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Eastern Oregon tour--Curb Queen & Bobbybob


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Last September Curb Queen and I spent 5 days riding around Eastern Oregon. I’m glad I procrastinated on filing this ride report. Its kinda neat to revisit all these pics, putting them in order of occurrence, and forcing myself to recall what was happening in each one. Its really therapeutic, with the cold, damp weather we’ve been having here lately. Not as good as actually riding, but it beats totally vegetating. We chose to visit eastern Oregon for 2 reasons. 1) Population density in most of the areas we visited was between 1 & 10 people per square mile. So we basically had all those wonderful roads to ride almost by ourselves. 2) The scenery was constantly changing, and the terrain was perfect for making great motorcycle roads.


So here’s day 1. Four more to go. Maybe I’ll finish this by the time the rainy cold weather moves out!



PS: If you have trouble viewing these pages, try pressing control - (minus key) to reduce size of pages (ctrl + to make larger). I have a large monitor so it looks fine to me, but I can reduce the size of pics if necessary.


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DAY 1—Monday (part 1)


After flying into Portland from Charlotte the day before, Curb Queen and I picked up our rental V-Stroms and checked out of our Portland hotel.


Leaving Portland to the east on Monday, we stopped on the Historic Columbia River Hwy to view Multnomah Falls.





A little farther brought us to the famous Rowena Overlook looking east up the Columbia.





Oregon is quite motorcycle friendly.





Leaving Rowena we took this route down to the river.





After turning south at The Dalles, we entered the warm dry wheat fields of eastern Oregon. Mount Hood continued to follow us for quite a ways. We’ll get up close and personal with Mr. Hood in a few days.





The riding was wonderful. The aroma of the wheat, the warm yellow of the landscape enveloped us. Traffic was non-existent. Mt. Hood continued to hover in the left background. Our Suzuki DL650’s were our magic carpets.…thanks to Northwest Motorcycle Adventures.





Shortly, we stopped in the town of Maupin for “refreshments”.





And a pit-stop. Note the hand drawn line drawing of an Oregon road map on the wall of the restrooms. The folks in Eastern Oregon are very friendly and hospitable.





Saw this neat old mill down on the Deschutes River in Maupin.





Leaving Maupin, we climbed south overlooking the Descutes, famous for trout fly-fishing.





These homes had a nice view of the Deschutes.





As we turned east leaving the Deschutes valley behind us, heading towards Shaniko, Mount Hood is still hanging in there. The ridge of mountains between us and Hood is the last verdant range of the Cascades, wringing the remaining moisture out of the humid air blowing east from the coast.





Arriving in Shaniko its evident we’re in the middle of nowhere.





But the USPS knows where it is.





Main Street.





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Day 1-Part 2


Curb Queen checks out the Shaniko municipal waterworks and sanitation station.





Shaniko Car Rental.





We’re not Hertz but we got the latest technology.





Trucks too.





Shaniko’s only full-time residents.





Looks vaguely familiar……





The road from Shaniko to Antelope was amazing. When we entered Antelope we encountered a couple from West Palm, FL riding the Harley’s (rented) and the fellow on the right from BC, Canada was touring solo on his Concours 14. We all shared a few tales and then we headed out for Condon, our overnight for Monday. FYI, Antelope was taken over in the 80’s by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian guru who turned it into a “free love” commune for a few years.



Heading east from Antelope….



We came across this bridge over the John Day River….



Stopping on the bridge, I noticed a guy taking a bath in the cold river water….



Out in the middle of nowhere….strange…..



The hills out here reminded me of fuzzy wool carpeting. But I believe it’s actually a grain that is harvested. Maybe wheat? Would be interesting to see that done.


Makes you wanna go scamper up that hill doesn’t it…



Neat homestead...I like it out here!



Furry critters keeping an eye on 2 crazies riding metal critters.



Made it to Condon. What a neat little town….also in the middle of nowhere. I love it!







The Hotel Condon was very nice—amazing find in this part of the world. More to come tomorrow.


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Very nice pics and write up. Now that you've seen the back roads near John Day, you can see why riders enjoy the Chief Joseph Days every June.

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Thanks, great ride report. When you're trip is completed, give us a report on your rental and ride experience on the V-Strom 650's.

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Thanks for taking us along! Yes, this ride tale recalls memories of roads taken to, around and from the UN that several were fortunate to experience last year. I'm waiting for the next installment to see where else you rode. Perhaps to John Day then northeast via hwys 26, 7, 220 and 244 and beyond through Sumpter and Granite? What beautiful riding country! BTW, it's great seeing couples riding together but separately... :Cool:



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Bobbybob - Those hills are not covered by grain, it's just.....grass. :) Sheep, cows and horses like it. You don't have trees in harvested fields. Nice pictures. I'm glad the trip was such a success. I've been waiting to hear all about it.

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Bobbybob - Those hills are not covered by grain, it's just.....grass. :) Sheep, cows and horses like it. You don't have trees in harvested fields. Nice pictures. I'm glad the trip was such a success. I've been waiting to hear all about it.



Well, I figured one of the local natives would know the correct answer. But *someone* and I don't remember who, told me that wheat was grown on some really steep hills out there and special equipment was needed to harvest it. You suppose he was just blowin smoke up my a$$ ? :dopeslap:


AND THANKS for all your suggestions and help you provided when I was planning the trip!!!

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Thanks ! Awesome shots and good information alongside. Control and - unfortunately also reduced the character size, so I couldn't read it at first :rofl: Maybe post a reduced size version of the photos next time will solve the dilemma ? ;)


Oregon has much less trees than I expected... looks more barren than Washington (or the parts that I've seen at least).


It is very nice reading about and seeing places you've never been, seeing how others live. The almost-abandoned remote little settlements do fit in some mental pictures I had..... but not that far up north.


Thanks for sharing !!! :thumbsup:

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Francois, the western 1/3 of OR. is lush green Cascade Mtns. but the eastern 2/3 is mostly semi-arid high country (and desert) with some mountain ranges thrown in. It's really pretty much an extension of CA to the south, geog. speaking. Although the Cascade region is lush and green, panoramic vistas are few and far between because the trees ARE so thick and tall. The coastal area offers the best scenery of the Cascade area in my opinion. The eastern part is nice because it offers some of everything.

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Bobbybob - Next time (hopefully) you're in Oregon, you'll have to let me guide you around the western slope of the Cascades and the Coast Range. The riding there is way underrated. You have to kind of piece together a lot of shorter rides (at least compared to the long rides of E Oregon) and it is not quite as scenic (in general) but the riding is fantastic, and just as rural as E Oregon.


You haven't seen green until you experience the dense, seemingly endless, coastal rain forest. Don't let the "rain" in rain forest worry you. The summers in the coastal mountains are great and oftentimes downright hot. The beach towns can be buried in fog and 55 degrees in August and five miles inland be 80 degrees, or more.


If you look at the state index map on my site, you get a good idea of the ratio of good motorcycling roads in the western part of the state compared to the east side (of the Cascades). While there are still a ton of roads I haven't documented yet on both sides, the ratio is about right.


We can thank the logging industry for creating a lot of the great roads in western Oregon, whereas in the east the roads are the means of getting from one remote town to another. Of course, I'm talking paved roads here. Off the pavement is a whole other topic and could warrant a web site all it's own.

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