Two DRZs slab 4 states and 1300 miles!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Buck Nasty, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    This is my first ride report here on ADV. Over the course of the winter my buddy Casey and I got this crazy idea to tour Idaho and Montana on our DRZ400s. I'm gonna copy and paste my report from my home forum... www.benddualsport.com

    Here we go!

    Day 1: Bend, OR to Kennewick, WA

    257 miles total
    4h 39m moving time
    2h 27m stopped
    55.3MPH avg moving speed
    36.1MPH avg overall

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    Our day started at Beds 4 Less around 11:30am Said bye to the old man and made our way to Ochoco Res, our first stop.
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    Ochoco Res
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    At this point I realize that my exhaust wrap isn't doing shit. Almost melted through the bag. Oh well, I'm not counting on these fuckers to last too long anyway. Rather than go back into P-Ville and look into a better solution, Casey finds an old Coors Light can and throws it between my pipe and bag. 200 miles later, no issues. Kept cool and stayed in place, even at 80MPH!
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    Now that we stopped the meltage, it was time to roll!
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    We stopped at Ochoco Summit for a quick pic and a bag check.
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    As we're about to leave, we see Casey's buddy Mario buzz buy on his Duc. We shot the shit for a few and Mario decided to escort us to Mitchell, without his crew.
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    Mitchell. We would head north on 207 from here.
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    Some shots between Mitchell and Service Creek. Beautiful area!
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    Lemme tell ya...The roads from Prineville to Hepper were AMAZING! Tons of twisties and a handfull of haripins! Better yet, practically NO TRAFFIC!

    Spray:
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    John Day River...
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    I'll post more after beer and burgers! Stay tuned!
    #1
  2. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Where was I? Oh yeah, Spray. A few miles up 207, North of Spray, ya head back up into the mountains. Temps got cooler and the roads got even more fun. Here's a shot of a hairpin turn in the trees...
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    Same section. You can see the road we came up on below...
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    We rode past Morrow County OHV and out into the grassy, rolling hills of the Heppner area. From here on out, it got pretty gusty!
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    Our first gas stop, 175 miles later...Heppner, OR
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    The road to I-84 was pretty plain and windy. It went by fast.
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    Once we hit the interstate, we were in striking distance. We stopped one more time at the border and rocked it into Kennewick. Ran into a light sprinkle for 60 seconds outside of Kennewick.
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    We made it!!!
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    After a long day in the saddle, it was time for a brew and some hetero man love! Great day!
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    #2
  3. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    On the second day, God created Jack in the Box!

    Kennewick, WA to Missoula, MT
    Miles: 357
    Moving Time: 6h 36m
    Stopped Time: 3h 34m
    Moving Avg: 54MPH
    Overall Avg: 35.1MPH

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    After a round of thunderstorms the night before, we woke up to a mostly cloudy, yet dry morn on Sunday. I wanna say we left Jeremy's around 10:30am. I replaced the 24oz Coors Light can with a "custom", mushroom can heat dissipator. Worked pretty damn well!

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    Jeremy and his daughter Sam on my trusty steed.
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    US395 over the Columbia into Pasco, WA
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    Rollin' through the vineyards east of Pasco. HWY124 Aside for the Ontairo-Payette area, this was as lame as the scenery got.
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    It wasn't long before we got into the rolling hills of SE Washington. HWY124
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    The highest point we crossed in SE Washington.
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    Interesting facts at Alpowa
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    Looking back toward the way we came. Got some sprinkles but, nothing big.
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    Out of boring SE Washington...Thank god!
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    The highlight of our trip in Lewiston, ID...
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    Just kidding!

    The skies above Lewiston were getting mighty dark after lunch. We thought it may be a good idea to get a move on. As we rolled further into Idaho, it was pretty warm and the skies became relatively friendly. From Lewiston, HWY 12 got progressively prettier and curvier!

    Not sure on the specifics but, here are shots from Lewiston to Kooskia, ID
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    Must have been going to a VW Thing convention...
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    On a break outside Kooskia, we see this dank mass of moisture dropping in the direction we were heading. "Should we put on our rain gear? NAW!"
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    We got a little wet along the way, but not too bad. Here are some shots from the interior portions of Idaho.
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    See a trend here? The scenery slowly gets more and more appealing!

    To be continued...
    #3
  4. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Almost 300 miles into the day, I was getting shooting pains in my throttle hand. I'm not used to this long slab thing. Reaching Lolo Pass and the Idaho border took my mind off the pain.

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    Eww...
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    It was getting dark (and we lost an hour with the time change) and cold so, we beat feet into Missoula for some cold drinks and a warm bed.
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    Our Kabin at the Missoula KOA.
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    This is how we do it in Montana...
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    Lemme tell ya...2 cans of Sparks+Empty stomach=DRUNK

    Stay tuned for Day 3!
    #4
  5. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Day 3: Bitterroot River Valley

    260 miles
    Moving Time: 4h 56m
    Stopped Time: 3h 15m
    Moving Avg: 52.4
    Overall Avg: 31.6
    Max Elevation: 7200ft

    Missoula, MT to Stanley, ID

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    Casey and I had agreed the night before to head south instead of north out of Missoula. Glacier's Going to the Sun Road was still closed and NW Montana/Northern Idaho had the greatest chance of precip. I've always heard the Sawtooth Mtns of ID were bitchin' and we'd bypass all the boring scenery of Eastern Washington this way.

    Weather was looking decent out of Missoula. Mid 50's, Mostly Cloudy...
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    I really wanted to see the Bitterroots in all their glory, but the clouds shrouded their alleged beauty. Pics are from US93 between Lolo, MT and Darby, MT.
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    As we approached Darby, the valley narrowed and the sky darkened. We took another pit stop to gear up.
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    Shit...We we're headed up there? 7200ft at pass level Vs 4000ish if we went north. At this point, we were pot committed. Head for the hills! Photos from south of Darby into Idaho.
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    It was a good thing we did. Sure, it rained a little, but we saw some neat stuff. Like these sheep! Bighorn, I think.
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    They we're all coming down from the rocky bluff in the background to graze roadside. I'm really surprised they stuck around for the photo shoot. Sad but true, this would be our only "cool" wildlife sighting. Saw an okay amount of deer. Shitload of dead skunks and snakes. One coyote in Eastern Oregon. No bears...no elk...no moose.
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    Bitterroot River...
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    As we ascended the mountains, the rain stopped and it got chilly. 40F-45F maybe? Didn't see too much snow through 7200ft...Weird.
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    Right before 93 crosses into Idaho, we b-line it East on MT43 to accomplish this great feat...
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    Alright, back down to 93 and into Idaho. Shots from MT43:
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    Looking into Idaho from the north...
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    Part 2 of Day 3 coming up!
    #5
  6. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    As we wind our way down the mountain, I'm thinking to myself...Why is everyone moving to Bend? Sure Bend is pretty and diverse but, Idaho is fucking amazing. Pictures don't do the place justice and if I took all the pics I wanted to, it's take me 2 months to get home!

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    I wanted to take more pics on the way down to Salmon but, the gnarly rainstorm we rode through hindered that desire.

    Salmon. Not the prettiest town but, in a pretty setting. It was hard to get good pics in town. Stopped at Subway for grub and shelter.
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    Sun!
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    Now that we're dry and fed, time to head west. Challis and Stanley. We went from a high desert to more of a desert-alpine mix, like the Pine Mt area.
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    There were steep canyons where there was only enough room for a 2-lane road and the Salmon River. No shoulder, no turnouts, no fences.

    About half way between Salmon and Stanley, you start seeing more trees.
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    Roadside hot springs. Not really soak-able. Had to be over 120F. The steam got me to pull over.
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    The Salmon...
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    Around 8PM that evening, we rumble into Stanley. This was gonna be a great place to hang out for the night!
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    We settled in to our rustic little room and relaxed after a long day.
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    Tamales this time...
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    #6
  7. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Day 4...A wet ending.

    Miles: 339
    Moving Time: 6h15m
    Stopped Time: 3h55m
    Moving Avg: 54.2
    Overall Avg: 33.3
    Max Elevation: 7200ft

    Stanley, ID to Hines, OR

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    Morning in Stanley, Idaho
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    The motel folk were nice. They left us towels to wipe down our bikes. It got a little frosty here at 6200ft last night!
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    Be careful...Regular in parts of Idaho is 85 octane! Had to buy plus!
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    The road out of town...West.
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    Banner Summit - Top of the Sawtooth range.
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    More good stuff along the way. Sawtooth Range from the west.
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    We lost SPOT right about here...
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    The Payette River
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    About 20 miles west of Lowman (I got the name confused with Lowell, up north) we stop for a break at this grass airstrip, Just east of Garden Valley, ID. They do a good job of keeping it green!
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    Also ran into a pair of ranchers and their dogs at that spot. I guess they're good buddies with the Hatfields of Brothers, OR. They were waiting for a truckload of cattle to arrive.
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    At this point, Casey realizes that SPOT had jumped ship and calls our friend Jenny to have her track it's current location. It was back in Lowman...WEAK! Like a dumbass, I failed to input the exact coordinates of the SPOT (I actually didn't think of it until later.). Casey asks me, "What would you do?" I told him I'd go back for it!
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    To be continued...
    #7
  8. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Casey decided to buzz back up the mountain to try and find spot. It was gonna take some time for me to get out of my rain suit (it was getting warm). I told him if he didn't see me along the road, I'd be in this spot. After Casey left, the cattle arrived!
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    Alright! Enough fucking around. After 30 mins or so, I went to find Casey. I ran into him about 10 miles in. He said he made it all the way to Lowman and came up empty handed. Since we were already behind, I chose to run back up the road and search with a second set of eyes. Casey ran back down into cell range to make some phone calls. I didn't mind heading back up...It was scenic and twisty!
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    Unfortunately, I came up empty handed as well. Oh well. Back to the airfield to regroup.
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    We made out way down into the boring farmlands of Emmett to get gas and lunch.
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    At this point we heard about the gnarly storm that ravaged Bend and that storms were in and around the Burns area. It sounded like we should be clear hours down the road. We went for it! I made a left, instead of a right onto US30 and put us on the freeway for 10 miles. That was a white-knuckler!
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    After Ontario, we tried to get as many miles as possible under us before our next break here, 100 miles east of Burns. I couldn't help but notice the storm brewing to our SW. I told Casey it was prolly 100 miles away and we were gonna get hit.
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    #8
  9. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Here are some shots along US20 toward Juntura. Didn't take tons of pics...Trying to beat the weather!
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    We took another break at Drinkwater pass. At this point, the storm was upon us and there was no avoiding it. It was time to bundle up!
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    Between Drinkwater and Stinkingwater passes, the sky opened up.
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    It would continue to rain the 35+ miles into Hines and all through the night. We shacked up at the Best Western in Hines. Nice place for a little cow town!
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    They were all out of rooms, so we got their apartment/suite. Not bad for the dough. We had an outside door...kinda weird.

    My lobby puddle!
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    Room...
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    My extra socks got a little wet in my bags so I tried different methods to dry them out. No hair dryer!
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    Pool fun!
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    That concludes day 4! I have a handful of pics from day 5 coming up!
    #9
  10. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Day 5

    Miles: 129
    Moving Time: 2h12m
    Stopped Time: 50m
    Moving Average: 58.4MPH
    Overall Average: 42.1MPH

    Hines, OR to Bend, OR
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    Spotty showers on the way home but, nothing major. Some shots between here and Hines...
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    Road work!
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    The Glass Buttes in the clouds!
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    The road ahead...
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    Wildflowers...
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    I wonder how long this has been here?
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    A break in Bros...
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    After 1,342 miles and 84 hours on the road we were finally home!
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    THE END!


    My overall GPS track.
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    Thanks for reading!
    #10
  11. Gotlabs

    Gotlabs Killing with kindness

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    654
    Location:
    Locust Grove, VA
    Cool report, any word on SPOT?
    #11
  12. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    SPOT is unofficially dead. It wasn't in the last place we stopped or anywhere on or along the road. It prolly bailed off the embankment into the Payette. Casey canceled service on it once we reached the airfield. I suggested to leave it on...just in case. I guess he didn't wanna deal with 911 calling his mom or my wife when some kid hits the button!
    #12
  13. TurnerR

    TurnerR Ride motorcycles, have fun

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Cleveland, TN
    Cool report, makes me want a 400 so much more... Looked like a good time. Although dirty wet socks in a microwave is utterly disgusting. lol
    #13
  14. kta

    kta Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    596
    Location:
    Antigua, Guatemala
    You both were on tricked out dirtbikes in amazing countryside - why so much slab? :dunno
    #14
  15. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty Rhinestone Cowboy

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    1. Too broke for a touring bike
    2. Wanted to see as much as possible in a short amount of time
    3. I like a challenge
    4. 50MPG Vs 10MPG
    5. All I do is ride dirt...Thought I'd do something different!

    Now that I've scouted the region...I know where I'd like to set up base camp and explore nothing but dirt!

    Unless a GS or a Strom falls into my lap...Prolly won't do it again.
    #15
  16. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,534
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Thanks for a great report and good pictures of a beautiful area. I so need to get back out there as my last trip was just a fly by on the way to the Coast and Washington.
    Great that you guys did it on 400's. Really a neat feat. I did one round trip from Southwest Louisiana to North Arkansas on a DR350SE. WoW! Sold it and bought a KLR650 when I got home. :lol3 Course I was in my mid 50's then. More agile than now in my mid '60's :lol3
    #16
  17. Backwoods Boogie

    Backwoods Boogie High Desert, High Mileage

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    Once again, nice job Buck...:thumb

    Thanks for sharing! Great photos.
    #17
  18. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,082
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Nice job, looks like a great loop.
    We were up that way last week, the weather could have been a little sunnier and warmer!
    #18
  19. Utah Bones

    Utah Bones Gas X ready!

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,607
    Location:
    Brain in Utah but homeless in Wisconsin....
    Great report!:thumb :beer
    #19
  20. griz901

    griz901 Dipshit

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    330
    Location:
    NW Montana
    :lurkWay to go guys! Thanks for posting the RR :pynd

    I think your decision to go south was a good one. Monday and Tuesday up here was nasty. Your bikes looked like they would have rocked this upper section of the CDT just fine - including the rubber you mounted.

    Out of curiosity, how did the gel pads hold up/perform? I'm in need of a 100+ mile seating solution without spending a small fortune.

    :ear

    griz
    #20