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Ride to the Wallowa Valley Adventure Jamboree 2014

by Ron Schinnerer
Originally Published in the IAMC Newsletter, November 2014

Planning The Ride

The Wallowa Valley Jamboree is an annual event that is held in Enterprise Oregon. It is coordinated through a thread in the Pacific North Wet forum on Adventure Rider. Our own IdahoSam is one of the original founders of this event. In recent years, Sam has led a group on a two day over to Enterprise. It is the route that Sam created, that formed the basis for our ride this year.

Group photo of the Wallowa Valley Adventure Jamboree riders taken at the Log Cabin RV Park in Enterprise, Oregon.

Dan Driscoll originally posted this ride for a group of 8. We held a planning meeting a couple of weeks ahead of the ride and it was clear then, that there were far more than 8 people interested in going along. We decided to split the group into two groups and ended up with 7 riders in each group. The two groups followed roughly the same route and left about an hour apart.

Beginning our ride in the rain.

I was leading the first group to leave on Wednesday morning. I met Mark (menglund), Tom (WR250TOM), Mike (BoiseMike) at the Chevron on Hwy 55. It was raining that morning, but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. We were all excited to be heading out on a ride with good friends. We rode out to Emmett taking Willow Creek Rd so that we could get on dirt right away. In Emmett we met the rest of our group; Dave (dave186), Reg (Butterhooves), and Eric (EWood).

After leaving Riggins, we headed back onto dirt. We took Race Creek Rd (NF-241) off to the West and North. This route took us up onto the top of the ridge between Hwy 95 and Hell’s Canyon. The views of both canyons were incredible!

We came to an intersection with NF-420 and my GPS indicated that we should follow that road. It looked like we might get some good views of Hell’s Canyon going this direction, so off we went. As it turned out we got into some fairly sloppy, muddy conditions. It was a little challenging, but everyone made it through without mishap. It times like this that we are reminded about the adventure part of Adventure riding!

Cabarton Road south of Cascade.

It was still raining when we leY Emmett, but was starting to taper off. We rode Hwy 52 out to the Sweet Ola Rd. were start started our route north. Just beyond Ola, we turned on High Valley Rd. From High Valley, we continued north on Cabarton Rd where we got back on dirt. Some members of our group may have had more fun than others on Cabarton, but as they say, “No pictures, it didn’t happen.” We followed the west side of Cascade Lake all the way into McCall. The temperature in McCall was on the cool side, but some good warm gear made the riding comfortable and fun. We rode the Highway from McCall through New Meadows and into Riggins where we stopped for a lunch break.

Hells Canyon from the ridge above Riggins.

We dropped down off of the ridge into the Whitebird area. Our group set up camp at Hammer Creek campground. Later on we would learn that the other group was roughing it at the Hoot’s Motel. We rounded up some firewood and had a good 2me sharing stories of the day’s riding around a fire.

On Thursday morning we meet up with the other group and had breakfast at Hoot’s Café. The waitress was slightly overwhelmed by the size of our group, but everyone had a good breakfast. While we hadn’t seen the other group at all on the trail Wednesday, we were a little closer together Thursday and met up several times through the day. Our route took us back up on the ridge above Hells Canyon and we were treated to more awesome views along the way.

We started to take a side trip to the Eagle Creek Boat Ramp Challenge site, but we soon learned that the area had received heavy rain the day before. We realized early on that there may be a little mud along the way. About 2 miles in, we started coming to the conclusion that we were dealing with a bit more than a little mud. The idea of riding 40 miles out and back in these conditions convinced most of us that it was 2me to turn around.

Our trip took us on into Lewiston and then across the river into Washington. We stopped for lunch in Asotin before heading of on the last leg into Enterprise. From Aso2n, we headed south along the Snake River to where the Grand Ronde River comes in. From there we took Joseph Creek road south into Oregon. Joseph Creek Rd is a really fun stretch of back road with a liberal scattering of various sized rocks along the way. It’s not so rocky as to make the riding difficult, just enough to make it really fun!

Once on top, we arrived at Buckhorn Lookout. Where we are again treated to some really great views of the Hell’s Canyon area.

On the way down from Buckhorn Lookout, we traveled along the Zumwalt Rd. This road is always a fun ride. The snow covered Wallowa Mountains appear ahead of you while you zip along on a somewhat loose gravel surface. It’s tough to keep a9en2on to your riding with such incredible scenery distracting you.

We arrived in Enterprise about 5:30, with plenty of 2me to set up camp and get dinner. Thursday evening’s dining was at the Terminal Gravity Brewery. A must visit location in Enterprise.

Thursday through Sunday we visited the 2014 IAMC Challenge sites in Oregon as well as those along the way to and from the Wallowa Valley Adventure Jamboree.

#42 Eagle Creek Boat Ramp, the road in was very muddy and slick.
#27 Palouse Falls State Park in Washington.
#25 Harl Butte LO; (left to right) all standing – Ed Torrey, Michael Hardy, Ron Schinnerer, and Mark Englund with Tom Serine and Eric Wood sitting.
#26 McGraw LO
# Russel Mountain LO; Craig Olsen helping Robert Tuning fix his rear flat.
#33 Fish Lake; (leG to right) – Michael Hardy, Mark Englund, Ron Schinnerer, Tom Serine, and Ed Torrey.
#22 Horse Mountain LO; greeted by the station ranger who just opened the lookout a few days before we arrived.
#23 Smith Mountain LO; Tom Serine attempted to ride his Yamaha 250 along the narrow path of exposed road along the snow drift. He made it up a few hundred yards until the snow drift was too deep.
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