Montana-Washington loop: Ride to the Lazy R

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ShadyRascal, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,558
    Location:
    Whippin' Scutt Farkus
    We suddenly have a free weekend, and my Valerie wants to head for Spokane to see our oldest son Tyler. Somehow, I catch her at a weak moment, and finagle the idea that she drives over and I take the bike to make a scenic loop. She agrees. I pack the bike.

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    Friday morning I head north through Missoula, and towards Ronan to say hi to a friend. I always wonder about the road signs written in the funny indian spelling. Since they of course didn't have a written language, I don't know how this developed. 'Course, I could research it, but here is what the signs look like.

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    Rollin' up 93, I get to Ravalli

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    When you come over the top to the Mission Valley, even when the lighting's not good you have to take a picture of the spectacular Mission Mountains

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    I stop in Ronan to see my friend Adam. His Mustang is wicked fast, dyno's north of 500 horses.

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    After a cup of good coffee, I head through Charlo and the backside of the National Bison Range.

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    Back on 200 and through Dixon. Had a few beers here over the years when this was part of my sales route.

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    Through Plains and Thompson Falls, some real nice scenery

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    Clark Fork Id is the last civilization I'll see for a while. Population 508, I wonder if I'll find any decent food there. I find this place:

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    Everything baked right there, with lots of fresh natural foods etc. I have a sammich and small pecan pie that's to die for

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    I head out of Clark Fork, and hit the roads that go across the south side of Lake Pend Oreille. (Pronounced Pond O' Ray)

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    Quite a ways up the hill, I stop for a nice relaxing break, overlooking the lake. It's hot out and feels good to get my heavy black riding gear off!

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    Back down the road through thick trees and open vistas

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    After something like 65 miles of dirt, I come out at Silverwood Park just north of Coeur d' Alene

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    I beat feet across north Idaho the back way to Clayton Washington, my parent's house, established in 1967 as the Lazy R Ranch. I am hot and tired, and kept going the last couple hours thinking about what was coming.

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    It's just the other side of that fence

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    Yeah that's right

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    Oh, get me into that water

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    After good cool-down and relaxing, I ride on into Spokane to Tyler's place, where Val and he are hanging out

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    That's the end of day one. 425 miles and lotta hours in the seat. I slept rather well that night. :D
    #1
  2. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,558
    Location:
    Whippin' Scutt Farkus
    Saturday we relax out at the Ranch, and Tyler details my truck for me. Whatta guy. Three generations of Roberts' in this picture.

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    Mom and Dad and Val

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    Tyler makes my 7 year old, 120,000 mile truck look new

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    Sunday morning it's time to hit the road again. Val will take I-90. I will go elsewhere.

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    I head south of Spokane towards the edge of Palouse country

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    Saw this going through a little town. You don't see these much anymore, the fastbacks. Lots of them around when I was in school.

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    I head around the south end of Lake Coeur d' Alene

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    Fabulous winding road through thick cedars and cool shade

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    Benewah lake

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    I stop in St Maries for lunch, then head out of town, up the St Joe river

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    This road curves along the river for a long ways

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    It is incredibly beautiful. The nice 2 lane blacktop twists and turns and curves for about 85 miles. More curvy than Lolo pass. It is fabulous riding and sightseeing. There are many, many campgrounds along the river, and although there are quite a few campers in them, it seems I have the road nearly to myself. This is one of the best rides or drives I've ever taken.

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    Finally the road climbs up over the top of the mountains, and down there somewhere is St Regis Mt, where I'll hit the highway.

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    I have about 15 or 20 miles of dirt, from the Montana line down to the valley

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    I stop in St Regis in a little park to text Val, and relax a few minutes

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    From there, it's all I-90, which is still a fun and scenic ride in this part of the country

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    Through Missoula and back down to the Bitterroot, my home.

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    I amassed 750 miles on this trip, all of which were Friday and Sunday. Without my Sargent seat I'da never made it! The DR just took everything I threw at it, from fire roads to curvy pavement to 75 on the Interstate, and never argued with me one bit. A new back tire and an oil change, and I'm ready to hit it again.

    :1drink
    #2
  3. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
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    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    Nice play by play. That St. Joe river looks pretty inviting.
    #3
  4. Gramp-Z

    Gramp-Z Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Maple Valley , WA , USA
    Outstanding ride ! Often the "little" trips turn out to be some of the best . Been years since I have ridden any of the back roads through there . Good job on the report and nice pictures . Thanks for a refresher on the roads less traveled .
    #4
  5. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

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    Good excuse to give your Wee a Montana road trip!
    #5
  6. PARIAH

    PARIAH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Wyoming
    would have liked to see the photos.
    #6
  7. PARIAH

    PARIAH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Thanks for fixing the photos!

    You are lucky to live where there are so many routing options.
    #7