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Old 09-04-2007, 08:09 PM   #1
Sasquatch OP
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Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Boise, Idaho
Oddometer: 4,770
Idaho DS riding sucks.

Disclaimer: The ride report below is a fantasy from the mind of a semi-insane woods dweller. It is all a dream. The riding in Idaho is not good. Do not come here, there is nothing to see. Please move along and shut the lights off as you leave. Thank you.

Ahhh, it is that time of year again. The kids are back in school, the temperature is cooling and a three day holiday is looming. For the last 5 years that holiday has hosted the annual pilgrimage of dual sport riders to leave their home of SW Idaho and venture into the Great North of Idaho. Seeking dirt roads, ATV tracks, and great scenery.

This year we departed from the norm on a couple of levels. First and foremost is that we were all riding KLR’s (except Ken on a DRZ400). Usually, Dad and I rode our Tigers and Rick, who flew in from Michigan, would ride Dad’s KLR. After last years ride, we decided that we were simply pushing the envelope and design intention of the Tigers. The KLR’s made much better mounts for the type of riding we were asking them to do. Dad informed Rick that he would need to purchase his own and if I wanted to keep up, I would need to do the same.

Last fall Rick and I made our purchases. Then we all set out on our modifications which I wont go into here, but they were extensive. We spent alot of time on the suspension making them truly decent off road exploring bikes.

The second way our trip departed from the norm is that we decided to base camp in a motel in one area of Idaho this year and then ride out each day on a different loop. This proved to be fantastic. We could really ride hard with unloaded bikes and enjoy a nice shower each night instead of sleeping in a tent.

So we loaded up the bikes on the trailer and headed north Thursday afternoon arriving in Kamiah around dinner time. Got settled in our hotel and ran out for pizza for dinner. Kamiah really does not offer much in the way of restaurants. They have a great place for breakfast, and a decent Mexican place, that’s about it. It really is off the beaten path and it shows.

Why did we trailer the bikes to Kamiah? Because, KLR’s SUCK on the highway. I don’t care what you guys say. After about 20 miles of 60+mph traveling I am ready to sell the bike, after 50 miles I am ready to give up riding all together and after 100, well, I am just about ready to pull the Glock from the holster and shoot myself.

Later Thursday night Tim Bernard, owner of Happy-Trails in Boise showed up with his riding partner Ken Hunter. Ken, by the way, is the original owner of my 2003 KLR. In 2 years of riding, Ken put 51,000 (no, that is not a typo) riding it from Panama to Nova Scotia and every where in between. It was his first street bike. This year he bought a used GS 1150 and now understands why I think the KLR sucks on the road. But, he gets my cast iron ass award and my undying respect for his accomplishment on that KLR.

Friday’s ride plan was to explore the upper Selway river, Elk City, and the Elk City Wagon Road. During breakfast, we noticed a slight problem with the menus.

When we opened them, they just showed us the trail we are supposed to be out riding on. Oh well. The food was fantastic though.

Tim Bernard, shooting some photos.

The first casualty of the ride was Rick’s helmet. Dropped it off of the bike shattering the visor mount. Duct tape to the rescue.

Tim on his new ’08 with SasquatchDad folling on his ’98. This is at the junction of FS470 and Selway Road, on the bridge over the Selway.

We took a side trip to ride up FS299 to Indian Hill Lookout. There we met John watching over the forest (and the many fires raging right now). He has been doing this for 33 (I believe, may be 32) years. We think he said it was at this same lookout, but he may have bounced around a bit.

Sorry, no photo of John, my photojournalism skills are lacking.

A neat watering trough on the side of the road.

We rode a nice ATV trail into Elk City for lunch and then picked up the Elk City Wagon Road back to Stites. Did not take too many photos as the ride was too much fun. This was the main trade route into Elk City, then onto the MacGruder Corridor into the mining districts of Montana. Lots of history.

Looking down on ID 14, the main road into Elk City. (awesome on a sportbike I might add)

Ken Hunter

Upon entering Stites, the heavens opened for a brief time and we sought refuge under this awning of a closed hardware store.

Friday night the heavens opened with quite a storm. Lightning (not needed this year) and lots of rain. This made for quite the epic ride on Saturday. Words can not express how perfect that day was.

We started the day riding up HWY 12 to the Locsha Lodge for breakfast. It was right at 98 miles from the hotel, so I was saved from killing myself. My lord those KLR’s suck on the black top. But anyway, this was a neat shirt they had for sale. Too bad Omar, the tent maker, made none so I had to pass.

After a wonderful breakfast of Huckleberry Pancakes (that I ordered, and Tim got), we went across the road and headed up through the clouds to on Parachute Hill road. When we crested the top and broke out of the clouds, we were rewarded with the most beautiful scenery. Words, and this photo, simply can not capture the scene.

Mist whisping off the peaks and filling the valleys. Smells of the woods after a strong rain filling your helmet and nose with a bouquet of unbelievable scents. No dust and fantastic traction. Ego dirt, actually, as you could do nothing wrong.

We were on FS500, otherwise known as the Lolo Motorway. Pretty much the exact route of Lewis and Clark as they explored the west. But towards the west end of the route it was closed due to fires, so we headed north at Cayuse Junction on FS 581. I think I like this route even better than the Lolo. Stunning views.


Sunday we tried to hit 3 more lookouts. Walde, Austin and Hemlock. Austin was closed due to fires.

This is Walde lookout. It is like a bazillion feet tall and I did not even attempt to climb it. I am seriously scared of heights.

We found this cool short cut link road that still had downed trees on it. It was fantastic. I could ride this stuff all day.

Being that we were right on the edge of the fire area, the FS had wrapped all the expensive signs with fire blankets to protect them. Good call.

Hemlock lookout:

That is the end of my photos. After Hemlock we made our way back to town and enjoyed a nice Mexican dinner and headed home Monday morning.

Thanks for reading. Just remember, this is all a fantasy and there is no need to visit Idaho or, God forbid, move here.
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:31 PM   #2
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Outstanding fantasy there. Interesting how you have photos of your fantasy.
Wherever we go, there we are.

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Old 09-04-2007, 09:47 PM   #3
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I was on the same bridge about two months ago. Cool...

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Old 09-04-2007, 11:11 PM   #4
Get Out and Ride!!
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Nampa, Idaho
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Originally Posted by Sasquatch

Love the Lolo.

Nice shots.

As soon as the KLR is out of surgery, I still want to hit the foothills!
Ride your own ride & enjoy your ride.

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Old 09-05-2007, 03:56 AM   #5
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It sure looks bad!! I don't know you do it!! Thanks for the sucky pics
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:52 AM   #6
A DRZ kind of guy
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Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
It sure looks bad!! I don't know you do it!! Thanks for the sucky pics
X2 !!!
Go forth and modify my friend.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:36 AM   #7
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WOW good thing it was only a fantasy, cause it looks just like a dream I had back in July before the fires.

That Turn off at Cayuse heading north is quite awesome huh...I mean in my dreams/fantasy. Great report, someday our paths will cross.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:09 AM   #8
Keep On The Gas!!
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Boise Idaho
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Wonderful fantasy!!!! Interesting how Tim is in your dreams??
But I guess he's everybody's dream of an Adventure Shop Owner!!

I love that area and dream of riding those roads myself.

Thanks for a great report!!!
"Ride More....Bitch When Necessary...But....NO SINGLE TRACK RYAN"
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:43 AM   #9
practicing retirement
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John Crawford

Glad to hear John is on Indian Hill again this year,we plan on stopping to visit again this year.John is our favorite LO staff,we visit him regularly.You should have checked out Coolwater while in the area,It's a favorite LO for me,although the rd to it would be a handful on the KLR's.
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:13 PM   #10
Hooked Up and Hard Over
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Super !
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:29 PM   #11
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I knew it

... that it's all just a dream. After 22 years in Idaho, don't wake me.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:03 PM   #12
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Location: Boise Idaho
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That makes me homesick for that sucky state I cant wait to get home to sw idaho, I have ridden your KLR, I met ken at the susanville hospital after he took a spill in a freak snowstorm. I rode his bike to a hotel and got him a ride.
"Dont die wondering, die wandering."
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ryanwilliamcantrell
As soon as the KLR is out of surgery, I still want to hit the foothills!
Do tell what happened..
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:51 PM   #14
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I was visiting family in susanville CA. when i rolled up to the hospital I noticed a KLR in the parking lot with Idaho plates. I ran into ken in the lobby he said he crashed north of town in the snow on the HWY. His knee was all stove up and he didnt think he could get his leg over the bike. I told him I too am an ADV guy and rode a GS1150 and would gladly ride his bike to a hotel and he could ride with a family member in a truck. He accepted and we got him settled in. The small world part of this story is Ken lives across the street in Boise from a good friend of mine. Thanks for the cool ride report we will have to go for a ride when I get back to Boise.
"Dont die wondering, die wandering."
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:55 PM   #15
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Awesome riding. Similar to the Alberta BC border where I just was! How bad were the bugs?
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