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THE OREGON OUTBACK

360 Miles of Fun

Story by Glenn Charles November 28th, 2014

The Route

The 360 mile route, almost 75% dirt, is the brain child of Donnie Kolb over at Velodirt.com. Starting in Klamath Falls and ending at the Columbia River — words don’t do this route any kind of justice. It is big and small, old and new, remote and yet not, all in the same breath. A mix of terrain including gravel, dirt, pavement, and cow poop, the route has it all.

The following images are my attempt to show a bit of the experience — the joy, the suffering, the beauty and the love I have for travel and image making. A huge thanks to Josh and Erik for making the journey with me.

Day 0 starts in Portland where you can simply fly in; put your bike together at the airport; walk out and catch the light rail into the city and off you go. Meeting Josh at the rail we quickly set out for coffee, a shakedown ride/tour, and then beer!!

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Day 1

We were seriously delayed on the train ride down to Klamath Falls from Portland. The delay has us starting out way late thus putting our mileage goal in serious jeapordy

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Finding dirt

The story of day is definitely the pasture gates that one has to continually open and shut, followed closely by the soft soil of the OC&E State Trail.
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So much for that cowboy dinner

We wanted it, really, really bad. We had reservations and we pushed oh so hard, but in the end, the delays of the day before and the late start we had kept us from getting out reserved steaks.

I really would have preferred the steak
I wake to a stream of Puke coming out of Josh's mouth, ala some scary horror flick
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Day 2

Josh’s bout with puke sets us off to another slow start. To his credit, he pushed through like a champ. Now, simply dehydrated and with an empty stomach, we push on for some real food.

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the skies begin to get big, very big

We trade dirt and cows for hard pack, dry and dusty gravel roads

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a theme begins to emerge

We begin to notice how the skies are so big and the roads are so straight, going on for as far as the eye can see

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fort rock

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food, shelter, Hail

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The best fried chicken ever
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I give you Mr. Spice

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The fargo

Josh and I both rode our Salsa Ti Fargo’s, a bike uniquely built for this exact type of route

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taking it all in

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loving leftovers

The storm front looked ferocious and there seemed to be little doubt that we were going to get hit no matter how fast we pedaled. In the end, a small building provided some relief and we sat down to enjoy a lunch consisting of left over fried chicken, potatoes, and much cherished Pringles.

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dropping into civilization

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i teach the boys how to wild camp

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a new friend

We meet Prentiss at breakfast and then again out on the trail. He is cranking out the miles on a Single Speed Surly.

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Picture Time

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barns for jason

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pausing to enjoy the view

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another night of wild camping

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up we go

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The final stop

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one last long and dry push

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another barn for jason

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follow the path

Some times images just speak to us, and this one does that for me.

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the final climb

One last climb takes us up, up, up, to the ridgeline over looking the valley and the river below. The wind hows, the sun is fading, our bellies are empty and our legs are tired — and yet we all take the time to enjoy the views and savor the hard earned accomplishment of a trip near completed.

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the home stretch

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going super light

This was by far my lightest setup ever. A simple bivy, minimal gear, and a single camera/lens combination. Cuben Fiber bags from Porcelain Rocket worked brilliantly.

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Footnote: Story shot exclusively with a Leica MM and the lovely 50/1.4 Summilux