Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shred Oregon Day 11: The End

After the beauty of Crater Lake, we had the long drive home ahead of us.  We dicide to break it into two days.  Heading east through Oregon we went through Drew's Valley and Drew's Ranch.  How nice they had that waiting for Drew.

We drove across some amazing landscapes.  I admit, I am partial to the wide open, dry, geology-rich spaces compared to the lush dense forests of the We(s)t Coast.   We went up one mountain front in southern Oregon that blew my mind.  It doesn't really look like much in these photos, but the structure written in  the rocks was startling.

To break up the drive from OR to UT, I researched a hot spring mid way on the journey. On around 6 PM we found our destination: Bog Hot Spring near Denio, Nevada.   Drew was cautiously pessimistic about it on our approach down a powdery double track with no vegetation in sight, but upon reaching the spring, he was pleasantly surprised.

There were a couple of other people coming and going, but they paid no mind to our little stream-side camp.

Here is the spring head.  An oasis in the desert. LITERALLY.

A video of the bubblin'.

After a superb soak in the deliciously warm and thick, metalic water (I always feel like mineral hot springs are "thick" water) ...

 it was time for dinner.  Grilled sausages, deli salads, and good microbrews made us feel so at home but in a desert wilderness kind of way.  THE BEST KIND OF WAY!

we settled in for a dark and quiet night with hundreds of moths fluttering around Dewey.  It was good to be back in the desert.

Drew and I and the bikes agreed that Shred Oregon, with its waterfalls, small cities with friends and relatives, new and different mountain bike trails, and good beer had been one the best vacations we could remember!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Shred Oregon Day 10: Crater Lake

We put our bikes away, said goodbye to Oakridge, and headed for Crater Lake.  Drew had last seen it when he was a child and I had never been.  It's a volcano, geologic, a national park.  Why had I never been?

We found a camp spot after dark and after circumnavigating Diamond Lake and checking out all the campgrounds.  We ended up here in the morning.

 Diamond Lake Campground with Mount Bailey for a backdrop.

Not bad for picking out a spot in the dark.

 Resident campground "wild" turkey, looking for scraps of breakfast.

Pumice covers the ground nearly everywhere for tens of miles around Crater Lake. The pumice is left over from the massive explosion of Mount Mazama that formed the crater where Crater Lake now sits.

To the Park! Just a short drive to the north entrance was in store.

 Obligatory deep snow on roadside picture. 

Mount Thielsen from the north entrance to Crater Lake National Park. 

And then we were there, at the roadside, looking at amazing Crater Lake.  I was not prepared for how breathtakingly beautiful it really was.

 The beauty invites contemplation. 

I should explain the geology of the park but I'm already a month overdue with this post so the best I can do is post pictures of the geo signs. Lame, I know.

More gorgeous pictures. We really got lucky with the bluebird skies and just the right amount of snow for awesome photos!

We had a bit of lunch and some avian company on the roadside.

 Clark's nutcracker

Video of Clark's nutcracker.

A brief stop at the Rim visitor's center to use the bathrooms.  

Extreme measures are taken to preserve access to the restrooms when heavy winter snow is present. 

We went for a short hike to get away from the crowds of the visitor center an the views just didn't stop.

Teensy geology note: a large late-stage lava flow that would have originated near the center of Mount Mazama (center of the lake) shows up really well in this photo as the dark wedge-shaped rock on the rim to the right of Wizard Island.

 Nice volcanic conglomerate in the right foreground. 

But with no biking and limited hiking, there are only so many hours Drew and Lucy can spend in one spot.  It was time to point Dewey east toward Utah to begin the drive home.  We would have one more night of camping before Shred Oregon was through.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

SHRED OREGON DAY 9: OAKRIDGE DAY 3: Beware the underbrush

What the heck? Summer gets so busy I can't even post some pics and memories from a fabulous vacation?  More than a month after the fact, here are the highlights from day 9 of the Shred Oregon vacay.

We had one more day in Oak Ridge, so, upon the recommendation of the Mercantile folks, we we planned a big out and back along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River and up and around Moon Point and Youngs Rock. The first order of business was breakfast.

 The bakery was not usually open on Mondays but they were experimenting.  Tasty.

We drove out around Hells Creek Reservoir (longish drive) to Sand Prairie Campground (complete and total misnomer - these Oregonians have no clue about prairies!!! ha ha).  From there we started riding a fun trail in the underbrush along the river. 

 Is this an Oregon prairie?

Drew was more than worried about the possibility (err, certainty) of poison ivy in this luscious environ, so we bailed off the trail to the pavement.  From there we turned to forest road 2129 for about 4 or 5 miles of super fun exciting gravel road climb. 

The road does not look steep.  It wasn't really, just long and monotonous with nothing much to break it up except my frequent rest and stretching breaks.

We had many miles to drive to our camp spot for this evening so we didn't get all the way up to Moon Point, but we did catch a nice panorama at the end of our climb.

 It's like we are posing for a photo or something. 

 Jean Luc enjoys the view.  It reminds him of is home planet.

We came back down the fire road (yes, crazy silly cross country riders working all that way on the gravel road climb only to go BACK DOWN it!)  to somewhere that we could cut over to the Youngs Rock trail.

That trail was great.  The closest thing to Utah-type riding (drier, more open) that we had done on this trip except the trees were WAY bigger.

There was the small problem on the steep downhill of Drew's brakes not working.  This forced him to have to go too slow and even walk at the very end.  A shame because it was a pretty fun downhill.

Over all, a small amount of single track for the amount of road and climbing we had done, but since we needed the training, all the better. 

We solar-showered up at the van and motored into Oakridge for one last resupply stop before driving a couple of hours toward Crater Lake for Day 10.