A Stack of CASH and 2 WEEKS to Myself

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by 413.45, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
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    My favorite picture of the trip, (a lame attempt to suck you in).

    I actually got back on the 5th of May and will write this RR from my photos and notes from the trip.

    Technically this trip started years ago when I bought a farkled V-Strom from a friend who was moving out of the country. Shortly after I found ADVrider.com and my desire for exploring new roads on motorcycles was born. After 7 years of short 1,2,and 3 day trips, I was ready to get out and see some new country.

    I started planning in January. I knew that work would start getting slow around the end of April, and taking 2 weeks off wouldn't be difficult. I had always wanted to go up into British Columbia and Washington but was worried the weather might still be a little (winter) up there in April. I had been saving up surplus cash for awhile so the trip was already financed. Around the middle of April I got a new rear tire so I wouldn't have to worry about changing it on the road. I got a map of the northwest from Barnes and Noble to plan a general route. I kept checking the weather and it seemed a little warmer than average (thanks global warming) so the plan was still toward NorthWest.

    I had everything packed and was ready to leave on the morning of April 22.
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    But a friends new fence installation needed a helping hand so I didn't end up riding out of town 'til Tuesday April 23 at 3:00 p.m.
    #1
  2. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    April 23, 2013
    St. George, UT - Eureka, NV 310 miles

    Finished fence, hurried home, showered, rolled the bike out, one last mental check of gear, texted goodbye to wife, (its ok, she never gets annoyed that I'm riding while she's working:evil), rolled out of driveway at 3 pm.
    :clap FINALLY!
    Hwy 18 North to Enterprise, UT. Hang a right and go up through the farms to Hwy 56. Then West to Panaca, NV. Forgive me for no pics, I have traveled these roads more than I care to remember and was only trying to escape the vortex of the 300 mile radius that has so far been 90% of my 70,000 miles on a motorcycle.
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    Figured I would take the "standard" (picture at every state line) but failed later on in trip.
    After Panaca, NV. I turned North on Hwy 93. If you have ever ridden in NV, you know they have excellent pavement, but most of the roads are very long and straight! Hwy 93 is no exception. The wind was blowing hard out of the Northeast which made it even worse. I just tucked in, twisted the throttle and tried to tell myself that the vortex wouldn't keep me this time.
    At Pioche, NV. I realized over all the years I had never driven through the town, only around it. Left turn thru Pioche. If you've driven by Pioche on the Hwy and wondered about the big rusty buckets suspended by cables over the Hwy.
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    Hwy 93 for 1.5 hours.
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    Old building on side of road.
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    Wheeler Peak 2nd highest peak in NV. 13,061 ft
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    At least somebody was happy about all the WIND.
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    #2
  3. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Take your time. Vortex re-entry can sometimes be as tricky as the escape.
    #3
  4. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    Day 1 continued:
    A few miles out of Ely, I took a small paved road to Cave Lake State Park. It was 7 miles of pavement then turned to dirt, after a few more miles of dirt road I figured something was wrong, I should have been to the park already. No cell service and would be dark in couple hours so I turned around. When I got back to the pavement I realized I had missed the turn right there, rode east for 1/2 mile and there was the lake.
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    Cocktails, Cannons, and Bathtubs! 4th weekend in June if your interested.
    As I was getting this pic, a hillbilly looking dude pulls up on a atv. He tells me the road goes past the lake and continues into the next valley. I tell him it sounds interesting but I'm trying to get to Eureka b4 dark. He leaves a few moments b4 me and I was thinking I would have to pass him but he takes that atv right down the pavement, bouncing off the limiter. I followed him at 50mph even through 35mph turns. My temp gauge showed 52 degrees and this guy had no helmet, no gloves, no googles, no windscreen, only a worn out heavy flannel shirt, and it was unbuttoned! before we got back to hwy 50, he turned into his camp and I waved and continued on.

    Turned left in Ely, NV and took Hwy 50 to Eureka, NV. Ely is a neat old town with a narrow main st., walled on both sides by old hotel/casinos.
    Hwy 50 (known as the loneliest hwy) west was more long, empty, straight roads with the exception of a 10 mile stretch in the middle that consisted of 35-45 curves on beautiful pavement. After the drought of curves I had experienced all day, I was tempted to turn around and ride that stretch again, but with my late start and fear of the vortex, I continued on.

    Rolled into Eureka just as it was getting dark, went straight to Best Western. I've stayed there b4 with the family. Decent place. I walked in and waited a few minutes for the receptionist to finish her phone call, only to have her tell me they are booked up except for a suite at $140/night. A Tuesday night in Eureka in April?? (ouch, maybe if my wife was here) I was dreading finding a camp in the dark with the wind and the temp's that would drop down in the 20's. My stack of cash was still tall and $140 was starting to be considered when she gave me the # to a place across the street a little farther north. Ruby Hill Motel. I called and they had a room available, very cheap. I was a little worried about what it would look like. I rode over. It is a very old place, but the room was surprisingly clean and tidy and everything worked, even though it looked like it hadn't been remodeled in over 40 years. I asked about eating and she said everything closed by 8. It was 7:45 so I just cooked a Mountain House Meal out of my kit.

    FYI Ely looked to have a lot more motels, food, etc and I should have stayed there.
    #4
  5. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    April 24th
    Eureka, NV - Ketchum, ID 424 miles

    I woke up and milled around waiting for the sun to warm things up a little before going out and starting the bike. The bike said 29 degrees, it had to turn over several times before it finally started. Glad I didn't camp. It was a cold ride up to Carlin, NV. More NV. Hwy's but it was a peaceful, quiet morning. My mind was wandering and it was starting to sink in that I was actually doing this trip. I was getting excited. Today I would ride roads I'd never been on before. See things I hadn't seen before.
    At Carlin I rode the freeway (20 miles of necessary evil) over to Elko, NV
    By Elko the temp had climbed to 50 degrees and it was looking like a great day.
    Hwy 225 north out of Elko was a fun highway for the first few miles. Curves and hills and curves on hills. But then the Hwy turned into a long straight ribbon of asphalt surrounded by sagebrush, and of course a cold wind was blowing out of the north again. There were scattered ranches across the desolate country. The Hollond Ranch had a neat mailbox.
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    I passed the Wild Horse Reservoir and was just about to turn around to get pic's when the road dropped into the canyon below it. Suddenly the best road of the day was flowing along under my skidplate. The road followed the canyon for several miles. With steep rocky walls on one side and the river on the other.
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    The canyon opened into a small town called Mountain City, NV
    Where they have a "Bridge to No Where"
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    The road continues on to Owyhee, NV. Appeared to be a reservation. As I was idling through town I see a long haired guy wearing several layers of jackets and ski pants walking along the hwy. He see's me and starts pumping his arm like a kid trying to get a Semi truck to honk. I gave a bleep-bleep on the horn and continued on. A few hundred yards farther there is a parked KLR with ammocan luggage and some kind of bundle on back. I decided it must belong to the "honk" guy and figured they were locals. I got my stateline pic at the end of town.
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    I continued north toward Bruneau, ID. Hwy 51 seemed like a high mesa, very flat covered in sage brush. There were no trees and the wind was fierce. The mt. peaks in the distance didn't look any higher than I was on that mesa.
    The hwy dropped down into Bruneau and crossed the Snake River. Unlike Evel Knievel, I used the bridge.
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    I came along this sign and was wishing I was on the KLR I had passed.:D
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    #5
  6. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    Rolled into Mt Home, ID and stopped at the Chevron (corner of hwy 51 & 67) for fuel. There was a little Mexican grill inside so I decided to have lunch. I highly recommend ordering/eating lunch here if you're ever in the area. The food wasn't bad either. As I'm eating I look outside and see the KLR from Owyhee pull up to the fuel island. He fuels, then parks and sits on the sidewalk by my bike and smokes a cigarette. I hurry through my food and head outside. Turns out "Seth" wasn't a local. He is taking the slow route to Alaska. He spent the winter as a ski bum in Vail, CO. Bought the bike and rode to Moab, UT where he had just spent the last few weeks. He was heading to Boise that afternoon to stay with some friends for awhile. We wished each other good luck and went our ways. I'm still kicking myself for not getting a picture. I rode into Mt. Home looking for Hwy 20 but never saw any signs, so I just headed east on a main road and it turned out to be hwy 20. Took hwy 75 north up through Hailey, ID. and into Ketchum.

    Ski resort in Ketchum
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    Ended up deciding on the Lift Tower Lodge. $80 but I had a room on the opposite side from hwy (quiet) and the room was small but very nice.
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    The lady at the lodge recommended La Cabinita Restaurant so I unloaded the bike and rode up. The place didn't look like much, but the food was pretty good.
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    After dinner I parked on the main drag and walked up and down the street to stretch the legs.
    It's a neat little town, but other than skiing and eating, didn't seem like much else to do. Fishing?
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    History of the chair lift out front.
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    #6
  7. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    April 25th
    Ketchum, ID - Flathead Lake, MT 416 miles

    On the road by 8:30, it was 34 degrees. I headed north on hwy 75. It wasn't long before I was in looking at tall snow capped mountains with a scattering of tall Pine trees. A river was flowing alongside the hwy. To me this is Beautiful. Some people love the desert, some the rainforest, but I love meandering asphalt roads over and through this type of country.
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    When I saw this ridge, I understood. "Sawtooth Mountains"
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    I continued up hwy 75 to Stanley, ID. (a very photogenic town)
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    From Stanley, hwy 75 continues alongside the Salmon River for miles and miles.
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    The road follows every curve of the river.
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    Blue skies and very little traffic. The temperature had climbed into the 60's. Rolling along at highway speeds following the gentle curves of the river. It was almost perfect.
    When people tell me they "don't understand the whole motorcycling thing" or question why I ride that "Murdercycle". I think it's because they've never ridden hwy 75 on a Thursday morning in April.

    I was getting hungry so I stopped at a place called Sawtooth Station. I think it was a few miles before Clayton. They had a grill going so I ordered a burger. An older gentleman, ( I think his name was Clayton), owned the place. He had owned it back in the 60's, but it had changed owners a couple of times. Then sat vacant for awhile. They got it going again back in 2002. He had two sons working with him there. They cooked me a great burger. Great family business ran by Great people. I thought I had some pictures of it but I cant find any, except this Jeep in the parking lot. :wink:
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    #7
  8. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    And it was. I still remember the feelings/emotions crossing the windy NV desert, once again, on the last day of my trip.
    I was on auto pilot, my mind trying to recall all the experiences I had had. All the things I had seen. It was too much for my memory to recall. There were far to many memories packed into that small handful of days. I knew some would stay hidden away for weeks, months or years, until a picture or similar experience would jar them loose. But isn't that part of the reason for the journey? To savor it long after its finished.
    I thought about home. It felt as if I had hit the pause button on my real life, and I had slipped into another reality. Riding eastward across NV, I knew that the play button would soon come on. I didn't know which mile marker it would be. Would it be an hour from home, maybe two? Or would it be riding up the driveway? Then it would be wife, family, work, ordinary, ordinary, ordinary. I had enjoyed planning my days routes, the night before. Stopping for food and lodging wherever seemed right at the time. But we must trudge through the ordinary to truly appreciate the Adventure.
    #8
  9. jsb223

    jsb223 ADV Rookie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,377
    Location:
    Waco, Texas USA
    great pictures and beautiful country.

    :thumb
    #9
  10. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    733
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    #10
  11. IDRider

    IDRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Back to God's Country - nurturing my soul!
    Keep it coming. We left Idaho last year and I miss the riding.

    Thanks for carrying us along.
    #11
  12. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    Cool bridge a little farther down the river.
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    Soon I reached Hwy 93 and turned north. I had been on this road before and knew it would not be disappointing. 93 snakes along the river for a long ways until you climb a high pass where there was still quite a bit of snow. The road still had a lot of sand on it. I had to take the curves pretty slow. It was here that I crossed into Montana. Notice the big sky ahead.
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    Continuing on 93 through the beautiful Bitteroot Valley brought back a lot of good memories. A good friend was managing a huge ranch here, and we spent a vacation there about 10 years ago. Lush grassy pastures, surrounded by mountains, with a big river flowing right down the middle. As you get to the north end of the valley, it becomes more congested. More traffic and lights all the way through Missoula. Crossed I90 and continued north on 93.
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    And then Flathead Lake
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    I rode to the other side and found a campsite.
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    Sunset on Flathead Lake.
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    #12
  13. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    April 26th
    Flathead Lake MT - Canada - Evans, WA 448 miles

    41 degrees, a little warmer than yesterday morning. As I was packing up, the only other guy camping there was walking his dog. He came over and talked for a minute. I told him my plans. He had retired from the military in '82 then worked 21 years for a school district in Washington state. Now he lives in MT. He told me that a big fishing tournament was going to start soon on Flathead. He and his dog were spending their days on his boat "practicing for the tournament"
    I rode up to Lakeside, MT and had breakfast at the Homestead Cafe. Their biscuits and gravy were excellent! I forgot to get a picture of the place.
    I continued north on 93. Kalispell had this building right in the middle of town and the road split and went on both sides of it.
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    I've always had a fascination with snow machines, so I had to turn around and get this picture.
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    My brother lives south of St.Louis, and I was amazed how much this road reminded me of Missouri.
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    I had only been to Canada one other time, and that was a cruise ship, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I pulled up to the station and a young blond Canadian girl wearing a name tag that said "Bond" started asking me questions. I wondered how many "Bond" jokes she must endure everyday.
    Her "Where is your bike from?"
    Me "Germany" then realizing that's probably not what she meant. "USA....um I mean Utah?" She asked a few more simple questions then handed back my passport and told me to enjoy my trip.

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    Canadian Rockies.
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    They were massive, the pictures don't do them justice.
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    I got on hwy 3 and headed west.
    From Cranbrook on, the roads were beautiful. Up over mountain passes, and through towns. I didn't take enough pics. I got in a hurry because my phone wouldn't work, and being Friday, I needed to make some calls before 5. I was hoping to get close enough to a border that I could get a signal from USA. No luck. by late afternoon I was forced to turn it on roaming and hope my next bill wasn't some ridiculous amount. Earlier in the day I had stopped at a convenience store for lunch. $7 later I had a soda pop and small bag of chips.:huh Then a $20 bill didn't seem to buy very many "liters". The exchange rate must not be good for Americans.
    Liters, Kilometers, a $3 coin?. I was getting frustrated and my Roaming phone was most of the problem. I just wanted to get into Washington and find a camp for the night.
    I took the 22A south out of Montrose but that crossing closed at 5:00 pm. I missed it by 15 minutes. It was worth the trip down though. They have a one lane bridge with a metal grate floor that crosses the river to the border crossing. I rode over and back. You can look straight through at the river far below as you drive across. I also remember taking a picture of it, but now I can't find it. I rode back and took 22 down to the next border crossing.
    #13
  14. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Continues to be an exceptionally beautiful ride. You are right, cameras don't do Nature justice much beyond three feet or the size of a face. Keep trying though.
    #14
  15. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,991
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Nice route so far and the pics are great.
    #15
  16. bESS

    bESS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    304
    Location:
    wet coast, bc
    Welcome to British Columbia

    not sure of your route but north up Hwy 6 is one of our best. Goes up alongside Kootenay Lake and then you can take the free ferry from Crawford bay to Balfour

    bob
    #16
  17. MKJ

    MKJ Married w/ Children

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    710
    Location:
    Upland, CA
    Great Trip! I love Northwest Montana, especially Flathead Lake. Too bad you didn't go up East side of the lake from Polson. It would have led you through Bigfork where the Swan and Flathead Rivers converge. One of my favorites.
    #17
  18. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    Thank You for all the positive comments.

    "bESS" I would like to get back up in BC with more time and a little later in the season next time. Hwy 6 for sure.

    "MKJ" Thanks for the info, I guess I'll have an excuse to go back now.
    #18
  19. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
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    So I roll up to the U.S. border station and the guy asks me if I've had any medical procedures done recently? I am confused about this question but answer "no". He asks a few more standard questions and I'm still wondering about the medical question. He then tells me I set off a preliminary Radiation Detector, and they needed to have me and my bike around back for another inspection. I do as he says and a guy comes out with a geiger counter and sweeps me and then my bike. No quick clicking sound. So they give me my passport and away I go. This is where I forgot to get a pic of Washington State sign.
    Later when I get home and tell this story to a friend, he jokes that its because we live in Southern Utah, (downwind of the nuclear test range) and we all glow in the dark.

    This is the road into WA. Another great ride.
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    South of Evans, WA. I found this campground.
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    #19
  20. 413.45

    413.45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    southwest Utah,
    April 27th

    The next morning continuing down hwy 25, Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake.
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    Hwy 25 was another awesome road! I had planned to go see Grand Coulee Dam. Then decided against it. If I wanted to see a Dam, I could google it. I was here to ride excellent backroads. I looked at the map and picked out the smallest solid black line that crossed an area shaded in green. I crossed the Lake and took 395 north to Boulder Creek Rd? turnoff to Curlew. Very scenic road.
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    The road went through a small town called Chesaw. It was an old picturesque western town on a barren, windy plain. It looked straight out of the 1800's except for the paved road and automobiles. There were several old structures along side the road.
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    The road emerged in Oroville, WA. There were apple orchards everywhere, and they were in bloom.
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    #20