Proposed 2012 MT Ride

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by Timmer, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

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    I'm considering putting together a 5 dayish ride that would showcase several of what I think are the best sections of the Montana 1000 which I've had the pleasure of riding in 2010 & 2011. I'm envisioning riding east from Elk City, ID on the Macgruder Corridor / Nez Pierce Trail to Darby, MT, pavement to the historic ghost town of Bannock, MT, ride the historical dirt Bannock Wagon Road N to S to Sheep Creek and then east to Dell, MT. From Dell we'd head up into and ride the Gravelly Range Road S to N. This gravel road is among, if not the most, scenic roads I've ever ridden on. Much of it is at 8k feet and above and is in grizzly bear country (I've never seen any). The road terminates near Ennis, MT from which we'd head for Lolo, MT and ride the Lolo Motorway westbound (dirt travel north of the paved US12), unless there was interest in seeing another significant ghost town (Garnet) before doing the Lolo Motorway.


    Is there any ADVRider interest in doing such a ride in mid July? This would be a full on camping ride. I do have some local Puget Sound rider interest in doing this ride. The exact timing will be dependent upon the snow level conditions.

    7/3/2012 Update:

    We're still planning for a 7/22 departure from Elk City, ID from the Gas Station/Restaurant on the "west" end of town. Several of us will arrive on either Friday or Saturday nite before departure and will be camping in the area at places to be determined.

    Those who have indicated they will be coming are (if you are not on the list and want to be, let me know and I'll put you on the list):
    Timmer
    Wansfel
    Chadx
    Idahorenegade
    Clark60
    zzo
    HellsAlien
    XR_doug
    ErroneousMonk
    Khuddy
    SpousalUnit
    Williamsonfour

    Don't be concerned about the group being too large, we'll break down into smaller natural riding groups. This is a big bike friendly ride, personally I don't ride fast, and I like to take lots of pictures.

    Here's a link to a file in Google Docs for my version 1 of the ride.

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bwt...DJMNVNSMUk5amc

    I've made the GPX file editable, but please just download and edit it as you wish. If you would then send me a copy of your GPX file, I'll upload the latest versions.

    Here's a summary:
    Day 1 - Elk City, ID to Darby, MT - 125 miles - Probably camping somewhere on the NEZ Perce Trail. TBD.
    Day 2 - Darby, MT to Clark, MT Reservoir - 126 miles - Includes a recommended side trip to Bannack Ghost town - some pavement
    Day 3 - Clark Reservoir, MT to Gravelly Range Primitive Camping Site (very nice site) - 124 miles - Lots of gravel & scenery
    Day 4 - Gravelly Range Camping to Ruby Dam Camping - 97 miles - Lots of time to enjoy the Gravelly Range Road - several additional riding options both up in the Gravelly Range and south of Ruby Dam.
    Day 5 - Ruby Dam to US93 south of LOLO - 214 Miles - Unfortunately this is pavement day in order to transition us back to the Lolo Motorway
    Day 6 - Lolo, MT to Pierce, ID - 171 miles - Lots of great riding on the LOLO Motorway. We may have to split this into an additional day.

    Another version created by Wansfel can be found here (I've not merged them yet and there are good suggestions in this revision):
    http://sdrv.ms/KLnfYh

    If you look at posts beginning around #93, there's some interesting and helpful information found there.

    I'll put important update information in this first post as well as at the end of the thread.

    7/17/12 UPDATE:

    I just spoke with the Ranger at Elk City and the Magruder Corridor is open although she mentioned there has been a great deal of rain which could lead to fallen trees. There are no camping restrictions although significant travel off the road is not permitted.

    I also spoke with the Ranger at Ennis, MT and the Gravelly Range is open; HOWEVER, no campfires are permitted except in specific fire rings. (Stage 1 alert). The Ranger said that even with the recent rains, they do not expect to loosen the restrictions in the next two weeks. So, be sure to bring your JETBOIL or PRIMUS or WHISPERLITE or whatever similar form of portable cooking or water warming device of choice. Don't count on being able to use a campfire.

    All this being said, the 2012 Best of MT 1000 is officially a GO!! I'll be in Elk City on Saturday during the day.

    My cellphone is 206-947-3073.

    My Spot Tracker link is: http://tinyurl.com/spotwalla-com-timmer

    I'm planning to ride to Colfax on Friday and visit with relatives and then ride to Elk City on Saturday morning. I'll try to stay at the Red River Hot Springs if there is camping there. Here's a link to their site: http://www.redriverhotspringsidaho.com/ The contact phone number is: 208-842-2587.

    As indicated previously, the ride will depart from the ELK CITY GAS STATION on Sunday morning 7/22 at 8am.

    If you have any last minute questions, please feel free to call or text me or email me directly at tk.bowman@comcast.net.




    #1
  2. Imachimper

    Imachimper Newer than Noob

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    I would be interested. End of July might be clear of snowpac. There might be a chance of an overnight at a cabin near Elk City. Keep me in the loop.
    #2
  3. WU7X

    WU7X The Old Fart

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    Just recently sold the Dakar! Now I'm pretty much gravel and asphalt road bound on my airhead hack. That is the PERFECT MT ride you have described there Timmer. I"m trying to think of a way to include the ride past Georgetown Lake north along the scenic route to Phillipsburg. From there it's a quick jump to Drummond and thence west to Garnet. Guess I'll have to start sniffing around for another DS. :evil
    #3
  4. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

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    I know several dirt routes to Garnet, but my main emphasis is on what I've posted.


    Tim in Burien, WA
    #4
  5. BigRig

    BigRig lurker

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    Just moved to Mercer Island, WA from CT. I saw some BMW bikes on the road today and figured I should pop in and see what the ADV forums out here are like. This trip sounds like it would be pretty awesome. I've never seen any of the country between WI and WA and am really looking forward to seeing it. I'm hoping to find places as beautiful as CO that's a closer bike trip.

    I'm not familiar with the weather though, what's to be expected as far as snow riding goes? I've never ridden on snow with 2 wheels.
    #5
  6. Jackazz

    Jackazz Been here awhile

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    I'm interested, it works better for me if the 5 days are through a weekend.
    JA
    #6
  7. Wansfel

    Wansfel 50+ yrs on 2 wheels

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    Timmer,

    Sounds intersting to me. I missed the Gravelly Range Road last summer on the MT1000 so I am anxious to hit this stretch next summer. I covered the Magruder then the Lolo Motorway solo last September on an extended weekend trip. but even the last half of the Lolo was in "low clouds" and drizzle which really limited the scenic view. I have a couple of dirt back road extensions that could enhance the Lolo portion between the town of Lolo and the entrance to the Motorway near Lochsa Lodge.

    Note, there is another ghost town just east of Phillipsburg (Granite) and another option is Elkhorn just east of Boulder. Lots of options. Another ghost town - Coolidge - is located on the scenic byway north of Polaris (Bannack).

    Ron
    #7
  8. Dorian

    Dorian huge carbon footprint

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    Timmer,

    What's the fuel range required? Is this a beginner/intermediate/advanced route

    Will there be a limit on number of participants and will GPS tracks be distributed to the group or follow-the-leader navigation?

    Thanks! Dorian
    #8
  9. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

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    Dorian,

    GPS tracks will be provided. Whatever groups form will happen. Some riders like to ride fast; some slower. The fuel range is about 150 miles, but I'll need to verify that as I tweak the route.

    It's probably an advanced beginner / intermediate ride. The route is definitely big bike friendly with no known single track.


    Tim in Burien, WA
    #9
  10. Dorian

    Dorian huge carbon footprint

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    Thanks heaps for the info Timmer. Sounds fun! Early days yet for a commitment but I'm noodling it over. Will stay tuned.

    - Dorian
    #10
  11. hvman

    hvman Been here awhile

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    It will depend on the dates, but I'd really like to go! :ear
    #11
  12. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    Timmer,

    This looks like fun. I don't think I will have the time available to join you this summer but I'll keep an eye on it just in case. :D
    #12
  13. Danodemotoman

    Danodemotoman Danodemotoman

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    Following thread... :ear
    Interested for sure!
    #13
  14. paul6

    paul6 n00b

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    I am intersted,

    Paul6 in North Bend,WA:clap
    #14
  15. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    This is still along way off for my schedule,I hope to be in ID during July so it could work.
    #15
  16. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    This sounds great! I was planning a similar trip next summer anyway (Magruger and Lolo motorway) with more time in Idaho, but I'd really like to learn some riding area in Montana. One issue is timing...Magruder wasn't open till August last year, and some of roads in Idaho were still closed at 6000ft the first part of August. Of course last year was exceptionally bad. Last week of July to early August will hopefully will keep us free of snow.

    How would you feel about stretching this to a full week? Given the need to take 3 days of vacation, a couple more wouldn't hurt, and we would have more time to do some exploring/fishing,etc. Just a thought. I spent 5 days camping off my bike this summer, had a fantastic time!

    If you're interested, the Red River hot springs resort is on the Western end of the Magruder...might be a nice place to spend one night and soak out some aches and pains.
    #16
  17. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

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    I was turned back on 7/16/11 at Elk City, but I understand it opened a week later. The Gravelly Range (over 9k feet in places) opened at the same time and I rode it around 7/23. Hopefully the snow wouldn't be so late in 2012, but that's out of my control.

    I'm totally cool with taking a week to do this. The timing just depends upon the participants. Of course, it's possible to trim pieces of the beginning and end of the ride out and keep the center section. There's lots of options. Let's keep the discussion open.

    BTW, I spent a month and a half camping off my F650GS and absolutely loved it. Most of it was hammock camping as well which is what I'll bring in 2012.
    #17
  18. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    We could do the ride from a Sunday to Saturday, that would give a day on each end for travel to/from. Since you're thinking about starting at Elk City, maybe we cold spend Sat night at the hot springs (IIRC < 10 miles from town) and get to know each other over some adult beverages.

    How many miles are you thinking about each day? Magruder can easily be done in a day, but there are plenty of little side trips and stops that can be done, and lots of really nice camp spots. If we're not in a hurry, spending some time exploring the lookout towers, maybe some short hikes or fishing along that route would make it worth taking 1 1/2-2 days. I imagine the other areas you are thinking about are as nice or nicer, so maybe we don't want to kill too much time that early in the trip???

    Speaking of Magruder, we were planning on doing it the last week in July this year, but were told just a few days beforehand that it was still closed, and made other plans. Then came on here the day we were planning to leave and read that people were making it on bikes and quads. Too late to change plans for us. I ran into plenty of snow on the Idaho/Montana border that week, at 6k. Lets hope next year isn't so messed up!

    I need to study up on hammocks. I definetly need to upgrade gear...my tent and sleeping bag, along with the Great Basin, were snug on the DR650; that load would swallow the WR. When we did the Mac a couple years ago we ran into below freezing temps in August, and some people going the opposite direction ran into snow around Observation Point.
    #18
  19. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

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    Thanks for the details about
    Macgruder.

    Mileage per day will depend upon the riders. I find that around 150-170 works well for me, but could slow it down.

    It was a bit brisk hammock camping in the Gravelly Range at 8k feet. I recommend an underquilt (I just sewed one up). But it's a compact way to camp.


    Tim in Burien, WA
    #19
  20. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    I'm getting really excited planning for this trip. I hope to make a run to REI after Christmas and pick up a new tent and sleeping bag, as well as finish outfitting the little bike for adv camping.

    Do you happen to have any GPS tracks for the Montana part of the trip?
    #20