Tugwell E to Jordan River (DRZ), with Joel – 2016/04/09

We started at Clark Rd (Tugwell E)  and rode through everything and came out via Forebay / E-Main. This was definitely NOT a big bike ride… although MUCH of it could be done on a KLR.

The GPX track pretty much tells the story. We started at Clark Rd (gate was open), took the first left and headed up towards the power lines. Like an idiot I dropped the DRZ (at a near standstill) trying to turn too sharply off the gravel road onto the connecting trail to the power lines (busted a turn signal). If memory serves, that was the only real drop. Lots of almosts (usually in turning the bike, e.g. steering at full lock). Anyhow, proceeded up to the Tugwell Creek campsite. Water levels are _way_ down from what they were just 13 days ago. Across the creek, to tugwell main, up that a bit and a couple loops around the J.A. racing loop. Up Tugwell to where it splits with the W spur being in better shape. Up that spur over the track Tony (big bikes) turned back on. There are various trails off that route. Tony and I were damn close to the end of the hard part going up. The route Joel and I took coming down to E Muir would NOT have been fun on a big bike, and would be “non-trivial” to climb even on the DRZ. There appear to be alternate paths. There were some quads we passed a couple times and we were NOT following their tracks on the descent.

From E Muir, we rode up to the bridge over Muir creek and stopped for food/water. From there we went back to the original plan of running up “off the end of” Muir Main and looping around to E Main / Forebay / Forby. That included running over the culvert that stopped me way back in the early days. I’d swear that culvert has shrunk about 50% :) That said, I can’t fault the old decision (solo newbie on a big bike, end of the day, etc…)

The track from Muir Main comes out on E Main at the bridge over Alligator (?) Creek. Joel was interested in the roads on the North side of Diversion resevoir, so we headed N and then E on E Main, looking to cross Bear Creek and get up to Butler. Turns out the logging co has done a thorough job of ditching/barricading the E-Main to Butler intersection. On small bikes, there is a fork to the left a couple hundred meters back that suffices as a go-around. With good tires and friends to push, you could likely get a big bike through it, but it wouldn’t be easy.

From Butler, we just road W to Jordan main and up that to the bridge over Jordan River. Drat, OSM doesn’t name the road that we considered going down, and my memory is not so good (Stuart or something?) Basically W Jordan turns into the forgotten road, and “tee’s” with Butler at the bridge.

From there, the plan was basically go S down E-Main / Forebay until we could check out the loop through E-10/E-11 that I tried to ride when there was snow. We chose to ride over the diversion dam to get back to the S side of Bear Creek… I was glad water levels were down as the Bear Creek crossing was a bit slippery and it is actually raised (built up on rocks), so falling would put you in deeper water.

The only challenge after that was the obstacles on E Main. Not sure if was deactivations, or “stay back, there has been erosion” … but in several places E main was not passible in a normal car, and we got blocked for a while in one place were a low-slung 4 wheel drive had gotten high-centered trying to pass through.

From there it was down to the E10/E11 loop. That was a bit of a disappointment, If you consider that loop to be a square, the first and last legs were good / easy, the far two were badly overgrown and consequently not fun (E11A wasn’t as bad as E13). I had been hoping it would be a loop that I could recommend to newbies. Perhaps there are tracks off of E11 that would work. (You can see much of this on Google Maps/Earth. The alders were bad where the logging was recent. Where the trees shadowed the road, it was much better.)

We explored a little bit coming down Forebay, but it was late and we were tired.

Thoughts. This ride was a pretty good demonstration of the difference between light bikes and heavy bikes… despite there only being 100 pounds difference between the DRZ and the KLR, and the KLR having reasonable clearance and good suspension travel. Stuff that you’d blow over in the DRZ is almost unpassable on the KLR…. The hope is that the DRZ will be a better learning platform and my KLR riding will improve as a consequence.

I don’t see any good options for getting from E Main to Butler on a big bike. Maybe going over the dam when the water levels fall a bit more… that would be fairly easy going S. Maybe a little shovel work could make the detour around the E-Main / Butler intersection simpler… but as it is, there was a pivot and some quite steep bits.

And I lost the GoPro :( Put it on the helmet, but never even turned it on. I suspect it fell off on the track that Tony and I turned back on… but maybe it was the run up Muir to E-Main.

Joel and bikes, JR Diversion dam in background.
spur overlooking Jordan River… steep!