2 Dirtbags do a Western Stomp - UT WY ID MT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Eastbay Dirtbag, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I just had the bizarre realization that I haven't set foot in Wyoming since I moved here from California.

    ...back in 1984. :dunno

    Doubly bizarre as camping in the Tetons back in 80 and 81 inspired both me and my brother to get up here as soon as we escaped high school.

    Anyway, this RR really inspires me to change that and I may well have to steal your tracks to take me down there. So far those routes and roads and vistas look utterly ideal.
    #21
  2. bajaburro

    bajaburro Ancient Adventurer

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    Another fine report.You drove from San Diego to Vernal?
    #22
  3. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    I'd like to check out the road from Greys River to LaBarge sometime.
    Thanks everyone for the encouraging comments.
    #23
  4. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    I've been to WY many many times visiting family or skiing but haven't been on too many backroads other than the CDR. We were overdue to do more exploring. Sounds like you are too. :-)
    Yep. We didn't want to travel over the Labor Day weekend so driving (Edit: took us 2 days each way) saved us many days of riding there and back. We'll do more of Utah during some other trip.
    #24
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  5. 97707

    97707 Vulture capitalist

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    Its worth doing, specially if you are headed over to Pinedale. Some pics of it here.

    Liking your RR.

    .
    #25
  6. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Day 3 Alpine WY to Arco ID 160 miles (~70% dirt)
    - A day of surprisingly scenic forest, grasslands and high plains.
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    We had a tasty breakfast at the Yankee Doodle Diner then headed into the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho past Palisades Reservoir.
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    Away from the reservoir we had the road to ourselves through lovely country.
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    The vast Grays Lake basin. Sorry the large bird taking off from the fence post is a bit blurry. I was rushing to get the pic.
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    I recognize this bird. It's Brutus! Or maybe his brother Otis. He used to sit in the pine tree across the river from my house in Idaho.
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    He was not impressed with my attempts to get a closeup. He turned his back to me and relieved himself with gusto. Having never seen an eagle relieve himself before, I'm just guessing at the gusto part.

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    This area is south of Swan Valley but had a fair number of swans too.
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    #26
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  7. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    That Palisades lake is georgeous. Me and Dingweeds rode across that bridge at the South of the Lake years ago---------and the lake was dry. As in DRY----------I rode way out into it. Just a little creek flowing thru the middle of it.
    Dingweeds took this picture of me from that bridge.
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    Normally my bike would be way under water here. Don't if they drained it for some reason or it was a dry time ????
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    #27
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  8. Vikingtazz

    Vikingtazz Will ride for food.

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    Very nice report and photos of areas I haven't been to (yet).
    Looking forward to more - thank you for posting!
    #28
  9. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    :lurk
    #29
  10. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Thanks for the link. I might have read it before but its a good time for a refresher.
    We had planned on exploring around Dubois and Pinedale on this trip but too much rain prevented that.
    #30
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  11. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Wow. Huge difference. Probably drought. We rode past dry reservoirs in Idaho and Oregon years ago -- cows grazing on the lake bottom.
    Thanks.
    #31
  12. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Day 3 cont'd
    Although Grays Lake basin was lush and green, the road was a dust bowl.

    Spot the DRZ
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    We pulled WAY off the road when we saw these dump trucks coming -- from both directions.
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    I think we'll wait a few minutes. :robin

    These were the only vehicles we saw during the whole stretch from the reservoir.
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    We reached the road construction zone which had off-camber, soft, deep, freshly bladed and over-watered dirt. We slipped and slid through that. It appeared they were just adding more dirt on top of low lying areas. Hmm, I'm no road engineer but don't you need a gravel base for better drainage? :hmmmmm

    Met a guy on a Gold Wing who asked about the road conditions and decided to keep going. At least there would be a road crew to pick him up if necessary.

    Entire hillsides were covered in flowers.
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    Proud of their Mormon heritage.
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    We continued through rolling hills then started the descent towards Blackfoot.

    Blackfoot River canyon
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    We had lunch at an ok Chinese Restaurant and got gas in Blackfoot then headed into the desert east of Craters of the Moon Nat’l Mon.

    Lava flows with colorful lichen dotted the landscape.
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    Reminded me of Jabba the Hutt's many chins.
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    I loved this wide open country. The road morphed from pavement to gravel to dirt then two-track weaving across the desert floor. It was never deep sand.
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    Big Southern Butte. There is a track to the top but we didn't try it.
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    big buttes and baby buttes
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    We did not see anyone until just outside Arco where ranchers were rounding up cattle.
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    In Arco we stayed at the cute little eclectic Lost River Motel. Its dated but clean. Several other motorcyclists were staying there so we shot the breeze for a good while.

    We had dinner across the highway at Pickles Place Restaurant. The food is fine but they need to provide fly swatters at the tables. :lol3

    Except for the construction zone, we were essentially alone on the dirt roads all day. Yay!
    #32
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  13. 97707

    97707 Vulture capitalist

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    Don't know where your route takes you next, but I enjoyed my trip down the Pashemeroi valley when I was around Arco.

    .
    #33
  14. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    Interesting area: Arco maybe 2004, stayed at the, small simple clean then, D K motel with my old friend Verle Nelson. We had a great meal a few blocks N on 26 and left at maybe the Mello Dee Club, great steaks. We were headed to the Chilli Cheeseburger run nat, I think, Horseshoe Bems, ID. The Chilli was or may be a yearly event day, where people rode there ate and left with 2 1/2 days to get home.

    Sorry for the drift off!
    #34
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  15. Jedi2Rider

    Jedi2Rider Been here awhile

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    Carl.

    Definitely Carl. :D
    #35
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  16. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Yes, we've been that way. We tried riding the ridgeline of the Lost River Range south from Challis to Lime Creek. (Leaton Gulch- Nf111 -Nf110).

    We didn't climb this (Grouse Peak 8400 ft) but I tried one later (Table Mtn 9090 ft) that was steeper, loose and rough -- didn't make it. It was more like a cat-track or fire-break than a road or even a two-track. That's when we started looking for a bailout.
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    Great views from the ridgeline. I think this is looking west toward the Lost River valley.
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    We bailed east into the Pahsimeroi valley. The bailout was sketchy and steep too. I was praying it went through because I'm not sure we could have climbed back up to the ridgeline. We eventually connected with White Hills Rd (Nf109) into the valley then over Doublespring Pass to Mackay.
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    It was only a 5 day trip in 2012 but maybe I'll write that one up and provide a link here if anyone is interested in connecting pieces of that trip onto this one. The routes intersect in a couple spots.
    #36
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  17. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    There was a steakhouse downtown years ago. It was in the basement. They only took cash, which I didn't realize until they brought the bill. Luckily I had enough cash with me or I would have been washing dishes!
    #37
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  18. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Day 4 Arco to Challis ID 130 miles (~70% dirt)
    - A day of awesome remote high mountains and passes.
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    We had breakfast at Pickles Place and headed into the hills.

    Brrr it was chilly in the valley! As soon as we climbed into the foothills it was noticeably warmer.
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    It doesn’t take long to get away from town if you want isolation.
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    Looking back. There are old gold mining sites in this drainage.
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    We took a short side trip to one mine. Orange sludge oozed into the creek. It didn't look like anything was being done to prevent it.

    There are a few large ranches and then you enter the Salmon-Challis Nat’l Forest.
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    This is one of my all time favorite roads! (Nf135) The last time we took it was in 2012. There are a couple shallow water crossings and then the road climbs to the first pass.
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    No one out here but us and some cattle.
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    Heading to the second pass. You can see the switchbacks ahead.
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    The second pass is steeper and rougher than the first but nothing technical. Sometimes the only good line is near the edge.
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    The first time we rode this I thought it was scary steep -- both going up and down. This time I thought it funny that I was afraid years ago. Silly girl.[​IMG]

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    Looking back
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    #38
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  19. 97707

    97707 Vulture capitalist

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    Nice job with the pics.

    .
    #39
  20. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    I’m enjoying the ride along. Beautiful country and toads that just right.
    #40