GRIT: The Great Ride of Idaho Trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by OrangeYZ, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Great captures @fuggy, spectacular man. The clearness of the water with the spring running into it from the rock wall is amazing, so nice to see unspoiled nature like that. Also a great shot of the terrain when you stopped along the trail - the scenery out in front of you is killer :thumb

    Need to figure out when I can get over there and ride :ricky :ricky
    #41
  2. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    "Because once you compromise, you can compromise again."

    Having already made the hard decision to let Scott and Chad go ride the complete route while I took the easy path to a break yesterday, it was super easy to do it twice knowing that today the trail went through another old forest fire and came out at the lake 3 miles down the road.

    I found a spot where Warm Springs Trail got right next to Martin Lake (not to be confused with Marten Lake) and swam for about half an hour.
    I started worrying that they could be back already and went back riding to look for them.
    We had agreed to meet at Bull Trout CG before we knew that Martin CG existed. When I didn't find them there, but did find moto family at Martin Lake with cold beers, I knew my where my new home for a while was.

    They were great, and gave me more cold water too, but eventually the wild called I had to go off and rejoin my pack. A dude at the water pump flagged me down and said he met two other dudes who were looking for a dude with chainsaw on his bike. There are only two dudes running around with chainsaws on their bikes today, and he was one of them. Said they were going to wait at the Warm Springs Trailhead, so off I went and we were all back together!

    Warms Springs Trail
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    That was really nice. Probably the best trail of the trip.
    #42
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  3. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Oh yeah, I forgot that while I was swimming, those kids weren't the only ones with gas shenanigans going on...
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    :hide
    #43
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  4. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    After some sourdough burgers at the Sourdough Lodge on Highway 21 we backtracked a bit to get to Jackson Peak Trail going South.
    Thinking about a campsite earlier than usual because we want a fire to dry our gear out, we're looking at the creek on the map next to Jackson Trail. But after about 10 feet of riding we can see that not only is this creek barely a stream of spit, the trail immediately points uphill and we're climbing fast enough to pop ears.
    Lot of switchbacks, but this was actually a fairly easy trail and we were 3,000 feet higher in about 15 minutes!
    The road up to Jackson Peak Lookout was gated, but there was another dead end looking road with a sign that said "Water" but it turned out to be a tiny spring, with no good flat spots for sleeping anyway.

    So we head on. We got to the junction of a road that could take us East towards Graham. It's off the main route, but it would be about 5 miles before the main route takes us down to a river, and on this road could get somewhere good a lot sooner.

    So we try it, and in a little less than a mile we find...
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    Pretty good campsite!
    The creek was way cold, glad I got my swimming out of the way earlier. We got a fire going quickly for Scott's gear. As far as I know, nobody got any pictures of me running the chainsaw in shorts and sandals, shirtless with a beer in my other hand to put on Facebook, so that should make my next job interview a tiny bit easier.

    [​IMG]
    The next morning we're all started up and ready to go, when Scott notices his bike is leaking gas out of a fitting. Not sure how long that's been going on, might explain his bad gas mileage...
    Got it tightened up and we're good to go.

    After a few miles we saw it was a good thing we went the way we did for a campsite. Everything on the other side of the mountain (closer to towns) that could pass off as a campspot was taken. Oh yeah, Labor Day Weekend.

    We got to Highway 21 and then up to More's Creek Summit where we turned West to do the Extra section down to Idaho City. Going down it was mostly a 4x4 road that's really a snowmobile trail. That was pretty fun until we got to the bottom and then started taking ATV trails. Trails which probably get used in the Idaho City ISDE, and were whooped out as Hell.
    After a bit of that we got on motorcycle trails, so skinny whoops!

    Got pizza at the Gas Station/Pizza place and went back North to ride Sunset Mountain Trail.
    I think this might be the shortest drive to singletrack from Boise, so more whoops!

    All these signs of civilization are reminding me that the real world is catching up to us, and the vacation is almost over.

    After riding about 4 hours so far though, this day is barely getting started!
    #44
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  5. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    From Sunset Mountain we head down

    Hungarian Ridge
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    No whoops on this one
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    Just 12 miles of singletrack
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    Almost endless singletrack
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    Chad, after taking a break in the same spot he caught Scott taking a break
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    There are no natural stopping spots like intersections on this trail, so it's a good idea to stop and regroup just anywhere every so often

    Riding again
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    Caught Scott not taking a break way up there
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    There were some spots near the end where the trail got on and off some really old logging roads. So I'm practically coasting downhill on these in 4th gear, no throttle, and can still hear my radiator fan buzzing away.
    Yeah, it's a little hot.

    Did a helmet dip in the North Fork Boise River and continued up the route on Barber Flat Trail
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    There WAS a log here
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    Scott got a before pic
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    Fun enough trail but damn it's hot
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    Barber Flat Trail took us up and over a mountain and we dropped down to the Middle Fork Boise River on the other side. Then we followed the road along that downstream until we got to the North Fork again, and we pulled over again for another dip in what is now the Real-Deal-Not-a-Fork Boise River.
    #45
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  6. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Chad's GPS batteries are good for about 4.5 days, and here we are near the end of Day 5 and nobody has any extra AAs. Guess it's map and instructions time!

    "From here: Ride up William H Pogue Recreational Trail"
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    Pay attention
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    Like seriously, don't mess this up
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    "Hey guys, my map says there's a pine tree down across this trail"
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    "Are you sure? That doesn't sound like something the Forest Service would keep up to date"
    "Right here, clear as day!"

    Ok, we need to really figure this out
    Ok this is 10 Mile Corral Creek on our right, does cross mean pass it or ride it? If we go straight we get to Devils Creek, and that's the special test and this Bear Gulch sounds fun so that's what we want to do.
    Straight it is.

    Dehydration and heat have caught up to me. I sprung a bloody nose out of nowhere and spent a few minutes hanging out at this creek
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    Hiking bridge, we crossed the creek the old fashioned way about 50 feet upstream.

    At the Devils Creek intersection there was what seemed like a cool little campsite, but we're also in yet another huge burn and it feels like we're 10 miles from the nearest living tree, so it's not that cool.
    We start up Devils Gulch and it immediately gets rowdy. Rocky, tight, brushy, nobody rides this trail, WTF?

    Usually Chad tricks us into helping get his bike back on the trail before somebody thinks to get a camera, but not this time
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    "I have a chainsaw, why are you making this harder than it has to be?":imaposer

    "Bear Gulch is technically advanced" But not a word about Devils Creek? What are we getting into?
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    "I told you guys! Right where the map said it would be!"
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    Hey this thing is big. Like really big. And the hill is too steep to get up around it. This could be bad.

    "Damn, whose idea was it for Joe to get a smaller chainsaw?"
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    "Oh yeah, everybody"
    #46
  7. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    I'm beat.
    Seriously exhausted.
    When I stop sawing to take a break, my arms shake.
    The good news is that the sun has gone behind the ridge so we're in the shade.
    Wait, that's not good news.
    Remember that awesome motel we stayed at last week? With the hot tub?
    It's about 15 miles away as the crow flies, and we have a room reserved for tonight.
    We've been camping this whole time, so getting stuck and spending the night out here would not be anything that's going to endanger us, but it would be really undesirable.

    My bar is not long enough to get through this tree, even going at it from both sides.
    I'm beat.
    Scott takes over some of the sawing, and we agree to cut a notch in it so we can pull the bikes over.
    It's been almost an hour, but we're past this thing.
    Didn't even think to get an after picture.

    But we're moving.

    I have never been so happy to see Chad riding so far ahead up the valley, it means that there aren't any show-stopper logs at least that far.

    We get to the top, and it's time to see what Bear Gulch has in store for us
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    That was nothing compared to the riot we just went through! What's going on here?!

    So after further review when we all got home, we reevaluated the directions and decided we should have ridden 10 Mile Corral Trail no matter what. Because at the end of it is a different section of Devils Creek, which is the special test, and which is probably super f**k*n easy, and leads to Bear Gulch, which is technical compared to that.

    So between Day 1 and Day 5, I have a total of 40 minutes of navigating before getting something wrong.

    Oops. 60% of the time I know where we are every time.

    Well, we're past all the notably hard stuff, shouldn't be anything to stop us now

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    #47
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  8. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    I f*cking hate flats :lol3

    That’s one hell of a set of updates @OrangeYZ! You guys traversed a lot of terrain, and improved the trails to boot. Looking forward to reading what comes next :thumb
    #48
  9. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    :lol3
    upload_2019-9-13_7-37-8.png
    #49
  10. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Luckily, it's a D606 and they don't need air! I don't want to spend 10-20 minutes fixing it at a time when I think we can make it before dark, so we rock on.
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    Admittedly, it is getting late, and we should be riding instead of screwing around with the chainsaw, but after the big log stopped me I want to finish this ride out with a win
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    And I got one
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    Somewhere on Lava Mountain Trail. It's not a cakewalk yet!
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    There was about 1/4 mile of trail with a lot of roots, and some of them were wet. Any other time I would have stopped and let some air out of my tires for better traction, but this time, well you know, it's getting late for that.

    We made it out to the trailhead just below Trinity Mountain and regrouped. From here you can follow the route East on 15 more miles of singletrack, or go North on the road to check out Trinity Lookout and then take more roads and a bit of trail down to Pine. That second one is what I wanted to do back when I thought it would be daylight when we got here.
    Or you can go straight South and get on the road that loops back around to the lake and up to Pine. About 2 hours ago I decided this was what I would do, and getting the flat tire 1 hour ago cemented that decision.

    Chad and Scott are going to ride the trails East, and hopefully I will beat them back to the motel and fill the sink with ice and beer.

    Headlights on!
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    As bright as it is, my headlight is good for about 25 mph, but so is my tire, so 25 mph I go.
    Only had to check the map at one intersection, and after that they were all signed nicely.

    <-- Pine 14

    Pine 13 -->

    <-- Pine 12

    30 mph

    <-- Pine 8

    35 mph

    Surprise corner!

    25 mph

    Pine 6

    And I'm there at 10 pm.

    I get checked in, get the bike in the truck and pulled around to the room, take my hot shower and wait for the boys.
    They got there about half an hour later and it was beers in the hot tub and pizza at the bar.

    The party is over, now it's time for a good night's sleep on not-the-ground and get ready for the long drive home.
    #50
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  11. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

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    Brilliant. I sometimes think I am a good rider, then I see what you guys did, and I realize I have miles to go before I sleep.

    Well done guys!
    #51
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  12. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    So it's been 650 total miles in five days. Probably 2/3 of it was trail of some sort, most of that was singletrack.

    I didn't get driving until about 10 the next morning, and couldn't do it all in one shot so I camped outside of Lakeview on the way home.

    Tiny crappy motorcycle sleeping pad vs luxury truck pad and pillow that I brought just in case we couldn't get a motel room
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    Got some new dents
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    Got the new brake pedal tip ordered yesterday, the peg will be fine.

    Had a broken spoke by the end too. Pulled my tire off yesterday and found half of it in there.

    Many thanks to Birdcool for putting the whole thing together and I hope everybody enjoyed reading!
    #52
  13. Car Sun Key

    Car Sun Key Pick a direction and go

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    Bad ass adventure! I need to venture out of WA state. Would you do anything different next time, gear wise or other?
    #53
  14. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Definitely would get a different sleeping pad. Mine sucked and I slept like crap with it. It was cool being awake and seeing a trillion stars all night, but feeling like I got 5 minutes of sleep every morning got old.

    For this trip, it might have been better if we staged in Idaho City instead of Pine. It would have offset everything by about four to six hours, and all of those times we passed a cool lake around noon or two, we could have been getting there at a perfect time to camp out instead. But we had some cool campsites anyway, so I really can't complain about that.

    Other than that, it all worked out pretty good and I can't think of anything I would change.

    Now that we have done the trip as it was, next time in a couple of years we won't be as committed to the route or schedule and can spend more time lounging at hot springs and lookouts. And we know even more cool campsites now and can mix up trails and roads to get to them at better times.
    #54
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  15. azbrown

    azbrown Been here awhile

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    that was friggin awesome.....loved it!! Will be Idaho dreamin' tonight, and probably re-read it all again tomorrow.
    #55
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  16. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    You guys rocked it......some bad ass riding.......it ADVENTURE for sure....thanks for taking us along!!
    #56
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  17. tundradirtbiker

    tundradirtbiker Been here awhile

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    Great ride and ride report.
    You worked hard in the heat. Sleep, hot food, and some sort of electrolyte replacement really helps. Can't always get it either. That makes the last part of the trip the hardest. We have two machines when we ride, you're one, and the bike is the other excluding the saw.
    #57
  18. fuggy

    fuggy Canyon Explorer

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    Joe did a great job covering 90% of the last day. It was probably the toughest for all of us due to mileage and harshness of trails near the end of the day. Our choice to leave the route and explore the upper portion of Devils Creek Trail cost us some time and energy!

    Extra credit trail (Sheep Creek I think) Someone shoved the sign post through two trees!
    IMG_7911.JPG


    A couple of the switchbacks were just so loose and steep on Devils Creek Trail. You basically had to ride a wheelie uphill and pivot in the air on your back tire a few times. lol
    Joe say's, "Here I come, catch me if you can!"

    catch me.jpg


    My GPS batteries were fading fast after 5 days and we could see Trinity Mtn on Joe's map but it took forever to wind our way over to the 2-track road up to that look-out tower! Rattlesnake and Lava Mtn trail made me struggle as the sun was setting and my eyes were having issues adjusting to the lack of daylight. Clear goggle lenses might be nice next time! :( We finally made to the top and took a little break and I was able to recover and my eyesight was adjusting nicely.

    trinity mtn.jpg


    Scott and I had more energy and bib mousses in our tires, so we left Joe as we turned on our headlights and hit the Bear Hole Trail just below Trinity Mtn. Riding single-track at night was a whole new adventure! We took our time and waiting for dust to settle between us. Even taking it easy we had a few mishaps. I missed a turn and had to back track a mile to re-join the trail at a road crossing. On the last trail leading down into Pine, the CrossCut Trail, Scott managed to hit a slick spot and flipped down into a small creek! As I rode up from behind, he was 25' down off the trail with his bike upside down. :muutt I stashed my bike and grabbed my flashlight (which didn't work since it had turned itself on inside my back and was now dead). We righted the bike and I scouted a route out of this ravine....he had to ride up the creek and hop a few wet trees! We finally got back up on the trail after 20 minutes of struggle and just the headlight to Scott's bike and my iPhone light to help us. "Only a few miles to go! Don't fuck this one up!" That last portion of this trail had some huge trees that had been previously cut out and my headlight would shine on these 3-4' diameter monsters as we ride past. So glad we didn't have to cut our final few miles home.....because Joe had the only saw!

    Scott took this photo around 10PM, closing in on the small (dark) town of Pine:

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    We finally arrived on some dirt roads north of Pine and gave each other a nice fist bump with a sigh of relief. We made it through! Our last trail of the trip! Time to find Joe and cold beer on ice!

    20 minutes of road riding towards our hotel and having every vehicle come at us with their brights on blinding us was a little stressful but we made it to the Pine Motel. Joe had beer and the clean room waiting for us. We washed up and they hit the hot tub and I went to the bar hoping to grab some food. The bar was open but the grill was closed! I gave the bartender lady the saddest puppy dog eyes I could muster. She could tell I was hungry by the look on my famished face. "How about I throw in a frozen pizza for you?" YES PLEASE! CAN YOU MAKE THAT THREE PIZZAS PLEASE? "Sorry, I only have two". I sat there and drank 4 ice cold Blue Moons and texted the boys to come over, we got PIZZA coming! Sometime after midnight we realized the Three Gritty Amigos were the only ones left in the bar. We closed down the place and slowly walked(staggard) back to the room, 160 miles of dirt biking for the day, 650 miles for the trip. Thank you Idaho Trails! Thank you R'idaho Route Makers!


    :wave
    arnie.jpg
    #58
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  19. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

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    That was some awesome riding on some tough terrain. You guys put in a lot of miles each day, I'm good with 60-70 miles a day of single track then beer and food start to dominate my priority list of pleasure fulfillment's.
    We were up in Stanley a month before you guys (later July) and did some of the same trails as you guys (though not nearly as many) like Razors Edge and Ramey Creek in the opposite direction as you. Did a little chainsawing and shovel work in a couple of critical spots.
    It was a nice change to have clear air this summer up there.
    Thanks for doing this ride report, good stuff.
    Edit: Thanks to birdcool also for putting this all together, Good Job :thumb
    #59
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  20. birdcool

    birdcool Been here awhile

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    Awesome dirtbike adventure. Thank you for all the effort to do a detailed ride report on your RIdaho "True GRIT" style expedition experience. You guys jumped in the deep end by taking on the toughest GRIT route. It is meant to be tough, but reasonable with commitment and prep. But long enough that "stuff" always happens to create stories and highlight memories. Good choice to bring a chainsaw too. Big respect for pressing on after the battles. Sounds like you are planning a "Pioneer" riding style next time for a more flexible schedule. That style is what i think many people would enjoy more. It allows more of an ADV pace on dirtbike trails if you can camp. But the search for glory and curiousity is tough for most males to resist the "True GRIT" challenge. Well done.
    #60
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