A bear ate my jerky!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BGil, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Whoa. 10,000 miles on a DRZ seat,you may in line for some sort of award or plaque,might be worth checking in to.
    After 45,000 miles on my DR650 I have settled on a Sargent seat,its not hard,its not really soft,vaguely springy feeling. I can do a 600 mile day and be ok.
    Like a Corbin its about 13.5" wide in the back. Like you I will end up going for ever with out stopping so its a toss up that way. Much enjoying the report!
    #41
  2. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    So it's Duane, not Dwayne. Sorry for butchering your name :)

    You're one of the few people who knows the meaning of the title of this ride report.

    By the way, how's the Tiger?
    #42
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  3. OrangeDreamCycler

    OrangeDreamCycler ...explorer of options.....

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    You don't really want to know.
    She's still limping along fine.
    For a British Lass.

    When the big reveal comes you should all be appropriately
    Seated because it was a very Big Yogi.:lol3
    That which does not eat your Jerky could eat you.
    IMG_20190101_120639321.jpg .
    #43
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  4. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    The next day, I didn’t want to follow the same road for the 3rd time so I took the Freeway 85 to get closer fast to the goal of the day.

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    Before Ontario, I took the Route 95 to Riggins.

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    I was back in the desert of grassy hills, burnt by the sun and the drought. You can find green patches only near the rivers or in the hollows and ditches on the sides of the valleys.

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    It seems that a battle took place here against the Nez Perce. Considering the size of the monument, I expected it to be a big battle but with 34 death, it was merely a skirmish. The US are lucky to have a relatively peaceful History where such a small battle is worth its own monument. Keep it that way.

    Along the way, I had a look at the strange conformations of the rock. Clearly, that was of volcanic origin. These columns can only form when the lava cools down slowly and crystallize.

    It looks like the ribs of some monstrous animal buried in the hill.

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    What I wanted to do now was to ride another stretch of the BDR.

    In Riggins, I talked with a local who pointed out that the forest west of the town was burning and that I should consider it before venturing myself in the wild.

    Thus, I went a little north, to Grangeville. There, I met again the BDR only to discover that this part of the route is not exactly a trail but a smooth road following a lovely river.

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    Eventually, I reached Elk City. End of the road, start of the trail, and more importantly, last fuel station for a long time.

    The Butler BDR map portrays this section of the route as easy in dry conditions, but without services for 120 miles. No fuel, no workshop, no phones, nothing.

    My bike has a fuel range of 150 miles before reserve. It was doable, provided that I didn’t waste my time or take a wrong turn.

    En route !

    Maybe you remember my jest about the name of some places, Dead Indian Mountain, etc. This one is even better: it’s the River of No Return Wilderness Area.
    Disappointingly – sort of – the name comes from “its swift current which makes upstream travel difficult” [Wikipedia].

    The dirt road I took is the Magruder Corridor, which crosses it from west to east.

    Immediately after Elk City, while the road is still covered by a nice gravel, the scenery is impressing.

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    The dirt road follow the hillside, with a splendid vista of the valley below.

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    The sky is grey. Far away, I can see rain clouds, and rain can be a big problem in the mountains.

    For a few miles, I can see houses scattered here and there before the trail, and then the fun really starts.

    On the side of the road, I spot little white heaps. Hailstones, not snow. It’s getting cold and the trail is steep.

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    A sign reminds the traveller that we are indeed quite high.

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    Then the scenery becomes grim. Everything burned.

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    I wasn’t expecting this.

    Considering the vegetation, the presence of pioneer plants only, it looks like the forest burned 1 or 2 years ago. My map is from 2014. A lot of things happens in 4 years.

    In the evening, I find a place to pitch my tent.

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    Another primitive campground. There’s even a toilet. But the place is empty; I would rather piss on a tree than in a smelly concrete box.

    The night comes. The grey veil brought by the wildfires far away creates a gloomy atmosphere. I feel like in a Tim Burton’s movie.

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    For a change, I took the time to cook something, instead of munching some bread with a piece of cheese.

    I fried onions with something called Canadian bacon, rice, and “butter” spray. The meal was good, but that “butter spray”… Disgusting. I won’t digress on it, I will just say “yuck”.

    In the middle of the night, a noise awakened me, like if my pots were tumbling down a hill.

    I jumped out of the tent with a torchlight and saw two green eyes reflecting its light. A fox.
    At least, it’s not a bear.

    Regardless, I stored my leftover under the awning of my tent.

    Unfortunately, the fox didn’t steal the can of spray butter. Sometimes, animals can be wiser than men.
    #44
  5. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    Macgruder Corridor is quite interesting and a very good ride.
    #45
  6. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    I started early in the morning. I still had to cross most of that Magrudder Corridor.

    The forest was still burnt for dozens of miles.

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    Further, I noticed a sign pointing to a little trail climbing the hill: Burnt Knob Lookout, 1 ½ miles.

    The track was in a really bad shape, full of rocks and holes and ruts deep enough to hide a cat.
    Climbing uphill wasn’t very difficult, but I guessed that the way down would prove trickier.

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    Up there, the vista was splendid. I could see dead trees and smoke for miles!

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    Eventually, to ride down the slope, I simply cut the engine and used only the brakes.

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    I had a lot of fun!

    Below, you can see the road meandering across the forest.

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    From another ridge, the devastated forest allows us to see the gently curved shape of the valley, like a cradle. The work of a glacier obviously.

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    The forest seems dead but nature is growing back, and fast. The pioneer plants enjoying the light no longer captured by the canopy make a good fodder.

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    You can see that fires are not unusual. In the background, to the right, the hill is covered with young pines, all of the same age. The legacy of a previous fire.

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    Life, again. A chipmunk.

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    Slowly, mile after mile, I left the dead forest to come back to greener lands.

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    Here is this River of No Return. It must be a fisherman’s paradise.

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    Half an hour before coming back to the pavement, I met a group of local residents. For the hunters too the place must be a paradise.

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    Another few miles and I’m on the road, heading to the nearest fuel station.

    I had a mere half gallon left in the tank, enough for only 25 miles.
    #46
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  7. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    I know your trip is over and you are safe but if you return to bear country never ever store your left overs in or around your tent.
    #47
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  8. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    Did you go all the way up Burnt Knob to the old fire lookout perched on the edge? You can go in, it's awesome!
    #48
  9. Chillvibe

    Chillvibe n00b

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    Thank you for taking the time to post this RR. Really good read and thoroughly enjoying it.
    #49
  10. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Yes, later I had the opportunity to learn about the dangers of bears. In Yellowstone I even briefly considered buying a can of bearspray.

    But when in awoke in the middle of the night I did what I would have done in a country where a fox stealing your lunch is the worst thing that could happen when you're camping in the forest.

    I will be more cautious next time.
    #50
  11. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    I don't remember an old fire lookout, so I guess I didn't go all the way up.
    The road kept going but I thought I was at the Burnt Knob.
    #51
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  12. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    You'd remember this. I'm sorry you missed it. Sorry if I am hijacking your thread, but I have some details on it in a trip report here: https://meefzah.smugmug.com/September-2016-Glacier-NP/ if you'd like to see it.

    This is the place, it is just a bit higher up than the picture you posted:

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    #52
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  13. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    You made some very good shots!
    Too bad I missed the hut, the view from there was wondeful in your pictures.
    #53
  14. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Leaving behind the Magruder Corridor, I headed north at a steady pace.

    Shortly before reaching Missoula, I stopped briefly in Lolo for groceries, then headed toward the Lolo National Forest, where I camped on a half-hidden closed track.

    After another night without being bothered by a bear, I kept going north until Lake Flathead, where I decided to stop early to enjoy the lake and the nice weather.

    The place was beautiful, the sun was shining and the water was perfect.

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    After a bath, I went to town to get some food, then back in the campground, I bathed again.

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    It’s true that the lake is not as beautiful as Lake Tahoe, but at least it was quiet and not packed full of vacationers.

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    As I was enjoying the evening and drinking a beer almost cold, a man walking his dog passed by and we started to chat.

    He was a biker too. So, of course, we talked about bikes, the nice places to visit, etc. The usual stuff.

    He came back 20 minutes later with two cans of beer brewed by his brother. I tasted them immediately. Surprising. Ginger, lime and cream. Highly unusual but refreshing.

    He was on holyday with his wife. He’s living east of Yellowstone and, when I told him about my intents to visit this park, he suggested me to pay him a visit if I ever come near Cody.

    In the morning of the 25th August, I was back on the road.

    Another suggestion from Advrider was to visit the Bison National Range, where you can drive next to a herd of bison. Nice!

    Alas! In the parking lot, I found a sign warning the visitor that it was forbidden to motorcycle. I went inside the visitor center and asked a ranger at the front desk who confirmed it.
    We chatted a little and he told me that it was forbidden, not because of the risk of being attacked by one of these bad-tempered giants without the protection of the steel cage of a car, but because the road was very bad. I can understand that it could be a problem for a huge Harley or a Goldwing, but I’m on a DRZ!

    Never mind. I hope I will get to see bisons somewhere else.

    I keep going toward Glacier National Park.

    Another disappointment: here, too, the smoke clouds the landscapes. Frustrated, I kept going without stopping and decided to make a detour into Canada as another inmate (@boatpuller) had told me that the sight was exceptional.

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    Crossing the border is fast and easy. A few questions, a stamp in your passport and you’re through.

    But before getting to the Rockies, I had to ride along this long and boring Route 22, part of the route called Cowboy Trail, probably to attract the tourists.

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    I stopped in a campground and realised that I was installed next to two German tourists from Bremerhaven. They suggested to follow a road called Kananaski Trail, heading to the mountains and the two lakes and the village of the same name and meeting the Trans-Canadian Highway west of Calgary. I followed their advice.

    Indeed, the road quickly became more pleasant. Instead of those vast plains sparsely populated by cattle, I was entering into forested mountain valleys, and with a different population.

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    I wonder if these sheep taste good. I guess they do, and that’s why they have been hunted almost to extinction.

    The road keeps going.

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    The mountains grow bigger, more impressive. The weather is getting colder too.

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    At last, the smoke disappeared! To be replaced by rain…

    That’s the first real rain since the beginning of this trip; I guess I shouldn’t complain, but I do anyway.

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    Hopefully, I stopped in time to get my rain gear out of my bags. I was not too wet.

    While I was looking for a place to spend the night, I noticed a sign inviting the traveller to visit a waterfall. Why not?
    The road climbs steeply on the side of the mountain and, after around 20 km, I’m there.

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    Of course, it would be prettier with the sun shining.

    A little later, I eventually found a campground. The place is beautiful, stuck at the bottom of a narrow valley, surrounded by cliffs, on this side…

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    And on the other side.

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    The problem is that this narrow valley is crossed by the highway and the railway.

    Noisy, to say the least. I’m not recommending the place.
    #54
  15. Sno Leppard

    Sno Leppard Adventurer

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    His reproductive organs are probly gonna be inop.
    #55
  16. Merfman

    Merfman Cape truster... Supporter

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    Great stuff Bernard! Rex, who you'll meet later, is from Astoria... thought I'd toss that out. Thanks for putting up the ride and I'm glad you
    found us Yanks accomodating!

    Lastly, enduring that seat for 10,000 miles is Ironman territory....
    #56
  17. OrangeDreamCycler

    OrangeDreamCycler ...explorer of options.....

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    patient-bear-waits-patiently.jpg
    #57
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  18. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    I headed back to the south.

    Keeping the Rockies to my left, I was getting closer to the U.S. border.

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    I even met again the Columbia River. That far from its gorge and its mouth, it was already very wide.

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    Back to the high valleys of Northern Idaho.

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    I had ridden all day and the evening was getting closer. The sun started to disappear here and there behind the peaks, and I still hadn’t found a place to pitch my tent.

    I was thinking about finding a quiet place in the woods instead of a campground when suddenly I saw a black shape crossing the road in front of me. A black bear.

    Maybe I will find a campground after all. I’m not very familiar with the precautions needed in bear country and I don’t have hard boxes for my gear and food.

    Eventually, I found one, just before the sunset, on the shore of Lake Pend-Oreille.

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    It felt a bit weird to find french names, my native language, in this part of the world, like the road I was following, the Nez-Percé Trail.

    The next day, I crossed the city of Coeur d’Alene (Heart of Alene, I love this name!) and followed the lake of the same name.

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    After having endure hundreds of miles on the highway, I deserved to roam on more pleasant roads.

    First, the Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway, then the St Joe River Scenic Byway.

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    This road crosses the Clear Water Mountains, following the St Joe River. In other words, I was good for a hundred of miles of a winding road, with a scenery like this:

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    Or like this:

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    Or this:

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    Beautiful.

    Then, once in Montana, I had to get back on Highway 90. I stopped in a campground near Alberton, next to an excellent restaurant.

    And here too, the view was very pleasant.

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    In the morning, the 29th of August, while I was riding on the Road 200, I saw a sign advertising the ghost town of Garnet. Let’s have a look.

    Prosperous little gold mining town, Garnet is lost in the mountains. This explains why it was deserted so quickly when the vein ran out; allowing its preservation (almost) as it was at the end of the 19th century.

    A trail leads there.

    First clue of its existence, a tiny cemetery, in the middle of nowhere.

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    Then the town itself appears, a few wooden buildings scattered near the mines entrance.

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    First stop, the saloon.

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    Here is what’s left of the mines.

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    Back on the road, I’m heading toward the vast plains of Montana.

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    Before reaching Helena, I’m climbing MacDonald pass. Here, no Happy Meal but an impressive scenery.

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    I’m on a bike, not in a camper. I can climb a little further.

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    A night near Townsend, then I keep going south.

    I stopped in Bozeman for a quick oil change then kept going.

    On the side of the road, another sign, this time advertising a grizzly bear sanctuary: Montana Grizzly Encounter.

    This refuge hosts rescued bears impossible to release back into the wild.
    They receives no government funding and can survive only through donations and the paying visits to the sanctuary, thus I didn’t mind buying an overpriced t-shirt for a nephew and a postcard.

    One at a time, a bear is let in the little park visible to the public. This time, it’s Brutus.

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    He had been rescued from an illegal breeding program at the age of 2 weeks. He got bigger since then.

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    He has only known this life, and he seems to be fine with it.

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    Another night under the tent. I’m now at the gate of the oldest and most important U.S. National Park: Yellowstone.

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    #58
  19. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Don't worry, only my butt hurt, and I don't use that part of my anatomy to reproduce :lol3
    #59
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  20. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Hey Merf, does Rex have a website with his pictures? I really like the one he took when we were riding near Ouray.

    Duane, was your bear waiting patiently for its friend Brutus?
    #60