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Hells Canyon – Dug Bar (June 15th)

Today was a day I had been looking forward to! John/asrvivor had generously offered to lead a group of us newbies to Dug Bar, a fairly infamous dirt road. I had been assured that after Hess, Dug Bar would be absolutely no problem, and I was beginning to gain a bit of confidence off road. This ride was intended to be leisurely, plenty of stops to take photos, and sounded right up my alley.

We gathered in front of the office and John explained the rules: try to honk if you want to pass somebody, if you hear somebody honking, try to get to the side if you can. Fair enough! We even had a “sweep” on this ride, so nobody got left behind, a concept I liked quite a bit. John had some extra gas he was carrying for some of the smaller displacement bikes – it was around 140 miles round trip. I was happy this wasn’t a concern for me!

We rode in a thundering horde to Imnaha, where we regrouped along the side of the road.

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Hells Canyon – Hess Road (June 14th)

I awoke from my slumber to the sound of everybody else already puttering around. Slowly I pulled myself out of my tent and began the process of waking up. Somebody offered me some coffee, which I gratefully accepted, and I offered him some sugar from my spice kit in return. As I worked out the stiffness in my back from sleeping on my gear, I mentioned my predicament, and lo and behold, Russ/Got2Moto offered up his Big Agnes pad for me to have, if I liked. He said that it wasn’t right for him. AWESOME! Thank you!! I told him I’d give it a try. Gotta be better than sleeping on lumpy gear, right?

Eventually plans condensed and a lot of us left in one big group. I wasn’t entirely sure what the route was, but I figured it’d be fun anyways. After making our way through the town of Enterprise, through the pastoral countryside past Joseph, we turned onto a small, winding forest service road. For a while, we stayed mostly in a somewhat cohesive whole, but the further we went down the forest service road, the more spread out we became. We ended up splitting into at least two groups, and I was in the slowest one. The forest service road was very fun, lots of twists and turns, many hairpin 15mph curves, with bumps, lumps and potholes aplenty: exactly the stuff I go slow on.

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Hells Canyon – Hood River to Enterprise (June 13th)

I awoke around 9, as I recall, and everybody was already packing or packed. What is it with men and early mornings?! Seduced by the idea of a strawberry pancake breakfast that was suggested the previous evening, we hung around another hour or so to see if the pancakes would appear. I spent some of the time trying to catch up on my picture-taking.

This little truck was cool looking, and I loved the fact that the Lodge was in the middle of an orchard!

The view from the Lodge was pretty great!

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Hells Canyon – Portland to Hood River (June 12th)

Even though I was living in the woods, I still managed to get wifi in town often enough to keep up on the current happenings with the Hells Canyon gathering. John (asrvivor) had posted that he had a small group that were going to ride to the gathering together, and I figured I would tag along. After I managed to get my laundry done and scored a free shower (I figured they probably weren’t partial to smelly forest-dwelling hippies), I headed over. I thought that two hours would be more than enough to get through Portland traffic, but I was wrong.

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Livin’ in the Woods – June 10th & 11th

The next day, we headed back to Coug’s. The ground wire had ripped out of the plastic connector because it wasn’t long enough, ugh. Luckily, he had some scrap wire and soldered it back up, good as new!

Where to go? Oz had work in McMinnville the next day, far from where I’d been camping, but he wanted to spend more time together. We took back roads to the town, and after consulting the internet and a local gas station attendant, decided that the sites around the McGuire Reservoir seemed appealing. The road out to the area was fun, lots of curves going through farmland and woods. The bike felt like a new machine with all of the work we’d done to it! At one point, after we’d stopped for a brief break, I tried to make a 90 degree turn from gravel on to pavement from a stop. This was a Bad Idea, as I had no traction, and gravity quickly informed me. Luckily I was able to get the bike back up with Oz’s help fairly quickly. Whoops.

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