Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Portland...the newer one on the left side.
John has a habit of waking up before light, but the trains made this a habit for all of us. Still I managed to stay in my tent until the early morning light told me it was time to get movin. John already had a shower, some coffee and was raring to go. As a pattern for the next few weeks, he got experience waiting on me to get my shit together. Hey, I’m on vacation after all. We loaded up our camping gear, said goodbye to our hosts Eddie and Paula and headed to a nearby gas station to fuel up.
Eddie had given us some route suggestions, and I had programmed a route full of “Squigly” lines to get us to Bear Lake, the official start of the UTBDR. The two routes had a lot in common so we took off. Soon after getting out of the Valley (BuckSkin Road, Hoot Owl and Rapid Creek), I began to see the advantages of this part of Idaho. Nice cottonwood groves and deep canyons revealed tons of off-roading opportunities. We, however, pretty much just wanted to get down to Bear Lake and get the UTBDR started.
We stopped at Lava Hot Springs after an hour or so for a nice Breakfast Buffet which, although crowded, really hit the spot. Funny thing was, young Jungle Man, had misplaced his wallet. A frantic search later, revealed no wallet, last time he saw it was back in Pocatello at the gas station, and since he had no pockets, he wasn’t sure where it ended up. So Jessie ran back to Pocatello, why we made some calls to find the number of the gas station (no wallet though). We decided we’d backtrack and give him a hand. John rode on the shoulder on the wrong side of the road and I kept a look out for oncoming cars and was a second set of eyes. At 25 mph, it was a long ride back to Pocatello. Alas, no wallet was found, but Jessie did manage to build up his Karma bank by picking up some hitchhiker dude out in the desert (he’ll have to tell you why – I cannot confirm if a reach-around was provided or not ;) Fortunately, Jessie had the forethought to split his cash up, and even if he lost it all we were still making this trip happen.
Lava Hot Springs
Floating Down the Crick in Lava – That plus the waterslides and pools looked like FUN!
Back in Lava for a second time, we then try to follow my pre-programmed route, but run into a private road almost immediately. So, screw it, we jumped back on the Hwy and decided to slab it down to Bear Lake.
We climbed a pass right out of Lava and as typical for the Trip, John sped off (he’s got 400cc on Jessie and I), but Jessie managed to lock on to him. As we decended the pass I was nearly all out on the little 250 only to have my Temperature indicate light come on. Great, a mechanical on the first day. As I ease up on the throttle the light goes out, so I take it easy for a bit. We dodge a few rainstorms and finally get gas in Montpelier (nice little town). Next stop Bear Lake.
John in Montpelier – note the huge 5th wheel in the background also towing a Ski Boat. How’d you like to try backing that rig up?
Bear Lake has a beautiful color but is quite a bit more developed than we thought. We tried to find a place to camp by the lake, but decided to run up the hill to get on the UTBDR after not finding a suitable spot. We were a little giddy by the time we found the first section of off-road, and less than a ¼ mile later found a spot in the trees we would call home for the night. Dry camp, but were on the route…finally.
Hey guys this looks like fun [followed by two drops]
Big Sky, Big Lake
Our first “stealth camp”
John’s got a tiny one…
But Jessies is tiny-er. Also note the wierd fungus in the background, wonder what that was?
My “Big tent” is still packed as I’m enjoying a cold beer instead (Thanks to Jessie hauling our cold beer for us each day in a little Kelty Binto Cooler). That’s what happens when you pack light ;)
Tomorrow…a full day on the UTBDR!
Scott_PDX screwed with this post 08-11-2012 at 08:48 PM