Ghost Towns of Eastern Oregon

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
I finally got around to editing everything, or deciding NOT to edit some things and just go on with it. At any rate, I got invited last-minute to go on a guided 6 night / 7 day bike tour of ghost towns in eastern Oregon two weeks ago. A tour company had no bookings for the first slot of the year, so they opened it up to bike-related media people, and that -my friends- includes ME, thanks to the Mrs. So we got loaded up, charged up the electric kid-towing bike rig (I opted -wisely- to use one of his loaner bikes), and they picked us up on their way east out of Portland.

Total distance was something like 350 miles, so 60-70 a day most times, once just 40ish. Daughter rode behind the Mrs on the e-rig, but opted about half of each day to ride in the van instead. She loved our guides, and fellow guests (one of whom stopped riding mid-way through Day 2), so she loved riding with them in the van and learning new card games to play while they’d wait for us at each new rest stop. Loaner bike came with a spacious handlebar bag with rain cover, the PERFECT place to stash the little Domke… I could reach in under the lid, draw and shoot quickly, and stash again, in less than 4 seconds. I didn’t miss much in that regard. And as photos were to be my repayment to them for the waived trip fee (north of $2k), I did my dernest with the weather I had.

Equipment was the XT1 (of course), mostly with 18-55 on it. Other lenses brought, in order of usefulness, were Rokinon 12, XC 50-230, the XF 56, and XF 27 with polarizer on the front of it. There was one day where I brought ONLY the XF27 out of the van, and I just wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t getting shots that I liked, so I stopped fighting it and put the 18-55 and Rok 12 back in the handlebar bag.

At any rate, here’s some of what I was able to do, in sequential order:

Typical Day 1 scenery, outside Shaniko. Twisty roads!
KBRX5007
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Race ahead, pull over, get set up, wait...
KBRX5097
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Lots of this.
KBRX5130
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Some of the downhills were NOT for the feint of heart. Closest thing I've done to motorcycling since I sold it before moving out here.
KBRX5143
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Meeting the locals.
KBRX5192
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Better light this day.
KBRX5230
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX5252
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

My companions
KBRX5270
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX5293
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

So much of this, on a gravel road for 30+ miles.
KBRX5294
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

I walked through it. It was ... hazardous. More pics of the interior at Flickr. Looks to have been abandonned about the 2nd world war, 50's tops.
KBRX5303
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX5351
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

And then my bike ate its deraileur. In brief, the dry gravel roads turned to cement-like mud when we hit a sretch that had just been rained on prior. I've never experienced mud quite like this. It wasn't deep, or soft, but what it touched, it clung to like tar, and quickly dried to the consistency of cheap concrete. I'm still chiseling it off the e-bike. Meanwhile, I coasted down a long hill on this loaner bike, and with the first stroke of the cranks at the bottom, I heard a horrific mechanical cry for help out back and knew something very, very bad had happened.
KBRX5357
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

eBike fared better, but looked ugly.
KBRX5361
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Evenings, at camp.
KBRX5408
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

The best stretch of the whole trip, for me. 15-20 miles unpaved through empty national forest, followed by LONG twisty downhill. Best day I had by far.
KBRX5479
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Lots of this. Mule deer, to be exact. Saw a pair of elk off in the woods once, but no 50-230 on the bike that day.
KBRX5494
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

I wasn't positive on the ID, so I rode away from about 15 huge morel mushrooms, sadly. Turns out they were real. That's like $50 worth.
KBRX5505
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

When you're bike touring, there is no better sign than this, save perhaps "Congested Brewery Area Ahead."
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by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Also, lots of dogs just bouncing around in open pickup truck beds. I was often amazed they hung on.
KBRX5582
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

To Be Continued (slightly)...
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
The town of Fox: about 5 buildings, no visible people, but recently-used objects laying around.
KBRX5599
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

The Kim Wah Chung museum, which you HAVE TO look up / see the other pics on flickr. Trading post / opium & gambling den / frontier Chinese herbal doctor's office / boarding house building, sat untouched and pristine for well over 20 years, was rediscovered, and left as it was. Fruit on the shelves from 1948, cans, herbs, bear paw, cans of veggies... look through.
KBRX5641
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX5863
by gordopuggy, on Flickr
 

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