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  1. #1
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    Poison oak on Umpqua trail?

    I'm signed up for a shuttle ride on Umpqua trail this summer.
    (late August).

    However, I'm pretty sensitive to poison oak, and have heard that there is oak on the bottom half of Umpqua trail.

    What I'm not sure of....How much oak is there and how much does it encroach on the trail?

    So, question for the Oregon locals that have ridden Umpqua...What should I do?

    a) cover my body in Technu and go ahead and ride it. Bring enough rubbing alcohol to wash my entire body every evening.

    b) Only ride the first two legs (which I believe are above snow line (oak line)

    c) Don't worry...its not that bad

    thanks for the advice

    BV

  2. #2
    Making fat cool since '71
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    It's BAD with a capital "Holy Shite" on the Tioga (bottom) section, was last year when I last rode it. Really though, it wasn't buzzkill bad, however it was all over on that section. Only encroaching trail in a couple easily avoidable spots, but lots of it to get you if you took an unexpected off-trail excursion...but then there's lots more to worry about in some of those spots than the oak if you leave the trail. Never noticed much in the upper stuff. Maybe a sprig here or there, but nothing to note or care about.

    Whatever your remedy/cure/mitigation for it is...take it and use it on Tioga for sure.
    NUT is, in my (never) humble opinion the best river trail in the state. A bit of everything and tons of beauty and great riding. Enjoy it.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  3. #3
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    Here's a summary of a poison oak lecture that might be helpful.

    http://www.montereysar.org/SARMembersDocs/poioak.pdf

  4. #4
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    The poison oak really starts about a mile or two heading west or down Deer Leap and is on and off the rest of the way down all the way to the bottom tioga section. Some years it is worst than other depending on weather and a lot of other factors.
    I am very allergic to it also and have not found really anything that prevents getting it except not getting exposed. I grew up in the oak savannahs and they are covered with poison oak so I learned at a young age how to identify it and avoid it. Best recommendation is learn how to identify it and avoid touching it with bare skin. QUOTE=StreamRider;11181725]Here's a summary of a poison oak lecture that might be helpful.

    http://www.montereysar.org/SARMembersDocs/poioak.pdf[/QUOTE]

  5. #5
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    If you're not committed to doing the whole NUT, the upper sections (Dread and Terror in particular) are the not to be missed portions, and don't have much if any poison oak on them.

    I'd say, at a minimum go for just those sections, because they are worth it. If I was deathly allergic to poison oak, I wouldn't risk riding those lower sections. Don't get me wrong, there is some great trail on the lower segments, but to me the upper half is what makes NUT what it is.

    I used to be pretty tolerant of poison ivy/oak, but have developed some sensitivity to it over years of exposure, and I probably get it 4-5 times a year. I have done the lower segments and have never gotten poison oak from riding there, but I was also pretty careful and scrubbed down really well with technu after.

    My wife is really sensitive to Poison Oak, and I probably wouldn't send her down some of those segments. She has gotten poison oak a bunch of times just from me bringing it home on my riding gear, and just that little bit of second hand exposure and it spreads like wildfire on her.

    If you go for it, know how to identify it, be on the lookout to avoid it, make sure to scrub everything (body, bike, shoes, etc...) with technu (as soon as possible) and be careful about stuff like scratching your legs then rubbing your eyes.

  6. #6
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    I'm really good at identifying PO on-the-fly, but having to do it really kills the flow of riding.

    If it gets sufficiently tight that I can't even walk with bike in front, then I'm in real trouble since we're camping.

  7. #7
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    Nut po

    Depending on what sort of trail work has been done, the PO will be completely unavoidable on the lower sections of the trail. Don't let it scare you away.




    [QUOTE=windsurf2xs;11182706]I'm really good at identifying PO on-the-fly, but having to do it really kills the flow of riding.

    If it gets sufficiently tight that I can't even walk with bike in front, then I'm in real trouble since we're camping.[/QU

  8. #8
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    The PO gets progressively worse from the bottom of Jesse Wright segment down. There is a little bit above that, but nothing worth worrying about. The lower section of the trail isn't really much fun if you are worried about the PO. So, I would either not ride the lower sections or get some sort of lycra arm and leg bands so you won't get it on your skin in those sections. Peel them off with gloves at the end and wash everything well. Also, make sure to wash your skin in the river at the end. I think many people get poison oak worse than they should because they don't recognize when they have been exposed and wait several hours before washing.

  9. #9
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    Thanks folks; exactly the info I needed.

  10. #10
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    If the P.O. isn't enough to worry about, make sure and check yourself well for ticks after your ride too.
    free-flowing meat waves of possibility...

  11. #11
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    I am very sensitive to P.O. (prednisone is not uncommon), and was told by my dermatologist that dial soap works clinically nearly the same as Technu, at a fraction of the cost. A large commercial size at Costco is what I have been using for 5 years now.

    Very few actual studies have been done, but here is one (referenced twice for the skeptics out there)

    http://familymedicinepoems.wikispace...+dermatitis%3F

    Cost-effective post-exposure prevention of po... [Int J Dermatol. 2000] - PubMed - NCBI

  12. #12
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    Checking in on the oak situation on the second half of the trail. Heading up on Monday (memorial day) to ride the first half. Second half is debatable if there's a bunch of PO as I plan on riding Oakridge for the following 3 days and Ashland for the final day. Heading back to Tahoe, so going from top to bottom. But, I don't want to ruin my trip by getting covered in PO.

  13. #13
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    Just rode it today and from Illahi (sp?) down to the trailhead nearest Steamboat (we ended at that trailhead; some folks said the oak was even worse on sections further downstream)the P.O. was horrible...no hyperbole, downright effing bad. There's no way to ride those sections without touching it in too many spots to count. We're all very technically sound and we all smacked it countless times.

    On the good front, there's only a few trees too big to move by hand still down and there's plenty of traction most places.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  14. #14
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    Thanks Brock, I'm assuming that's the second half, after the hot springs? Couldn't find Illahi or steamboat on the map. Regardless, I'll just opt for the first half.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  15. #15
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    Poison oak on Umpqua trail?

    Quote Originally Posted by markcjr View Post
    Thanks Brock, I'm assuming that's the second half, after the hot springs? Couldn't find Illahi or steamboat on the map. Regardless, I'll just opt for the first half.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Deer Leap is the last/lowest section I will ride because of PO. It is on DL, but usually avoidable. From Toketee CG upstream the trail is clear
    mtbtires.com
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  16. #16
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    Our trip to Umpqua is coming up next week and I'm bumping this thread to the top to see if there's any new update.

    (the poison oak here in the Sacramento area has already dropped leaves in most places, and is mostly red elsewhere so at least here the oak is starting to dry out)

    thanks in advance for any info you can post

  17. #17
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    There's still plenty of PO below the Deer Leap section. But if you dress for it, and take the usual precautions, the lower sections are excellent riding. One other important pointů there seems to be more ground-nesting stinging insects than in the pastů or more bad luck. I got stung twice, and my friend behind me 6 times while riding Tioga a month and a half ago. Didn't have Benadryl with me and had an unpleasant, but not life threatening allergic reaction. Even after Benadryl both of us were very swollen and itchy for the next couple days. And a friend of mine just reported being stung a dozen times by wasps on D&T and having a very bad reaction.

    So besides the technu, be sure to have drugs for insect stings, especially if you are riding near the back of a group of riders.

  18. #18
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    I use Poison Ivy/Oak Bock lotion before a ride and an immediate dip into the river with Dawn dish soap at the end of the ride. Yes Dawn dish soap does work great for getting rid of urushiol oils.

  19. #19
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    Re: Poison oak on Umpqua trail?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttrd View Post
    I use Poison Ivy/Oak Bock lotion before a ride and an immediate dip into the river with Dawn dish soap at the end of the ride. Yes Dawn dish soap does work great for getting rid of urushiol oils.
    I use citrus waterless hand cleaner (without grit) for post PO ride cleanup and keep the soap out of the waterways.
    mtbtires.com
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  20. #20
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    I just rode NUT from D/T thru Tioga 1st weekend of Aug with 4 other riders and none of us got poison oak. I know we all brushed it many times, and at least one guy has had it bad in the past (not from riding NUT). And all we did was swim in the river at end of each day. Some people seem to be especially sensitive to it and I have ridden w/friends who broke out bad after a ride together. I have lived around it most of my life and the only time I got it was when I literally rubbed some on my arm as a bet in middle school.
    It is very common here in Ashland and the 'state of Jefferson' but if you have had a bad case before, just wash off after the ride - but don't avoid the NUT because of it.

  21. #21
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    Windex at the end of every ride...

  22. #22
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    Just back from our NUT trip. Great trail, but lots of poison oak. Started about 1/2 thru Dear Leap and continued for the remainder of the trail.

    We washed after every ride with PO, and we'll see how well it worked as I'm still in the incubation period.

    Potentially bigger issue is the wasps/hornets/yellowjackets. Every section from Dread and Terror had at least one large nest on or near the trail. First rider thru never noticed, but the second and third riders got stung. Often several stings per nest for rider three. One of our group got stung 7 times spread out over three days.

    If you are allergic make sure you have your epi pen and benidryl. Our of our group of 14 riders, all but 4 were stung over the length of the trail.

    And if you get a bad reaction to poison oak, consider doing more riding around Diamond lake and Lemolo lake. There's no PO up that high.

    The last 15 or 20 miles of NUT are worth doing for the ferns and moss, but make sure to wash off immediately as there is tons of poison oak in the last section.

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