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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. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    623
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Awesome route!

    You definitely got two of our most extreme late summers; come back next year and maybe we can give you a Goldilocks.

    ...tho, actually, I suspect and fear the hot and smokey one may be the new normal up here. ...and down there, I guess, as well.
  2. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Oh I truly hope to be back. Great riding, good people, amazing scenery, interesting history,...
  3. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Postscript – The route home

    Got back to Walla Walla in the steady rain and I haven’t eaten yet. Saw a hip looking casual place and had the first truly satisfying meal in a week or so. Salad without iceberg lettuce was just one of the revelations! While eating I looked more at the forecast and miles to home. It was just over 1,000 miles home via the most direct route. Rain for the first half at least the next two days. Plan A is get a truck and drive the bike home. Plan B is put the +1 counter sprocket on and trudge south.

    Per Plan A, I stopped by the Enterprise car rental place to see if they had a pickup truck. Woman said no but took my number and said she’d try to find one and let me know. I got the vibe that it was going to be a long shot and the price was almost $500. Better figure out Plan A.1

    First though, I was ready to get dry so I pulled in to the Travelodge and they were nice enough to let me check in early (I probably looked like a sad wet dog and the nice woman took mercy). Started looking at other options for a truck. The Enterprise website said I could have a pickup tomorrow morning for about $300. I reserved it and called the woman at the local Enterprise. She hinted that the website reservation didn’t guarantee the truck would be there. Hmmm.

    Uhaul one-way was expensive leaving from SoCal but thought I’d check anyway. About $200, five days to turn the truck in, I can pick it up first thing in the morning. Done. Cancelled the other truck, unloaded the luggage from the bike, explored downtown Walla Walla a bit, and bought a couple ratchet straps.

    Next morning the Uhaul guy helped me load the bike and I head back to the hotel.

    [​IMG]

    Dirty/wet stuff in the back and I’m heading south by late morning. Drove west then south towards Bend, OR. Pulled in there around dinnertime and decided to stay – I’ve caught up with the rain again so camping seemed silly. One of my favorite breweries is here so that’s as good an excuse to stop as any.

    [​IMG]

    Couple of those and a pile of food and I walk back to the hotel content.

    Next day I ponder where I want to head next. Don’t need to be home for a few days and this is a part of the US I haven’t seem much of. Well, the second storm hit late morning. Steady rain turned to absolutely bonkers downpours that had even the maniacal truckers on I-5 slowing down to 35mph. I keep working south and realize to get south and out of the rain, I’m in to the Central Valley of CA. Not my idea of a vacation spot. I decide to just head home. I rolled in around 11PM to an empty house (girlfriend is out of town visiting her son). An anticlimactic way to end this leg, but I’m home safe.

    Post-postscript – A week or so later, still wondering if I bailed unnecessarily due to the threat of rain, I found this excellent ride report of some guys who started out where I was heading in NE California on lots of dirt. Their trip went quite sideways with the storms:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-big-empty-bites-er-abandoned-bikes-search-rescue-chopper.1409804/

    Maybe I made a good call…

    GPS files to follow when I can get them cleaned up.

    matt
  4. thegraydog

    thegraydog 2 wheels X 6 ways

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    878
    Location:
    the Coconino
    Good report, and clear thinking! Iron-manning is good, but it's essential to be able to either abort or wait. Feels good to get home alive! Schedules Kill Pilots.
    CoyoteThistle likes this.
  5. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    357
    Location:
    Prince Edward Island. Canada
    Very good RR. Enjoyed reading. Although riding it would be a great deal more fun. Petepilot
    CoyoteThistle likes this.
  6. jbar28

    jbar28 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    I was telling a friend this morning about your big loop ride report from a few years back on your XL500, and how much I'd like to plan a ride like that. Found this report after re-reading the Vintage Thumper one, and have very much enjoyed it. I was out west (I'm in Ohio) last fall on my V-Strom, in fact went through Ovando, Montana a week or two after you did. Keep riding and keep writing, much appreciated.
    CoyoteThistle likes this.
  7. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Great Western Enduro Challenge Alert! I'm headed out tomorrow to try to tackle some more of this route. Here's the plan:
    [​IMG]

    Green are mostly highway to get to/from the route and bypass some of the completed sections. Yellow and pink are part of the route. I was originally planning on going clockwise this time, but some record hot weather forecast for next week in the Great Basin convinced me to do the long highway slog to charming Ferron Utah first. There I will finally hit the dirt. Looks like roughly 2,500 miles of dirt :-) and 1,500 miles of pavement :(:. I've got just over two weeks. Long-range weather forecasts look promising. Most of the west isn't on fire. I think I've learned some dos and don'ts related to do-it-yourself route planning via Google Earth. So maybe less turning around than the last two rounds? But, of course, who the hell knows.

    Bike is the same. I added a plus one counter sprocket to the existing larger rear sprocket to get the final drive ratio up for all that highway (about 3% lower than stock now). Not sure I'll like it off road but I've got the smaller counter sprocket so I could switch it out at some point. Bike is packed.
    [​IMG]

    I'll post whatever happens when I get back. Stay tuned!
  8. Franque

    Franque Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Oddometer:
    721
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx -> Aubagne, France
    Watching, best of luck!
  9. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8,395
    Location:
    Providence, RI
  10. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Anyone know a place to get a new front tire in the Jackson WY or Idaho Falls area?

    in wamsutter WY now. Lots of good riding, great weather. Hope to camp around South Pass City tonight, then I head west. 9A2AA914-4336-406C-B925-2574F9A5C1C8.jpeg
  11. Soil Sample

    Soil Sample Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2021
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    SL,UT
    Jackson Hole Cycle & Saw
    990 S US Hwy 89 Unit B Jackson, WY
    307.733.4684

    Action Motor Sports
    1355 East Lincoln Road
    Idaho Falls, ID
    (208) 522-3050


    I have used neither of these so I cannot vouch for their quality, integrity, stock or friendliness.
  12. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Thanks man! A place to start at least.
  13. Soil Sample

    Soil Sample Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2021
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    SL,UT
    There are more along the main street in Idaho Falls, you should have a pretty good pick I would think.
  14. JoToPe

    JoToPe JoToPe

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    319
    Location:
    Henly, Texas
    In! Again!
  15. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,285
    Agreed, you've hit a good mix of detail and brevity and the daily maps give perspective. (Maybe you could share tracks too?)

    I love the welcoming committee to Washington (post #114), surprised no one else pointed them out.
  16. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Made it home. Little preview:

    Made it to nine states.

    Wyoming
    [​IMG]

    Washington
    [​IMG]

    California
    [​IMG]

    Idaho
    [​IMG]

    Nevada
    [​IMG]

    Utah
    [​IMG]

    Colorado
    [​IMG]

    Oregon
    [​IMG]

    And...
    [​IMG]

    Not all routes went as planned.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Details to follow...
    bomose, ROAD DAMAGE, pyrate and 4 others like this.
  17. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    669
    Location:
    South of Gorman
    Wow! Right after stumbling on your thread, reading up to page three I decide to jump ahead and see if it was a bump-resurrection or it is continuing and what do I find? Last year when COVID cancelled Reno Air Races, I had almost a month off and set off on a last minute mad-hatter paced ride to end up no other than right here!! :photog:clap

    :ricky

    [​IMG]

    Now, I have a reason to locate that poser video I shot, getting thoroughly drenched fording that spot 3 times :lol3

    IN!
    Lost Cartographer likes this.
  18. Soil Sample

    Soil Sample Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2021
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    SL,UT
    Any reviews on getting tires in Jackson or Idaho Falls?
  19. CoyoteThistle

    CoyoteThistle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Nice! Great spot for a poser video for sure. I certainly gave it a thought, but was feeling lucky to get across once. Besides, that was the easier river crossing of that day so I was well and done with water at that point! Very fun area to ride.

    Yeah, I wound up not going through Jackson and straight to Idaho Falls. Started with that first spot you posted. Kid behind the counter was kind of clueless and was bringing out all kinds of strange tires (why can't I just go look for myself and save us all a lot of time!!). Anyway, called around to a couple other places without much luck. It was approaching 100 degrees so I just gave up and moved on. A day or two later found a tire in Hamilton, ID at Al's Cycles. The most aggressive thing they had was a Shinko 700. I pulled the wheel, they had it mounted and balanced in under an hour. About $100 out the door. Highly recommend that shop if you're in the area. Not a bad tire at all either.
  20. tppilot

    tppilot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    California Gold Country
    Glad you’re home. Enjoyed meeting you at the motel in Austin, NV.