View Full Version : Vernon to Camp Claiborne

12-15-2006, 08:47 PM
ride report in my photo album on yahoo. Double click the first picture to see the slide show. See the comments under each photo.


Someone tell me if this doesn't work!

12-15-2006, 08:58 PM
worked just fine.:clap: betcha that metal grated bridge would be slicker than snot on a door knob with wet leaves!:eek2:

12-15-2006, 10:23 PM
Here's some more text to go along with the few pics. Chris Hardy, George Gumberger and George Spalding picked me up at my house in Beaumont at 7 AM. We made one stop on the way for coffee, and got to the Vernon Enduro camp at about 9:30. We had done a lot of mapping, and were planning to ride 95% dirt roads and trails from Vernon to Camp Claiborne. We rode the multi-use trail for a ways, then picked up the dirt road and tried to follow the GPS route that we'd laid out.

We rode some pipeline (it was wet), but it was pretty tame. We overshot the turn east on a dirt road, but picked up a freshly bulldozed road and took it instead. We got back on course, and were doing good following the route when we ran into a locked gate next to a house. Being the fine upstanding citizens we are, we backtracked and figured we'd find a way around the gate. We took numerous dirt roads trying to find a way around without any luck. We finally ran across a couple of hunters who were in a pickup truck and stopped and asked directions. They looked at us like we were from Mars or something. I thought maybe I had snot running down my face or something. We more or less followed the hunters' directions, then the GPS picked up the dirt road we were on and I could see where it would run out to the paved road! We took one more wrong turn, stopped and asked a logging crew for directions, then made it to pavement, about 3 miles from where we wanted to be. Not too bad, but we had killed a lot of time trying to get around the gate.

We found the road we wanted to cross the Calcasieu River on (it's paved now), and ran it to the town of Calcasieu, where we stopped at the corner store and got snacks and drinks. We were having a good time, and the folks at the store didn't really know what to make of this bunch of idiots. We were back on course, and headed for Claiborne. We got to the Claiborne National Forest and picked up the Boy Scout trail loop, with the idea that we would run it to the campground, take a picture, then turn around and head back. Well, it didn't happen that way. We rode and rode and rode on the single track, and Chris and I were struggling to keep our big bikes upright on the wet trails. I had one tumble, I think Chris had a couple. The Georges with their 400's were having a lot more fun. We tried to run some of the old army roads to get to the campground faster, but we wound up bypassing the campground and never did get to it.

It was about 3 PM, and Spalding had a Cannibal Plateau moment. (OK, that's another story). But the fact was, we were going to run out of daylight. So we hit the highway, then dirt roads, and zig-zagged back to Calcasieu, stopped and took on a gallon of gas each for good measure, then went back across the river.

At this point, we decided to try to get back on our planned return route, and after a couple of wrong turns, managed to pick up the road we wanted that ran west, back towards the pipeline and Vernon. This road was a twisty one, and there were lots of side roads, but we'd set numerous waypoints and routed from one to the next, so we were really doing great staying on course, even though sometimes our course wasn't the main road. (I knew the other guys were impressed by the way they kept dropping back, expecting me to turn around.)

Then we hit a locked gate, out in the middle of NOWHERE. So, we went around it through the brush. We were wheeling along again, following our planned route, when we hit locked gate #2. We couldn't go around this one, the brush was just too thick. We farted around and tried to find a way around it, but in the end, we laid the bikes on their sides, and rolled them under the gate. While we were stopped, Chris noticed he'd lost some bolts on the side of the frame, passenger peg, muffler mount, sub-frame, not really important stuff. I asked if he wanted some zip-ties, but he dug up a few bolts from his trust fanny pack and fixed it well enough to get home.

From there, we had one more big dead end that we had to re-route around, and then we were back paralleling the pipeline, and rode the roads back to Vernon Enduro camp, we were too pooped to get back on the trail.

We covered 114 miles in all, and managed to get loaded and on the road before sunset. We parted ways with Chris in DeRidder, he was headed back to I-10, we were going to take some back roads (and stop at Dairy Queen).

We all had a good ride. The GPS track is available, if I can figure out how to save it and upload it.

12-16-2006, 07:44 AM
Boy I hate missing any kind of fun....Glad you guys had a good time....Thanks for the pictures Hoop....


12-16-2006, 11:16 PM
Nice little trip the Hoop. I'd love to get the track from you if you can figure it out. Glad you all had a good time and came back unshot.

12-17-2006, 11:09 AM
I'm with XRCajun,hope you can end up with a track or something.Trails looked pretty good,not eat up with 4wheeler ruts.

12-17-2006, 06:31 PM
the trails were quite rooted out, but away from camp, not a lot of 4-wheeler traffic. :mrgreen:

I'll see if I can attach a garmin file. It probably has some other miscelaneous waypoints and stuff.

12-18-2006, 06:47 AM
Thanks Hoop,thinkin of heading that way soon.I need a good x-mas break.

Goat Trail Green
12-18-2006, 07:04 AM

Thanks for sharing

Mike Green

12-18-2006, 12:58 PM
Boy I hate missing any kind of fun....Glad you guys had a good time....Thanks for the pictures Hoop....

You did miss a good time. As we were loading up I told our chief map/route guru, George Gumberger, the day went just like I expected. We rode a lot of roads; some of them twice (both ways); got tall grass wrapped around both sides of my rear hub following Hoop thru the woods when the road ended; took a header with to much front break in the mud at a locked gate (got to ride that road the other way); got to chase Hoop riding like a madman on the trails in Claiborne, I under stand we were looking for something, don't know what it was & didn't see it; got slammed into the ground by my 330 lb. 625 on very slick Louisiana clay while trying to keep up with Hoop's pig; shook parts off the bike; got to see Hoop get off his pig with his feet straight up & out in true flying "W" style, PRICELESS. :clap:

Then there was the girl in the purple sweeter that was interested in George Spalding, but I won't go there. :trust:

And in true TWT fashion we did not get a picture of the toilet, but we did get a picture at the old army sewerage plant (http://new.photos.yahoo.com/hoopegr/album/576460762373890804/photo/294928804024155691/10). Does that count? :lol2:

12-18-2006, 07:34 PM
my feet were up in the air to make sure they weren't under the BRP! I flipped over backwards just for effect.

I forgot about the sweater. What happens in Calcasieu stays in Calcasieu.

12-18-2006, 10:55 PM
Thanks for sharing some of the "Rest of the Story" Chris....What are you doing falling down? I thought you were past that by now!!!


12-19-2006, 09:00 PM
Hoop and mcrider, thanks for the information.
I found also this link while searching on the internet.

I will be exploring the area the Saturday and/or Sunday before Christmas on the Husky. I am pumped.

My family place is about an hour from the Vernon Enduro trail, and I didn't even know it existed until this week.

I will take pictures, and do an "after the ride" post when I get back.

Louisiana here I come. :rider:


12-19-2006, 09:08 PM
The small part of the Vernon trails that we rode were in pretty good shape, considering the hurricane was just last year. Didn't appear that they've gotten much use lately. On the way into the trailhead, you need to stop at the self-serve permit station and pay $3. It's a good riding area, and it's a shame the National Forests in Texas can be run as well as the ones in Louisiana. If you cover everything at Vernon, the Camp Claiborne area is pretty good too. Claiborne will be pretty sloppy if it rains like it's supposed to this week.

12-26-2006, 08:01 PM
It was raining from the time I got there to when I left.
With that much rain, riding solo, and temps Saturday morning in the low 40's, I didn't see myself making it very far, so I called off my ride.
It would have been so slippery, but would have probably made for some good (funny?) pictures.

12-27-2006, 07:58 PM
Hoop thanks a ton for the tracks. I'm dying to get over there and ride something near what ya'll did. That looks like it could be a really fun trip.Didn't run across anyone playing the bandjo did ya?


12-28-2006, 09:51 PM
the Dairy Queen we stopped at in DeRidder on the ride home was kinda spooky, I definitely got that deliverance feeling. The folks at the store in Calcasieu were really nice, and there were some interesting characters coming and going there too. We stopped and talked with a couple of guys who were filling their deer feeders. The one guy had no front teeth, but he was real friendly (I wouldn't say he had a pretty mouth). The other guy didn't get out of the car, but just stared at us like we were aliens. I probably do look pretty funny with my flip-up helmet. :mrgreen:

12-29-2006, 12:43 PM
the Dairy Queen we stopped at in DeRidder on the ride home was kinda spooky, I definitely got that deliverance feeling.

Nice to know that DeRidder has not changed since I left Fort Polk for the last time in August 1971.

01-11-2007, 09:52 AM
Hey fellas...just saw this thread today...:headbang: Sure wish I would've known about it BEFORE the ride. I've been riding the Camp Claiborne trails for many years on off-road machinery. I've branched out to Dual Sport late last year but have not ridden this area with the plated bike. I'm starving for riding partners in these here parts.

Good to see the pics of that seasoned rider Mr. Hardy....;-) Teeds has been on my butt about doing a D/S ride in that area. I sure would like to join you guys the next time ya'll plan this adventure. Hopefully Tony will recover OK from the mishap south of the border and be able to make it also. Keep me posted for the next one...:)


01-11-2007, 11:08 AM
Hey Matt,
When we got over there, it dawned on me that I should have contacted you. Next time I will.

01-11-2007, 11:54 AM
Hey Chris,

Tony's been telling me that there has to be some kind of route that we could do in that area. I think I'll try to do some scouting the next time I go. There are lots of gravel roads around Camp Claiborne and many FS roads through the woods. I haven't ridden on them in a few years since the FS came out with the restrictions of riding on "designated trails only". I've never really looked around to see which FS roads would be open to "plated" bikes.
The Boyscott Loop is pretty difficult to ride with a large DS bike. It was converted to a single track loop a couple of years ago....thankfully....throught the work of the Acadian Dirt Riders M/C club. It's a great loop to ride on with offroad bikes since the 4wheelers are no longer allowed on it. The "North Loop" would be more DS friendly.

I'll definately look into it....maybe I'll be able to offer some useful info. for the next trip.

See ya'


01-12-2007, 10:40 AM
A mapped out route was George Gumberger reason for the ride, he should have all the turn arounds edited out by now. Maybe he or Hoop can post it.

01-29-2007, 10:12 PM
It's great to read about this route Camp Claiborne is about 6 miles from where I grew up, I spent about ten years running around in those woods. Now I am stuck here in Houston.