CannonTrek.ID - Big Bikes in the Idaho Backcountry

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks! Nice that you enjoyed the report so far. The history is a fun and interesting component - to me anyway. :D

    Sure, hops. Thanks for the tip on that! I remember reading about it now.

    Turns out, Idaho ranks third in US hop production. They produce about 8% of US and 2% of the world harvest. The site we rode past, about ten miles south of the border, was part of the single 1,700 acre hop producing farm in the north. It is owned by Annheuser-Busch. The cool and moist climate, along with the long days, make this a great location.

    There are multiple hops growing farms in the Treasure Valley (40 mi NW of Boise) that range in size from 200-900 acres in size. Long desert days combined with irrigation water make for great hops. As a side note, Treasure Valley also grows about 100 different crops often using state-of-the-art technology to do so. These include crops like fruits, mint, Christmas trees in addition to hops, potatoes, and grains.

    Hops in the field.
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  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Heading to Hungry Horse
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    I think these guys were stringing power lines.
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    A nice day for riding.
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    There were some storms in the area so we didn't want to cross Glacier NP late in the day. Instead, we went to the Hungry Horse Reservoir to find a campsite. The last campground we checked had a couple of vacant sites - we were lucky considering it was a weekend and late in the day.
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    Some fellow campers had boat motor trouble. Druid is pretty handy with boat motors and he soon got them running again which earned us some beers.
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    Off they go.
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    The Hungry Horse Dam and Reservoir project started up in the 1940s. It had the standard uses in mind: irrigation, flood control, navigation, streamflow regulation, hydroelectric power generation, and recreation. They never did do any irrigation off the reservoir. They do generate power here. Not only do they generate power here but they are also tied to power generation downstream at places like Clark Fork and Pend Oreille.
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    At the time the dam was built, it was the third largest and second highest (564') in the world. For more info/pix on the HHD, check out a post in my Great Divide Ride thread.
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    wikiphoto

    Quiet evening at camp. Our neighbors came over. I think they wanted us to help them get rid of their beer.
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    About 300 miles today.
  3. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    "Sure, hops. Thanks for the tip on that! I remember reading about it now."

    Strange; that is what happened the last time, I saw a field like that! I can remember what I see, but not what it is.
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Back out of Hungry Horse to West Glacier.
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    Running along the reservoir.
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    Dam stuff.
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    Visitor Center and Overlook
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    Low clouds are not so good for going to the sun . . .
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    Helicopter tours on hold.
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  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Glacier National Park Part I
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    Glacier, a park of over a million acres, started up in 1910.
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    There is an admission to the park. Not much for a bike and rider.
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    We came in from the west.
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    Off we go on the Going to the Sun Road that takes use through the heart of the park.
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    As the park got started, the Great Northern Railway built some lodging facilities here. They had it in mind to make the place "America's Switzerland".
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    Going to the Sun Mountain, for which the road is named, is said to be the image of a spirit that returned to the sun after teaching the Blackfeet to hunt.
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    These restored 1930s White Motor Company coaches take people on tours in the park. In 2001, the Ford Motor Company rebuilt the fleet. They took the original bodies off their original chassis and put them on Ford E-Series van chassis. They also converted the coaches to run on propane.
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    The Sun Road was intended to allow auto travel deep into the park.
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    Construction began in 1921. They finished in 1933 at a cost of $2.5M.
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    After Forrest Gump ran across the country he reminisced with Jenny about a clear lake with two skies - one on top of the other. The lake was Saint Mary Lake with the Sun Road in the background.
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    A little cooler and wetter higher up, but despite the clouds, the views were still spectacular.
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    From time to time there are fires in the park. One fire hit after we had been through which closed the Sun Road. Even today there are some closures due to fire.
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    joenuclear and seenthesaucers like this.
  6. maverik

    maverik Old Fart

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    IMG_296861573256024.jpeg Great ride report, we just got back saturday from the IBDR, had a great time, yea that water crossing was a little tricky, just open the throttle and hang on, lol
  7. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    A friend of mine was actually in the towed array sonar division and has been out there in winter for testing. I think he told me they chose there for its sound qualities. Or lack of outside "noise".

    Cool stuff Bry !
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Glacier Part II
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    It can snow at altitude in Glacier any time of the year. We had low clouds and cool temps.
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    Speaking of snow, this is a tough road to open in the spring.
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    There can be up to 80 feet of snow on Logan Pass.
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    The road takes about ten weeks to plow. Sometimes the crew can only clear about 500 feet of road per day. The lack of guard rails is in part due to avalanches destroying every protective barrier ever constructed. The road is open mid-June to mid-October. The latest opening was July 13, 2011.
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    Logan Pass
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    In a rare coincidence, we ran into our friend and fellow inmate scarysharkface from Indiana atop Logan Pass. He was returning from his ride to Alaska. The odds of even being in the same area at the same time are pretty high, but actually running into each other here and in-person are astronomical.
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    Great seeing you there John!
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    Nice slide show about constructing the road.

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    With the short season, there is usually some maintenance going on. Sometimes this leads to traffic issues.
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    Soon after the park, you clear the mountains.
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    A pass in the Lewis and Clark NF.
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    Zed heading for a stream to cool off.
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    Druid has concerns about his sprocket wear on the replacement sprocket he put on at the start of the BDR.
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    Municipal campground at Harlowton.
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    About 400 miles today.
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks! Good to hear that you had a great trip. :thumb

    Thanks Frank. Neat that you know someone that did some work there. Interesting place.
  10. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

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    It was great running into you guys in Glacier!

    John
    Klay and DruiD like this.
  11. GF-kam

    GF-kam Long timer

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    Fantastic photos, ride report, and awesome scenery. As many others have noted, your narrative, writing style, " stop and smell the roses" traveling, routes, and photography is phenomenal. We should all take a few lessons. As the previous inmate note, we all have a tendency to focus on getting from point A to point B without stopping to explore the history, landmarks, scenery, and small towns along way.

    I am thoroughly enjoying the RR. Don't know where you get the time to post. Moreover, getting internet connection. Thanks.

    Kam
  12. GF-kam

    GF-kam Long timer

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    CS. I am still trying to figure out how and with what camera you take all these perfectly level shots? Looks like you're shooting them on the fly while riding. Do you crop them and touch them before posting? Or loading them directly from camera?

    Kam
  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    An unexpected pleasure.

    Thanks Kam. I like the planning for and exploring during a trip like this. It's wonderful to go places and know something about the history or events related to a location. Sometimes it is pretty fascinating when you get there, sometimes it turns out to be not so much so. And in between the points of interest, the riding is often fabulous. The ride report itself becomes somewhat of a chore. Sorting photos, checking notes, and trying to tell a long story in just a few lines and a photo takes a lot of time. When I look back at a post I think it should only have taken 15 minutes or so. It is more like a couple of hours a day when posting with all the sorting, processing, uploading, and organizing information. Posting from the road doesn't work for me.

    Regarding cameras and taking pictures. I have a Nikon DSLR with an 18-300 lens on it. I like it because of the wide range of the single lens. I never have to open the camera to change lenses. I quit using the DSLR once we got going on the BDR. I keep a waterproof point and shoot (Olympus TG-860) on a retractable lanyard so I can draw, arm, and fire the camera on the fly. If I have to drop it to grab the bars, it stays with me because of the lanyard. Truth be told, those little point and shoots take some pretty nice pictures. The only real drawback for me is they lack the mega-zoom which I might otherwise use for a wildlife shot. The P/S is in a half open pocket so I can pull it out in an instant and start taking pictures.

    After taking P/S pictures on the fly for so many years I have developed pretty reliable hand-eye coordination as far as framing a shot without looking at the camera. When moving I usually take multiple shots to make sure I get what I am after. I usually have to tidy up the shot later on with a little cropping or alignment. There are plenty of pixels to work with. Good thing too because I can't really work the zoom too quickly without looking at the camera.

    Hope all that answers your questions. :D

    More ride report in a bit.
    kpinvt likes this.
  14. Idahohigh

    Idahohigh Been here awhile Supporter

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    Do you ever sleep ? Thanks for all the effort you put into your research. I'm from Idaho however currently living in Omaha for another 11 month 10 days then back to Idaho. I love history and am amazed with the history your ride report has displayed for the state of Idaho. Attention to detail / Hmmmm wonder where you learn that.
  15. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Great pics of the going to the sun road. Brings back great memories. I remember coming off Logan Pass and one of my riding buddies said, it wasn't that cool, he liked Colo better. I like Colo a lot, but that ride in Glacier is something special.
  16. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Hello CannonShot.

    I'm loving the ride report. It's like riding along with you guys.
    I need to get up there again soon.

    Thanks for taking the time to post this epic Ride Report. I'm really enjoying it.
    Q~
  17. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    "Do you ever sleep ?"

    I have wondered that for a couple years! I think, he multi-tasks; not like the usual type that works on one level. He works in multilayers of several tasks on each level! Really, he should be in some motorcycling hall of fame; like the AMA. He does more than they do!
  18. GF-kam

    GF-kam Long timer

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    I see. I'be been packing one of those compact Panasonic LUMIX GF6 DSLM mirror less cameras. Maybe I should shrink it down even more. Fantastic RR and photos. You should seriously consider contributing to publication or starting your own titled "amazing off-road trips" across America. Thanks
  19. AdVeId

    AdVeId Adventurer

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    Thank you so much for your report. It took me two days of on/off reading to take it all in. Given Idaho is my home state, you have given me lots of things to think about and go checkout. Almost ebarassing how little I know in comparison. Great on the history.
  20. naotweed

    naotweed Been here awhile

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    Looks like a fantastic camping spot.

    Just got on this RR, a little late to the party. IDBDR is on my list so I'm looking forward to reading through this. Thanks for sharing.