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Old 11-19-2009, 02:45 PM   #46
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Location: Niksic - Montenegro
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man what a great place to ride!
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:13 PM   #47
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New plan for 2010

Ride Idaho in Spring, my new plan.

Thanks for a sweet report.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:21 PM   #48
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Must we not forget that Idaho is a productive agriculture state due to the snow packs that quench the thirst of Hay, Alfalfa, Potatoes, Wheat, Barley, Hops, Lentils; the list shrinks but goes on. We rely on the mountains to retain the snow and slowly shed its packs into the rivers for healthy harvests and water to drink.

Five months of bliss to blaze your own track...

These two fella's, I had the opportunity to drag them out on their first tour into Titus lake-Galena vicinity, what fun! As reciprocity, I do not think that they will give me an opportunity to fly in their F-15E over .....stan; but instead, I was honored to show them around my backyard as they were stationed in Mountain Home between deployments. In serendipitous fashion , the evening of this tour, Captain "Vegas" met his wife.

Vegas was able to snap some photos of good ol' machalooney dropping into Titus Lake.

Such an elegant avenue to enjoy our backyard and take care of our sanity while our scoots are resting.

Captain had a few challenges making a turn -

I always make sure everything is OK.

After brushing with a small act of nature, I am humbled. I set this avalanche off due to poor judgement and bad conditions. In hindsight, I never should have made an approach over such a wind blown mountain top. Hollow as a drum. One wump, and crack! 100 yards across, three feet deep, rumbled down the slope into trees 1000' below me. I soon smelled only fresh sagebrush in the middle of February, strange to say the least. It only takes one second.

Thankfully I live to tell about it!

Hey, uhoh7, back on topic!

machalooney screwed with this post 01-09-2010 at 10:28 AM
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:34 PM   #49
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oh yeah

That's what I dream off ! I am thinking more and more to move my ass out of Illinois in a place like yours ! Thanks for sharing !
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:31 PM   #50
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We had a local shop, "Beyond Repair", run by one guy I'd known ever since I moved to the valley in '78, who owned it and did all the work. He had a big map on his wall, and with a little prodding he would expound. "Sure", he said, "you can ride all the way to Smiley Creek, refuel and eat, then come back".

"WTF, you're kidding me!" That was the beginning.

Smiley Creek is in the Sawtooth Valley, 40 minutes by car on the highway over Galena Summit, first and the only possible fuel stop

Long friggin way on single track in rough country. Sounded pretty romantic though. We got some directions.We choose a trailhead north of town to make it a little more reasonable. The south end would be up and back on the same trail---nasty bits on it to this day and seldom ridden, but at the top we'd go in one way to Smiley and out another. We were on 250YZFs with no mods except skidplates and handguards. Stock tanks.

Hey, looks easy

real thing, first big pass, near bottom in above image, from the air, looking north and slightly east

Starting out, hey this is no sweat

Over the pass and down (well these shots show us climbing back, but you get the idea)

2900 feet down, we gazed back

What the hell are you doing with that?

Location is accurate above, but he's on the bike I later sold him---when are you paying that thing off anyway?

I think I need some work on my suspension.

Top of the next divide, we looked back again

"hey ML, that's not the way!"

Over here: low as you can see, the half way point, gas and food!

Now we are close to Smiley, headwaters of the Salmon, note fire

Fuel, burger later, Home James:

The last big one

This trail was an eye opener for us. The backyard has some technical parts for sure, but in general the trails are babybutt smooth. This was 85 miles, 50 strewn with rocks and ruts. About 12,000 vertical feet climbing, and 12,000 vertical descending. We got back to the rigs cramping and shaking, bone tired and out of water and light. "jesus fucking christ, that was a workout", first words to each other in 3 hours, "glad to be alive", ML just mummured and nodded. On the drive out one beer was enough to make me shitfaced.

We licked our wounds for ten days, and decided to do it again. This time we hit the gas station at smiley creek and were greeted with a sign: "closed for the season". Uhoh. ML swished the gas around in his 2 gallon tank, "we might make it back," he remarked and I knew all I had to do was nod and we'd go for it.

"Are you fucking out of your mind?" I asked. No Gas, No lights, No plates, fuck it. We took the highway home and never saw a car. Night fell as we reached the trailhead--from the highway---"hey, this is alot nicer than being out of gas on the other side of that monster ridge," I remarked. ML gave a grateful nod.

The following season we began to regularly ride in the Stanley Basin area from Stanley south to Galena. This is a common destination for out of state riders so the trails are fairly hammered and of course there's little maintence. Its pretty though.

Why do they call 'em the White Clouds?

A bit closer

The last few shots were an honest mistake, the current map at the time seemed to desingate this trail open to us, but we found out later that was not the case. We aren't like that, and haven't been back. Today it's much easier to tell where you can go.

Of course we like to push it sometimes, and it can be interesting. Our light bikes at this time had no lights and we often came out squinting into the blackness. I was the first one to get a helmet HID and a big tank, ML made do at first with a USFS helmet flashlight. We headed out from near Smiley, east down Germaina, over which Caste Peak looms in this shot:

Next three shots, imagine us riding in the opposite direction, or riding backwards, whichever is easier

over Frog Lake,

Ahhh, Livingston Mine, so quaint, if you like heavy metals in the creek.

We stared at Railroad Ridge, a big broad 10,000 ft ridge (high for idaho) I had visited a few times in the 90's by truck---"oh what the hell, let's go up there, view will be great"

We got up and checked the map---typical shitty USFS map of the time. "hey look, there's another way down, check it out"

Off we went, trace of a trail, but it did have one track on it. Down down and into hell. It was no longer steep when things got bad, willows everywhere, huge rocks. My YZF was overheating and the clutch was stinking. On the nice parts we hit 10mph. At one point I fell over and was trapped under the bike. ML starting yanking in the most obvious direction and about broke my leg cause of how I was caught. Swearing, cursing, dusk, we were as far away from the trailhead as concievable. Finnaly we came to this spot:

that's not us, we were going the opposite way but I saw this pic at TT and knew exactly where it was, Jimmy Smith Lake. I wasn't taking alot of pics that night but I did snap this looking back at willow hell in the fading light. Note the single track where the shot above was taken on the lower right.

We went home via Grand Prize, which will soon close to motorcycles, these shots taken another ride earlier in the day.

we screamed down the double track section at twlight

Just imagine this spot pitch black, only 25 single track miles to the car, hehe

ML got jealous of my good light and had one in the mail the next day. At the pass he ran out of fuel and I gave him a small ration. Second ration got him to the car, both of us grumpy, barely speaking to each other. We have laughed about that ride ever since.
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uhoh7 screwed with this post 11-20-2009 at 02:02 AM
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:07 PM   #51
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are you F****** kinding me!!!!!! what a UNBELIEVABLE thread! my gawd that is some primo country you are riding through. damn...these pics and RR are amazing.......
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:10 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by azdirtybird
are you F****** kinding me!!!!!! what a UNBELIEVABLE thread! my gawd that is some primo country you are riding through. damn...these pics and RR are amazing.......
I was just up there in Smiley Creek area this summer, and pictures do not even begine to do it justice. A couple of mine:

End of the day, sunset beams taint the horizon:

A morning jaunt before I had to depart:

Many, many of these trails were put in in the 30's era, and later in the 60's to my knowledge, by the civil service. Anywhere you see an "i" carved into a tree: cna always assume that it "goes somewhere" (not a dead-end) because these crews were building functional trails to get around the mountains with. This is part of what makes them so much fun to ride. Furthermore, and ironically, many of them used motorcycles to get to their worksites/trails - and now many are being closed to motorcycles.

I have never fallen in love with a place like that, except maybe Moab - but N Idaho has an isolation, and charm, above and beyond that. But I have not spent a winter there either...although a 2moto kit might be the year-round answer?

Sorry for the hijack, back to regularly scheduled programming...

hilslamer screwed with this post 11-20-2009 at 07:19 AM
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Old 11-21-2009, 05:38 AM   #53
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I think you're right! Great pics!

Here is another answer for winter:

machalooney screwed with this post 01-30-2010 at 06:48 PM
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:38 AM   #54
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Great report and wonderful pics. Takes me back to Sept. of '00 during the Idaho Spodefest when I had the opportunity to ride the Smiley basin and those trails. Idaho has some of the best single track sidehill stuff ever.


I can totally relate to being glad to be alive after making it back to the truck from a ride on Froggy/Germania/Big Smokey.
'00 XR440
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:41 PM   #55
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Way Kool!!!

I need to find a long weekend this next summer!

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. (Albert Einstein)
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:00 PM   #56
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Geez, my sister has been bugging me to move to Idaho. This is not helping! Awesome RR.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:11 PM   #57
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superb trails, super bikes wawaweewa!
KTM EXC 200 EXC 400 Wanted: KTM 690R?
Gone: KTM Adventure 640@30kkm, Yamaha TTR600@60kkm, Honda Transalp@50kkm
MotoEnduro.PL / / / / / / MotoKarpaty / MotoMongolia / MotoGeorgia
My AdvRider RR: MotoSyberia, MotoVietnam, MotoKarpaty
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:57 PM   #58
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I'm always impressed by RRs with hairy deep water crossings......we hit them in july when the high country really opens. The nightmare is to suck it in and end up with a dead motor in the wilderness. I can't say these are as deep as others I seen, but they always get our attention:

Are your socks soaked yet?
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uhoh7 screwed with this post 12-01-2009 at 11:13 PM
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:58 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by uhoh7

Are your socks soaked yet?
Quick question... where's the air intake on a trial bike?

by the way.... i find this thread better than the front page candidates
F800GS - Nellie the Elephant
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:22 AM   #60
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Thank goodness for Trials Bikes

....after reading that thread and looking at those awesome pics, I'm really missing my (really) old trials steed. I had an ancient Yamaha TY-175 and it doesn't hold a candle to that GG but it was my favorite bike ever to just ride. More fun in any type of terrain.

I gotta tell ya, I really want another dedicated off road bike and after seeing this thread, my mind is back to getting another Trials bike. Way to go have refired my boilers for these really awesome machines (I just wish they made a model you can park your ass on for more than a minute without regretting it!).

Great shots!!!!
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