The Mobius Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DR. Rock, May 23, 2008.

  1. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Sure enough, the temps dropped overnight. We awoke to the gentle pitter patter of raindrops on the tent.

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    It was sunday -- a perfect day to stay snuggled up in the warm and dry sleeping bags in the tent. :feelgood If only. :nono

    We did our best to gear up in the tent, and then at the first break in the drizzle, we loaded the bikes.

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    There's an art to this. Dry inner layers in the tent, then you pretty much have to gear up to ride with rain gear before breaking camp. If you forget to pack something, everything gets wet. Sleeping bags get packed in drybags inside the wolfman along with the obviously wet tent. As soon as feasable, everything comes out to dry.

    LDF took a photo of the lake -- shrouded in fog and mist. :cry Not what we were hoping for.

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    Hopefully we'll be back someday.

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    Today's route would continue on the Lolo (blue-rated). We'd skip the legendary and potentially lethal Pete King trail (red), pass through Lowell for gas, then head south towards Elk City on mostly green, with a short stretch of yellow and blue-rated trail thrown in. Sections were in various portions of Clearwater, Bitteroot, and Nez Perce National Forests.

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    As the red track indicates, we did some backtracking. Not cause we were chasing down a challenge point, but... well, you'll see.

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    A touch over 100 miles -- we were really falling behind pace. Oh well.
  2. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    dropped some elevation the drizzle / fog / mist cleared up. But until then,

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    Fog in the valley below,

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    We were still picking up challenge points, but it wasn't as fun cold and wet.

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    We chased this (kangaroo, I think :confused) for about half a mile.

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    My goggles were fogged, so I didn't get a great look at it.

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  3. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    It might clear up... maybe?

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    Another challenge point?

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    We passed the cut-off to the legendary Pete King trail. I decided to check out what all the hoopla was about. If any of you are contemplating taking this trail on a DS bike with luggage and mediocre riding skills, WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRST! :eek1

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    Please, let this be a warning. Don't make the same mistake I did. You may regret it for the rest of your life. IF you survive.

    :gerg
  4. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    that I'm younger then LDF. Not sure why that's relevant. :augie

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    The rain had stopped, and we warmed up, refueled, and Lowell didn't seem like a particularly happenin' place to spend a day drying out,

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    so we decided to carry on to Elk City. After all, it's a CITY. We like cities. :wink:
  5. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    This is good stuff Doctor.
    Keep it coming.

    Too bad about Jonah and Quinn huh?
    At least Ned is still going.

    Ok...
    Proceed. :thumb

    Q~
  6. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    Some of us watch Dakar on a delayed basis. Please - no spoilers!
    I stay out of most of the Dakar threads for a reason...
  7. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    a little blue and yellow... we took off into the hills.

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    The section started with a long, easy, flat gravel road that followed the Selway river.

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    Temps had warmed, and we were drying out. We passed some evidence of old mining (?) presence,

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    Then...

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    Why the frick didn't they put these signs 15miles back??? :kboom

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    Well, we were gonna miss out on one challenge point, oh well. :doh. This is where carrying the pages cut out from the Benchmark atlases really earned their weight in gold. :cromag

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    We'd have to backtrack, but it seemed that Iron Mountain Road would get us to Elk City, and looked to be more or less the same grade as what was spec'ed on the TID route, dirt anyway. We'd have plenty of gas, provided we could refill at Elk City. Why would that be a problem, you ask? It is a CITY, after all. :brow

    We headed back the way we came.

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  8. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    our little go-around wasn't too bad. :clap

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    all things considered,

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    and before we knew it,

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    we were pulling into the city.

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    Elk City, that is.

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    We set about finding a room. Now, without being a Dakar spoiler, there's been a lot of talk in the threads about the snowball effect. Basically what that describes is the cumulative effect on body, bike and morale that occurs when you aren't able to fully recover before the next day's stage. By the end of the the day you're even more tired, wet, cold, hungry, broken, demoralized, and you start the next day with an even bigger deficit. Eventually, you get crushed -- imagine a snowball rolling down a snowy mountain getting bigger and heavier with each revolution. The goal is to keep the snowball small.

    I'd never heard the concept articulated that way, but it's definitely something that we've always applied on our trips. Cold, tired, wet gear, stinky -- we needed to do laundry, get hot showers, and peel a couple layers off our snowball.
  9. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Basically, it's a one-horse town. One hotel, one general store, one gas station / diner / laundromat. We got a room at the Elk City Hotel,

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    It was a kitchenette suite, so we picked up a bunch of groceries at the store across the street:

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    I caught a picture of Santa Claus. Or Yeti.

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    We put our gear out to dry,

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    and ate lunch while stuff dried.

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  10. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    to do laundry,

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    and passed the time hanging with the local characters.

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    We created quite the hubub when LDF couldn't find her ignition key (found in the dryer), and I couldn't find my cell phone (found in my rain pants waist band). A double-:doh.

    We enjoyed a Huckleberry ice cream cone,

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    that was pure

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  11. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    for the evening, we went to fill the tanks with gas, but...

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    they'd run out of gas, and the next delivery wouldn't be arriving 'till 9am.

    :doh

    Our stats for the day:

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  12. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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  13. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Sometime in the middle of the night, maybe 1am? we heard a couple of motorcycle engines outside our window. I got up, immediately figuring our bikes were getting rustled. (In NYC they'd be in the process of being stolen, but this is the west -- the proper term is "rustled").

    Anyway, what I saw were two other bikes being parked next to ours... I thought, it's freezing out there, they must be nuts. :norton

    And in fact, they were. A couple of guys from Chicago, Mike & Mike! they'd taken these two bikes on the Magruder Corridor, and it had (not surprisingly) taken them a little longer to make their intended miles than they'd anticipated. :lol3

    An Aprilia sport tourer, and a Versys. Wow. We were headed for the Magruder, and this was encouraging. :1drink

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    We chatted while we packed (we'd slept in, knowing that there wouldn't be gas 'till at least 9am), and of course, now I can't remember their names [edit, Mike & Mike!], but the Versys rider was definitely on ADV -- anyone?

    They were headed down to the cafe for breakfast, and since we'd made our own coffee and oatmeal, we were just going to gear up, ride down and as soon as we could get gas, roll.

    So a few minutes after 9, we ride down to the gas / cafe,

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    the pumps are running, we fill up, go inside to pay and say 'ciao to Mike & Mike!. We're getting back on our bikes, plugging in our intercoms and ipods and all of a sudden up the road comes a well-appointed XR650L with spanky new bags, and he pulls up, pops off his helmet and says "Hey, I know you... this is the Mobius trip"

    :huh

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    He introduces himself, JD, and tells us that he'd camped last night and it was freezing, and this was his first solo ADV-type trip, that he'd been riding for years, but none of it ever on pavement, and that we'd (only partly I'm sure) inspired him to take a trip now that he was recently retired, and he couldn't believe that he'd randomly run into us in such a booming metropolis as Elk CITY, seein' as it's a big city an such...

    :jive

    So I called LDF over to introduce her, and asked him what his plans were, and he said he was going to get a hot breakfast and coffee, and I said, no, I mean where're ya' ridin' pardner? And he said he was gonna head down the Magruder corridor. So I said, "Hey, we're heading down the Magruder Corridor, wanna ride with us?"

    Now. You may say, gosh, aren't you naive for a coupla city slickers... This guy's prolly been stalking you from your Spot tracker, and he's got axe murderer written all over him. Are you insane inviting someone to ride with you into the deep Idaho woods that you've only met for like 37 seconds?

    And I would reply, nah. I'm a pretty good judge of character, and he struck me straight away as a great and warm soul who would be a pleasure to travel with. His riding skills were a bigger unknown, the bike just looked so... I don't know how to say this politely... clean. :scratch

    No matter, if the two guys from Chicago could ride the Magruder on street bikes with street tires, at night, in the cold... how bad could it be. :evil

    So we agreed to have a cuppa joe while he ate breakfast, and then we'd ride together and camp that evening, and he'd probably have to head back towards home the next day.

    So back in the cafe we had another motoreunion,

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    and after paying our tab, we were on our way.

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  14. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    as mentioned was to hit the Magruder, then the Nez Perce trail, and then head into the abyss and wherever the Tura I'Doh could overlap with the Tour of Idaho.

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    and despite the late start, this was one of our most awesomest riding days ever. -- all 87miles of it! :clap

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  15. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    we follow a nice, graded, wide dirt road.

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    but not for long. The TID starts routing us on smaller and smaller two-track, and then god knows what... here's where it started to get gnarly.

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    JD said something to the effect of "this isn't the Magruder I have routed on my GPS"... and I said... well, we're following the Tour of Idaho version which is probably the actual route Magruder took back in the day. On foot. In snow. Uphill both ways." OK, I didn't say the last bit.

    So holy cannoli, we start to hit a couple of short patches where it isn't safe/wise for LDF to ride... and we start leap-frogging her bike.

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    and I'm saying, "... but it's BLUE... we've been doing blue for days, no problems". And she's saying, "so were the Wigwams, blue, buster. How'd that work out for you?" And JD has no clue that we're having this discussion 'cause he doesn't have intercom, but he's such a smooth rider, and such a level character that he's not even breaking a sweat. Totally unflappable.

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    Which is a good thing, because this just keeps on going like this.

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    I mean, it would be fun without luggage,

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    on a 250cc bike,

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    with a trailer and some cold ones waiting at the end of the trail... :deal
  16. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    Very obviously Homer Simpson's dad.
  17. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    just brutal. We're getting winded, sweating, and I see a named road coming up on the GPS.

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    1st, 2nd gear stuff. Turns out this was the treasure box challenge point. A worn out log bridge, half collapsing over a trickle of water. Bower Creek.

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    You mean to tell me we suffered all this red trail for THIS? OK, there isn't a view, there is no history as far as I can tell... the only point here is to ride tough trail. OK. I can accept that. A little head's up would have been nice, but they're not my rules, and I'm still grateful for the tracks. We'll get through this and we'll laugh about it later.

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    maybe.

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    Someday. :bluduh And yes, while it looks steep in the photo. In reality it was even steeper. :nod

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  18. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    more than a little guilty for taking JD on what has become a bit of a quagmire. :cry Thank god he was such a good sport, and had the riding chops. Just as we though this would go on forever --

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    :clap :lol3

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    Take a gander at out stats up to this point:

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    Ten miles in 2.5h. :huh Can I get a D'oh?

    :doh
  19. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    is a little questionable. There's a main road, and then there are snowmobile trails that run parallel to the main road. We follow one, 'cause that's where the TID line runs,

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    JD tips, and I ride back, but he's already up, and we all decide we're done with this riding difficult terrain for difficulties sake only. It seems retarded when there's a perfectly good road right next to it. If we were riding the Tour of Idaho this would be frowned upon. But this is the Tura ID'oh, so we can do what we want as long as we don't say we've ridden the Tour of Idaho. Clear?

    Eventually we pop out of the trail and two track onto the official Magruder Corridor road. Or at least a road big enough that there's work being done by actual heavy equipment. The guy in the excavator jumped out and ran over when he saw us and practically had a cow asking "where did you guys come from? don't you know this area is closed? there was just a ranger here, if you get caught there's a big fine!"

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    And we really couldn't care less. Bring on the fine. We were just so happy to see an actual road. :knary

    Once he'd calmed down, he told us to skeedadle, and watch out for big dump trucks flying up the hill 'cause they wouldn't be expecting anyone on the road, and if the gate at the bottom is locked, the combo is &*(^%! which of course I didn't hear 'cause I've got my earbuds in. :dunno

    The gate is open, and we sail through, and of course just when things are looking up, it starts to rain.

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    :cry I'm sure JD is sooo glad he decided to ride with us. :lol3
  20. CBAT

    CBAT occasional wanderer

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    DOH! :clap

    :ear