Bikepacking the Central Oregon Backcountry Explorer
I had originally planed on finally finishing bike touring the Pacific Coast highway US/ Canada border to Eureka California. I took two weeks off from work a month before the trip I started to get cold feet I wouldn’t make it back in time because of travel and the train was booked solid.
I just bought a gravel bike for the PCH trip.
New Niner bike at the Maven Bike Shop
So I went on Bikepacking.com for some suggested gravel Routes. I did a search of some of the routes and came up with Bikepacking the Central Oregon Backcountry Explorer. I saw it was close to Bend, OR. ,would be a reason to visit some friends and Brew tour (haha). I was also in Luck Cody Jinks was in concert.
Cody Jinks concert Bend, OR
Time passed by and loaded up the rigs to the Subie.. We came to Bend and checked into the Hotel.
The Holiday Motel
I thought this hotel was the best deal in town for a couple dirt baggers. The hotel was close to Down Town and the Concert Venue.
The next morning we grabbed breakfast had the cougar special.
We left Bend, OR and drove to the City of Prineville, OR and got to the Chamber of Commerce like to website recommended to park but they where closed on the weekend or at least Sunday. So we drove up the road to where the forest started and parked at one of the campsites.
The ride started up a paved rd.
About 7 miles up the road the road transitioned to a dirt road and was quickly greeted by the gate keeper a Rubber Boa a gentle slow moving snake.
another few miles down the road we came across one of many creek crossings.
KC was not shy go getting his feet wet me on the other hand didn’t like to get my feet wet.
After another 12 miles of riding it was time for Lunch with the Classic Salami Wrap.
After passing thru the town of Ashwood, Or I seemed to have lost photos.
Then it was back to some steep climbs with the occasional Thunder showers.
The rain was really starting to come in the roads where turning into Peanut Butter mud paths we where on the hunt for a place to camp next to a creek.
Somewhere between Somewhere between all the private ranches we where able to scratch a little spot to squeeze in under a Juniper and set up Camp.
We hydrated are can of Revision salad and some Chili Mac. hung out polished a few cans in are Bikepacking chairs until the stars came out.
The next day we loaded up after sharing a Biscuits and Gravy.
The goal for the day was to ride to Mitchel, Oregon to Stay at the Spoke n Hostel and of course the Brewery.
exiting the camp ground.
We started to leave the forest and come to a desert. There was a ranch next to a cliff like mountain we where watching swallows coming down to get fresh mud created by the storm and make there nest. Along the way a river (John Day River) started to parallel are ride making me wish I had my packraft.
We then hit a highway next to the painted hill which was an amazing site.
We then turned on to another highway leading to the town of Mitchell.
We stopped for a break it was getting warm, drank water and admired this rock formation.
KC entering the town limits of Mitchell
I was getting excited to visit this town after seeing this route on the blog.
We rode up to the Spoke n Hostel. I was beyond amazed with this place they had everything here the hospitality was unreal. I Was so happy I didn’t pass this place up.
The town of Mitchell had so much character. The Tiger Town brewery had great beer and food out of a food truck in the backyard.
After an evening on the town are souls and bellies where happy.
In the am we supported the local economy by having a hot breakfast.
The Mitchell Stage Stop served up some fine Americano Breakfast in a historic building.
We pedaled out of town shortly then immediately started to climb a dirt road.
Surrounded by more Ranch land.
The landscape transition to lush meadows and pines. are nice smooth gravel road turned into a more ruff western double track after climbing all morning it was about 1230-1 we where seeing views. We stopped for a salami wrap lunch took in the view of Pines. We starting seeing snow patches then we started climbing more.
Then the riding became pushing
We reached heights over 10,000 plus feet. We pushed thru snow probably 3-5 miles maybe 20 haha
We celebrated finishing the push with a Montucky Cold Snack. I just thought this beer name was awesome.
Are goal for the night was to Camp at Walton Lake.
I fetched water from the lake using my Salsa anything bag so we could have are foil dinners.
We had a nice sleep on full bellys and Maybe more Montucky Snacks.
The next day it was a 12 mile ride back to Prineville where we just made coffee and aimed to have a meal in town.
I left KC at the Brewery then I road another 15 miles to fetch the car. Oh yeah then the Brew tour continued. Whoops meant the Bikepacking we loaded up drove down to San Diego to pickup the Catalina Island gang to Bike Pack the Island where we drank more camped biked and played Disk Golf.