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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:26 am 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 8:30 am
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Lezbone and I hit the road from the Seattle area last week to do some riding in the Oregon high-desert ORV park near Millican. We strapped-up his Yamaha WR450F and my Honda XR400, grabbed his trailer and hit the highway for a 6 hour road trip.

We were making good time on the road until we ran into gridlock and snow flurries east of The Dalles. Once the truckers chained up, traffic got moving again and we established base-camp at the “4 Corners Staging Area” 15 miles south of Millican around 4pm. It was dark by the time we got settled but we couldn't resist a quick ride through the desert under moonlight to shake-down the bikes and prep for the days ahead.

We woke up to clear skies and 20 degree temps. Mt. Hood and the Three Sisters were dominating the horizon and we decided to spend the first day exploring the South end of the park. Rather than blast-freeze ourselves on the highway for 30 miles, we trucked the bikes down to a staging area near the bottom of the park and hit the trails. Plan-A was to follow the 53 mile, "Chesley's Challenge" route because it had the promise of technical terrain. We could divert whenever we saw something interesting to tackle. The diversity of the park is amazing; forest, desert sands, whoops, berms, rocks, log-hops, high-speed, low-speed, tight views, big vistas, it was fantastic. Oh, and NO dust or mud!

The tight, high-speed route to the fire-lookout at the summit of East Butte was the best riding of the day and the views from the top were spectacular. We completed most of the "Challenge Route" and headed back to the truck for fuel and snacks before exploring another trail.

Our second segment of the day was to the East, skirting the edge of the OHV park and scrambling up the foothills to a grassy plain and sweeping views of the valley at sunset. Daylight was fading so we rode back to the truck and on to base-camp.

The third day brought more crystal skies and 20 degree temps; ideal riding weather. We headed south through the Plateau and hit some technical terrain on our way up the Cinder Cone where we were greeted by huge views of the valley and mountains to the west. This seemed like an ideal time to hill-climb the inside the Cinder Cone (exhausting—but fun) and we moved-on to the adjacent “Play Area” with big berms and tracks. The new chain on my XR400 popped a master-link and fell from the bike so I grabbed a spare out of my kit and was back on the trail. I decided to go easy on my chain while Sam sprinted ahead and was awarded a pinch-flat a few miles down the trail. We were close enough to base-camp to limp back and decided that we’d have a shop swap his tube rather than change it on the trail in 30 degree weather. No shops were available and the sun was low, so we engaged Plan-B; beer and Mexican food.

Early on the fourth day, we packed up and headed out. Dumping the the grey/black-water tanks at a local RV park proved pointless—everything was frozen solid (urine-berg?). Next time we’ll drink more and let the alcohol lower the freezing temp in the tanks. By the time we got to WA, the effluent was “moving” again and we were able to find a place to dump. It’s amazing that there are people in this world who will gladly accept 30 gallons of liquid poo for only $20. Seriously, that’s amazing. Think about it.

Here are a few highlight photos and the rest can be found here: https://goo.gl/photos/MPWw8m8Wzt8fKJ2W8

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Look very closely for Sam:
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Urine-berg delivery system:
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Check out the rest of the photos at https://goo.gl/photos/MPWw8m8Wzt8fKJ2W8


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