Panhandle Playground: North Idaho, W MT, & E WA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ScotsFire, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,738
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    Having lived in Kellogg ID for nearly a year, @NotaYinzer and I enjoy it more and more, not the least because it is extremely motorcycle friendly. This thread will highlight some of our riding in the area.
    #1
    Ladybug, N-Id-Jim and simbaboy like this.
  2. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,738
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    June 26, 2021 Big Creek and Lake Elsie area

    From before fire season got really started, the clear skies southeast of Kellogg Peak made for a great ride. Normally this time of year would still have a touch of snow around, but the unusually hot and dry spring removed that possibility.

    [​IMG]

    Yes. My GF has a cooler bike than I do. Brand new KLX300 vs my 2005 WR450F.
    [​IMG]

    Nice spot to take it in, and some fun tracks to get there.
    [​IMG]

    That direction deserves additional exploration.
    [​IMG]

    Just to confuse the issue, this is a second "Big Creek" on the St Joe side of the ridgeline.
    [​IMG]
    Also needing some more visitation.
    #2
    Ladybug, Hohmie, N-Id-Jim and 3 others like this.
  3. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6,524
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    She definitely has the 'cooler' riding jacket.
    That KLX is such a nimble bike that I would strongly consider it for myself if not for the WRR already.
    Imu
    #3
    ScotsFire likes this.
  4. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,738
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    @NotaYinzer has really liked it. We did some rocky ATV tracks yesterday and the suspension on the KLX allowed her to tractor both up and down. You have a sweet bike already in your WR250, but I fully recommend the KLX300 for mountain and desert trail riding.
    #4
    simbaboy likes this.
  5. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,738
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    August 22, 2021: Arid Peak

    On a surprisingly clear of smoke weekend, @NotaYinzer and I combined our interests and rode the motos out for a hike up Arid Peak, south of Wallace. I was on fire assignments for 34 days between July 5 and August 18, so it was a perfect escape.

    Fire season beard.
    [​IMG]
    Fire camp gut.

    [​IMG]

    This trail is actually open to motorcycles, though we did not ride it.
    [​IMG]

    View from the tower.
    [​IMG]

    While not use to spot fires anymore, it is available for stays and was clean and in pretty good shape.
    [​IMG]
    On our way down we passed a trio of folks that probably were on their way here.

    Proof of motorcycle involvement.
    [​IMG]

    After the hike, we rode a bit further south to Avery for some flatbread pizza and brews. It was a very nice afternoon.
    #5
    TheAdmiral and GringoRider like this.
  6. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    22,030
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Beautiful country and relatively close to here.
    #6
    ScotsFire likes this.
  7. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    18,035
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Subscribed!
    #7
    ScotsFire likes this.
  8. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,738
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    We got even closer…
    #8
  9. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,738
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    August 28 & 29, 2021: Loop into the Yaak

    We wanted to do some camping and traveling from the motorcycles this summer, but (in addition to the crazy fire season) we couldn't find luggage for @NotaYinzer 's KLX. As with most things related to outdoor recreation, it was really tough to find. I kept checking with Rocky Mountain, and amazingly they had one unit available in the Tusk soft panniers we'd been eyeing. Once they showed, we really just HAD to try them out, so I figured out a loop out of Bonners Ferry ID through the mountains to Yaak and back.

    The loadouts, including Vicki's new set up.
    [​IMG]
    If we were to take a longer trip, the tail bag would be replaced by a duffel. Hopefully a larger aftermarket fuel tank will become available so we can ditch the rotopax.

    Northwest from Bonners.
    [​IMG]

    There was more pavement out in the Kaniksu NF than I expected, way more than in the other Panhandle Forests (Coeur d'Alene and St Joe).
    [​IMG]

    As is the norm for August in the Inland NW, sunny skies!
    [​IMG]

    Unlike a lot of North Idaho, there wasn't much burn scar, though we'd have to detour around a fire on the next day.
    [​IMG]
    We rode up this road in the trees.

    I get many more pictures of myself when I travel with my girl.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This area isn't exactly dry.
    [​IMG]

    The forest roads were in great shape.
    [​IMG]

    After a quick afternoon's ride, we camped at the Pete Creek campground on the Yaak River. And of course went to The Dirty Shame. To my surprise, it was free beer night! Disappointingly, this was because the business had been sold and it was the last night for the iconic dive bar (and I say dive bar with a lot of sentiment). John, the owner was wandering around and while he was getting a lot of handshakes, got a little choked up when I congratulated him. He'd been trying to sell the bar since my first trip there four years ago. He still owns the lodge in town, but will be spending a lot more time with his young wife (with their third baby on the way!) Needless to say, the locals are wary of the new, out of town ownership group (who also bought out the other bar in town across the street). End of an era.

    The next day was just as pretty. We started out on the south/east side of the Yaak River for a while.
    [​IMG]

    Shenanigans ensued.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For no particular reason...
    [​IMG]
    To be fair, I dropped my bike more than she did. This despite the overall lack of technical terrain.

    [​IMG]
    Some late season blooms were still around.

    We stopped at the Yaak Falls and as is our wont...
    [​IMG]
    ...scrambled around.

    [​IMG]
    I keep telling myself I need to come up here for spring runoff.
    [​IMG]

    It stays scenic all year 'round.
    [​IMG]

    My ineffective efforts to stay out of Vicki's shot.
    [​IMG]

    A little better effort.
    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking this would be very impressive with a couple thousand more cfm flowing.
    [​IMG]
    Though one could not stand at this spot if that were happening.

    [​IMG]

    What most say is my best side.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After a workaround to get us past the closure areas due to the South Yaak fire, we wandered back west towards Bonners Ferry on the south side of the Kootenay River.
    [​IMG]

    Both bikes ran well.
    [​IMG]
    2014 BMW F800 GSA and a 2021 Kawasaki KLX300. I'd like to get my WR450 set up for trips like this.

    One last view before dropping back into Bonners Ferry.
    [​IMG]

    (Video 3:33 - with music)


    This was a great shake down cruise for Vicki's new bike and kit set up, as well as perfect weather with very mild temperatures for August. We got to ride a lot of area that I'd not been in before, so it was a very successful trip. To do so with a great partner made it even more special.
    #9
  10. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    18,035
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Spring at Yaak Falls.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's very nice, I hope you get there in the spring to see it for yourself.
    #10
    ScotsFire likes this.
  11. Bill Dirt

    Bill Dirt Trooper

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    Florida
    I am very satisfied with the Tusk bags Robert, trying to force myself to pack what I absolutely need. How did they work out for you guys? DDB7AE04-ADE5-4A44-87C7-5B2D5EBF6415.jpeg
    #11
    ScotsFire likes this.
  12. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,738
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    So far so good. She liked it much better than her last system.

    She had Tusk bags on her XT250, but they were the Pilot panniers which required a rack. Vicki had had some minor injuries due to the rack on her old bike (that could have been much worse) so wanted to go rackless. The Excursions are obviously smaller, but not by too much. With all the accessory bags installed (which we haven’t tried yet) there will actually be a little more capacity.
    #12
    Bill Dirt likes this.
  13. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,738
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    September 14, 15, & 16: Nancy Rides Glacier

    Vicki (@NotaYinzer) has lived in Idaho for three years or so, and Nancy, her mother, hadn't ever visited yet. So when she decided to come out, I decided to take both of them to Glacier National Park as neither had ever been there. I am of the opinion that ALL Americans should visit Glacier at least once.

    The bigger surprise was when Nancy asked if we could do some riding when we went there. This was a shocker as Nancy's father was killed in a motorcycle accident, and the family hasn't been supportive of anyone riding. I had been concerned about being accepted by the family having introduced Vicki to riding. If Nancy wants to ride, we're gonna ride.

    But we didn't rush on the way. Stopped at Rainbow Lake to stretch our legs.
    [​IMG]

    After we drove the few hours to a hotel in Kalispel, unloaded the bikes from the truck, geared up and headed to the park. The weather forecast for the next day wasn't very promising so I wanted to get the run up the Going-to-the-Sun Road done the first afternoon.

    Entering the park.
    [​IMG]

    We stopped to check out the end of Lake McDonald on the way west.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Nancy has an infectious smile.

    [​IMG]

    It is mandatory to stop a few times going up towards Logan Pass.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The views are stunning.

    Stop two didn't suck either.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This scooter has taken pretty good care of me.
    [​IMG]
    60K miles plus and counting.

    Hoping we have as good of luck with Vicki's new ride.
    [​IMG]

    There were several other riders out too.
    [​IMG]


    Some pretty good riding.
    [​IMG]

    Once to Logan Pass, the visitor center was already closed. We did walk around a little, but I tried to keep us moving along.
    [​IMG]
    Weather can be tricky on the Continental Divide.

    So we wandered back down the hill, stopping along McDonald Creek.
    [​IMG]

    Also another stop to Lake McDonald, as the sun started dropping behind the mountains.
    [​IMG]
    It did mean we didn't get back to the hotel till after dark, but we beat the overnight rain.

    We didn't have any riding planned for the rest of the trip to Glacier. We headed up the North Fork Flathead River.
    [​IMG]
    The clouds threatened all day long, and there were passing showers. But we managed to not get more than a few drops on us.

    [​IMG]
    Surely there are more interesting subjects...

    We went in to Kintla Lake.
    [​IMG]
    Not exactly the view I was hoping for, but picturesque nonetheless.

    It was a little clearer at Bowman Lake.
    [​IMG]

    Mostly.
    [​IMG]
    The skies made for some dramatic shots.

    [​IMG]
    I suspect this shot will end up on a wall.

    On our way back to Jarbidge where we rented a cabin, it started to clear up.
    [​IMG]

    Even though we were back into Jarbidge pretty early, the Northern Lights had already shut their kitchen and was trying to empty their kegs for the waning season. Fortunately the Merchantile had some nice sandwiches (and perhaps another huckleberry bearclaw) to go.

    The fire in the cabin made it quite warm overnight. Till it went out and it wasn't. But better than sleeping in a tent especially since it rained early.

    Surprises continued the next day when Nancy asked, "Are we going to do more riding?" Who am I to argue?

    We did a tad bit of dirt, going back to Bowman Lake first.
    [​IMG]
    Snow on the far peak from the previous evening's precipitation.

    [​IMG]
    This actually made me a little nervous as I'd not ridden two up on dirt before.
    [​IMG]
    Nancy wasn't frightened.

    We then went south on the Inside North Fork Road.
    [​IMG]
    This road washed out almost a decade ago and still hasn't been reopened by the park. We did run into some construction, but I wouldn't expect it to be finished any time soon.

    We loaded the bikes after this and meandered back home. It was after dark when we got there, but mostly because we stopped at the Bedroom Gold Mine Bar in Murray ID on the way.

    I wouldn't say this was the biggest trip ever, but it was very important to Vicki and I to get it right with "Mom".

    (Video 2:51 - with music, definitely ear worm)


    Really great few days with Nancy, though it was actually a warm up for me as I left the next morning for Nevada with some buddies. THAT ride is documented here.
    #13