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Old 08-03-2013, 09:03 AM   #76
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:35 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by live2ridetahoe View Post
That is f'ing funny!!

JG
Old river guide joke.

Now - how are we going to get that sidecar through Montana???

(This thread is a great way to blow off work).
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:00 AM   #78
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Day 8



Unfortunately for Wayne & Zina (who were probably still sleeping on San Diego time), I’m a morning person. On motorcycle trips, I like nothing better than getting on the road when the sun is still rising. Lola is not a morning dog, but will usually get up and shake off the sleep if I start clanking the food bowl around.



I tried to quietly creep around without making too much noise. Large legs and gangly arms can be a hindrance however, and between the muffled curses as I tripped over equipment, or the loud sigh of a camp-mattress being rolled up I had woken everyone up.



Coffee is a morning ritual to many people. To others its a required step in the starting process, like choke plungers on a carburetor, or pre-heating a boiler. The latter is true for Zina and I, while Wayne prefers water or a granola bar. After some caffeine saturation, we packed everything up and hit the road for an early start.



The route started off on a narrow, paved county road, which wound through a check board of ranch land, and the Kootenai National Forest.



Quite often as we motored along, chipmunks and other small animals would burst from the vegetation lining the roadside in a suicide dash across the road in front of us. Sometimes she’d see one when we stopped, and as soon as the motor turned off, she’d burst from the sidecar in search-and-destroy mode.



In a matter of minutes, we had crossed over US-93, and into the Flathead national forest. The dirt began as a nicely groomed, wide straight road with some gravel mixed in. Smooooth.



As we turned up Grave Creek, the road broke into first sized rocks for a brief stretch which rattled things up nicely. Also the first test of the Duro HF307 tires with less-than-ideal traction, which they passed quite well.



Some of the local flora (Fireweed) is in full bloom along the side of the trail, providing some contrasting colors along the predominantly green landscape.



Clear mountain streams with brilliantly clear water ran along drainages and slopes throughout the route. In terms of scenic beauty, the first day on the dirt did not disappoint.



The road here, is great fun. Lined with lodgepole pine trees and well maintained, it curls through the mountains and peaks like a roller coaster. Happy times.



The Ural hammered out a steady, soft rhythm at 40mph, the random "Plink!" of gravel bouncing off metal fenders acting as cymbals for the road beat. Happy times.

Video: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2689982...57634907534371

The only major imperfection on this section of road, is potholes. 4-8 inches deep in places, and up to 2 feet wide, avoiding them on the Ural wasn't easy, and sometimes impossible. I had to make split-second steering input, and decide on who was going to take the hit, myself or Lola.



We met our first cyclists on the road too. The guy on the Surly fat-bike I recognized from a member on Soviet Steeds who ran into him while riding the New Mexico portion of the route in June. Second only to hikers, the bicyclists of this route are the real tough guys. We motorcyclists are just loud tourists.



Rounding a bend on a beautiful section of road, we come across…



Red Meadow Lake Campground. One of the most beautiful campgrounds I have ever seen. Hindsight being 20/20, I’d have loved to spend a night there on the way up to the border.



Three spots right on the lake, and nobody there. Too bad it was only mid-day, as this would have been a fantastic place to camp for the day.



“This is going to be captioned poorly, isn’t it?” Wayne said in reference to the photo above at Red Meadow Lake. Feel free to make up your own. My favorite so far is: “How’d you get the beans over the frank?”.



We descended off Grave Creek road, and down towards Whitefish, where we met this couple who had just started the route. They sold their business before leaving on this trip, and were in great spirits. Notice that cloud billowing up behind us?



I’d seen this BBQ restaurant (Piggyback BBQ) on the way up to Roosville, and read about it in some of my research on the route. We decided to stop in for some lunch, and to review the rest of the route for resupply options.



Lunch was good, and one of the other patrons even donated a tray of pulled-pork for the dogs. Zina craftily squared the bulk of it away in a ziplock to mix in with their dinners.



The billowing clouds finally developed into small storms, forcing us under a shade canopy for most of our meal.



Pulling out of the parking lot after our meal, I noticed Zina’s rear wheel looked like it was running low. I honked the horn and pointed it out, which ended up with us under this apartment parking structure. I asked one of the residents if they would object to mild curse words and the clang of tire irons on asphalt as we fixed our flat. “Everyone is at work, it’d be no problem” she replied.



And so Zina and Wayne got busy swapping out the tube. While going through these steps, a small gathering of young residents started to form. One guy on a balcony smoking a doobie, soon turned into three, and then five. While I couldn’t understand what was being said between the gesticulating and laughing, it didn’t seem malicious.



In addition to providing scissor-jack services for the DRZ’s, I’m the designated security attaché. Wayne & Zina are carrying bear-spray, and I am carrying my Glock 29. Not that any of us were worried about this small doobie-lovin’ crew, living on the mean streets of Whitefish Montana. They appeared to be having a good time in life, and thats all anyone really wants.



We hit the pavement for 20 miles or so out of Whitefish, towards Bigfork where we would pick up the dirt again.



We stopped at a country store for provisions, where we ran into a group of like-minded riders doing the trip in the other direction. A veritable Suzuki festival it would seem, as the “DR” platform seems to the be bike of choice. They did not have kind words regarding the trails in New Mexico, didn’t calm the growing apprehension I had for those sections.



Smooth and fast, with sweeping corners and relatively good line of sight, the dirt roads past Bigfork are amazing.



The recent passing rain showers dampened the road enough to keep the dust down. For once I could ride behind them without eating spoonfuls of talcum powder.



The trail narrowed down to a two track, winding over the rolling hills, backdropped with impressive peaks. Not another soul on these roads allows the quiet whispers of the forest to stir up primal emotions in the soul. I was really living in the core of what I wanted to get out of this trip, on day 1!



We found lay-by off the road that was relatively flat and set up camp for the night. While a nice spot in the lower elevation, the dampness from the days rolling showers brought out the best in the mosquitos. The Simon and Lola team wandered around exploring our camp, covering every vertical surface with pee while we built a small fire from wet branches to deter some of the bugs.



Zina and Wayne cooked up their signature ramen/chicken dish, while I made a can of chili over rice. Sounds of stories shared together echoed amidst a soundtrack of crickets, peepers, and occasional flatulence from our BBQ lunch.

Day one on the trip left us feeling great as a team for the coming days. Considering none of us have ever done an multi-day ride with one another, the symmetry in styles and attitude is amazing. As night fell, sleep came easy to dogs and humans alike.

Days Mileage: 156 miles
Total Mileage: 1,318 miles
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by LethPhaos View Post
what software do you use to take screenshots off for your maps?
I'm a Mac guy, and the screenshot function is built in. Alt-Shift-F4 brings up a selection box, which will allow me to select to portion of the route and save it as an image.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:54 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by rebelpacket View Post
I'm a Mac guy, and the screenshot function is built in. Alt-Shift-F4 brings up a selection box, which will allow me to select to portion of the route and save it as an image.
In windows, you use "Print Screen" which is Shift+SysRq (look right above your "insert" key on a standard keyboard).

This puts the image on your clip board and you can paste it wherever you want.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:28 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Lacedaemon View Post
In windows, you use "Print Screen" which is Shift+SysRq (look right above your "insert" key on a standard keyboard).

This puts the image on your clip board and you can paste it wherever you want.
Note: once it is in your clipboard you must unload it in a graphic program to save it. Else it will be lost or overwritten by the next capture.

The basic graphic program is Windows own 'Paint'.
Open Paint, select Edit > Paste > Save as *.jpg. There you go.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #82
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The way the Ural sits in the landscape keeps me riveted. It doesn't compare to other motorcycles. Is it the design, the paint? Viewing the pictures again and again it seems to mimick its surroundings to be in tune. A special machine.

Such crisp photos and the one of Lola sipping at the lake is pure gold.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:44 PM   #83
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Laugh awesome

Rated, subscribed & thanks for posting!
Go backpack for our pup (couldn't make like Zina since pup won't be under 40lbs for long).
Might have to get a sidecar too. Using or expecting to 2wd?
So nice to be along for the ride!
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:31 AM   #84
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thanks for the very detailed descriptions on how to make a screenshot, but I was mostly referring to the source of his maps/the software he's taking the screenshots from
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:41 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Rango View Post
The way the Ural sits in the landscape keeps me riveted. It doesn't compare to other motorcycles. Is it the design, the paint? Viewing the pictures again and again it seems to mimick its surroundings to be in tune. A special machine.

Such crisp photos and the one of Lola sipping at the lake is pure gold.

Already subscribed. Now rated. Great Pictures! Rango described perfectly why I keep checking back...the Ural in this landscape is awesome!

If I could afford to go out and buy a gear up (or any model for that mattter), I would right now. If the dealers financed Urals, I would tomorrow (as far as I know they don't).

Keep it coming!
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:23 AM   #86
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Already subscribed. Now rated. Great Pictures! Rango described perfectly why I keep checking back...the Ural in this landscape is awesome!

If I could afford to go out and buy a gear up (or any model for that mattter), I would right now. If the dealers financed Urals, I would tomorrow (as far as I know they don't).

Keep it coming!
For what it's worth, they finance here in Spokane, WA.

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Old 08-05-2013, 08:38 AM   #87
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Great report and best dogs!
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:08 PM   #88
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Day 9



Morning came to me with the sound of Wayne and Zina stirring about camp. My decision to finally get up was only made when I heard the soft whisper of their JetBoil stove light up. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee. I winced slightly as I un-entombed myself from the sleeping bag. One day of (easy) dirt on the sidecar and things already hurt.



The lower elevation of our camp, and its proximity to a wetlands refuge area left everything with a good layer of dew over it. The trees blocked any good line of sun, so most of our gear was getting packed wet. I leave the ends of my dry bag unclipped to help dry some of the kit when riding.



One additional benefit to traveling by Ural, is a built in bear locker. No more climbing up precarious trees to hang your food and waste! Just throw everything in the trunk, and park the rig a safe distance from your tent. Those Russians think of everything.



Just as we were readying up to start the bikes, a bicyclist rode up and gave us an enthusiastic greeting. Pascal hails from Switzerland and had recently started out on the GDR route too. He's ridden through many lands (including the Sahara desert) in a very laid-back, no-frills frame of mind.



He spoke of his job(s) as a software programmer, that he only works at for 6-12 months before leaving to pursue another adventure. I was struck by the nomadic nature of his work, compared with the `long-term-relationship' culture that somehow became popular here in America. Life is short and uncertain. Why wait for retirement (presuming you make it there) to enjoy life?



After wishing Pascal good luck on his trip, we didn't get to far before dismounting again. Crews were busy replacing this culvert that washed away with the spring melt.



When we walked up to the edge, they didn't even look up from their work. It would appear all the dedicated road crews work in the woods. Most of the crews I usually see on the side of I-25 are standing in a circle smoking cigarettes while one guy rakes gravel aimlessly.



With the best penmanship of the three of us, Zina wrote up a sign for Pascal to prevent four miles of rocky uphill biking. Hopefully he got it and is still grinning out there on the trail.



Unfortunately there was no dirt bypass around the closed road, so we figured out that we had to scoot down 83 for a stretch. Other than some beautiful forested area, the road is pretty flat and uninspiring, even if the scenery is anything but.



We gassed up our trusty steeds, and filled our luggage with rations and supplies for the day. An early lunch of sandwiches and coffee at the fine outside seating made for a good stop. Traveling with dogs drastically changes your evaluation process for eateries along a trip. Since most places can't (or won't) allow dogs inside, outdoor seating is paramount. Huge points if said area is shaded too.



Shortly past Condon, we got back on a beautiful dirt road, riding past the Cottonwood Lakes. The water here has such an amazing color to it.



Four or five miles later, the road turned to freshly graded. While loose dirt isn't always fun on motorcycles, its a LOT of fun on a Ural. Gassing the throttle around a right-handed corner results in a little drift, while chopping the throttle on a tight left-hand corner lets you drift into it.



After miles and miles of endless forest bordering the road, any clearing is worth a stop and a look around.



Monture road out of the Lolo national forest is a nice, county-maintained gravel road which takes you right into Ovando. This wide-open view is what I am accustomed to after my time living in SW Montana. Traveling at "Ural Speed" really allows you to swivel your noggin' around and take everything in.



With a 2-to-1 ratio of Dogs to Humans, Ovando is our kind of town. Its small, smaller even than what self-appointed "small town people" might consider small. As is typical with most small Montana towns, the people are the nicest you'll ever meet.



Howie and Peggy run the Ovando Inn with their family. Off-leash dogs wandering around the town is as welcome a sign to us, as was the ice-cream Howie had on tap in his store. A ritual Wayne & Zina do on long trips (which I happily embraced), ice-cream every day is something I really started looking forward to.



Notice how evasive Wayne has to be with that ice cream so close to Simon's ice-cream-hole? Duck and move, duck and move. While it may seem that we are torturing our dogs on these motorcycles, I assure you they get some nice perks throughout the day.



Howie came out and chatted with us a bit about the town. He mentioned that they specifically cater to people on the great divide ride/hike. If a room at the Inn is too high-society for you, a tee-pee, or the jail-house are $2 options.



He also gave me the pin above. "Normally I charge folks for these, but if someone comes in carryin', its free" he told me with a grin through his long mustache. I proudly pinned it on my jacket and thanked him. The west is pretty gun-friendly place.



The county-maintained road out of Ovando is well cared for. It rolls along a bunch of foothills and ranch land on the way into Helena national forest.



Some old abandoned dreams and homesteads dotted the view on the way. I can't help but think how hardy the people that lived here must have been, and how luxurious it is of us to be riding through the same land on our motorcycles.



The trail winds up and through Huckleberry Pass, with a couple of rocky sections that bounced us around quite a bit. Softball sized rocks are really no problem on the Ural, but will still rock you around violently. Lola has the worst of it all, as she's standing on all four legs balancing most of the time. When it gets rough, we rest more often to conserve pilot and co-pilot alike.



Lola was happy to lie down for a bit, still in good spirits about the trip. Her willingness to depart the sidecar when I turn the motor off is a good gauge on her energy level. Near the end of the day, sometimes she won't even stand up until I pull the bag with the tent off the Ural.



Over the top of huckleberry pass, we rode down Beaver Creek on our way to Lincoln, MT. Heavy equipment, dump-trucks and logging operations made the road a mess. The Ural clanged and banged through the hard ruts created by metal-tracked vehicles. Occasional logs or firewood chunks strewn in the middle of the road made for much slower progress.



Stretch and pee breaks are important for humans and dogs. A forest service truck stopped and asked us if we had seen a pair of Oakley's on the road. I cringed thinking back. Was there a black shiny blur that I possibly ran over? "No, I don't think I've seen them". It was probably just a piece of black tarp, I quietly hoped.



After gassing up in Lincoln, MT, we headed out on Stempleton Pass road. Compared to Huckleberry Pass, this was a superhighway. Despite a rather steep grade, the Ural hummed along at 40-45mph without much need for anything other than 3rd gear.



Still down around 5600 feet, it was pretty hot. I would periodically spray water on Lola's head if her panting-while-moving speed seemed rapid. She hates being wet for any reason, but will choose it (begrudgingly) over leaping from a moving vehicle to escape. Smart dog.



Down Marsh Creek into Empire creek, the nice superhighway was abandoned for a washed, narrow road. The size of the rocks seemed to grow proportionally with the distance traveled.





Here lies the remains of the Empire Mill, before and after. It was a stamp mill, which uses "sets" of stamps. The Empire was a pretty large mill, with 60 stamps.



The road takes a right turn after the Empire mill, directly onto a rocky goat-path. The Ural has just over 4 inches of suspension travel, which means you feel every big, rough rock you roll over. I only got this one crappy photo, as I could only hold onto a paint shaker for so long before appendages refuse to function.

No pictures over Bald Butte either. A grader had recently churned up all the large buried rocks, which echoed off the fenders, frame, and skid plate with loud metallic clangs.



Going up and over priest pass the road finally turned to a favorable Ural medium. A 2-3# layer of sand covered most of the road, and provided many smiles and slides while cruising up the switchbacks. While descending the pass I saw the tracks from Wayne & Zina pushing all over the road.



Lola and I would have felt bad for the other half of our crew on this section, if we weren't still recovering from the savage beating on roads before it.



By the time I finally caught up with Zina and Wayne at Rt 12, they had already figured out where we would camp. 7 miles down the road at a place called Moose Creek. Their plan was music to my ears, and I think Lola let out an audible sigh when she heard Wayne speak the word "Camp".

Situated in a narrow valley, the campground was in great shape, and would get some good sun in the morning. It had a handful of "long-timers" stationed there in various camping equipment. Zina and Wayne spoke of an apparent long-timer stationed near the entrance that brought the "won't you be my neighbor" vibe on a little too strong with them.



Even Simon was exhausted from his day in the backpack. When I imagine what its like for him in there, I think of a inflatable bouncy house (the kind used at kids parties) strapped onto a flatbed driving down a washboard road. He's very devoted to Zina and Wayne, complaining loudly whenever he feels they are too far apart from one another.



Tonight was our first communal meal, dubbed "Taco Soup". The recipe came from a friend (Celia) who first served it to Kait and I one evening. I changed the recipe a bit to accommodate camping with cans and limited supplies. Its comprised mostly of beans, chili with more beans, corn and around 4,000% percent of your daily sodium intake.



Over rice or chips its absolutely delicious, as long as you are comfortable with the side-effects. Long, frequent flatulence is guaranteed, or your money back. Depending on your digestive system health, a 4:00 AM red alert may also be experienced. This product is not recommended for travelers with irritable bowel syndrome and/or a long walk to the outhouse.



Zina volunteered to do the dishes in the creek near our campsite, while Wayne and I packed up stoves and debated the merits of old country music. We built a small fire in the campfire ring to ward off the mosquitos. Wayne is a great talker, and we've started a tradition of dissecting social behaviors together after dinner in the evening.

Lola was already fast asleep in the tent by the time Wayne and I stopped gabbing and turned in. Lots of good dirt miles in today, over a grab-bag of terrain. Ural is running great, and life is very, very good.

Days Mileage: 188 miles
Total Mileage: 1,506 miles
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:44 AM   #89
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Damn....



http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=909566
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:47 AM   #90
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I really am loving this RR. When I get back home from Canada, I have two brand new shocks waiting for my 1150GS rig that will hopefully make off road riding better. This is exactly the kind of trip I got my sidecar for, to bring the pup and for long jaunts into the wild.

Lola really is a gorgeous dog and I love the little heart-shaped patch on her butt. Our old Rott had the same thing, great dogs. She taking well to the trip? (Or "took" since I think the ride is done)

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That rider was going the opposite direction (north to south), and RP posted today, so I don't think it was him. Plus I *thought* this trip had already happened last month given the July 4th celebration posts. So fingers crossed it wasn't him!!
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