|Jul 29th 2016, 03:01 PM||#16|
'07 GSXR-600, '05 CR85r
Day 4: Bend to Beaverton, 347 miles
Route: 20, Alfalfa, 27, Prineville, 26, 207, 19, 218, 97, 197, NF-48, 35, 26, home
Favorite Road of the Day: The portion of twisties right after Antelope on 218
Today was our earliest checkout yet! We awoke at 6 am to get showered, eat breakfast, pack up and check out by 8:30 am. Today we would ride almost 350 miles just to get home. And we wanted to get home to see our baby girl!
Today was the day I had been waiting for. I fell in love with the roads around Fossil, Oregon the very first time I rode them. I knew that when I left them back in August 2012 that I'd be coming back for more. I loved the tight corners and the high desert where visibility was 10 miles or more. I loved the heat and I absolutely loved how scarce the traffic was.
Today was my day! I felt great after eating breakfast and gassing up the bikes. We headed out of Bend towards Prineville by way of Alfalfa and 20. As we got close to turning onto Alfalfa we ran into a bit of a snag. There was construction on Alfalfa Market Road and it was blocked off. It also looked like they just recently put in a new roundabout at the intersection of Powell Butte and Alfalfa that I didn't notice on Google's Street View (which is totally helpful for finding gravel roads by the way). I was ok with the closure but I noticed that there wasn't a single detour sign around. "Did you see a detour sign?" I asked Warren and he said he didn't, "Ok, I guess we'll make a right at the next decent road." We turned right onto Nelson Road and another right onto Waugh Road which brought us back to Alfalfa. Throughout our whole trip, this was the only detour we had made. Pretty good if you ask me! And it wasn't too bad as we got to see the local houses and farm lands around the area. But hopefully, we wouldn't have to take anymore detours today because we wanted to get home before it got dark.
Alfalfa took us straight to 27 and we had our first stop of the day. Parking our bikes next to the Prineville Reservoir, we took in the beautiful landscape and I took a photo. We also went a little further down the road and stopped to take a photo of the other side. It was gorgeous out here!
Making our way through the tight canyon road put my heart at ease. I loved those little snake like corners that wound around the river that I found out later was called Crooked River. It was here that we had spotted our first sport bikes riding the opposite direction since starting our trip. This must be a road the locals love! I thought.
Crooked River Highway
Right before arriving in Prineville, we came across two dogs and a cowboy on horseback trotting towards us on the right side of the road. It wasn't until I was a couple hundred feet away from them that I saw the black cow also coming toward me but between the road and the fence. As I started slowing down, I could see that the cowboy was motioning very sternly with his arm to move over into the oncoming lane. Luckily, there weren't any cars going the opposite direction so I got as far left on the road as possible while raising my hand to acknowledge him. He must have been afraid that we'd spook the cow as he was trying to corral him. We weren't sure but Warren and I thought it was a funny sight to see.
Pretty rock formations
Gassing up in Prineville meant that we had to really conserve our fuel. We wouldn't see another gas station (at least one with premium gas) for another 167 miles! Before leaving Prineville, we witnessed our second close call when a semi-truck, without a trailer, who was in front of us almost rear ended the car in front of him! With the smell of hot rubber behind us, we made our way to the little town of Mitchell, which by the way was very little! I think I only saw two buildings! From here, we went up 207 towards Service Creek that had some nice twisties. Over to Fossil we went and 218 was where it was at!
Taking a break on 207
Once on 218, I radioed to Warren letting him know that this was the start of the route I was more familiar with and then took off. The road through this part of Oregon is spectacular and the one I had remembered the most. Each corner was as thrilling as the next and I wanted more but soon realized that Warren was falling way behind. I let him catch up to me and radioed to him, "You doing ok?" I asked. He said he wasn't feeling the best and that he couldn't see around the corners due to the rock formations. I let him know I understood and that when I saw a pullover we would stop and take a break. We had taken a little break right after Mitchell but we hadn't had lunch yet. We had planned to just eat snacks until we got home.
Up ahead were the John Day Fossil Beds and I turned into the parking lot. There wasn't a whole lot of shade so we had to get off the bikes in order to walk under a tree to relax. By this time, it was in the high 80s and only getting hotter. I took off my layers and prepared my neck cooler to soak up some cool water to wear later.
The John Day Fossil Beds
Warren and I chatted about the roads we had just taken, we both agreed that we'd take it easy. We didn't want to have an accident on the last day of our trip which was why he was being cautious and taking it slow. I didn't blame him, if I wasn't feeling it that day I'd be cruising at the pace he was. I let Warren know that the town of Antelope was coming up next. This was the town that use to have a cafe but I knew that it had been closed for a few years now.
Back on the road again with our stomachs semi full, we headed towards Antelope. We had to traverse 187 more miles before reaching home and it was only 12:30!
Our route home
Riding by the dark and empty Antelope Cafe put a tear on my face. There were so many memories. The last time I was here was on the Ladies Weekend ride of 2012 always put on by Mel. It was here, before entering the cafe, that we learned the fate of a local rider who was on his way to Baker City. This was the second death of a rider within a span of a week that we heard about. It was too much for some as we broke down crying. The rest of that trip we stayed honest and humble. None of us live forever but we have to do what makes us happy. I thought to myself.
Antelope Cafe, Ladies Weekend Rally, August 2012
It wasn't too much later that we hit the next road gem. My favorite section of the Shaniko-Fossil Highway. I looked back down the hill at the corners we had just taken and I wish I could have stopped to take a picture. It was such a wonderful sight! But we were on a time crunch and had to keep moving.
What's on the map
Here is a Google image of the section
From here to Maupin were some very straight roads. Ones where I couldn't say we didn't hit triple digits at least once. Entering Maupin (one of my favorite towns) is like you are rolling in on a red carpet. The town is situated on the Deschutes River but you have to go down the winding roads to go across the bridge and through town. We stopped at Richmond's Service station to fill our bikes up and I made sure to get the non-ethanol premium blend! Last time I was here, I didn't know there was premium and had gassed my bike up with regular. Mel was a doll and bought an octane booster so that I could at least feel a little better about the gas in my tank.
Riding into Maupin
The red tank!
With fresh non-ethanol gas in our tanks we were on our way to Tygh Valley and up through Mount Hood. Going this way meant hitting a forest service road that was pretty rough. It had deep cracks in the road every 100 feet or so as well as multiple cattle guards. Warren asked me if the whole road was like this. "It'll soon clear up but this is a forest service road. They aren't very well maintained."
Soon we reached a stretched where I pulled over. Being as it was very picturesque, I took a few photos and breathed in the clean forest air. "Gorgeous," I said silently, "We have to get over Mount Hood to reach our destination!"
Ever since Shaniko and hopping on 97, I had pointed to Mt. Hood telling myself that that was where we were headed. It seemed so far away and to know I'd be seeing it this close on the same day seemed nearly impossible but in reality we had passed many mountains in the last 4 days, (Mt. Scott, Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, and now Mt. Hood). Our goal has almost been complete.
Warren pointing to where we have to go
Government Camp came and went. It wasn't until we hit Sandy that we were in the thick of 5pm rush hour traffic. We pulled over at an empty school to take a break and to collect our thoughts. "We're almost home!" I told Warren. "Close but still far away," he said. I knew what he meant. Traffic can be a nightmare around the Portland area.
Taking a break
Feeling stoked to go through rush hour traffic!
As we made our way down 205 to I-5 and through Sherwood, we took turns taking lead and weaving in and around traffic where we could. There were even occurrences where we were riding side by side. I could feel the connection between us and our bikes. We had just ridden over 1000 miles together and we felt so in-tune with one another.
Once we arrived home, we weren't able to sit and relax. We headed over to my parent's house to pick up Taylor. As soon as she realized who we were, Taylor walked as fast as she could, with a worried look on her face, straight into my arms. It felt so amazing to hold her and it felt like she would never let go!
Back home, after picking up the dogs and I didn't want to even think about unpacking. It was a great trip, no, it was an AWESOME trip! No accidents, no close calls, great weather! What more could I have asked for? "Nothing, it was flawless!"
And with that, it wasn't long before Warren started preparing for his next Bend trip (so that he could visit the other breweries over there lol) that will happen this weekend.
As I lay in bed knowing that it was just a matter of time before my eyes would close, I couldn't help but wonder if this was the start of new things and more motorcycle trips. My plan had been to get Warren interested in travelling long distances by bike and I think it worked. Until next time Oregon, stay beautiful!
Thank you to all who read the whole 4 days. I now have such an appreciation for anyone who writes ride reports! And I thought editing video was hard!
My next post will be about which equipment I used, which I did not use, and which equipment I would have liked to take next time.
|Jul 29th 2016, 09:22 PM||#17|
no more! :(
great write up.....have been on many of the same roads....southern oregon has some great roads...and the road down to Happy Camp Cali is worth doing if ever you get chance to do so!...as is redwood hwy to Cresent City on cali side...
|Aug 1st 2016, 10:48 AM||#19|
Great stuff Ashfoot. This year I've not gotten out other than riding to work it seems. So seeing these Trip Reports are refreshing. Glad your trip was safe.
And 50K, WOW..
|Aug 2nd 2016, 08:17 AM||#21|
Thanks for sharing the adventure Ashfoot. Great commentary on some of my favorite aspects of travel: Great Roads, Great Food, and.... Beer!
Now, tell us more about the Porter please.
|Aug 2nd 2016, 09:11 AM||#22|
'07 GSXR-600, '05 CR85r
^^ haha, out of all of them that was the best. Warren actually gave it all to me since he didn't care for the vanilla taste. It wasn't too vanilla-ey but it was smooth!
|Aug 2nd 2016, 09:51 AM||#23|
Hmmmmm.... That would be worth riding Quixote's Mythical Missing Link Paved Cascade Route methinks.
|Aug 2nd 2016, 10:05 AM||#24|
'07 GSXR-600, '05 CR85r
You can find that same beer in stores that have a wide selection of beer.
Edited by ashfoot on Aug 2nd 2016 at 10:07 AM
|Aug 2nd 2016, 10:52 AM||#25|
Well actually, a few of us have been talking about a Southern Oregon Trip for awhile now. It's just that we weren't too enthused about riding 97 or I5. So even though Quixote found a viable paved alternative route, I wasn't enthused about it, due to it being a lot of single lane track.
Having said that, when one has the incentive of a nice brew pup at the end of the ride, it's amazing how the power of good food and drink, changes ones perspective.
Edited by FeralRdr on Aug 2nd 2016 at 10:55 AM
|Aug 2nd 2016, 02:45 PM||#27|
'07 GSXR-600, '05 CR85r
Packing List, What Worked, What Didn't, What I Wish I Had:
After deciding against purchasing an expensive GPS unit, my first real problem was trying to find a website that would allow me to create a route with multiple way-points and then to find a free phone app that could give turn-by-turn navigation without the use of data. I knew I'd be riding roads far away from big cities so I didn't want to rely on data. The solution? I discovered a site called RideWithGPS (RWGPS) that allowed me to create custom routes. The website is mainly for bicycles but I found it very handy as a motorcycle route creator. RWGPS had it's own turn-by-turn navigation phone app but it had a monthly fee associated to it. The price wasn't bad but I only needed it for 4 days.
After searching deeper for a free phone app, I saw recommendations through other motorcycle forums that suggested Track Navigator. It was a stand alone app that allowed you to input routes previously created from RWGPS or any other route creator and would give turn-by-turn directions! It was perfect for what I needed! However, I didn't really trust this app. An app that would do what I wanted it to do? There had to be some caveat! In order to test the new app, Warren and I took a trip out to Larch Mountain and then down Bull Run. It worked flawlessly!
With my mind at ease about navigation, I decided to fine tune the route and purchased a Butler Oregon and Northern California Maps. I was trying to avoid all gravel roads so these maps helped greatly. They also show roads with the best views and corners. We never did enter California but there is always the future!
I owned most of the gear I used for many years before planning this trip. For instance the compression sack was purchased for backpacking adventures. It compresses and hold clothes very well.
Obtaining the other gear for the trip started about one year prior to the actual send off date. I absolutely wanted an intercom headset, not just for communicating to Warren but also to hear the directions from the navigation and listen to music. After much research between the Cardo and Sena, I went with the Sena SMH10 as it was on sale.
I also researched locks, I decided on the Abus Granit CityChain and got the longer length one so we could chain our bikes together. This was a very spendy purchase but gave us peace of mind. I had also picked up an Abus Granit Detecto alarm disc lock.
Next came luggage. Two years ago I decided to sell my saddle bags and replace them with waterproof tail bags. I went with Kriega because of the awesome reviews and the fact that the bags would never touch my bike's paint and had a clean look to them when mounted on the bike. I first started with the US-30. Yes, it was big, but it could also be cinched down enough to a smaller size. I wasn't able to use the tail bag the same year I bought it because I soon found out I was pregnant. Riding had to be placed on hold.
It wasn't until a month before the leaving date that I decided to get the Kriega US-10. I mainly wanted a little extra room and if needed, could take just this bag around town instead of the larger one. It came in handy for carrying the smaller items I wanted to get to fast. For the many times I got drenched while on the jetboat excursion, I'm glad I had this bag to save my camera (and the rest of my electronics) from the water.
I also purchased an extra battery for my cell phone in case using the GPS all day would drain it. Although I never used it while I was on the bike as the original battery lasted long enough for each day's ride, I'm glad I had the extra juice just in case we got stranded with a dead phone.
Miscellaneous Bike Items:
- Tire plug kit
- Metric Hex Tools
- Tire Gauge
- Mini Chain Wax can + microfiber cloth
- Mini Plexus can + microfiber cloth
- Abus Chain Lock
- Abus Disc Alarm Lock
- Kriega US-30 Tail Bag
- Kriega US-10 Tail Bag
- Clothing compression sack
- Bungee tie down for emergencies
- Sena Headset + charger
- Small camera + charger
- Cali Butler Map
- Oregon Butler Map
- Zip ties
- Duck tape
- First Aid Kit
- Pocket Knife
- Phone + fast charger
- Tablet + keyboard + charger
- GoPro + charger
Bike Riding Gear:
- Moto Leather Jacket
- Moto Leather Pants
- Full Gaunlet Gloves
- Riding Boots
- Buff (face mask)
- Neck Cooler
- UA Long Sleeve Shirt
- Compression Leg Liner
- Light long sleeve hoodie
- Shirts x4
- Shorts x1
- Socks x4
- Underwear x4
- Sports Bra x2
- Reg Bra x1
- Sleep shirt
- Shoes x1
- Flip Flops x1
- Swim Suit
- Toothbrush + Toothpaste
- Contacts + solution
- Glasses + case
- Ring Case
- Ear Swabs
- Hand Sanitizer Packets
- Earplugs x2
- Granola bars x4
- Fruit Snacks x6
- Protein bars x4
What I used:
- Maintenance. I used the chain lube once on the second day of riding. I used the Plexus to clean off the helmet visor many times throughout the day. We used the tire gauge a few times to make sure our tires were still at optimal levels.
- Clothing Layers. Besides what I had to wear, I liked the light long sleeved hoodie that kept me comfortable during the chilly times of riding. I also used the compression leg liners on the first day. I would take these again because they are easy and light to pack.
- Bike Gear. I used the Buff face mask only on the first day but this is usually in my repertoire of items I bring on rides. The neck cooler was amazing on the last day where temperatures reached the low 90s. Although I only used the Camelbak once while riding, it was great to have during rest stops. Filling it up with ice on the last day made the water stay cold until I got home. The leather jacket and pants I wouldn't do without especially since I gave away my textile gear. I don't regret that decision. Ear plugs are a must and I always use them due to wind noise. I can hear the headset just fine with them on. The chain lock and disc brake alarm lock we used each night for peace of mind. I most likely wouldn't pack the chain lock as it added a good 15-20 lbs to my pack but it was peace of mind for Warren. I would have been fine with just the disc brake lock as it had an added alarm integrated into it.
- Electronics. I used the tablet with wireless keyboard to start the beginning of the ride reports each night. I don't normally bring this along but because I was documenting this trip I decided that it would be a better idea than to just use my phone. I used the GoPro but didn't record the whole time due to the limited space and battery power. I would bring it again and do the same thing, just have to make sure it's on when I want it to be on and recording.
- Track Navigator. Only once did I hear the app say "lost GPS signal". My only gripe with this app was if you went off track, the app would continuously say "off track" every 30 seconds until you got back on "track". And although I knew where I was going for the most part (ran over the route many times before leaving on the trip) it would not tell you how to get back on "track". All in all though, navigation was stress-free as the app was flawless in letting me know where to turn.
What I didn't use:
- Maintenance & Gear. I did not need to use the tire plug kit (thankfully), pocket knife, metric hex tools, first aid kit or bungee tie down but would take these again on my next trip. I ended up not bringing zip ties or duck tape and probably won't on my next trip.
- Tripod for camera. We mostly took selfies so I didn't need this however, on my next multi-day trip I will most likely bring it because I will be in a larger group and would want to get everyone in the picture.
- Bandana. To be honest I completely forgot I had this. I'm not an accessory kind of gal so that's probably why I forgot about it but it does come in handy for the stray hairs around my face. I would take it again, just have to remember I have it!
- Under Armour Long Sleeve Compression Shirt. If the weather had been much colder I would have worn this. Crater Lake was chilly but did not warrant wearing this. I knew I'd be riding in warm to hot weather so I could have forgone this item of clothing.
- Jeans. I did not use these and they just took up space in my bag. I wore my shorts instead. Will probably not bring the jeans next time I know the weather will be good.
- Swim Suit. I did not use this at all during the trip. I don't think I'll bring it next time but it was nice to know that I had the option to go swimming or hot tubing if I was up to it.
What I wish I took:
- Flip flops. There were many times I wished I didn't have to put shoes on.
- Trail mix. Although the chocolate might have melted, it would have been a nice change to all the bars I brought instead.
- Route. A different road besides 97 when going from Klamath Falls to Bend.
Edited by ashfoot on Aug 2nd 2016 at 02:53 PM
|Aug 8th 2016, 10:04 AM||#30|
'07 GSXR-600, '05 CR85r
We did it every night, Warren was paranoid that someone would steal his bike. If I was traveling by myself I would not have taken the chain.
|beaverton, bend, day, epic, falls, grants, klamath, pass, trip|
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