Oregon Adventure

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I took advantage of another business trip that brought me to Oregon for a week. I drove up a day early to sample the world famous trails of Oakridge, one of two cities in OR completely surrounded by National Forest. To say there is not much happening in Oakridge is an under statement! It felt a bit like a ghost town. However, they do have hundreds of miles of single track a stones throw away!

below: Oregon Adventures is a must for an out of shape guy like myself. They’ll shuttle you to the top and let you rip down the buff single track without having to do all the hard work yourself. It was around a 45 minute drive to the top of Alpine Trail, “the Oakridge Crown Jewel.”

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alpine garminabove: Here is a snap shot of the Alpine ride. I sat next to a friendly fellow from Australia on the way up and he talked me into hitting a little bonus section of trail off the backside of the Alpine start that he had read about.  That is the lollipop section pictured on the most northern part of the map above.

below: I started the ride with 3 other guys and eventually finished with just one of them after some unfortunate technical problems for myself and the guy I finished with. Here are the other 3 riders pictured heading down through Sourgrass Meadow near the top of the ride.

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alpine 5above: The dirt was incredible. There wasn’t the least among of dust on my bike afterwards, a refreshing change from your typical washed out dusty Nor-cal trails. I also encountered some of the narrowest single track I have ever ridden – the kind that made you adjust your point of view a little more towards your front tire so you don’t ride off the edge of the trail. When they say single track in OR, they mean it!

below: There were some incredible views on Alpine, but they didn’t last long. Savor them while you can on this ride!

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below: The bottom section of trail featured some incredible forests with endless views of giant trees reaching into the sky.

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above: I stopped by Brewers Union Local 180 for a post ride beer and burger. I was impressed by both! This is the only brewery in OR that serves real live ales from casks at the proper temperature. You can see the cask closet above which is kept at a cool 50 degrees. You may also notice that the casks are tilted at different angles depending on how empty they are. The beers are hand pumped and poured into your 20oz pint via the beer engines you see in the very front of the photo. You won’t get skimped on a proper pour at Local 180!

below: Because the ale is alive in the cask, the yeast continues to ferment and condition the beer until it reaches your stomach.

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below: I had read a lot about Oakridge before this trip – mostly people raving about the insane quality and quantity of single track. This introduction of Oakridge via Alpine trail left me a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I would go back in a heart beat. However, I thought the riding would be better. Some of the downhill sections of Alpine were straight and steep and you had to shed speed with your brakes. While the moments of views were amazing, they were short lived. The very top of Alpine was flowy and fun, but it didn’t last long. Like I said before, I’d love to return and sample more of what Oakridge has to offer. Hopefully I’ll get to someday.

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After leaving Oakridge, I had to get to the business part of this trip which landed me in Corvallis and Eugene. I had 2 free mornings on the Corvallis leg, so I hit up McDonald-Dunn Forest and Mary’s Peak.  Here are a few pics below.

McDonal-Dunn Forest

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below: We accidentally rode on a short section of trail in the old growth forest that was closed to bikes. We didn’t see the sign until we reached the end of the trail at the next juncture. Oops! No trees were harmed in the riding of these trails and the taking of these pictures.

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Mary’s Peak

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above: The drive to the trail head is a dusty dry road that goes for miles into the middle of nowhere. I was already feeling unsure about leaving my car parked when we showed up to an empty lot. This sign below didn’t help either which was posted at the trailhead. It was an anxious ride that day, but the car ended up being ok!

below: No shuttle for this ride. We had to earn our descent!

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below: I highly recommend this trail if you are in the area. The descent was a blast that had some nice switchbacks and tricky “rooty” technical features. The view of Corvallis at the top of the ride is nice too!

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If you love riding your bike and drinking craft beers (not at the same time!) there is no better place to live than OR. If you are ever in town, the Growler Guys will keep you stocked with more beer than you can drink.  At $10-$15 for a fill, it is a great deal too. They mostly feature local beers, but usually have a few offerings from breweries located in the surrounding states. Being from CA, I was after OR beer anyways. If you want to sample a few beers before making your decision, no problem! You can even get a pint while your buddy makes his mind up. The stand alone growler filling station is something I hope makes it to CA soon.

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above: Their digital screens keep you updated up to the minute. The screens run a proprietary software that lets them quickly update a tap and put the correct image of the tap handle on display.

below: They also have a Kombucha and a few ciders on tap as well. If you are traveling without a growler, they sell both large and small ones on site.

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I was able to visit a few breweries while I was there (Dunsmuir Brewery Works, Rogue Ale Public House in Eugene, Block 15 and Falling Sky [I may have left a few out]). Below are a few pictures from Falling Sky. This place was one of my least favorites that I visited, but I just happened to get the camera out for a few pictures. The atmosphere was the best thing they had going for them. The service was meh and the beer was just ok. They do however win the award for having the most schwag available for sale!

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