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The Great Western Enduro Challenge - 5,500 miles of dirt out west

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by CoyoteThistle, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. DrHeinrich

    DrHeinrich um.... huh. Supporter

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    Awesome. Thanks for the write-up!
    #81
  2. oregonsurveyor

    oregonsurveyor Been here awhile

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    "Turns out it’s Friday night (how was I to know?)... "

    You know your having fun when you don't know what day it is!

    Thank you for all the work it took to bring your adventure to those of us stuck at home (for the moment). I am leaving for a two-week ride next Wednesday. Even though it will be raining when I leave, I can't wait.
    #82
  3. 10ecjed

    10ecjed Been here awhile

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    Just wanted to say thanks for the ride report. Good job. I enjoyed all of it. Good luck with issues at home. Take care and never stop riding.
    #83
  4. JoToPe

    JoToPe JoToPe

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    Henly, Texas
    Reading the end of your RR as I end mine sitting in a taco shack drinking a cold water. Great job, fun times, the road never ends.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #84
  5. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Fly over zone
    Great RR. Enjoyed reading it, end to end. Brings back a lot of great memories from three or four different rides. Ran Grey River Rd, from a trickle to the river, and had breakfast at the Americana Restaurant four or five years ago. That's a nice ride through there. I waymarked a couple of spots along there to go back and fly fish.
    I tend to pace myself somewhat like you do. Get up early, and ride til dark. Thanks for taking the time to post this. Plus I have to find your other RR with your brother. I tried for years to get my two brothers to ride, no go. Now we are all in our 60s. They just don't have any desire to go out and see what's out there.
    #85
  6. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2014
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    Ventura, CA
    :-)

    Yeah, losing track of days is a pretty good indicator that an extended trip is going well! Enjoy your ride - rain should at least mean some wind and some clearing of smoke up that way. Safe travels!

    Thanks much. Home front situation is improving (slowly) - was the right decision for me to get back a little early.

    Oh man, I saw so many beautiful spots to fish on this trip. Need to do a nice lazy trip with the truck/camper, girlfriend and fly setups.
    See my signature for link to the report with my brother. I was stoked we did that trip together. Maybe should have tried to stick to easier roads - may have soured him on another round :doh. Time will tell...

    Thanks everyone else for all the positive comments! Nice to hear others enjoyed the report. It was certainly fun writing it up.
    #86
  7. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    Sweet report, right now I'm living vicariously through your's and other's reports. Next year will be my turn, AK in June, July and Grand Canyon in October on my 650 Dakar.
    #87
  8. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    Well, finally got around to cleaning up the GPS files from the trip. Hope the upload works. Left most of the dead ends and turnaround points in. There should be a waypoint at most of them explaining why I turned around. Hope some folks know the roads where I turned around and might be able to chime in on weather they go or not.

    Also, I've decided to turn the whole big loop in to a multi stage and multi year pursuit. Get the whole thing dialed in smaller chunks. Might start with California and western Arizona sections this fall. Watch this space for updates!

    matt

    Attached Files:

    #88
  9. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    Time to brush the dust off this old thread. After a two-year hiatus that included very little riding at all, I'm heading out again to get some more of the Great Western Enduro Challenge done. I've been continually fiddling with the route and it now looks about like this:

    [​IMG]

    My goal for this trip will be to complete the purple section starting in eastern Idaho. Its right at 3,000 miles if I get all the way to Tonopah, NV. Less than 300 miles of this section is paved. I'll be trucking the bike out to Idaho from SoCal this weekend and should be riding by early next week. Hope to tell the story "live" from the road as I have enjoyed that in the past. Stay tuned...
    #89
  10. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Super Ordinary

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
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    Location:
    Walnut Crick, Cal.
    Ride fast, take chances...

    (not how I do things, but it always sounds more fun this way)
    #90
  11. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Edmonton, Alberta
    Fantastic! :clap
    #91
  12. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    Ha, not how I roll either. Falling hurts more with every passing year so I’m trying to quit
    #92
    HardWorkingDog likes this.
  13. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    I'm attempting to learn from some experiences of the last trip in prepping the bike this time. First and foremost, a new seat. Anyone who followed the last trip might remember the destruction the Spiral step seat did to my arse. Picked up a Seat Concepts wide seat thing.
    [​IMG]

    Only short spins around town on it so far, but it is obviously more comfortable. I'll still bring the padded mountain bike underwear things that saved my trip last time just in case. Also seen in the above is a new exhaust heat shield. The stock Yamaha one destroyed itself last time under my Giant Loop luggage. Lots of melting plastic and cursing ensued. Hope this solves that.
    Other than that, I'm packing a bit lighter this time. I'll still have camping/cooking gear and expect to camp/motel 50:50 or so.
    First real cold front of the season is forecast to sweep through the northern Rockies this weekend - means pleasant valley temps :-) but maybe high elevation snow :hmmmmm Should be an interesting couple weeks on the weather front...
    #93
  14. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    About to finally leave SoCal. Rented a pickup to drive the bike to Logan Utah. I’ll hope to find a ramp to unload the bike, turn in the truck, then I’ll hit the trail. Next update from the road!
    #94
  15. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    Day 1 - Logan, UT to Arco, ID

    A day of driving and riding. I guess day 0 was Sunday, I picked up a rental pickup truck, loaded the bike and gear and left Ventura by 1PM. Made it to a couple hours south of Salt Lake City by late and crashed. Early start got me to Logan around 11AM. Needed a way to unload the bike and return the rental. Found Torque Motor Sports in town and stopped in. Young guy, Wyatt, came right out, grabbed their ramp and helped me get the bike out. Nice! Loaded the bike up mostly and took the truck back (a full 10 minutes before my noon deadline!). Rental place offered me a ride and I was back at the shop and ready to go by 12:30. Big thanks to the shop and Wyatt for helping out.


    Grabbed a sandwich and was out of town just after 1PM. Had nearly 200 miles to ride to get to the actual GWEC route. Not real fun on the low-geared 250 on knobbies, but I headed out. Went east up Logan Canyon (beautiful) and by the time I got to the top (7,000ish ft), it was downright chilly. Temps 10-15 degrees below normal around here - no complaints from me. Was eventually greeted with a view of Bear Lake.
    [​IMG]

    Yes, it’s big. They had thunderstorms here yesterday evening. Looks better today. Headed north through Soda Springs and eventually hit dirt and earned a view of Gray’s Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
    [​IMG]


    Dirt was wet here and there but quite rideable. After 10 or so miles of the dirt (starting to get the feel of the loaded bike again) I reached it, the GWEC route!
    [​IMG]


    I rode Gray’s Lake Road last time and headed north-eastish. This time I did a couple hundred yards of repeat then went south-eastish. The trick around here is getting across The big Snake River Valley without much pavement. The way I planned before to the north seemed pretty improbable so I switched it up this time. First things first, need to cross the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Good fast roads, mostly dry. Aspens just starting to change color.
    [​IMG]


    Hope as I get further north or up higher, they’ll be further along. Gorgeous sky, a few sprinkles of rain. I’m starting to remember why I like doing this.


    Passed through a herd of sheep and waved to a couple cowboys. Wait, what do you call them if they are tending sheep? Shepherds? Bullied my way through the flock and was moving again.


    Cow rant: I wasted so much time slowing for dumb cattle in the road, which wait until the absolute last second to move (bolting one way or the other erratically) every stinking time. I have a feeling I heard a podcast that said cows can only see 10 or 20 feet? Could this be true? If not, they’re just being assholes.


    I eventually made it down to the big valley and crossed I-15. Decision time - It’s 5:45, I have at least 50 miles of dirt on my route to get to the next town (across the Arco Desert). Bit of a gamble to get there before 7:30 sunset. No obvious camping in that stretch. Hotel just north of me. Weather forecast tells me I want to get north to minimize rain a day or two out. Since I’m “off the couch” so to speak with riding, I’m already feeling soar in a lot of places.


    I think the roads will be good so I think I can make it. I’m off to cross the desert!


    Few miles of farm fields then in to the desert.
    [​IMG]


    That’s Big Butte in the distance. I know that’s about the halfway point of the crossing, seems far. Eventually hit a very black road surface - lava rock.
    [​IMG]


    Amazingly “grippy” stuff and a blast to ride. Big Butte getting a bit closer.


    Super fun and fast roads continued and as the sun was getting low, I passed the butte!
    [​IMG]


    No cattle to stop for out here so I’m making good time. And then there were cattle. At this point I was cursing them out loud (no discernible change in their behavior). Road conditions got better and better as I neared the highway and I managed to role in to town just before dark.


    Only way I can describe the motel is “cute”. Lots of primary colors - in paint and in lights.
    [​IMG]


    Dinner across the street at a pickle-themed restaurant and I’m ready for an early night to bed.

    Here's the map for the day. Yellow is GWEC done in 2017 from WY border, Red is GWEC 2019 dirt, White is GWEC 2019 paved, and Green is 2019 Approach from Logan.
    [​IMG]

    Did 139 miles of the route, over 100 of it dirt. Plus 150 miles of approach - full afternoon!
    #95
  16. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    Made it to the relative metropolis that is Sandpoint Idaho. Lots to catch up on. Been riding long days so no time to write lately. I will get caught up eventually though. All my usual stuff to report - looked gates, “closed” roads, bad roads, good roads, bad weather, good weather, bad food, very bad food, and a mud “puddle” as deep as a small child is tall.
    #96
  17. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

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    I guess this has officially turned in to a post-ride report - will report all on my return home.

    Heading south now...
    #97
    sprouty115 likes this.
  18. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    Riding should always be your priority.
    #98
    CoyoteThistle likes this.
  19. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    here tagging along and have a great trip.
    #99
    CoyoteThistle likes this.
  20. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    IN!!