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Old_Man_Time

IronButt 150 is over - Ride report with pictures

17 posts in this topic

On Saturday morning at 7:45 I pulled into the shell station just off the Kittitas exit. There waiting was Russ, Gerald and Pat. Tony was right behind me. We all chatted and looked over the bikes for about 10 or 15 minutes then we headed out to the staging area where the IronButt 150 would begin. The weather was perfect the ground was a bit too dry and dusty and the challenge of what turned out to be a 130 mile ride was about to begin.

Here are the Fantastic Seven saddled up and ready to rock and roll:

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Left to right: Mike, Russ, Pat, Dave, Tony, Nick (me), Gerald.

Early in the ride Mike decided to deviate from the route we had planned a few weeks earlier. It was all good though and we shortly came to Coleman Creek. Is that the right name Mike? I love water crossings!

Mike:

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Gerald:

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Dave:

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Pat:

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We pressed on to the towers across from mission Ridge. At this point we are at an elevation over 6000 feet. From here when you look to the North you see Wenatchee Valley and Quincy and when you look South you see Ellensburg and its valley. Awesome view. We all posed for a picture and quickly hit the road cause we were only 10 or 12 miles into our journey and we had a long way to go.

Here is a group shot from the ridge:

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Left to right: Pat, Gerald, Mike, Dave, Russ, Tony

To get to the towers across from Mission Ridge we had to take a detour off our route. So we backtracked to the route and right at the intersection of the detour and our planned route we met up with some fellows out for a ride on their quads. We briefly chatted with them and then hit the road again.

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As we traveled down the road we came to a spot where I felt the warriors needed to plant their tree of victory. The conquering hero's planting their tree and may she ever grow as a sign of our victory:

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Sorry guys but I just couldn't resist.

Finally we reached Grouse Springs which is where we leave the Green Dot double track roads and enter the Table Mt. single track trail #1373. Here we stopped to take a short break enjoying the scenery, eating, chatting and looking over the maps.

Grouse Springs:

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From here we hit the single track and it was beautiful. I didn't take any pictures of the actual trails because we were under the gun as far as time goes but Table Mt. needs to be explored more fully in the future. Some how we ended up on a horse only trail. Wow what a rock infested technical bit of trail that was. It was not marked for horses only where we entered the trail but when we came out at the other end it was so marked. It came out at Haney Meadows. Really a pretty spot and put us back on two track roads.

Haney Meadows:

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Mike and Dave at Haney Meadows:

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At Haney Meadows we found a horse just standing there watching us totally unafraid of our bikes. He had broken loose from his owners and had a long rope dangling around his neck. Mike walked over grabbed the rope and petted him. He never even batted an eye and was quite fearless and tame. We never found his owners but about 1/4 mile down the road we saw another horse tied up with a similar rope standing next to a trailer with no one around.

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We now pushed back to the staging area where we ate lunch and refreshed ourselves for the next leg of our journey. We had traveled 76 miles on our first loop.

The scenery changes dramatically as you move from the forest to the desert. Our goal was to find the route that leads to the West Bar which is directly across the Columbia River from Crescent Bar Resorts. This was by far the most consistently rock infested, boulder strewn, rutted out, washed out ride I have ever done. It is nothing short of amazing that we did not have one flat until about a mile from finishing the ride where Mike finally got a front tube blow out.

Here is a shot of Dave riding down one of the more tame sections of this ride. I am not exaggerating, this is one of the smoother sections leading to the West Bar.

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Here is a shot of the guys taking a break on the way down to West Bar:

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Here is a desert scenery, the sign says Danger Road Washed Out and the Valley to the upper left of the picture is the Palisades.

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Finally we made it to the West Bar. Here is Pat portraying one of the Seven horseman of the Apocalypse:

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It was hot enough that we all were talking about taking a dip in the Columbia River but we didn't make the leap.

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And here are a couple pictures of Crescent Bar Resorts directly across the river from us:

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A fellow with his two kids came by on a personal water craft and we chatted and talked about trading him vehicles. He was amazed that we had already put in over 100 miles of riding.

We had about 3 hours of daylight left so we decided it was time to leave. I did not take any more pictures but for about 10 or 15 miles we were riding on lava beds. It was not as rough as the ride down to the River but it was no smooth speed way by any stretch of the imagination. Our bodies had been beat up so badly getting down to the river that every bump made us think our suspensions may not be working anymore. In fact Dave's and Mike's suspensions were not working anymore. I really felt for them but was not about to trade my big XR off to anyone.

Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Enjoy. :)

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Looks like a great trip, nice pics, wish we had a tree here to stand under.

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that haney meadows looks pretty cool! nice work on the ride and pics.

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That looks really cool! :)

My only question is, what was all that green leafy stuff all over the ground? :)

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That looks really cool! :)

My only question is, what was all that green leafy stuff all over the ground? :D

Skunk cabbage :)

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One other point that needs to made is that from the beginning we have had in mind another IronButt 150. We wanted to make this first run before we made a wider appeal for riders. There was a concern that if too many riders got involved we might not get to finish the ride. I believe most of those concerns have been laid to rest. We now know more about what to expect. Here is what you need to consider before attempting this ride.

1. The dependability of your bike is obviously important no matter where you ride. Make sure your chain and sprockets are in good condition. It's very important that you have good tires pumped up to 20 lbs pressure and suspension softened to make up for the over infllated tires. It would be wise to store a spare air filter for your bike at the staging area. After you finish the first loop change it out. Dust is a part of the ride.

2. That you are capable of at least a 75 mile ride. That way you can load up and go home at the half way point and still feel you have had a fantastic ride. Your body must be able to deal with the constant pounding taken while riding over rocks. Average speed is approximately 23 miles per hour the entire ride. At one point I hit 80 mph on the open roads and there are spaces where 50 to 60+ can be maintained for miles. Be prepared to eat dust. I don't care if your leading the pack, you will eat dust it is simply a part of the ride.

3. Your bike needs at least a 60 mile range. We have decided not to have any fuel stops except one at the staging area. So when you return to the staging area to finish the first loop of the ride you can fuel up. If you run low on the ride some of us have left over fuel and we can help as tankers. I actually have a little more than 2 gallons of gas left in my tank after the first 75 mile loop. So during that loop I would have been able to help several people who didn't quite have the range.

4. Very important!!! Must be easy going and light hearted. Able to take a ribbing from your companions. Hey guys this is all about fun no matter how beat up it makes us.

5. Pack food and water. You will need it. Don't think you can get by without it.

We have not decided on when the next IronButt 150 will take place. September was suggested but it sounds like some of the guys would be interested in doing it sooner. I'm game. I think we will be changing the route a bit on the next ride and maybe get even closer to 150 miles actual miles. I believe if we would have taken a different route on the single track and headed towards liberty we would have been closer to 150. But that would have made the first loop closer to 80+ miles which, may not be a good idea. We now have a good picture of the layout of the ride. We could also make up the extra 20 miles by going to Whiskey Dick inlet along the Columbia River after we leave West Bar before heading back to the staging area. I'm sure Dave and others are considering these options also.

Everyone had such a good time and a sense of accomplishment that it looks like we can easily turn this into a yearly event. :)

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