The Mobius Trip

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

  1. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Woke up early today to thick wildfire smoke. Overnight there was some lightning and sprinkles. A few of us got out of the tents at various times just to make sure there weren't any fires closeby. :huh

    Today's route would highlight the "Hazed & Confused" theme. The skies were thick from before sun up. The route would take us west back into Helena NF, then northeast to fuel up at White Sulphur Springs, MT, west again crossing Helena NF, and finally north and east again through a very confusingly posted and gated area -- not the first, nor the worst of the trip, however.

    Just to pick up where we left off -- Sunset:

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    Sunrise:

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    We were actually up before the sun -- Scott and Scott were troubleshooting the GPS mount,

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    Tony was checking maps to figure out when he'd break off to head home,

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    Mark was busy making coffee,

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    Francine was just happy to be on vacation, and not dismembered by wolves, mountain lions, bears, or angry ranchers,... or on fire. :clap

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    And I was taking pitchers.
  2. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    directly above the sky appeared clear,

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    With the sun fully up,

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    we were a bit concerned that we'd be caught somewhere that someone didn't think we should be, so once we were properly caffeinated,

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    We broke down camp, and had a quick Mobius graduation ceremony for Tony,

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    and cleared out of the campsite which you can see in the center of the shot below... I'm not sure what the hold-up was? :dunno

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  3. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    and legal road, (Sixteen Mile rd)

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    We crossed some ranch land,

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    crested a ridge with a view of some distant cliffs,

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    and then dropped down to cross Battle Creek (dry),

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  4. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Marked as legal on the maps, and labeled on the GPS had no gate, but this sign at the two-track turn-off:

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    I followed it half a mile or so, where it hit a locked gate where it crossed into the NF boundary. :baldy

    We pulled out the paper maps, and scouted a couple options -- the first didn't exist, and the second looked like this: :evil

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    It passed a historic ranch the name of which is on the Benchmark maps which I don't have at work:

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    It was a nice little climb that hooked up with our plotted route on Ridge Rd, and didn't put us too far out of the way. If I'd have known it was such a nice little connector I'd have routed us that way in the first place. :D

    Ridge Rd was on a ridge as advertised:

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    But far too soon, we were...

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  5. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    I'm Back----------been down in Ky.. Tenn., Mississippi, Ark., and Missouri for a bit of fall colors------just got home yesterday.

    So hey everybody----Hi Dr. Rock---I'm ready to join in breaking camp at camp "Power".

    sun has risen----we didn't get drenched in the little drizzle last night ------we all made breakfast in our own little way.
    Even tho Dr.Rock fed us lot in the evenings with some good stuff---we all were on our own for breakfast.
    Me and Scott usually ate oatmeal and coffee made with out Jet-Boil stoves---maybe a Mountain House breakfast meal.

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    We headed out early as usual and the rolling fields made a beautiful view---and the still low sun made some nice shadows.

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    My tassels would keep me safe today----and I would always use them for good------not evil.

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  6. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Today we would ride some pretty technical stuff----maybe not for an all out unladed dirt bike----but for us campers.

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    It was sometime before now that Dr. Rock let me out front for pretty much the rest of the ride.
    I was dunbfounded at first---as since he laid this all out I just assumed he and Francine would lead.
    He loved draggin up the rear and taking pictures and soaking it all in. I think he quickly learned he could trust me out there with the navigation
    and I would stop and gather everybody up once in awhile---and if there was a question with routing---- I would stop to work a
    re-route out----which was always figured out very quickly between me and him.
    And sometimes while I was out front----------if I wanted too--------I could run as fast as I wanted.

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  7. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    our next section took a bit of Hwy 12 (where Tony split off), and then turned onto dirt, and promptly hit a locked gate on Little Deep Creek road. :cry

    We backtracked and found some other dirt that headed us in the direction of White Sulphur Springs. I think Mark and Scott-NT took pavement at some point, and me, LDF and Scott-DW had to open and close some gates on these farm roads,

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    No matter; we ro into White Sulf Spr.

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    and easily found the gas / convenience store where Mark & Scott were... it's not that big of a town.

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    Probably more dangerous than NYC, though with all the Meth... :huh

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    Puts bear-scare into perspective, don't it? There were motorcyclists too:

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    Scarey!

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    Danger everywhere.
  8. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    fed and hydrated, we hopped onto Birch Creek road,

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    and headed back into the Helena NF.

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    Climbing up to Duck Creek Pass at 7600+ ft.

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    (two riders in this one if you can find 'em)

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  9. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    we were treated to high winds,

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2115943416_w2HwXgb?width=640&height=360&albumId=25608721&albumKey=vNZTHg"></iframe>

    and hazy views...

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    Direction we're headed:

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  10. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Yeh--- I think Francine was about to get blown away in this picture---super windy up there.

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  11. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Your color correction was a little off on the guy wearing the a$$73$$ chaps...

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  12. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    from the road,

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    Looking off to the right, I spied this trench dug across the face of the next rise over -- It wasn't a road, not sure what it was... fire cut? water runoff protection? mining or logging?

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    in the valley, we picked up Duck Creek,

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    before heading back into the hills and some old mining country.

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  13. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    and Confederate Gulch,

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    I also spied some recent signs posted giving regulations on prospecting and panning in the area. Probably a lot more interest given the current gold prices. :deal

    We stopped for a break where we had a choice between two different routes I'd scoped out. There was the longer northern route, and the shorter vague track that cut through the NF.

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    We chose the shorter way... :evil
  14. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    so we'd checked the maps and scouted out a potential destination for the night. We were headed for the Smith River area which is big among paddlers.

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    Unbeknownst to us, we were entering a maze of private ranch land in a national forest. :cry I had laid down a waypoint that said "Vague for 4 miles": this is what it looked like on the ground:

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    regarding the air quality: "if you were sitting around a campfire and the air was this smokey, you'd get up and move to the other side"

    and regarding the route: "this is a PERFECTLY good road" :lol3

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    We'd opened and closed a couple of gates with no signs on them by this point, and clearly someone was ranching here:

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    sure enough, the road got really vague,

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    and then it would become more visible,

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  15. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    the first gate that was posted, and there was a nice road sign beyond...

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    but wasn't locked...

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    we debated what to do, and decided to backtrack and try a go-around that Scott-NT identified on his 42" big-screen GPS.:D

    Another perfectly good road:

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  16. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    More pictures me and Dingweeds took of the same area Dr. Rock is talking about.
    I'm having trouble looking at my pictures and remembering where we were at.
    But Dr. Rock has a much better memory than me.


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    Lots of gate opening and closing.

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    Our tassels got us through.

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    I wanna go back !!!!!!



    BigDog
  17. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    probably shouldn't be repeated.

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    What I mean is... if anyone downloads our tracks for this day... the next section was in retrospect probably on private land.

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    Or at least public land appropriated by private individuals for their own use and at the exclusion of the public. Who knows... we just wanted to get to the next main road.

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    That said, at no point did we go through a gate that was posted "No Trespassing"...

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    and we were always on a trail that was marked on both out paper maps and the GPS's.

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  18. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    "This is bordering on bushwhacking" :lol3

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    we just kept looking down at our GPS's and following the line. :evil

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    sometimes it even looked like something more than a cow had once passed there.

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  19. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    down off of the ridge,

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    we found ourselves in huge fenced-in fields, with the trail fading fast.

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    and finally, crossed a real honest to goodness two-track. It wasn't the one we wanted, but the maps showed a short jog south, and then it would meet up with our original route.

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    Hot diggity!

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  20. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    after a mile, that ran into a LOCKED gated, so we headed back, and tried to follow the line on the GPS across the flats.

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    Totally bushwhacking again...

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    about a mile and a half later, we ran into another two-track, followed that north, where we quietly passed some ranch buildings and a residence, through an open gate and onto the Smith River - Camp Baker access road.

    Glancing back on the open gate, I saw a sign that said "Private Property"

    :dunno

    I just want to be clear -- at no time was our intention to trespass, and at no time did we cross anything posted, and according to our maps and GPS, we were always on public roads on public land.

    I understand that in this part of the country it is incumbent on us to know the status of the land we're on -- private or public, but realistically, that's tough to do prior to departing, and even harder from the field.