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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by epicxcrider, Jul 25, 2012.
Haha we were a bit surprised at Crescent City...
We motored along at a good pace enjoying the scenery, keeping things under control due to all the loose gravel.
The burned forest seemed endless.
Occasionally the road would get rougher, clearly a new path created after the forest fire.
The smooth stretch of dirt was a welcome change.
The scale of destruction was breathtaking, yet beautiful.
We took a short break, Shawn had to do a little trail side repair on the saddle bags.
And then set off
The trail took us through some nasty crushed rock sections of road and then spit us out in a valley. Turning off the main road we began to climb.
A spectacular view awaited us. Stopping long enough to enjoy the vista, Bernie led onward.
It's official -- this goes on my bucket list.
That truly does look like a road designed solely to take one's soul to heaven while leaving their body on Earth.
Sorry for the delays, life is crazy!
Bernie took the lead as we climbed further, passing through the trees from clearing to clearing. Rounding a corner I see Bernie stopped in the middle of the trail starting to turn around, a bull (likely a steer) staring him down.
A big boy, he stood there stomping his hooves and kicking dirt until the three of us grouped up. With all of us present he decided to clear the road for us and the rest of the herd followed suit. We let them get clear pass by, keeping an eye on the big one.
Shortly after that we cleared 6800' altitude, and began to descend. Every few hundred feet we dropped the temperature jumped up noticeably. The boundary of the National Forest was near, and it was getting later in the day.
We continued winding our way down and heading North in a roundabout way, passing through more burnt forest.
The landscape was beautiful and the road well graded. We made good time through here without any of the previous days drama. It was nice not to see any sand for a while, but I missed the technical sections of mid-Washington. None of us missed the heat.
Little did we know what we were in for. Lower and lower we went, the temperature already reaching the mid 80's. We continued the descent with the tiny town of Loomis, WA growing closer every minute.
Mountains gave way to broad flat valley, carved over time by release of glacial lakes, formation of rivers and eons of rainfall. With plenty of gas but no water, Loomis would be our next stop.
I enjoy the literacy of this thread almost as much as the report and pix. I especially admire the foreboding elements (little did we know what was around that innocent looking bend of the road) sort of device.
It was hot. Goddamn it was hot. And dusty. The sun beat down upon us unmercifully and reminded me I was already out of water. I had a spare liter in my bag but I wasn't about to screw around with getting that out in this heat. We headed for town in hopes of finding a store.
We hit the pavement a few miles North of town and turned South on the Loomis-Oroville Road. Loomis wasn't much of a town, maybe 10 small streets in all. Main street was just houses - some with goats or cows in the yard - and not a single store. I turned back towards the main road and headed further South. On the way out of town was a small gas station and convenience store, so we pulled in. Having only been 50 miles since the last fillup, Shawn was the only one to get gas while Bernie and I sat inside and took a break. We all rested for a bit and refilled our supplies knowing we'd have to get moving soon to cross into Canada before the small border crossing closed for the day.
In the meantime sitting in the store painted an interesting picture of small town life in Northern Washington. A few people came and went, travelers passed through heading North to the border. There wasn't a whole lot going on. The store owner yelled at some Latino kids for not wearing shirts inside. It was clear he didn't appreciate their patronage.
We packed up, suited up, and rode North to the border.
When we stopped at the border checkpoint it was so hot I wasn't sure whether to be relieved or exasperated. Riding was bearable, but it was like being blasted with a hair dryer at 70 mph. Standing still I just baked in my suit and sweat profusely. I was first and dug out my passport for the two female Canadian border guards.
They both wore body armor and since there was no booth here just came outside to question me. I answered the requisite questions and was sent on my way. Bernie and Shawn pulled up together and handed over their passports. The two guards went inside to check their info, and shortly returned beckoning each of them inside to answer a few questions. Shawn and Bernie both returned and saddled up while they waited for their info. After a few minutes the guards returned with some heavy news - Bernie could cross, Shawn could go no further.
We looked at one another in disbelief and wondered what the hell to do. They told us we had about 30 seconds to decide because they were closing the gate and US customs was waiting for us. Shawn turned around and sped off while Bernie and I just stared at each other...
Stellar ride report, and greets from a fellow Cow Hampshirite!
Must. Go. West!!
Now on with it! What happened to Shawn???
it's a cliff hanger.............:eek1 And then?
We were in the middle of nowhere, baking in the high plains desert. I could feel the heat getting to me, becoming irritable and draining my energy. I knew Bernie and Shawn had to be feeling it too. We sat there struggling just to think of what to do next. Obviously we couldn't leave Shawn behind. We had no plan, he had no map, and it was well over 100 degrees - so we turned around and headed back to the US. The customs guy gave us as much advise as he could, giving us the name of a town with a courthouse near the border. That would be our best bet to get this all sorted out.
We met with Shawn who had gotten the same tip. Still struggling to think and sweating profusely I found the town in the GPS and we decided we'd make a beeline for Republic, WA. While we sorted this all out customs had closed and the border patrol officers began trickling out. A few went by, then I noticed someone pull up beside us on a bike. It was the officer we spoke to earlier, checking to make sure we were all set before he sped off on a decked out GS. I suppose that explained his understanding attitude towards the situation.
I sped East with Bernie and Shawn close behind and keeping a quick pace in the interest of time. There was interesting scenery along the Loomis-Oroville Rd - abandoned houses, squatters, RV's all along the fast flowing Similkameen River. I might have enjoyed the ride too had I not been so agitated from the heat and uncertainty of what the next day would bring. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures until the next day either.
A few hours later we rolled into Republic, thankful that the heat was less intense in the hills here. Too exasperated to look for a campsite, we found an inn with an open room and cranked the AC. A shower, some clean clothes, and a few beers later we walked up the street to find dinner at the local saloon.
Awesome trip and great RR. Thanks
Love the Republic area!
Day 11: Back to Canada
First thing in the morning Shawn was up and out to see if he could clear things up. None of us really understood what needed to happen but hopefully a local official would. Bernie and I grabbed coffee at a small shop up the street and enjoyed listening to the locals discuss politics over breakfast. We checked the local NAPA for an air filter for Bernie's bike, but no luck. It was in terrible shape, but a cleaning would have to do for now.
It must have been 11 by the time we saw Shawn coming down the street as we eagerly awaited news.
"They can't do anything. I can't go"
We chatted for a bit and decided we would split up for a few days. Bernie and I would continue on to Canada and try to do an iron butt to Banff today. Shawn got a map and would head for Spokane tonight and try to get some work done on his motorcycle. It needed an oil change and the tires were completely shot at this point.
We'd meet up in 3 days in Eureka, MT.
Now early afternoon, we parted ways and Bernie and I headed for the border.
Great RR! Enjoying a fresh perspective. Nice work and thanks for taking us along. Too bad about Shawn!!
Thanks! More updates around thanksgiving, back out in Cali for work!
Excellent ride report! Awesome pics and your writing is very good! Thanks for bringing us along
Glad I had the day off! Read the hole thing so far. What happened with Shawn?!?