Tag Archives: dirt bike
I forgot my brand new Lumix LX5 point and shoot camera so the only photos we have are from Steve’s antique digital camera that died during the trip.
Traveled down to South Lava campground to check out the SFRC-Shoe Mafia Memorial day camp out. SFRC seems to be cut of the same cloth as our RGN friends. We met a few of them at Jordan Creek a couple years ago and they were a blast to ride with. I saw this event in their newsletter.
The Camping at South Lava was a lot like the China Hat Campground packed and loud as expected. It was and interesting collections of bikes. A few bike stood out in a sea of orange, a BSA vintage dirt bike, a few Japanese vintage dirtbikes, and an extra new WR. Oh, and the coolest race hauler I have ever seen. I can’t even find anything like it on the internet. Something like this:
We camped across from what I think is the Shoe Mafia, Super nice 3 families of similarly minded folk. They had many bikes, vintage and modern, kids, really big dogs, and a professional chef motophile preparing their meals.
Friday Ride 40>38>35>30 back to camp 22mi
Last year I broke my radiator when we finally found this rocky trials type trial. Steve and I headed for trail 38 right off. 30 goes through lava flows, with a good rock dirt combo and serpentine trails.
Mike came along. It was good getting to know each other at stops.
Saturday Ride 90>80>85>?>? poker run>2310N>2310S>2510>2270>18>22>90>camp 40 mi
Started a big group ride. Steve, Mike, Hans and John, where the only people I knew, plus maybe 4 or 5 others?
I think we took 90 to 94. The beginning was great bermed corners with moist tacky dirt. It would tighten up unexpectedly, but generally fast and open (no whoops). When 90 turns black the rocks start. It seemed longer and rockier than last year. I must be more out of shape. Someone had a vintage bike with no kickstarter and stalled it in the rocks. Ew.
At the 94 junction, the group went back to camp. Steve and I continued on toward the motorcycle only single track.
At the junction of 80 and 50 there was a poker run check point. It was snowing, which it had been doing on and off all weekend. We didn’t think much of it. It would usually snow for 20 minutes or so then stop.
We continued on to 85. At the junction of 85 and 78 we stopped for a snack. It was still lightly snowing, but not sticking on the ground yet. We headed up 85 and it turned into a blizzard with huge quarter sized heavy snowflakes. We thought we had better get back. We could see the poker run to the west of us. We joined them going south at least it was one-way traffic since visibility was minimal.
I was having a riot riding in the snow. Maybe it reminded me of ice racing. Steve was more cautioned. We decided to take the road back. I take us on a wrong turn on 2310, and we head north. The snow gets deeper and deeper about 3”. By the time we figured out we were going the wrong way I was wet and frozen.
We encountered another poker run checkpoint with a woman dressed as a Yeti. She offered us beer and said they saw a grey wolf pass through.
As we went south the snow gradually disappeared. My fingers were painful frozen stumps, I couldn’t tell if I was pulling in the clutch lever or not. Back at camp, I wanted to throw myself on the fire and just get it over with. I ended up sitting really close steaming while quaking.
Sunday Ride 40>49>40>80>85>81>74>66>60>57>32>30 60mi
The whole reason I am writing this is so we don’t do this again. We are enticed by the motorcycle only no quad trails. We did this same thing last year.
The blue 40 is not as good as the green 90. It is just quad point and shoot.
85 goes over flat paved-like lava slabs, rocky trails, small climbs, some tight trees
81 is not so good. The 4 rocky plateaus that you climb up and down are great, but the 5 miles of whoops are spine shattering (although Hans “I like whoops” might have enjoyed it). It did have a few small tree obstacles.
74 bad quad boring whoops no connected turns
Quads are good for something! (Stacey) Some crazy shit happened around 57. Quads can make a Wall of Death in the right conditions! A few of the walls seemed to go beyond vertical. One section had two connected back to back. WILD! Unfortunately there were a lot of quads on that trail.
We thought we would check out the blue 30 on the way back. The beginning was pretty horrible. We got to boundary signs and thought about taking another route, but there was nothing around. It was fun enough at speed, but the trees were dense and you couldn’t see oncoming traffic at all.
I think it was Steve’s intention to run me into the ground so I don’t think about dirt biking for a while. I hit the proverbial wall once we got to black 30. I also actually hit a few trees and fell in big rocks breaking my precious start button.
Remember to check with the Hood River County Forestry Department 541-387-6888 before going out to ride at Post Canyon at Mt Hood. It closes to OHV due to fire hazzards.
We started at Post Flats staging area on the north side. The surface is soft ball sized volcanic rock that was a little rough on Stanley. On the way out we noticed a couple dirt bikers with cars and small trailers staging by the mountain bikers probably for this reason.
The single track was nice, but there was not much of it. One loop was less than 20 miles. It was mostly loamy dirt. There was only one small rocky section. No gnarly hill climbs.
We tried to stay on single track because the quad trails were wide, point and shoot, and not so fun.
115 > 140 some parts of 140 were very new with very tight turns and the dirt not packed down.
160 to the Binns Hill Staging Area
crossed the road and took 180 > 173 > 170 the end of 170 got a bit rocky.
turned around and did 170 back
180 >160 >130>133>140> other leg of 115L back to the parking lot
130 across the parking lot>112loop>130 west out and back>137>130>parking
Post Canyon is good option if you don’t have a lot of time. If you want to make it a decent length ride you would have to do two loops unless you like quad trails.
270>Cat Creek Campground>118>back 118>271>back 271>270
Blue Lake Campground only had one other camper when we arrived Saturday morning. We were prepared to camp off campground due to the obnoxious campers we encountered at East Fort Rock, but the road clung to a mountainside, there was nowhere to pull off the road. Oddly, Blue Lake campground was almost deserted on a holiday weekend. After unloading and setting up camp, we hit the trails around noon.
We started on a route recommended route; 270>118>276>272> back down 270. The quad trail 270 was surprisingly good. There were some small elevation changes, lots of turns (unlike EFR), a little rocky, some mountainside hugging, but not too much. At Cat Creek Campground we lost the trail for a little while. This is where the quad/dirtbike families camp and there are splinter trails everywhere. Kids were doing endless laps around the campground. We finally found Hamilton Mountain trail and started heading up.
118 had loamy dirt and narrow goat trails etched into the side of the mountain. Along the way someone told us the trail was snowed in a bit higher up so we knew we wouldn’t make the loop. It didn’t matter much because this trail was so good, going back the way we came would be fun too. At one point I decided to stop to take photos of some wild flowers. After securing my bike, I turned around and was shocked by a stunning view of Mt St Helens. I didn’t know it was behind me.
We hit snow and turned around.
Quad trail 271 also made a loop to our campground. Besides the usual amazing greatness it had some tight switchbacks with big rocks on every exit, baseball size gravel trails, a downed tree. 271 was also snowed in but this time we tried to plow through a couple snow banks and made it about another mile before giving up and turning around at a beautiful mossy creek. Snow is fun! I thought this trail was a bit on the more difficult side until I saw a group of 7ish year olds on the way down. I didn’t know what to make of it. On one hand child endangerment on the other these kid must be incredible riders. With their small wheels the rocks must be like boulders.
We took 270 get back to the campground. We road hard for 6 hours. There were no straight flat sections to relax on. You had to pretty much be on it the whole time. I was so exhausted I was hallucinating.
Saturday night there was only one new camper. I think none of the yahoos were at Blue Lake campground because it is paved. No dirt for kids to do laps on. What luck.
270>272>back 272>270> across road from North Fork Campground>back.
We thought we would try to go up from the opposite direction on the recommended trails. We took 270 to 272. The trails were narrower, the rocks were bigger, and the drop-offs were steeper. We got up into the clouds where it was dark and cool. I was getting a little more used to the rocks and the extreme heights, but at some point it got a lot harder or maybe I was tired from the previous day. I had to turn around. Going down was a lot easier and faster than I expected.
At 270 we took a right. The trail to North Forks campground was whoopy and not too thrilling. Steve at his lunch on the bank of the North Fork Cispus river and I took photos. We decided to take the trail on the other side of rd 23 for a couple miles to check it out, and then turn around. At first it was flat but it had tight serpentine turns. About a half mile in, I had to stop. The forest seemed different. We were riding in old growth. I have been dying to do some hiking in old growth, but never imagined there would be dirtbike trails through it. We went for more that a few miles. The trail seemed to go up the base of the mountain and back down to the valley, narrow tricky and fun. Some of the best trails I had ever ridden, all through this primordial landscape.
Gifford Pinchot is about 2.5 hours from our house!
Super freaky dusty, more like flour than dirt. We just spread out a bit, which worked well enough. The freak dust had pea -sized pebbles mixed with graphite lube so slippery that it felt like snowboarding. Some hills were impossible. Video of Steve going uphill
The southern section of single track had a central “times square” that trails radiated out from and looped back. It had a bit of hills, ok flow, but the loops were short which was a little frustrating since were were trying to keep our distance from each other.
We had a bit of excitement trying to get from the Southern trails to the northern area. We couldn’t find the trails on the map and ended up doing a little bush whacking which was fun.
Toward the north, the trails got a lot better. It seemed like the trails were a little better planned out. The hills had switchbacks, the trails were more technical, there were a lot of rocks and less extra fine graphite powder. I was actually happy to see rocks. How strange. I like rocks, except what they do to my tires. I am missing a lot of knobbies.
We crossed a cool refreshing stream (Ditch Creek) on the way. Filled our camel backs. Had lunch.
Singletrack 160 was great; hills, rocks, boulders, deep woods. Wish I could remember more.
Then we hit quad trail 150 which was still a bit technical, burmy and good. We hit some unmarked that were not groomed=big logs. I practiced my wheelie over logs with some success. Back on 150 we had amazing lookout points, Mount Adams on one side and the town of Hood River and the Gorge on the other.
Single track 140 was a blast. A little narrow ledge clinging, boulder patches, hills.
Alas, we had to go home. I felt like we were just getting to the good stuff.