In an icon:
We didn't do what we set out to do. We were just way too naive about weather and the snow levels that late in the season. But we did have an incredible 9 days! We just didn't do any actual bikepacking and honestly, I'm glad we didn't. Here's the breakdown:
-Flew into Redmond, got a car, drove to Hood, bagged it via the Old Chute
-drove back to Bend, picked up my bike from REI (shipped) and my friend's bike (rented from Pine Mtn Sports; asshole got a deal on a full-carbon Santa Cruz 29er while I was knockin around on my steel Marin Pine Mtn 29er 1x9), went and camped for 2 days near the Deschutes
-day 2 (literally, 36 hours after landing) we rode about 30 miles of Phil's Trail system - freaking awesome! We had such a blast. It had rained just enough to make it nice and tacky and the snow level was up by the top of Whoops so plenty of trail available.
-next day we relocated to McKenzie River Trail and rode that from the southern terminus to Blue Pool; it was pretty mucky but gorgeous, of course.
-next day we drove to North Umpqua Trail and rode the Mott and Panther sections. This was my favorite part of the whole trip! SOOOOOO epic, fun, and well constructed. Less mucky than McKenzie. However, I can't imagine bikepacking that trail with any more than 10 lbs of gear.
-after that we drove back to Bend, returned/shipped the bikes, and drove to Mt. Shasta. We bagged that via a Cassaval Ridge-West Face variation on the 8th day of the trip. Finished the trip off with plenty of beer and good food at Deschutes Brewery.
I'm bummed we didnt get to bikepack as we had prepared for that. But being our first time to this mountain biking mecca, I'm glad we really got to hammer the trails with the bikes fast and naked. I did come up with what I believe to be some very good routes for accomplishing the original plan so if any of you want to have a look at the files, let me know.
But to all of you Oregonians.... I hate you.
You guys are too nice, build way too many awesome trails, have way too much beautiful and diverse terrain, and you've filled just about every unique business opportunity there is. Shameless plug: if any of you want or need someone to run biking, hiking, or climbing tours for a tour company in Oregon, let me know!
Thanks everyone for the advice. Would love to show off the good trail systems we do have in the Southeast if any of you are ever out this way.