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Topic: John Day Country, Central Oregon  (Read 7679 times)

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SWriverstone
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« on: March 22, 2016, 06:19:41 PM »



With sunshine on Saturday, I decided last-minute (like literally Saturday morning) to pack up the bike and head east. Didn't get on the road 'til 10am, mainly due to indecision over where I was going to go, last-minute pouring over maps, etc. (And I would've posted looking for company if it wasn't so last-minute).

Anyway, it was a great ride—with some "difficult" moments here and there...and I learned a lot about riding in Central/Eastern Oregon—here were my "lessons:"

1. Get over the mountains the day (or night) before. I spent almost 3hrs getting to Prineville, which was where the ride really started. That sucked.
2. Plan gas stops carefully! (Hardly any of those towns on the map have gas stations, and they all seem to close at 5pm.)
3. Do NOT be put into a position to ride over the mountain passes in the rain—with temps hovering not far above freezing.

Based on recommendations from locals, my original plan was to take 26 from Prineville all the way to John Day; stay the night there, and ride back via Izee Rd. Sunday. My mistake was in planning to do that with the forecast calling for rain Sunday. I got as far as 19 (with a stop at the Painted Hills), then realized I'd be screwed if I continued east to John Day (because I'd have a LONG ride back to Eugene in the rain).

So instead, I turned north on 19, checked out the other John Day Fossil Beds sites, and followed 19 to Fossil, then 218 down through Clarno to Antelope and back to 97. Which was great...except for being so late in the day, and arriving in Fossil at 6:15pm almost on fumes.    The one station in Fossil wasn't open, so I asked where the nearest gas was—they said due north in Condon (he was open 'til 7pm!). So I proceeded to do a 40-mile (round-trip) detour out of my way to Condon to fill the tank. That sort of sucked—19 between Fossil and Condon was pretty bleak.

With a full tank of gas, I headed down 218...and was both psyched and bummed that it was the twistiest road I'd ridden all day by far! I was psyched to actually ride some twisties (and no chance of me getting sleepy on that road!)...but bummed because I ended up riding most of it in the dark.  I definitely want to do that one again in daylight—the whole road was great, but the 15 miles between Clarno and Antelope was one of the best twisty roads I've ridden—beautiful pavement, nonstop corners and good sightlines the whole way.

Rolled into Madras around 8:30pm and got a hotel room for the night. I was a bit nervous Sunday morning about riding over Santiam Pass, not knowing whether it would be raining or snowing. It got pretty cold over the pass, but thankfully was just rain. Still, it was a lousy, tense ride over the pass and all the way back down 126 to Eugene in the rain.

Saturday ended up being about a 430-mile day. Longer than I normally like (less time to dawdle), but overall it was a great introductory ride to that part of Oregon. I love the high desert scenery and can't get enough of it...and even though parts of 26 were pretty straight, I never got tired of the excellent scenery! I posted a few of the better pics below. Smile

Scott



[above: Rt.26 several miles before Mitchell]





[above: exploring a dirt road at the far end of the Painted Hills]



[above: obligatory shot of the Painted Hills!]



[above: completely random "shoe tree" in the middle of nowhere on Rt.26]



[above: Sheep Rock, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument]



[above: gorgeous scenery, with the Strawberry Range in the distance]



[above: John Day River along Rt.19]



[above: on 218 between Fossil and Antelope—as it was getting dark]



[above: the Palisades at Clarno—you can see my headlight beam by this time]
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 02:05:05 PM by UFO » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 06:44:46 PM »

Is it just me or are the pics not showing for others?

Sounds like you had an adventure!
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 06:52:53 PM »

No pics here. Love the area and ride there often.

Oh I too have been low on gas several times near Fossil  Bigok

The ride down the 218 is much fun. So is the local, and recent history of Antelope and the Bhagwan.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajneeshpuram

I actually set about and found the site of the former Rashneeshpuram a few years ago.  It is now a Christian Youth camp. Things like that I find oddly fascinating.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 07:18:14 PM by bubba zanetti » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2016, 09:49:50 PM »

Not seeing pics as well.
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SWriverstone
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 11:15:39 PM »

GRRR! Damn Google Photos! My pics are currently hosted there...and lots of websites say I can just right-click on a photo there, copy the link, and paste it to share. But clearly it's not working. (Gotta figure this out.) What's frustrating is that I can see the photos.  Angry3

Can anyone see the photo in this (supposedly) public, shared link?
https://goo.gl/photos/bBijJRcKH9y36MVc7

@Bubba—yes! I read all about the Rashneeshpuram. Pretty freaking whacko. Amazing at one point there was a town of 7,000 people there following this "swami" in the middle of the desert. I found the whole story sort of fascinating too...but also kind of disgusting.

Scott

EDIT: How about the photo below—can anyone see this one?


« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 11:20:50 PM by SWriverstone » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 11:18:59 PM »


@Bubba—yes! I read all about the Rashneeshpuram. Pretty freaking whacko. Amazing at one point there was a town of 7,000 people there following this "swami" in the middle of the desert. I found the whole story sort of fascinating too...but also kind of disgusting.

Scott



When we were undergrads at the U of O, my girlfriend got a lot of flack because she looked a lot like Sheela, the Rajneeshi PR officer.

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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 11:33:53 PM »

Yes I can see the photo above. I did not click on the link.
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2016, 12:12:43 AM »

I can now see all the pictures, I couldn't earlier.

Love that area, so many yummy roads of varying levels of twisty. Also I've always been amused by the fact that so many things in north central Oregon are named after a guy who didn't grow up there and isn't planted there, just passing through really.
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2016, 08:39:42 AM »

Great pictures Scott and thanks for sharing.  Thumbsup

I would love to ride that area some day.

(the SWAMI  -  Confused  What were they thinking?)
 
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2016, 07:48:06 PM »

Very nice  Clap

Thanks for the pictures  Smile Thumbsup
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2016, 06:42:19 AM »

Great pictures  Thumbsup  Thumbsup
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 11:46:46 PM »

Oh my! Great pictures and thanks for taking us along on the ride Scott.

I just added John Day to my list for places to visit this year on my trip out west.

Paul
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2016, 12:46:02 AM »

One of my main routes back from Glacier NP is thru Ontario and then north on 26 at Vale and past the John Day area.  Way better road and scenery than 20 thru Burns.  Unless you like desert riding...
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2016, 02:21:33 AM »

Oregon is really a great place to ride! I'm sorry that I didn't discover it sooner in my riding career.  Enjoy, and thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 06:35:14 AM »

Fantastic scenery!
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 08:33:37 AM »

Awesome pictures Scott! Thanks for sharing.  Thumbsup

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« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2016, 12:04:28 AM »

Looks like a really nice area to ride.  Thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2016, 02:04:36 PM »

Good time to ride through that area.  Last time I did it was 106 degrees.
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2016, 11:38:47 PM »

Thanks Scott.  Your pictures and narrative are great.  
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2016, 11:51:46 AM »


Good time to ride through that area.  Last time I did it was 106 degrees.


Ooh yeah. It can really cook around there. I will head through there either down or on the way back to the WCRM. May is a great time to ride central and eastern oregon.
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