Right, so, I got a call from Jason a few days ago suggesting we find someplace to explore on Saturday. We quickly settled on find the old Douty Lumber Mill, near Timber, OR. We once again met up at McDonalds in North Plains and quickly hit the road. On the way up, we decided to see if we could get to the summit of Round Top. After busting through some untouched snow we came across two trees down blocking the road. I got out the chainsaw and Jason got out the winch accessories and in not time at all we had the road all clear. Of course we only made it another quarter mile before we found snow too deep to get through. I turned around and decided to put lunch on the "4.0 grill" and discovered I'd lost my power steering reservoir cap at some point. Fortunately for me, it was still in the engine bay so we put it back on (with zip ties) and headed down the hill. We tried taking Bell Camp road along the ridge to Standard Grade to drop down into Cochran but after logging another tree out of the road and driving over a fourth, we found snow that was too deep for us to get through.
All the way back down to Cochran Road and we went the quick way into Cochran. We stopped by the pond for lunch then headed in search of the mill. I didn't have the exact location but was told we could drive just about to it. We tried several different logging roads before I finally found the right one. The mill is pretty awesome, I strongly encourage reading about it on Brian894x4.com as that is the BEST information I've found online. From the Mill, we started heading out but I wanted to check out a road I'd been denied by snow on a few months ago. Turns out, the road heads way up into the hills to Giveout Mountain. Okay, not exactly heading out of the woods but looking at the map, it showed we could get out by going around the north side and crossing the headwaters of the Salmonberry River and going out to highway 26. Some of the roads on the north side of the mountain were plowed, unfortunately, not the roads that headed north to the highway. However, while we were following Wheeler road, I spotted not one but two old railroad trestles off the side of the road. It appeared that a section of the road through there follows an old railroad grade, Wheeler Railroad from what I can tell. I'll have to go back and explore the grade when there isn't two feet of snow on the ground. From there, we followed roads that zig zagged around the mountains and eventually we got out to Timber road and headed back to the valley.
NOTE: I've removed the map showing how to get to the mill
because of extensive vandalism that has occurred there. If
you are interested in finding directions to the mill, feel free to
send me an email and I will share directions privately. -Ryan