Wandering from my meandering (Latest: IDBDR Sec 6)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ScotsFire, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Regarding being in Spokane, you’re right about the day trips, and on top of that is how much closer you’ll be to places like Glacier and Yellowstone. All of western Montana and north Idaho is full of great riding. Easy to get into Canada as well.

    Only negative will be a shorter riding season. Makes a great excuse to truck your bike south in the winter. Baja beckons.
    simbaboy and Oldschoolrocker like this.
  2. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

    Joined:
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    June 4, 2019: IDBDR Section 7

    My appetite whetted for more mountains, I picked up where I left off the week before. I got an earlier start, not real early, but better. Left Spokane around 9 am and pulling into Clark Fork a bit after 10. Another tank of non-ethanol gas, then coffee and coffeecake (and a cookie to go) from the Clark Fork Pantry, which is more of a bakery and deli than otherwise. Headed out from town just before 11.

    Wow. Spring is really green and pretty in this part of the world. The entire ride was through fresh growth of plant life. At some of these altitudes, spring has just started so there were lots of wildflowers. The route went up and over several ridgelines before dropping down to the Coeur d'Alene river. Then right back up to take a more direct line to Wallace. More direct in that on the map you don't follow the river to the west and east for a ways then back the other way, but the maybe ten to fifteen miles as the crow flies took nearly forty travel miles to finish. Total of 109 miles on the trip meter Clark Fork to Wallace. This section DEFINITELY feels like back country. And while the dirt forest roads are big bike friendly, I was dragging ass just like I was at the end of the White Rim Trail in Moab. Right around five hours to get through, I considered continuing south to Avery, but felt that my concentration and decision making would probably not be as good as I'd like on more forest roads, so I slabbed it west on I-90 back to Spokane.

    The weather couldn't have been better. Mid-60's to 70's altitude dependent and mostly sunny all day. My biggest complaint is that the ice cream place in Wallace was already closed by the time I got there.

    Comparison picture on Lake Pend O'reille. It doesn't show as much as I was hoping, but it was MUCH less smoky.
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    The wildflowers were especially prolific in the Clark Fork River Valley.
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    Scenery and views were awesome from the get go.
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    The forest roads were in great shape for the most part. There had been enough rain in the last few days that the dust was very minimal, especially on the early parts.
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    I saw a handful of elk cows over the course of the ride, including a pair just ahead from this picture near the corner in the ravine. Couldn't get my GoPro going quick enough to catch them. I did capture a whitetail doe on video that I'll post after I get something compiled.
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    Did I mention it was green?
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    Top of Grassy Mountain
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    This was not quite the shot I wanted.
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    But when one is too lazy to get off the bike, and lean just a little too far right to get the shot frame you want, gravity happens.
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    Isn't this a much better composition?
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    Other than the couple miles along the Cd'A River Rd, I only saw two vehicles the entire route. One was a fly fisherman likely just moving between casting spots (his poles were under his windshield wiper blades). Very friendly and pulled over for me immediately.
    The other was a young man that apparently felt the need to try to demonstrate the length of his tool, while ending up simply proving he was a tool. And by tool I mean dick. He would drive slow until I caught up, the accelerate in a cloud of dust so that he could slow down to let me catch up. Whatever. He finally stopped on a switchback to let his dog look out the window (WTF?). I was really hoping he was following me as not even a half mile later I found this.
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    I've seen lots of trees and branches across roads. But this was the first time there's been a purposefully cut down tree drug lengthwise down the middle of the road. It would really suck if you were a young pinhead boy in a truck that wanted to go this way.
    An older pinhead was able to ride his starbucks scooter through the brush and get past.

    Fire is commonly present in the NW. I believe this was a controlled burn as I'd passed a couple of other completed ones on the route. If this were a wildfire, it was unlikely to spread as the fuels are very moist.
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    As were some of the roads.
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    This section was extremely enjoyable. The most technical was closest to Wallace, and that wasn't very much so. An occasional spot of looser gravel or rocks poking up through the road surface. Overall a pretty easy ride with spectacular views and really fun riding.
    Zeek-, simbaboy and Oldschoolrocker like this.
  3. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Don't get me wrong as I like the forest, stream and pine pictures--but Southwest Desert pictures really lift my spirits.
    The red rock and sand and my DNA must have a lot in common.
    You Retired folks can continue riding as much as you want (at least for now) while the rest of us older geezers just keep on working!
    Keep on riding, my friend!
    Imu
    Zeek- and ScotsFire like this.
  4. Zeek-

    Zeek- ZeektheGeek

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    Very kind of you bro! You are most welcome and sentiments are the same. I do love me some "Peach Officer"
  5. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    What can I say. Big clumsy thumbs...
  6. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

    Joined:
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    Here and there... but more there than here
    Some news.

    Many of you know that I put in for a job. Several questioned my thought process, judgement, and/or sanity in un-retiring. “WTF would you do that for?!?!” was not an uncommon question.

    With a little disappointment I have been informed that I can stay retired. I say a little as it’s not like I was unhappy with the life I’d been leading since I quit work. Going through this process was absolutely very healthy for me, as it did kind of reinstate more of my self-confidence.. I had real doubts whether I was going to be able to go back to work if I wanted to. Those are gone.

    What happens next is still a little up in the air. I’m not making any real decisions for a week or two, but am almost certainly not going to start the top to bottom trip at his point. The whole fung shui of the route and timeline feels messed up right now. I might jump into that next year, which would allow for another week in Moab before heading south.
    In the short term the only riding I expect right away will be to complete the IDBDR. The TCAT sounds very interesting, and as long as I’m on the east coast may as well take the TAT back west. It shouldn’t be a surprise if I end up in Alaska for a while too. Suffice it to say that I have no idea what’s next (not exactly an unusual situation), but more meandering and/or wandering is certainly on deck.
  7. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

    Joined:
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    June 29, 2018: South Fork Clearwater River, Red River Rd, MacKay Bar. (And back)

    I spent a handful of days in Grangeville ID. For the record, the Super 8 in town is all right, but doesn't seem to live up to the claimed award of being the most super Super 8 in North America. They do like motorcyclists, and every morning there's a fresh towel placed on each bike to wipe it down, rain or no.

    One particular attraction to me in coming to Grangeville was to hit the White Bird Grade, the old US95 climb out of the Salmon River. I thought I could find a non-highway path south then hit it back north to where I was staying.

    Therefore I started east, knowing that the road along the South Fork of the Clearwater going to Elk City would likely be an awesome stretch. It was.

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    The mountains of North Idaho have only just got the memo that Spring started three months ago. Now that it's officially summer, life is in a rush to catch up.
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    The ride to Elk City was wonderful. Excellent pavement twisties along the river for forty plus miles. Once there, the isolation of a one road in and out town was apparent. There's a gas stop at the Elk Station Café and Store, and the food was ok. I consulted Google Maps and saw that there was a route south to the Salmon River to the MacKay Bar Campground. I had looked at the Salmon before, and surmised that if I got to this campground, there'd be a road downstream to Riggins.

    There was a dirt road that ran directly (as directly as is possible in these mountains anyway) south to the Red River Rd.
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    The Red River Rd is paved for quite a ways towards Dixie. The valley floors were used as pasture.
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    A few miles past the Red River Ranger station the pavement ends and the road gets progressively less maintained and more adventurous.
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    As is frequent in North Idaho, there were several burn scars.
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    The views did get more open the closer I got to the Salmon River. Mostly due to the deepness of that canyon.
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    Finally the river actually came into sight.
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    The road was much less maintained, and ruts were more of an issue. So of course I caught the front wheel in one and went down. Finally the GoPro was running during an incident as such. Video to follow.
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    The rut that got me was worse than this.

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    The last bit down the slope was a lot looser.
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    But the river was beautiful. But warm. Nearly 90F in the valley.
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    The bad news was that there was no road out. Maybe across the river, with the only access via trail bridge.
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    At least I am not on a jeep.
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    The south side had a trail that continued south, but no road. I did a little closer look at Google Maps (at least I had downloaded the area) confirmed that no route out. And no trespassing signs just to cap it off.

    I did consider flagging down a jet boat.
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    With nothing else to do, I just turned around and did the four hour ride back the way I came. Forgive me for the lack of pics on the way back. Surprisingly the same, just different.

    The ride was pretty awesome actually. I was dragging ass by the time I got back to Grangeville, eleven hours after I left.
  8. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    July 1, 2019: IDBDR Section 6 - Pierce to Wallace

    Excuses to stay in Granger expired, I decided to take the back way home (home is of course a relative term). Cuz that's what I do. But first, I needed to get to Pierce ID, the start of Section 6 of the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route. Grangeville is much closer to Section 4, Pine City to Elk City, but far from me to actually just go somewhere.

    I dropped down to the South Fork Clearwater River on ID HW13 up to Kooskia, then north (west) on US12 just a bit to near Kamiah. Right turn, then a wrong turn. Though there were some nice views up there...
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    Sorry for riding in the alfalfa field. I did at least stay in the previous tracks. Well, mostly.
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    Google Maps gave me a "direct" route from my wrong turn, but it wasn't exactly what the app usually recommends.
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    I wish it would do this more often.
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    Finally in Pierce, the "start" of today's ride, I decided to fuel myself up with lunch.
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    The Pesto Chicken Pasta looked suspiciously like alfredo with basil sprinkled over the top.
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    It was still the best meal of the whole trip.

    The actual BDR route, or at least this section, ran through many miles of logging roads.
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    Not even National Forest roads apparently. The logging companies apparently have an endless supply of gravel.
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    Though some of it was washout repairs and seemingly some new culverts.
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    Logging slash and loading areas were common.

    Some nice views throughout.
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    Crossing the Dworshak Reservoir near the Grandad wildlife management area.
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    I actually had no idea this was out here in the mountains. It was pretty impressive.
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    The route wound around the lake.
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    A bit past that it got more National Forest like, rather than logging areas.
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    Did I mention that there was some snow?

    Spring comes slowly to the area. It was still pretty wet, but that made it very lush.
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    Spring comes real slow.
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    Actually, going through the snow is often better than trying to get around it.
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    Once again the solution is dragging a 470 lb. bike (dry weight) back uphill.

    Finally dropping down towards Avery was very pretty.
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    After a short break in Avery (mostly to fill up my one water bottle) I hit the last stretch into Wallace.
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    If you do get a chance to take this leg of the IDBDR, take the ATV track north from Avery. I have missed it a couple times now, but it looks pretty cool.

    I got into Wallace an hour before dark, after another much longer than expected ride. A quick zip into Kellogg for some supper, and perhaps a beer. I took my time so that the setting sun wouldn't be in my eyes as I continued west. Still, an epic ride.
  9. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    Thoughts:

    It has occurred to me in writing about the last couple of rides that there seems to be a formula. Ill formed or hasty plans, some sort of misstep leading to obstacles or challenges, followed by perseverance to an end state, not always the one expected but always working out, most often taking longer than hoped. And these are not the only two rides following the same steps, indeed it's more the norm than not. If I was an author, I'd be risking the accusation of being uncreative.

    I've got some mixed feelings about this revelation. I've had some freaking spectacular rides, and I'm not sure I'd say that I'm incurring an undue amount of risk in the moment. I love the adventure. But it does gall me that I haven't noticed this given how much I've stressed risk/benefit analysis in my career. Trends.

    Still processing it in my mind. But what really bothers me are my postponed plans to be riding to South America. Today, July 4 would have been a rest day in Seattle, where I actually am seeing friends and family. But for putting in for that job, I'd just be passing through around six weeks into a seven and a half month trek. Trends like this one may not create a huge issue in the western US, but screwing around in the Andes, or in a politically unstable locale like Nicaragua...

    Not that this will keep me from riding. Let's be real here.
  10. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    South Carolina
    Don’t sweat it. I crossed into Mexico Sept 1st and arrived in Ushuaia March 9th. (And I was stuck in Valparaiso for a month!). Now, I’m about to head South on the IDBDR:)
    ScotsFire likes this.
  11. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    June 4: Section 8 IDBDR
    Some video from the early June ride. And I thought I was done with snow after that ride...

    No music and just over 5 minutes long. Sorry ahead of time for the big bug spot.
    simbaboy and Oldschoolrocker like this.
  12. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Hello Robert,

    Everything happens for the best.

    South America will always be there--it will happen when The universe conspires with you for it to happen. Its all good.

    I just received my new riding jacket---way too expensive and not as comfy as my old one that I sent to Canada. But I am sure the new jacket will get some good adventures in.

    Headed to Moab and St.George soon---probably will do some simple trails again but most likely do mostly sightseeing with the Girls.

    Stay in touch and plan for our next year rides (Moab and Lake Superior).

    Imu
    ScotsFire likes this.