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 Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho

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realbtl
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Number of posts : 66
Location : NW Montana
Points : 2280
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 18:48

Weather was a bit iffy but I decided WTH and took off on my Idaho 3 dayer today. My wife said it started to rain about an hour after I left but I managed to get out of Montana dry. The last 100 miles it sort of spit at me occasionally, not enough to bother with the rain gear.

Day 1, 5/31- Bigfork MT to Riggins ID, 318 miles, 7.25 hours.
Animals I had to slow down for: group of 3 chickens (?), 2 separate wild turkeys.
As I said it was kind of a grey day though not too cold, about 47. Had a big breakfast at home and headed down Hwy 93 towards Missoula and Lolo.

Gassed up at Lolo and headed up Hwy 12. This is my favorite road sign ever when I'm on 2 wheels.

Plus there's 35 miles of twisties going up the pass on the Montana side. Actually just about all of this big circle starting and ending at Lolo is great bike country.
About 8 miles past the sign I picked up the Lochsa River and followed it or the river it flowed into for about 100 miles.


At Kooskia I picked up Hwy 13 for about 30 miles. In this part of Idaho you follow the rivers down in the valleys then climb up onto a bench for a while, then back down.



I picked up the Salmon River at the bottom of the last pic and followed it to Riggins. I'll be rejoining it on the east side in 2 days. It flows through the “river of no return” portion of the wilderness.

Here is where I am composing this, at least until it decides to seriously rain. Just the occasional drop now.

Got into Riggins about 3:00, checked in and walked ½ mile downtown for dinner. I went into a bar & grill and couldn't believe they still allow smoking in Idaho. Luckily they had an outdoor area when I got a killer BBQ pork sandwich.
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realbtl
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Number of posts : 66
Location : NW Montana
Points : 2280
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 19:09

Day 2- 271 miles, 7 hours
Animals I had to slow down for:
1 deer, off to the side but I don't trust them
As you can see I don't do long days anymore. There are lots of beautiful places nearby plus I'm retired and don't have to hurry. I left about 8:00 AM after coffe while packing up. Had a couple of small roads to take so out came the old fart's GPS.

Gorgeous day, sunny and mid-50s when I left. I followed the Salmon for a while then went up into a beautiful open valley.

Went down the road about 20 miles and had a great double expresso. These are a crap shoot in many small towns, often just strong coffee. This one had the slightly foamy top and was a pleasant surprise sitting in the sun drinking it.

I like to get going in the morning then stop for breakfast somewhere. This morning it was in McCall where I found a hip little place with good eggs Benedict outside in the sun. Unfortunately I couldn't see the lake.

Another hour and it was starting to get warm so I stopped along the Little Salmon River to get my mesh gloves and remove my jacket liner. You get used to this kind of thing here in the Spring and Fall when there can be a 40+ degree shift in temps as the day goes along.

Pretty soon I left Hwy 55 onto a small road up through Crouch and started climbing. I was following another river and saw quite a few rafters and kyackers. There were lots of very nice campgrounds along this road. Kept climbing. It started to get cold.


I got up high and stayed there until past Stanley.


At Stanley I picked up my old friend the Salmon. Once I had lost 1000' or so it warmed up and the country got drier. It reminded me of the east side of the Sierras.

As I was cruising along this road I came upon somebody touring on a Honda Trail 90 (OK, it could have been a 110 but still...) loaded down with camping gear and putting along about 35. I admire folks like that.
I'm now in the Holiday Lodge in Challis ID, an old 50s motel that has been upgraded and is quite nice especially for $52. If you are ever in Challis I highly recommend it. I prefer these kind of places to the BW I was in last night. Clouds are coming in so we may get some rain tonight as well as tomorrow. Oh well, today was worth it.
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realbtl
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Number of posts : 66
Location : NW Montana
Points : 2280
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 19:21

Day 3- 305 miles, 7.5 hours
Animals I had to slow down for:
1 herd of 30 or so cows being driven along the road, luckily not too sloppy;
1 cow elk who didn't really want to get out of the middle of the road;
1 rather sickly looking big horn sheep.

Woke up this morning to rain drops left on my seat cover and this

so decided to put on my rain gear in the motel as it is easier that way. Went about 20 miles in the sunshine with mostly sun to the north so I decided to get rid of all but the pants as they are a PITA to take on and off. Plus the combination of the rain cover for the seat and my rain pants kept causing me to slide into a slouch which was bothering my back. Still pretty dry along the Salmon.


Near Salmon ID I broke into a big valley with snow covered mountains to the east. A couple of years ago I rode from Salmon to Jackson WY along the road at their base and it is deserted and beautiful.

About 30 miles later I said goodbye to the Salmon River as it headed west into the mountains. The road in the picture is a side road that goes up towards the wilderness area.

Went over the pass into Montana and into the Bitterroot Valley.

Just before I got into Lolo MT to complete the circle I began on Day 1 it started to rain pretty hard. I managed to gear up before it hit and rode the last 110 miles home in the rain. I'm not complaining as this is a fairly straight grind-it-out section for me as I've seen it many times.

Stats:
894 miles
16.12 Gal.
55.5 mpg- High 57.8, low 50.7 on the last beat it on home section.
$63.43 for gas

Summary. This turned out to be a great trip and the Wing performed flawlessly. I say I like to go slow like I did on the Helix last year but the truth is that it's kind of nice to roll along at 75 in some sections. I'm happy with the +2” Cee Bailey windscreen and the tail bag was perfect. Why why why did I wait all of these years for a Russell Day Long seat? It was wonderful, no squirming around at about 250 miles and I feel like I could have gone another 150 without too much trouble.
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surlybiker58
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Number of posts : 350
Location : Elkton , Maryland
Points : 2565
Registration date : 2011-12-11

PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 19:25


Gee, you use the same model GPS I use !

Beautiful country you have out there in the west !
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larryinseattle
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Number of posts : 388
Age : 64
Location : Lattitude 47
Points : 3217
Registration date : 2010-03-31

PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 19:42

Absolutely stunning pictures on your ride report. Thank you.

I too noticed your GPS. I upgraded a few years ago to the new fangled ones and found out they can get you lost so I always carry a paper map too.

I look to be riding some of those same roads come August.
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GHM-PM
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Location : Wickenburg, AZ
Points : 3377
Registration date : 2012-05-17

PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 20:30

Great ride report! And the pictures were super as well. hit a nerve for me as I used to live in Idaho and many of the places, I know and have seen! Thanks for sharing.
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realbtl
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Number of posts : 66
Location : NW Montana
Points : 2280
Registration date : 2011-12-19

PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 21:17

Re: GPS
I've never felt the need and in fact have 30k miles on my Subaru and never used the nav. I have however learned to distrust Google Maps. A few years ago I took an extended camper trip to BC that included two 12 hour ferry rides with an overnight on a tiny island to change ferries. Google maps showed a campground so I made a reservation. Turns out it was on a nearby island and I ended up camping by the ferry dock. I thought about camping in the woods until the RMCP told me about the grizzlies and wolves on the island.

ETA Thanks for the response on the pix. I'm using a $90 Nikon Coolpix point and shoot and am very impressed with it.
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CathyN
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PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 22:12

Great ride report and pics. I was up in NW Montana in 1986 camping. Glacier, Yellowstone, etc.. We were driving a Ford PU then. Would love to get back there on the Swing one day. Beautiful country.
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"Hi Yo"
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PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sat 02 Jun 2012, 23:27

Beautiful report on a beautiful trip. Thank you. flower
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Windrider
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Location : EastTexas
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PostSubject: Re: Racing the Rain- 3 days in Idaho   Sun 03 Jun 2012, 08:27

I did a Motorcycle trip to Washington State in 2004. Seen a lot of Id. And Or. It was a great trip. Did it in july, I like the pic. and wish I could do it again. The trip was from East Texas to the top of Wash.
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