2018 - Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route / Death of a KLR650

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by relichunter, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. Comrade Arturo

    Comrade Arturo Veterinario

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    Next time you visit Idaho, bring a fishing rod. Enjoying your trip, keep posting :thumb
    #21
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  2. brgsprint

    brgsprint Long timer Supporter

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    My thoughts were that the pictures make me thirsty and the videos make my yearn for my fishing rod and trout on the campfire.

    I am enjoying your report. Well done.
    #22
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  3. bete

    bete misguided adventurer

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    Great read! I'm ready for more.
    #23
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  4. tominboise

    tominboise Long timer

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    Great report. Question - most of the pictures of the trails show pretty good condition gravel roads, that a bigger adventure bike could handle. Would you agree?
    #24
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  5. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    Yes a large adventure bike can do this route quite easily. There are some steep rocky parts though. I am planning on riding this same route again with my Africa Twin this summer.
    #25
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  6. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    The next morning I tighten and clean the chain. I also take off the gas tank. At some point yesterday the tank started making a weird squeaking noise. Once off I found one of the bushings between the frame and the tank was missing. Somehow it had come off and sat on the top of the engine next to the spark plug for who knows how long. I reinstalled it and put the tank back on. I then checked the air filter to find it completely packed in dirt again. Fortunately, it looked like there were a couple of motorcycle shops up the road past Lolo hopefully one of them will clean my filters.

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    Leaving the campground, I was greeted by a lovely lane flanked by trees on both sides. Its going to be a beautiful day.

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    The first motorcycle shop I come to is five valley honda. They have just finished setting out their bikes. I catch one of the guys and ask him if they can clean my filters. They say sure and one of the guys drops everything and cleans then preps my two filters. I ask them what I owe them and they say don’t worry about it just give us a good google review. In appreciation I bought three quarts of oil (yes the oil burning is getting a little worse) and gave them a glowing google review. The picture above I posted in my review.


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    A new ATAS in the background - a foreshadowing of things to come. (My current bike is an 18 ATAS)

    Now, on to the Lolo Motorway!
    #26
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  7. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    Leaving Montana in full adventure mode.

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    Along the way I stop at the Indian Post office. At the point marked on my GPS I don’t see anything so I get off my bike and start hiking up to the ridge. Soon I was rewarded by some pretty cool rock structures.

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    If someone told me the rock cairns had been placed a year ago I would have believed them.

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    Once I finished exploring the post office I headed down the trail bit until I found a quite spot and cooked some lunch. This spot had an incredible overlook that allowed me to eat while being entertained by two large birds circling overhead on warm updrafts.

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    #27
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  8. Vinbowie

    Vinbowie Been here awhile

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    Oh man! Such beautiful country. Am enjoying your report. Thank you.
    #28
  9. Cyclenaut

    Cyclenaut Been here awhile

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    Great RR & images
    #29
  10. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    After lunch I headed down a steep rocky section where I ran into two guys on dirt bikes. The first people on the trail all day! They were in the middle of the path changing out the prefilter on a ancient KTM. I think these guys would have been fun to ride with but they were headed the other way. While we chatted, two riders on BMW 1200GS lumbered by. It’s weird how we all ended up at the same place at the same time. I was impressed at how stable the riders on the BMWs were through the rugged terrain. Part of their strategy was ride slow and steady. Mine? A little faster. I passed them soon after.

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    I rode the rest of the afternoon without seeing another motorcycle. Just as I was coming off the dirt onto Highway 12 I saw two BMW riders again. They looked like the same ones I passed earlier. How did they get in front of me? Maybe there is a special paved road only BMW riders know about? I’ll probably never know. I filled up with gas in Pierce then continued. My goal is Dworshak Reservoir. I’ve heard there is a free campground down by the boat launch. I think I’m pretty close but the road just goes.
    #30
  11. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    I arrive at the boat launch around 7pm. There seems to be one spot left for me to put up a tent. The flies are terrible. It appears to me that I stand out as everyone watches my every move. There is a grouping of three well worn camper trailers next to me populated with some weathered looking people who are drinking beer and skinning a pile of fish. I walk over to introduce myself and a long conversation ensues. These folks are some of the older locals who come up every year to spend a week or three fishing from an old boat and hanging around the campsite. The flies were are driving me crazy but these old timers didn’t seem to be bothered. I enjoyed the conversation immensely. I learned about some of the area’s local history from some of the very people who made it. I regret that I didn't think to ask about the history of the reservoir or Grandad Bridge. After some time, I excuse myself, to do some bike maintenance before dark. Once that was done I hiked down an steep boat ramp then carefully walked into the deep black water to cool down and rinse off some of the day’s dirt. That night I slept pretty well in spite of the knowledge that the next spot over was covered in fish guts. Hopefully, any bears, skunks, dogs, etc.. would stay over there.
    #31
  12. Diamond K

    Diamond K Adventurer

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    Enjoying your stories and photos. Have spent a lot of time in the Idaho back country. Love the Yellow Pine and Big Creek area. Keep it coming. It is snowing and -1 degrees today in MO so I am catching up on my reading.
    #32
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  13. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    Smoke’s Back – Day 4 - I get an early start. Not much to do at the boat launch in the morning.


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    I bet there are some serious politics involved in the construction of the Grandad Bridge. I know I'm not the first to think it is an impressive bridge in what seems to be nowhere.

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    #33
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  14. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    The Blue Heaven might be free lodging but it is the middle of the day, the bike is running well and there is plenty more BDR to ride before Canada. I’m making good time thanks in part to very long days and riding alone. I’ve planned 8 days for the trip based on other’s recommendations but if I continue at this pace, I could be in Canada tomorrow. That means I might get to do part of the Continental Divide trail on the way home.

    Right after the Blue Heaven I take one of my favorite images of the trip.



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    Its still morning as I near Avery, Idaho. I’m very low on water (I have since bought a filter) and my gas reserves are starting to worry me. I should be fine except I run into these signs.

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    #34
  15. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    The tunnel ahead is a complete surprise. It doesn’t look like there is any way around it. As I get close I can see light on the other side. Lucky for me it’s still really early and nobody is around to stop me so I slip right through!

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    In Avery I filled up with gas (it turns out there is another station just down the road) then headed over to the visitor’s center.

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    The Avery Historical Museum is an old train station built in 1909. All that is left of the railroad seem to be a dining car and this station as well as a spectacular trail though the abandoned tunnels and over giant truss bridges.

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    If you go into the museum and there is a backpack still above the window, I hung that. While looking around an older lady tried to climb the ladder but quickly climbed down. I offered to help her do whatever she was doing. It seems the only place to hang the newly accessioned backpack was above the window. On my way up the ladder the lady said “please don’t fall down” to which I replied “with all this gear on I don’t think I could possibly hurt myself”. The woman was so grateful you would have thought I did something really impressive. Since she now owed me, I asked if I could fill up my camel back and water bottles in their break room sink. Little things make these trips priceless - this was one.

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    #35
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  16. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    In one of the ride reports I heard of tunnels in the area. The lady in the museum confirmed that the train used to go through the tunnels. There is some really interesting history around the building of the railroad (like electric engines) but you can look it up. She pointed the way to the tunnels and that’s where I went.


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    Riding into a dark tunnel on a motorcycle has a way of heightening the spirit of adventure!

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    #36
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  17. River-Runner

    River-Runner Been here awhile

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    Think about fitting a filter skin on the KLR air filter. Buddy had issues our last IBDR trip with the KLR air filter getting plugged up often. Eazy solution to dusty roads. I take one to change every day or two on the KTM trips. Keeps the main filter like new!

    Looks like a nice trip. We enjoy the Avery area as they have a nice B&B in the schoolhouse.
    #37
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  18. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    As I rode into the afternoon the trails started to blur. I had to backtrack several times as I made wrong turns onto roads paralleled each other but on different planes.

    One time I got turned around and blasted down two miles of trail I had already been on before I recognized something that looked vaguely unique but familiar. When I checked my GPS I determined I had just come from here. I was having a lot of fun but I was also getting a little numb to the miles and miles of fast dirt trails. 20180824_144321.jpg

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    Every time I stopped in this section I would get swarmed by bees. The first time this happened I thought I must have parked on a nest. I'm amazed I didn't get stung.




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    Grassy Mountain Summit -
    By afternoon the smoke has gotten thick again. The smell is becoming a permanent memory deeply embedded in my sinuses.



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    #38
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  19. relichunter

    relichunter Precariot

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    As night neared, I found myself close to Sandpoint. To make it before dark I skipped the section of the BDR that went up to Char Falls. I pulled into what I think was Sam Owen state park just as it was getting dark. On line the images of the park show lots of great water access but the part I ended up in, the part with open sites, was no where near the lake but I was happy to have a place to sleep.


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    The next morning I packed everything up, and did the regular motorcycle maintenance then made a quick trip to the outhouse. Just as I was walking out something stung me right on my calf. I instinctually slapped it so fast I didn’t get to see what it was. It felt like a bee but it smashed like a spider. I forgot to watch out for Idaho toilet spiders! For the next two days the spot would feel like I had just been stung by a bee. I thought about going into a clinic but after researching the possibilities online I concluded that it was unlikely to be serious enough to end the trip. After all, today is Canadian Border Crossing day, the first time I have ridden a dual sport across the border. On this morning the bike wasn’t happy about starting. Before joining up with the BDR I stopped at the Walmart and bought some treats then I went over to the car parts store and of course stocked up on two more quarts of oil.

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    This last bit of the BDR wasn’t that impressive other than the fact that Canada wasn’t far away. It was mostly well maintained gravel roads with houses here and there which kept my speed down significantly. There were a lot of animals though. I skip the little extra loops because who knows how much this bike has in it.

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    I forgot to clean my shield of bugs from yesterday

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    The white building is officially my end of the IDBDR. Next stop is the border crossing. My plan is to go into Canada and have lunch in Creston then ride up to Cranbrook for the night then head down to Glacier National park but I am having doubts. The bike isn’t running as well as it should. In fact, it is running like it was earlier in the trip but this time I know I have a clean filter (number 4 for the trip) in it. This morning a larger than normal blue cloud puffed out of the tail pipe when the bike started. Now there visible smoke coming from the pipe. I decide what the rest of my journey will look like over lunch.

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    #39
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  20. BMWs2Dave

    BMWs2Dave Been here awhile

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    Napa, CA.
    I enjoyed your trip report. lots of beautiful country out there. I hope to get out there and ride someday.
    I would have been nervous riding in remote areas by myself on a poor running bike. It would really suck to breakdown miles from town or help.
    it is better to ride with a buddy in case of mechanical problems.
    It pains me to see Idaho burning up and so many blackened forests. That is a consequence of global warming in my opinion. :(
    #40
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