Louisiana to Alaska on as much dirt as possible

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ejtv, May 27, 2011.

  1. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    More pics along Deadwood Ridge Trail after it got a little easier :wings

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    We crossed half a dozen of these types of bridges:

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    We could tell we were approaching Deadwood Dam, completed in 1931, and that it was open by how high the flow of water was compared to most other streams we rode along this trip. The singletrack trail along the Deadwood River was short but very relaxing.

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    Always impressive to experience the roar of the water flowing out of a dam:

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    From Deadwood dam we rode mostly gravel and pavement to the Warm Lake and Cascade area.
  2. toolguy1

    toolguy1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Helluva report Jack (and guys), DAMN what some great pics!! :clap
    Tooly
  3. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Hey Tooly,

    Thanks for checking in.

    I'm following your Colorado ride report over at DDS. I think you caught the western ride bug. :freaky



    A-Rider in Boise NF
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  4. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    From Deadwood it was a fairly boring very dusty gravel road shot to Warm Lake. The idea was to grab a couple of beers each and relax in a secret hot spring that A-rider had visited years ago. :freaky

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    So secret was the hot spring we couldn't find it despite our best efforts. In the end, we gave up and made our way to Cascade for food, gas and a night's sleep. We did find the perfect place to eat and drink our 6 beers:

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    Dollar Bill's Casual Fine Red Neck Dining, BYOB, where jakbrand's heritage from Davidson County (Tennessee) was appreciated:

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    We got three clean rooms:

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    Jakbrand went to bed right away, I relaxed a bit, answering work emails, A-rider had to plan the route next day, I think tonight was Wednesday, so we he needed to cut a bunch of singletrack from our route and take us to within striking distance of Spokane by Friday night. We had a lot of mileage to cover, same plan though, single track in the morning, gravel in the afternoon, pavement if necessary.

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  5. toolguy1

    toolguy1 Been here awhile

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    absolutely Jack, absolutely!!
  6. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Best dessert in Idaho is served at Dollar Bill's Redneck Dining in Cascade - the skillet brownie. :yum

    Start with a warm moist brownie smothered in hot chocolate sauce then set an ice cream potato (a scoop of vanilla ice cream shaped like a potato, rolled in cocoa powder) topped with whipped cream, walnuts and caramel sauce all served on an iron skillet.

    Yum!

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  7. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Wake up, breakfast, moto maintenance, fuel, resupply, pack, singletrack

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  8. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    We headed north from Cascade into Payette National Forest.


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    A-Rider concerned with our progress pulled out the maps and combined two days of the original route into one. This meant deleting a few miles of singletrack and adding a few miles of pavement. He insisted that we not dilly dally and stick together if we were going to arrive in Spokane before Sunday for our scheduled flights home.

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  9. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    A-Rider led us over Granite Mountain where the indistinct trail snaked over of peaks of bare granite.

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  10. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    After a frightful switchback descent and a few creek crossings we headed towards Hazard Lake and Lava Ridge. A-Rider's plan B was running as swift as the Salmon River. We were making good time.

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  11. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    More singletrack as we made our way north on Eagle Nest Tr through the South ForkGold Fork River and Meadow

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    Kudos to A-rider for doing all the hard re-thinking about the route today to make up time! :mully

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    I think this is by a place called Gold Fork Rock

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    The Bridges of Valley County:

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    Then tons of gravel twisties and :dg @ McCall to deal with what a-rider had in his twisted mind as a last hurrah ride in this area of Idaho:

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  12. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    What a-rider planned was a gravel/singletrack route paralleling SR95 north. This truly was the most technically and physically challenging singletrack of the trip. First gravel north along Goose Creek Park Rd and Goose Lake, then the Lava Ridge singletrack, not too hard:

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    On top of the ridge, you got a commanding view looking SE:

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    And looking NE with Lava Butte Lakes below:

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    And before we knew it, a-rider had sniffed out a singletrack route he assured us would hook up with SR95 a little bit further north. Worst case, we would spend the night on the mountain. Here's jakbrand looking at a-raider and the trail. We had no choice but to follow him.

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    I didn't take too many pictures: I was tired and weary because at the end of this climb and ridge awaited what looked like a wicked 4,000 feet descent with very nasty switchbacks. Here are a few pictures:

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    This was a nasty rocky uphill switchback with a 2 foot step ledge. I walked my KTM with jakbrand's help first (a-rider was nowhere to be seen and already way ahead of us). Jakbrand decided to go for it instead and I watched in horror as his front wheel came up as he hit the 2 foot ledge, all the way up, in slow motion, and when the KTM was perpendicular to the ground, it kept going back and crucified him against the pine tree to the right of this picture. He was able to push the bike of his chest to one side and then he fell down hill from the tree, on his back, with his legs over his head. I slowed down the bikes fall and a second or two later I flipped his legs back so he could sit. "Are you OK?" Is what one usually asks in these cases...yes, he was...then we proceeded to get his bike. After we got it up, I took this pic:

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    We got ourselves back in working order and kept climbing and eventually hooked up with a-rider who had already climbed all the way to the observation tower on Hershey Point and had talked to the one ranger stationed there. He was told the trail from there on had been recently cleared and marked but that he was not sure if it was cleared all the way to the end, that either the left or right downhill sections were on private property, with the owner on the west side not being too friendly, that he couldn't guarantee the gates at the bottom of either trail would be unlocked, and that the weather that evening was turning for the worse. Or, we could just turn around....We decided to proceed until the end of this trail and agreed that the second we found a spot for the tents, we would stop.

    Again, not the best site, but jakbrand and I were exhausted. :snore

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  13. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Good morning Lava Ridge! I was not looking forward to today! Early AM packing up:

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    The trail was indeed marked and cleared. We got to the first rest stop and waited for jakbrand....and waited....and waited...:hmmmmm I started to worry...and so did a-rider. This is his worry-face:

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    After what seemed like a loooong while, maybe 40 minutes and hearing no engine, we decided a-rider would go back to see what was the delay.
  14. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Riding sweep and only ten minutes on the trail I suffered a careless tip over on the low side of the trail that blossomed into an epic struggle to get my bike back up on the trail. With handlebars downhill, wheels uphill and fuel leaking from the gas cap I dragged my 530 further down hill to pivot it around and turn it right side up. Thankfully, I was only 10 feet off the trail. It could have been worse.

    Next I cleared a path and built a ramp up the steep bank to ride/push back up to the trail. The whole ordeal lasted about forty minutes and I was exhausted. That's about the time A-Rider circles back to help.

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    My MoJo was shattered but my bike was running fine and I was still riding awesome singletrack with my buddies in Idaho, so the situation wasn't too bad. I just needed some food and an attitude adjustment.
  15. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    A-Rider leads the way down Lava Butte.

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    We met another group with Idaho tags heading up Lava Butte. I asked if the trail gets any easier. They said yes....liars. :bluduh

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  16. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Good times at Lava Butte. :freaky


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  17. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Jakbrand emerges with mojo back:

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    We continued to ride north on a well marked but difficult trail; we agreed a-rider would ride sweep...

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    Until we hit the end of the cleared trail. In the pic below you can see the last orange tape marking we saw while jakbrand waits for a-rider to come back from scouting. We decided against pressing on because how late in the week it was and knowing that without a chain saw we would have to deal with navigating over and around a ton of downed trees, a consequence of the fire this area evidently endured in the recent past.

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    Here are a few pictures on our way back to Lava Ridge. jakbrand and a-rider hop over a difficult uphill rocky ledge.

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    A tricky muddy rocky stream crossing:

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    Around boulders:

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    The last switchback before the final climb:

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    The last push up to the ridge:

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    a-rider shows off:

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    Back to the beginning:

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  18. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Gravel, pavement (SR 95), lunch break, gas, supplies at Grangeville

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    More pavement and resupplies at Nez Percent Indian Res. And boy, it was hot...the ride on blacktop was pure misery.

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    More pavement and a break at MX park near Clarkia; jakbrand and a-rider had the only bikes on the track with camping gear strapped:

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    More pavement and dinner at Fernwood:

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    More pavement and :snore

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    Not a great camping spot, plus it rained, and sooo much boring pavement....but at least we made progress today after having to double back big time! So now it was, what, Friday? And we were within striking distance of Spokane for our Sunday flights back home.
  19. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    hit in the usual way. Ride a long stretch of pavement for a timely arrival at our destination.


    However, A-Rider led us on one last section of singletrack at Canfield Mountain before Spokane. :clap

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  20. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    Great ride, makes me want to ride there. I was with Tooly and Swampy in Colorado a week ago. Great trip but no singletrack. Thanks for the RR