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The Dalles Rides, meetups, regional discussions | The Dalles, Hood River, Columbia Gorge

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Apr 18th 2016, 06:08 PM   #1
 Quixote's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Oregon Desert

  Speed Triple R
Spring 2016 Eastern Oregon Road Conditions

Hey Riders, a little help if you please. Looking to consolidate rider reports to ascertain when the snow and associated gravel will be off the better riding roads in eastern Oregon. The recent high temps are tempting us farther from our usual Wasco County runs.

To date, we can report that OR 218 ("The Fossil Run") is excellent, as well as OR 216 (Shearer's to Grass Valley) and Bakeoven is good except the omnipresent gravel just east of Maupin.

All of our usual backroads in Wasco County are OK.

Looking for info on a few more:

OR 207 - Spray to Ruggs
OR 74 - Heppner to Nye
OR 402 - Kimberly to Long Creek
OR 244 - Ukiah to Hillary
FSR 53 - Heppner to Ukiah
OR 19 - Fossil to Spray
OR 245 - Dooley Mountain
Upper Middle Fork Rd. - Bates through Galena
FSR 52/73 - Ukiah to Sumpter
OR 380 - Prineville to Izee

Thanks for the recon, and Good Riding To You All

Quixote
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Apr 18th 2016, 06:34 PM   #2
 chinook rider's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Coulee City

  2014 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 2008 Yamaha WR250R
I rode Heppner to Ukiah fsr 53 this weekend, there is snow over part of the road and in shady places down to single lane, luckily I didn't meet any on coming traffic. It is totally passable and the whole ride was spectacular I continued from Ukaih to La Grande on 244. There is nothing like the Blue Mountains one of my favorite rides!
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Apr 18th 2016, 07:32 PM   #3
 MrTwister's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Eastern Oregon

  16 Honda Africa Twin, 09 Hayabusa, and 08 DR650
Rule of thumb. If it's a forest service rd., it doesn't get plowed during the winter and should still have snow. Especially Rd. 52 from Ukiah to Granite. Many of the lower roads around here that I've ridden were pretty clean for this time of year.
Apr 23rd 2016, 06:05 PM   #4
 Quixote's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Oregon Desert

  Speed Triple R
Thank you C-Rider, I think we'll be heading up FSR 53 to Ukiah very soon. Mister T, I agree, we'll postpone the run through Granite until June. Thank you both for your info.

Today a group of Gorge Riders pushed farther east of The Dalles, and we can report that The Fossil Run (OR 218) remains excellent. OR 19 SE from Fossil is clean and fast. Rowe Creek Rd. through Twickenham is pretty dirty with broken pavement at the top adjacent to OR 19, however it smooths out as you approach the bridge. The climb out up to OR 207 is excellent.

Kahler Basin Road from Spray to OR 207 is acceptable, and OR 207 from Spray to Hardman on to Ruggs is as clean as I've seen it.

More reports to follow.

Overall, it appears that eastern Oregon will enjoy an excellent spring riding season.

Thanks and good riding to you all,

Quixote
Apr 23rd 2016, 07:12 PM   #5
 Runnerb0y's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Hood River, OR

  2012 Kawasaki Concours
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quixote
Thank you C-Rider, I think we'll be heading up FSR 53 to Ukiah very soon. Mister T, I agree, we'll postpone the run through Granite until June. Thank you both for your info.

Today a group of Gorge Riders pushed farther east of The Dalles, and we can report that The Fossil Run (OR 218) remains excellent. OR 19 SE from Fossil is clean and fast. Rowe Creek Rd. through Twickenham is pretty dirty with broken pavement at the top adjacent to OR 19, however it smooths out as you approach the bridge. The climb out up to OR 207 is excellent.

Kahler Basin Road from Spray to OR 207 is acceptable, and OR 207 from Spray to Hardman on to Ruggs is as clean as I've seen it.

More reports to follow.

Overall, it appears that eastern Oregon will enjoy an excellent spring riding season.

Thanks and good riding to you all,

Quixote
Your ride report is spot on, except you forgot one detail. Apparently there is some sort of magnetic vortex that rips lightly secured electronics off motorcycles. It's located HERE. We may have discovered the PNW version of the Bermuda Triangle??? Fortunately we had blood hound Mike with us and he was able to find the GPS that got launched. It still worked too!

It was great meeting some of the PNWmoto members today. Thanks for the fun times. My Odo had 387.4 miles on it when I pulled into the garage. I beat the rain by about 5 minutes. All in all a near perfect day (could have done without the wind). I appreciate being allowed into the "inner circle" and hope to make SMC and a subsequent ride, a regularly scheduled event.
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May 7th 2016, 08:22 PM   #6
 Quixote's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Oregon Desert

  Speed Triple R
Eastern Oregon updates - 7 May:

OR 74 from Heppner, across Franklin Summit to US 395/Nye Junction is in great shape, perhaps the cleanest I've ever seen it.

US 395 from Nye Junction across Battle Mountain to Ukiah was quite good.

"Mary", the waitress at The Thicket confirmed Mr. Twister's observation that FSR 53 from Ukiah on to Granite is still blocked by snow.

Chinook Rider, I'm pleased to report that FSR 53 from Ukiah to Heppner is wide open and clean, with only a little snow in the ditches.

An interesting side note - today we saw more riders in Eastern Oregon than I have ever seen before; my left arm is happily sore from waving. On OR 206 from Condon to at least Ruggs we must have met over a hundred riders headed west. It was truly a treat to see all that Heavy Metal enjoying the day.

Further updates to follow.....

Thanks,

Quixote
chinook rider likes this.
May 7th 2016, 09:03 PM   #7
 Runnerb0y's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Hood River, OR

  2012 Kawasaki Concours
Quixote

I was out and about in Eastern Oregon today as well. I kept thinking, I know it's a nice day but holy smokes, there are a LOT of riders out today. I stopped in at Spray and there must have been 40 bikes.

Apparently the Rose City Motorcycle Club had their 500 ride today. It was a little tough to get a clear picture of exactly what that is. Near as I can figure it's a charity ride for children and participants end up riding 500 miles during the weekend. I think it can be done over multiple days or in a single day. Talking to a few of the members, it wasn't totally clear that they understood it either

On another topic, I was on 207 north out of Spray and had to stop for a small scale cattle drive. There were 4-5 people on horses, a dog, and a couple vehicles involved in herding approximately 150 head. They had moved them quite a distance before they got to me. I was dodging cow pies almost all the way up to Hardman.

Hope your ride was good. I understand there may have been some mechanical trouble for someone???? Hope it was nothing major.

~runner
May 14th 2016, 02:19 PM   #8
 R1 Jackal's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Oregon

  a bike with a single R
NF-48 & NF-44 are open, clean and clear of snow.
May 14th 2016, 09:34 PM   #9
 Lena's Avatar
Forum Admin
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  Monsters
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quixote

"Mary", the waitress at The Thicket confirmed Mr. Twister's observation that FSR 53 from Ukiah on to Granite is still blocked by snow.

Chinook Rider, I'm pleased to report that FSR 53 from Ukiah to Heppner is wide open and clean, with only a little snow in the ditches.

Quixote
You mean FSR 52 from Granite to Ukiah, right? I am a bit surprised. I would guess FSR 73 to Anthony Lakes is still snowed in because that's a higher elevation but not west from there.
May 15th 2016, 07:44 AM   #10
 Quixote's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Oregon Desert

  Speed Triple R
Hello Lena!

You're right; it's FSR 52, not FSR 53 that heads southeast from Ukiah towards Granite.

Judging from the recent warm and dry weather, most of the snow in the upper North Fork John Day drainage should be off the road. I'll probably do a solo Dawn Patrol in the next few weeks to make sure it's clear.

I'm particularly interested to know if the Forest Service has done any road repairs on that stretch of FSR 73 that drops down Granite Creek to Bull Run Creek. I recall some nice forested sweepers on that stretch that suckered me into a swarm of nasty potholes two years ago. I'll let you know what I find.

Thanks, and Good Riding to You All,

Quixote
May 26th 2016, 09:19 PM   #11
 Lena's Avatar
Forum Admin
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  Monsters
Both FSR 52 and 53 are open according to the ranger station in Ukiah.
May 27th 2016, 05:26 AM   #12
 Quixote's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Oregon Desert

  Speed Triple R
Thanks Lena, I may check it out tomorrow.

On the way back from Sumpter I'll plan on taking FSR 51 from the junction of FSR 52/FSR 73 across Chicken Creek Pass and down to Starkey (never been there before).

I'll post up a report when I get back.

Good Riding to You,

Quixote
May 28th 2016, 06:04 PM   #13
 Quixote's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Oregon Desert

  Speed Triple R
Hey Riders!

OK, just got back from "The Sumpter Run" (511 miles in 11 1/2 hrs; God I'm pooped), and I can report the following:

OR 74, OR 206, OR 207 and U S 395 are in great shape, not as much traffic as I expected for the holiday, and very low LEO presence (a mixed blessing as we shall see).

FSR 52 from Ukiah to the junction with FSR 51 is clean, smooth and fast....

FSR 73 from the junction with FSR 52 to Granite is nine miles of broken patches and frost heaves. Even on an adventure bike I had to pick a route through the bumps.
Heading down FSR 73 south of Granite it smoothed out again until I hit the road construction about seven miles from Sumpter. (Sumpter was a zoo today; the annual Flea Market was on and there must have been thousands of people in the street. Took forever to get three gallons of non-ethanol...).

Doubled back north to FSR 51 and rode it north to Starkey/OR 244. Very nice road; starts off sub-alpine at the pass and drops down to woods and meadows; highly recommend it.

Ultimately I think that once they finish re-paving the lower 7 -9 miles of FSR 73 (probably in about three weeks; they've mobilized the asphalt machines up there already) it is definitely worth enduring the bumps; just ride carefully by Granite....

Took US 395 back from Ukiah to Nye Junction and decided to try Butter Creek/Little Butter Creek Roads off of OR74 around Franklin Summit. Heard some good things years ago about those roads. Big mistake.

Little Butter is a peg-dragging hoot; a real roller coaster ride. But to do the loop, you have to do "Big Butter" which is a white knuckle ordeal; perhaps they had recent flash flooding, there are places where the pavement is just...gone. Not recommended; just go over Franklin Summit.

OK, one more scouting trip and I'll shut up: I'm seeking the paved roads that run from Oakridge to Steamboat through the Willamette National Forest. I know FS 21 links to another paved road that drops down to Sharp's Creek, and from there you can ride up and over to Steamboat on the Umpqua. Anybody have recent experience with that?



Thanks, and Good Riding to You All.

Quixote
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May 30th 2016, 09:52 PM   #14
 Lena's Avatar
Forum Admin
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  Monsters
We must have passed each other! No point in reporting same stuff on the same roads. Other than Sumpter was one big cloud of dust (I don't know how all these people there put up with it) and after they repave the road from Sumpter to Granite, the frost heaves will return very soon, unless they use better asphalt this time.



Unfortunately I don't have any knowledge of FS 21 and thereabouts, Aufterheide was my fun out there.
May 31st 2016, 03:53 PM   #15
 orangeradish's Avatar
 
  Mar 2016
  Oly

  Weestrom, DR650
Nothing to report as the last time I was thru that way was April. That said, I love riding in that part of the world. I've not done anything off road out there yet, but I plan on it. I'll be hitting you up for some off road route ideas this summer for sure...

Jason
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