, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that our epic journey was over. On the other hand, there were NO major issues or accidents – yes! Debby Aldridge was there to greet us all with her welcoming smile. Dang, her hubby, Rick, was now down in Vegas, so we missed him again. Was it our deodorant? Debby and her daughter more than made up for Rick’s absence by taking our leftover meat from the Cowboy Dinner Tree and barbecuing us all up some tasty dinner. She made a salad to die for too! Thanks yet again, Debby, you truly rock!

Upon unloading everything, my Suzuki odometer said just over 963 miles total for the week – woohoo! And my rear tire was shot so bad, you could see the air in the tires! What an awesome adventure with a great group of buds!

In summary, I have an even bigger love and wanderlust for our great state of Oregon. I'm a country boy at heart and just love 'getting away from it all', of which we did for most all of it. The scenery, people and culture is just so much better when you get away from all the stop lights and traffic. And I couldn't think of a better group of guys to go exploring with.

So where to next guys???!!! :D
-Tom
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Postby JoeHonda » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:51 am

Tawmass wrote:So where to next guys?
-Tom


The Northern Half of course. Take Route 4 East out of Prineville, then the northern half of Route 5, then do our own route back to Prineville. Do you know anyone that lives in or near Prineville?

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Postby Tawmass » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:11 am

JoeHonda wrote:The Northern Half of course. Take Route 4 East out of Prineville, then the northern half of Route 5, then do our own route back to Prineville. Do you know anyone that lives in or near Prineville?


Sho' 'nuff!
-Tom
You don't stop riding because you grow old, you grow old because you stop riding.

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