FALL CLASSIC ’07
Another Great Adventure in Central Oregon.
Editor: Eric Bewley Photo: S. Vaillancort, D. Arnold, Kris
Fort Rock, OR – The fall classic always seems to be one of our favorite events every year. We always look forward to it and are never disappointed. We had a great turn out of hearty adventurers ready and willing to endure the challenging weather to experience the wonder and awe that this area provides. We ‘tweaked’ one of the aspects of the adventure to see if it would make it a little less daunting for the average thrill seeker. What we did was instead of having two camp spots over the weekend we decided to have a base camp and do a big loop on the second day for our fun. The benefit was to be two-fold, first we wouldn’t have to make camp twice and second we wouldn’t have to carry our camp gear in the vehicle.
Everyone knows that lighter is better and on the dunes this was very evident. Without the camp gear we were all able to enjoy the dunes a little bit more than usual. In fact, the Christmas Valley dunes were in better shape than I have ever seen them. They were extremely smooth and with the recent rains were packed so our low horse power rides could still have quite a bit of fun. There was even areas with slippery, sort of muddy, sand areas where one could spin cookies ad nauseam.
I guess I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. The journey over to the camp spot near Cabin Lake was quite enjoyable too. We all met up at the same ‘ol A&W in LaPine and then headed off cross country towards camp. We were treated to some nice twisty logging roads and two-tracks. A light snow was on the ground which made for some enthusiastic driving. It was a bit cold but never fear, the Forest Service has several slash burn fires burning all over the hill side. I guess fire season was over! We did some quick rallying on the last leg towards camp where speeds reached high enough that one of the group bent a spring by kissing a boulder that was along side of the road.
I had known before we left LaPine that “Hoss” needed to put some new shocks on his rig because he still had the stock ones on with a 2″ Calmini S/R lift so they were completely topped out. As soon as we made camp, he put a new set on that he had been meaning to put on. We couldn’t believe he made it as far as he did for there was no movement at all on the front suspension. The Iron Butt award goes to you, Sir. The morning was magnificent. We awoke to clear skies and soggy tents for the rain came during the night early. We did a couple of stops for GPS geocache sites along the way towards the Christmas Valley dunes. The first one was at the well site next to the Cabin Lake camp ground that we had visited last year. It was cool to re-visit this cache and see who had been there since we had visited last.
During the whole weekend, it rained off and on and was chilly. It even snowed on us on the way home. Ah yes… these are the good old days in the making. We were blessed with no major breakage and we able to see all the sights that 9 hours of day light will allow.
As I stated before, the dunes were really dang fun and I got to treat the group once again to me having a fuel shortage on the trail. Neat-o, I guess a new un-crushed tank is in order.
Stasi and Ron, our dirt bike riding converts, showed us some new trails in the Ft. Rock recreational area on our way out. There actually is some fun stuff there to explore and I’m sure we’ll be back. Thanks to all that participated and if this looks like something you’re interested in, be sure to tune in and come out with us next year!