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Discussion Starter #1
Since the ride thru central Washington a couple weeks ago went well, I.E. I didn't die or end up crippled half way thru... I decided a Central Oregon ride was in order.
Left Thursday headed to Service Creek Oregon population 6. It's an old Stage Coach stop boarding house converted into a lodge and the original cafe building has been added onto to include a cafe, store and bait shop.
There are also 6 or 8 "glamping" tents, set up on decks with 1 or 2 queen sized beds in them. And as far as I know the only outdoor foosball table in Central Oregon.
The owners live on site and are fellow riders. Great people, all 6 of em. It is convenient to John Day Fossil beds, the John Day River, The Painted Hills and hundreds of miles of twisty 2 lane blacktop and hundreds of thousands of acres of spectacular scenery.
The nearest cell signal is 20 miles aways, no wifi, no tv in the room, I might have to move there. Lol
I made a short day of it and kicked back in the shade with a book and a complimentary IPA.
Any way that was day 1. Day 2 took me thru Cotton Wood Canyon SP, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Painted Hills, and all points in between. I ended up the day in Mt Vernon Oregon at the Blue Mountain Lodge Motel. Kind of a dive but it's clean, quiet and cheap. Also the Laundromat up the street serves about the best damned Tri Tip I've ever had excluding my own.
Tomorrow I'll be homeward bound. Headed North to Plymouth Washington. I'll ride WA 14 from terminus to terminus . 14 for those who don't know follows the Columbia River from Vancouver WA to Plymouth Wa just across the river from Umatilla Army Air Depot.
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I was thinking of doing a ride in Idaho (hwy 12) and Montana, and sorting through some options. I was going to Iron Butt (SS1000) up to Walla Walla (from So Cal) and start from there. Now I see what I'd be blowing by in central Oregon, so I'm gonna have to change plans! Hopefully get up that way late spring... Thanks for the pics and review!
 

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I was thinking of doing a ride in Idaho (hwy 12) and Montana, and sorting through some options. I was going to Iron Butt (SS1000) up to Walla Walla (from So Cal) and start from there. Now I see what I'd be blowing by in central Oregon, so I'm gonna have to change plans! Hopefully get up that way late spring... Thanks for the pics and review!
It would be a shame to pass by Central Oregon for sure. A lot of the secondary roads in the area aren't conducive to racking up miles. A lot of nice long stretches of 60 mph sweepers broken up by 15 to 30 mph sections and elevation changes.
That being said you could jump on US 97 at Weed from I5. It passes thru some very nice country and brings you out on I 84 about 2 hours West of Walla Walla.or you can cross the river and ride 14 on the Washington side most of the way there.
395 from Reno thru Oregon is nice too, but has more low speed sections than 97. Also a lot of curves with no guard rails and nothing but sky on the road side on 395,that makes me nervous. lol.
 
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Haven’t spent much time in Oregon. Just barely crossed the state line last year riding around Idaho. Really liked riding out that way. I hope to be back again, one of these days.
Post some more pics! My leg is in a cast from the knee down. Had the ankle rebuilt from breaking it many years ago in Big Bend NP in TX. (I thought I was a better off-road rider than I actually was).
So, I’m virtual riding through trips like yours.

Jeff


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Discussion Starter #5
Haven’t spent much time in Oregon. Just barely crossed the state line last year riding around Idaho. Really liked riding out that way. I hope to be back again, one of these days.
Post some more pics! My leg is in a cast from the knee down. Had the ankle rebuilt from breaking it many years ago in Big Bend NP in TX. (I thought I was a better off-road rider than I actually was).
So, I’m virtual riding through trips like yours.

Jeff
Sorry to hear you're down for a while. These are from Cotton Wood Canyon State Park
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The entire metropolitan area of Dale, Oregon. Population 6, The locals store keeper tells me they sometimes draw crowds of 12 to 15 people at Community Center events. The Community Center is the orange building.
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Mitchell Oregon Main Street, Home of the Oregon Hotel, the oldest operating hotel in the state, it's the white building on the in the distance of pics 3 and 4.
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Northern terminus of the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway. I didn't get many pics between Mt Vernon and here due to smoke from a prairie fire obscuring the view.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As I stood at the Northern end of the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway reading this sign, it occurred to me that #5 could maybe have been phrased differently. Sounds like a story that I most likely do not want to know any of the details of.

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Painted Hills State Park is part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Park unit spectacular place that these photos do no justice. The soil of the mounds has a very odd texture. It made me think of the old velour coated plastic packaging trays they used in the 60's and 70's but with the texture enlarged several hundred times. 3 mile rough gravel road there and back but well worth it.
Signage everywhere to stay of the domes and behind the fences, yet some a$$hat had walked all over the first one on the left as you go in. The Park Ranger told me it would take 20 years or longer before it's no longer visible .


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My favorite pic of the lot. 20200828_114331.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Service Creek Stage Stop, Population 6. The lodge, the barn and portions of the store/cafe/bait shop are original buildings from the stage route.
Nice place to stay if you aren't into amenities, no cell service, no wifi, and TV in the communal living room not in the guest rooms. That's exactly what I was looking for. The room was spotlessly clean and the bed was excellent, the AC was on when I got there. The owners are riders and good people all around. Their friend that runs the lodge for them isn't a rider but a great guy nonetheless.
The cafe isn't fancy but the foods good. I highly recommend the country fried steak breakfast 2 people could split it and have a little left over. Your cardiologist can thank me later.
They also offer rafting trips on the John Day River if that's your kinda thing.



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Excellent write-up and pics. Thx for sharing!!!!
 
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Neat pics. Pretty blue skies with all the fires out that way. Maybe you’re far enough west to be past them.
Thanks for posting. My one day last year when I got into OR was along Hells Canyon. I’ll only post it because we have similar taste in bikes. Ha!



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Neat pics. Pretty blue skies with all the fires out that way. Maybe you’re far enough west to be past them.
Thanks for posting. My one day last year when I got into OR was along Hells Canyon. I’ll only post it because we have similar taste in bikes. Ha!
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Glad you enjoyed them. It was slightly hazy with smoke the first day and there was a bit straw ash settled on my bike the next morning. I rode out of it on day 2 then back into it on the 3rd day. It was pretty heavy off in the distance coming across US 74 toward Arlington.
Cool pic of the dam. I rode Hells Canyon in 2017 on my Bolt. Spectacular area, Western Idaho, Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon are very nice indeed. I've been wanting to get back out that way.
That was the last trip of any distance I took on that bike, and the trip that convinced me to go GL 1800 shopping. That led to my buying the CTX new for less than I could by a used 02 to 08 GL for. The Bolt is a great bike but in reality it just isn't a long distance touring kind of bike, at least not for a guy my age with 3 fused vertebrae. It'll do it just not comfortably.
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