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Category: Trip Reports

All the trips - because every trip is an adventure!

OBDR Day 2: There's always a go-around.

July 30, 2017. After a long day, we'd fallen asleep quickly and slept soundly by Moonlight Mine at the top of Crane Mountain. Morning light brought a bit more time to explore the mine and make breakfast out of the fridge - scrambled eggs, spicy sausage, toast and strawberries - delicious, and ready for @mrs.turbodb when she climbed down from the tent at 7:45am. The anti-condensation mat worked fantastimagically, and there was very little condensation under the mattress - the only morning we'd have any. Even with the condensation, it was on the floor of the tent, away from the…

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Return to the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route (Jul 2017)

Back in May, we'd attempted to run the northern 40% of the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route, from Seneca to the Washington border. A day in, we chose a more reasonable goal: Seneca to Unity. And at day three, we called it quits - less than 50 miles from our start point. So you can imagine that we were excited for a second chance. Redemption as it were. In the month leading up to the trip, we got ready. Alcan leaf springs, a new HAM radio, and an ARB fridge were going to make us more capable, safer, and well fed.…

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Canada Adventure to Glacier, Yoho, Banff, and Jasper

June 30 - July 7, 2017. June 29, 11pm: we finally decided to head to Canada for a week of camping. We’d leave the next morning at 7am sharp. It was going to be awesome! But let’s rewind… We’ve been wanting to go to some of Canada’s National Parks for a while. So, in late 2016 when we discovered that Canada was celebrating their 150th anniversary by giving away free access to their national parks for 2017, we jumped on the opportunity to get a pass, and we started working out plans to hit Banff and Jasper during the summer.…

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Oregon-bound Chapter 3: Mission Impossible: Oregon's Backcountry Discovery Route

Oregon-bound Chapter 3: Mission Impossible: Oregon's Backcountry Discovery Route May 11-15, 2017. Day 1: Thursday, May 11. Parting ways with Pops and my Uncle, our plan was to run the OBDR from Seneca, OR to Walla Walla, WA, and then the WABDR from the border up to Cle Elum - approximately 1000 miles of remote back roads in four days. We knew it'd be a lot of driving, but we've driven a lot for other trips. We were sure we could do it - it's not like we'd be going 10 mph the whole time. At least we were right…

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Oregon-bound Chapter 2: Exploring Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

May 8-10, 2017. Day 1: Monday, May 8. Acquisition and installation of the CVT successful, we were off for a week of desert and back country exploration - so awesome. The first few days would be exploring the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge area with Dad and uncle, followed by four days on the Oregon and Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (OBDR and WABDR) to get from central Oregon back to I-90 around Cle Elum and then ultimately back to the Seattle area. A couple hours driving from Bend to Hines/Burns and we met up with the rest of the gang. My…

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Oregon-bound (May 2017)

May 8, 2017. The day is here, and it's a big one. It was over half a year ago that I decided I wanted a CVT, and in that time I'd purchased one and fabricated a bed rack that I hoped would work to hold it behind the cab of the truck. Naturally I'd gotten a good deal on the CVT, and had spent 10x more fabricating the rack (buying tools, etc.) than if I'd just purchased a pre-fabricated one. This day was also a big day because it was the start of a week-long camping trip where we'd meet…

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Christmas Tree, Sledding, and Recovery…Oh my!

Cutting down our own Christmas Tree has become a tradition in the last five years or so. We've got our favorite place to go ( off I-90 by Snoqualmie Pass), our favorite species of tree (Hemlock), and our favorite "dinner after" (Mexican). This year, only "dinner after" happened as planned. We've had colder than usual weather in the Seattle area for the last two weeks (highs in the low 30's), so we knew that there was a good chance we'd see a lot of snow on our hunt this year. But it's been clear for the last few days and…

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WABDR Stage 3 - Backroads to Sleeping Lady

One of our favorite places to get away in Washington is the Sleeping Lady resort in Leavenworth. It's great year-round, with hiking in the summer, snow in the winter, and amazing food (included in the nightly price) all the time. I've been itching to get away the last few weeks, and with rainy weather here for the next six months, we decided that we'd head to Sleeping Lady rather than on a camping/hiking trip. But, to make it a bit more of an adventure, I decided that we'd drive part of the way on the WABDR (WA Backcountry Discovery Route)…

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Crater Lake (Sep 2016)

September 16-18, 2016. Belly protection on, it was time for some dirt roads. Back from India a Friday morning at 6:30am (again), we packed up the truck and headed to Crater Lake National Park in central Oregon. The idea was to get in some great sites, but also spend a day or so exploring the back roads, finding camp sites, and putting the truck through some paces. The drive down was long but easy. Waze and a podcast running on the JOYING, and a mid-day stop for Jimmy John's, we arrived at Crater Lake at 5pm, an experience not unlike…

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Flat tire vs. Best hike.

The trip started out on the iffy side. We wanted a beautiful weekend for a stunning hike, and instead it was raining, there was a faint hiss coming from the back left tire, and 20 miles up a Forest Service road I had no tire patch kit. But, a spare tire can be installed, and weather can change in 24 hours. And when that happens, you can end up with great camping - 25 miles up a Forrest Service road - and perhaps the most beautiful hike you've ever encountered...if you have a truck. (This is the North Cascades Pass…

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Mileage milestone - 60K

July 2, 2016. It's been close for a while, and it's been a long time coming, but on our way out of town for a what would become an off-road adventure to a brand new site - the truck hit 60K miles. That's an average of 3,600 miles each year, or a whopping 300 miles per month. Except that I'd driven it 10K miles in the first two months, so it's really more like 200 miles per month over the life of the truck. This truck is going to last me forever. I hope. So we arrived at our super-secret-undisclosed-location-that-you-have-to-rush-to-or-someone-else-will-get-there-first,…

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The Honeycombs | Owyhee Canyonlands #4

May 29-30, 2016 With a new lease on life (no check engine light), the trip through Jordan Valley (again) and to our final destination was fun. We saw a ring-necked pheasant and of course 1 million billion cows just grazing wherever they wanted on the BLM land. The highlight however was a cattle grate crossing on the top of a rise where, at 50 MPH, the Tacoma played "Dakar rally truck" and we caught air, much to our surprise (and enjoyment). As we continued to drive, we entered a whole new landscape - green valleys between rolling hills covered in…

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Three Forks | Owyhee Canyonlands #3

May 28 - 29, 2016 A few miles outside of Jordan Valley, it was back onto dirt roads for 30 miles to Three Forks. Mostly uneventful, we saw many more cows than cars, and we arrived at our destination around 7:00pm. Once again, we were deceived right up until we got there, as the canyon opened up below us, rather than being something we drove into. Coming over the edge, we were greeted by this sight, and it was just the beginning. We continued down, and found ourselves in the most populated place we'd see all weekend - 7 or…

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Jordan Craters | Owyhee Canyonlands #2

May 2016 The whole of Owyhee Canyonlands are composed of various volcanic activity. Jordan Craters is the most recent of that activity (parts of which are only ~100 years old) and are a crazy sight to see. Looking at the area when approaching via car, and even more when viewing it via satellite, it looks like a huge lake. In reality, it's a huge (~25 square mile) lava flow, with basically nothing growing in the area at all. At the very northwest corner is the place we were heading - Coffeepot Crater. We made great time, passing a slow moving…

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A trip to the Owyhee Canyonlands (May 2016)

May 27, 2016. It was just like any other work week. Or at least, any other week where you go to work for half a day Monday; take a 24-hour flight to India at 6pm; work in India for 34 hours; and then arrive back in Seattle at 7am Friday morning after 24 more hours in the air. Except it wasn't. Memorial Day the following Monday meant a four-day weekend, and that meant that this was the perfect week for an extended camping trip. Where would we go? Being May, our normal haunts in the Pacific Northwest were still largely…

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