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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:27 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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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:58 am 
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Location: Snoqualmie, WA
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Excellent trip! Thanks to Drae and Kyle for all the tips and directions.

New tube installed, I'm ready to head back down!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:33 pm 
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Spectacular. That's awesome.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:35 pm 
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whew, finally
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That looks amazing. I need to do a moto trip like that sometime :cheers:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:39 pm 
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Cool trip!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:55 pm 
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I love that area! Glad you made it to the lookout, that's a cool feature. :cool:

You guys have the place to yourselves?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:17 pm 
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whew, finally
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Nice report and good pics fellas :thumbsup:

I need to get back down there next season.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:02 pm 
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Damn guys, now I'm shopping KTM dual sports again. :spend

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:37 pm 
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Lezbone wrote:
Excellent trip! Thanks to Drae and Kyle for all the tips and directions.

New tube installed, I'm ready to head back down!


No problem.....wish I could have made it.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:38 pm 
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Avanteone wrote:
Damn guys, now I'm shopping KTM dual sports again. :spend



Check Husqvarna as well ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 10:37 pm 
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dr drae wrote:
You guys have the place to yourselves?


We literally saw ONE other rider while we were out on the trails (and he was at a distance). We owned the place. It was amazing.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:07 am 
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I've ridden that area in every different season and I've never seen more than a handful of other riders around. It's either the sheer size or its grossly underused.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:19 am 
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Location: Snoqualmie, WA
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I have to pay some serious props to the whole Millican and East Fort Rock ORV area:

Free camping.
Free ORV access.
Clean camp areas.
Clean toilets.
These ORV areas are HUGE.
The best marked trail system I've seen anywhere.
Free large color printed maps of the trail systems at staging areas.

This place seriously made me want to move to Oregon, someone down there is doing an amazing job with the ORV dollars and coordination.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:48 am 
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When did you pick up a trailer?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:52 am 
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bgbubabrwn wrote:
When did you pick up a trailer?

I legally own it but it's really my in-laws. They found it a few months ago and store it at their place. I funded the purchase so I have use. It's about 10 years old and in decent shape.

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