COGS 8 Day Wallowas – Blue Mountains Tour
COGS is offering a beautiful eight-day bike tour in the northeast corner of Oregon starting and finishing in Walla Walla, Washington from July 8 - 17, 2016. This description outlines what promises to be a fun-filled and adventuresome COGS bike tour.
COGS has again requested Ralph and Carol – long time COGS members, who for the past 15 years have been organizing and leading professional style bike tours as volunteers around the country - to coordinate and lead this Tour. This will be their fourth tour for COGS. They have agreed to do so at cost. They will be our ride leaders and will make all the tour arrangements including providing cue sheets and maps for each day along with lots of ideas for interesting things to do en route.
This tour starts in Walla Walla, but its focus is the northeast corner of Oregon. The first day we cross the Blue Mountains and coast down into La Grande, OR. The second day, we follow part of the Oregon Scenic Bikeway through the historic towns of Union and Medical Lake to Baker City where we will stay two nights. On day three we ride up the Powder River Valley on the Sumpter Stage Highway to the town of Sumpter where we can visit the huge gold dredge used to mine gold from the river. The more courageous can follow a beautiful highway loop around past the Anthony Lakes Ski Area back to Baker City and the more relaxed can return on the Sumpter Stage Highway, taking some time to stop at Union Creek Campground for a swim in Phillips Lake on the way back down to Baker City. The next day we climb up to the Oregon Wagon Trail Interpretive Center before riding on to Halfway, the gateway to the Wallowas Mountain Loop Road. Day five, we ride the Mountain Loop Road, taking in the Hell’s Canyon Overlook and some of the most gorgeous scenery in Eastern Oregon. We finish at the south end of Lake Wallowa where we take a day off to enjoy the lake and the mountains. From this spot, we go through Joseph, Enterprise, and several other small towns before returning to La Grande to close the Loop. On our final day, we retrace our steps over the Blue Mountains on a slightly different route back to Walla Walla.
The ride is intended for riders with moderate biking skill levels or better, though this tour will be somewhat more challenging than previous COGS Tours. Everyone can ride at their own comfortable pace. Be aware that there is an 85-mile day with 7,000’ climbing on one day, as well as two other 80+ mile days. Participants should train to be capable of riding 80 miles in one day. There will be a day off at Wallowa Lake. Although the route generally traverses lightly travelled rural roads, there are occasional stretches with no shoulder and/or significant traffic. The trip will be supported with a dedicated SAG van and a support truck to haul all of our stuff. If you’re having an off day or have a mechanical you can always catch a ride in the SAG van. The cost of the tour includes the SAG truck and van as well as motel lodging, snacks and lunch along the way. No camping needed on this trip! Breakfast and dinner are on your own but several motels will be serving a warm breakfast at no additional cost.
The ride is open to COGS members, however priority will be given first to those who have been COGS members as of 10/15/15, the date of our last annual meeting. The ride will be limited to 32 riders. There will be an open registration period from January 11 – 17, 2016. If the tour is oversubscribed a lottery system will be used to determine the final approval of registrations for the tour. If the tour is not full (32 paid up riders) as of January 17th registration will remain open until the tour is filled to ensure all the fixed costs are covered.
The cost of the trip is $1175 per participant. This includes the cost of the per diem for the ride leaders and SAG drivers, motels, vehicle support, snacks/lunch and other miscellaneous costs associated with organizing and fielding the trip. 30% ($400) of the cost for each rider will be collected at time of registration and the remainder is due 90 days prior to the event ($775 due no later than April 15th). Go here to see the COGS Refund/Transfer Policy.
All participants will need to be or become COGS members so that COGS insurance covers everyone on the ride. If you are not a COGS member you must join COGS with the annual club dues of $16 (individual) or $20 (family) prior to registering for the tour.
Carefully read all about the tour on the 2016 Wallowas Tour Full Description, and check out the complete map of the tour route. Note the refund and transfer policies. Once the tour is open for registration, you can sign up using the following process:
After the open registration period is finished, if there are more than 32 registrations, COGS will do a review to determine if a lottery is necessary. After assigning priority to those who were members as of 10/15/15, if a lottery is still needed it will be done as follows:
The COGS Registrar will send a confirmation email when they receive your registration and your deposit.
After January 20th, the tour registration will open up to those who are not COGS members.
You can call Ralph or Carol at their home number of 206.713.9417, or Peter Krippner (the COGS Ride Coordinator) at 206.271.1470.
The Wallowas & Blue Mountain Tour is July 8th (Friday) to July 17th (Sunday) – mark your calendars and sign up early to ensure a spot on the tour with other COGS riders.
This will be a wonderful opportunity to live our Club motto: "Ride for fun, friends and adventure".