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Leading a Ride Group to the 2014 Wallowa Valley Adventure Jamboree

by Dan Driscoll
Originally Published in the IAMC Newsletter, November 2014

I am happy to contribute this article to the IAMC Newsletter regarding our trip to the annual Wallowa Valley Adventure Jamboree held in Enterprise Oregon. I’m not sure if I volunteered or if Sam Stone (AKA IdahoSam) asked me to lead this year’s ride. Initially, I was scared and nervous – scared about getting lost leading a group, and nervous about the group enjoying the ride. Looking back, I shouldn’t have been worried at all. We all know this is called adventure riding and as long as we are having fun, that’s all that counts. When you are on a bike with likeminded adventure seekers, everything just works out.

I posted the ride late in January, and by early March I already had a full 8 man roster. I was pleasantly surprised at the quick response, but then had requests from other individuals asking if I was really going to limit the ride to 8 riders only. My next thought was, “Now what am I going to do?” I know the saying that you can’t make all the people happy all the 2me, but I really wanted everyone to be able to go. I asked the overflow people to post their own ride and told them I was sure we could get two groups planned out. No one would take the bait. This was to be my 5th 2me a9ending this rally, and I felt very strongly about providing an opportunity for everyone to a9end. I didn’t want to have more than 8 in a group as it can tend to be like herding cats trying to ride and keep everyone moving in a larger group. In an effort to try to be fair to all of the riders smaller groups tend to work be9er. After some thought and a couple of ideas, I had a pre-ride planning meeting to discuss the typical logistics of food, camping, rout, etc. I invited the original group plus the extra people wanting to go. I was hoping to get a volunteer from the group to lead a second group. Ron Schinnerer (AKA RonS) stepped up allowing the extra riders to join the second group.

We headed out of Emmett to Ola, across High valley and stayed west of highway 55. We then rode around the west side of Cascade reservoir, continued on to connect with Highway 55 west of McCall, and from there we rode pavement to Riggins. At Riggins we turned up Race creek and north across FS-672 ending up to Whitebird for the end of day one having ridden about 220 miles the first day. Our two groups left Emmett about an hour apart but ended at the same place. My group decided to share rooms and stay in luxury suites at Hoots Café and Motel while the other group kept to the plans and camped at Hammer Creek CG.

Lower Hells Canyon from FS-672 above Riggins

Day two began by going up Canfield road making our way to Cottonwood, Keuterville and gravel back roads to Clarkston and Asotin. After some quick gas station dinning in Asotin, our group split into three with some taking pavement over the Rattlesnake grade into Enterprise while a few of us took dirt up Joseph creek and Cold springs roads to Buckhorn lookout and then on to Enterprise via Zumwalt Road. The third group went on to the Palouse Falls challenge site before heading to Enterprise. Once at the campground, we were welcomed by over 100 other fellow adventure riders from all over the Northwest and some from beyond. The Log House Campground has been home to the gathering for quite a few years and they are truly welcoming and appreciative of the dual sport community . There is everything from grass for tenting, sheepherder tents with wood floors for rent, and RV hookups as well.

The next two days were spent riding the many routes in and out of Hells Canyon. I rode with a group that managed to grab some of the challenge sites in eastern Oregon.

IAMC Challenge Site # 25-Harl BuDe LO, leG to right Robert Tuning, Dan Driscoll, Troy Rose, Mark Wurtenberger, Greg KeaOng, David O’Neal, and Craig Olsen

Day four for me needed to be an early departure as my 89 year old mother found herself in the hospital with some evil flu. I asked Dr. Craig Olsen (AKA coolsen) to step in and lead the group home the next day, and he graciously accepted. Two riders, Troy Rose and Robert Tuning, opted to make the trek with me. We headed out NF-39 to Hess Rd, down across the Snake River up Kleinschmidt grade to Horse Mountain LO and Smith Mountain LO, both IAMC Challenge sites before heading down the hill and across Indian valley to back to Emmett.

For me, again it was an epic journey. I very much enjoy riding with friends with whom I have ridden before, as well as making new friendships with riders new to the mayhem we call adventure riding. I always learn something new each 2me I’ve gone on this ride. This year as a leader was for me to be more brave when contemplating leading a ride. It was nice being out in front, not eating anyone else’s dust and being the first to see the wildlife before it scatters. Secondly, trip planning is actually fun, especially with the help of Sam Stone and Ron Schinnerer. I know some of you just like to follow, and that’s ok, but I would encourage everyone to step up and take a shot at leading a ride. I was glad I that I did it. There are wonderful resources available to help in planning and many of them are other members that have “been there and done that” and are willing to lend a hand in the planning. Thanks to all who participated!

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