Questor rides the Gravelly Range in Montana

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Questor, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,518
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Hello All.

    It's been a really hot summer here in Idaho. Many consecutive days have been over 100 degrees. That's just too hot to ride in the desert to the west of here, or down south towards Utah. So that leaves heading north up in to the mountains of Montana.

    So last weekend, I packed up the Super Enduro, and did a short two day ride up to the Gravelly mountain range.

    The Gravelly Range runs N-S on the west side of the lower Madison River Valley. It is a substantial mountain range, that has vast rolling ridgetop that averages about 9500 ft. elevation. It has scenic points such as Monument Hill and Black Butte with an elevation if 10,546 feet.

    To get there I took a little detour from Ashton and rode an old railroad bed along the Warm River that I had heard about. And on the way back I rode the empty Red Rock Valley that runs East / West along the southern edge of the Montana border. Huge empty spaces... :D

    Ready? Here we go.
    Q~
    #1
  2. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it.

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,980
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    In.

    BP
    #2
  3. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,518
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    I was all packed and ready to go, but when I pulled the bike out of the garage, I discovered I had a flat front tire. :huh
    Darn! Well, 42 minutes later the tube has been replaced, and we were on the road by 10:30 we were ready to go.
    Here's the Super Enduro all packed and happy to be heading out for a ride.
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    All nicely packed for gourmet camping. Big tent, soft insulated Air mattress , cozy sleeping bag, Kermit chair, steak, mashed potatoes, beer... What else could we ask for?
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    Let's go!
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    A quick self portrait at 60 mph. :wink:
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    My view from the cockpit.
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    Off the highway at Ashton headed to the Targhee National Forest.
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    Amber waves of grain...
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    As we head into the hills the road gets a bit twisty... That's nice.
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    Two hours after we left, we arrive at the trailhead that is the old Railroad bed.
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    I air down the tires for the softer gravel railroad bed, and we continue.
    The trail goes through this tunnel. (Vroom Vroom goes the FMF pipe on the Super Enduro. What a great sound. :D)
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    Further along we come to an old dug tunnel. It has collapsed so we have to go around on the narrow trail to the right.
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    It's narrow and exposed. It would be a nasty drop into the river below. I was paying too much attention to take pictures.

    But once around the tunnel, I do stop to take a KTM PrOn / Beauty shot.
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    Then we continue to follow the trail as it parallels the river.
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    These raised cattle guards we actually fun to ride over providing you have the clearance. The Super Enduro does!
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    Following the trail, the old railroad bed gets soft and sandy. It's tricky on a fully loaded big bike.
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    Locals... :lol3
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    The old railroad grade goes on for about 20 miles...
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    I take a quick break to rid myself of the forearm pump.
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    To start heading West, the GPS routes me off the railroad grade and we pass this cattle corral.
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    Oh... a stream crossing. I can't tell how deep it is, so I just go for it.
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    No problem. :D

    A while later after some 80 miles we stop to fill up on fuel. There will be no gas for the next 220 miles.
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    To be continued.
    Q~
    #3
  4. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,518
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Ok. We've got over 8 gallons of fuel... Let's go someplace remote and look at cool stuff. :clap

    A bit of pavement as we head north, but still nice scenery.
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    Then turn left, and head west towards upper Red Rock Lake.
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    This is nice!
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    Continental Divide.
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    And into the vast valley beyond...
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    I love this area.
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    This is Super Enduro country!!!
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    An old ranch...
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    Brundage Lane doesn't get much use as we turn north...
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    I LOVE MY BIKE! :D
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    I am a passenger.... (Iggy Pop)
    (click Link for the soundtrack for this section of the ride...) :dj
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    and I ride and I ride...

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    Yeah, the bright and hollow sky...
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    Oh, the passenger
    How, how he rides...
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    What does he see?
    He sees the sign and hollow sky...
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    And everything was made for you and me
    All of it was made for you and me...
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    'Cause it just belongs to you and me
    So let's take a ride and see what's mine...
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    So let's ride and ride and ride and ride...
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    :clap

    After about an hour, perhaps more (who's counting right?) we come to Ruby divide road, and head north into the remote valley.
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    More locals... Looks like a party!
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    I love riding in places like this...
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    I haven't seen another person in hours...
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    I'm alone with the sound of my KTM, and my thoughts...
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    It's around 5:30. Time to find a place to camp and relax.

    About 30 minutes later, I've found a spot by a river and set up camp snuggly.
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    Set up the Kermit chair, grab a cold beer, and enjoy the evening...
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    Looking over my shoulder, I see the happy KTM.
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    Life is good. :jkam

    After a beer, or two... It's time to cook dinner.
    Tri-tip steak seasoned with garlic salt and pepper, and mashed potatoes... :dg
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    Fed, relaxed... it's time to watch nature perform the sunset.
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    A quiet evening at camp snuggly.
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    To be continued....
    Q~
    #4
  5. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    23,066
    Location:
    From Alabama to Newfoundland, it's all Appalachian
    Nice!
    In... :lurk

    You can still see my tracks in the gravel!!! :evil
    truly jealous of those of you who live out there!!
    #5
  6. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,518
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    It was a wonderful evening.
    I think I was asleep by around 9:00pm, and I did'nt wake up till around 10:00am as the sun warmed the sleeping bag.
    I don't know why, but I never sleep that well in my bed at home...

    So I make a quick breakfast, a strong cup of coffee and pack up camp.

    Camp snuggly is warmed by the morning sun.
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    I pack up camp, making sure to leave no trace, and an soon on the dirt road again.

    Music for today's ride. :dj
    http://www.myspace.com/djknowone/music/songs/ra-the-sun-instrumental-82510501

    We ride down the lonely valley...
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    Then turn right and begin to climb up onto the ridge...
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    Up towards my idea of heaven...
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    Still climbing...
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    Large sections of Idaho are on fire, and the smoke can be seen creating haze for hundreds of miles...
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    But check out this road!!! :eek1
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    It winds on for miles, with amazing views...
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    Sick views from 9000 feet.
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    Eventually we come to the Black Butte.
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    I love this picture. It reminds me why I love riding.
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    But the road goes on... So much to see!
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    It's tempting to ride fast up here, but don't do it.
    Crashing, and either getting hurt or breaking the bike would leave you stranded in a VERY remote place.

    So we carefully ride on and enjoy the scenery.
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    Look at this... it goes on forever! :D
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    :tb

    Eventually we descend from the ridge we have been riding for the past 40 miles...
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    Up ahead I saw a deer, so I got the camera ready and got this shot while moving... yeah, I'm pretty good.
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    We continue to descend back into the valley we camped in the night before.
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    Soon we were back on the road to the Red Rock Valley.
    This I did ride at high speed. I mean how could I not!
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    Back in the main valley, we head west and do the final stretch to the Interstate to get home...
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    Vroom!!!

    Just watch out for the loose gravel. (Use the Force!)
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    This is perfect... I won't say how fast I was going... :wink:
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    In the distance, another isolated ranch house...
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    We drop down out of the valley towards the first paved road in 24 hours, and over 180 miles...
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    Then one hour of Interstate home...
    You can see the haze from all the forest fires.
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    Not a bad weekend. :D

    Thanks for coming along.
    Q~
    #6
  7. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,883
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    Niiice!

    I recognize some of those places from the CDT.
    good stuff. :nod


    It's great to see you and the SE again!
    You look and sound so happy - really glad you're taking time to ride...

    :freaky


    p.s. matt is out riding by himself today (so I can work on the RR and he can remember what it's like to stand up) :evil
    #7
  8. Pax

    Pax shazam.

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    812
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    :clap

    I love this ride!

    -Pax
    #8
  9. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,953
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    Nice Edward :clap:clap That ridge road looked nice and cool - what an awesome track!
    #9
  10. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,360
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Wow..love this ride...got a job opening there..I'll move.:D

    About your pork chop or steak. You lug it along from home or snatch it from the previous Town?

    I see that you are still game with the "soft" sidebags compared to the hard cases that might surgically remove your calves! When offroading nothing beats these bags for safety..right?

    Where Maggie..:ear?

    Cheers...
    #10
  11. ADVCoop

    ADVCoop Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    862
    Location:
    Acme, PA
    Great pics, beautiful country.
    #11
  12. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,518
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Hello Abenteuerfahrer. :wave

    I prefer soft bags these days.
    They may be a bit safer, but it's mostly the weight savings, and their durability in the case of a crash. (Which I did do on this ride, I just chose not to talk about it. :evil)
    It's hard to go wrong with the Wolfman stuff. It's pretty bomber.

    For the Gourmet dinner, I've got a secret.
    I freeze the steak the night before in a ziploc bag.
    Then in the morning I wrap it in 3-4 layers of newspaper, and wrap it inside a fleece in my pannier.
    It stays mostly frozen all day log, even in 100+ temperatures.
    If you have a campfire, you can use the newspaper to start the fire. :wink:

    MAG is in New Mexico somewhere...

    Thanks for checking in.

    Q~
    #12
  13. Gooner

    Gooner DC 43

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    122
    Location:
    Rocket City
    Another great ride. Thanks for taking us along :D
    #13
  14. Gham

    Gham Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,733
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    Nice ride! I guess I almost forgot what it was like to ride and just look around instead of always watching for traffic.I gotta get away soon.
    #14
  15. Bgunn

    Bgunn Mucha distancia

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,550
    Location:
    Rockford Wa
    Looks like some good riding for the SE. And at the end of the day, camp snuggly....:freaky

    This is the American dream.
    #15
  16. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    105,854
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Great ride!
    #16
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,553
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Nice ride Questor! Great pix too. Interesting to read your comment on soft luggage. Been thinking along that line myself.
    #17
  18. Rot Box

    Rot Box Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Northernmost Utah
    Thanks for the report looks like a blast! :D
    #18
  19. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,085
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Great to live so close to all that!
    Thanks for the report.
    #19
  20. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,554
    Location:
    Trying to leave CT
    Uh-oh, I don't think we're in CT anymore Toto.

    Look at this... it goes on forever! :D
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    Q: Hope you are happy having gotten outta this tax hell. I'm recently retired and looking for somewhere to relocate. Riding is a big consideration and it looks like your area has it in spades. How long is the winter though? Great RR. Say hello to MAG for me.
    #20