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Old 08-16-2011, 07:17 PM   #121
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Thanks for the positive reinforcement.

Saturday morning got there early as we had a bit of trouble sleeping. Karma. Layla's newfound friends showed up as scheduled. They left a car in our campsite and split. I was gassed up and on it by 8 a.m. My plan was to head up to Steamboat Lake and hit two motorcycle singletracks, 1156 and 1147, that formed a loop. Then head back to Steamboat Lake, gas up, and head toward FR 500, which crosses the Continental Divide and drops down into the Encampment in Wyoming, maybe grab a burger at the Mangy Moose, and head back toward Steamboat via the Little Snake. What a lame ass plan. These boys from Colorado Springs set me straight. I must be living right.

On the way out to Hahn's Peak and Steamboat Lake. Flowers!



OK, so the first part of my plan was good. 1156, a.k.a. Prospector Trail is the shit. Props to whoever cut out the million logs of deadfall. The beetle kill of the lodgepole pines is of biblical proportions here and Loveland Pass.




This trail had meadows....







Whoever cut the logs did it with minimum width in mind. Please keep your hands and feet inside the car at all time during the ride.





forests...



mountain passes




So I'm putting along enjoying the spectacular scenery and AWESOME variagated singletrack trail when I meet this fellow on an orange bike coming the other way. "Have you seen a group of guys?" he asked. "No. I haven't seen another soul since I left the lake." We were discussing the budget impasse when the sound of someone riding the wheels off a four stroke shattered the peace of the forest primeval. It was Mark, the lead guy of the group this guy was looking for. Along came the others a bit later. They had words about ditching the first guy because he was late, and I bid them adieu before fisticuffs started.

OK, so a true date with destiny would be meeting the fellow with the EE sticker coming the other way on a singletrack because he is *flying*.



The dude on the Kawasaki would prefer to live in North Dakota than Tioga County, PA. Takes all kinds I suppose.

Well, Mark caught and passed me on Nipple Peak trail. One of the other guys hit one of the aforementioned logs and knocked his radiator hose loose on his 525. I had a more substantial zip tie than they had which sort of worked as a hose clamp. This also involved anti Euro shit talking from the Honda contigent.

Mark: "We're heading north, maybe knock out a singletrack into Wyoming and then do the Continental Divide Trail. Which way you headed?"

Me: "Can I join you?"

Mark: "Well you kept up on that section. You guys got a problem if Gaston joins us?"

Everyone: "Nope"



The only hitch to this plan is gas and water. Mark said they were going to ride 60 or so miles, so gas will be OK with my spare quart. However, I only had 600 mL of water at this point. That's truck driving.


So the photographic evidence gets a bit sparse here since these guys are ON IT. They're not even motorcyclists. "We mainly snowmobile. Come over here in the winter a few times per year."

We did the 1149s and 502 northward toward Wyoming. Killer trails and jeep roads.

These guys are OK. They stop for lunch. The sandwich that Layla made for me was the envy of all.





North Routt, duh.




How are these people like mushrooms? They are fun guys.





We got controlled by an agent of the USFS who was bristling with weapons. He was most impressed with my NC tags. One of the dudes didn't have the appropriate plate/sticker, but he let him go with the promise that he would affix the appropriate plate/sticker before he set out again. That wouldn't happen in Grandfather.

Whiskey Creek Trail 1197 starts the climb onto the Continental Divide and goes through some nasty swampland before it starts to climb some rocky ascents. Brown Mountain is good training.




The Continental Divide! Not just crossing it, but riding along the crest.







Wow, if we're on the Continental Divide, why is that mountain over to the left so much taller than this one?




Because this mountain peters out and you have to mount that one. That was the "price of admission." I busted my ass on a nasty, rocky climb. Those guys were long gone, but they were waiting for me after I pushed and huffed and puffed my way up there.




We headed back down off the divide here.




We got back down to the main route, and those guys decided that they were done for the day. Lightweights, sheesh. Mark said that if I was headed back to Steamboat Lake, I should hit Ellis Trail. Good suggestion. Ellis was doubletrack and very fun.




I wended my way to Hahn's Peak to check out the motorcycle singletrack that ascends Hahn's Peak. I would like to see someone ride that. It was very steep and littered with loaf of bread sized rocks. Juha would be disappointed in me. I rolled through Hahn's Peak village and into Clark on fumes.










Hahn's Peak




A few years ago, we did a paddling trip to Steamboat and camped for several days on CR 60. Out of sentimental curiosity, I cruised back there to see where that road ended up. While we were camped there a number of dual sports rolled past. Big Creek Valley is spectacular and butts up against Mount Zirkel Wilderness.










I only got 140 miles in for the day, but my ass was thoroughly kicked. I dropped my bike 3 times and my elbow still hurts. I was seeing things on the ride back to Steamboat. Layla brought pizza back to camp. The kids were flashing strobelights. She spoke highly of Cross Mountain Gorge. It was all pretty surreal. We're not even out of Colorado yet!

Routt County rules!
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:24 PM   #122
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Excellent work Agent Gaston! Keep the goods coming.

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Old 08-17-2011, 06:06 PM   #123
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What an outstanding day. Maple Sally and BM will never be the same.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:47 PM   #124
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If I am overdoing it with the nonmotorcycling portion of the report, I apologize.

Our plan was to go for a bicycle ride up at Rabbit Ears Pass, but we decided to pack up the bikes and head out to Cross Mountain again.

This was parked in front of the Golden Cavvy in downtown Craig, CO.



Layla would do another float trip, and I would tool around the desert out there and nurse my hangover that way. The very nice people that she was going boating with offered me a spot on a raft. I dropped her off at the put in and drove to the takeout and unloaded the DRZ. When we were out there a few years ago, the road took you basically out to the canyon rim. No more. It is a "Wilderness Study Area" and closed off.

As you can see, the Yampa cuts a cool canyon through Cross Mountain.




The directions to the putin are sort of funny: Head west out of Maybell and turn right at the tree.







I admire these folks. They were heading out for another run and based their shuttle logistics on having time to drink beer while the shuttle was being run.





The change in scenery from Steamboat to Dinosaur is pretty dramatic.




Utah is not what I expected, nor is it normal, I think. It rained a lot of the time, and everything was green.



We arrived in Salt Lake City in time for dinner. Our hosts had much in store for us, so we had to have a private moment with our credit cards in Park City first thing in the morning before R got home from work.





R's enthusiasm for today's ride was a force of nature. No time to put your bikes together. Take mine and let's go. Back to Park City for the Wasatch Crest Trail.



















We had driven through some pretty heavy rain on the way back from outlet shopping. Here is the result.




The next morning, K's vacation began, and the four of us headed back to Park City. This time we were going to John's Trail and Step Trail. Fun stuff.



















If you find yourself in Salt Lake City, Lamb's Cafe & Grill is not to be missed. It's right in the downtown. Time to pack it up and head to Idaho in the morning. Alas, the DRZ hit the ground only for an ice run and to gas up in Utah. Speaking of, that bike runs like stink at altitude on 87 octane.


How much fun can you pack into 2 Toyota Tacomas?

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Old 08-19-2011, 07:57 PM   #125
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I was at their place last time I was in SLC. It was R's birthday. See Mud flap at all? Nice report brother.

Peace

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Old 08-20-2011, 08:35 AM   #126
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We got to Sawtooth City about 4 in the afternoon. I got my bicycle assembled and we hit up Fisher Creek Loop. It is a few miles of uphill followed by some of the most amazing singletrack trail I have ever seen. I'm pretty sure I go faster on the bicycle than on the DRZ. There were a few climbs on the way out.



http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...ostcount=21493



The next morning I got up early and hit the same loop with the DRZ. I froze my tailfeathers off hauling it down ID 75.









I got back in time for the delicious breakfast that was being prepared. We packed lunches, serviced bicycles, and headed out for an experimental shuttle ride.

The photos and narrative of that ride can be found here:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...ostcount=21494



Two bike rides in one day. Sweet.


The next day was a "down" day. We did bike maintenance and laundry.




Antler drying racks




K went for a 30+ mile bike ride, R went to Ketchum, and Layla went over to the South Fork of the Payette to go paddling. Me, I went for a bike ride. Pole Creek is right across the highway from the cabin and is the portal to amazing riding as it turned out.

First stop: Black Rock Mine RWC from the Northwet forum recommended this ride, and it worked out logistically.























I still have time before my check in rendezvous, so I will check out Germania Creek Trail.




Within a mile, I had to negotiate things that required getting off of the bike.




I'm also getting off and scouting sections to make sure that the sketchy cliffside stuff leads to someplace where I can turn around if I have to .











I encountered these two fellows from Salt Lake City who were on a 300 KTM and 450 Yamaha. They had come from Fourth of July and down Germania and were returning. They said that Germania had several big, over the tops of boots crossings. The crossings were pretty deep up at the top. Hmmm. They were so tired that the fellow on the Yamaha tipped over kickstarting his bike, taking out his friend as he tipped over.

I gotta get back to Sawtooth City anyway, so I turned around and headed back down Pole Creek. No one at the house, so I headed out and caught up with K on Valley Road. She was doing fine and didn't need anything, so I headed back and gassed up and ate lunch.




My plan: Ride up to Fourth of July Lake and drop down into Germania and out. If I have time, I will check out Grand Prize Gulch.


Fourth of July Lake




The pass between Fourth of July and Washington Creek























I made it to Germania Creek with ease. This gave me some time to check out Grand Prize Gulch. The top of the gulch is the divide between Pole Creek and the East Fork of the Salmon. I went far enough out to know that I could get over the pass fairly easily.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:22 PM   #127
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The plan today was to drop off R & K at the top of Fourth of July Creek, so that they could cross over to Washington down to Germania on their bicycles. I would return to the cabin, jump on the DRZ, and head out Grand Prize Gulch and see what it was like to go to Bowery.

Some animals were harmed in the production of this ride report.










A natural arch on the Pole Creek side










"Oh my wing. I think my wing is broken. Oh me. I don't think I can fly." Some animals were not harmed in the production of this ride report.




Her little bitties were fledged and hiding in the bushes.




This would be a killer campsite, especially if you had a fishing rig.







Some East Fork sweetness.








Gaston, what do you think of the East Fork of the Salmon Trail?




Bowery, Idaho.




The float plan that I had filed was to return westward on Germania Creek. Hey if those guys who can't even kickstart their bikes can do it....








The creek crossings were deep as advertised. They failed to mention the really sketchy off camber rock slab that you had to cross. Germania Creek trail is hard and stuff.







At some point I recognized the spot where I had met those two the day before. I made it! Now turn right and head up to Fourth of July.


I love the watercolor rendition of the thistle on each petal of Nuttal's Sego Lily.




Washington Creek Trail, going upward. I can't seem to straighten things out.






Back up to the White Clouds





Washington Lake.




I emerged at Fourth of July Trailhead. A number of hikers extended their thumbs for rides. I signed in at the trailhead manifest and headed off for a Fisher Creek Loop again. What the heck.

The bridge crew was cranking Hendrix and getting it done.




I crossed the valley and headed upstream.




I rode into Alturas Lake and headed up the moto singletrack that just disappears on the Sawtooth NRA MVUM. It turns out that you can go over the top into the Boise and Payette basins from there. The cross country moto camping possibilities are just nuts here.




I ran out of gas part way up the hill, and I was running out of time, so I turned around. I was rewarded with this view of the the Alturas Lake Creek valley.




I rolled into the cabin before the "start worrying" time. We made dinner and racked out.






I hesitate to say that this was the best motorcycle ride I have ever done, but it was the best motorcycle ride I have ever done. About 65 miles of singletrack.

Tomorrow, we go riding again.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:03 PM   #128
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I have only a couple more daytrips to report on, and they're short.


After the Grand Prize bicycle ride ( http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...ostcount=21512 ), we had to leave our cabin. I hope to return some day. What a great deal.

We drove over to the East Fork of the Salmon to do another bicycle ride. We did the Little Boulder/Big Boulder Creek loop. Wow! What a fantastic bicycle ride. I had intended to check this loop out on the day I did Germania, but the "Adventure Map" had a double diamond on one part of this loop and a single diamond on another part. I was a little put off by this. Our hosts said that they also saw this and didn't understand it. I came to understand the single diamond, but I still didn't see what would warrant a double diamond.

As soon as we got back to the campsite, I was on it. I set off in the clockwise direction.

Castle Peak and Merriman Peak








Here is the rocky, muddy section that gets the single diamond. I had to paddle through here some, but it wasn't too bad.








Here is where we find out why it gets a double diamond. There are two lines through the creek. The upstream line is deep. The downstream line is not deep until the opposite shore. The bridge?





Just for the record, I got this far on my own.




It looks like it's out, but it's not. A fellow we met on the bicycle ride with a KLR was still there and helped me get it over the top.




Frog Lake would be another really nice place to set up camp.







I got back to camp, and the ladies had headed out in search of Bowery hot spring. I gathered firewood and drank Jack Daniel's.

In the morning R & K headed back to Salt Lake City. They weren't even out of the campground and we were missing them.

Before leaving, R took a spin on the DRZ. Maybe next time, he'll have a WR 250.





Layla took off for a wet hike of a canyon of the East Fork. I headed out for Railroad Ridge.

Another natural arch.





Livingstone mine. I regret that I didn't get a close up shot of the tipi covered with corrugated steel.






Railroad Ridge is tundra.




My original intent was to follow the motorcycle singletrack down French Creek out to the highway. I met my KLR friend again. He set me straight on which tracks to follow to get there. There are all kinds of spurs off of the main road, and it's not always clear which is which. He also suggested that I forget that and head up to the top of Railroad Ridge for a walk to "the best view in the Sawtooths."

I came to the first gate on the way to French Creek. At first the cows ran away, but when I got off to open it, they came crowding back.

Ignore that sign. They just put those there.





At this point, I'm not going to take responsibility for a damn cow stampede. I struggle with these barbed wire gates as it is. On to Railroad Ridge!





According to the fellow with the KLR, I should ride up to yonder saddle and hike the 600 vertical feet to the top.

I started an antelope stampede.




I prolly knocked out about half of the 600 feet. I'll be honest: I got scared. The "trail" gets really steep, and it's not walking any more. Also, it's over 10,000 feet, and I'm stopping every 30 seconds for sucking wind. You can just make out the DRZ down there.












The Chinese Wall I ate my lunch here and watched the cloud shadow show.












Anyway, our stay in Idaho is over. We're off to Bozeman to see another old friend. He never returned from Bozeman, so it must be pretty good.


I also took my fifth level master picnic-fu test and passed!




Thanks for looking!
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:06 PM   #129
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Dang it Gaston, you just had to show the world our well guarded secrets I am truly glad you had a memorable time. WOW, I am impressed you rode Germania Creek; Good for you!!

Now when you get home brag up Wyoming but tell everyone Idaho is so, so
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:18 PM   #130
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Thanks Gaston. Well Done. Soothing.

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Old 09-13-2011, 04:39 AM   #131
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A few weekends worth of trips.

Wilkes County



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Old 09-13-2011, 04:40 AM   #132
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Madison County, where the roads are twisty and the residents use both sides of the yellow line. Be careful!







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Old 09-13-2011, 04:41 AM   #133
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Haywood County




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Old 09-26-2011, 04:08 AM   #134
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:11 AM   #135
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High water weekend

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