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RB/DK -- Gifford Pinchot_Wobbly Lake Trail Ride (10-22-2009) 
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Gifford Pinchot_Wobbly Lake Trail Ride (10-22-2009)

Well, after our last ride to Gifford Pinchot went so well, "Dive" was chomping at the bit to go do it again:

http://www.omraoffroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7287

But we knew that the odds against us on hitting another stunning day like we had on the first ride.
So we started watching the weather and freezing levels for Randle, WA and GP. Oof. Rain, rain... dry, rainrainrain.

We finally started what looked like one dry day sandwiched amongst all the rainy ones and went for it.
Dive showed up 6am and drove again. (Man, I am going to owe him 37 rides to Roger's Camp at this rate...:^O )

Got up to GP and it was noticeable colder but not raining. Okay, that's good. But we saw wet ground and big puddles everywhere - and thought, " ... might just be a slip-sliding' away kind of day...."

Decided to start from the Blue Lake OHV lot so we could do on the backside trails quicker and do more of the less-used trails (for us):

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Geared up and headed out south on the Valley Trail 270.
Remember how we were a bit worried about the muddy trails? No problem-o!!
It "looked" as slick as could be - but we actually had great traction ..... yes-s-s-sssssssss!!

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And despite it being overcast and no direct sunshine - the fall colors were still just poppin'!

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:27 am
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Well, we had gone a *solid* 10 minutes and decided to stop and check the map.
I was looking over Dave's shoulder at his 450 EXC and it was steaming pretty good. I just chalked it up to splash from a puddle he must of hit.
But the more I looked ... ummmm.....

"Hey Dave ... I think your bike is smoking pretty bad. In fact, it looks like it's ready to ...."

But I couldn't utter those words lest they come true. :shock:
And shoot. I forgot to take a picture. Rats. :? :lol:

We hurried over to his bike and could smell a burning oil smell. Oh crap. And we could see signs of oil splash on the side of his cylinder, under his gas tank, and on top of his radiator. We thought it might be antifreeze - but it didn't smell sweet like AF does.
Wed thought it might be engine oil but the smell was different than what you would expect from that as well.

Well, I turned my back for a second - and the next thing that I know - Dave has started field-stripping his thumper:

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I dug in my big-a** backpack, broke out the latex gloves and an LED lamp and we started looking closer.
And it got weirder and weirder. We could find oil in the strangest places splashed onto the engine/frame and gas tank - but couldn't find the source.

Then Dave figured out "...hey, this is fork oil!! Oh crap, not again..." Which is why the burning smell was so funky - it was 5 wt fork oil on the header.

But a little closer inspection, I spotted the exit point - it was the preload adjustment bolt on top of his fork cap!
That's why the oil was ending up on top of the radiator and engine/frame.

Dave immediately said, "shoot, I'm still going riding." So I pulled out some paper towel and he zip-tied a "bandage" in place and we got back to riding! Of course, there was a tang of fork oil in the air the rest of the day .... <grin>

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:33 am
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Did I mention that the trails were in great shape and way too much fun? <grin>

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Turned uphill on the Blue Lake Ridge Trail 271 and headed towards Mouse Lake.
The trails were in such great shape!

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I *think* this is Mt. Adams - but I'm not sure. And Dave was, "huh?"
Susan is usually in charge of recognizing the mountains.

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I spent most of the day following and chasing Dave. He's out there somewhere in front of me. :^)

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Dave bopping into Mouse Lake:

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Mouse Lake:

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Here's a couple of relaxed, happy dirtbikers:

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The section of 271 running from Mouse Lake to the Trail 119 junction was a hoot!
No time for stopping to take pictures of it - we had too much fun going "carve .... "braapp".... carve .... braapp"

We hung a left on Trail 119 and started heading east back down into the valley.
What a great trail! It looked hardly ridden at all. It was listed as Black Diamond - Expert but there was really only narrow, sketchy side hill. The rest was just primo.

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:34 am
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At the bottom of the trail, we hooked up with Trail 118 and went out to the Hamilton Butte junction.
Instead of going up to the Butte again, we headed north past Mud Lake and did some fire-roads to reach Wobbly Lake Trail 273.
It was a pretty good haul out to it - but neither of us had done it before and the curiosity got to us.

It was so worth it! Just as we hit the region of the trail, the trail turned sandy, and the local flora changed and you almost felt like you were riding in the Georgia Pines or something. It was very different!

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As the trail dropped down to Wobbly Lake, the trail got tighter and the pine trees were replace by deciduous trees with amazing colors. And this was on a cloudy day, mind you! I can't even imagine what it would have looked like in full sunlight:

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"Ahh-h-h-h....." Don't think any words are needed here....

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Then we popped out at Wobbly Lake and hiked around it a bit:

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Leaving Wobbly Lake, the trail continues on downhill and it was just a hoot! Smooth and rolley - it looked like the perfect trail for mountain biking. And it was pretty good for dirtybikes as well.

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:41 am
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Once at the bottom, we caught a fire road back west and headed towards Road 22.
There were a ton of leaves on the road and following Dave was a totally surreal experience. He was rolling along in 3rd and 4th and the leaves were blowing up in a V-shape as he blew by. It was like following a boat and watching his wake.
I wish I had taken a video of it. It was crazy cool.

And we stopped and did the obligatory "tourist shot" at the waterfall:

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We had a bit of a head-scratching on which road to take back to the trails. We thought we were on the right one - but there are so many logging roads that aren't marked. Between the internet map, a topo map that I had brought along, and Dave's GPS we figured it out.

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:42 am
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Then it was back up Yozoo trail headed back towards the car:

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Every once in a while you just had to stop and gawk at the view:

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Looking back down Yozoo Trail:

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Heading back on Yozoo to the Blue Lake Ridge trail junction:

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This pic is underexposed - but some of the views looked like you were in the mountains of China or something:

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We met this hunter dude at the top of Bishop's Ridge Trail ... and he was by himself on a stock Suzuki DR 650
... with universal tires... no helmet ... and a 30:06 rifle slung across his back. All I could think of was "how the heck did he get up here." :shock:

But, dang-it, I forgot to get a picture of him.

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:44 am
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We bopped back on down past Blue Lake and on down 271 and so I thought I was done taking pictures. I was wrong:

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Shortly after these two shots I caught up with Dave and he suggested I lead the rest of the way in.

After zipping down the hill, it dawned on me. If Randy is bopping along ... he's not stopping to take so many pictures. Doh!
It made me <LOL> in my helmet. :lol:

We did about 54 miles, rode some new trails (for us), and had a great day. :ride

Cheers! E-Ticket

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:45 am
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I'm sitting at my PC, listening to the rain outside, noticed it was a bit cooler when I got the paper and thinking we caught the last good day to ride up there this year.
DK


Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:37 am
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The Fall colors are sweet. Again, nice write up and photos. You two are living the dream!
-Tom

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Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:52 am
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davek wrote:
I'm sitting at my PC, listening to the rain outside, noticed it was a bit cooler when I got the paper and thinking we caught the last good day to ride up there this year.
DK


I'm sitting at my PC, listening to the rain *pound* outside, and saw that the freezing level is dropping to 3000' later this week.
So yah, I think we be done riding GP for the year, eh. And .... {insert big sigh here} - rb

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"AYHIN"

Mine: '12 KTM 350 EXC-F (Wee Beasty); '99 Honda VFR 800i Interceptor
Wife's: '08 KTM 250 XCF-W, '04 Honda CBR600 F4i


Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:02 am
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