Once a year, I combine all my vacation days, sick days, and the credited days for the weekends I've worked and I take a big epic adventure.
Living in Idaho, I've been visited by lots of Studly Adventures, such as Byways, Vinnie the Snake, Docking Pilot and his crew, and others, and have learned from their adventures.
So this past winter, when the snow blocked the roads, and the temperatures dropped into the negative numbers, I pulled out the maps, checked GPS files, referenced Google Earth, and spent my evenings planning a new trip.
I also spent my evenings building up my new KTM Super Enduro, making it into the Ultimate Adventure Travel Bike.
Taking a 07 Super Enduro, I added Wolfman Luggage, Berg Briggs' Backroads Moto racks, Touratech GPS systems, Safari Tanks, Neduro's Adventure Tank, Fasst Racing Flex Handlebars, Warn Winches, Renazco Racing seat, and assorted "bling" such as Rigid Lights, and Shorai Batteries from Black Dog Cycle Works and parts from CJ Designs. (Yes- That was a shameless plug to my sponsors.
And oh yeah.. Klim provided the riding gear.
I wanted to get away from... everything... and I did it.
No cell signals for hundreds of miles, seldom going though populated areas. MotoAdventureGal and myself had two specially modified KTM motorcycles with fuel ranges of 300 - 400 miles (depending on conditions and throttle and terrain). We camped every night, and cooked our own food. We were like the Cowboys and settlers of the 1880's. Self sufficient, and traveling alone, seeing the most remote places in the Western US.
Borrowing from the knowledge of the collective, I calculated a route consisting of over 4000 miles of dirt, though all the Great Empty places in the Western US, making sure we could get gas once and a while.
It took twenty days, and was physically demanding, as well as emotionally draining. (In fact it may have cost me my relationship with MAG.)
Starting in Idaho Falls, we would travel north to the Gallatin / Gravelley mountain range of Montana, then over to the "Big Empty" of Wyoming by way of the Teton National Forest. From the "Big Empty" we connected with the Oregon Trail, and headed south to Steamboat Springs by way of the Routt National Forest. Then down to the Dinosaur National Monument of Colorado, and over to Utah. Traversing the Ashley and Wasatch National Forests towards Provo Utah we would hook up with sections of the Pony Express Trail through the emptiness of the vast Nevada desert, and head over to the KTM Adventure Rally in Lake Tahoe. After the KTM event we would head up though the emptiness of northern Nevada and stop by at Dennio Junction - a waypoint from our TAT trip. We would tag the south east corner of Oregon, and then we would head north to the Salmon - Challis and Nez Pierce National Forests of Idaho and traverse the Magruder Corridor, and head back to Idaho Falls. (Whew...)
The route looks like this on a map.
This Ride Report will be picture intensive. I've got over 650 pictures.
(Lucky for you, I've compressed them so they will upload quickly.
I'll do my best to post this Ride Report in a timely manor, but I've got a job that takes up a lot of time and often requires travel, and I've got a slow internet at home, so bear with me.
So saddle up, git your cowboy hat on, and get ready to see The Great Empty Places of the American West.