Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: Hillsburrito, OR
Ride Report: Tom’s Great Annual Gifford (GAG) Ride
Perfect. That is one word that describes our Saturday ride of this annual, invitational event. I would have set it up for an earlier date, but my good friend, Dan Hatcher, was on vacation back East, so the date was pushed to this weekend. Unfortunately for many, it landed on the same weekend as the 24-Hour GP in Goldendale. Sorry folks, I couldn’t delay it any further due to the weather conditions.
Dave Klug and I took off about 6pm Friday night and made our slow progress to Olallie Lake, which was our meeting location. My friend, Tom Savage, recommended we stay there since it was larger (and free) than Council Lake, which is where we’ve staged from before. Dave-O and I got to Olallie Lake around 9:30pm or so and were greeted by a group of six others, who were already camped and had a fire going. Matt Hockin and five of his friends from Bend already had everything set up, so we did our introductions and I set up my Scamp (aka Skank) Trailer. About an hour later, Danno showed up with his island-sized RV towing his enclosed bike trailer. We spent the evening hanging around the fire and telling stories and watching the dogs frolic. One of the guys also pulled out his very cool SDG pit bike. Matt brought his most awesome biscuit burner (which I named “Tripod”, since he only has three legs) and one of Matt’s friend brought his pooch that I nicknamed “Barky”. Bedtime came around 1am.
I awoke around 6am or so and got up to make coffee – man, was it cold! A bit later Joe Fuller showed up and a little later, Stevie Ray Branstetter and a new guy, Pat Handley, showed up together. Everyone started stirring around the camp, but it was bloody cold. Nobody was in a hurry to get their riding gear on, due to the frost. Dave-O made his patented specialty of eggs, potatoes and sausage mix – yum. The sun finally started peeking through the trees to share some heat around 9 o’clock and things started moving.
Around 11am I had an impromptu rider’s meeting, basically telling everyone trail etiquette and how they were absolutely responsible for the rider behind them, ride on the balls of their feet (don’t want broken toes), and that we would be going at a good clip through some generally challenging trail. After all, this was a no-wimps ride.
All 12 of us started off on Trail #116 heading on the south side of Olallie Lake and Chain of Lakes going northeast. I elected to go this way instead of the original Juniper/Langelle Ridge route due to concerns about the snow level. By the time we got to Horseshoe Lake, just a few miles later, everyone was stripping their jackets. The trails were awesome and were warming us up nicely! Again, perfect was the condition of the trails and there was no dust, hardly any mud, not a cloud in the sky and the dirt was purely ‘luscious loam’!
We then turned left onto Trail #115 to Trail #110 that led us up to Green Mountain Summit. What an awesome view! We did our usual Kodak Moments and beat feet down 110 to Road #5601, turned right at Adam’s Fork Campground going up Trail #118, which was considerably wider and rockier. Stevie Ray and Pat were setting a fun pace as we freight trained towards the summit. Going to the summit was interesting as I led the way with Joe and his helmet cam monitoring my every move, of which I blew one switchback and didn’t see it until I was in the middle of it. The summit was yet ANOTHER stellar view and more photo opps. Coming back down from the summit, Pat realized he’d lost his KTM 300 kickstarter (the bolt broke), but I fortunately found it just up the trail in the snow. No button on his two stroke had him routinely fetching the lever out of his pack, starting the bike, and reinserting back into the bag.
We then dropped down #118 to Trail #276, which led us up the Yozoo Trail and on the north side of the mountain, where it was still frozen. It was a little tricky through here with the frozen snow and single track to slot car through.
We then took Trails #272 and #271 back, which were a blast, due to being wider and no dust. We only encountered one group coming at us, which of course we had to comment about how perfect the day was.
Back at camp, we started up another big fire, cooked up some chow and kicked back. Thanks Joe and Danno for the steaks! The usual benchracing and lying commenced and everyone hit the hay earlier than the night prior. This was a great day and a good group of guys. No injuries, no (big) breakdowns and perfect trail/weather conditions!
About 4am I was awakened to the pitter patter of moisture hitting the roof of my Skank. It didn’t stop as people started to stir around 7-8 o’clock. Many of us gathered in Danno’s RV and verbally started to ride and that’s about as far as we got. I got concerned the rain might turn to snow and make things difficult for my little Nissan to pull the Skank out and so loaded up and left after 9am, with Joe in tow. It was a beautiful fall day on the way back. Bummer we didn’t get two actual days of riding, but the one day made up for it.
Again, perfect. Our total mileage was only about 47.1 miles, but these trails make you feel like you rode double that. Thanks everyone for showing up and sorry to those of you that didn’t make it! CLICK HERE to view the complete set of all the pictures I took.
PS: I'll pester Joe for his helmet-cam video and post when available!