The Oregon Lava Beds - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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The Oregon Lava Beds

When one thinks of Oregon, what usually comes to mind is endless forests of conifers. And the state does have its share of those. However, Oregon has many other amazing sites, such as the lava beds at Old McKenzie Pass.

The "highway" to get the beds is a long, very twisty, narrow two lane road. The lanes are barely big enough to accommodate a large SUV, and many of the cages you encounter (especially in the curves) are often over the double yellow line, making the ride a real adventure (but still quite fun!)

The beds are really breathtaking. They go on for miles. While there are a few “islands”, with trees, that the lava flowed around, the place is largely lifeless, reminding me of a landscape in science fiction movie.

To top things off, at the summit of the beds is an observatory, built by the CCC during the Great Depression. The observatory is built nearly completely out of lava stone (very little cement was used).

All and all it’s a very cool place to ride.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 11:00 PM
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Awesome ride. The site has got some history with Battle's and Natives.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 11:29 PM
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Really cool! Thanks for sharing that!

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 11:46 PM
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Cool ride and great pictures. The scenery reminds me of Boulder Field in PA. Completely different geological event created it and is much smaller but similar none the less.







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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 04:12 PM
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Looks awesome!



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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Although I grew up in Upstate NY and spent a lot of time in PA I, unfortunately, have never seen the Boulder Field. From this, and many of the posting I have seen on this forum, it just goes to show that no matter what corner of the world you call home, there is always something amazing to see!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 06:01 PM
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Oregon 242 at McKenzie Pass? I was up there in July with my son, we were down to ride the Aufderheide and had to throw that one in there as well. Nice new blacktop on the 242, but the cages were kicking gravel on to it!
Great Pics BTW
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 07:16 PM
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Interesting place to visit bluegenes and brothercannon those boulders would be hard on the V's suspension
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Shucks Baron! I thought I was the first person to ride a Versys to the top of Old McKenzie Pass. I see now you beat me by almost two months. Oh well.....perhaps I was the first red Versys?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 05:49 PM
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Maybe Gustavo beat us both by a year?
Great riding around there, and you're right, totally not how most folks would picture Oregon!
Not as dramatic, but have you ever ridden any of that Smith River (OR) area, out towards Reedsport from Eugene? I been itching to get over there, and it should stay rideable deep into fall. For snow anyway, I don't know about leafy slime.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Baron: The Smith River area is on my short list of places to ride before the year is over. There's some beautiful country in that neck of the woods. And call me a geek, but as a botanist I'm also interested in seeing the plants in that area again. The are very cool IMHO! (because of rainfall differences, the ecology is somewhat different from other parts of the Coast Range).
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 07:50 PM
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Hmm, about six and some hours of slabbing and I am down there, wife's folks live in Silverton, looks like there is a road trip in the works.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 11:31 PM
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Ah, I just stumbled across this thread! These roads are right in my back yard, and I'm sure I was probably the first Versys on them!

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