It has been a long time coming. Being a motorcycle rider, with a dirt bias, living in Oregon, riding the Oregon Back Country Discovery Route (OBDR) is a natural consequence. I thought about it for too long, and it finally became a reality in July 2010. Making it solo was the main plan. And the most exciting and motivating factor as well. I purchased the official maps of the four routes that compose the Oregon Back Country Discovery Route and connected the four routes into a loop of about 1,000 miles.
The OBDR routes were designed by people who love driving or riding off pavement in roads that go through beautiful areas and points of interest in Oregon, using the road less traveled as the connecting element. The routes were once officially designated as an official route, with signs and all the good stuff. Well, a few years back environmentalists managed via a law suit to require the state to eliminate all signs that would make these routes as official routes. So now the OBDR lives in the maps you can purchase from the Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle Association.
Route 3 goes in the north/south direction, on the Cascade range, from Sisters all the way to the border with California.
Only thing I recommend on this part of the route is to observe the time of the year. Two main factors: snow in late Spring early summer. And mosquitoes right after snow has melted. If you are doing the entire loop, as I proposed here, be aware that the south portions of Route 5 can be really hot in August. Here is a video of the snow. I had to detour from this route because the snow became impassable at one point.
Because of the detour, I was slowed down. I spent the night halfway on this route. The next day, continuing south I made it to Crescent Lake. There I connected to the Route 2 that runs east/west from Crescent Lake to Summer Lake.
At the end of the day I was arriving at Summer Lake.
The next morning I took Route 5, and now I will be going North.
Route 5 runs in the south/north direction, starting at the California border and going all the way to the border with Washington. It is the longest and most challenging route. Route 5 is the real Oregon Back Country Discovery Route, in my opinion.
Route 5 includes areas where the roads are actually a trace of a formerly existing road. You will go through several private properties and cattle ranches and their respective gates. If you open a gate, make sure you close it!
I camped at some point on Route 5, a few miles north of Hwy 20.
The next morning I continued on Route 5 until I reached Seneca. I spent the night at the Bearcat Motorcycle Resort.
Here I entered the last leg of the trip. Now I would be traveling west. Route 4 goes east/west, from Seneca to Sisters.
I traveled on Summit road for a while.
Going from top of mountain to top of mountain.
I made it home by the end of the day. The bottom line is that by connecting the four routes, I made a large loop in the middle of the state. I rode the loop in five days in the first week of July, 2010.
This was my greatest adventure on a motorcycle. Rising solo, on unknown terrain, in remote areas made it into such an adventure. At the same time, I was never more than a day’s ride from home. This is the beauty of Oregon and this loop. Plenty of spaces to get lost, with varied types of landscapes and roads, and you are never too far from home, no matter where your home is in Oregon.