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Old 02-17-2011, 07:37 PM   #61
Bartron OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazylegs Bob View Post
Great RR! Nice to see some fellow Canucks roaming free! Revelstoker, how are you liking the Giant Loop Coyote bag? I have a 640 also and was contemplating a similar setup but with Pelican side cases.
Thanks! Revelstoker kept going on about how great the bag was so I think he's quite sold on it. I'm sure he'll chime in here.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:44 PM   #62
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Excellent report Bartron!! I'm looking forward to the summer and what Revelstoker and you cook up next.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:06 PM   #63
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Day 5: Pocatello, ID to Challis, ID

We dined on Subway and beer the night before and it was a relatively lazy morning at the Chateau Basterd.

We wanted to be at Pocatello Powersports early, and we were. We went to talk to the service manager and they took us to the tire storage area to pick out some chocolate. The KTM was easy, with its 18" rear there was an assortment and Revelstoker went with the tried and true 908R or 'chevies' due to their Chevy emblem tire blocks. The BMW, with its odd 17" rear tire size didn't have any choice. They had one MT21 in a 130/80 17 so that's what I took. Sure, the rim is designed for a 150 tire but it wouldn't be an adventure any other way.

We had a race to see who could drop the rear faster. Rich won, but I think he cheated.



The two legless bikes were an amusing sight.



Revelstoker's chocolate getting mounted. He won the wheel take-off so was first for the tire mount.



Note here that I've already got a tire and Rich is practicing a visualization technique where he pretends to be putting on a wheel. He is pretending because the first install left him with a flat. Note the wheel back on the paddock.



I mounted up my wheel and thought it looked rather cute, the way it barely fit the rim. I'm not into sweets, no seriously, but I love this kinda chocolate.



Rich was bored from waiting for his install so he tagged their trailer. We also gave the boys some FB stickers to show our appreciation.



While Rich was waiting for his tire, I went to find some sunglasses. First I tried some ski store and they were too upscale. I didn't want to spend 100 bucks on a pair that was to just get me through the ride. I ended up hitting another place, whose name I can't remember, but who's owner dual-sports a V-Strom. We had a pleasant chat and I walked out with some $50 shades. They fit well and I liked the lenses, although it took some time to get used to the polarized halo on the gauges.

I meet up with Rich back at PP and he's ready to go. He even took a pic of his GPS - which is usually a 'Let's get going' type of signal.



We get no more than 2 miles down the road and Rich's rear is flat. We limp back to the dealer and they change it out one last time. We prayed that this time they wouldn't pinch the tube. To be sure, we took a few pressure measurements to make sure there was no leak. Well, as sure as you can be under the circumstances.

We had plenty of miles to throw down so blasted straight out of town on some damn deep gravel. I was thankful for my stabilizer and wondered if Rich was puckering up ahead.

The road northwest of Pocatello was great. It was turn after turn in hardpacked sand double-track. I worked the bike hard in an effort to keep up with Rich. I just don't understand how I'm working my ass off with body english and drifting and he looks like he's out for a Sunday ride - and insists he's doing nothing special.



Like a good puppy, we left our mark.



Here's a rare opportunity to get ahead of Rich - that'll teach him for stopping to take pictures as we near Big Butte.



We finally arrive at our destination.



So here's Big Butte, we're going right up the crack.



The initial climb up was challenging. Lots of off-camber and loose rock. Even Revelstoker had some issue as he nearly flew off the trail. I caught up to him as he was standing at the side of the trail, inches away from a steep drop. He was a little spooked. This would be the fourth time I've ever seen Revelstoker go down while moving. It was a National Geographic moment for me - witnessing a rare event in the wilds of nature's habitat.

The 640A got some battle scars.



We arrived at the lower summit...



...after a fun little climb.



We didn't want to come off as show-offs, so we tagged the lee side.



Revelstoker was a bit hesitant at first, but we made a go for the peak. It was definitely worth it.



We toured the watchtower. Ironically, it didn't seem anyone was watching out for the watchtower as it fell into disrepair.



From the peak, you could see the lower knoll we had just been on.



The next picture wouldn't normally need much introduction except for the following: it's at 7,500ft, it's windy and the wind creates an updraft. Enough said.



Some interesting facts on Big Butte here.

The way down was scenic and well groomed.



After the Big Southern Butte, we headed off to Argo for some lunch.



We found a taco van and started ordering. Here I am practicing my 'post-mexican' pose.



Revelstoker insisted I try the real Mexican Coca-Cola which has cane sugar instead of corn syrup. I have to hand it to him, it does make a delicious difference.



Across from the taco van there was a park commemorating submariners who fell in the line of service for their country. The park had a submarine tower in it - an interesting sight in the desert country.



After Arco, we entered the Custer mountains. These have got to be my favourite part of the trip. It's hard to describe them but the riding was fast, open and scenic.

Here we are navigating a narrow pass into the Challis National Forest.



The views just before leaving Challis were breathtaking. Can you find Rich?



This wide open spaces sure make you feel small.



We celebrated the entrance to a new county...



...in typical FB style.



Crossing this valley was a highlight of this trip.



What do you think?











Somehow, while riding, Revelstoker spotted this survey post.



We discussed what it could have been like to survey this land and stake this in 1919.



With all the sightseeing, Rich's bike was starting to get tired.



There was no doubt we were at elevation.





More scenery:









Revelstoker was enamoured with this house.



"There be thunder in them there hills"



We exited onto Trail Creek road and after some single track and a totally random class 'A' motorhome sighting, we found what has to be one of my life's great camping spots.



What's so great about it?

You can watch a thunderstorm across the valley.



Or watch as the warm rays of sundown give life to the falling rain.



We slept well that night. The coyotes or wolves in the distance were nothing some earplugs couldn't fix.

Appropriately, we felt on top of the world.


Total Mileage: 227 miles
Total Ascent: 15,508 ft
Total Descent: 12,730 ft
Total Time: 12.25 hours
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:43 PM   #64
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Good stuff!!
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:10 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartron View Post

Nice photo. That shot brings back great memories... riding up Big Southern Butte was a highlight last season.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:18 PM   #66
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Wolves in Challis.

My fathers best friend lives in Challis. We do an annual trip to ride in that area and hang out with him. After being there I'm sure you can see why! The scenery is breathtaking and different in every direction. We have seen elk, bears, wild horses, deer and mountain sheep all within a few miles of there. Just a few days before our arrival for last years trip our friend had a pack of wolves go right through his back yard!! This area is truly wild.
Thanks for the pics. They bring back great memories.
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:54 PM   #67
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Rr

Guys, thank you so much for sharing your experinces with all of us. I must definitely plan a trip to this region in the very near future, this summer if not next. Keep it coming.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:32 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazylegs Bob View Post
Great RR! Nice to see some fellow Canucks roaming free! Revelstoker, how are you liking the Giant Loop Coyote bag? I have a 640 also and was contemplating a similar setup but with Pelican side cases.
The Coyote Bag is well worth the price. Well designed in that once it's strapped on there is no movement at all. The three inner liners fit everything needed to camp perfectly. I'm a convert from the aluminum boxes and I it was a good move. My boxes were getting a little beat up after numerous tip overs, collisions, and crashes so they were getting noisy. The GL in combo with the Wolf Bags is absolutely silent!
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:36 PM   #69
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What I like about this picture, is that you can just make out two deer running at maximum speed in the background - just near the bottom left of the sign! It was lucky timing on my part to have gotten them in the shot.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:56 PM   #70
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@Lav1200: Thanks man, it was fantastic riding. The terrain was great and the way you end up rising so far above the plains is surreal.

@jessepitt: The riding around Challis must be unreal. This was by far my favourite terrain. It felt so remote and yet comfortable at the same time. I don't know how to describe it. I'm pretty sure it was wolves we heard because they were quite loud. We rode down into Challis for breakfast and were sitting beside a table of 6 honest-to-goodness cowboys, all in their late 70's likely, and all with a tale taller than the guy next to them. It was great to listen to their stories.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #71
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"For those who don't understand, no explanation is possible. For those who do, none is necessary."

Perfect
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:06 PM   #72
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Day 6: Challis, ID to Elk City, ID

This morning, Revelstoker woke me up using his bike. I'm not sure what he was pulling but I was glad the wolves didn't get him. The thought of wolves taking off with him would have been ironic since I would have been the far better meal.

As usual, by the time I got out of my tent, Rich had already caught up on the New York Times on his phone and was now studying the map as the sun began to rise over the mountains to the east.



As sexy as Rich's cone-head hat was, this was even more tantalizing.



The days were getting shorter and shorter as we headed further north. Rich's morning GPS report confirmed just over 12 riding hours if we left 'right now' - so we did.



I figured sleeping at such altitude would make me super strong as we descended - Adventure Doping.

Thankfully we made the right turn here although I would have loved to check out Spud Basin.



We stopped at this cafe in Challis. It dripped 'authentic'. What made it really authentic were the 6 old-timer cowboys, all septuagenarians, who entertained us with their tall tails of days gone by. Each guy would tell a story taller than the guy next to him. It was free entertainment at its finest.



We booked it north out of Challis into the Custer range and back into the Challis National Forest. The road meandered among the crests of the rolling hills.



We rode along Panther Creek for a long time before we turned north along the Salmon River towards Shoup. We thought to keep the zero on the mile marker for Panther Creek happy by adding another round friend.



Here's Rich crossing over the Pine Creek Rapids.



Shoup is home to the famous Shoup Store. Everyone stops here so we did too.



The store brought back memories of the 1920's and 30's. Well, at least movie memories, since I wasn't even born yet. Everything was meticulously organized. If there was ever a resort for the OCD types, this may be it, except for the thick cigarette smoke hanging in the air.





We bought some milkshakes and contemplated getting gas.



Since the gas looked like the milkshakes tasted, we chose to forego the pleasure.



In retrospect, I should have reconsidered.

When I read the name above the door, I had to take a shot of this ancillary building to the store.



Shoup was a destination of further significance because of a search and rescue mission we were asked to help with. You see, when Redpillar did his trip through these parts, he left behind something dear to him at the campsite where he roamed - his toolkit.

He gave Rich coordinates and we went on a mission to find it. The only clue he gave us was that he left behind a can of Mike's Hard Lemonade to pay it forward.

At approximately Mile 222 of the Salmon River we found his camp spot.



We also found the booze.



Redpillar must have been really bored to carve such a nice stand for what is commonly referred to as 'tart fuel'.



Although we found his spot and his booze the kit was nowhere to be found. We checked under logs, on the beach and asked around some of the campers who seemed like they were there for a while, yet still came up empty handed. It was with heavy hearts we abandoned our rescue efforts, comforted by the fact that Redpillar was already safe and sound at home.

From the campsite we headed up Spring Creek Road and started gaining altitude - and picking up some history.



The road paralleled the Montana/Idaho border until finally breaking into Montana at Horse Creek Pass.



We then skirted around the Castle Rock and Bare Cone lookout to reenter Idaho at Nez Perce Pass.

After so many days on the road, it was nice to have a little separation with Rich in Idaho while I stayed in Montana.



Snow was unlikely but certainly not impossible. Good thing we had fresh tires.



The road was scenic and followed along Deep Creek which although pretty, would distract you from the relatively high volume of traffic on this road.



As we continued on, we came across more history.



The burnt-out landscape added an aura to the sign.



This is about the point where I realized I was low on gas and should have picked up some of that swamp gas from Shoup. I eased up on the throttle and waited to hit one of the many horse camps around, hoping they would have some fuel to sell.

This only had diesel, but the cowboy did come over with a revolver on his hip.



I then started going up hill under power and coasting down in neutral or with the bike off. We passed plenty of trucks and even one large motorhome and nobody had gas. They were probably ticked that we scared all the game away and they wouldn't be able to hunt from the road.

Rich followed and after far longer than either one of us expected, I was done for. Luckily we had a water bottle with us that we could use to move gas between the bikes. KTM definitely did things right when they put a 28L tank on an adventure bike - and made the fuel petcock easily available!

Here's Rich trying to pose and not spill any precious fuel.



I was so excited for the 750cc's of fuel. It should get me to the next fuel stop if I take it easy.



Rich was very excited at the thought of the BMW having to drink KTM blood to survive. I was excited not to be bear food.



We soon descended into Elk City, ID where there was sure to be gas. Unfortunately, I rode right past the 2 pumps and turned around at the edge of town to come back and start again. Thankfully coming back was a downhill affair as I had about 250 meters to coast into the station as the bike died.

The station was also the Elk City Hotel and seemed to enjoy quite a reputation amongst the loggers in town. If staying at the hotel, don't listen to anyone who tells you that your room is at the end of the hall.



We chowed down on some logger fare and surveyed the scene.



We decided to make a move to find a camp spot. We drove a bit further than we needed to to avoid conflict with neighbours.



We carried on north and found a well sheltered camp spot tucked into the forest under a canopy of pine. It was already dark and we scurried to sleep, preparing for another long day.


Total Mileage: 278 miles
Total Ascent: 29,014 ft
Total Descent: 31,343 ft
Total Time: 13 hours
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:: "For those who don't understand, no explanation is possible. For those who do, none is necessary."

Bartron screwed with this post 02-19-2011 at 06:25 PM
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:52 PM   #73
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Fantastic!

This is so much fun. You are hitting all the right spots. In the picture of the cafe in Challis; my friends house is right at the base hill in the background. If you think the breakfast cowboys are fun you should try the drunk late night bar cowboys! I also rode Nez Perce pass, during fire season with smoke everywhere, watched a new fire spreading on a hillside behind me as the smoke grew thicker in front of me...
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:55 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelstoker View Post
The Coyote Bag is well worth the price. Well designed in that once it's strapped on there is no movement at all. The three inner liners fit everything needed to camp perfectly. I'm a convert from the aluminum boxes and I it was a good move. My boxes were getting a little beat up after numerous tip overs, collisions, and crashes so they were getting noisy. The GL in combo with the Wolf Bags is absolutely silent!
Thanks for all the input.... You have converted me to the ..... LIGHT side! Please carry on with the main show!
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:19 PM   #75
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Carry more fuel and fewer stickers?

Loving the RR.
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