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Old 10-02-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
lakecntyrider OP
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Western Oregon to Glacier and Back

Last year, I did my first multi-day ride with my Dad in the Oregon backcountry.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=501579

It was a great introductory trip. I learned a lot from the ride, and had been outfitting myself throughout the winter for the next ride -- new Zumo 550, riding gear, tools, auxiliary gas. I was looking forward to another ride all winter.

My Dad and I had planned on doing this year's ride together, but he had to have knee surgery in the spring, so it was touch and go whether he was able to do a trip this summer. I was beginning to think that I would do one solo, but as things turned out, the knee healed well enough to do a ride together this year.

It was time to plan the ride. The general plan was to go from Grants Pass, Oregon, through Idaho, and on to Montana and Glacier National Park. I couldn't get too much time off, so it was going to be an aggressive schedule, but would go as far as the time would allow. General plan was to try to keep it to 250 miles a day, so we can go at a reasonable pace throughout the ride.



As we were planning the trip, my Dad discussed it with his friend, Bob, and he expressed some interest in coming along. He decided to join us, so we would stop at his house by Redmond, Oregon on the way to Montana.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies

lakecntyrider screwed with this post 10-06-2010 at 08:54 PM
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:54 PM   #2
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Day 1: Long Day

Our starting point would be my Dad's house in Grants Pass. I would trailer the bike from San Carlos, California to Grants Pass, Oregon and begin the ride from there. I left at 4:00 a.m., knowing it would be a long day, but also knew that as soon as we began to ride, that part of the trip would be quckly behind me. I arrived in Grants Pass mid-afternoon, and my Dad was ready to go. Plan was to go through the Ochoco forest in Oregon and spend the night at Bob's house.



It was the first time I would be navigating using the GPS, and quickly realized that some practical use was going to be needed to navigate effectively, particularly on forest roads. On the way to Redmond, we took some dirt roads by Evans Creek that spun us around and lead us to multiple dead-ends. It was taking much longer than we planned.

Also, a bee flew into my helmet and stung me on the chin. The sting wasn't painful, but I knew the subsequent swelling would be annoying. None of this mattered at this point. For me, the ride had begun. After an hour, we finally found a main artery that dropped us out at the Rogue River.



This is terrific country, a couple of hours outside my Dad's house. At home, in California, I never get tired of riding to the coast through the Redwoods. I feel similarly going through the Ochoco forest in Oregon.



We arrived at Bob's house late in the evening. Long day, but it was great to finally arrive in Redmond. The initial long day was now in the rear view mirror, and so were the day-to-day responsibilities that were only with me a few hours earlier. Time to settle into the ride ...
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies

lakecntyrider screwed with this post 10-02-2010 at 01:01 PM
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:52 PM   #3
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This should be very scenic

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Old 10-03-2010, 08:48 AM   #4
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Day 2

It was a perfect day for riding. Bright, crisp morning. We loaded-up and were ready to go.



Quick stop outside of Redmond to view the Crooked River Ranch Golf Club. I'm not a golfer myself, but what a beautiful setting for a course.





Bob traveled this route before, so we were avoiding the main roads. Decided to rest in Mitchell before we begin some more backroads.





Rode quite a bit of dirt on the second day.





Time for lunch. Stopped at a cafe in Ukiah.



In Ukiah, I also had to re-fuel the KTM with regular unleaded for the first time since I've had it. I had to unhook the wire under the seat to change the fuel map. As it was, I didn't notice much of a change without premium, but will probably add a switch to simplify this in the future. Some have said not to mess with the wire, but there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer on this.

After Ukiah, we took some more dirt roads.









On one of the dirt roads, they just laid some gravel down, and it was deep. I was trying to be careful, but ended-up fish-tailing a few times. With a lighter bike, this road wouldn't have been much trouble, but with the weight and the top-heavy load, it was a bit of a struggle to keep things upright.

My Dad wasn't so lucky. As I came around a corner, I saw him under the bike inside a ditch. With his recent knee surgery, I was concerned that something might have happened to the knee when he laid the bike down.

I struggled to stop my bike in the deep gravel, but couldn't find a place to get the kickstand down. Seeing my Dad still attempting to get out from the bike, I just laid it down and went over to assist. I helped him get up. After walking around a little, he realized he was okay. Evidently, the panniers kept the bike off his knee. His panniers were cracked, but a small price to pay.

It took some time to shake this off, but we continued on.





It was getting late, so just past Troy, next to the Grande Ronde River, we decided to setup camp.





You can begin to see my jaw swelling from the bee sting in the following picture. Not painful, but I could definitely feel the swelling. Luckily, there was only one more day before it would begin going down.



The river is right behind the trees. Hard day of riding and the sound of the river in the background -- I haven't slept any better.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies

lakecntyrider screwed with this post 10-06-2010 at 09:39 PM
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:13 PM   #5
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Day 3

Next morning, we drove down Grande Ronde River Road. Another perfect morning for a ride, with the morning light reflecting off the river and the canyon.





Fuel injection warning light came-on, which had me a little worried, but I figured it had to do with changing the fuel map. Later, I learned this is pretty common, but I do get concerned so deep in the back country. It eventually went away, and when I went back to premium, it never came-on again.

We proceeded to Missoula along the Lochsa and Clearwater rivers on US 12. Stopped for lunch in Lowell.





US 12 is a great ride, but after Lowell, things become even more scenic.







After Missoula, went north to Flathead Lake to make camp at Blue Bay Campground.







Playing with the tripod and timer.



Incredible views of the lake from the campground.





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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:18 PM   #6
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Beautiful Country!
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:15 AM   #7
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Day 4

Broke camp and headed to Glacier National Park.



This was a difficult call on the trip. I wanted to go into the park, but didn't want to battle traffic on the Going-To-The-Sun-Road. Also, I wasn't too sure about getting too far east and trying to make time back. Anyway, we decided to take the Inside North Fork dirt road going up the west side of the park and avoid the crowds.





The road was relatively well maintained, but it had some rough spots. We passed a Harley going the other direction. Didn't expect to see that. I wish I had a picture. The rider just smiled at me and continued fighting his bike as it bounced through the dirt.

Views on the Road.







At the end of the park road, looking down at Polebridge. Every direction is great country.





Looking back into the park from Polebridge.



Decided to stop in Polebridge for a bite to eat. Love the store.





... and to top it off, they had my favorite beer



Ate lunch outside and then proceeded north towards Canada and FS 114.







Found a reference to FS 114 somewhere on advrider, and I'm glad I did. Great dirt road cutting through the forest ...



... twisting dirt roads along a ridge ...



... through a spectacular valley.



This was a terrific route. I wish I was a better photographer. Need to take a photography class.

At the end of FS 114, we met some fellow ADV riders. They were on 3 KLR's heading to Utah, but one of the bikes was cutting out periodically. They got it running again, but would probably need to do more serious work on it. Hope they made it okay. Reminded me that we've been relatively trouble-free on the ride.



We headed to the west side of Lake Koocanusa. It was getting late, so didn't stop to take pictures. Wish I had, because it was a great drive. Found a campground along the lake.





A little motorcycle maintenance on my Dad's bike and time to call it a day.

__________________
Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies

lakecntyrider screwed with this post 10-06-2010 at 08:56 PM
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:16 PM   #8
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Day 5

Next morning, broke camp early and headed to Libby for breakfast.



Can't believe I didn't get pictures down US 2. I loved this section of the ride, but I guess we were enjoying the ride and scenery too much to stop.

Anyway, followed US 2 to Lake Pend Oreille and down US 95 to Coeur d'Alene. The road down the east side of lake Coeur d'Alene is beautiful, filled with great views and twisties.





Stopped for lunch along the lake.





It was getting hot later in the day (99F). Time to rest on the mountain roads before descending into the hot valleys.



We headed towards Eastern Washington through Palouse and endless Washington wheat fields. It was very hot, we had been riding for quite awhile, so we were ready to call it a day. Found a camp along the Snake River, which was well maintained ...



... but not the most scenic camp on the ride. The following is looking the other direction.



That night, we began to revisit the original plan of taking a more direct trip back to Grants Pass, and decided to go back east to Hells Canyon.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:59 AM   #9
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Day 6

Left early next morning and headed towards Hells Canyon. Stopped in Asotin, Washington along the Snake River.



Backtracked down Grande Ronde Road to Troy, Oregon.



Eventually, hooked-up with FS 39 in Hells Canyon. What a great ride. Tight turns through the forests. We found an undistinguished turnoff for Hess road, which would bypass the washed out road ahead.



I'm sure it will be fine



... and it was.





I generally turn the ABS off on dirt roads, but after coming too hot into one of these turns, I realized I had not done that yet. Won't make that mistake again. ABS on pavement is fine, but not in the dirt.

The following was my attempt to capture the drop down this road, but the picture only gives you a taste of how the road descends so quickly.



Great view of the Snake.



Not much of a marker to go up Hess, but highly recommend the route. Loaded big bikes could be a little challenging, so use caution if you're going this way.



In Oxbow, pitched camp at Copperfield Campground along the Snake River. Great, well maintained campground.





... and a nearby store for some refreshments before turning in for the night.

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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies

lakecntyrider screwed with this post 10-18-2010 at 10:12 AM
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:46 PM   #10
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Great report. I was one of the three KLR's you ran into on the trip. My bike was the one having issues. It turned out to be an electrical short. I had the KLR wiring harness upgrade but the wonderful dealer in Kent Wa took the warrenty cash but did not actually do the work! Nice. The dealer in Kalisbell, Fast Toys, did a great job of finding the problem, replacing the wiring harnes under warrenty and even let me borrow a bike to ride through Glacier Park for a few days while the work was done. If you ever need work done near White Fish or Kalisbel, Fast Toys is a great. Beau the owner really took care of me! Thanks Beau! I am glad you guys also had a great trip. I think we are going to post our RR, just have not done it yet.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dEADbEAT
Great report. I was one of the three KLR's you ran into on the trip. My bike was the one having issues. It turned out to be an electrical short. I had the KLR wiring harness upgrade but the wonderful dealer in Kent Wa took the warrenty cash but did not actually do the work! Nice. The dealer in Kalisbell, Fast Toys, did a great job of finding the problem, replacing the wiring harnes under warrenty and even let me borrow a bike to ride through Glacier Park for a few days while the work was done. If you ever need work done near White Fish or Kalisbel, Fast Toys is a great. Beau the owner really took care of me! Thanks Beau! I am glad you guys also had a great trip. I think we are going to post our RR, just have not done it yet.
Sorry to hear that the bike had to sit in the shop. Great that you could ride around Glacier while it was being fixed.

Also, we almost took your recommendation to go to Yaak, but it was getting late, and it was quite a ways back. Looked like a great route, but decided to head down the road along Koocanusa instead.

Will be looking for your report.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:50 PM   #12
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Days 7 & 8

On this trip, I lost track of time and the day of the week, but it was about here that I began realizing it was getting closer to the end. Taking in every remaining minute of the ride at this point.

Morning at Copperfield Campground.



We had a general idea of the route, but we were doing more improvisation now. The following is a dirt road outside of Richland, Oregon that we eventually abandoned, as it was quite a few miles and pretty rough.





Dead-end on another dirt road.



Finally, decided to take a dirt road along the Brownlee Reservoir. Shot on top before descending to the reservoir.



Pictures of the reservoir.





Kept heading west to Prarie City.



Believe this is looking at Strawberry Mountain.



Proceeded through John Day and down the Paulina-Suplee road. This was the end of the road with Bob. He would proceed west to his house while my Dad and I headed south for another campground before we started the final leg to Grants Pass.

It was great to have Bob along for the ride. Countless times, he helped this rookie out navigating with the GPS. He did the entire trip without a windscreen through some strong winds (some would say that I did too, given the 990's windscreen reputation ). I couldn't believe how fast he would take some of the tight turns on his knobbies.

My Dad and I headed through the high desert to Brothers. Low sun, long straightaway in the middle of nowhere ... just taking everything in ...



We were still a long way from campgrounds, so went into Bend and decided to get a room and relax.



You can see that the tire on the KTM is pretty worn at this point -- guess it's time to go home.

Day 8

Well, time to get back to Grants Pass. We were going to take a longer drive home through some backcountry, but for the first time on the trip, we had some rain. It was a light rain, but we decided to take a more direct route home. Stopped to take some pictures along the Rogue River Gorge.







... and for our last stop, some hot coffee and apple pie at Beckie's in Union Creek.



Arrived back in Grants Pass a little later after about 2000 miles of riding. Unbelievable country through Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Montana. Great weather, no mechanical issues, and everyone made it back fine. I will be going back some day. So much to explore and so little time.

It was also great to be riding with my Dad. We have a shared appreciation for the country and motorcycle riding that only years of camping and riding together can develop.

Yes, you look back and wish you could have done more, or something different, but that just feeds the desire for the next trip. That happened the day this trip ended.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies

lakecntyrider screwed with this post 10-10-2010 at 10:04 PM
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