Sunday, September 10, 2017

Badgers , Gas Caps and Blue Skies–Owyhee Loop 9/10/2017



210 miles

Silver City , Jordon Creek , Pleasant Valley , Flint Creek , Triangle ,Oreana   

Decided to ride the bike big to find some blue skies .

As I was prepping the bike Marilyn called and said there was something under the tree by the kitchen window.

It was a badger on it’s last breaths . I put a 22 in it’s head and tossed it over the fence into the desert.
It had a den by the pond. I had let it be  hoping it would eat the ground squirrels and gophers.

The 1190 was close to empty so I dumped ~ a gallon of gas in to make sure I could make it to Walters Ferry.

The gas cap wouldn’t close all the way to where I could latch it. I had to remove the skins from the gas tank to
get the cap off. There was a plastic tab broken , interfering with the hinge. Removed it and the cap will open and close but would not”ratchet” to hold it open. No big deal but might be an opportunity to upgrade to a billet cap

Finally rolled out at noon vs the expected 10AM. 

I was surprised to see the Rabbit Creek trail head packed  with bikes. Why would you dirt bike in the desert when the
mountains are open? There were even more bikes parked off the Silver City Road .

As I crossed the Sinker Creek the smoke started to disappear


I hadn’t seen such blue skies in weeks !

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The town was busy .


Had lunch in the hotel .


Bernie’s Place on Jordan Creek .

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Dropping into Jordan Valley

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Flint Creek


North Fork of Owyhee Canyon


Top of Bachman Grade, the Snake River Valley is still socked in with smoke .



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rusty Dusty–Silver Creek 8/16/2018



Loop ~ 58 miles , probably half was road
Riders – Scott, John

My first dirt bike ride in 6 weeks. Stuff then hot & smokey weather got in the way.

We parked across from Trail Creek campground to save the drive over the summit to the Plunge.
It’s been three years since Brian King took me on the loop :
Long Fork of Silver Creek /Bitter Creek , Habit Creek/ Peace Creek

It was a long day. My son had an early flight and wanted to get to the airport by 4:30AM.
I took a nap after dropping him off and got to Scott’s by 8:45.
We got on the bikes at 11AM back to the truck at 7PM , home 10:30PM
Good break from monuments, Nazis , Commies , politicians and other assorted fucktards .

As we geared up I realized I forgot a map. I’ll have to store by box of maps in the trailer .


On the ride into The Plunge we saw a trail head marker -
32 , Rattlesnake . Scott remembered it intersecting Peace Creek which it did at one time but now the maps
show it dead ends.

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Scott making call to get some trail intel. He was able to log into the
Parks & Rec database and see the trail dead ends .
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We rode into the Plunge , studied a FS map and picked up a MUMVM .


Long Fork Silver Creek -
Had a couple of spots that took two tries to get over .
The final climb was rocky and loose.

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Top of Bitter Root  which slammed you with a reality check as soon as you drop off .
Paddled down most of the descent. Hands and arms got fatigued working the brakes.
Then we crossed the Deadwood River . I dabbed across in 2nd , Scott choose to walk the bike across.
It was deep , up above the axels .

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Top of Peace Creek

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We took another break right above waterfall side hill.




End of day .

We stopped in Crouch for a pizza on the way home.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

On the Bum , Beartooth Pass 7/19-7/23



Loop - 5 days , 1400 miles

Riders : Byron -BMW 1200
              Carl    -KTM  950
              Thad  -KTM   1190
              John  -KTM   1190

Byron planned and organized (routes & rooms) the ride with Beartooth Pass as the destination.
The route was mostly paved. No flats or sauce but a couple of gremlins.

WED 7/19 Boise-Dubois



Leg – 380 miles
Saddle time – 7 hours


We rendezvous at The Corner Café in Horseshoe Bend.

Fuel stop in Stanley

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Byron and I got separated from Thad and Carl at a traffic stop for road construction.

Carl said he went to start his bike and “nothing”.  He had to drop the skid plate and pull the battery.
When he re-installed the battery the bike started . 

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Spar Canyon Road, connects HWY75 and HWY93 .
Hard country .


Mt Borah and site of 1983 Earthquake .

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Thad , Double Spring Pass .


The original route was to cross the Lemhi Mountains on FSR 102 out of Sawmill Canyon.
A few miles up the road it became cobbley  and we hadn’t even reached the steep
part. It was late and we called it deciding to ride through Howe instead.

Carl on our way to Howe .

We followed HWY33 & HWY22 into Dubois.

Clark County has just under a 1,000 people with lots of cheat grass and lava rock. 
Don’t think we saw any traffic and buzzed along at “high double digit speeds”. 
I started thinking how a mission trip would break the monotony.  
Pulled into Dubois with about a half gallon of gas left in the tank (235 mile run from Stanley).


I scored the only AC room at the Beaver Creek Inn, even though it just used the curtains
to seal the window.
We had dinner at the gas station.





Leg -250 miles
Saddle Time- 5 1/2 hours


Dubois sunrise


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Gearing up for rain on the Kilgore – Dubois road .
Last year our route took us on the north side of the same mountain range .

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West Yellowstone was packed, had the feel of Seaside , Oregon .
Long lines at the park entrance, I pointed at my motorcycle pass ,the ranger smiled and nodded.
Byron was behind me , the fellow told Byron he didn’t see my decal, Byron told him I was good.

Thad was in the wrong line and took more than ten minutes to get through.

There was a lot of traffic but for the most part it moved along OK and it was easy to pick your way
around cars. All the parking lots for the attractions were packed . I imagine it was much worse on the
geyser loops.

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Duraven Pass Grand Loop Yellowstone.

We grouped up again at Tower Junction. Byron led off , I passed Carl and Thad followed me.
As we rode through Lamar Valley I never could see Carl in my mirrors.
I pulled over  watched the buffalo for a while and waited for Carl.

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After ~10-12 minutes I rode a few more miles  then stopped and took a couple of photos.
Started thinking maybe I imagined I passed Carl and he was actually a head of me.
Decided to move on and least catch Byron ,Thad and not have a second person separated from the group .

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Caught up with Thad and Byron at the North East entrance.  After waiting another 30 minutes we mounted up and
went to find Carl. Just before we got to the  gate Carl was riding out of the Park.
He said he had the same gremlin as “yesterday”. Had to do the same drill, with horses passing by  and rangers checking on him. He said he saw evidence of arcing from the battery terminal to the battery case . Found some material to insulate the spot.

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Beartooth Mountain Range

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Beartooth Mountain Range from an overlook on the western slope of the pass.


Beartooth Highway

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Beartooth Summit .
Carl’s delay let the storm pass before we reached the summit , but it was still wet , windy and cold.
On the way down the wind would push the bikes around .

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By the time we reached the overlook on the east side of the pass the weather was better and we were out of the wind.
On the last leg down the hill we had fresh asphalt that was just like Velcro .



Leg – 280 miles
Saddle time ~ 6 hours

As we headed from Red Lodge to Cody we must of passed a dozen adventure bikes.
Some sort of rally I guess. 



Had brunch at the Irma Hotel.
We were seated in back room that had some locals. Kind of reminded me of a scene from Junior Bonner.


We toured the gun display at the Buffalo Bill Museum.

After spending ~ an hour & half in the museum we followed the North Fork Highway into the Park.
About halfway we passed a fire south of the highway .

The East Gate wasn’t that busy but the rangers made up for it.
My ranger told me the decal wasn’t valid then said my Senior Pass wasn’t valid because according to my  DL I was only 53.
A gal told Thad his receipt wasn’t valid because  it wasn’t stapled to a map !



Yellowstone Lake and Red Mountain Range

After leaving the South Entrance we gassed up at Flagg Ranch which had lower gas prices than Boise !

We followed the Ashton-Flagg Ranch road but it had quite a bit of traffic .

We found an alternative road that took through Jack Ass Meadows.
No traffic and we could brake drift through the turns !




The road dumped us out into some fields with great views of the Tetons.


View from the Teton Teepee




Leg – 223 mile
Saddle time – 6 hrs


Loading the bikes up


Just outside St Anthony  

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Medicine Lodge Creek

Last year we saw moose , but no animals this year .

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Weber Creek


Warm Spring Road

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Dropping down to the flats .


Waiting at intersection for Carl & Byron we met Ben owner of Ben's Quality Cycle.
He was taking his extended family for a picnic at Warm Springs .


Byron had a grand time in Arco


Earl owner of DK Motel





Leg- 296 miles
Saddle time – 6.75 hours

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Cherry Creek

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Thad, Bear Creek Summit

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Bear Creek Summit


Climbing Antelope Pass

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Antelope Pass


Thad and I rode up Smelter Canyon until the trail got to tight for us.

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Dropping out of Smelter Canyon trail.

We had a fubar – Carl didn’t wait to talk to Byron. Byron saw us but thought we were turning on the Copper Basin Loop.

When we got to the main road no Byron, then Thad & Carl didn’t turn at the Copper Basin loop. I had to pass both to get them turned around. In the meantime Byron was hauling ass trying to catch us and we had no idea where he was.

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Copper Basin

We eventually caught up with Byron at Trail Creek Summit. He had asked a truck and motorcycle to look out for us
who both flagged us down. 


Lunch at Grumpy's


The plan was to take Warmsprings Road over Dollarhide then Wells Summit
into Fairfield. 16 miles out of town the road was gated but the closure was not signed
anywhere along the road. We could of got around the gate but I was worried the road would be
dug up in spots.

We back tracked to Ketchum took HWY75 to Hailey and Cory Creek into Fairfeild.



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