Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Traveling Teutonic Brotherhood Part Duex

Byron - KTM 950
Kurt - KTM 950
John - KTM950
Thad - BMW 1200 GS

July 17 , 18 ,19 Byron, Thad , Kurt and I rode south eastern Oregon's high desert.
Often referred to as "The Outback" and "The Big Empty".

Friday morning we met for breakfast at the Owyhee Lanes in Homedale. Good food and better people. Defintely not the Boise North End crowd.
We took Succor Creek => Rockville => Mahogany Gap to Jordon Valley.
On the way into Rockville Mckenize waved me over. He wanted to know if I was lost , out of gas or just having fun !
He said he lived his whole life in Rockville and pretty proud of his place. Even put a dam on Succor Creek 25 years ago. Couldn't get it done today. He didn't know how he got a feed cap from Grandbury, Texas.
Thad on Mahogany Gap Road
Jim's Texaco World Headquaters in Jordon Valley
Barry - " I want to apologize for the arrogance of Lewis and Clark"

Jean Baptist Charbonneau's grave site in Danner.
JBC is the son of Sacajawea, guide for Lewis and Clark.
Charbonneau died from illness traveling between California and Montana gold rushes.
Native tribes have been leaving mementos at grave site.
Innskip Station - often used as a fort .

From Danner we followed the ION cross country to Arock.
Canyon on Jordon Creek
Thad after rocky climb out of the canyon.
A few hundred yards after the gate my bike kept dying.
At 1st I thought the gas tanks weren't venting & vapor locking. We then figured out it was the kickstand-clutch interlock. I found the switch ( a PCB !) broken. We called MotoSports to ask Bob which wires to short. His answer " i never meeesseedd with that beeefforree".
So with no help from Bob or Barry we got the switch bypassed and were on our way again.

Thad in Arock.
Pillars of Rome
Byron over whelmed by the Pillars of Rome.

From Rome we traveled HWY 95 past Burns Jct to Tudor Road

Tudor Road on the way to Bone Canyon and Mickey Basin.
You start to get the feel of "The Big Empty"
Branding camp on Tudor Road.

Dry lake in Mickey Basin
Mickey Basin Hot Springs

We tried to enter the Alvord Desert from the east shore, but couldn't find any obvious tracks onto the lake bed. You need 15-20 MPH to keep 800 lbs of bike,rider & gear moving thru the soft sand and we didn't feel like wrestling the beasts thru the tall sage brush. After spinning our wheels, going in circles and over heating the bikes we decided to back track so we wouldn't miss dinner at Fields Station. Sandy wants to close the kitchen at 4 pm.

We hit the "Steens Hwy" ( a gravel road) and cruised ~ 75 mph into Fields. We made it just under the wire to get our order in.

Fields Station was established as a stagecoach stop in 1881.
Sandy and Tom Down have owned it since 2004.
Sandy & Tom were a bit puzzled by Barry.

Thad & I with Sam Adams and Barry.
Barry would like Sam Adams a bit better if he had started wealth distribution a bit sooner.

Waiting for dinner.
Sandy said we were drinking too much beer to have a milk shake with dinner.
We did a ~ 95-100 m loop south of Fields that took us to the Nevada border and back for lunch and gas.

Domingo Pass

Me dropping into Long Draw
Long Draw- It was warm 100+

Dry lake on the way back to Fields
Barry " I inherited this from the previous administration "
Joe " This is much worse than we expected"

Thad set a "Brotherhood" land speed record of 115 mph.

After lunch of milkshakes our route was the Steens Mt loop to Frenchglen.
Blitzen Canyon on Steen Mt
Big Indian Canyon
Alvord Desert below Steen Summit
Kurt , Byron & John at Steen's Summit
Barry at Kiger Gorge

" there was a glacier here prior to the failed policies of the last eight years"

Me at Kiger Gorge
Frenchglen Hotel was established in the early 1900's to support the Frenchglenn Cattle operations. It's been run by John Ross for 18 years & is part of the Oregon State Parks system.

Most of crowd is west coasters from Portland, kind of like you see at the Boise Co-Op.

A family style dinner is served at 6:30 pm. We had a large carbon footprint meal :
Roast , potatoes , green beans, salad and rolls. Apple cake & ice cream for dessert.
Waiting for the kitchen to open Sunday morning.
Sunday was the trip back home via:
Daimond Crater Loop=> Round Barn=> Crane => Juntura=> Vale

Peter French ( the French in Frenchglen) built at least 2 , maybe 3,
round barns to break horses
in the winter.
His outfit ran up to 3,000 horses on his ranch ( 100,000 acres ).

Peter French was shot and killed by squatters. They didn't have HUD back then.

The barn is an impressive structure, but the mosquitoes kept us out.

Coon Town is a mile due east as the crows fly from the round barn. I haven't found much info on the web. The Daimond Hotel is said to have been built with lumber from buildings in Coon Town.
This building must have been supported by a substantial business.
Gas stop in Crane.
Population ~ 50 in the summer & ~ 150 during the school year.

The Crane high school is a public boarding school serving Harney county.
Students board at the school Monday- Friday.
Refreshment break in Juntura.
Lunch at the Big Burger in Vale. The waitress passed on a photo op with Barry.
After lunch Byron & I headed back thru Marsing while Thad & Kurt took the north route thru Ontario.
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