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      10-08-2018, 09:43 AM   #1
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A Search for Fall Colors and Fast, Twisty Roads in my M2 (many pics!)

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Like most people, I really enjoy the beautiful fall colors that burst out in the trees in our region this time of year. It’s always a little tricky trying to figure out exactly when the best time it is to go see them – it seems to change a bit every year, and of course it varies depending on elevation, the weather, and so on.

While the colors are spectacular, they are also a reminder to me that my season for riding/driving is coming to a close, which is always a bummer. So, it always becomes a priority to try to get a nice ride or drive (or two) in before the snow starts to fall.

My Saturday was especially busy, so I decided Sunday, October 7 would be the day for me to take a drive in search of fall colors, along with empty roads with lots of fun curves. I figured the best place to find both would be in central Oregon. I mapped out a route I thought would give me what I was looking for – riding over the mountain through “Little Alps”, over to Ukiah, south to Long Creek, and then back east along the John Day River toward home.

The first couple of hours are a fairly boring stretch of freeway with which I’m all too familiar, but once I exited near Baker City, OR and headed toward the mountain, the road got super twisty and fun in a hurry! Such a fun road, and of course completely empty. Even hints of fall colors in the trees.



As I climbed higher, it got colder and the clouds were quite low. And was that… SNOW ahead?



Suddenly, the landscape around me changed dramatically!





Yikes! I sure wasn’t expecting this. I figured it would be cold, but not like this. As the road got slushier and colder (28 degrees), I decided to abort that particular route, and go around through La Grande. I knew I’d see some nice colors that way too, and not have to worry about sliding off a cliff (or more importantly, getting my car all dirty).



I flipped a U-turn and headed back down toward La Grande, seeing more of that pretty golden foliage along the way.





I grabbed a sandwich in La Grande, and headed southwest on 244 to Ukiah. Again, totally empty, pretty, and very fun to drive.







There’s a flat stretch near the summit that had some cool old barns that looked pretty photogenic.





I stopped for fuel in Long Creek, and headed west toward Monument, since I knew there were some really fun stretches of road with good views over that way.







One of my favorite things about central Oregon is the variety of terrain over there. Forests, rivers, plains, deserts, meadows – all with super fun and empty roads.





Next I doubled back to the very remote and empty Middle Fork Road, which always has a few cows in the road along the way, but is always a fun and scenic drive.







As you can see, empty, scenic – and just try to imagine how much fun that road is to drive in a car like this. Incredible! So much fun to hear that fantastic motor as you shift up and down that gearbox. Just awesome.

One more stop near Austin for a photo before heading home through the desert.




The drive was about 540 miles of awesomeness. Not only did I find some really pretty fall colors, but also thrilling and challenging roads with every kind of corner imaginable, little to no other vehicles, and even a winter wonderland! An incredibly fun day for sure, for which I’m very grateful.

Hard to believe that some of the very best fall colors I saw were just 1/4 mile from my house – on a nearby street where I’ve taken photos many times over the years. I think “Long Beach Blue” blends in nicely, don’t you?

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      10-08-2018, 12:03 PM   #2
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Incredible pics as always - thanks for that!

I am on the wrong end of this continent.

That surprise winter wonderland you ran into reminds me of a very similar incident I had in the Swiss alps on my ED trip (my incident occurred exactly one year ago to the day!).
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      10-08-2018, 12:42 PM   #3
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Those look pro. What kind of camera, lense?
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      10-08-2018, 02:13 PM   #4
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Those look pro. What kind of camera, lense?
Thanks. These were all with my Canon 5D Mark IV, with 24-70 f/2.8.
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      10-08-2018, 02:59 PM   #5
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Epic journey! Thanks for sharing!



These are worthy of the front page, I voted you 5 stars to help get you there!
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      10-08-2018, 06:08 PM   #6
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bwhip Amazing pics. Your car is always the background on my laptop and when people ask me what my car looks like, I show them pics of your car because I don't have any good shots of my LBB!!

Just curious, what kind of tires do you have on that thing and did you have any trouble when you got into those cold temps??
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      10-08-2018, 06:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAMackAttack View Post
bwhip Amazing pics. Your car is always the background on my laptop and when people ask me what my car looks like, I show them pics of your car because I don't have any good shots of my LBB!!

Just curious, what kind of tires do you have on that thing and did you have any trouble when you got into those cold temps??
Wow, thanks so much - I'm honored.

I've still got the OEM Michelins on there, which are fantastic in the dry - but not so much in slippery conditions. I try to avoid them for sure, and it's the main reason I turned around from my originally intended route.
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      10-08-2018, 09:59 PM   #8
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Best M2 pictures.
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      10-08-2018, 10:07 PM   #9
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Brilliant on all levels
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      10-09-2018, 06:52 AM   #10
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Stunning. Thank you for sharing
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      10-09-2018, 07:19 AM   #11
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Love your pics and narrative. Great work!
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      10-09-2018, 08:47 PM   #12
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Great photos! What are you shooting with?
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      10-10-2018, 08:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Great photos! What are you shooting with?
Thanks. These were all with my Canon 5D Mark IV, with 24-70 f/2.8.
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      10-10-2018, 10:06 AM   #14
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love the pics. Great shots.
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      10-10-2018, 12:00 PM   #15
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You are the real MVP; beautiful pics!

Thanks for adding to my wallpaper collection
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      10-10-2018, 07:22 PM   #16
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Beautiful pics! I also happened to see you driving (I think) as I was in central Oregon last weekend as well!
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      10-11-2018, 01:31 PM   #17
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Fantastic scenery and photos! Thanks for sharing!
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      10-11-2018, 06:54 PM   #18
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Beautiful pictures, scenery and M2.

You are lucky, out here in Ontario I have lots of flat and ugly to drive around
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      10-17-2018, 07:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Beautiful pictures, scenery and M2.

You are lucky, out here in Ontario I have lots of flat and ugly to drive around
Thanks! We feel very fortunate to live in this part of the world. Hard to imagine better for cars and bikes.
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      10-24-2018, 08:03 AM   #20
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Amazing pics! Nice M2 and write up to go with them. Thanks for sharing!
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      10-24-2018, 08:07 AM   #21
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Wow, stunning scenery and pics.
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      10-24-2018, 08:12 AM   #22
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Great colors!
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