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Old 08-19-2013, 05:03 PM   #391
jglow
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This is awesme!




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Old 08-20-2013, 04:20 AM   #392
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Day 1 we traveled a total of 165 miles with a little mix of all types of path from interstate to singletrack. The narrower the path is much preferred.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:35 PM   #393
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SaltWash Aug 2013 Day 2 (part 1)

We spent the night just below Oxford Ridge, not the best camp site, but it worked. Here we are the following morning; jakbrand prepares hot cocoa:



These two are just north of Oxford Basin, before leaving the Caribou NF and continuing our track north toward Lava Hot Springs for lunch.





At Sedwick Peak (I think the highest point we reached this whole week, 9,167 feet) looking west…



…and north east:



The jeep road descending into Lava Hot Springs:



at Lava Hot Springs. For the most part, we ate burgers for all our lunches. They taste better out west, especially with fry sauce, which we found was not just a Utah thing, very popular in Idaho too. I probably won't eat burgers again until our next trip...



jakbrand makes Smartwater:

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Old 08-20-2013, 07:37 PM   #394
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SaltWash Aug 2013 Day 2 (part 2)

jakbrand's goal and task was to get us from Salt Lake City to Hailey Idaho in two days. So by the end of the day today we needed to be within striking distance. All of this trying to avoid as much pavement as possible. These are along another section of the Caribou NF:







But then we ventured into private land and could not find a good dirt road paralleling I-15 to get to Pocatello…Here we are at the end of the road.



We agreed to not mess around too much in this area because a-rider had planned hundreds of miles of single track in central Idaho…and instead use pavement for what seemed like an eternity…first to Pocatello...where we found what every hardware store should have--a wide selection of paracord:



and then more pavement until we crossed the Snake River at American Falls Dam, one of a bout half a dozen dams we rode by. After after that, we needed to cross the Snake River Plain just south of Craters of the Moon. We were looking forward to riding through the many lava fields, lava tubes, and many volcanic features in this area. Unfortunately we just rushed through. The high speed riding through the plain was just too tempting:













jakbrand took more pictures of the volcanic features. I took none, not even of the snow in July trapped inside the lava tubes…(I thought, what's that white stuff? trash? out here? seriously?)

Having crossed the Snake River Plain, we headed towards mountains at Muldoon Canyon for another place to camp and spend the night to :



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Old 08-21-2013, 01:48 AM   #395
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your journey would be my dream ride
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:46 AM   #396
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First night on the trail

is always the least restful. Over the years we have camped in every condition imaginable and I have become a bush camp snob. For example, the ground might be littered with too many cow pies, the mosquito population intolerable, too close to the highway, etcetera and knock down the site rating. Bush camping in Oxford Basin rated 5 on a scale of 10.


Early morning ride out of Oxford Basin




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Old 08-22-2013, 08:01 AM   #397
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Extreme dry dusty conditions

across Utah and Idaho choked the sweep rider for the entire tour. When I rode sweep I usually followed ET and A-Rider from a distance so not to eat any dust which got me into trouble a couple of times later in the week.




However, today I was ride leader and rode in clean air from Oxford to Hailey, Idaho.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:20 AM   #398
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We headed due north

towards Pocatello along a series of dirt roads, fast ATV trails and even one section of flowing singletrack suggested by Martin Hackworth at www.motorcyclejazz.com.

After passing though Pocatello on pavement (to make up time) we crossed the Snake River at American Falls and trekked north across the rugged Wapi Lava Field.









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Old 08-22-2013, 08:49 AM   #399
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We rolled 90 miles across the Snake River Plain

on basalt two-track along the western boundry of Craters of the Moon National Monument.






I really enjoy the relaxed late afternoon desert runs when the sun throws long shadows and the air becomes cool. The early evening light seems to create more depth to an otherwise flat landscape.





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Old 08-22-2013, 09:07 AM   #400
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We finally quit riding

about 8 o'clock and camped on a scenic saddle in the Pioneer Mountains only 10 miles from Hailey, Idaho.





After nearly 400 miles of relatively easy tracks, I would hand the baton to A-Rider in Hailey and he would carry it all the way to Spokane. A-Rider, the new tour leader, suggested that we get some good rest tonight because the route would become significanly more challenging after Hailey.

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Old 08-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #401
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Awesome report Gentlemen! Looks like you found some challenging trails along with the beauty of the outback. Keep it coming!!
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:58 AM   #402
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SaltWash 2013 Day 3 (part1)

Sunrise:



Leaving Pioneer Mountains:



Hailey for breakfast! We noted a large airport with lots of corporate jets for such a small town....and a high end diner...



We all had the special, steelhead omelette. Delicious!



And then got ready for the extreme tour of Idaho that a-rider had prepared...

We were fortunate enough to ride this area of the Sawtooth NF west of Hailey before the devastating fires of mid August 2013:

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Old 08-22-2013, 07:59 PM   #403
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SaltWash 2013 Day 3 (part 2)

After breakfast, resupplies, fuel and oil change for jakbrand's KTM, we tackled a fairly rocky 1st and 2nd gear single track section up Deer and Deep Creeks...which opened nicely into North Fork Deer Creek, a flowing 3rd and 4th gear section...then a nasty little climb







after which jakbrand's figures out why he was struggling...was it that he didn't eat the hash browns at breakfast?



...Nope, a front flat...



...which he fixed in about 40 minutes, not accepting much help.

Here's one of the many switchbacks we encountered in Day 3 as we zig-zagged our way this section of the Sawthooth NF:





A break in the action for snacks...



...then jakbrand's decides to take out the toothbrush and toothpaste...

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Old 08-23-2013, 05:14 AM   #404
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Day 3

marks the end of the easy section of SALT WASH 2013 and the beginning of the challenging section.


descending Pioneer Mountains


Sawtooth National Forest



Truthfully, at my age, every off-road section has become a challenge. I struggled on the initial singletrack section up Deer Creek Canyon and averted several near disasters. My MoJo was beginning to fade. Each mile I rode progressively worse and promised myself that when this trip is over I'm buying a Harley and never riding singletrack again.




I fell into the mental trap of riding conservative making sure not to crash since I was riding sweep. This was going to be a long day.





Finally, out of frustration, I stopped for a breather to regain my confidence and noticed the front tire was soft. I was incredibly relevied to suffer a flat tire and blame my poor riding on the bike. Also, I take back the vow to "buy a Harley and never ride singletrack again!"


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Old 08-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #405
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SaltWash 2013 Day 3 (part 3)

We were truly blown away by the care and attention to detail the the Idaho NF trail rangers had on the work done to prepare all the single track for motos, hikers, horses, etc. it wasn't just the chain saw work to clear the path. It was, for example, the additional angled cuts on the logs so handlebars could get through. Here is one notable exception, probably the only one the whole week:



Then more single track:





Hard to believe this area is burning, again....



No question in my mind this was some of the more difficult terrain we I had ridden to date since leaving Baton Rouge a few years ago, primarily because of the consequences of a mistake. The trail behind us around the corner to get to this spot, for example, had very little room for errors...



Thankfully the difficult sections were mixed with more relaxing ones...





...plus breaks, like this one in the afternoon somewhere on Castle Creek....still just a few miles from Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley Ski Area:

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