Father and Son US Roadtrip 2013 on BMW K1200LT

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
The following morning we packed up and hit the road! Leaving Walla Walla, headed south:
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It's a short easy ride to Lake Wallowa State Park in Oregon-
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Scott's dusted off his Suzuki V-Strom 1000 for the ride. Nice bike!
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Last time we went riding together was on rented dirt bikes in the hills around Chiang Mai in the late 1990's!

South to Pendleton-
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The road gets good once we exit onto the West Elgin Highway 204 which climbs up into the mountains past the Spout Springs Ski Resort-
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Woohoo! I'm loving it! :happy3:
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Scott's wife has the kids in their ute and is pulling the pop up camper. Stop for a potty break and to make sure the kids are doing ok.
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I ask Kristhawee if he wants to ride with me but he's happy hanging out with Perrin. All good :)
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Gorgeous day for a ride!
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We stop in the quirky little town of Elgin for lunch-
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Not much further to Lake Wallowa now!
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After Elgin we ride East on the Wallowa Lake Highway 82-
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Hells Canyon Scenic Byway! Kristhawee and I will continue on this road tomorrow-
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This is just the edge of Hells Canyon- it gets more and more impressive the closer you get to the Snake River and He Devil mountain.
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We follow the Wallowa River-
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Beautiful countryside!
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Approaching Enterprise-
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A brief stop in the tiny town of Enterprise to let Scott's wife catch up with the kids-
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Lake Wallowa is nestled somewhere at the base of the mountains ahead-
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Almost there!
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Entering Joseph-
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We coast thru at a gentle pace :)
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Our first glimpse of Lake Wallowa!
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Welcome to Wallowa Lake State Park! :mrgreen:
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
The State Park Campground was full but we lucked out and found a spot in a private campground just up the road. Got the camper set up, then we went exploring.
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This place is FULL of deer. Mighty tame too! Feeding the wildlife is against the rules, but look at my kid's face-
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Handsome young buck-
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Lake Wallowa was freezing cold and the sun was setting behind the mountains, making for a chilly dip!
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Not much of a beach really, but still a nice spot-
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Perrin is travelling in style on his daddy's back :)
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Kristhawee is keen to try his new fishing pole-
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Once the sun went down the temperature dropped quickly! By the time we made it back to the camp we were both freezing. Fortunately they had nice hot showers which really took the edge off. Story time before bed-
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Good night!
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Lake Wallowa, Oregon! :mrgreen:
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I was COLD last night but we stayed nice and warm in Scott's pop-up camper.
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Kristhawee lecturing Perrin on the dangers of sharp sticks ;)
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Perrin didn't seem impressed, but what an awesome Dr Seuss shirt, eh? :mrgreen:
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The kids had fun running around the campground while we worked on breakfast-
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After breakfast we headed over to catch the Lake Wallowa Gondola up to the top of Mount Howard-
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(not my pic, obviously ;) )

The gondola climbs 3700' and drops you near the 4000' summit of Mount Howard, offering spectacular views along the way. (http://wallowalaketramway.com/)

Kristhawee and Perrin were pretty excited to find snow at this elevation and of course snow balls went flying ;)
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Spectacular views in all directions!
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There are a number of trails that head off into the mountains or loop down and bring you back to Lake Wallowa. No time today, but would be good fun to go hiking here in the future!

Kristhawee and Perrin were enjoying themselves immensely. So was I! :mrgreen:
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More amazing views- can you see the trail that climbs up the ridge on the right side of the picture? Must return here for a backcountry hiking trip some day!!
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Scott and Perrin-
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Perrin taking a rest- the air is a bit thin up here!
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Kristhawee and Perrin discovered a large family of ground squirrels living in burrows under the trees-
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Cute critters! They certainly looked well fed!
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Extremely tame! I told Kristhawee not to get too close; he pretty much ignored me ;)
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These critters were everywhere!
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The kids did their best to lure them in-
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We went for a short hike that loops around the summit of Mount Howard. Red pinecones- never seen that before!
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Kristhawee the naturalist capturing grasshoppers :)
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I'll never get tired of these spectacular alpine views!
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There were some parasailers taking advantage of the strong updrafts on the north facing slope of Mount Howard-
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Kristhawee seemed more interested in the not-so-wild "wildlife though ;)
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All fun and games until someone gets bitten!
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Kristhawee you are really pushing your luck little man!
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Safety in numbers??
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These rodents are damn cute though!
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Para-sailing looks like a lot of fun!
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And he's off!
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Bon Voyage!
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He must have an amazing view from up there!
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Alright kids! Time to say goodbye to the chipmunk!
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Or not...
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I was quite relieved that these rodents don't seem to care for the taste of man flesh ;) My son escaped unbitten :mrgreen: View from the window of the Lake Wallowa Gondola during out descent:
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And we're off! Good bye Lake Wallowa! Hope to visit again soon!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We stopped in the cute little town of Joseph, Oregon for lunch-
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Popular biker destination!
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Lots of American metal here!
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Found a nice Mexican restaurant with outdoor seating and a beautiful garden-
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Kristhawee was HUNGRY and made quick work out of a quesadilla with rice and beans- I'm so happy to learn that he now loves Mexican food!
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Perrin and Kristhawee really enjoyed the pond, and thankfully, no one fell in!
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Popsicles for dessert! :mrgreen: Are you gonna share one of those with me?? ;)
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Our friends needed to get back to Walla Walla so we said farewell in Joseph and headed East Northeast on highway 350 towards the tiny town of Imnaha on the Snake River drainage-
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Another gorgeous day for a ride! You may recall I have a thing for abandoned buildings-
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Hard to imagine skiiing on a warm sunny day like today!
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Yet you can see the ski slopes off in the distance at the base of Mount Howard-
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The ride to Imnaha on the Little Sheep Creek Highway is fantastic and I was kind of surprised how few bikes we saw along this stretch-
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Expansive views as we slowly descend towards the Snake River-
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The only thing that kept me from really whacking it was the thought of deer popping out of the shrubbery- this is prime deer habitat and we spotted a lot!
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Zoomin! :happy3:
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Mile 25; we've almost reached Imnaha-
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Ha! Now I know why there wasn't so much traffic! After Imnaha the Little Sheep Creek Highway ends and after we cross the Imnaha River the road turns to a "Primitive Road" aka gravel and dirt! :happy2:
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26 miles of gravel and dirt... :shifty:

This is the Upper Imnaha Road and it looks like it'd be a ripper on a dirt bike, but on the fully loaded Land Yacht this is not fun at all... :oops:
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I rode south about a mile in 2nd gear before I decided this probably wasn't a smart or safe way to go. The road was completely deserted, it was getting late, and if I dropped the bike I'd have to unload it before I'd be able to pick it up. I decided we'd turn around and return the way we came, but first we stopped to stretch our legs and see if the fish were biting :mrgreen:
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Kristhawee fishing on the Imnaha River, northeastern Oregon 8)
 

David Learmonth

Ol'Timer
Apr 23, 2006
513
15
18
Pleased you have found time to continue report on the voyage. Oregon, is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. (in my opinion) Though the last time I was there was 2003. Montana (2005) also has a lot going for it. Logan's Pass etc..
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We backtracked about 20 miles on the Big Sheep Creek Road, eventually turning south onto the smaller National Forest "Wallowa Mountain Loop" road-
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The Wallowa Mountain Loop Road is simply gorgeous- narrow and twisty, winding through thick forest and deep canyons-
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It was getting late so after about 15 miles I pulled off at a small National Forest Campground on Lick Creek- Satellite view:
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The campground was nearly deserted and grabbed a nice spot right on the creek-
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There was one other couple in the campground and they came over to say hi and Kristhawee was quite taken with their friendly cat, named DUMPSTER!
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(He got that name because that's where he was found- in a dumpster!)

Another look at our spot:
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Some kind soul(s) left us a nice pile of chopped firewood- thank you very much, whoever you are!
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Kristhawee and I splashed around in Lick Creek for a bit- it had been a warm day and the ice cold water was very refreshing! There were lots of small fish but nothing big enough to warrant getting out the fishing pole.

We'd worked up an appetite with the hiking earlier in the day and a full afternoon on the bike- tonight's dinner was beer stroganoff and corn!
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After dinner we relaxed around a nice fire, chatting as we watched the stars come out. It doesn't get much better than this!!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
David Learmonth;295737 wrote: Pleased you have found time to continue report on the voyage. Oregon, is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. (in my opinion) Though the last time I was there was 2003. Montana (2005) also has a lot going for it. Logan's Pass etc..
Cheers! Been riding too much which has made it hard to find time to complete this tale! :mrgreen:

I agree with you that Oregon is stunning, though I'd have a hard time choosing between the Evergreen State and Washington State to the north. I love the entire Pacific Northwest and realize that we could have spent the entire summer just in those two states and we'd have still barely scratched the surface!

Montana is on our itinerary, but we have a lot more to see and do in Oregon and must explore a bit of Idaho as well before we reach the Gold and Silver State! :happy3:
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area!

Wow, the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road is just awesome!
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Super twisty and in great repair, a real ripper of a road!
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We ride to one of the Hells Canyon overlooks and what should we see- another Bavarian Land Yacht!
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Their K1200LT was SOOOO much cleaner than ours :oops: (but looking at their luggage I'm pretty sure they were not camping...)

Welcome to Hells Canyon National Recreation Area!
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Kristhawee at Hells Canyon National Recreation Area :mrgreen:
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Some day when my boy is a bit older and can ride his own bike it would be a blast to come back here on dirt bikes and explore this area further!

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Miles and miles of seasonal roads and trails! A lot more than what you see on this map-
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I haven't figured out a good way to stitch these together into a panorama, so use your imagination ;)
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Hells Canyon is so deep that you can't actually see the Snake River. Time to hit the road- another look at the twin LT's :mrgreen:
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Bye bye Hells Canyon! See you again!
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The amazing Wallowa Mountain Loop road continues!
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Just beautiful!
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Eventually the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road ends at a T junction with Highway 86 and we hang a right, heading west towards the tiny little town of Halfway.
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Halfway to where? I'm really not sure!

Highway 86 is also a fantastic road!
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We stopped in Halfway for gas and a picnic lunch in their historic town park.
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Then back on the road headed west towards Baker City-
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Highway 86 winds through the hills, offering amazing views along the way-
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41 more miles to Baker City!
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Clear skies, empty roads, just me and my boy, life is GOOD! :mrgreen:
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Seems no matter where you go, just about every road in Oregon is a Scenic Byway!
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Elkhorn and Journey Through Time Oregon Scenic Byway-
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Bye bye Wallowa Whitman National Forest!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
I didn't really have a destination in mind today- we were just headed in the general direction of Crater Lake since I'd promised my son we'd re-visit his favorite National Park. By the time we reached Baker City it was mid afternoon. We topped up the Land Yacht and grabbed some food for dinner and breakfast the following morning and rode south and west on Sumpter Stage Highway 7 until we reached Philips Lake where we saw signs for camping- let's check it out!
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There are a number of campgrounds around the lake and we checked a few out before choosing a primitive campground on the south side of the lake. Somebody wants to go fishing! :mrgreen:
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Kristhawee fishing in Phillips Lake, Oregon :mrgreen:
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My happy boy! Life is good!!! :thumbup:
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This "lake" is really more of a reservoir, so the water wasn't so very cold. Somebody wants to go for a swim?
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The sun stays up so late this time of year but the shadows are getting long. Our campground shortly before sunset-
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On the menu tonight: Pasta Alfredo with tuna and mixed veggies- wow, that's two healthy dinners in a row!
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A late evening panorama-
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The Land Yacht is tucked in for the night ;)
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Quite a lovely sunset this evening-
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Kristhawee walked down to the lake with me to help with the dishes- good boy :clap:
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We scrounged up some wood for a fire and watched the stars some out. Kristhawee is so adorable- I'd taught him this little poem last summer and he repeated it every night at the first star:
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"Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight"
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Phillips Lake, Oregon! Bacon baby!
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Kristhawee has totally mastered the art of tying his show laces; good job boy! :clap:
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Kristhawee was keen to earn another Junior Ranger Badge so we decided that today we would visit the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument!

We had driven past the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument the previous summer but we didn't stop on account of the extreme heat! This year was also hot but Kristhawee was a year older and wanted to check it out. Good for you son! :clap:

Here's a picture I took of Kristhawee near John Day Fossil Beds National Monument the previous summer when he was just 5
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A brief description of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument from the National Park Service site (http://www.nps.gov/joda/index.htm):

Colorful rock formations at John Day Fossil Beds preserve a world class record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years. Exhibits and a working lab at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center as well as scenic drives and hikes at all three units allow visitors to explore the prehistoric past of Oregon and see science in action.

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Leaving Phillips Lake we spotted an eagle on a nest!
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We rode west on the Old West Scenic Bikeway, also called the John Day Highway and followed a K1200LT trike for a while-
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Another beautiful day and gorgeous ride!!
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Small house, American flag, horses
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Continuing west on the "Journey Through Time" Oregon Scenic Byway-
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Rode through the cute little town of Dayville-
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Continuing west!
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We're getting there!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Riding to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument! Almost there! :happy3:
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Welcome to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument!
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This is a brilliant road!
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It was getting HOT! We pulled in to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center so that Kristhawee could pick up a Junior Ranger workbook and we could start learning about the John Day Fossil Beds.

My happy boy at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument with Sheep Rock in the background-
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The Thomas Condon Paleontology Center was quite fascinating and we spent a long time exploring and learning-
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This fascinating tree shows the evolution of the horse species- the original horse was about the size of a small dog!
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Hands on learning! Checking out fossils:
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Kristhawee went straight to work on his Junior Ranger book; I'm so proud of my boy! :clap:
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A map and some information about the Sheep Rock unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument:
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For any who might want to learn more about this fascinating National Monument here's a link to the National Park Service website for the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument:

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

It was about 100 degrees outside (you can see the sweat stains on my boy's shirt), so I was more than happy to chill out in the air conditioned paleontology center and let Kristhawee do his thing-
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Coloring is fun! :mrgreen:
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While Kristhawee colored I spoke with a friendly Park Ranger to get some advice on camping in area. There is no camping or lodging within the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, but the Ranger kindly recommended we continue north on Highway 19 and then further north up into the mountains to the campground at Bull Prairie Lake:
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Back out into the heat, examining Sheep Mountain through a high powered telescope-
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A gorgeous new R1200RT boxer had parked up next to the old Land Yacht-
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Let's Roll!
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We rolled out of the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center and rode north on the John Day Highway, passing Historic Cant Ranch and the National Monument headquarters-
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Highway 19 is a fantastic road that passes through some amazing country-
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The colors are amazing, though my on-the-fly pics with the old point and shoot don't really do them justice-
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Zoomin! :happy3:
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I believe you can raft down the John Day River in the spring when the water level is higher-
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More trees the further north we go-
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Beautiful!
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We hang a right and ride north on the twisty 207, aka Heppner-Spray Highway, that climbs up into the mountains-
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We have the roads pretty much to ourselves!
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It was very hot back in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument but the temperature dropped as we rode up into the mountains-
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A fantastic ride on a roller coaster of a road! Paved all the way to the campground. Welcome to Bull Prairie Lake!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Bull Prairie Lake, Umatilla National Forest, Oregon!
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The Bull Prairie Lake campground was pretty empty and we grabbed a nice big spot close to the lake-
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My little guy was eager to go fishing so I set up camp as quickly as I could-
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Some info about the campground-
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I told Kristhawee to be bear aware!
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We explored the south shore of Bull Prairie Lake-
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Found the PERFECT spot!
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What a gorgeous spot! Hard to see him, but Kristhawee is at the end of the dock fishing :mrgreen:
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Catch anything buddy??
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I laid down at the end of the dock and watched my boy fish-
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Are you sure you don't want me to throw you in??? :mrgreen:
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Kristhawee snapped a pic of dad chillaxing on the dock-
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Quality time with my boy- this is what it's all about!
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The fish weren't biting so Kristhawee wandered off-
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Tonight's dinner- hot dogs and baby carrots
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Gorgeous weather- I left rain fly off the tent-
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Woohoo! Smores for dessert!
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Roasted marshmellow right off the stick- Yum! :mrgreen:
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Good night!!!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Bull Prairie Lake, Umatilla National Forest, Oregon!
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Cold and a bit grey this morning, but as the sun climbed in the sky it warmed up quickly; another beautiful day! Kristhawee wanted to try his luck fishing again-
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My son befriended an old timer fishing on the dock and got some fishing tips :mrgreen:
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Back at our camp site Kristhawee worked on his Junior Ranger workbook while I broke camp-
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I'm very grateful to the Ranger at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument who recommended this campground- Bull Prairie Lake was a lovely spot!

Time to ride back down to the National Monument! Let's hit the road! :happy3:
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We're headed back to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument via the Journey Through Time Oregon Scenic Byway-
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Another hot sunny day!
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As part of his Junior Ranger program Kristhawee needs to hike one of the trails in the National Monument. It's getting really hot but fortunately all the trails here are quite short. We decided to check out the Story In Stone and Flood of Fire trails:
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We had the place pretty much to ourselves-
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Kristhawee on the Story in Stone Trail, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument-
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It's pushing 100 degrees and there's not a bit of shade out here-
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End of the Trail! You made it little dude! :clap:
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Heading back; amazing geology here!
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An amazing landscape-
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My little guy got a second wind and we hustled up the Flood of Fire trail. I'm glad we did!
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Otherworldly, isn't it? You can't get a sense for the scale of this feature- it's HUGE!
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Flood of Fire Trail panorama-
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Only 11 am and already 102 degrees! Gonna be a HOT one today!!
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Riding back to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center we pass more eye catching formations-
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Once again, very little traffic, beautiful road! :happy3:
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That dark peak is Sheep Rock; the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is on the opposite side of the road-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Kristhawee has completed his Junior Ranger workbook so we've returned to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center to present it to a Ranger.

First we watch a paleontologist working on a fossil that has been brought into the lab in a plaster cast-
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Then Kristhawee is sworn in as a John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Junior Ranger! :clap:
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Bravo kiddo! I'm so proud of you! :thumbup:

We'd been seeing an unusual amount of BMW's in recent days. A large group pulled in next to us and we struck up a conversation. They asked us if we're headed to the BMW MOA (Motorcycle Owners of America) Rally that would kick off in Salem, Oregon in a few days.
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What's this? The 41st Annual BMW MOA International rally is kicking off only ~260 miles to the west just a couple days from now?! Who knew?!
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I ask my little guy if he wants to go check out a biker party. Without pause or hesitation he says "Let's go!" :mrgreen:

Ha! I guess we're headed to Salem!! :happy3:
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We rode west on the beautiful Ochoco Highway to Prineville where we stopped to grab some lunch-
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The landscape gets greener the further west we go. Ochoco Pass:
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Approaching Prineville we can see the snow-covered Cascades off in the distance!
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Roll in to Prineville and my little guy is sound asleep on the back, drooling like you wouldn't believe!
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He gets a new nickname: "Droolmonster!"
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I found a golden arches with a hamster run; little guy is happy! :mrgreen:
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We'd settled into a nice routine, echoing the previous summer, where we'd camp at primitive sites for 4-5 days and then, when we ran out of clean clothes, we'd treat ourselves to a full service campground, usually a KOA, so that I could get some laundry done, charge up the phone, camera, iPad, check my email and Kristhawee would have lots of kids to play with, a pool and other amenities. We were well out of clean clothes at this point so I did a quick search and found a KOA just north or Redmond:
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Let's go! :happy3:
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
It's a short ride from Prineville to the Redmond / Central Oregon KOA. (http://koa.com/campgrounds/redmond/) Nice campground set in rolling hills east of the Cascades- we could see the snow-covered peaks of Mt Jefferson and Mount Hood off in the distance. It's been a hot day and they have a nice pool- little guy can't wait to jump in!
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We enjoyed a nice relaxing afternoon around the pool-
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Happy Hour ;)
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As with most KOA's this one has a well stocked store, free WiFi, hot showers, playground, etc. The staff were very friendly and there were a lot of kids for my son to play with-
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We ended up sharing dinner with some kids that Kristhawee had befriended then Kristhawee and I played the classic game of Sorry as we waited for the laundry to get done-
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Good night! Tomorrow we ride to Salem!! :happy3:
 

Franz

Ol'Timer
Jun 28, 2007
1,660
2
0
Tony, how you can find the strenght to take so many photos and then write up such an epic trip report ? It is simply amazing for me !!!! Through your really epic reports (2012 & 2013) you really got me adding the Western and North Western US to my "bucket list" of need-to-ride-once-in-my-life places. Must also admit that I am not yet through wth reading your report but I hope to read it completely once by this weekend as really a 'monster one'. I think I do not need to ask what you will do in 2014....55555. Beemer stored at Dave's place again ? Ready to roll this year again ? Keep them reports and amazing photos coming !! Cheers, Franz
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Central Oregon!!
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Those of you who have followed our adventures know that my son is NOT a morning person! (I'm not either, unless I'm getting up to catch waves, make tracks or ride a bike) Today was no exception!
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C'mon little dude! We're riding to Salem today for the BMW rally! Amazing roads between here and there!
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Signs of life ;)
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There were quite a few other BMW riders camping here and over breakfast I asked for route recommendations as there are quite a few options for riding from Redmond to Salem across the Cascade Mountain range, and they all look good on the map! Here's what we ended up doing: Redmond to Sisters, then the incredible summer-only McKenzie Highway 242, north on the 126 to the South Santiam Highway 20 which takes us to Albany, then the final push to Salem on I-5:
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I try to avoid Interstate highways as much as possible and had actually planned to ride into Salem via the North Santiam Highway 22 but missed a turn and ended up on the South Santiam Highway 20, which was a fantastic road. By the time I realized my mistake I couldn't be bothered with turning around and we pressed on to Salem via Albany and the I-5. :thumbup:
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Franz;295800 wrote: Tony, how you can find the strenght to take so many photos and then write up such an epic trip report ? It is simply amazing for me !!!! Through your really epic reports (2012 & 2013) you really got me adding the Western and North Western US to my "bucket list" of need-to-ride-once-in-my-life places. Must also admit that I am not yet through wth reading your report but I hope to read it completely once by this weekend as really a 'monster one'. I think I do not need to ask what you will do in 2014....55555. Beemer stored at Dave's place again ? Ready to roll this year again ? Keep them reports and amazing photos coming !! Cheers, Franz
Cheers Franz! Indeed, banging out these ride reports with my son is a huge and time consuming endeavor, but these are memories I never want to forget. I'd like to think that some day Kristhawee will look back on these ride reports and remember the good times with his dad. (It's actually quite shocking how good his memory is- he always surprises me with some of the details he remembers that I've forgotten!)

I'm getting ahead of myself- but this summer's ride ended at Grandma's house in Minnesota and that's where the Land Yacht sits, awaiting our next adventure :happy3:

Since we've done the Pacific Northwest two years in a row now, I want to try something completely different for our summer of 2014. Plan is to ride the bike out to New York and pick up my son in Long Island when he finishes school in June, then explore New England! I've never been to Vermont, Maine and upstate New York and have always wanted to visit. What better way than on a bike with my son?

If I can get his passport and permission from his mom I'd like to cross over to Canada from Buffalo and ride through Toronto and follow the Great Lakes all the way to Thunder Bay, finally riding down the north shore of Lake Superior to Grandma's house again in Minnesota. Something like this but with more exploring in Maine, Vermont and Upstate New York:
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If I don't get the passport we'll ride back via Michigan's Upper Penninsula and Wisconsin.

Regardless of the route, as long as I'm with my boy it's all good! :mrgreen:
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We rode down to Redmond, then west on Highway 126 towards the little tourist town of Sisters. The snow covered peaks of the Cascades beckon off in the distance-
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Is Oregon beautiful or what??!?
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Llamas or Alpacas? Goofy looking critters whatever they are!
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Cascades dead ahead!
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We stopped for lunch in Sisters where we found a pretty good Mexican joint-
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After lunch we hit the good stuff! Highway 242, the old McKenzie Highway to the McKenzie and Santiam passes is a narrow twisting road that's only open in the summer.
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The 242 follows the path of an old 1860 wagon route and is so narrow it's off limits to big trucks and RV's, a perfect road for bikes! I usually take pics as I ride, but this road really required full attention and both hands on the bars at all times :mrgreen:
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It was an exciting whack up the twisty 242 and I pulled over at a viewpoint so that we could take it all in! Kristhawee on the Land Yacht with Mount Washington in the background and an ancient lava flow in between-
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Mt. Washington, Oregon! The sea of lava you see is only about 1500 years old- hard to imagine this area covered in red hot lava!
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The Sea of Lava, explained:
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Back on the bike and we motor along until we reach the 5,325 feet (1,623 m) McKenzie Pass and discover this bizarre structure built completely out of lava rocks:
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It's the Dee Wright Observatory!
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This Dee Wright Observatory was built by hand during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps, completed in 1935 and named for the construction crew’s foreman who had died the previous year after serving 24 years as a Forest Service packer and crew foreman. Read more about Dee Wright Observatory here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dee_Wright_Observatory

Looking east, the way we came-
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Looking south at the Sisters- closest to us is North Sister and the further one is South Sister-
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Up on top of the observatory is this cool brass "peak finder", cast in 1937, that points to all the surrounding peaks-
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Kristhawee with the Sisters behind him-
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Hand cast in 1937- Very cool!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
The windows in the Dee Wright Observatory are cut to specifically highlight the neighboring mountains. My point and shoot couldn't capture the inside of this structure very well at all-
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Here's a much better picture I found on the net:
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Kristhawee with Mount Washington in the background; the snow covered mountain on the right is Mount Jefferson-
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Pretty cool isn't it little dude?
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Father and son at McKenzie Pass, Oregon!
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A final look at the Sisters before we jump back on the bike and hit the road!
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What a gorgeous road- reckon the McKenzie Highway should be in the top 20 motorcycle roads in the US :thumbup:
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The 242 ends at a T-junction and we hang a right and ride north on the 126, aka McKenzie Pass and Santiam Pass Oregon Scenic Byway :clap:
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Who comes up with these road names?! The "Over the Rivers and Through the Woods Oregon Scenic Byway"?!
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Turns out this is the South Santiam Highway 20; I missed the turn to the North Santiam Highway 20, but no matter- this was a beautiful road and great ride!

Some people hate signs like these, but bikers love 'em! :mrgreen:
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We made good time to Salem; I knew that the BMW MOA Rally was taking place at the Fair Grounds but didn't know how to get there. Wasn't too hard to find tho! :mrgreen:
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