words, photos, and video by Dan Camp
Looking to avoid the rainy West Coast and eager to fuel my intrigue for remote and desolate places, I decided to test myself in Oregon’s high desert, starting out on the Oregon Outback. My time here provided me with some of the best riding of my trip and some great nights spent in historic ghost towns.
After reaching Prineville, I quickly diverted off the route as I was generously offered an apartment in Bend for a few nights. Winter well and truly arrived during my stay there, and in the coming days, I would be challenged in new ways with temperatures dropping as low as -9°C/16°FAfter being saved by a hunter from spending a freezing-cold night on the snow-covered Newberry Volcano, I rejoined the Oregon Outback route for a couple of days before diverting to make my way to Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge.
I loaded up with several days’ worth of food and two days’ worth of water and ventured into one of the most isolated parts of Oregon. Here, I faced extreme isolation, not seeing another human for three days, and was challenged with incredibly tough riding along rough and rocky roads with icy river crossings. My first night was spent at a hot springs, a welcome treat after another cold night, and my next was spent at the abandoned Shirk Ranch.
Overall my time in Oregon was everything I could dream of while bikepacking. It had tough but wonderful riding through remote places, a whole variety of incredible and interesting camp spots, and a whole series of challenges that tested my physical and mental strength and allowed me to grow both as a bikepacker and as a person.
You can keep up with Dan’s worldwide bikepacking journey on Instagram.
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