We set out from Summit Springs, south of Grand View, ID on Mud Flat Rd. Destination Jordan Craters. On this map, we track from SE to NW to NE.
Woody on the Mule (XR250)
Empty Pockets on the Rooster (XR250)
Willyard on KLR650
BeemerD on a BMW GS1150
me on '06KLX250 carrying more than necessary. The trails for this trip are easy. May as well go in comfort.
We head sw on Mud Flat Rd to Antelope Ridge Rd heading nw towards Triangle. Stopping for a hydration break, deer hunters pass by.
Near Triangle. We were set on getting down the road so Triangle waits for another day...
Hit Flint Rd to Jordan Valley.
A ranch near Jordan Valley
We make it to Jordan Valley for cool beverages and last minute snacks, then head off to Cow Lakes to set camp in a no-fee BLM campground with picnic tables and a vault crapper. There's only one other site taken by two falconers who've been set up for a week hunting with their four birds. If I can get BeemerD's pics, they'll be added later.
The plan for tomorrow is to ride from Cow Lakes, on the east side of Jordan Craters, around the south side of the Craters to the north, looping back into Jordan Valley for fuel and back to Summit Springs. We set off, happily devoid of the heavy gear for a sporting ride to find the way around.
One of many fences. I have a good map and know that the trail past this map will take us right into the back yard of a ranch. There's a good chance the land beyond the fence is private, but it's not marked. We take our chances and sure enough right right into a ranch, nice and slow and respectful expecting a greeting. But no one came out to greet us.
So, past the ranch and west along the edges of the basalt flow to a point where the big bikes will not find their way. Woody and Empty Pockets continue along, crossing the bridge to go ride the lava flows. BeemerD, Willyard and I back track, continuing around to try to find tomorrow's trail.
My GPS and map lead us to what appears to be the right road, which winds up at a ranch with big red NO TRESPASSING signs. Turn around again and continue on to a couple dead ends. The sun is setting. It's a beautiful, quiet autumn evening. Back on the road, now pitch black, we keep riding to try to find the elusive trail. "Just another mile, then we'll turn around." "Just a mile more..." We finally stop to turn around and someone drives up in an old Land Cruiser and asks if we need any help. We exchange introductions and explain the situation and our unsuccessful attempts to find our route, and that the map lead us to a ranch with no trespassing signs. He says "Ya, that's my place, you can go on through, we have an agreement with the BLM." WTF? I have a little problem with people posting public roads and land. But he's nice enough and tells us to just go on through tomorrow morning. Cool.
Back to camp. Woody and Empty Pockets were imbibing with the falconers and are lubricated. Time for dinner. Sausages and sauerkraut for me and BeemerD. The others chili dog it. Coyotes calling in the distance. Clouds building to the west. Not a good sign. During the night, I wake to pee and see lightning shows to the west, moving in.
Clouds to the west are dark. Rain is on the way. Eat, pack and ride. BeemerD and I decide to continue around the crater, knowing things will likely get interesting. The others head to Jordan Valley for a mediocre breakfast and ride back to Summit Springs.
Pics along the way...
The trail is getting interesting, narrowing from decent dirt jeep trail down to rocky, rough jeep trail that is more of a single track. Riding on the lava flow from time to time is easier than the trail. I likee. BeemerD leading the way along the edge of the flow.
We stop for a hike out on the flow.
The clouds are moving in fast. A sprinkle turns into rain. I stop to put on rain gear. BeemerD says he's going to mozy up the trail and that I'll catch up to him. It's really starting to pour. Gear on, hit the developing mud. Not much more than five minutes down the trail...
Heavy bike with mild tires on this slick-as-snot-on-melting-ice clay make things interesting. Hell, I'm sliding around on a fresh front knobby and a fairly worn rear trials tire. I help BeemerD lift his bike several times. The rain continues hard. Lightening moves in close with bright flashes right behind us immediately followed with KABOOM! We make it to the highway, seeing more and more of these napping critters along the way.
Time to layer up for warmth and hit the pavement back home, coming very close to running out of fuel.