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Ride Tales Post your ride reports for a weekend ride or around the world. Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is. Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Old 4 Jul 2021
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Location: Port Angeles, WA
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Traverse of Blue Mountains in Oregon

So I've been dithering and blathering about all kinds of expeditions I needed to do SOMETHING There was this gathering of outwardly appearing "normal" people that I've visited before. IF your definition of normal is riding motorcyles AND hanging out in Enterprise, Oregon with people who only want to talk about motorcycles and going weird places with motorcycles ... THEN you need help. Yeah, guilty. I decided to go to the Wallowa Valley Jamboree in Enterprise, Oregon. I had been there in 2016 and 2017. And they remembered me. That fact alone usually makes a guy go all squinty eyed, lookin all around, gun hand free. But they stayed grinning so I figured if I was gonna get shot it would at least be by a friend.

The above stated abnormal behavior in combination with the dithering and blathering caused a terrible brain fart and somehow I thought it would be a good idea to traverse the length of the Blue Mountains in central to northeast Oregon. The biggest obstacle I have ever faced as a motorcyclist is the I-5 corridor. And somehow my addled brain thought it would be no trouble to add on a traverse of the I-5 corridor to any adventure. I blasted off on Sunday 20 June. I know you can do it and some enjoy it, but gliding along with 15 tons on the axle an arms length away is sort of unnerving. Add that to the fact that it was 105F rolling into The Dalles.

I thought I had been drinking plenty of water, well more than normal but I was so excited about getting away clean that I didn't notice I hadn't peed and didn't need to. Not normal for geezers.

About 20 miles south of Maupin there's a left turn onto the Pony Butte Road. I wish I hadn't been so tired because it was a delightful 1-1/2 lane paved road through a pretty rock canyon. Too tired to stop and take pictures. Went on through Ashwood and down Trout Creek maybe 15 - 20 miles through giant cattle ranches to get to Forest Service Land. Which means I was in cattleman's roads . There were a couple of greasy round rock tiny stream crossings that would have eaten my Vstrom alive. The Africa Queen cruised on through. Grinning.

I wasn't. I found the first hunting camp plopped down on my camp chair and just sat there guzzling water. It was 95 according to the bike on the way up. No sweat for hot land people but I've been on the Olympic Peninsula for 3 years. Not trained up at all. Just granola bars for dinner. No clouds so just used the tent as a bug net. Just laid there dazed, plastered on the side of the Ochoco.

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Old 4 Jul 2021
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Not much sleep at all. I was kind of sick to my stomach from the heat and dehydration. About 5 am it was just so nice and cool I just sat there drinking beverages and eating mush. I didn't get going until about 9 am. Very nice forest roads in the Ochoco and little likelihood of seeing anyone. Continuing on up Trout Creek, it's a forest service connector instead of a through road so bumpity and slow for a stiff sidehack/buckboard. I can get through, just don't get excited. And it was heating up. That bit of extra excercise and the speed made the next 50 miles to Mt Vernon look really sucky. I bailed onto US26, headed down the highway to Dayville and Mt. Vernon. As soon as I got down in the valley it was close to 100 degrees. My hope was to blast through the hot stuff, get back in the forest and on my original track and camp where it was cooler. I guess cooler. Camped at about 85 degrees. Recovering some and beans and spam helped. A few clouds moving in so at least got out the rainfly. Actually slept.

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Old 4 Jul 2021
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Tuesday 22 May

Tuesday 22 May is a whole brand new day. Clouds roll in coolish. I had camped a few miles from the Middle Fork of the John Day river and the morning saw me refreshed and wearing the cool weather jacket as I set off on some of the prettiest riding you can get. It was maybe 10 miles to Forest road 10 which is a paved main line. But it was pleasantly bumpity and beautiful views and thick thick flower smell. I was the luckiest kid alive. Maybe because most of the ones I knew aren't.

“The only way to see true reality is in solitude. One of the tragedies of human existence is that reality cannot be shared. What's real to you may not be to someone else.”
- Tristan Jones, A Steady Trade: A Boyhood at Sea

"I'm a rambler and a rover
And a wanderer it seems
I've traveled all over
Chasing after my dreams
But a dream should come true
And a heart should be filled
And a life should be lived
In the piney wood hills" - Buffy Sainte. Marie

“It is hard to follow one great vision in this world of darkness and of many changing shadows. Among those men get lost.”
- Black Elk

"Headin' in or headin' out
Standing on the shore
Pause a moment to reflect
Which trip costs you more
Between the ever restless crowds

And the silence of your room
Spend an hour in no man's land
You'll be leaving soon" - Bob Seger


Thanks, I needed that.

So down to tourist country. They're in season but they say you can't hunt them... However, I had a tremendous hankering for store bought grub and coffee so meandered down to Sumpter. Fueled I headed up to Anderson Lakes and then to Grand Ronde Lake (puddle) where somebody spilled the wildflower stuff.

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Old 4 Jul 2021
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Wednesday 23 June. Another day to be remembered. Overland crossing from Grand Ronde Lake to Ladd Canyon. FR 43 follows a long ridge down from the high mountains. Definitely bumpity. But so pretty, and remote. No other traffic.

“Though the road's been rocky it sure feels good to me.”
Bob Marley

Going down Ladd Canyon the road was receiving more attention.

The snowy mountains in the background are where I started the day. Ridge tops all the way down.

Ladd Canyon has a freeway on ramp and a few minutes of screaming and yelling gets me to La Grande, chow, and gas. Then on the other side of the freeway on the north side of La Grande, up the Fox Hil Road to it's intersetion with the Skyline Road.

Looking down toward Elgin.

And so, at the end of another long and perfect day I marvel at how, despite my hardest efforts to the contrary, things actually go right.

"Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep"
-Kenny Rogers

"And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.
Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken
And life about to end
No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend.
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again." - Stan Rogers
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Old 4 Jul 2021
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Location: Port Angeles, WA
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24 June Enterprise

24 June Enterprise

I had parked at the edge of a large canyon and put my tent back about 50 yards from the edge. That night was quite windy, but it came square at the face of the canyon and shot up over my tent. I could hear the big ponderosa pines hissing and whistling all night but the wind missed the tent completely and you could have blown smoke rings.

So worked my way about 20 miles down the ridges to Troy, Oregon.

After you get to the bottom of the canyon the road goes upstream to the Troy grade and back up to forest land.

The Wallowa Mountains signal the end of the trail is approaching.

Anyway that was kind of the reason I was just poking around the rally and relaxing ( Wallowa Valley Jamboree ) I didn't do much until I screwed up the poker run up to Hat Point. Anyway, had to look over the edge and half the poker run went on by because there was no one there... ahem...

Looking at the Wallowa Valley from the northeast the Imnaha River is at the bottom of this canyon.

When the Queen poses I obey.

I missed some really good rides but after the last couple of years, just talking to people who liked machines better than politics was such good therapy. Met new folks and there is adventure afoot. Some even remembered me. I guess that's a good thing. There will probably be a next time. On Saturday I made a quick run up Lostine Canyon.

Big feed, lots of fajitas, laughing, poking, music. Big rattling sigh of relief ... what pandemic?

And for some reason my brains broke again. Thought I could make it to St. Helens before it heated up. That did not go well. 114 rolling into The Dalles. 95 at Mt. St. Helens. An expensive air conditioned motel saved what was left of my ass and hell, there wasn't much greasy spots on the bike after I got home. Now it's 61 and fog is rolling down the valley. I don't think I understand all I know...
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Old 6 Jul 2021
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Great photos, and love the quotes!
Grant Johnson
Seek, and ye shall find.

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 21 Sep 2021
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Location: Lutterworth,Midlands, UK
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Just sat in my office eating lunch and really wishing I was out trail bashing, great photos, looks like a good rig you got there
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