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Old 07-18-2013, 08:19 PM   #1
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Blackfoot, ID
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Me, the Hog Catcher, 1,700 miles of Idaho's back roads, and some camping.

More specificly, Blackfoot, Arco, Hailey, Stanley, Lowman, Cascade, Grangeville, Lolo, Hamilton, Salmon, Challis, Rigby, Island park, Bozeman, Red Lodge, Yellowstone, Jackson, and finally back to Blackfoot.

I may have left out a few.

The potential route:



Let me forewarn you- it changed.

I've got the first 1,178 miles done, solo, and am spending the night at my brothers house. We are headed out in the morning for another 2 days and 6 or 700 more miles on the trusty Hog Catcher and his rented Hardley.

I have gobs of pics from the first three days, but no way to upload them yet so you'll have to make do with these crappy cell phone pics for now.

First nights camp.



Ooooo, this looks fun!



Stay tuned for more!
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:18 PM   #2
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Well, I'm home.

Trip was AWESOME. Pics are uploading so over the next couple of days I'll get the whole deal strung out.

A bit of a spoiler though- If anyone ever has a chance to ride the Chief Joseph and Beartooth Highways... DO IT.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:28 PM   #3
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Can't wait for all the details and pictures. I am sure the bike ran great, and the bug catcher kept your helmet visor clear!

Cheers.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:27 PM   #4
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So while I'm waiting for the pics to upload, how about a little background?

Lets start with the Hog Catcher. The name came to me during this trip. I've had this bike for a little over a year now- bought it totalled from a localish inmate and pieced it back together last year enough to ride a fair bit. Have been tinkering and its starting to look like, well, *something* anyways.

Lets face it. The bike is shall we say, portly. It also likes to hunt down and blow past hogs. Hence, the Hog Cather it is.

Here she is in all her glory:



And a slightly older pic, before I finished the side covers and put the big windshield on...



It's been a great bike. Couldn't ask for more!
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
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The Plan.

My boys are staying with Grandma and Grandpa up in Canada for a couple of weeks, and my wife was going to be at a girls youth camp thing for the week. Hmmm... Me? Home alone? Nah... I'm going for a ride!

Tues, July 16. Leave Blackfoot, ID headed to Cascade, ID. Camp for the night. 330 miles.

Weds, July 17. Leave Cascade, ID headed to Hamilton, MT. Camp for the night. 314 miles.

Thurs, July 18. Leave Hamilton, MT headed to Rigby, ID. Stay in / around my brothers house outside of Rigby. 312 miles.

Fri, July 19. Brother and possibly a cousin joining me. Leave Rigby, headed for Cody, WY. Going up through the North end of Yellowstone park, hitting the Beartooth Highway up to Red Lodge, MT, and then back down the Beartooth a bit then cutting over to Cody. Possibly camp, possibly stay with a friend. 360 miles.

Sat, July 20. Leave Cody, WY, headed back through Yellowstone, more on the South end, going through Jackson, WY and eventually Rigby and home to Blackfoot, ID. Sleeping lots. 260 miles.

Here is the planned map again.



That's the PLAN, but I'm not sticking to it!
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Old 07-21-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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Day 1.

Left Blackfoot, Id about 10:00 in the morning. Was pretty overcast with a chance of rain, but hey, this is happening rain or not.

Can you tell my wife was being a goofball with the camera?



The first 35 miles were in road construction.





Stopped in Arco for a quick shot of the chunk of Submarine.





And while I was there I bought an EIGHT DOLLAR CAN of WD40!?!! My speedo started to squeak the first 10 miles of the trip. I pulled in to a car parts store (er... THE car parts store), pulled off the cable and lubed it up in hopes that it would cure the noise.

No dice.

Well, got a LONG ways to go still so I guess I can live with a bit of noise from the dash.

A few more miles brought me to Craters of the Moon park. Pretty cool lookin place, really need to go into the park someday and check it out. I'm now roughly 75 miles from home.



Pointless self portrait because I was getting bored with the desert...



So a quick story. I had been plonking on down the road for a while and was slowly catching up to what I thought was a cop. Sure enough, it was. I ended up following him for 20 miles or so, and then we both turned off on another road. The speed limit was slightly lower, and he was stuck behind a slow moving car. It was going either right at or 5 miles an hour below the speed limit. I followed 'em for another 15 miles or so, and finally on a long clear stretch with a passing zone, while he was tailgating the car and they were both going about 50, I passed.

Sure enough, he pulled me over... Gave me a warning, and then proceeded to talk bikes / routes for another 5 minutes on the side of the road.

Finally starting to get into the hills!



If you look real close you can see the shorts-and-t-shirt guy on the 950 blasting down the road.



These pics were taken near the top of Galena Summit, North of Ketchum, ID on Hwy 75.

Kept on towards Stanley, Id. GREAT roads to ride a bike on! It was forecast to rain off and on this day, and it did. Just not on me.



Most of the roads the entire trip run through valleys and follow creeks and rivers- a good sign of fun roads.



Okay, so maybe I *did* get rained on a little bit. At Stanley, I turned off on Hwy 21 to Lowman, then did the Lowman-Banks road over to Hwy 55. One of my favorite stretches of the entire trip, but it was kinda short. These pics were taken there.





The GRAND TOTAL of "rain" that actually got me sorta wet for the entire trip was probably under 10 minutes- 30 seconds here, another minute there. Wasn't ever in a big downpour either so I basically stayed totally dry- didn't even have to break out my rain gear!

Rivers were running strong! This was alongside Hwy 55 headed towards Cascade, ID.



Thats were I'm headed, right where the rain is coming down.



Made it to Cascade, and swung into the park to see if I could remember where Grandpa would take us camping / fishing when I was a kid. Think I found it, but kept going thinking the road would go back out to the highway.

Nope. Took me across the dam:



and through 20 miles of gravel road,



where I almost managed to change the "Hog Catcher" into the "Deer Slayer".



Finally made it back to the highway. Lake Cascade:



Campground! Stayed outside of Donnelly, Id, at the Rainbow Pt. campground.



Camp all set up for the first night.



The day's route:



Odometer at the end of the day.




So here are the totals for the day:

Odo start: 56,695
Odo end: 57,062
Total: 367 miles.

Money spent (WD40, Lunch, Gas, Campground): $50.94.

One day down, several more to go.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:55 AM   #7
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Great start and pictures. Glad the rain wasn't a big problem. Good outcome with the Police. Did you pass him at the speed limit or very "slightly" over?
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
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Working on Day 2... Trying to get jobs caught up and we decided to do a quick 500 mile trip together while the kids are still with my parents so we're trying to get the house straightened up and packed for that in the morning too...

I might actually hit my goal this year!
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #9
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Day 2.

Left Rainbow Point campground by Donnelly about 10:00. Slept in a bit, felt good. I'm not in any hurry and don't really have anywhere to be, so why not enjoy it?

Today's ride was pretty tame. It ended up being my shortest day as well. It was interesting to go through some of the towns- Riggins, the "White Water Rafting Capital of the World", then Hells canyon was definitely cool.



These are from near the top of Hells Canyon.





It was a looonnngggg hard pull to the top, but flying past all the cages struggling up the hill is what makes it so much fun!



Then I saw THIS:



Thought I'd died and gone to heaven! It turned out to be a bit of a let down... It was a fun road but their definition of "winding" was pretty tame. It went on for miles and miles... little twist left, little curve right. little curve left, little twist right. On, and on, and on...

And then I got a bee IN my eyeball. Tried to take a pic but apparently I managed to blink it all out. Hurt for a couple of days after.

Note to self: VISOR DOWN. Even with the windshield on!



I had stopped in White Bird (?) at a grocery store and bought some lunch. Made it to this campground- Wendover, and stopped to eat. Nice shady place, superb campground, with great water right out of the hand pump well!



Movin on...



Moooovin on! (lyrics by MxPx?)



I did hit one INCREDIBLE stretch of road- Hwy 13 between Grangeville, Id and Kooskia, ID. AWESOME. Made the entire day worth it! Even managed to scrape the pegs on both sides a time or two through there.

I *really* wanted to ride up Hwy 14 to Elk City, because I've heard it is a great road. I stopped and debated, but decided I didn't have time for an extra 100 miles.

In hindsight, I should have done it. Ah well, something to do next year.

Oh look, rain again?



And right where I'm headed...



I made it all the way through Lolo, MT and down past Hamilton to my campground- the Three Frogs on Lake Como.



I thought the lake was going to be teeny, but it was actually a very good sized lake. Had the campground mostly to myself too!

All set up:





Was sittin there in my chair and I heard a *thunk* over by my bike. Turned around to see this little guy...



He was intent on getting into my food... I named him Hank. He climbed up tires, he climbed up the kickstand, he just couldn't quite make it. Then he tried jumping- and smashed right into the side of the case.



He got a little smarter and eventually jumped up on the passenger peg and then into the case.



Think he wants to go for a ride?



Lake Como was great. I was super hot so I even went down and jumped in the lake for a bit. Felt awesome, and it was hot enough that I dried off lickety split. Good thing, I didn't bring a towel.

There's where I jumped in:



Went for a hike that evening around the lake. Made it about a mile up and then turned around but found all sorts of cool stuff-

Moonrise:



Sunset:





Deer:





Some goofy guy with a propeller head:





Ducks:



and finally, bedtime.





Route for the day:



End of the day:



Totals for the day:

Odo start: 57,062
Odo end: 57,394
Total Day 2: 332 miles.
TOTAL: 699 miles.

Money spent (Gas, Lunch, Gas, Campground): $56.92.

Was hoping to keep the costs bellow that... Part of the reason for this trip was to get a better feel for the expense entailed- I WOULD eventually like to ride to Alaska you see.

Day 2 done!
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:38 PM   #10
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Great country and pic's, keep on riding! Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:03 PM   #11
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Edited the first 2 days to include maps of my route for each day...
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
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Nice stuff. The chipmunk mid air pic...LMAO!!!
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:52 PM   #13
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You should have seen it. He tried it three or four times- each time crashing into the side of the case and falling back down.

Day 3.

Woke up early, kind of excited for the day. Ate, broke camp, loaded up and was on the road by 8.

The Hog Catcher was rarin' to go.



While I was bumbling around in the dark the previous night I found a very small very dead tree. It didn't like me much...



The ride into Salmon was pretty good. Neat little town. Got out of town and was a 'goin...



And a goin...



and a goin some more... but wait. Ain't I sposed to be on the OTHER side of those mountains?!



DANG IT. I missed the turn back in Salmon, and now I'm in Leadore. 44 miles wrong. I could go on, I'm more than half way to my destination and this road will definitely get me there, but the road is looong and straight.

I'm going back.

Made it back to Salmon, filled up with gas, and got on the RIGHT road.

Thats better!





The Hog Catcher strikes again...



Mountains and me.



Fun!



THAT'S the side of the mountains I'm sposed to be on!



And then it got boring.



Miles and miles of desert.



There was NOTHING and NO ONE around. Turns out the Hog Catcher has some pretty long legs.

Saw this thing out on the desert- It's HUGE.



Turns out it was a hanger for the nuclear jet they were building back in the 60's(?). Now it's where they manufacture the depleted uranium armor for tanks.

Made it to Rigby pretty early even with the 90 mile detour, so I stopped at the Klim plant to see an old friend that works there. He took me on a tour and tried to sell me some new gear.

One of his bosses walked into the showroom while we were there- Told me I was a brave man to show up at a Klim factory wearing MSR pants. Good thing he didn't see my jacket or gloves!

It was plenty cool. Got a stack of free stickers too. I'll explain the Hardley in a minute... Took this picture on the way back when the parking lot was empty.



After the tour I headed over to my Brother's house. He lives about a a mile away. He was still at work so I got to hang out with Ridge, who was having a hard time letting me take a picture of him...



So my brother "won" a Hardley rental at a benefit auction. I rode in to meet him at the dealership. Should have seen the looks I got when I parked the Hog Catcher in the special motorcycle parking. Then I put on my propeller head hat and got outright laughter.



My brother with the dealer guy checking out his new ride.



He may be taller than me but I'm much better looking.

Got it figured out, and after the Harley guy and some other random dude got done drooling over my bike (What the H$&* is it?!) we headed back to his house.



Map of the day. Notice the big long spur out to the east. Whups.



Day's done!



Totals for the day:

Odo start: 57,394
Odo end: 57,837
Total Day 3: 443 miles.
TOTAL: 1,142 miles.

Money spent (Gas, Lunch, Gas, Campground): $25.69

Lots cheaper today for a couple of reasons- Only bought one tank of gas (barely), and didn't have to pay for a campground because I got to sleep in a bed!
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:55 PM   #14
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Nice trip!
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:36 AM   #15
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Great pics. Thanks for sharing.
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