Tuesday, August 9, 2016

BFR–EAST IDAHO LOOP 8/1-8/6 2016





Loop ~ 1500 miles

7 days

Trail Boss  Spode Daddy   – KTM 1190R

Riders        Byron  - BMW 1200 GSW
                   Thad    - BMW 1100
                   Kurt      - KTM 950
                   Carl       - KTM 950

Most of the loop was new territory .
I spent the winter researching Benchmark Atlas,
rooms , gas and
internet searches of other folks trips . Google Earth has many photos.

The best rides were on Tuesday , Wednesday morning and  Thursday.

Monday 8/1  Boise – Almo

280 miles
  45 mph
  44 mpg
6 hrs. saddle time




I had us meeting early at the Boise Stage Stop which meant riding  I-84
in the dark just before dawn . I wanted to be across  the desert before it
got hot and some extra time for sightseeing.

Balanced Rock Castleford .

south hills

South Hills



Smoke in the South Hills obscured the views but it was still a nice ride
through Rock Creek Canyon.
My first visit and I need to go back  when the conditions are better.
There is an ATV & Single Track system that would be fun to hit this fall.


The road into Oakley was fun and what should have been great views if it
wasn’t  for the smoke.


One of the locals who came off the mountain with us .
He said the smoke was from hay stack  fires , three in the last week.

He suggested Searles for lunch , a favorite with the local cowboys .
Good burgers and non-ethanol Premium . 


city of rocks
Ride into City of Rocks

Just south of Oakley we were getting some relief from the smoke.


West entrance to the City of Rocks .
I managed to highside parking the bike, put the kickstand on a high point and fell over.
It took three of us to lift the bike up.
 Ginger got her first trail blemish .


The City of Rocks is a rock climbing Mecca , there were license plates from everywhere.

It is also on the California Trail.


Emigrant Rock

Early immigrants tagged the Rock.
The Trail was used until late in the 19th Century .


Fancy rooms at the Almo Inn.
Monday is the day off , we never say the owner.
The rooms were left open with keys inside. By 6:30 PM we realized
the restaurant was also closed .

Had a couple of pizzas at Rock City.
They take orders until 7PM and have a walk in beer cooler.


Tuesday 8/2  Almo, ID- Cokeville ,WY

2 flats
California Trail
Bear Lake
Sawtooth National Forest

232 Miles
40 mph
42 mpg
5.5 hr saddle time

Didn’t know what to expect but it was one of the better days of riding.




Had left over pizza for breakfast .

Overnight a bit of weather moved in and pushed out the smoke .

Thad found he had low pressure in his rear tire but could not find the leak.
He decided to inflate the tire and buy a bottle of Slime in the next town.

Working cow dogs in Malta .

Petting Zoo at the Sublett exit on I84 .

california trail

California Trail between Sublett and Malad


Along the California Trail between Sublett and Malad City.

Nice leg ,a more primitive FSR just a two track in places.
Overcast , moist dirt , thunder and lighting over the ridge .

The road dumped us in a beautiful grain field , maybe barley for malting . 


Thad found some Slime .
While he added it to his tire , I changed to my Gortex pants, of course that
guaranteed it wouldn't rain on us .  

Poor photo – “Trail Riders Repair “ outside the Malad Drive In where we had lunch.

In Preston Thad caught up with me and Byron , told us Carl had flat in Dayton ,
about 5 miles back .

We found them under a shade tree in a front lawn. The homeowner pulled the hose from his
air compressor out of his garage. Also supplied soap , towel and garden hose for clean up. 


As Carl finished up Byron and I visited. We told him we were headed up
Cub River over the mountain to Paris . He said you must must be taking
German Dugway. We said that's right, his response “That’s more of a trail
than a road . I’ve never done it … “.

He nailed it ……………..


Top of Dugway Switch Back.

It was technical for a 600 pound bike . Similar to the old rock garden
on Kelly Creek , but steeper and had a “switchback”. There was a smoother line
on the outside but I stayed away, worried about high-siding .
There would be no recovery without mechanical assistance.

I was also worried about pounding through the rocks and bending a rim.
~50 yards from the top I bobbled and dropped the bike. Kurt and Thad helped
me pick it up and get me started again. 

Once we got everybody on top we were hot and exhausted. Discussed
back tracking, not wanting a another mile of rock gardens but decided going
back down would be more difficult than riding up.

Thad scouted ahead and gave me call back. Yes, we had cell service !
He said the rest of the trail was much easier . He was correct , I did much of it
in 2nd.

Top of German Dugway  ~ 8400 ft.



Paris Ice Caves were a “surprise”.

Gave us a chance to cool off . Thad crawled back into the cave to collect some ice.

In Paris we stopped for refreshments.
Thad and I split a big beer , it was tasty.


North shore of Bear Lake , the water is a brilliant turquoise .

The rest of the ride was through rolling desert hills , then the highway into Cokeville .

Cokeville is a Mormon town that had a weird school hostage crisis in 1986 .


Hideout Motel

As we checked in we found out the Flying J is the only food in town and
Cokeville is dry.  Sure glad I had the beer in Paris .

After dinner I tried to straighten my shift lever that got bent when I dropped
the bike. Without a vise , torch and tools , I didn’t have any luck .


I was able to Jimmy Rig the angle of the folding tip with a tie wrap and piece
of wire to make  it  more comfortable for shifting .


Wednesday 8/3/2016  Alpine – Island Park Reservoir

265 miles
44 mph
44.3 mpg
6 hrs saddle time
No flats
One lost rider



smith grey

The morning leg was Cokeville – Alpine via Smith Fork , Sheep Pass and Grey’s River.


Smith Fork Road

I needed to stop and put on another layer and warmer gloves .


The two track turned into a forest service road , Dry Creek.
We saw bald eagles and beavers along the way.


End of the Smith Fork/ Dry Creek road.


Grey’s River Road just below Sheep Pass.


La Barge Guard Station


Grey’s River Road




20160803_110123 Stitch

Outfitter horses grazing along the road .


These guys had Texas plates . I stopped to see where they were from -
Florida . They had flown into Idaho Falls. He said he had just caught a
couple of 15” cutthroats .


The rest of the ride into Alpine became monotonous due to the traffic and dust.


Gas and lunch in Alpine.

The bar had a Trials Competition on the TV while we were eating lunch.

The rest of the day would be riding two lane highways into Island Park.

Not too far out of Alpine I had the Call of Doody.  I decided to  pull into
the Palisades Dam CG to get some satisfaction. Kurt, Thad and Carl
backtracked to find me. Byron was out front, I thought we would meet
up at the next turn.

When we got to the HWY32 intersection in Swan Valley there was no Byron.
We called a couple of times , sent a couple of texts , no response his phone was off.
After ~ 20 minutes we decided to head to Victor.

No Byron in Victor , more obvious he must be behind us and his phone was still off.

In Driggs I sent a text to let him know we were continuing down the road .


View of the Tetons on the way to Ashton.
Much of the ride into Ashton reminded me of the Palouse , dry farming
on rolling hills.

Just outside Ashton Byron responded to a text. I called him and he told me
he was in Driggs. I told him to meet us in Ashton.

In Swan Valley Byron said he realized we were missing. He back tracked
down the highway, eventually all the way back to Alpine. We  must have missed
him when the GPS route took us on some side roads that paralleled the highway.  

Mesa Falls Lodge



Upper Mesa Falls on Henry’s Fork .

Lakeside Lodge  on Island Park Reservoir


Thad and Kurt

We had plans of ribeye steaks but a propane leak on the grill dashed our hopes.

Thursday 8/4    Island Park – Salmon

268 miles
45 mph
42 mgg
Continental Divide x 3
One Pony
One Flat
Two Bull Moose




The first leg was through Red Rock Pass , a broad desert valley , to
I-15 then Dubois .

Centennial  Mountains


Hell Roaring Creek , a tributary of the Missouri River 









Red Rock Mormon Marxist OutPost - 

University of Utah Envriomental Graduate Program – one of those WTF
Marxist Navel Gazing Studies . 



Near Red Rock Road * I-15 intersection.

After waiting ~20 minutes and no more bikes. I decided to back track.
I got worried when at the top of the pass I didn’t see any dust plumes.


I found them trying to repair a flat, same puncture that was slimed . The fancy hipster mushroom plugs
were not working. I had a Slime Plug Kit  from Walmart to save the ride.



We rode the service road along I-15 to Dubois to decide the next move.

The plug held so Thad decided to complete the original route :
The Old Bannock Mine Road , Medicine Lodge Road , Lemhi Pass.


Thad and Kurt found a pet pony near a wildlife sanctuary .



Just around the bend we spotted a moose.
Then a second one just up the road.

The road transitioned to gravel then a two track as it crossed the summit .

Byron and Carl at Deadman Crossing .

I rolled through in 2nd because I though I was in 1st Smile.


We still had another 100+ miles to Salmon and it was late in the afternoon.




Crossed paths with this fellow who was on a 5 week bicycle trip with his wife.

This must have been an old station along the road.

After the canyon the route dumped into a 7,000 ft desert valley where you
could top out at 80 MPH .


Kurt on the Lemhi Pass Road


Looking west at the Lemhi Pass on the Lewis & Clark Trail



Descending the pass



After checking in we had dinner at Bertram's .
Some of us finally got our ribeye's but there wasn’t enough to go  around.





We stayed at the Sacajewea Inn , nice place.
In the morning they offer a cooked to order breakfast for $3 !

Friday 8/5     Salmon – Stanley

213 miles
34 mph
40 mpg
1 flat






We split into a couple of groups Friday morning .
Byron needed to be in Boise Friday evening.
Kurt and Thad were going to the Harmonica Festival in Yellow Pine .

Carl and I would continue on the back roads to Stanley.

I had plotted a the Old Leesberg Road out of Salmon  to Panther Creek.

However the road was gated even though it was signed . There were a couple
of trails around but more technical than I wanted to tackle .



We rerouted up Williams Creek which was the main thoroughfare to
Panther Creek.




It was a nice fun ride up Panther Creek then as I was descending
Morgan Summit I got a flat.


It took about 5 minutes to plug the puncture but forever to inflate
with the small electric pump. The pump got hot as a two dollar pistol and
had to cool off before I could pack it away .


The smoke was thick in Challis.  We rode to the base of Twin Peaks but
the lookout was socked in , worse than last year. I didn’t want to make the
climb with no views .

After a cup of coffee in Challis we took the Custer Motorway to Custer.

As we hit Mill Creek the smoke lightened up, at the summit we had clear
skies again.






Having clear skies recharged my batteries .







Yankee Fork Dredge


We both still wanted to do a lookout . I said ” Let’s do Custer !”

The Benchmark Atlas showed FSR 038 / Peach Creek running up to the
lookout off of HWY 75.

The first few miles were easy, when we got to the first technical spot
we stashed our luggage and continued up the road .


Then we found this miners camp .



Eventually we ran out of road. Carl and I had to walk my bike backwards
about a 100 feet to a spot wide enough to turn it around.

“ You get old way too soon and wise too late .”

It was fun ride into Stanley along the Salmon River.

Had dinner at the Bridge .
I ordered “brisket” but it was just smoked flavored thin sliced prime rib.

On top of that not the typical hippies/granolas  for staff but Eastern Europeans,
dressed in Adidas sweats  and watching soccer . Sad smile

Same tribe at the Mountain Village Resort .

Saturday-Sunday  8/6-8/7  Stanley – Boise

250 miles




The Sawtooths

Something I ate was cleaning me out Saturday morning, I’m going to blame
The Bridge . Popped an Imodium before we left.

My rear tire had low pressure .
I was trying to run a MEFO Super Explorer  tube type tire as a tubeless.
The last several days I was having to top off the pressure every morning.

Between the two issues I decided to make a bee line to Donnelly.


Carl in Bear Valley

I got into Donnelly ~ 11 AM and had lunch with the family .

The ride was starting to catch up with me. 
I napped and still went to bed early .
Left Donnelly at noon Sunday , taking Hwy 55 into Boise.

Post Script :

1) Replace the Mefo with a Karoo 3.

2) Add upper crash bars to protect the tank.

3) Bark Busters  to protect the levers

4) Upgrade to Black Dog skid plate / kick stand ( delivered while on the trip )

5) Adventure foot pegs


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