The Oregon Outback, full report

Day 1) we arrived in Klamath falls 3 hours behind schedule (via amtrack).
“assembled ” our bikes from the boxes amtrak provided (for a fee).
Headed to a local bike shop to get some last minute things. Then headed out of town. We were using two different forms of mapping. My phone with downloaded maps on it, and a printed out cue sheet with a list of all the turns. With in 10 minutes we had to turn around! But then we were good to go 🙂

The OC and E trail is amazing. It’s an old rail road line. It goes through such scenic views and it’s mostly flat.

We stopped in Sprague river for the night. Tented up next to the road, by a river to spend the night. Light rain through out the am hours.

Once feed and packed up. We were off again. Back on the OC and E trail.

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At 7am that morning, the masses started the same route. We were wondering how long it would take before we stated to see them.

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We past some horses that came over to say hi. There were two of them that would copy each other and play around. When they all ran away, it was such an amazing sound! You could feel ground vibrate.

We came across endless cattle in theroad. I think I might take up herding by bike!
http://youtu.be/JN7A4FMztOo

We had lunch at a creek in the woods. Green moss, Clear waters, the clouds even parted and blue sky and warm rays of sun shined down apon us as we dangled our feet in the water.

We finally got to silver Lake after riding through a forest that had burned. It was quite an experience.  To see the old life dead, but still standing. The forest floor fresh with new green life. In silver Lake we were blessed with, a hotel room! Our friend Tex had one, and it had two beds! Hot showers and dry clothes.

The next morning we headed out of town. And soon came to Fort Rock. A huge Crescent flat top rock. I want to go back there and explore the rock some time. Seemed really cool.
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This day would ended up being our longest day…

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The picture above is what was tagged #redsause. Supposedly, last year this stuff was torturous. This year it was quite enjoyable! One of my favorite sections. 90 miles in dirt takes a lot more energy then 90 miles on tarmac. I don’t have a clear recollection of what was next. I remember gravel. Oh, and there was more gravel!
A beautiful high plans desert was our backdrop for the 2nd half of the day. We came across 2 bulls play fighting in the road, it was a sight to see!
A quick freeway shoulder ride. This section of road cars hadn’t a care in the world for cyclists. I don’t remember ever being passed with such speed by a car/truck.
We soon turned off the highway to, yes, more gravel roads! At this point I think I was at my lowest. Drained, sore, and tired. As a last resort, I pulled out my “big guns” to make it to camp. Music!
We were riding in a group of 5 at the time and met up with about a dozen more riders. Like Mr. Marley says “… With music you feel no pain” .

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I was 1st up one of the last hills! Slowly catching a friend and racing the last few meters, fun stuff. I have to add, the next one I saw, was Jillian. She is such a strong rider!
The down hill that proceeded, took us across a dam and to camp. Which was along the crooked river.

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A great time, There must have been about 20 cyclists. All really good people too!

The next morning we rode in to Prineville, along the crooked river. Words can’t describe how beautiful it was.

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Once in town, we treated our selfs to a hot meal and WiFi. My knee was feeling pretty bad from yesterday, so rest was needed. After hours of down time we got back on the bikes and headed to the hills. We made it in to Ochoco NF to camp, top of the hills. It got cold fast. That night I wore long Johns in my bag to stay warm.

We camped with a great group from Portland,  Grill By Bike. One of them actually rode his long bike with a grill on the ride!

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The morning brought blue sky’s and a long decent with 4 river crossings.

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At the 1st crossing we stopped and ate lunch. We cheered the other riders that plowed through the water.
http://youtu.be/m1jQvVs6UeQ

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But time waits for no one, we still had 50 miles to Shaniko where we’d camp and replenish our food and water.

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Though one of the more grueling days, gorgeous, beautiful, amazing, epic… None of these words describe the sights!

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We hopped back on tarmac right before the town of Antelope. About 7 more miles to camp and food!

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…. What we didn’t know as we pushed on, was the next 5 miles would be up Hill!
Extremely tired, hungry, and the sun setting, thoughts of food raced across my mind.

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But time was not on our side. We pulled into a very small tourist town and in off season. All the shops were closed. A very generous woman, after talking with Jillian, brought food to us and other cyclists.

The next morning we headed to the end, Deschutes gorge.

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In a word, this day was, GRAVEL. All day long the grinding, jarring, crushing sounds.

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A long decent (with minimal head wind) brought us to the end.

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Tired, sweaty, dusty and out of it. The ride was over. The Oregon Outback 2015 was in the books.  Truly a great adventure! I hope I’m able to take part every year.

The next morning I treated my self with breakfast in bed.

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Oregon Outback 2015

I wanted to share some pics, as we are still grinding through this beautiful state.

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Sun rise from the train, heading to Klamath falls, Oregon.

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Heading out of Klamath

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A great “timeless” photo

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This is where we “cowboy” camped the first night in Sprague river.

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The long road ahead of us…

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So long for now.
-tao

Rolling dreams

The sky was a blur of blue with a white haze. The air cold, the sun was warm. My hands gloveless, grabbed the handlebars tightly. The cork tape and drop bars brought a smile to my soul. Pedaling at a quick cadence to warm up, with elevation in front of me, I really didn’t have to worry. The threadless stem transferred the torque between my arms and the steel frame perfectly as the trail rose. Long shadows stretched out in front of me, as the sun climbed. The morning air was moist as it collected on my glasses. Wooded side lines blured my peripheral with greens and Browns. With the day in front of me, a bike beneath me, who could really ask for more…