April 2017, we were into our seventh month of rain, an annual record breaking amount of rainfall at that, and needless to say were are a bit sick and tired of it. May has finally dried out some, at least enough to mow the lawn between showers.
A couple... 6 weeks ago, Polar Bear suggested we trailer the dual sports over the wet, snowy mountain pass in search of drier trails and the sunshine of Central Oregon. We heard about a small OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) area nestled between Redmond and Sisters, about a 2-1/2 hour drive. We loaded up the bikes and were off to Cline Buttes.
We drove through rain, and there was snow on the side of the roads, but as we got closer and closer to Sisters, the sun was shining and the snow disappeared. Through Sisters and toward Redmond we kept an eye out for the turn off to the OHV area. I have driven and ridden by this spot at least a dozen times, never knowing it was there, (I bought my Tiger in Redmond).
Three more miles... 2 more... 1 more.... a half mile ahead on the right. There it is! Two dirt bikes were on the cross road to the left waiting to cross the highway. Passing us after our turn in, we followed them to the staging area. More like a camping area as there were camp trailers and toy haulers, even tents staking claim to their own little area. We were only there for the day so we didn't want to take any camp spots and just parked off to the side.
Sunshine! Warm, bright, glorious sunshine!
Actual, float in the air, in your teeth, up your nose, wear your goggles, dust!
We couldn't get the bikes off the trailer fast enough, then we geared up as the sun warmed our Western Oregon, water-logged spirits. The temperature slowly climbed as we mounted our bikes.
It's been months since being on the bike, so we did a loop around the kiddie track to keep us from setting off full throttle and doing anything foolish. Then it was a slow tootle along the easy, green trails before venturing off to the intermediate blue trails. We rode clockwise, down to trail 11 and over to 15 and 21. What a great loop, not too difficult although a couple of rocky areas tested us, we had a great ride.
|Intersection of 11 & 15|
|Our approach to Dry Canyon|
|Whence we came|
|We gonna talk about it, or ride?|
Dry Canyon was a wonderful trouvaille, photos didn't capture the impressiveness, and although not as grandeur as that famous canyon visited by thousands of tourists every year, it was beautifully secluded and quiet.
We rode on, checking the trail map once just to make sure we were still having fun and making good choices. After both of us lugging 500+ lb. Tigers out of mud trails in the past, we are much more cautious of chasing the fearless down rabbit holes, let alone each other.
We meandered back to the staging area for a bite to eat and to load up for the 2-1/2 hour drive home. Andy drove more than we rode, but it was certainly worth it to dry out some from the long, wet winter of Western Oregon. We discussed coming back again with the families for a weekend camping trip and ride.
~ trou·vaille tro͞oˈvī/