Hells Canyon Rally 2010
Gold Rush Course
Day
3

Trip Date: 6-13-2010

Features:

  • Hwy 30
  • Hwy 237
  • I-84
  • Hwy 244
  • NF-52
  • NF-73
  • Hwy 220
  • US 7
  • Hwy 245
  • Hilgard State Park
  • Red Bridge State Park
  • Lehman Hot Springs
  • Haines (Town)
  • Haines Steak House
  • North Powder (Town)
  • Union (Town)
  • Ukiah (Town)
  • Granite (Town)
  • Sumpter (Town)
  • Austin Jct.
  • Hereford (Town)
  • Unity Lake
  • Baker City Cafe (Pizza)

Hazards:

  • Fallen Rock Debris on Roadway (Blue Mountains and forest roads)
  • Deer
  • Hwy 245 free range cattle on roadway

 


Gold Rush Course
Riding through the Blue Mountains
720 HD Video!
Day 3


Day 2
 

Trip Details:

 

Riding the Blue Mountains

This year I planned for the full 4 days allowing time to take in one of the rides as well as the Hells Canyon ride. The morning of Day 3 June 13th we decided on the Gold Rush course. The mountain course had a washed out road and was not an option. We departed Baker City around 9 AM heading down main street for a fuel stop prior to starting our days ride.

Once fuelled up and a few cold beverages in the trunk we made our way to Hwy 30. The rider who accompanied me on this ride were Lloyd Duncan (Yellow Wing) and Mike & Christy Whitlatch (Harley Ultra Glide). We rode Hwy 30 19.8 miles to Hwy 237. Once on Hwy 237 it wasn't long and we started encountering some fun turns. As we rounded one of the turns I could see these mammoth wind turbines used to generate power. They were perched up on the hills east of us. Approximately 8.9 miles up Hwy 237 we stopped at the base of a hill side to get a closer look at some of the wind power turbines. There were about eight or so on top of the hill with many more to the south and east. These the blades on these things were incredibly large. We saddled up after some pictures and Road-Quest.com - Hells Canyon Rally 2010 ridng the Gold Rush Course through the Blue Mountains.rode 6.8 miles up Hwy 237 into the town of Union. Union is a very small town an took us about a couple minutes to ride though as we rode 10.9 miles on to I-84. Our ride on the interstate was short lived at 12 miles where we exited and stopped off at Hilgard State Park for some pictures and restroom facilities for a couple of the riders. Hilgard State Park is right on Hwy 244 and a small river. The river is not on my Map Source software so I will have to do some research to find its name. I will update this later with the information.

Hwy 244 took us 7 miles to a Red Bridge State Park and we continued on 38.4 miles to the town of Ukiah. I have to say we had some nice twisties and some sweepers along the way that surely put smiles on all the riders faces. I know I was enjoying them. I'd have to say it was a combination of the roads and the weather. We definitely had a stellar day for rising. This was also a good place to fuel up just so we didn't have to later on down the road. The nest 15.3 miles took us up NF-52 with mostly straights with a few slight bends in the road. Regardless the scenery was amazing. After that 15.3 miles we started getting dose after dose of some fun turns. This went on for Road-Quest.com - Hells Canyon Rally 2010 ridng the Gold Rush Course through the Blue Mountains.33.7 miles to the small town of Granite. The turns just kept coming and coming and were mixed with some very scenic straights as well. This is a very beautiful area to ride through. We were riding through what's known as the Blue Mountains. We road through an area that had suffered a forest fire about 6 years earlier. There was a dead standing forest that reminded me of the dead forest on the way up to Windy Ridge at MT St. Helens. We made several stops to take in the scenery and snap some pictures. I highly recommend you make plenty of these stops. 30+ miles of spirited riding in the turns can cause a bit of riders fatigue. The stops here and there take all that out of the equation. We also encountered some very poor road conditions the final 6 to 8 miles as there were some very large and deep pot holes as well as large areas of gravel and debris on the road way. As soon as I noticed this was a pattern I ended any spirited riding and took it easy through the remainder of  the way until we reached Granite. I had plans on finishing the trip to return in 2011 and spirited riding with these road conditions are not in favor of remaining up on 2 wheels. I also should mention "ALWAYS" be on the look out for deer. Up to this point we encountered 4 dead deer on the road side and had one deer run across the roadway 50 yards in front of us. You will see this in the video.

When we arrived in Granite we briefly talked to a group of Harley riders who were about to get back out on the road. One of the bikes I recognized from the night before. It was parked on main street and was sporting a sweet airbrushed paint job. It was multi toned with purple, blue and some magenta with rain drops in the artwork. Very nicely done. We went into the Outback which was a restaurant & Grocer. We picked out a table and went to the counter and ordered as the sign said "Order Here". 3 of us went for the bacon cheese Elk burger and curly fries. Service was quick and hospitable. The Elk burger, however, was over cook and tough. This called for allot of ketchup! I'm not including this information to put down the eatery at all. I want to be clear and accurate of what I encounter out on the road. That said next time I will most likely be riding on by in search of something better.

Road-Quest.com - Hells Canyon Rally 2010 ridng the Gold Rush Course through the Blue Mountains. The Otback in Granite Oregon.After the burgers and some good conversation we saddled up out bikes and rode on. We rode though 16 miles of some sweet twists and turns and some beautiful country side to the small town of Sumpter. I should mention that the same road we were on started as NF-52, then it turned into NF-73 and Cr-24 and some other as well. It was the same road so don't get confused when comparing this article to your map.

3.2 miles of road took us on to US 7 which by itself was a treat to ride. Again we had a nice combination of a some straights mixed in with allot of turns and great scenery. We rode US 7 for 26.3 miles to the US 26 junction. We continued on US 26 for 19 miles. We encountered some awesome riding in this area as we carved our way through the hill sides.

US 26 brought us to our next left turn onto Hwy 245. Just a short 2.3 mile ride and we ere riding over the small bridge that crosses over the Unity Lake Reservoir. The temperature was nearing 81 degrees again and man that water looked tempting. We continued our ride on another 7.7 miles to the town of Hereford and on another 12.4 miles up Hwy 245. Now in this area is where loads of fun and spirited riding began.  Here is where the "Road Gods" treated us to 10 miles of tight twisting roads with great scenery around every bend. Enjoy this riding but remember, ride your own ride and do not push your riding ability. Some of us had no desire for spirited riding through this area and that was perfectly fine by me. In fact I prefer pulling over and waiting a bit as it give me a chance to lower my adrenaline level a bit. The main thing is we all make it through the ride together and unharmed. The remaining 3.3 miles of Hwy 245 was Road-Quest.com - Hells Canyon Rally 2010 ridng the Gold Rush Course through the Blue Mountains. The Otback in Granite Oregon. US 26 & Hwy 245 US 7very clam relaxed riding and brought us back to US 7. At this point it was nearing 4:30 PM and the remaining 9 miles of US 7 was very relaxed as we made our way back  to Baker City. The terrain in this area was desert like with rock cliffs and sage brush. There were grasslands fed by irrigation I would imagine. This was also an area we encountered some free range cattle standing next to the road side. this too is in the video. Be careful in this area as we encountered the cattle right after a sweeping turn.

All in all this was an amazing ride and sparked my interest in returning to see what else Oregon has to offer to riders. We had great weather, and some of the best mountain riding and scenery I have encountered.

Day 2


 

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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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