Saturday, April 25, 2009

Short Saturday Update

I managed to talk my parents into going with me. They have always loved camping, and after seeing the pictures, they were both very excited about it!

So now that my plans of camping in the vehicle have changed to tent camping, not to mention carrying more weight than planned, I will have to perform a few modifications to the truck before I can set off, mainly a set of air bags for the rear springs. Lately I've noticed I'm sitting just about level, when my lift was suppose to give me 1-1.5 inches of forward rake over the wheelbase. So airbags need to be added, I need to sort out enough camping gear for 3 people (I don't mind cooking on an intake manifold, but I think my parents will care too much for it)

Things left to do (that come to mind right now, I have a running list).

prepare truck
prepare camping gear
figure out how far i can get in a day on these roads (figure out how long i plan on being off the pavement)
organize stops along the way
organize fuel and food stops

maps are ordered and on the way.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Trail is a GO!

Ok, so there has been some concern voiced over the width of the trails included in this expedition. most all the sites i found outlining any kind of travel were dual sport motorcycles trip logs. this concerned me. I just shot an email to Leonard Kerns from the Oregon off highway vehicle association:

my email:

I am planning an expedition from Southern California to Southern
Washington and was looking at traveling over the Oregon backcountry
discovery route. In my research of previous trips along this route,
I'm finding only reports from dual sport motorcycles. Is this road
suitable for a very well equipped midsized SUV (rear locker, lifted,
skilled driver, etc)? I would just like to make this clarification
before i drive nearly 1000 miles only to find it too narrow!

Thank you so much for your help, and I look forward to visiting
Oregon's amazing wilderness this summer!

-Sean Hamilton"

and his reply:
"Yes, any high clearance vehicle will make it. You are more the equipped to make it.

Leonard Kerns"

needless to say, I'm ecstatic!

i will be purchasing the maps from
also a selection of what ever AAA has to offer, and ill browse the book store to see what else i can find.

here is the plan now:

drive up 395, stay the night near carson city with a friend at his dads place.
head off from there and find the trailhead and get started. find a nice place to camp relatively early in the afternoon and make a good dinner and prepare for the next few days in the wilderness.

the return trip (several weeks later) will be down us101, visiting everyone i know along the way, and taking my time to see the sights along this route (too often im just in a hurry to get somewhere, and never have a chance to stop and enjoy the wonderful coast line!)

stay tuned for more updates in the coming days and weeks!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Summer Safari: SoCal to Portland, OR

So to kick off this new blog of mine, I'm starting with the planning for my epic, "as little pavement as possible" trip from Southern California to Portland, OR. In reality, it's darn near impossible to avoid a paved road these days, especially traveling that far. So, really my goal with this is to explore a far off place that I will likely never get the opportunity to explore again.

Here is what I'm looking at doing (this is all very much in the pre-planning phase):

1) Drive PCH (101, with side trips to the more notable attractions along 1) north from LA to the Oregon border. then take the south western leg of the OBCDR(Oregon BackCountry Discovery Route) north to I84, drive west to Portland.

2) Start out northbound on 395, visit friends near Carson City, NV, continue north on 395 and take the southeastern leg of the OBCDR north to I84, drive west to Portland.

3)From Death Valley, take roads that comprise the big bike race from DV to Reno, continue on from Carson as above. (unlikely)

So I really favor 1 and 2, both I think I would enjoy equally. 3 seems a bit much, not to mention the searing heat of DV(and the southern deserts in general) in the summer time!

So either option takes me through Eastern Oregon, so it will be very hot! I plan on taking 14 gallons of water, and refilling when ever possible!

Another challenge is fuel. I have a conservative range of about 200 miles offroad from my 18 gallon tank. I will be carrying another 20 gallons, doubling my range. I will refuel at every opportunity.

I appreciate any comments/suggestions you have. I have a planning thread over at Expedition Portal and Ultimate Yota.