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Topic: Exploring Oregon's Hells Canyon  (Read 6587 times)

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« on: August 14, 2012, 10:50:24 pm »

I know there are few people here who ride one or the other of these bikes and might have some interest in this report  Bigok


Day 1
PDX to Anson Wright campground

Had a few days to get out and see some new country, and the Hells Canyon rally thread was stuck in the back of my mind, so I called up my old buddy Jack from Montana to see if he wanted to meet up in Enterprise and have a look.

We both agreed August might be a little toasty there, but it was hot everywhere and at least it wasn’t on fire.  Besides that it’s a nice halfway point between our homes and an easy meetup at the Log Cabin RV park.
Now Jack is a seasoned off-roader, stays in good shape, and is a freakin’ giant that can flat foot his behemoth KTM, while I am an  out of shape street rider just learning to ride my WR250.  But Jack is as nice a fellar as you’ll ever meet and he knows the deal so we should have a bunch of fun bumbling  around in the sticks.

The plan is to each leave home on Mon and meet Tue, giving us a couple days of solo riding to get to HC.

I ended up riding pavement to Condon, OR and then started hunting some gravel, took Hales Creek to Anson Wright park.  I was the only camper, got a good spot and started draining the whisky flask.  Glad I had some anti-freeze cuz the camp host said it got down to 37 degrees that night.
http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/8244/a1zav.jpg

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/6613/a2zd.jpg

Day 2
Anson to Enterprise
Didn’t get a particularly early start and headed out on Sunflower Flats toward Monument, had a good time wandering around but it dawned on me I had dipped pretty far south and needed to cover some ground to get to Enterprise before dark. Stuck to pavement to Baker City and made good time until I got stuck behind the pilot car on a chip seal project towards Richland. Oh well, probably not the only dust I’d be eating this trip.  Did some sight seeing and enjoyed the cool evening air on FS39, saw plenty of game and open range beef on the road so I wasn’t breaking any speed records.
A little over a 400 mile day and rolled in to camp around 9pm, Jack was already set up and working on a bottle of Pendleton. The Log Cabin looked to be a sweet place to stay and not have to haul all my crap while doing a little exploring, thankful for the good ADV ideas so far.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/3170/a1zg.jpg

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/6168/a2zl.jpg

Day 3
Hat Point

More or less followed the GPS tracks some swell person posted (thanks LadyBug) and made our way to Hat Point. Great fun and fantastic scenery, a little warm in the low country but pleasant temps as you climbed.  Thank goodness for that because Jack was doing plenty of waiting while I took pics and fumbled along like a noob, but I was learning a lot.

Looking down at the Imnaha river, Jack was rolling while I was strolling.
http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/3137/a1bztone.jpg

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Seven Devils and the rugged Hells Canyon.
http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/28/a3zyi.jpg

Parking at Hat Point.
http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/1638/a4btone.jpg

The jolly green giant had the Lookout shaking when he crushed the steps, I was lucky to get an in-focus pic.
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Snake river viewed from the Lookout.
http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/3662/a6zk.jpg

Day 4
Troy
View from camp, finally an early start to the day.
http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/7066/a1zr.jpg

Jack likes to travel in comfort, has the space and the bike to not pack lite.
http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/6168/a2zl.jpg

I have nothing against comfort, but like to be able to pick up my bike.
http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/2210/a3zz.jpg

Cool air, blue sky and the Wallowa mtns make for a fine start for an early morning ride.
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/1218/a4zu.jpg

Troy road to Powwatka ridge.
http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/3589/a5zgj.jpg

The Powwatka grade was a welcome change from the very dusty Troy road


http://img805.imageshack.us/img805/6332/a5zpowwatkagrade.jpg

View of the Grande Ronde river from the switchbacks.
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/5258/a6z.jpg
Hummingbird on the Redmond grade
http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/3782/a7ze.jpg

Ducked off of Hwy 3 onto Elk mountain road for the trip back to Enterprise.
http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/4576/a8elkmtnrdz.jpg

Plenty of good grazing for these “elk”. They seemed content to stay out of the road while we passed.
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/9661/a9zn.jpg

Day 5
Chesnimnus creek
A day on non-gravelly ranch and Forest Service roads seemed in order.

The man-in-black eyeballs the Benchmark maps while I stare at the scenery and snap a few pics, it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.
http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/9199/a1zo.jpg

Excellent choice my good man.
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/3971/a3zatone.jpg

We figure the no trespassing applies to the sides of the road and not the road, judging from all the friendly waves we got from the cowpokes back up the road a bit.
http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/3091/a4zer.jpg

Map said simply “unpaved road”, much fun.
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/8598/a5za.jpg
Now you know where Rossi learnt his move.
http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/7253/a7zatone.jpg

Day 6
Dug Bar road

Stopping for morning commuter traffic on Camp Creek
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http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/2959/2zab.jpg

No shortage of switchbacks dropping into the Imnaha river.
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The only traffic I saw on Dug Bar.
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This feels like it’s going to be the hottest day yet, Jack is keeping the air flowing.
http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/3007/8za.jpg

Imhaha river
http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/2539/9zaz.jpg

A little pitch to some of the twists
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/3196/10zar.jpg

Sometimes steep, sometimes rocky, always winding.
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Unpleasant consequences to missing a turn.
http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/6991/12zao.jpg

Jack trying to stir a little breeze through his jacket, pretty sure temps were hitting triple digits here.
http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/6870/13toneza.jpg

Soaking up some blessed shade.  You can barely make out the SPOT some knucklehead set on the fence to send a check-in. Nah I won’t forget it there.  Two miles up the road it gets remembered, at least it wasn’t hot out.
http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/5545/14toneza.jpg

Just up the road starting the last climb out I took an unscheduled dismount, plenty of bumps and bruises and some mighty sore ribs even through my Thor impact rig.  No damage to the bike and was able to ride out, made for a lot of grimacing on the ride home the next day, but looking forward to going back. Hopefully when the grass is a little greener.
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 12:33:41 pm »

 Bigok

Nice report 1arm. Never been off road in Oregon but it sure looks fun.
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 01:35:43 pm »

Obviously I left the PNW too soon. Nice pictures and write up, thank you!  Bigok
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 02:45:34 pm »

Must.  Get.  Knobby  tires....
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2012, 04:06:43 pm »


Must.  Get.  Knobby  tires....



17" street tires do quite well off pavement in the Hell's Canyon Region Bigsmile
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2012, 09:10:45 pm »





17" street tires do quite well off pavement in the Hell's Canyon Region Bigsmile


But where's the 100 lbs. of freight?  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 08:40:07 am »

Nice report. I need to put miles on my KTM EXC this fall. I think it feels neglected with the big KTM getting all the love/attention recently.
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 10:59:34 am »

Thanks for the comments, I'm really enjoying the little blue bike as a way to get out and see new places, especially closer to home where I've given most of the paved roads multiple trips.

  It takes quite a bit of planning to find strictly dirt routes to places of interest, so I end up doing a fair amount of paved road riding and am pleasantly surprised at how well the WR handles all the paved miles.  No surprise at how much fun the twisty, bumpy pavement is, but I was quite shocked that the stock seat (with just a sheepskin) is the most tolerable long day stock seat I have sat on.


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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 01:01:40 pm »

Very nice!  Thumbsup I wish I had someplace like that to ride around here.
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