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McKenzie Pass this Sunday, 6/19/2022

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McKenzie Pass this Sunday, 6/19/2022

Old 06-17-22, 10:16 AM
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McKenzie Pass this Sunday, 6/19/2022

Every year around this time @Andy_K starts bugging me about doing this ride. It's a mountain pass in Central Oregon that divides the wet and dry sides of the state (yep, much of Oregon gets very little rain!). The old highway closes for the winter, and is closed off for car traffic until the highway snow gets cleared and branches from trees are removed. Technically, the road is either open or closed for everyone, but on weekends there's no one around to enforce this. Andy and I figured that out last year when we played hooky from work mid-week - there was somebody guarding the gate on the dry side. The wet side takes longer to clear, and the climb is much longer and harder.



It's not a particularly hard ride. From the local high school parking lot it's about 15 miles to the pass, mostly a 5% incline, so 30 miles round trip. The Dee Wright Observatory at the summit is pretty cool.

On a clear day you can see almost all of the volcano mountain tops in the PNW from up here.

I think at least half of the reason Andy and I like this day trip is lunch at the Sisters Meat and Smokehouse. They probably have the best meat in the world. Their website says so, and we have no argument. I have taken my wife for lunch there, and she says they have the best french dip sandwich she's ever had. They also have proper rehydration there as well.



We're leaving Portlandia at 8am on Sunday, probably get to Sisters around 11:30, ride and be back at the Smokehouse for lunch around 2, back to Portlandia by 5. Andy usually chauffeurs me and my bike in his car, but if a couple of people need a ride I can drive and can carry 5 total bikes and riders in my extended cab pickup. Alternately we could caravan or just meet up in Sisters at the high school.

Want in?
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Old 06-17-22, 10:27 AM
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I am very, very jealous. That is one of my favorite rides on the planet. Have one for me at the top, I can't make it from Paris!
(where it will be 103 tomorrow)
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Old 06-17-22, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
If you've ever seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (which is set in Oregon) and wondered about the idea that the people from town would be unable to get to them until the pass thawed in spring, this picture is what the pass looks like in late May after the modern state highway machinery has spent a month clearing the road.
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Old 06-17-22, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
If you've ever seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (which is set in Oregon) and wondered about the idea that the people from town would be unable to get to them until the pass thawed in spring, this picture is what the pass looks like in late May after the modern state highway machinery has spent a month clearing the road.
Funny that you mention Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, my daughter's name came from it. My wife and I were at a live musical performance. when Milly said, "I was thinking of some name like Hannah or Hagar or Hephzibah, picking up where your mother left off." My wife and I looked at each other and knew instantly that if we had a daughter, Hagar or Hephzibath were great choices, but Hannah won out.
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Old 06-17-22, 11:52 AM
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I need some of that, count me in.
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Old 06-17-22, 06:09 PM
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If you find yourself thinking this looks like a nice ride but you climb too slowly to ride a mountain pass with a group, consider that I'll be there so this is your chance to not be the slowest climber. If you're thinking, "Andy is too slow. I don't want to ride with him." I'm sure @northbend will keep you company further up the mountain.
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Old 06-17-22, 06:44 PM
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2100+ ft of climbing

No way in H**L!

Have fun lads.
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Old 06-17-22, 09:20 PM
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That's a scary pic, alright. 😲 I'm still often amazed at the crazy stuff out here on the leftern coastal area. Heck, that makes Grant's Pass look kinda wimpy. 😁😉
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Old 06-17-22, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
2100+ ft of climbing

No way in H**L!

Have fun lads.
Google maps description is "mostly flat."

I am really really really out of shape, so I should probably do it. My truck is busted tho.
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Old 06-17-22, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Insidious C. View Post
I am really really really out of shape, so I should probably do it. My truck is busted tho.
I'm really, really, really out of shape too. I think we have room for one more in the car pool.
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Old 06-18-22, 12:58 AM
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Sounds good. Let me know where to meet you Sunday am.
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Old 06-18-22, 04:22 AM
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I challenge you riders to post a pic of each virage (switchback). Having ridden that several times, but only a couple up and back down, I was amazed at how many awesome views I missed on the climb. Share the vistas with us!

I envy the smell of hot pine sap you'll be breathing and the clean air... it's 103 in Paris today and the LA pollution bowl effect is in full swing. Yeah, you read that right...103. In Paris, France. I thought I'd left this kind of thing behind when I left AZ ages ago.

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Old 06-18-22, 12:51 PM
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Pretty simple route, unrelenting climb. Have fun, friends!

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Old 06-18-22, 06:18 PM
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Looks like a fun day. If someone could swing by Charlottesville and pick me up in the AM, I’d appreciate it.
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Old 06-20-22, 10:29 AM
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Fun time was had by all. @northbend woke up at o'dark hundred and drove from Northbend, Washington to meet us in Sisters around noon. @Insidious C., @Andy_K and myself hitched a ride with @SquireBlack and carpooled on the drive from Portlandia to Sisters. My friend Phil, who lives in Redmond, OR (near Sisters) met us there as well. It was raining on and off on the drive over, but the Sisters side of the mountain is much drier. The ride was a bit chilly, but outside of some sprinkles here and there we rode dry. A stop at the aforementioned Sisters Meat and Smokehouse filled our bellies and made us happy.

No pics from me, expect some soon from my bicycle brothers listed above.
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Old 06-20-22, 11:22 AM
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I wanted to be there and thought about you guys often yesterday (as I quietly built and glued up another wheel). But Saturday was the Juneteenth parade. I wanted to be there and there without my mind elsewhere. No regrets.

That magic pre-car window competes with so much else! I rode to the Observatory 2012 on my brand new ti fix gear with flip-flop hub and chainwhip as a test more for the bike than me. (It passed suberbly; better than I did.) That was the Three Rivers ride. Drove straight from there to the Naked Bike Ride which had just moved the start time from midnight to 10pm (far warmer!).
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Old 06-20-22, 11:42 AM
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I stayed with the group as long as I could, which was about the first mile and a half before the grade went above 1.5%. After that I saw them a few times when they waited to regroup bu my pictures are mostly of the scenery.


I believe that's Black Butte you can see through the burned out trees.


The long and winding road


My Allez at Windy Point


Getting into the lava rocks and snow near the top


A few last trees


More snow and lava rocks -- it seems my pictures became more frequent near the top of the climb


Deep in the lava rocks now


The observatory at the top

@gugie's recently revived Ritchey at the base of the observatory


This picture is from last year, but this is what Sisters Meat and Smokehouse looks like. I brought home four succulent ribeyes and some sausage.
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Old 06-20-22, 12:57 PM
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Great pics, feels like being there but without the hypoxia and cramps afterwards!
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Old 06-20-22, 01:12 PM
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Looks like conditions for an outstanding adventure. Wish to do this ride someday, couldn't this time. Cudos to Northbend for making such a long round trip, and for Andy K making it to the top!
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Old 06-20-22, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by VRJAKE View Post
Looks like conditions for an outstanding adventure. Wish to do this ride someday, couldn't this time.
Wha? You've never done McKenzie Pass?

@Andy_K, we should start planning for a McKenzie Pass Virgin ride next June!
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Old 06-20-22, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Wha? You've never done McKenzie Pass?

@Andy_K, we should start planning for a McKenzie Pass Virgin ride next June!
I'll put it on the calendar.
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Old 06-20-22, 08:56 PM
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Andy_K Thanks for posting the awesome photos! Looks like a pretty cool climb, and the scenery has its own brand of coolness; there's just something about the starkness of those defoliated trees against the sky that just gets me right here. But really, it's nice to get an idea of what some of the surroundings look like in addition to the build-up/apres-ride write-ups. Btw, is that the Konno Allez with the offset fork crown?

gugie Dude, stop for a rest now and then and whip that camera out

DD
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Old 06-20-22, 09:05 PM
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These photos make me wish I was still in Portland.
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Old 06-20-22, 10:19 PM
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Cool pics. 👍 I had to look it up, to refresh my memory, but have any of you done Siskiyou Summit? That's the highest point on I-5, a little over 4000 feet high. 😲 I crossed it again in February, but there wasn't much snow. Notice, I said crossed, not rode, lol, I walked a lot of it. 😁😉
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Old 06-21-22, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Andy_K Thanks for posting the awesome photos! Looks like a pretty cool climb, and the scenery has its own brand of coolness; there's just something about the starkness of those defoliated trees against the sky that just gets me right here. But really, it's nice to get an idea of what some of the surroundings look like in addition to the build-up/apres-ride write-ups. Btw, is that the Konno Allez with the offset fork crown?
So we should count you in for next year's trip?

And this is a 3Rensho-built Allez. I hesitate to say "Konno" because the lugs aren't as finely filed as what I've seen from him, but it does have the offset fork crown and a 3Rensho tubing sticker.

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