T2 Tour of idaho (West to East), Klim Adventure summit, and two weeks of Adventure
In June I found an ad for the Klim Adventure Summit in Rigby Idaho on July 12th, sounds good to me that gives me a due date for a place to be in a month and a clock to gear up. Looked on a map where Rigby Idaho was and decided Martin Hackworth’s T2 route from Motorcycle Jazz was the best way to get there as hundreds of miles on I -84 seemed less than appealing. I also found a great ride report about the Steen mountains and Alvord Desert from Hodakaguy on here so I figured thats on the way, why not. After the Adventure Summit I would hit Yellowstone and Glacier National parks and make a big circle back to Portland and I would do it by myself. So that was the plan with my 800 miles of riding experience I would ride my WR250R about two weeks and about 3500 miles and ride a 90% dirt route across Idaho to Wyoming solo. In case you were wondering its the factory seat.
First and foremost I want to say thanks to all the inmates on ADVRider I have learned a lot from everyones post and ride reports so time for me to give back a little, hopefully I have something to say.I'll try and get a new day up every day or so so stand by.
:deal A little background first...In March 2012 I rented a cheap Chinese LFTec dual sport in Nicaragua on Isla De Ometepe for $25 a day (Isla De Ometepe is two giant volcanoes in the middle of lake Nicaragua) and rode it around for three days seeing some amazing places that could have only been seen on a motorcycle. Im 36 now and after I got back home from vacation I decided I was hooked and it was time to get a motorcycle!:wings
I signed up for the MC class and got my endorsement. After much research and a huge thanks to BigDog Adventures I decided the Yamaha WR250R was the bike for me. I bought my first Motorcycle on May 4th 2012 and this is the cleanest it ever was.:wink:
This is my GPS track from the trip, the purple route is the T2
I did email BigDog to say thanks for all the info he had posted since it was such a huge help and basically I just bought all the gear he had and watched his packing video. BigDog writes back and although I never mentioned I was doing the ride solo he felt the need to add “I wish you luck---not a good idea traveling alone thru there.” :eek1Uggg am i stupid for doing this? I also had some help from Brian at Atomic Moto for getting geared up (great guy and amazing customer service IMHO) and when I told him what I was doing he asked if I was trailering my bike there; I explained I was riding the T2 there he started laughing and said “Wow you are an ambitious SOB”:rofl. Humm two very experienced guys seem to think this is a bit crazy, seems legit to me, no reason to self doubt.
There will be amazing scenery, wonderful strangers, a collision with a cow, a recovery of my bike down a hill, accidentally riding a Class A single track course, wearing my WR250R as a hat, riding in the Columbia Gorge in 30MPH winds, mud slides, winning a signed toilet seat, and plenty of wildfires. CAUTION ! Adventure ahead.:clap
Well after some planning and lots of credit card usage it was go time. I was packed and ready to go and early in the morning was the plan, which turned out to be at 1 in the afternoon. :snore
I left Portland and hoped to make it to Burns Oregon. I have never traveled more than 150 miles in a day so I was hoping my rear end would make it, thanks to some padded Pearl Izumi liner shorts I had no problems at all, I picked them up off Amazon for $24 which was money well spent. I started traveling HWY 224 through Estacada along the North Folk Reservoir
224 Turns into NF 46 and on to Lake Detroit. I thought NF46 would be dirt but was actually paved. What a beautiful ride and much to my surprise the trip was starting out better than I had expected. After Detroit Lake it was over the Santiam pass
Now on to Bend and HWY 20 for a very long way. I did see some dark clouds forming and instead of stopping and putting on rain gear I thought, ehh it would pass which was I think is part of my low level of experience
Serious serious rain comes down on me and I am getting soaked to the bone. I pull over into a Subway in Bend and wait for it to pass and try and dry off. After a pit stop its a final push to Burns with some amazing sunsets along the way.
I had never ridden at night before either so an hour or so through the desert was a tad nerve racking since I envisioned a deer or coyote coming out of no where and sending me to my death:muutt I had my eyes focused on some beady eyes but they never came. Yes my bike goes 70 mph with no problems even with my 195 pound frame and gear.
It was to late to find a camping spot so I settled on the Days Inn in Burns and snuck my bike into the hotel room to sleep next to me.
I wasn’t going to lose my bike the first night So one day down and 318 miles on the odometer. Tomorrow the Steen mountains and Alvord desert
So the real adventure begins today, I started off driving from Burns to Frenchglen where there is an old historic hotel and a store for drinks and gas. This is where you can start the Steens Mountain loop ride, an easy gravel rode any car could go down. Therer was amazing scenery along the way to the 9500 foot peak but I will let the pictures do the talking,
Heading down the loop I ran into some guys from Icon and Triumph who were destroying a Tiger to show that you can can take it places you probably shoudn’t. I wish i could have seen the triumph rider tearing up those roads but they were taking a break.
The road back to Frenchglen was shut down due to fire but I was heading to Fields to get gas for me and my bike. I had to try one of the famous burger and shake combos I had read about on ADV Rider. They are not to be missed and you wont leave hungry.
I met two other ADV inmates from Seattle riding an 800 BMW and an Aprilia. I forgot their names but they said they were thinking about the T2 but had decided against it since they were not sure their bigger bikes could do it.
The Alvord Desert was very cool and there wasn’t another sole around there for miles. There are several spring fed pools around which I passed by but didn't stop for. I had initially decided to camp near there but after an hour or so of playing I decided I would just push on to Jordan Valley.
There were a lot of backed up cars because of Wildfires since they shut down 95 south of Burns Junction, There is no gas there either so make sure you have some already. The gas station there was shut down and looked like it had been for a while.
The newly cut hayfields brought in tons of mosquitoes on the drive in and it looked like warp speed since so many were hitting my face shield. Even when I stopped there were literally clouds of mosquitoes around me. I have never seen mosquitoes that bad and I grew up in the swamps.
The hotel in town at the gas station was full and coincidentally when I asked the clerk if there was another hotel she asked the lady buying whiskey if she had room. I forgot her name but she was really nice and i followed her to the bed and breakfast called the Old Basque Inn. I believe she was the owner but very nice and even whipped me up a sandwich and soup. I met some of the other guest there and she made up a batch of JV malts which consisted of Pendelton Whiskey, Ice Cream and 7-UP:freaky. What luck I stumbled upon this place. I even received a free breakfast in the morning, and not some microwave eggs and toast free breakfast. It was only $50 for all of it. It wasn't the Hilton but you can’t pay for the kind of hospitality I received.
So tomorrow Day 3 and the start of the TAT, a few folks told me my route was shut down from fire but I would know for sure in the morning. So 306 miles on the odometer and loving every mile.
Looks like a good start to your ride report. Carry on please. :D:lurk
Day 3 and the start of the T2
Woke up and tried to find out if my T2 trip was going to to go up in flames due to well ....fire:kboom:kboom In the morning while eating breakfast I noticed a guy and gal wearing Idaho BLM firefighter shirts who were staying at the Old Basque Inn as well. Turned out they were the pilots who dump the water on the fires but they couldn't tell me for sure if it was out , only that definitely the SE portion of the 3 variants of the T2 route were definitely a no go. They directed me to the BLM facility just west of town, they also couldn't tell me but only that the fire was called the Flint Creek fire:ear Well shit! I am starting off on Flint Creek Rd, not a good sign. I saw the chopper pilots again working on the helicopter and the gal said it was her crew working and to tell them Bonnie said it was ok for me to go through. Awesome , so off I go.
This is what I came for and as I cross over into Idaho on a little paved road which quickly turns to dirt the smile on my face grows, finally all the planning and prep and it’s starting. I see smoke and BLM fire fighter crews...crap! I chat with them for a few and one of them was smoking (pun intended), SHE was a gorgeous, even in BLM Green. I think maybe I need to be a smoke jumper ( sorry no pics fellas) . Thats a tough job they are doing out here and I thank them for their service. Anyhow they said they put the fire out last night but were still working on a few hot spots.
These roads were dirt but in really good shape and I was moving along taking in the scenery. About 1/2 way I learned my first two T2 lessons, follow your GPS even if the route doesn't even look like a road, or even resembles a road. In your head you think. “That can't possibly be the trail, must be this on over here since it looks more like it has been used since the pony express.” The second one was that you will open and close 800 barbed wire fences and be careful most of them have random barb wire tire popper strands laying around near by. Some of the gates were hard as hell to close even with a metal bar for leverage.
At one point on the trail i found a place where anything that looked like a tree was hacked down and left where it fell. It was beautiful country out there and I wasn't sure if that was for cattle, fire, or somebody who just hates trees. Its hard to see but if you look close they are all hacked down.
I made my way back to civilization for gas and lunch and veered off to Bruneau where I picked up gas at Jumbos Beer, Bait, and Bullets. I could have picked up whiskey, worms, AR-15 rounds, and super premium. Nice lady inside told me the better place in town to eat was The Cowboy’s Pastime, so I headed over there for a bite. Talked to a couple of ranchers inside who told me that they thought the rest of my route south was going to be shut down because of fire. I told them about the T2 and I think they were wondering why I would spend my vacation driving roads they drive everyday for work and this was somehow fun?. We discussed motorcycles and he told me about his KLR650 and said anything over a 650 “your just measuring dicks”.
The kid working behind the bar filled up my camelback with one of those fountain hoses, which was nice of her, it looked a little funny.
Adios Cowboy Pastime I have places to be until a giant Road Closed sign with a Deputy Sheriff making sure it was obeyed stopped me just south of Bruneau.:uhoh IThe Deputy was really cool and pulled out several maps and we tried to find and alternate dirt route but it wasn't going to happen. Instead he suggested I take the Thousand Springs scenic byway which Begins at Interstate 84 near Bliss and follows U.S. 30 southeast. Getting on the Interstate sucked badly and at about 100 degrees I had to stop at a rest stop and cool down, I was melting. Since I was running behind and didn't stop to take many pics of the springs but basically hundreds of waterfalls coming out the side of cliffs, but if your ever through that area its worth the trip. Google it and you will see much better views.
I made my way to Rogerson where I got some gas and jumped back on the T2 and into the beautiful sawtooth mountains. I missed all the route in the middle East of Bruneau and West of Rogerson. If someone could comment on that section it would be great. Up to this point I think bigger bikes the likes of the Vstrom could have ridden the trail without a problem. I am only talking about the Northern variant. There is a lot of ride reports talking about the harshness of the two southern routes. I mention this since the guys in Fields I met skipped the T2 because they were not sure their bikes could do it.
I went from melting in the dessert to Aspen trees and wilderness in about 30 minutes, awesome!. I found a camp site at the Porcupine Springs campground in the Sawtooth national forest Great first rate sites and $10 each. They have pit toilets and water but thats it make sure you have exact change for the self pay since no one was around. i had to panhandle for change around the campground which was empty for the most part. A note on the sawtooth area I think there is enough trals to keep you entertained for a week there, I really want to go back another time. So my first real day of the T2 was all I hoped minus the freeway travel. Each turn on the dirt you let out an audible wow as you look around. So Mountain house meal for dinner :potand out like a light.
257 Miles on the odometer and although I missed a big portion of the route I found a decent work around. I read on ADVRider one time “Your attitude is the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure” Who ever said that hit the nail on the head.
The purple was the intended route and the red what I actually did, I will have an * like Barry bonds on my T2 completion. I shall return when its not fire season. Sorry these maps suck its the best I could do.
Good report, there is so many roads to ride out west that you will never ride them all. I was out there this year road hard surface most of the time, but very few 4 lanes. wish i had my klr out there but I will be back lol.
Well...you were in the Sawtooth National Forest, but you weren't quite in the Sawtooth Wilderness (it is W. of Ketchum and Stanley, and MC's are not allowed). You'll have to route more north on the next trip and take a peek at some of that, it's worth it.
Good ride report. Looking forward to the rest.
You'll go far pilgrim!!!
Nice start!! It was fun riding with you, thanks for helping me pick up the great pumpkin from its little dirt nap. Looking forward to the rest of the story!:freaky:ricky
Thanks flashmo I fixed the typo and lost Alaskan my pleasure to awake the great pumpkin from it nap! These ride reports are a lot of work seems about 2 hours of typing for every day of riding.
Day 4 and the Attack of the cow!
Woke up and made some Mountain House freeze dried egg omelet which turned out more like egg soup. The powdered egg dust was like baby powder and got on everything since you have to fish out the oxygen packet first . The jet boil is working like a charm but skip the eggs I'm sticking with oatmeal the rest of the trip for breakfast.
Packed up camp which of course took way way to long after my baby wipe combat shower. Went on a little side tour of the park taking the paved road out of the campground trying to find the road to one of the mountain peaks there. I never found it but an awesome ride through canyon walls with lots of twisties and great scenery. I think it was about 15 miles out of the park and turned around and headed back but it was just as fun coming back. This is my new coffee in the morning.
Now on my way to Oakley. More great riding through this park which is full of quads and razors. This seems the place to be for off road trails. Headed up into the mountains and I take a side trip up a road that leads to the top of a mountain, beautiful views and no one around.
I head back and I'm thinking man this is way easier than I had expected, shit I could have taken my truck up here. I then come to a T intersection and look at my gps. My red line has stopped and now I simply have way point dots on a white background. This is not good, I have some how upset Mr. Hackworth and he is making me pay. I follow what I think is the road to Oakley from my GPS connect the dot exercise and a guy on a Razor tells me I am going the wrong way. Turns out I was on the right road for the T2 but unknowingly I headed back and went the other way. Caution Dangerous Cows ahead!
I had run across a lot of free range cattle and had a few calfs freak out and take off running on me and thought , this will come to a head at some point. I'm moving at 40 plus on a nice wide open dirt road when I see some cows which is nothing unusual. I survey the threat and figure the cows are far enough away and they are aware I'm there so I should be good. As I am approaching a younger cow ( not some cute shaky leg calf mind you , more like a punk teenager) it takes off running freaking out. I start to scrub some speed when he makes an NFL quality cut to his right and darts in front of me. After that I remember sliding on the gravel on my right arm and hip as everything goes slow motion. I watch my GPS fly through the air and on to the ground and that’s all I could focus on was the GPS and thinking follow it , I need that to get out of here. It bounces a few times and I watch where it lands. I stop sliding check all my parts. I am ok, thank goodness I was wearing this mesh armored jacket or my arm would be hamburger! I had some road rash and deep bruising but otherwise tip top. I jump up and watched the cow walk off with her mom and I think she winked at me. I pick up the bike and see what I am dealing with, some bent turn signals, ignition key bent at 90 degrees, cow hair here and there, headlight fairing is broke off, and luckily my fork is straight but handlebars are bent.
My Highway Dirtbike handguards saved me from too much damage and are bent all to hell, those things are bad ass.
Humm gather my thoughts and zip tie the headlight fairing back on and off I go arm throbbing on every bump. Hey at least I am not stranded.If you look at the bovine hit and run crime scene picture you can see the brakes are applied then the front wheel goes sideways. The accident reconstruction tells me that I go airborne off to the left and you can see where I land then slide for a bit.
I make my way into Oakley, get some gas and food. When I ordered my burrito I of course ordered beef. I hang out in Searle’s Gas, Grub, and Goodies for a while and try and download some maps to my I phone since my gps has crapped out on me. I use the “GPS Kit” app as a backup, it works without cell service and lets you download maps to your phone.
Ok looks like my bike is ok now off to the City of Rocks which is a pretty cool place, I wish I had more time there to explore it. The pictures don’t do it much justice but pretty amazing place.
I end up in Almo and find a faucet to refill on water. I head off into nowhere still playing connect the dots on my GPS with no route line and a blank white screen. I somehow go on a f’ed up route ( don’t go this way) that was hard but fun as it went up and down past watering holes for cattle. If you look at my map the black where I went and the purple where I was supposed to go; I was way way off my intended route but still on some random trail that was almost non existent.
I was cooking it so as not to hit the rain that seemed to be following me. If it had rained I doubt I would have made it up the steep hills I was on. This was the only time I really I thought I was in the middle of nowhere since the roads were not even roads but only a faint resemblance of a tire track from a decade ago until I see a sign that announced “Not Maintained”. No shit are you kidding me you put a sign out in the middle of nowhere to let me know that! It seems pretty obvious its not maintained.
Finally I get out of there and exit out on to the I-84 and head to a gas station that is coincidently named "The middle of nowhere”.
I make my way to the Sublett reservoir and try to find the campground. I give up and accidentally camp in what is basically a parking lot. The next day I locate the actual campground which is about a mile or so past the actual reservoir and a really nice place, FYI stay there not the parking lot. I fall asleep after using some antiseptic cream on my banged up arm.
154 Miles on the odometer and the hardest day yet, I had to tell myself a few times “It’s supposed to be hard” you could not do this in a truck. I am still working, the WR250R is still working, so tomorrow another day awaits. Still loving every mile with the exception of the 25 yards with the cow.
I'm glad you came out of that cow encounter OK. :eek1
I'm glad I found this, awesome adventure, great pics.
Day 5, Final push to the end of the T2 and off to Klim
I thought I might feel like a played 4 quarters of football from my cow wreck the day before but to my surprise nothing was hurting that much. I started off the day with a beautiful sunrise and hoping by starting early I could make it to the end of the T2 and on to the Klim Adventure summit that started in Rigby Idaho.:1drink
I had talked to a local guy the night before who said the campground was a few miles past the reservoir and that there was a pipe with spring water coming out of it. He said they used to drink it all the time but recently had been told not to. I had a water filter so I though better safe than sorry. I filled up the camelback and began the final push, wish I had stayed there instead of the parking lot.
More amazing beautiful country through thick forrest, golden fields of wheat and then through some more wildfires with helicopters flying overhead dumping water on the remaining hotspots and hundreds of firefighters still combing the hills.
If you look close you can see a moose, not sure what he was doing in these parts, I didn’t think they were found in the desert.
I finally landed in Pocatello and thought I should have someone check my rear tire and just maybe some chain lube was in order. I found the local Yamaha shop, Sports Motors, nice guys and even let me borrow some chain lube for free. Luckily I ran into a guy who started chatting about my bike and I told him about the T2 trip i was on but I was having trouble finding Hackworth’s house and the flagpole to sign my name to the T2 completion sheet. He knew exactly where it was and pointed me in the right direction. I was still playing connect the dots on my GPS so I wasn’t having much luck. I made it to the Flagpole and felt a great sense of accomplishment but also irritated I had to put an * since i missed a large chunk of the route. I had an even bigger since of accomplishment when I saw how few people had signed the book. I would have liked to thank Hackworth in person for all the work he did to create the route. It was an absolutely amazing trip and one I won’t forget. Bla bla bla now lets finish this thing I still had a ways to go to Wyoming.:wink:
The last part of the ride may have been the best of the trip! :clap
When I landed in Wyoming I wanted to celebrate with a big dinner but that would have put me on the road after dark trying to get to Rigby for the Klim summit so I did my best imitation of a Grand Prix rider and burned it up to Rigby pulling into the Summit and as I figured had the smallest bike there. Met several great folks right off the bat and set up camp and crashed out early after my Thai Chicken jet boil meal since i missed the good dinner since i showed up late.
I think about 250 miles on the odometer , I say think because the GPS went dead 1/2 way through the day. Tomorrow I will ride with the Klim guys and learn what Class A single track is like and what a “recovery” is.
you are so funny...your written version of the Bovine attack is just as good as your verbal one...nice report..looking forward to more pics and of course the toilet seat!:clap
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