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Questor 02-07-2013 07:28 AM

Questor rides the WABDR with CJ designs and friends
Hello everyone.
It's been a long cold winter here in Idaho, and I'm finally getting around to writing up the Ride Reports from last summer.

I did a few three and four day trips last year, such as the Gravelly Mountain range and the Transcontinental Railroad in northern Utah,

But every year I try and take one big trip that lasts several weeks.
This year CJ and I decided that we would ride the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route and time it so we could also attend the annual KTM Adventure Rally in Bend OR.

So in early November CJ and his friend Jeff rode west from Mukwonago, Wisconsin, and met me in Idaho Falls on November 3rd in Idaho Falls. Well, at least one of them did, and that's the beginning of this very interesting story... :D

Overall the trip lasted 12 days and covered 2553 miles.
Highlights included:
- Huge forest fires.

The dramatic scenery of hells canyon.

The beauty of the forests in the state of Washington.

CJ working on his bike, many times. :lol3

and the random carnage associated with trips like this.

So settle in, and get ready for another Questor ride Report. :deal


Cannonshot 02-07-2013 07:36 AM

Hi Questor and CJ! :wave Looks to be the start of a great ride and report! Looking forward to the details - especially about that wounded bike and how you managed it.

Questor 02-07-2013 07:48 AM

Day -1: Saturday November 3rd, 2012.
CJ had crossed the country in two or three days with his highly modified KTM 950.
Not only does it have the Christini 2WD system, he recently added a Rekluse clutch.
So that's 1500 miles in two days, on a brand new clutch technology he was testing.
So no sooner had he arrived, then we push the KTM into the garage and CJ starts checking it for signs of wear.

Happily, everything is fine.
We button the bike back up, do a little repacking, and CJ tells me the story of his trip and the other guy he was traveling with... who didn't make it to Idaho.
(It's a good story, and I'll save it for Day 1 of our ride.)


Questor 02-07-2013 09:20 AM

Day 1: Sunday November 4th, 2012
CJ had been in communication with his friend Jeff who had been traveling with him till he had some mechanical issues. It was his his fuel pump or chain or rear brake or something. Details were vague. The short story was that Jeff slept in a baseball field in Wyoming or something and was not going to get to Idaho Falls in time to depart with us. He would try to meet up with us down the road someplace. We all had the same GPS files, so we knew where we would be each day.

So at 8:00am sharp (Questor likes to be punctual) we were packed, geared up, and ready to depart.
Here's CJ smiling as usual, ready to get started.

And here's my Super Happy Super Enduro.
I'd been prepping this bike for months, getting everything ready for this trip. Eric at Wolfman Luggage had been working on a new luggage system, and I was lucky enough to be the product tester. :D

[EDIT - since Eric just released the details on the new bag system I can now talk about it. I was sworn to secrecy before..
In short, the new Colorado Rockies Saddle bag system is everything I've ever wanted in luggage. It's as big as your traditional "hard luggage" but it's made of 1000 Denier nylon that is sewn. No more welded seams to worry about. It attaches to the bike with many 1" nylon straps and big METAL cam straps. NO more $0.05 plastic fastex snaps being the only thing that holds all your gear to the bike. Inside the big roll top nylon bag is another roll top nylon bag, but this one is seam sealed and waterproof. So the exterior bags deal with the abrasion and offer the strength, and the inner bag offers the waterproofness and the ability to remove it and be portable around camp. These bags are big enough to carry all the stuff you need for a multi-week trip and attach so securely and carry the weight so low, that you hardly realize you have 50 to 60 pounds of camping equipment, tools and spare parts with you. And this is important. You don't want to be worried about your luggage when you're hammering up a rubble filled hillside at 40 mph. So thanks Mr. Wolfman - you nailed it!!!]

Everything looks good. Let's get this party started!
Click link for soundtrack... :dj

First stop, fill the bikes with 10+ gallons of fuel.
It's a long way to the next town...

Thirsty bikes...

And we make sure they get the "real" stuff.

Once fueled up, we hit the road, headed West across the empty spaces towards Mc Call, ID.

The big volcanic buttes in the distance.

In Arco, we stop to check out the Nuclear Submarine... :wink:

And the container that holds Nuclear Waste. :bluduh

Then it's back on the road, headed to some of the really empty places west of Arco.

We leave the pavement, and take a dirt shortcut over the pass to the next valley.

We stop to stretch out legs and find out where Jeff is while we still have cell reception.

The Super Enduro is happy and ready to keep going.

Gosh, I seem to have a lot of stuff on this bike, considering most of this trip will be on dirt roads and trails... but I can't think of anything that isn't essential. But 10 gallons of fuel, and 2.5 gallons of water weighs a lot.

CJ's load is almost as big as mine.

Anyway, we find out that Jeff is moving again. He's not sure what was wrong but his bike is moving again. It could have been water in the fuel, or a clogged fuel filter, but he's moving fast to catch up with us.

We fire up the bikes and head towards Stanley, ID.

On the other side of the ridge, we follow the Snake River.

It had been a really hot and Dry summer, and there had been many forest fires. I'd been following the reports, and I knew we may have to do a detour, but soon we came to a roadblock.

So we turned off the bikes and found out what was going on.
The road was closed due to the forest fire, but they were letting people go through if they followed the pilot car. So we waited and talked to the other folks who were waiting.
I checked out this sweet Corvette.

Soon we were allowed to pass, and headed towards the fire.

It was huge. We could see the smoke for miles away.

We got through, and could see the fire from another angle.

We stopped to get some lunch, and parked the bikes at the restaurant.
(Kinda classy picture...)

While we fed, CJ got a call from Jeff.
He was back where the road block was, and was having trouble again.

Quick! We've got to save him! :pynd
So, risking our own lives, we head back into the forest fire area. :eek1

We find Jeff, and he's moving again, so we turn around and follow him out to safety...

Helicopters are being used to put out the fire.

I took this picture while moving... Not bad!
(I'm pretty good at this. You try taking a picture of a helicopter above you while riding a motorcycle in a forest fire...)

Soon we are back in Stanley, and I meet Jeff for the first time.

Poor Jeff. He's exhausted and emotionally beat.
He's been battling mechanical issues for two days and had ridden 1500 miles. Apparently, last night he rode till he was falling asleep on the bike and just laid down on the grass somewhere in the side of the road and wend to sleep. Then the temperature dropped into the 20's and he froze all night. Welcome to 6,000 foot elevations.

Jeff had also been having some problems with his rear wheel. It was rubbing on the brake, and the chain was having issues.
Upon closer inspection we realized his rear sprocket had been put on wrong at the last motorcycle shop he had stopped at to have it worked on.

So we take the wheel off, and put it back together correctly.

This was the scene.
Three KTM's at a gas station, working on the bikes...
But hey. It's a motorcycle trip. It happens.

But while the rear wheel was on out of alignment, some significant damage had been done to the rear brake. Fortunately, Jeff knew someone in McCall who had a 950, and we hatched a plan to "borrow" his rear brake assembly. :lol3

So we made our way to McCall.
The original route though the National Forest was not possible due to the forest fire, so we had to take a long detour.
On the way out of town we saw the smoke jumper's camp.

and as we rode, we could see how big this fire actually was.

The detour was pavement, but it was still scenic.

It was getting late and I was getting tired, and we still had a ways to go.
The sun was setting in the West, and it was starting to get cold.
But eventually we made it to Jeff's friends house.

Seeing how late it was, and how tired we were, we went to town for dinner.
I was thinking about pizza, but these guys were too classy for that. We went to "the Bistro".

I'm on the Miller Beer budget, but when in McCall...

Small portions of tasty food. :tb

We sat outside, ate food, and had a really enjoyable evening, talking with friends.

Later that evening we went back to Jeff's friend's house, and Jeff talked his friend into letting him have the rear brake assembly of his KTM 950...

I was exhausted, and by 11:00pm, I fell asleep in a warm cozy bed.
Very nice...

Stats for the day:
366 miles. Moving Average 54.0 mph
Moving TIme 6:47. Stopped 4:42 Total 11:29.


LittleWan 02-07-2013 10:09 AM


Originally Posted by Questor (Post 20670415)

I took this picture while moving... Not bad!
(I'm pretty good at this. You try taking a picture of a helicopter above you while riding a motorcycle in a forest fire...)

Nice shot! You are good. :nod
(I've tried it - but, I'm not driving :lol3)

Anyway - Woooo!
I've been waiting for this report!


Questor 02-07-2013 01:27 PM

Day 2: Monday November 5th, 2012
I was awake at 7:30 and happy to be indoors. I knew it had gotten cold last night and I was enjoying the luxury of indoor climate control.

So I got dressed and went around the house looking to see if anyone else was awake. The house was quiet, but when I went outside I found Jeff enjoying the hot tub.

Yeah. That's pretty sweet. Not a bad way to start the day.
I went inside to see what I could arrange for coffee.

Complete with a Ducati cup.
Now I'm happy. :D

So slowly the rest of the crew woke up and we slowly packed our bikes and thanked Frank, our most awesome host. He really saved us. We were rested, and he had helped Jeff get his bike back on the road again by donating his KTM's rear brake assembly.
Our descent into Hells Canyon planned for today would not be possible with only one brake.

So we left our host, and headed into town to get some breakfast.
It wasn't hard.
We found another high class place and another SCORE!

Dude! Eggs Benedict! My favorite! :dg

After stuffing ourselves, we got back on the bikes and headed to wherever the GPS said was the right way.
I should add right now that CJ and I had planned and researched this trip months before, finding all the cool dirt roads to get where we wanted to get to, but still make decent time so we would get to the KTM event later that month. Hells Canyon was a key waypoint.
Along the way we stop to get gas.
When I see this sign, we know this is the place to get pure gas.

Soon we head into the forest, and the GPS routes up this steep rocky, boulder strewn road.
This is the last picture I took before things got too difficult and the road came to an end.

I was too gripped to get any decent pictures...
So we had to backtrack and try another route.
Unfortunately, this alternate route was closed by gates. :kboom

The end result was about three hours of screwing around, and we were no closer to Hells Canyon.
So we went back the way we came in.

Our route to Hells Canyon was paved... and full of cows! :lol3

By now it was around noon, and we stopped for a lunch break had some snacks, and spoke about how the group was feeling.
CJ and Jeff were enjoying themselves, but I was still angry about the closed roads that we got looped into for two hours.
Looking at how happy Jeff and CJ were really helped me change my mood.

They were really enjoying the ride.
I decided that I would try to relax and enjoy the ride too. :smile6

Thanks CJ and Jeff for helping me get my head straight. I can get too intense sometimes.

So after our break, we got back on the route... and yeah.. this scenery doesn't suck. We were riding motorcycles, what was there to complain about?

Soon the road turned to dirt and we were back in the National Forest areas.

We headed west towards Hells Canyon.

and soon we got our first view of the canyon itself.

Hells canyon was carved by the Snake river and is over one mile deep. Most of the area is inaccessible by road.

We begin our decent of the East side of the canyon.

Its a long way down if you go over the edge...

In this picture you can see the small dirt road that goes up the West side of the canyon.

A good view showing the depth of the canyon.

After a while, we made it down to the bottom of the canyon.
It was really hot and we took a moment to cool down and get water for our steep climb up the other side.

After our break, we rode up the canyon, crossed one of three bridges that cross the river, and the rode along the other side to the river to the beginning of our climb out on Hess Road.

It was hot, dry, and dusty, so we gave each other some space to avoid the dust.

And one by one began our climb out to the West rim.
I stopped to get some pictures if CJ and Jeff as they rode out of the canyon.
(Just behind my bike in this picture, you can see theKlein-Schmidt grade we rode down some two hours before.)
Here comes CJ.

And then Jeff.

There goes Jeff, showing off with some mild power slides around the corners.

I get back on the SE, and follow them up the grade.
Near the top I take one last picture.

It's a pretty special place.

We stop and get gas in Enterprise, and then head north looking for a place to camp for the night.

The road had some sweet corners.

Eventually we find a smaller road, and follow it for a while till we find a secluded spot by a river.
Time to set up Camp Snuggly.

The CJ bear retreated into his cave for the night.

I think Jeff he used his KLIM gear as a tent and laid down on the ground somewhere like he often did.
Sure saves weight and set-up / tear-down time.

I remember going to sleep listening to the Coyotes singing on the hillside above us.

Stats for the day:
237 miles. Moving Average 39.2
Moving Time 6:03 Stopped 4:54 Total 10:58


GB 02-07-2013 02:56 PM

Thanks for taking us on another Questor adventure and congrats on the new bike (new to my eyes at least!) :clap


Katoom119 02-07-2013 03:29 PM


Originally Posted by Questor (Post 20670415)

Bloody hell. I knew CJ was a giant but he makes that bike look short.

Loving the report. Mas, por favor.


ProZac235 02-07-2013 05:35 PM

Love the RR

Bob 02-07-2013 05:53 PM

Nice pics, thanks for posting!
That fire in Stanley burned one of my favorite MTB trails :cry

Flashmo 02-07-2013 08:37 PM

IN for another one...

Noisymilk 02-07-2013 09:29 PM

A new Questor adventure! Yay! :clap

Glad to see you posting man. Hope to see you in person again someday.

markbvt 02-08-2013 06:11 AM



bigdon 02-08-2013 06:55 AM


Questor 02-08-2013 07:30 AM

Hello everyone
Hello Friends.
Thanks for chiming in.

Seeing your posts reminds me of all the cool ADV people I know.
And I guess, aside from the cool machines we ride, it's the people I've met over the years that makes this "ADVrider" collective thing so special.

So a special shout out to, GB (the one and only super MOD) Markbvt, that guy I started my motorcycle "lifestyle" with and those crazy nights in the Missile Silo, MILK the low CC master, Bigdon, yeah I know you too, and all you other FF's I know, but haven't met yet.

Be well all.
Keep it together.
It's almost riding season again.


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