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Old 07-16-2012, 04:06 PM   #676
rider914
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Originally Posted by av_mech View Post
Did you take my recommendation and do Ophir and Engineer in Colorado?
I've done Ophir and Engineer several times before. Both great scenic passes.
This year we did Cinnamon and then Hermosa/Scotch Creek down near Purgatory

-M
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:18 AM   #677
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Damn Tyson! I think you better give Hobbs some R & R time to recover from your previous trips. Looks like Hobbs just wants to take a nap!!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:31 AM   #678
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Originally Posted by rider914 View Post
I've done Ophir and Engineer several times before. Both great scenic passes.
This year we did Cinnamon and then Hermosa/Scotch Creek down near Purgatory

-M
So you can see why I recommended them then! I never made it to Hermosa/Scotch Creek, but it was on the list if had the chance to spend some more time in Colorado. Can't wait to see the pics!
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:33 AM   #679
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Damn Tyson! I think you better give Hobbs some R & R time to recover from your previous trips. Looks like Hobbs just wants to take a nap!!!
Hobbes is gonna need some maintenance. I only broke one thing and he is due for a vale check and chain/sprockets.

About half way done with this hitch? Get back here so we can get that Buell in the dirt!
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:11 AM   #680
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Off I go again. Alone and in good company. Even though I find myself good company, I kept thinking of a quote from the movie "Into the Wild" all weekend. "Happiness is best when shared." So true. I wish I had more friends that had this much free time available.

More Challenge points this weekend. My route would take me to the edge of desolation and even a little into it. North Central Idaho and the Western edge of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. That's a lot to type out every time so from here on out it's just "FC".

The forecast for the weekend was gloomy. A pretty good chance of rain the whole time. That's really rare for Idaho in July. But, I'll take it. I really like the rain and being outside in it. Especially on my moto.

I left Boise on Saturday morning after I finally got my shit together. I wasn't excited about going by myself and I had one of those "gut" feelings.

I just ran highway 55 North for about 70ish miles to get out of the city. Traffic wasn't terrible and I didn't wanna do the slow dirt out of town. As usual, I had a big weekend planned.

Rain just as I came into Horseshoe Bend. It didn't last long, but the clouds were there.



I stopped in Horseshoe Bend for fuel and more fuel. I had the MSR bag filled here. I won't see a gas station for a long time. And the one place that I can get fuel, it's not a guarantee. The last time I was in Yellow Pine, you bought a five gallon can or nothing. There's not even a pump there.

Now here's a powerhouse! Twin 25's baby! The truck I think had even less horsepower than the boat. This guy got passed in a double yellow. Just a twist of the throttle and he's shrinking in my rear view.



55 is fun highway. Lots of twists and turns. Not to mention the fact that is runs alongside the North Fork of the Payette River, which just so happens to be one of the premier stretches of whitewater in the country and even the world.

As soon as the highway crests into Round Valley, I turned off onto the dirt.



I had never run this Clear Creek before. There's probably five Clear Creeks in Idaho. New dirt. Always a fun time.





Not too much to report here. Just your average dirt road in Idaho. I'm not in a stellar mood and I still have that "gut" feeling.





I didn't even take that many pics. Only those four in about 25 miles of riding down a new road. I usually take way more than that.

Clear Creek comes out onto Warm Lake Road just a few miles West of Warm Lake and 20 or so miles East of Cascade. It's a super popular destination for people from Boise with monstrosities of trailers, campers, and ATVs.

The road is fun though! Very little traffic when it's not Friday or Sunday night.

It climbs up a pass, which is unnamed on my map. Odd, because it's definitely a pass.







Like I said, FUN ROAD!!



Warm Lake in the distance.



Fresh rain. I missed the drops, but got to experience the fresh smell of the pine trees after the rain.



I turned North on 414 at Landmark and left the pavement behind. The rain made the traction awesome and I was enjoying it.



I didn't do a great job of route planning to my first challenge point. It is Meadow Creek Lookout. I saw that I could get there via Old Thunder Mountain Road. After that, a few dotted lines take me to it. Those are always a big question mark. WTF will it be like?

I found the road with all the usual warning signs. Not maintained, burned area, travel at own risk, yada, yada, yada. Standard operating procedure.



500 yards into this road I'm going, "Holy Fuck! There's NO WAY this challenge point a level 2 ride!" Steep, steep, steep! With very large water bars and lots of loose rock. A guy on a GS that isn't a GREAT rider would be having issues. Mainly with the shit in his pants that was caused by the grade of this road.



I finally found a "kind of" level place that I could stop for a photo. I tried to hold the camera level so it at lest gives some kind of idea as to the pitch of this road. It never seems to illustrate it properly. Trust me. I'm sweating.





Lots and lots of little spurs go off the main road. Nothing named and no signs, of course. I'm constantly checking the GPS to see what the fuck way I need to go. That "gut" feeling is starting to pulse a bit. I continue.



You will see a lot of burned areas on this trip. There were some RIPPING fires that came through here. Some of these areas have burned several times.



The next one is one of my favorites from the trip. This is after it leveled out for awhile and now I saw the "down."



You've got to be fucking kidding me! There's no way this is a level 2 ride. Knocking on 4 with a big bike!

I'm starting to have flashbacks to LONGWATER ROCK in Colorado.

The down is around the nose and into the valley to the left. My challenge point is way the hell up on that ridge to the left and even further out. Serious elevation change to get from here to there.

The flowers were out in full force though. They were at least relaxing to look at.



Not sure what this was, but I am sure it don't run no more!



I turned my ABS off again for only the third or the fourth time in all these miles. It was on hell of a descent. I got to the bottom and the trail that I thought was gonna take me to the ridge was closed by the Forest Service.



Awesome. There is another trail just a bit further down that goes up to the ridge as well. According to the GPS anyways. I sure am glad I bought this GPS. There's no way I'd be out here with out much more route research and phone calls to the FS.

Now the trail I'm on had a sign prohibiting side by sides. That's means no more than 50" and I'm now on an ATV trail.

The good news was, there's been quite a bit of work done. Mainly to all the wooden bridges. They were really cool. There must have been six or seven.











I'm just putting along trying to figure out what the fuck I've gotten myself into, and a guy comes around the corner on an XR200. Much more appropriate bike for this stuff. We stopped and shut off the motors.

This is Jim. He's out by himself clearing trail with a chainsaw just for the fun of it. He's a member of the Treasure Valley Trail Riders and a long time Idaho rider.



We had a good conversation. He did inform me there was no way I was getting up to the ridge though. He was headed back to his truck to get a bigger saw! The road I was headed for was completely blocked by dead fall in this burned area.

He also told me I took the really hard way to get to Meadow Creek Lookout. There is nice forest Road that turns off of Monumental Summit. I pulled out my map and he showed me the thin red line I had missed in my route planning because of the shaded relief on the Benchmark maps.

"Shit."

"What about this way past Riordan Lake? Looks like that's a pretty direct route to get back to the main road and into Yellow Pine to continue on to Monumental Summit."

"I'd do it on my bike, but I don't think you're gonna get through on that. There's a really nasty boulder section at the outlet of the lake and the trail turns into single track before that."

"You'd be surprised where I have gotten this bike in and out of."

"Ok, good luck. I'm not saying you cant do it. Just a fair warning!"

We said goodbye and went the opposite ways. Him back to his truck the way I had come and me into the somewhat known crap that lied ahead.

Just as we said goodbye, it started to rain. And not lightly. I'm also down on the valley floor where there is actually dirt and not just rock like up higher. That means mud.

And here I just put a brand new 705 on the rear. It doesn't rain in the summer here and I'd much rather save those TKCs for the winter when I know I will encounter mud. Fuck.



A little rock crawling with Hobbes. I'm not having too much difficulty yet. There were some rutted out sections I slid around a lot on, but at least I wouldn't have to go back up it.



The road split and I made the wrong choice. I ended up in the gassy/marshy valley bottom near the inlet of the lake. I needed to get out an have walk to see what it was like before I ventured out there to turn around. And I still wasn't even sure at this point that I had made the wrong turn.



Yep, I made the wrong choice. This just goes to a really cool campsite in the trees on the far side.







Hobbes hiding in the trees. It's just raining a little bit. I love this photo.



I'm able to get turned around with out too much trouble. As I'm climbing up to the split, my line is wrong and I get kicked down the way I had come. Now, I have to turn around again. This time with some more trouble. I had to pick up Hobbes once.

I got going down the right trail and it turned to single track in about 25 yards from the split.

On the plus side, the rain subsided.





500+ lb bike, loaded, on single track, by myself, in the rain, with miles to the next person. What the hell am I doing?



I finally had enough when I got to a rough section. The single track was actually pretty buff up until this point. I decided it was best to take off some gear and go for a little walk to investigate the boulder section at the end. I happened to stop at a place that turning around on single track was ACTUALLY an option.

So, I took off some gear and went for a walk. About a mile and half each way. The rain had completely stopped now and it was very peaceful. My thoughts, not so much. But a very nice place to be.









I got to the boulder section and I knew right away it was exactly what Jim was talking about. I walked it several times thinking about how Hobbes was going to get over it. There was just one area that I was going to need some momentum to pop the back tire up a rock. If I don't make it, I'm fucked. The rear tire will be in hole and no way I'm getting that 705 to get any bite on the rock and no way to walk the bike back to take a second run. But, I think I can do it. I'll save the pics for when I get here with Hobbes.

As I walk back the mile and a half I had come, it started to weigh heavy on me what I was about to do. Not only the boulder section, but a few hairy areas on the single track. And then, what was after the boulder section? Jim said it was good, but Riordan Creek continues after the lake and it drops off again. Jim hadn't been there today. The Benchmark shows a solid three more miles of red dotted line past the lake before it even turns into a 4WD road again.

All it would take would be for my front wheel to slip off the track in one of the muddy sections and I'd have a long walk. The slope was such that I'm not sure I could have gotten him back on the trail.

I decided to make a big boy decision and turn back. I'm going to go the long way back. And even that's not going to be easy, but I think I have a better chance that way.

I got back to Hobbes and took a break. I had a great view of the lake and I just sat there for about fifteen minutes pondering, "Happiness is best when shared."

After I felt rested, I pulled all the gear and extra fuel off of Hobbes and put the helmet on for the turn around. This is where I had to do it.



Success. It wasn't fun, but this was the best place I could have picked. I had that clump of trees so I wouldn't roll off the low side. And the high side wasn't too steep.

Gear back on the bike and back the way had come.

Now, if I had been with somebody, HELL YES I would have tried, and succeeded, to make it the rest of the way down this single track, though the boulder field, down more single track, down more 4WD road, and back to the main road.

But not today... This is only the second time I have ever turned around with Hobbes. The first was Red Cone in Colorado. Someday I'll be back to conquer that and someday I'll be back to conquer this.

Now, I just had to deal with the muddy nasty slight hill climb and the really fucking steep rocky hill climb and descent.

This was a fun one. One of those "Fuck it! Punch it!" moments.

This mud was nasty. Especially with the wrong tire choice.



This is actually on an incline and I slipped into that rut. Nothing you can do at that point besides grab more throttle. I made it, but the adrenaline was flowing.



And that wasn't even the bad one. This was the bad one.



But, now the worst of it is over. I knew the climb was gonna be tough, but I got this.

Before it got steep, it got rocky.



Made it! I may have even cracked a smile as I was climbing. I can't remember if I was smiling because I was having fun or if I was able to laugh at my own stupidity. But, at least I turned around.

Meadow Creek LO is on the ridge in the distance and that was the valley I just came out of. My triceps are sore today as I write this from that climb.



Good road again.



The sun is out and I have settled down a little bit.





Back to the main road and I continue to Yellow Pine.

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Old 07-17-2012, 07:49 AM   #681
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Looks like a lot of fun!
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:58 AM   #682
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Good decision making, great pics - now WE don't have to go there!
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:58 AM   #683
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I decided to make a big boy decision and turn back.
I know that struggle. Wish I could have been there to join the big bike craziness. Looks like you pushed hard as always. I really enjoyed the view from here.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #684
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Thumb

I'm off July 24th through the 26th if you want to give it another shot.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #685
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Wow, those was some rough sections on those trails for that bike. I know the the decision to turn around can be a very hard one. You did the right thing. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:09 PM   #686
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I too had to turn around.

About 10-12 years ago I went up to Boulder Basin City in a 4x4 Jeep. Apparently I didn't remember how bad the road was! I tried to go there today on my r1200gsa and finally had to turn around after getting stuck in the creek/road (yes they were one and the same). I thought of you and Hobbes and I wondered if you could make it.

Here is where I first stalled and fell over. It took FOREVER to finally get going again. Either I was in a gravel hole or I was trying to start out by climbing a boulder. Not easy. My clutch started to smell not too good. I finally got going again but stalled and fell over again about 25 feet up.




This is looking forward up,up,up. (Alas, the pic doesn't come close to showing how steep it is.)




BTW, I'm dying to hear how your Cinnabar entry/exit went!
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:01 AM   #687
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I arrived in Yellow Pine tired and unsure of what the next move was going to be. I could continue on to my challenge points and spend the night in the wilderness, or just call it here and get some food, beer, and a campsite a hundred yards down the road.

I pulled up in front of the general store to inquire about fuel and get beer for the night.

A couple was getting out of their Jeep across the street and the guy started chatting me up about how badass Hobbes looked.

He asked if I wanted a beer and my decision was made at that point. Beer and sleep in Yellow Pine it was. It's only 5:30, but I've had quite the adventure for the day and I'm good with calling it here. Besides, these guys seemed really cool.

I finished the beer that Will bought me and I went inside to return the favor and came out with a six pack.



Let the drinking begin. Will is a super chill guy and his girlfriend is a sweetheart. His girlfriend's is Holly Sue.

So there we sat. Mixing it up with locals drinking on Main Street, Yellow Pine. This place has a really cool vibe and I was happy to just chill.

A lady local had a few puppies for sale in the back of her spot ute. They were cute as hell and garnered a lot of attention.





The folks in the next pic were some of the nicest people. Steve, on the left, owns the general store and the tavern/restaurant next door with his wife. Next is Kieth and his wife. I forget his wife's name, but it was very unique. They owned some cabins in town and had convinced Will and Holly Sue to stay the night with them.



I kept insisting that I would sleep in my tent for the night, but Keith seriously looked like it hurt his feelings when I told him that. They offered it to me for free! How could I say no to that?

Of course, I couldn't stay for totally free and I plan to leave some cash on the bed.

More beers and time passes. It passes in the most pleasant way. I like it here. I like where I am and I like the people I am talking to.

While sitting here I noticed I had a bit of a problem though. I knocked the side stand safety switch off on one of those rocks. That's pretty damn important.

I fiddled around with finding out what position the switch needed to be in to allow the bike to run and once I found it, I zip tied it out of the way. I'll cut it off and splice it when I get home.





About three hours of drinking and conversation has passed, so it's about 8:30. A black truck shows up with three guys and one of their sons. They join the party and hang out with us too.



Hobbes hanging out by the general store with a beautiful sunset in the background.







It's about 9:30 now and the store has closed and the locals have gone home. Not us though. Me, Will, Holly Sue, and the four guys in the truck are hanging out drinking on the porch of the abandoned tavern across the street. Getting dark now and everyone seems content right where we are.

Will broke out a few snacks. Salmon, crackers, cheese, and apples. What a great combination!



In rolls the rain. Hard and steady. My tent would have done fine, and rain on a tent is my favorite sound in the world, but I'm glad I'm in a cabin tonight. It's seriously raining!

Just a sample of the conversation.







Will in the blue jacket.



One of the guys from the truck is on fire and is keeping us all in stitches. He was one funny guy. This was such a cool and random hang out night.

The down pour continues. This is really rare in the mountains of Idaho in July. I'm totally enjoying it. The guys are all a little bummed though. This rain will muddy the waters and ruin fishing for tomorrow.

Now, it's gotta be 11:00. We are still thoroughly enjoying ourselves and two pick up trucks roll into town. FAGs. That's Fish and Game. They had gotten a report of two guys in a black four door pick up putting salmon in a cooler. The salmon are protected and catch and release only here.

They thought they had their guys. Right from the get go. The guys got separated and pulled into the trucks for interrogation. It took forever! I even got questioned. I was like, "Dude, I'm on a motorcycle, I'm still in all my gear, I don't even own a fishing pole, and I just met all these people."


I had to raise my hand like a little kid and ask if I could go pee. They got a laugh out of that at least. They didn't laugh when I asked how they felt about being FAGS. Sometimes I should just keep my mouth shut when I have been drinking and am around law enforcement.

Finally, it is all cleared up after one of the guys takes them to the camper so they can look in the coolers there.

We decide it's time to head to the cabin a few blocks down.

Once there the drinking continues and out comes the whiskey.









I made some food and the guys took off. It was one fun night Yellow Pine. Time to call it a day.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:33 AM   #688
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Yellow Pine

I loved Yellow Pine too. I'm SERIOUSLY considering going with you to the harmonica festival but I just don't know if I can take the time off work. :-(
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:24 AM   #689
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Glad you have a fun time. It's great when things like this 'just happen'. They didn't have to hose you down before they let you stay in their cabin?

The Harmonica Fest, that would be my cup of tea. Hope ya all get to go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4WiDU3KM1A
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:52 AM   #690
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Badass night!
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