Tom's Great Annual Gifford (GAG) Ride Page

Last Updated Thursday, October 11, 2012 Tom's email: Tom's tele: H: 503-681-8881, C: 503-803-7837
  Find more about Weather in Amboy, WA
Click for weather forecast

  Find more about Weather in Trout Lake, WA
Click for weather forecast
Wonder if you're good enough to go? CLICK HERE to read the trail descriptions on USFS site! Select 'Recreation', then 'OHV Riding'. Notice the sections that focus on possible death! This place is NOT for the faint-of-heart!
When: October 13-14
Where: Takhlakh Lake, GPS coordinates: N46 16.707 W121 36.007  
2012 confirmed riders: Yours Truly & Donna, Scott Wilson, Kerry Owen, Jeff Proctor, Dan (& Connie?) Hatcher, Russ Manning, Mike Moore, Jared Achepohl, Milo Juenemann, Dave Klug, Walt Koch, Frank Noe, Stevie Ray Branstetter, and ???
10/11/12:<<(nice date) Update: I've updated the GAG webpage to include weather forecasts of the area for those of you fair-weather riders. As it stands now, it appears we will get some precious rain onto the otherwise too-dusty trails. So plan on inclement weather. I'm still in a dilemma of whether I'll leave Friday afternoon and beat the confounded PDX traffic (have Donna hitch a ride the next morning with DaveK), or wait till she gets home at around 6:30pm, then both take off later Friday. Whoever gets there first/early, please save a small camp spot for my truck/trailer combo. I also need volunteers to lead at least one (or more?) group(s), since I will guess I'll lead the advanced group, and we should have another moderate group, so consider being a trail boss those that are familiar with the area.
BE SURE to check off all the things you need to do, especially bringing firewood and your own trail maps!
That is all.

10/9/12: I've updated the list of confirmed riders. If your name isn't on the list, then I'm not aware of you responding back to me. I found out that another group of friends will be doing the same thing on the same weekend, however they will be going on a more mild set of routes, so it could be a few large groups of fellow riders! The forecast looks to have some rain on Friday - yes, we need it!

9/30/12: Before the ride, call my cell if you have any questions and I'll answer as long as I still have reception. Don't forget to bring your own maps and FIREWOOD! I plan on leaving work a bit early on Friday afternoon and heading straight up. First people there should get a spot that's central for everyone. Everyone must BRING FIREWOOD! Plan on chilly weather. Do bike maintenance NOW! IF you are concerned about street legality while up there, here are the minimal requirements (from USFS site): "Motorcyclists using Forest Service roads must be "street legal" "Dual Sport" bikes, which means you must have a current state license and operator's license, must wear a helmet, and the motorcycle must have a headlight, tail light, brake light, horn, and left and right side mirrors." I personally will stick a convex mirror on my KTM 300EXC bars, have a headlight/tail light and plate, and will call it good. I also suggest bringing a well-stocked bar and refrigerator.  The campground has one toilet that I know of, but no water/electricity - primitive, so bring some.

Location, location, location - CLICK HERE for map1 (in relation to White Salmon/Hood River to Trout Lake, WA), and CLICK HERE for map2 to see where the heck Takhlakh Lake  Campground is. Takhlakh Lake GPS coordinates: N46 16.707 W121 36.007   We will have Hood River as a backup plan in case it's snowing/raining like crazy! Again, don't forget the following:

This is invitational only, as these trails are very extreme and we don't want newbies or rat bikes showing up and pulling down the rest of the groups and ruining these pristine trails. Small-bore bikes are best there - you will regret bringing a big-bore bike! Some of these trails can be described as 'fatal' [truly]. I plan on having more than one group to satisfy different skills and abilities, so would appreciate others stepping up to also lead a group! Work on your bike beforehand, so you're not stopping every five miles to work on it.  Details are below:


Greetings and salutations,
Yes, sports fans, it's that time of year again, so plan on attending this ride at possibly one of the NW's greatest trail riding areas.  The date will be:  October 13-14, location is Takhlakh Lake  Campground, and I plan on getting started at 9am.  Camping will be primitive, so plan accordingly.

The usual stuff:  THIS IS NOT AN ORGANIZED EVENT (i.e. no permits, no insurance, no nothing!), but is merely an invite to like-minded friends to go trail riding.  This is NOT a race, but a fun, brisk-paced trail ride that will include plenty of photo opps. I plan on camping there Friday night. Like last year, it will be hunting season again, but shouldn't be a problem unless you are sponsored by Target and where their logo! 

This WILL BE a no-wimps ride!  If you don’t like gnarly trails (that can be fatal – read USFS’s description!) and a rather brisk pace, you should ride with a slower group, of which we will set up also. These trails are some of the best (if not the best) in the NW.  If it's nasty weather, we may turn South and ride some awesome, trails in Hood River. We will split into two or more groups. I have multiple radios I can bring too.

Loud bikes are NOT welcome or tolerated – in fact stay the Hell home! Go close some other riding area out, not ours! If you have to ask if your bike is too loud, it probably is! Do the maintenance on your scoot AHEAD OF TIME! Take heed on the USFS’s rules of legality for riding in the area and decide if you want to take the risk. I have a plate, so am not worried, however, depending on the route; you may not need a plate, but don't risk a ticket. Goggle Tear-Offs: are you serious? No. Go litter a MX track, not our pristine riding areas.

You WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PRINTING AND BRINGING ALONG YOUR OWN MAP(S)!!  I cannot emphasize this enough.  We don't want anyone lost again (Dave)!  Gifford Pinchot OHV maps can be printed here: 

Black & White Map

Color Map

Please don't just randomly invite your friends without contacting me first. I want this to be a group of solid riders - no newbies, wimps or whiners.

-Tom Niemela