TREO Back Roads, Gravel that Rocks!
Wheat Fields to Homesteads to Hail Ridge Road Gravel Route (57 miles)
"I just got back from a trip to TREO Ranch just outside of the Hardman Oregon living ghost town. By Living ghost town I mean a town that blurs the line between being a ghost town and having residence living there today. I got interested in TREO ranch for a couple of reasons. First found out about this ranch because they are bird hunting ranch looking to diversify by adding cycling to their mix. Then I found out just what kind of riding they had to offer and I was sold, a trip there needed to happen. They have beautiful and damn near empty paved roads to tiny little historic towns with so few cars it’s almost unreal. Then they have hundreds of miles of well maintained gravel roads and wonderful terrain, a gravel racer or rando riders dreamland. We gathered up some friends and our family’s and headed east."
"This ranch is located near Hardman in eastern Oregon just a hop skip and jump from Portland. It might as well be on the other side of the world. While Portland is drizzly and crowded in by the giant tree’s of the rain forrest, the ranch is in the high desert which is sunny about 200 day’s a year. For our trip we hit afternoon shows but they were actually kind of nice. Some fun things about the ranch is the fact that they have a giant kitchen, beds for large groups, pool table, private saloon, free beer and soda’s, fire place, shooting range, and so on. It’s a bird ranch at heart but trying hard to appeal to cyclists. The owner of the ranch even went to UBI so he could fix bikes since there are no bike shops out there. Another really cool aspect of this ranch is the owner of this operation actually follows loosely behind out while you are riding and I took advantage of that when I blew up my rear derailleur. You never really see the owner back there but maybe 5 to 10 minutes back he’s following with his trailer and when you need help he’s there. He’s also there to make you lunch and even hand you a beer! The roads are so remote that having this service is actually kind of nice and could keep a lot of cyclists from getting lost or seriously or dangerously stuck in the middle of nowhere if something were to happen. I know when my derailleur blew up there was that typic second of panic when you realize you are 50 miles from anything only the realize the truck is rounding the corner to save you. I got lucky in that one of my buddy’s had his cross bike in the trailer and I was able to continue on."
"Between the ranch, riding, friends and family it was a great time. I know I will be back out there for the gravel. Eastern Oregon’s high deserts are beautiful. Thanks for hosting us TREO Ranch."
~ Sky from Velo Cult, June 24, 2013