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AlexBoshHikes - Oregon Desert Trail Journal - 2017

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Alex "Dayhiker" Bosh
City: Vale
State: North Carolina
Country: United States
Begins: Mar 27, 2017
Direction: Eastbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Mar 14th, 2017

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 737
Journal Visits: 4,074
Guestbook Views: 76
Guestbook Entrys: 4

Oregon Desert Trail Map

Caching whiskey (and water)

I've never owned any kind of motorized transportation. So how does one with no car set caches for the first 160 miles of the ODT? By bicycle! In October and November I rode my Fuji road bike from Eugene to Bend, then to Paisley through ODT country setting caches along the way, then back to Bend on the hwy. The biggest challenge of setting all my caches by bike was just being able to carry enough water to cache and drink during the ride itself. All water was buried in 2 liter soda bottles for their durability compared to mimsy (miserable and flimsy) gallon jugs. I knew they'd freeze over the winter so I drank some from each bottle to allow room to expand. I also set 2 small food buckets out there so I don't need to go into town. I definitely should have had a mountain bike because most of the roads I was riding on through ODT country where either rocky or washboarded. Brutal riding with zero suspension but I still had a good ol' time out there.

My first cache is next to Smith Well at mile 19. From there I headed south to sand spring where I filled up more bottles. Then headed south to set my next cache at CV074 near mile 47. Here I also buried a small food bucket with 50 miles worth of food. I left the ODT and headed east towards Millican Road. I got a little confused here because I think there are some roads not marked on my DeLorme's. But I eventually got to the very washboarded Millican Road which took me south to Xmas valley. I stayed at the Desert Inn which was the cheapest place I could find. Laundry restaurant and a solid market all within walking distance. Xmas valley would be my "home base" for the next few days as I set caches in the surrounding desert. The next day I resupplied at the market and rode 20 miles out wagontire road to set my next cache where the trail crosses the road near mile 100. This one consisted of 60 miles worth of food, 6 liters of water, whiskey, and a bunch of Halloween candy. Then rode back and camped at Crack-in-the-Ground, a cool spot with a volcanic past. The next day I resupplied and rode to the Lost Forest. I remember thinking "damn, these are the biggest junipers I've ever seen!" Not 10 minutes later I came to an interpretive sign saying that some of the largest old growth western juniper are found here. I set my next cache at the base of Sand Rock and camped a few miles away. Then rode back to Xmas valley for a meal. After one more resupply I was finally leaving the valley! I rode up Fandango Canyon where I heard some explosion go off uncomfortably close. Here I entered the section of the ride that felt most remote (and jarring in the saddle!). I set my next cache below the Black Points at WB037 at mile 126. I then rode west then south STEEPLY to the mouth of Juniper canyon where I was buzzed twice by an owl. The second time it hung in the air above me flapping its wings while gazing deep into the depths of my soul. I think it was trying to decide if I could be eaten. I made it out to the hwy the next morning and spent the day riding along summer lake to Paisley where I was able to fully resupply at the store. Then followed the ODT "backwards" to Giant Waterhole where I camped (windy!) and set my final cache at mile 147, about 14 miles from town.

So with a cache at mile 19, a spring at mile 36, a cache at mile 47, a CG with water at mile 69, a cache at mile 85, cache at mile 100, cache at mile 126, and a cache at mile 147, I shouldn't have to go more than 26 miles without water. And with my two food buckets at miles 47 and 100, I won't have to go into town if I don't want to. Like I said before, if your planning on setting caches by bicycle and you value your groin, ride a mountain bike! You won't need phat tires or anything crazy like that. Just rear suspension that's all. Welp, I'll be out there freezing my butt off in two weeks, happy trails y'all!

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Journal Photo

Oregon Desert Trail - 2017

The 750 mile Oregon Desert Trail traverses some of the most spectacular natural areas of the states dry side, including Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Steens Mountain and the Owyhee Canyonlands. Learn more:


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