Wednesday, June 24, 2015

OMC 2015 Iron Butt Ride June 19th and 20th (Guest Post by G-Man)

Big Easy and Big Purple

The OGRES Annual Iron Butt did take place over the last weekend.  It was scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM
last Friday the 19th, but both final hardcore riding participants (G-Man and Big Easy) had some last minute 
business that got in the way, and so the scheduled leave time changed from 8:00 to 11:00, then to 1:30
and finally “kickstands up” at 3:10, from the Eagle Chevron at State Street.  Riders rode non-stop to LaGrande where G-Man ran out of gas and just coasted into the Shell station at the first off-ramp down the hill.  Big Easy still thinks G-Mans tank is the same as his tank….NOT.  

Then on to Arlington for gas up again, speeding most of the way.  At the first bridge over the Columbia, riders rode up to Goldendale, Washington, with spectacular rural scenery, then thru beautiful winding farm country, with Mt. St. Helens in the background, before starting a long wind down thru some spectacular canyon country and the “hippie style” community of Klickitat, Washington.  (Steve Nielson, the Great Ride Planner, was right, this is a ride worth taking)  We dropped out near White Salmon as the light faded and we ate real good Chinese food at a gas station run or owned by recent emigrants from China, before camping on the ground in a very nice clean KOA style camp ground across the river from Hood River.

Up at 5:30, good hot shower, across the Toll Bridge ( .75 per rider ) and a 1 course breakfast at McD’s.  Then, on south thru the most spectacular early morning scenery of orchards, farms, rolling hills, beautiful forests, and the majesty of Mt. Hood in the background.  Then on to Barlow Pass with temps of near 40 degrees.  Then we took a little known side road that was very windy for 30 miles or so, ending on a highway at Detroit, Oregon.  I got a pastry and Big Easy used the facilities, and we took off for Belknap hot springs.  About 12 miles down the road was a sign posted that said “62 miles till next gas”.  At that point, Big Easy was in the lead, did not see the sign, and was headed south.  I waited 5 minutes, hoping he would know that I was not behind him, but then decided to return to gas up knowing I would not make it without doing so.  I retraced about 12 miles back, gassed up, and headed back down the road.  I had given my cell phone to Big Easy earlier in the day so he could charge it on his bike and knew if we lost contact, we would be lost for the day.  Luckily, he finally look in his rear view mirror at some point, turned around and rode back to find me.  Even though I had filled my tank, he was sure he could ride on without gas.  Gutsy Big Easy.  So, on south we rode, and made it to some beautiful falls at a way point along the way, and then finally Belknap Hot Springs.  We found the gardens and location beautiful and worthy of an Ogres Ride in the future.  

Next it was over the McKenzie pass and a stop at the lava fields and the awesome “fort” type rest stop at the top.  I shared my memory of the ride most of the OGRES took years ago when I first rode into Oregon with the gang that eventually became the OGRES.  Fun times.

Finally, it was getting late in the day, on thru Sisters, Redmond, Prineville, and a stop in John Day for something cold to drink, and we did learn that the favorite burger in town is STILL the Fergus McLeash burger.  And not so much a favorite is the Shrimp Melt…..

Then, it was a screaming ride on to Vale, across the Snake at Ontario, and back on our beloved Freeway where  you can ride 85 MPH and most of the time get away with it.  We waved good bye at 10:15 on State Street, pretty sweaty and bug spattered, and exhausted, having traveled about 995 miles in about 31 hours.  It was a great ride.


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