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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MasterMarine, Nov 30, 2020.
Thanks and Merry Christmas back at you
Thanks as well MM. Really enjoyed the write up. Pictures, a good story or three, and a few maps to get my bearings all made it a cover to cover read.
Excellent wrap to an outstanding report @MasterMarine! Thank you for taking the time to get this adventure documented and crafted; gives me something to dream about as I ponder rides for '21 and beyond.
Have to relate a similar, funny story about running into badgers on the track. Encountered a mama and her cub during my trip in June. Never had one square off on me before as I've always seen them in the distance. Not this time, mama flattened herself on the track and made ready to attack - giving her cub time to scurry off. I didn't have time (or the cojones...lol) to get my camera out, but turned my gopro on and followed the the cub off track for ~20 seconds.
The pics from your last day of riding are phenomenal man, what an amazing area to ride and explore. Seriously love the shots with the snow-capped mountains in the background, you guys must have been up in elevation too as there was snow close to some of the riding shots.
Looking out at gray skies and rain from where I sit reading this report - so nice to see the giant openness of the high desert and bright blue skies. I have a strong affinity for sage, so much so I found someone who distills and sells the essential oil - amazing what memories are triggered with scents.
Couldn't agree more with your statement man. While tough to understand or internalize in the moment, life going pear-shaped can be an excellent teacher. Lots of analogies, but I like one akin to riding - many crashes are caused by the rider 'forgetting to ride' - something scares 'em, etc, and they crash. Same thing in life - it'll pass you by if you forget to experience it.
Again, thanks much for taking the time on the report.
I finally remembered to search for your report after you mentioned it. Great stuff as always.
I would have a really hard time with the heat- I don’t do well at all - 70 is about as hot as I like it.
But knowing all these guys, I’m sure it was a blast and everyone did pretty well.
"Badger Hill" on the last day. I have to see if I can find pictures of that. I've been across that plain and up that grade three times now. It is so spectacular riding on the approach through super tall grass with a barely visible two track. and then up that sketchy grade cut into the side of the cliff!
Because I am so far behind in the story, my picture posts don't really align. This is back to one of the many assents/decents as we navigated north to south along with Salt Lake Basin:
We usually see a ton of wild horses on these trips -- in numbers from two to 50. Surprisingly over nine days we saw none. We did encounter a huge herd of Elk though. We first saw them in a stand of trees ahead of us. The quickly spotted us and ran over the next hill. However, as we continued on our track up a ridge line we discovered they were ascending the next ridge over. Super cool. Again this pics are with a 300mm lens.
Mastermarine will have to say where this was...it all just blends together!
Completely zoomed in. I think I count 30 head. Not something you see on your average ride!
At one point, we went to a place called Devil's playground. Its an area of numerous rock outcroppings with trails between many of them. Mastermarine defined a GPS route through them and we tried to follow it. Some did better than others...
More animals. Sheep herds are always fun. They kinda get out of your way but you have to go slow. Watch out for the big white great pyrenees dogs though. Mastermarine can attest I have more than once pushed my photo taking a bit too far around them. They are not much interested in being your friend. This was in Idaho I think.
There is a white dog in that picture somewhere:
Nevada...with its usual fanfare:
Riding down the Idaho/Utah border. That road is the state line as far as the eye can see.
Killer pics @KarmaSect! Logistic question for your camera and lens(es?) - how do you carry those when riding? Especially a 300mm lens - that's not a small lens to haul around on a loaded dual-sport hitting rocky terrain. I've been through a couple cameras already - died bad deaths from being vibrated to hell in my tank bag.
I picked up a Sony a6000 for my trip in June and it's a nice camera, but the stock lens leaves a lot to be desired. I'd like to carry a couple lenses, but not sure how to do so without fubaring the optics.
In any event, appreciate any input on how you haul 'em. And keep posting those pics - fantastic shots of the elk herd man.
Cameras. Been through a bunch as well, though never killed one. For gentle rides on my GS, I take my $$$$ full frame Nikon (left). I used to take DX sensor SLR (D90) and a 28-300 lens (middle) -- great shots but heavy as hell in a tank bag.
Now I take the camera on right right. Its a Panasonic Lumix FZ-300. 12 megapixel. Leica F2.8 25 to 600mm zoom. Image Stabilization. Weather sealed. 1.5 lbs. Not quite as nice as a full SLR, but much more practical than messing with huge expensive lenses. The model is a few years old now, but I have yet to find anything close to its overall offering for off-road adventure travel.
Because I am late the ride report party, I will go backwards with the rest of my pictures. Last day. Jarbidge to Jackpot. Its always fun encountering a group of fresh riders on big GSs ready for a BDR. We were there in Jarbidge on D9 -- dirty on dirty bikes. Stark contrast.
A shot looking toward Idaho. Fairly flat in the distance except for one of the deep river canyons cutting across the landscape:
Finally ascending into the Jarbidge wilderness area. I think this was our highest elevation of the trip: around 9k IIRC.
Headed toward Jackpot:
Final shot before Jackpot. Going down and temp going up. I think that was the hottest day of the trip.
Top to bottom, this has been a stellar ride report!! Many thanks for putting it all together and helping me transpose myself from an office chair to the high desert, if only in my mind. Your "stop and smell the roses" attitude combined with an equal desire to twist that throttle, is an ideology that I can get behind!
Thanks for your kind words. We had a great time out there for the week.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I had not organized or been out on a ride like this for a few years because of other commitments. It was a great reminder of those other fun times and really makes me want to get out and do some more of them. Sharing the rides here (and looking at them sometimes) helps me to remember the details of each specific trip which all seem to get jumbled together in my mind. We saw many fabulous sites as we simply motored by and absorbed them into our consciousness without stopping and pulling out the camera. My dirt bike and the understanding that I can get out there and find my way across some of the most remote country anywhere has allowed me to have experiences I never could have dreamed of. My 500 EXC has taken me to many amazing, beautiful, remote places and has been my chair as I have seen just about every wild animal I know of in North America. I have been exposed in the sun, the rain, the wind and the snow on these trips. I have been freezing cold and overwhelmingly hot (sometimes both in the same day). I have met many great people and have experienced the kindness and caring of complete strangers and even whole communities. Together we have overcome many obstacles from mechanical issues to injuries to detours to extreme weather. The unexpected is almost always the most memorable parts of these journeys. I hope the ride reports we have shared will kindle or generate a spark of that interest in others to go for it.
@KarmaSect - thanks for the info on the cameras! Ironically, the 2 cameras I've killed are both Panasonic Lumix - first was the ZS100 and then the ZS200 I picked up when I sent the ZS100 in for cleaning/repair (was cheaper to buy the ZS200 than get the 100 repaired). I like the specs on that model you carry, do you keep in in a tank bag? If so, what's it packed in? I believe my worst enemies have been dust and vibrations - used a Pelican case with that pick-foam to try and keep 'em clean, but haven't had great success.
Sorry for the thread-jack @MasterMarine.
Back to the pics...killer captures of riding from the "flats" up into the Jarbridge area. Man, what a contrast in landscapes - so cool to see. I definitely need to get out and ride there. Though I really like my new job, there are many times I regret leaving my old gig and its 5 weeks of vacation - so much easier to get out for long rides like this.
Keep the pics coming! My town (Sherwood) supposedly received over 4" of rain the last two days - need some sunshine to look at...LOL.
Great report and images !!
Thanks! We had a great time out there. Glad you enjoyed it.
I hope @KarmaSect will come around again and drop off some of his fantastic pictures.
Thank you MM, great report! I appreciate you taking me through my favorite part of the West.
@MasterMarine what a great RR! I stumbled on it from... somewhere. I totally dig the ethos of the trip and camping in the wild as you did. I love that. It serves as some great inspiration and as a welcome respite from the PNWet winter we're currently enduring.
Early in the report, you mentioned bike choice. As a glutton for punishment and one who takes his big bike with his idiot friends in inappropriate places; I'm wondering if you take out the singletrack you rode - the 001 trail, the grass-covered skree, and the 'shortcut' - such a ride could be suitable for a properly equipped big bike with a capable (crazy) rider? Say, 790/890/990/1090 with little regard for the bike (or the rider)?
Glad you enjoyed the report. I enjoy reading others of warm and unknown places too.
You are kind of asking me the same question as riders asking me if they should race the Desert 100 on their GS. I guess it is possible but it sure would be a lot more fun (and less expensive) on a smaller bike. Sure some people do it. I know several who have and will again. Why is it a good idea again??
This exact route isn't big bike friendly. I am sure someone could use it as a base for something that is. There are ways around the hard stuff. In fact we were almost riding around in circles in some of the areas on ST and ATV trails crossing a perfectly good 2 track or gravel road multiple times.
As an example, that climb from the Bruneau up Wickiup gets pretty hairy larry up top. Then it cruises the ridgeline a bit. The easier way to town is to climb a loose steep grade (which we had a hell of a time climbing on 650cc bikes years ago) on the way to Deer Mt. and then you can drop into Jarbidge from the same road as the NVBDR. In the BDR video it was snow covered when they descended into town. Another route is not so bad from the ridgeline but it gets crazy with a stupid decent into town on the "Powerline Road". Or you can work your way NE to the "Closed" grade down to Jarbidge.
Or instead of climbing the Wickiup, you can continue north along the Bruneau river and then take the main gravel super highway NE thru the ranch and down Deer Creek Grade Road which takes you to the "Closed" decent.
After Jarbidge the grade out of town on NF 73 from near the Red Barn is a rocky steep mess. There is no way I would ever want to take a big bike up that. I dropped my bike at least once making that climb last year. And it has a couple of smaller but pretty deep water crossings too. Instead you could go way back up to Murphy Hot Springs from Jarbidge and up the hill toward Rogerson then cut south to end up on the route we were on.
There are plenty of adventures to have out there. I like the smaller bike as it is hard enough to get thru some of the obstacles with it. I imagine a big bike would shed a lot of expensive plastic bits on one of these trips.