Joined: Feb 2010
Moab 2012 - Bittersweet
In Loving Memory of my Sister; Deborah Anstey (August 26th 1963 – May 31st 2012). Your time with us was far too brief and without goodbye.
This trip was a long time in the planning, and inspired by countless ride reports that came before it. I have heard it said that “Adventure begins when things stop going as planned” and in that case this was pure adventure from the start. I spent many long hours pouring over Google maps, and actual paper maps in an effort to plot out an interesting, efficient, run down to Moab from Calgary. It had just a taste of dirt along the way in an effort to keep all the players happy, and get us to our real objective, Moab.
There would be four of us to start the journey; one co-worker, Paul- riding a BMW F 650 GS, a well traveled, enthusiastic, but prefers pavement rider. Paul would have to leave the group early in order to meet another group in Salt Lake the second day of the week we would be in Moab.
Two of the riders, friends, met through ADSMC (Alberta Dual Sport Motorcycle Club) a couple of years back. Chris, riding a bored out Suzuki DR 650, and an accomplished sport bike rider, as well as an enthusiastic, natural dirt rider.
Paul, riding a hopped up KLR 650 (bored, jetted and piped), another skilled sport bike rider, new to, but enthusiastic and skilled in the dirt.
Then there’s me, Lee (Lycan1 on ADV) riding the KTM 990 Adventure that I call the Orange Dragon, named for it’s seeming ability to bite me without warning and be a handful off-road for a guy my size. I am always up for off-road exploring and prefer the dirt to pavement, even though I come from a long sport bike background. Skill-wise; working to become a better dirt rider always.
These are not the petroglyphs you are looking for, move along....
Last Minute Panic:
After careful route planning and painstaking GPX building using the Dualsport.com site and loading my new Garmin - Montana with tracks for the trip, in stepped Mother Nature. The Friday Morning before the Saturday departure I flipped on the news. Weekend storms with significant snowfall in all the passes that lay between Utah and us were being predicted and shown in nasty pink and white on the weather radar. So starts the “Adventure”, and the scramble to make this work, as delaying the trip was not an option! I poured over the weather network site and highway atlas, re-plotting a route that would skirt around the bad weather and still get us to Moab close to what was originally planned. It seemed that as long as we stayed west of Kalispell and headed south to Boise we would miss most of the bad weather. Unfortunately this would add about 500 miles to our trip and put us a day behind schedule. I called the Campground in Moab to bump our reservation up a day and then started putting together new GPX tracks since I had never been to Idaho before. Three hours later I had a route to Boise and across to Arco ID planned out, that would at that point get us back onto the original plan. It would be a bit of a push, even to keep on the day behind schedule and I made sure the others of the group were aware and prepared for this reality. They were all in agreement that riding a bit harder in good weather was preferable to getting shut down in snow storms along the way. OK, panic over, game on!
Departure day Arrives:
We had planned to meet at the south end of Calgary and start the trip with a good breakfast at one of my favorite spots, Cora’s. This part of the original plan actually went as planned. I arrived early to get a table (and parking spot) at this notoriously busy restaurant. Paul on the KLR arrived second, loaded up and looking like a world traveler, then came the other Paul on the BMW, ready for adventure and looking the part. Chris rolled in right behind him with the DR decked out for the run, and looking relaxed and cool.
Trip begins in Calgary with Breakfast
While I had been waiting for the guys, another rider on a white BMW GS800 who had been at Cora’s (when I arrived) went outside and circled the KTM numerous times poking and prodding various parts, seemingly fascinated with the Adventure bike. I had to grin and think “Orange Envy?” even though normally, some stranger touching my bike would have me outside in a hurry and not to act as tour guide. This morning though, I was feeling relaxed and generous, but did keep a close eye on him though.
Damn papparazi in Longview AB.
No, no, no..... That is not how you do Y M C A.
DR's make me feel good!
Eureka Cafe, courtesy of BMW-Paul
After a long, great breakfast we saddled up and set off in the sunshine for a date with US Customs in Roosville Montana, just north of Eureka. The plan was to make it to Sandpoint ID by days end. The weather was great heading down and it seemed bizarre to think that a nasty storm was growing east of Glacier National Park in Montana. Customs was a breeze and we stopped just down the road in Eureka at a nice little diner on the corner of highway 37 and 93 for a late lunch. We carried on to Libby on 37 and down 56 south to hook up with 200 west into Sandpoint. The roads and scenery were great. We were winging it as to a place to camp but the map had shown a number of campgrounds around Sandpoint so we figured it would be easy to find one. As we crossed the bridge on the south end of the city I spotted a sign on the right, just at the end of the bridge and turned west, following the road past the fish hatchery. Not much further down on the right was the campground and we rolled in hoping it wasn’t full being the Memorial Day long weekend in the States. As luck would have it we had our choice of a few sites and the hosts were gracious enough to let us all share one site keeping the cost for the night to $5 per person. The campsite had nice clean facilities and was well off the major roads, making it quiet. We even managed to have a small campfire and some nice single malt before the weary travelers drifted off to their respective nylon enclosures for the night. It felt good to have skirted the storms for now and put in a good days ride.
To be continued....
I've learned so much from my mistakes. I'm thinking of making a few more.
09 KTM 990 Adv
Lycan1 screwed with this post 06-15-2012 at 04:12 PM