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Old 02-26-2011, 01:20 PM   #31
BCBackRoads OP
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Originally Posted by Mike Ryder View Post
Sir,
Jeeburrs.

Nice work Wayne. Saving this up to post now in the frigid dieing grasp of winter was pure genius.

yes please, I would make good use of the tracks.
I'll see what I can do. I haven't filtered the track files yet. They are pretty big files, probably too big to email. We're not so far apart, if I can't figure a way to set them up for you to down load I could always get them to you on a disc.

Wayne
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:45 PM   #32
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Day 9 Aug 9th 2010

We woke up Monday morning to a beautiful sunrise. The Wallowa Mountains provided a great back drop to Joseph.



Tom had discovered a pretty good leak from his fork seals. I guess the pounding up Hess Rd had done them in. At every large bump there was oil bubbling out around the seal. We took a walk through town looking for breakfast while we pondered what to do.

There must be 20 or more of these large bronze statues up and down the main street in Joseph.



Some are relatively small and others are quite large and intricate.



Tom decided to ride pavement north to Clarkston where we knew there was a BMW dealer to see if he could get some new fork seals installed. Adrian and I would take a side trip out to Hat Point Lookout, stay in the Enterprise area tonight, and meet Tom in Clarkston tomorrow.

Before leaving Joseph we took a quick run up to Wallowa Lake for a look. It’s a beautiful lake nestled in against the mountains with a state park at the far end.



We then headed back east on the Imnaha Hwy. Once back over the summit the highway follows Little Sheep Creek as it winds down through the wash to the tiny settlement of Imnaha.



Imnaha consists of about 10 buildings clustered together in an oasis deep in the canyon. That’s what we’re looking for! Follow the arrow to Grizzly Ridge Rd and Hat Point.



The first seven miles were steep and rough as we gained 4000’ and climbed up to the top of Grizzly Ridge.





From this point we have a great view into the Upper Imnaha River Valley.



Looking back toward Imnaha, the road up can be seen on the right. Yup, that’s a thunderstorm on horizon. We may be getting wet for the first time on this trip.



Once up on the ridge, the road follows the crest for about 17 miles gaining another 1000’ of elevation. There were scenic vistas around every turn and at times there were drop offs on both sides of the road.





Every once in a while we would get a glimpse of Hell's Canyon off to our right.



Eventually the Hat Point look-out tower came into view on the horizon.



The tower is made of wood and is about 80 feet high. It’s anchored by heavy guy wires to keep it in place in high winds. This is an active fire watch tower.



The views from here are absolutely spectacular with full 360 degree sight lines. That is the Snake River far below in Hells Canyon.



How far below? That’s almost a vertical mile!



Now that we’re here lets climb the tower. Here is a 180 degree panorama from the first platform. Those are thunderstorms on either side of us.



We could see lightning in the distance in the storms. If they come any closer we would be getting down pretty quick. The lighting was dramatic and mesmerizing.



The gate was open and there were no signs saying no entrance so we climbed on up to the upper level. The stairs were pretty steep here.



Once on top we discovered a forestry guy keeping a close watch for lightning strikes. He politely asked us to go back down to the lower level so we wouldn’t block his sightlines. I would think his job would be a mixture of boredom and extreme vigilance. We arrived during the latter period.



We had a nice view of our bikes in the parking lot below.



Looking south along Grizzly Ridge we could see it raining fairly heavily on the road we came up. We’ll likely find some mud on the way back down.



If I had a longer lens we might be able to see some rafters far below on the Snake River.



There was another heavy downpour to the north of us and we could hear thunder crashing every few minutes. It was getting closer so we decided it was time to get down off the tower.



There were walking paths below and across the canyon in Idaho we could see a series of peaks known as the Seven Devils.



I'll bet this old tree could tell some tales. It has been keeping watch over the canyon for a long time.



The wild flowers were fantastic up here. It was like walking through somebody’s garden.



We relaxed for a while and had some lunch. While sitting by the bikes I was surprised to find I had a strong signal on my Cell phone. I took the opportunity to make a call home while we waited for the showers to pass us by. It was time to head back.



What goes up must come down.



Here’s a sign you don’t see every day. I love this shot. It’s been my desktop image for several months now.



It was warming up pretty good as we dropped down into the canyon. We stopped at five-mile viewpoint for a drink.





Once back at Imnaha we went into the store and tavern for lunch. They make a mean roast beef sandwich and the folks are friendly.



We rode down the Imnaha River to the start of Dug Bar Road. We would have liked to carry on and explore more of this area, but once again time was moving on. This is another one we’ll leave for the next trip.

We retraced our steps back to Joseph, fueled up in Enterprise and carried on to Wallowa. Since Tom was sitting in the pool in Clarkston, Adrian and I decided this was our opportunity to put the camping gear to use.

Where Joseph was a vibrant active community with what seemed like a good tourist base, Wallowa was the opposite. We couldn’t find a restaurant for dinner, but we did find a grocery store. We also found a free campsite right in town provided by the local Lions Club. We set up camp, scrounged a bit of firewood and enjoyed a pleasant evening star gazing with a few beers.



We never did get any rain today and we spent a pleasant evening enjoying the campfire.





Route and Stats for the day:





More yet..

Wayne


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Old 02-26-2011, 03:11 PM   #33
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Too bad you didn't get down to Dug Bar, I guess you'll have to return and complete the ride.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:21 PM   #34
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Thanks for the excellent ride report. Man, I've really got to get there one of these days.

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Old 02-26-2011, 03:45 PM   #35
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Too bad you didn't get down to Dug Bar, I guess you'll have to return and complete the ride.
That's one of many reasons to go back. I feel like we only scratched the surface on this trip. I think camping more would have made our time more flexible. It would have allowed a few more spontaneous decisions. The Dug Bar road really tempted me.

You're about a day closer to these great areas. We'll be down your way in about 3 weeks for a short vacation. (Not on the bike) We really like Spokane.

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Old 02-26-2011, 04:13 PM   #36
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Day 10 Aug 11th 2010

There was a reason we went to Wallowa yesterday. (Aside from the free campsite.) We wanted to take the back road north from Wallowa to Troy and the Grande Ronde Canyon. The Wallowa-Troy Road was a treat on a beautiful day.



Watch for Bambi’s on this stretch, as we saw several small herds. I spotted this doe in the distance and stopped for a picture. She bounced back and forth on the road trying to figure out what I was. I guess the hi-viz jacket and bright green KLR weren’t a normal part of her world. She took off when Adrian roared up from behind.



The road passes through the Shilo Ranch. This is somebody’s large piece of heaven out here.



This was a fantastic stretch of road. It was a beautiful, bright sunny morning and there was zero traffic.





Suddenly we were on the edge of the Grande Ronde Canyon.



We parked the bikes and walked down the road a bit to soak in the view.



Yup, we’ve got switchbacks again. It’s a long way down.



Waiting for Adrian at the first switchback.



The twin track road winds back and forth under the power line.



We’ll eventually get down to that bridge down there.



The road below follows the Grande Ronde River winding its way down to Troy, then on the Oasis where it meets Hwy 3.



The river comes from the west down Ward Canyon.



The grade down is nice and smooth but narrow. Fortunately we didn’t meet anyone going up.



At the bottom we took a break on the Bridge. Adrian spotted two massive fish resting in the shallows below. I tried to talk him into tickling them out, but he didn’t want to get his boots wet. We found out that the Grande Ronde is famous for huge Steelhead Trout which these likely were.



A mile or so down the road we had a close encounter of the cow kind. These dopey guys just would not get out of the way. They started trotting down the middle of the road away from us.



We followed at a discrete distance for quite a while but they kept trotting back and forth across the road. They finally moved far enough to one side for us to squeeze by on the left. I think if we had stayed behind them they would have trotted all the way to Troy.



This is the second time I’ve been to Troy. The first time was on my ST and it was on a Monday. Today was a Tuesday. It turns out that Troy, which consists of the Shilo Inn, Lodge and Caf is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. One of these days I’m going to visit when the town is open for business. Breakfast would have been nice about now.



The old bridge in Troy is closed to motorized traffic. It was a nice walk but I’m sure a KLR could have fit through the posts if I had tried. The new bridge is a couple of miles downstream.



The road from Troy to Boggin’s Oasis and Hwy 3 is paved with a short patch of good gravel on the Oregon-Washington border. I guess they can’t figure out who is responsible for it.



We stopped at Boggin’s Oasis which at first glance appeared closed. They were just freshening up the exterior and were open for business. They advertise the Worlds Greatest Milkshake here. I had one the last time I visited and it was the best I had ever had. However, this visit we were in search of breakfast. The Hamburger Steak and egg breakfast is huge.

While loading up to carry on, we noticed a loaded BMW and KLR shoot past us. We got on the road and headed up the hill by Rattlesnake Creek.



This is a great section of road. The claim is 212 curves in 20 miles but unlike that other famous road back east there is very little traffic here.



About halfway up I spotted the two other bikes stopped and enjoying the view. We pulled over to chat.



Turns out these folks are regulars on ADVRider that have traveled all over the world. Ben is an Aussie on a KLR who is currently touring North America. Brian and Conchita are from Edmonton. They've travelled all over the place two up on the big GS and have several road reports on their travels. They had just ridden that loaded GSA 2-up up the Held Road. Much respect!



It was great meeting you folks.

We carried on down the highway to Clarkston and found Tom, some beer and a swimming pool. The BMW dealer in Clarkston had no fork seals for Tom’s bike. Since they were holding up fairly well on smooth ground we decided to stick to the pavement for the trip home. Our dirt travels were over for this trip.



We consoled ourselves with some Jaimesons Irish Whisky while the sun set.

Route and stats for today:





We'll wind it up in the next post.

Wayne


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Old 02-26-2011, 07:57 PM   #37
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thanks for taking the time to share your ride and pics, great stuff on a snowy winter day...with more snow tomorrow and Monday as well...
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:00 PM   #38
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thanks for taking the time to share your ride and pics, great stuff on a snowy winter day...with more snow tomorrow and Monday as well...
My Pleasure. Hopefully Spring is coming soon. It's still pretty frigid up here.

Wayne
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:13 PM   #39
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Day 11 & 12 Aug 11th & 12th 2010

Let’s see if we can wrap this one up. Anyone looking for more gravel travel won’t find it in the rest of this report. It was just a nice ride home, mostly on secondary highways. We started west from Clarkston on Hwy 12. We found an abandoned elevator near Pomeroy for a rest stop.



We turned northwest on 261 and rode to Lyons Ferry for a rest break. There’s a nice looking KOA here that might be useful on future trips.



We then turned north to Ritzville where we crossed I-90 and the railway mainlines. There is nice looking little railway Museum here.



The trains sure fly through Ritzville.



From Ritzville we took Rosenoff Road west, then Schoonover Road north to Odessa. These were a nice alternate to the major highways. There were wide open spaces on Schoonover Rd but not a curve in site.



At Odessa we stopped at the Rolling Thunder Saloon for lunch. Biker Bar ambiance and not a bad burger but we were the only patrons.



From Odessa we followed Hwy 21 all the way to Republic. The road north from Odessa consisted of miles and miles of miles and miles. We occasionally came across some interesting farm machinery to keep us awake.



No wonder the Destination Highways guys call this area the donut-hole of Washington. (Nothing in the middle.)



The long straight stretches came to an end when we got to Franklyn D. Roosevelt Lake. A nice twisty run down the hill got us to the Keller Ferry.



We were the entire Ferry lineup for quite some time. The locals obviously keep an eye out for the ferry and arrive just before it docks.



The lake was wide and calm at this point. Beautiful day for a boat trip.



You have to love free ferries.



After the ferry crossing we had to deal with 50 miles of chip-seal on an otherwise nice ride north to Republic.



We got a room at the Northern Inn and wandered up the street for an extended final dinner at the Hitching Post Saloon and Restaurant. Once again, we had a good time, well entertained by a couple of the local characters. The end of a long days ride.



GPS track and stats for day 11:





We returned to the Hitching Post in the morning for a leisurely breakfast before heading off on an easy run home.



Republic was pretty quiet for a weekday morning.



We headed north on familiar roads. Tom heading north on Torodo Creek Road heading for the border at Midway.



GPS Map and stats for our last day:





It was a great ride for me and I couldn’t ask for better riding partners. We have similar riding styles and trust each other but we each bring different strengths to our trips. I usually handle the routing and navigation. Tom plays the role of our procurer setting up motels and finding essentials (such as Irish whisky) as we go. Sometimes he reminds of the character played by James Garner in the Great Escape. Adrian is our social convener. He’s a friendly Aussie who can walk in just about anywhere and instantly make new friends. These guys are a pleasure to be around. Thanks guys.

Wayne


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Old 02-27-2011, 06:19 AM   #40
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Thanks for sharing your ride.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:47 AM   #41
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fan-flippin'-tastic! Beautiful RR / photos, thanks much! I love North Idaho, my close western neighbor. will be solo ridin' my DR there soon as this white *%@^ goes away.....
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:29 AM   #42
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Excellent report and photos!

My complements to who ever planned the route. A nice mix of scenic gravel and paved roads.

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Old 02-27-2011, 09:58 AM   #43
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Great report!
I love Idaho too. You may want to put the Magruder Corridor on your list for your next visit. Another slice of Heaven.


I had a good time crossing Idaho but, I would have really loved seeing a comely ,barefoot Idaho lass dancing and twirling fire !

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Old 02-27-2011, 06:33 PM   #44
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Excellent ride report and great pictures. Have known Adrian for quite a few years now and the one year I miss the Stomp, he goes!

If you like this area and can get over the camping phobia you should sign up for the Nez ride on the Idaho BMW club website. This is a four day off road ride that ties into the Stomp on the Thursday evening. Great routes, even better food each night, just have to set up a tent.

Limited to 50 riders, but always a great ride.


Chris
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:38 AM   #45
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Excellent ride report and great pictures. Have known Adrian for quite a few years now and the one year I miss the Stomp, he goes!

If you like this area and can get over the camping phobia you should sign up for the Nez ride on the Idaho BMW club website. This is a four day off road ride that ties into the Stomp on the Thursday evening. Great routes, even better food each night, just have to set up a tent.

Limited to 50 riders, but always a great ride.


Chris
Hi Chris. I believe Adrian is planning be on the Nez Perce Ride and at the Stomp this year. It sounds like a great ride. I would like to join him but I need to get a few things cleared up before I can make any firm plans this summer.

Wayne
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