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Optimal 1000 Adventure Motorcycle Ride Day 2

Imnaha Oregon to Orofino Idaho via the Zumwalt Prairie.

 

Starting the morning out in a deep canyon has its benefits. You have the sunshine but not the total brightness of the light. I guess you can say it is like a having a great stretch in the morning. You know the kind where you wake up easy, nothing harsh, no alarm clock, just start that easy wake up process and in the midst of it get a great stretch in. Arms stretched wide and head turned a bit,waking up from the inside out, nice and easy.

The sun hitting the ridges, Imnaha Oregon The sun hitting the ridges, Imnaha Oregon

As the bright sun hits the ridges and starts illuminating them,  you feel the day as a new beginning.

We will start the day by taking Camp Creek out of Imnaha. 

 Imnaha looking across canyon to Camp Creek.
Imnaha looking across canyon to Camp Creek.

The ride up Camp Creek is just what you need to bring all your senses together. Riding up the canyon in the morning shadows starts the adrenaline flowing in anticipation of a day of great riding.  As we continue up Camp creek we bear left up Trail Creek to amazing sight as we enter the Zumwalt Prairie. The next 50 miles is one of my top 10 rides with all the vistas we will see.

We stop and take in the sights of the Zumwalt Prairie and the distant peaks. To the southeast are the Seven Devils and to the Southwest the Eagle Caps.

 Zumwalt looking Southeast to the Seven Devils. This is at the top of Trail Creek looking back over the Hell's Canyon complex, the Seven Devils are on the Idaho Side. The Seven Devils names come from Nez Perce. Heavens Gate Lookout would be the far left peak at approximately 8600 feet. Heavens Gate is accessible by vehicle.
Zumwalt Prairie looking Southeast to the Seven Devils. This is at the top of Trail Creek looking back over the Hell's Canyon complex, the Seven Devils are on the Idaho Side. The Seven Devils names come from the Nez Perce people. Heavens Gate Lookout would be the far left peak at approximately 8600 feet. Heavens Gate is accessible by vehicle.

 Zumwalt looking Southwest to the Eagle Caps. Sacajawea Peak is the tallest at 9760 feet Eagle Cap is 9544 feet. Wallowa Lake, Enterprise and Joseph are at the base of the range.
Zumwalt Prairie looking Southwest to the Eagle Caps. Sacajawea Peak is the tallest at 9760 feet Eagle Cap is 9544 feet. Wallowa Lake, Enterprise and Joseph are at the base of the range.

The Lonely Road.

Some might find it lonely, some find solace, some fear; to me I feel the need to travel the road, enjoy the experience, rekindle old friendships with the terrain. Why is it here one might ask? To me it is here because He created it and we have dominion over the land and with that great responsibilities to reap yet replenish and fulfill a harvest for generations yet to come. Each of us has our own story, without the journey the story is just a flat line. Some might find it lonely, some find solace, some fear; to me I feel the need to travel the road, enjoy the experience, rekindle old friendships with the terrain. Why is it here one might ask? To me it is here because He created it and we have dominion over the land and with that great responsibilities to reap yet replenish and fulfill a harvest for generations yet to come. Each of us has our own story, without the journey the story is just a flat line.

 Zumwalt Prairie Preserve interpretive sign.
Zumwalt Prairie Preserve interpretive sign.

From a distance this always reminds me of Little House on the Prairie! From a distance this always reminds me of Little House on the Prairie!

This was Casey's first time in this country and it was a joy to see the excitement on his face and to hear his voice talking about this special place. This was Casey's first time in this country and it was a joy to see the excitement on his face and to hear his voice talking about this special place.

 Looking up the Imnaha River Canyon. The Imnaha River and canyon are the little brother Snake River in Hells Canyon. They soon became at the confluence.
Looking up the Imnaha River Canyon. The Imnaha River and canyon are the little brother to the Snake River in Hells Canyon. They soon become one at the confluence.

 Buckhorn Road, looking into the Hell's Canyon complex. What did Chief Joseph think in 1877 when he was being driven out of this area? The indigenous people knew the "lay" of the land, Chief Joseph led his people down the Imnaha River to the confluence of the Snake River. The confluence is known for its "double Eddy" that made it an easier crossing. The Nez Perce usually forded in late summer at low flow but Chief Joseph led his people across on May 31st during high flow.
Buckhorn Road, looking into the Hell's Canyon complex. What did Chief Joseph think in 1877 when he was being driven out of this area? The indigenous people knew the "lay" of the land, Chief Joseph led his people down the Imnaha River to the confluence of the Snake River. The confluence is known for its "double Eddy" that made it an easier crossing. The Nez Perce usually forded in late summer at low flow but Chief Joseph led his people across on May 31st during high flow while being pursued by the US Calvary.

Buckhorn Lookout is not at all spectacular as lookouts are concerned, There is no tower, no stair to climb it just resides several feet off the ground. There is no need for a tower it sits on the edge of the majestic Zumwalt Prairie. I guess the intention is not to distract from the beauty of the canyons, ridges and rivers it looks over. Buckhorn Lookout is not at all spectacular as lookouts are concerned, There is no tower, no stair to climb it just resides several feet off the ground. There is no need for a tower it sits on the edge of the majestic Zumwalt Prairie. I guess the intention is not to distract from the beauty of the canyons, ridges and rivers it looks over.

After we left the Buckhorn lookout we encountered a road grader working on the road and it made the riding quite interesting navigating the furrows he had created and then when it comes time to pass him you keep asking yourself “did he really see me and wave me by?”

 

Shortly after the road maintenance we turned off the Buckhorn road on to Cold Springs road. I had not even gone a mile and boom! I was traveling along about 30 MPH enjoying the day and I felt this pain so I slide to stop not bothering to pull the clutch in, all I wanted to do was get my helmet off. It seemed like an eternity and pain continued. I was bitten by something, it was if someone had hooked the end of an extension cord to my face and  I was being hit with high voltage electricity. I never did see what kind of critter it was.

We started moving again and Casey was asking me over the com all about what happened. I told him I was not sure what it was but it could have been a horsefly or something like it. That is when he said 'that would be an optimal bite, much better than a bee or wasp". Huh, optimal to whom? It sure did not feel optimal to me! We named the trip the Optimal 1000 due an insect bite.

We continued down Horse Creek to Joseph Creek and to the the Grand Ronde River. At the Grand Ronde the road improved dramatically and we continued on to the Snake and stopped for lunch in Clarkston.

Jaw Flats Cafe promoting their candidate. Jawbone Flats Cafe promoting their candidate.
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From Clarkston we crossed the Snake and took the Old Spiral Highway to the top of the grade heading to Moscow.  We then took Highway 8 to Deary. Check out the Google Map at the bottom of the page.

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Trip mileage 438.8 start of today 230.7 = 208.1 miles PRICELESS!

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Check out my Konkolville Motel Blog post for dinner details.

Day 2 Route Profile

Day 2 Map Day 2 Map

Check out the Google Map Day 2 of our ride that includes pictures and Casey's video.

Check  out Casey's Youtube Optimal 1000 Day 2

Tim's Photobucket Day 2

GPX Tracks OPT 1000 Day 2

Check out Optimal 1000 Day 1 Blog

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