Monday, October 27, 2014

Stupidity Awareness - Smokey Dome Loop 10/24/2014

Stupidity continues to flourish and there is no known cure .

This the time of year when we learn the collective wisdom of the misinformed and irrational .





Loop – 62 miles 
Kelly Creek > Bremner > Smoky Dome > Miller Creek > SF Boise road > Conant> Skeleton > SF Boise road.

Riders -  David , John

David and Karen were spending a long weekend at Baumgartner.

I drove up Friday morning to join David on a ride. David said he hadn’t been on his bike in 6-7 weeks.

I got to Baumgartner ~ 10AM.  David said there was light rain all night.

David wanted to ride the Smoky Dome loop. It’s an easy ride with some distance and we could see what the new ATV trail did to the loop.

Much of the east face of the loop is old logging roads and two tracks with some sections of single tracks in between. The ATV trail took out some single track , but mostly
ran along the old two track. Still looked like the Blacks Creek trail system.



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Smoky Dome summit. We decided to ride down to the bottom for lunch.


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View from Miller Creek descent .




Conant Creek

Monday, October 20, 2014




Loop – 565 miles

Riders – Byron ( Flat Czar), Kurt , Thad, Carl, John

Byron set up the ride to Fields Station, Oregon .




Sunday –

Boise – Fields  253 miles

We meet for breakfast at 8AM at Owyhee Lanes in Homedale, which meant I had to leave in the dark ~7AM.
It was in the mid 50’s when I left the house, but riding I84 chilled me , then when I dropped into the Snake River Valley the temperature
must have dropped below 40. I was cold and my face shield frosted up.  

Carl took a wrong turn somewhere along the way  and was late , but it allowed me time for plenty of coffee and finish my body functions.

The Lanes has recently changed hands and the food wasn’t as good as I remember but still OK.

Byron took us through Succor Creek and Mahogany Gap into Jordon Valley.



I was still cold riding through Succor Creek but it finally started to warm at the Leslies Gulch intersection.


We topped off in Jordon Valley.
Oregon always confuses me – can’t pump gas & the speed limit is a guess.  US 95 is posted at 55 MPH but most traffic is driving at 75 MPH or more.



 Charbonneau’s grave site.  That’s not litter but trinkets left at the grave.

After Charbonneau’s we rode the ION to Arock. It has about 2 miles of “lava “ trail.

This section is a cobblely climb. First time I’ve been on the 950 in a 6 weeks and first time I needed any
clutch control.


After Arock we took HWY 95 to Tudor Road > Bone Canyon > Mickey Basin > Alvord Desert

Mickey Basin in the foreground

Mickey Hot Springs parking





This time we found our way on to north end of the lake bed , then buzzed across to Hot Springs access trying to make it to Fields before the café closes.


We were too late , the kitchen was closed but the beer tap was open !  After Sandy got the kitchen cleaned she fixed us platter of hamburger patties , buns,
cheese , etc  , that we cooked on a propane grill in front of the room.


One of the guest flew in his 172 , landed on the highway in front of Fields .   He said on Monday he was planning on landing on the lake bed.






The cat made friends with everybody.




MONDAY  10/20


Fields > Boise    ~ 312 miles

Since I was first to bed I was first up. Spent a little bit of time looking over the Benchmark Atlas
determining some routes home.   I had plotted a route through the southeast corner of Oregon as well as
South Mountain and Mud  Flat into Grandview.


The café didn’t open until 9AM , Pacific Time ( 10 AM Boise time ).
We didn’t get on the bikes until sometime around 11AM MDT. Late start but it was warmer than Sunday.

Entrance to White Horse Ranch , also was site of Fort Smith on the Oregon Trail.  The plan was to catch the “White Horse Cut off” a couple of miles
down the road, but I missed the intersection ( it was a entrance to another ranch ). We had to take HWY 95 to Jackson Creek. At Jackson Creek Byron suggested
we ride into Mcdermitt  to top off.






Top of Jackson Creek summit.


We dropped off the east side of summit and followed the road toward Three Forks.
Some of it was improved and some of it looked like old fire breaks.
All of it through featureless seas of cheat grass and sage brush on straight monotonous stretches.
We were in emptiest portion of  The Big Empty.




Map check at an intersection.












Byron repairing his flat, took a couple of tries but he got the hole plugged.










Kurt and Thad spotted some Big Horn Sheep on the way into Rome.


We got into Jordon Valley around 5PM , gassed up . Decided we would have to take HWY 95 into Marsing since we only had a couple of
hours of daylight left.

A few miles west of the HWY 55 intersection , Byron’s tire was flat again, the plug came out . As Byron was repairing the flat we got a raspberry from
a few of the cars we had passed.   After a few we were on our way , but it was dark when we got to HWY 55.   Decided to take HWY 55 all the way through
Nampa to I84 vs  Lake Lowell and Kuna. Finally got home around 8:30 PM.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014



I clocked ~ 325 miles across six days.  All on single air filter.
We had 4 big rides ranging from 45 to 95 miles, that totaled 250 miles.


Attendees : ( I think it was a stealth dental convention )
Location -CHEMEKETAN CAMPGROUND, ID   in the Sawtooth , NF.

Tuesday 9/30 – Travel Day


I drove through Fairfield and Sun Valley for a change of scenery .
There was fresh snow on the mountains and 3- 5 inches in rain on the valleys .  I got out at the turn off of HWY 75 and heard elk bugling . 

Scott had driven in Monday just as the FS was finishing up  remodeling Chemeketan  campground.
Compared to the new layout , it use to be wide open, easy to get toy haulers , trailers , etc in and out. Now  it’s more laid out for tent camping.

One of the FS crew told Scott the ICL  petitioned the changes to “mitigate erosion”. 

The good news was there still is an older, out of spec outhouse with no locks , still stocked with TP !

After selecting a camp site and a basic set up I was itching to get on the bike. We decided to ride over  to the “old stand by” campsite along
Rainbow Creek. Good news - official ATV trails established on old two tracks.
                                  Bad news – the road into the old campsites has been removed, along with the campsites.



FaceBook post :
“I’m at Smiley Creek.
   Your not.  “

Wednesday  10/1

Wednesday  did two shorter loops that totaled ~60 miles.
In the morning Scott and I did a 25 mile loop down Big Smokey > WF Big Smoky > Chicken Creek ( aka  the mine road).
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We got back to camp just as Brent and Shane were parking their toy hauler.
Soon afterward Arin and Steve pulled in.

I looked over Brent’s new tire and noticed his the rear wheel bearing was shot.  I had a front and rear set in my
supplies. Scott was planning on staying the afternoon in camp to meet Shelby, so he offered to replace the bearings.

Brent realized his front wheel bearing was just as bad so they replaced it as well.

About ~2:30 PM I lead Shane, Arin and Steve on another short loop , ~35 miles.

Big Smoky> WF Big Smoky > Smiley Creek > then FS roads and two tracks back to camp.

Smiley Creek has been rerouted as a side hill since the last time I rode it ( 6-7 yrs ago ).
Nice easy trail , but I still managed to bobble in an easy wide switch back.

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Summit of West Fork of Big Smoky
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Thursday  10/2  Frog Lake Loop


Thursday was one of the Big Rides – 95 miles and 11 riders.
FS Road > Corrals ATV Trail > FS Road> Germania > East Fork of South Fork Salmon River Road> Big Boulder Creek > Little Boulder Creek > Salmon River Road > Bowery>
Grand Prize > Roads & two tracks back to camp.

I packed ~ 1/2 to 1 gal of gas in a bladder that I dumped in the near the end of Germania.

Andrew Kane joined us, a young fellow who is fast , strong and tireless – great asset to have on a ride.
He help pull bikes up rock steps, chucked logs off the trail , etc …………
Dave , Brian & I crossed paths with him last fall on Presidents Trail .

Three Cabins Creek trail head , the start of Germania . It was an 18 mile ride to get to the trail head from camp.

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At this point I figured out my front tire was low. Gerald and Brent helped me pump it up. It was amazing how much better the bike handled.

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About three quarters the way down Germania, amazing colors.

Bottle neck at a tight little switch back.

Germania trail head on  the East Fork Road

At a stop on Big Boulder we noticed bubbles on my front tire. Found the leak !
Arin showed me how to repair with plug kit. ( I’m running the TUBLISS SYSTEM). Pretty slick , a lot quicker than a tube repair. He also said to look a Cycle Gear for a better plug kit.

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Castle Peak
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Dropping into Frog Lake

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Lunch stop on Frog Lake
On the way out of Frog Lake there was a tree across the trail. There wasn’t an easy path around it , but there were enough people to slide
it off the trail.

If you look real close you can see a couple of hunters on horses back in the trees.

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Gate to Bowery Guard Station. The gate was locked but the fence was down so we could take the bridge over the Salmon River
and the Bowery Trail to Grand Prize. On Grand Prize I took a spill in some rocks and scratched my helmet (:

Friday 10/3   Casino -  Williams Creek


Loop – 45 miles ( 6 hours ) , 
Andrew Kane was trail boss ,  13 riders

Boundary Creek > Little Casino > Big Casino > Martin Creek> Warm Spring > Williams Creek > Hwy 75 ( 5 miles)

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We parked just off HWY 75 below the Boundary Creek trail head

View of Red Fish Lake and Sawtooths from Little Casino

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Little Casino , it’s really been buffed out since the first time I rode it, bridges , wider tread , mud rut is gone ………… but there were several trees down.
I walked my bike over most of them.

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Lunch break at Mormon Bend Campground . 

The climb up Big Casino was grueling all of it in 1st and 2nd thru boulders and over trees.

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Tough rocky , rooted switch backs at the top of the trail. Ben stayed at the bottom and helped everybody over the first rock garden.

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View from Martin Creek. We were on the over side of those mountains Thursday.

Steve and I were riding together in the rear.  Near the bottom of a rocky side hill , I sat down after riding through a rock garden
on a hairpin turn.  I cased on the skid plate and high sided. I slide down the rocks in the back ground and the bike was upside down off the trial.
If I was still standing  I would have saved it or at least been able to step off the bike and save myself.

Steve was long down the trail. I decided I would need to right the bike and get it on the trial. I tied the swing arm off and worked on maneuvering
the bike so I could lift it up right. Eventually Greg and Steve came back looking for me. They lifted the bike and pushed it back on the trail for me. 

The rest of trails to the highway were smooth and fast.

After the ride we stopped at Smiley Creek for dinner. Hoped we would see the Iron Butt crew but we missed them.

I had Jon snap a photo of my backside, no cuts or scraps , maybe it’s not that bad.

Saturday  10/4  , Snow Slide- Paradise – Big Smokey


Chicken Creek > WF Big Smokey > Snow Slide > Paradise > Big Smoky 

Loop 52 miles    ( 6 riders )  

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Scenic ridge off of Chicken Creek.

Snow Slide Climb
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Top of Snow Slide

Arin bobbled on side hill to Paradise
Lunch break at Canyon Campground.
After lunch 7 of the guys split off to ride Lick Creek , Big Peak and Bluff Creek which added another 20 miles to the day.

Scott , Jon , Eric , Arin , Steve and I elected to take the more direct route back to camp up Big Smoky.

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New rock slide on the Big Smoky rock slide.


Sunday 10/5


Sunday we hung around camp to rest. Did ride up the French Creek canyon to explore a bit.

Had lunch at Smiley Creek then went back to camp to nap and watch TV.

Monday 10/6

Got out of camp about 9:30 AM. Decided to head through Stanley , Lowman and Idaho City.

On Banner Ridge I stopped for break and found  I had flat tire. I drove back to a SKI & Park area. Had to unload everything to change the tire.
Took a couple of hours.

My spill on Martin Creek produced a deep bruise.

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