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Old 08-17-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
OrangeYZ OP
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Oregon
Oddometer: 635
Rode my dirt bike in Idaho a lot

"Tour of Idaho!"

"It should read: OrangeYZ's Triumphant Tour of Idaho! Must be some mistake."

No, it was right in the first place.

From the website
Less than 55 points: Nice ride, what did you decide to call it?
I scored way less than 55 points, so I got this title that covers everything:

Dirt Bike

2007 450EXC, which has a 540 big bore kit from the previous owner.
Wolfman Rolie Luggage with two medium bags for the sides and one small bag on the top. Tent strapped to the small bag. Sleeping bag in the left bag, tools in the right bag, clothes toothbrush and hatchet in the top bag.
Rear fender toolbag, now bolted to the headlight with a saw and rope wedged into it.
And a giant cushy seat that I would not trade for the world. I don't know where it came from, but I love it.

Oh yeah, 6 gallon Acerbis tank, the item that started every conversation anytime anybody saw the bike.


It's the one on the right that looks like, well, not the other two.
The plan was to drive 70 miles to about Crater Lake, where I can start an all dirt route for a long time. Ride to Arco, evaluate at that point if I was up to doing the entire TID (Spoiler: I wasn't.) Ride to the end at Priest Lake, then Coeur d'Alene, then drive home past Hells Canyon.

A lot

My trip meter quit working recently, it will reset to zero when the key is shut off. But the main odometer is still good, so I write my mileage at each fuel stop and I can figure out how close the limit of about 270 miles is. 9825 miles and 430 hours at the beginning, 12170 and 501 at the end. About 2350 miles and 71 hours of riding over this 11 day trip. One oil change near the middle, a few air filter changes, and no problems except one flat tire.
The letter before the number represents the town I filled up at. Chemult, Prineville, John Day, Boise, Ketchum, Challis, North Fork Junction, Lowell and Wallace. I didn't write the times that I only put a gallon or three in to keep the bike light (lightish), so Old Sawmill Station (twice), Priest River and Priest Lake Indian Creek Campground aren't on there.

Day 1:
I was mostly in GTFO of Oregon mode for the first two days, and had ridden most of these roads already, so not many pictures.

An ordinary man with an ordinary bike with an extraordinary tank.

Thought I should take a picture of my backpack for some reason. Mostly just maps, water and TP in here.

Also this is the place I discovered that my water bladder was leaking all over my Idaho map. By putting the water bladder in a spare ziplock bag I was able to buy some time.

Some fires out by the Fort Rock area

Dipped my shirt in the Crooked River to cool off for a bit

View from the ledge near my first night campsite

There is some wire strung between these tripods I saw the beginning of day two.

Not sure if they are old telegraph lines, or for electricity, or if they used to have an electric fence for giraffes.

Dry Soda Lookout. I hung out here for about an hour talking with the lady working there.

Once upon a time, my plan was to ride through the southern part of Oregon to Jordan Valley, and then do the T2 Tour of Idaho route until it intersected with the T1. Then I realized that it was summer in the desert and I threw that idea out the window in favor of staying in the woods and cooler mountains.

Beulah Reservoir back there. My plan of not riding in the desert is going brilliantly. Had to dip my shirt twice in about 30 minutes.

Got on pavement in Harper, OR and stayed on it through Ontario. Found the worst campsite of this trip by parking it in a gravel patch by the side of some farm road. Hot, mosquitoes tried to carry me away, no wind and the humidity was through the roof with all of the canals.

Day 3:
Morning picture of my campsite

Most nights in a tent, I will hear a noise from the floor that sounds like mice running around, but it's actually the wind moving the tent on the grass. Heard the same noise and figured it was the usual. Found this guy and his friends in the morning.

Map pic:

Had breakfast, solved my water bladder problem, bought a pile of maps and headed for the hills.

Should have brought a truck

Boise River at the top of Arrowrock Reservoir

Finally found those cool mountains

I wanted to check out Trinity Mountain lookout, but the road up was closed due to an "Injured or aggressive Grizzly bear" in the area. Since I didn't pack an M1 Garand, I believed the sign and turned around.

Rode around the corner and saw this:

Shook my head a couple of times and took another picture

This is the Trinity Fire northwest of Featherville. One of my plans was to ride through Idaho City and to Featherville from the north. Those roads were all closed, so luckily I went to Boise for the water thing and maps which had me coming to Featherville from the south.

Had two beers at Cindy's Saloon in Featherville, and got a third to go for my camp up at Bird Creek on the way to Baumgarter.

South Fork of the Boise River to cool my feet and wash my face in

Ash on my tent in the morning from the fire

OrangeYZ screwed with this post 08-17-2012 at 03:11 PM
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:15 PM   #2
just passin' through
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Excellent! Subscribed
What's next? More action!
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
OrangeYZ OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Oregon
Oddometer: 635
Goal 1 of this trip is to see cool things in Idaho by dirt bike. Goal 2 is research for future trips which will include a truck, dirtier dirt bike and possibly a camper and friends. Baumgarter and maps at Boise are part of goal 2.

I was hoping for cooler weather and this morning I got my wish. Didn't seem that cold when I left camp, but 10 miles down the road I had to dig my jacket out of the tent bag.
My jacket for this trip was the liner from my Fieldsheer street jacket. Stuffing it into my jersey made it the pillow at night.

Rode to Fairfield in the morning of day 4 for breakfast, to locate the elusive Sawtooth USFS map, and to mail all of the MVUMs and a couple of the other new maps home. Sawtooth NF is redoing their map this year, and even the ranger station didn't have the new ones or old ones.

Rode up to Dollarhyde Pass after Fairfield

Dropped into Ketchum for gas. Since my dirty bike doesn't leave a trail of hunnert dollar bills wherever I go, I got the "Not welcome here" vibe. So I bought my gas and found the fastest road out.

To up here

Looking west at the Sun Valley Ski slopes

Getting into some of that Idaho scenery

Speed limit, yeah that'll happen.

The only thing keeping me south of 55mph on this kind of road are the views and stopping every few minutes to take pictures of them

Twin looking mountains

On the way to Antelope Pass, there was a hand written note taped to the road sign that said "Impassable Washout Ahead No Turn Around"
I should have taken a picture of it, but I didn't. And when I got to the washout, it was so insignificant for a dirt bike that I didn't slow down, let alone think to take a picture. I probably would have dropped to 1st gear and driven through in my truck, but I guess it was a bigger deal to somebody.

Mountain Goat on top of Antelope Pass

Whip out the binoculars

The road south to the washout, I hope I make it.

And at the south end, after Bear Creek Pass.

The road East to Arco

The Arco Sub, with the Lost River Motel on the left, and Pickle's Place on the right.

I only took that one picture of Arco, but a lot happened there. Bought oil at Lost River Honda that evening, went back there to change it in the morning. Pickle's Place Atomic Burger really is good. Not sure if it was the best of the best burgers of my trip, but the onion rings put it over the top. Got a great omelet there the next morning too.

Stayed at the motel, something that doesn't happen often with me, but it was well worth it. When the guy said $40 for the night I didn't even have to think about it. Shower, bed, iced beer in the sink, hunting shows on the Versus channel, walking distance to breakfast.

Also in Arco was my decision to head north, rather than go to the start of the Tour of Idaho and do the whole thing. Most factors pushed me to do what I did. I was in this ride for the views and the fun riding. I could barely see Big Southern Butte outside of town with all of the smoke and riding three extra days in mostly hot desert did not sound like fun. With the bike shop in Arco, I didn't need to go to Pocatello to change my oil. I now know that the extra 500+ miles would have put me getting home on Sunday instead of Thursday, and my tires would have been over the edge and halfway to rock bottom. I would have bought new ones in Pocatello I suppose. Arco to Challis is described as the Tour Highlight, and I wanted to do it now.
When I have this many excuses to take the easy road, ignoring them is usually a disaster.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Idaho home of the fiesta bowl champ BSU bronco's
Oddometer: 1,445
Looking forward to how you enjoyed my state.

Being raised in Medford, OR., I know your part of the country. Looking forward to the rest of your ride. I have done the exact same route on a KTM 950. May do most of it Labor Day weekend on a GSA.
"Do today what other's won't, so you can do tomorrow what other's can't." Jody Sears-West Point
It is not enough to want to make the effort. Its in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals."
Just tell her my wife said it's OK-Handy
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
OrangeYZ OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Oregon
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Finally on the Tour of Idaho. TID Day 3, my day 5, my TID day 1.

Big Smokey Butte from Arco

Rode partway up the trail to the Natural Arch, then figured out it might be a hiking trail and turned around.

Beverland Pass

I was at a motorcycle store two hours ago, and I knew I forgot something!

One of those Idaho dirt roads. This one leads to Pass Creek

Pass Creek Canyon

Pass Creek Pass

At least it's not going to be hot desert up here

Martin says that Tour Day Three is the highlight of the ride, and that's no lie!

One of the roads to the Massacre Mountain Loop, which is actually named the Swager or Swauger Lakes Trail, depending on which sign or map you read.

I followed ATV trails up the hill, but I may have messed up riding Martin's route, green being the right path and red being what I think I did.

Got me here, so I can't complain.

Copper Lake, and the trail to the previous pictures.

At the top, the trail kind of split, and without putting any thought into it I went left. And got here

Guess I'm on the right trail now.

Doesn't look so tough from down here

The Massacre Mountain loop might be one of the coolest things I've ever seen from a dirt bike.

And all of the things I can think of that could challenge it are also in Idaho. Weird...

Headed north out of the Massacre Mountain area, had a little trouble finding the road but got it eventually.

18 Billion rocks big enough to pinch my tire

Zero rocks big enough to set my bike on.

But I suppose I'll think of something

Good of an opportunity as any to take a picture of my tools for the ADV ride report that I skipped on so many other rides, but had to write up for this one.

Better picture of tools from today

Front and rear tubes, if I had known I would only have one flat, I would have only brought the one tube. But you never know that, and 500 miles from the truck (straight line) it's probably best to be a little more prepared.
6, 8, 10 and 12mm sockets and ratchet drive and extension
Two short tire spoons, pump, patch kits, pressure gauge
KTM wrench that came with the bike, 8, 10, 12 and 13mm wrenches, Swiss Army Allen wrench
The container by the zipties is full of spare screws
Travel size chain lube, and WD40 for the tire changes.
Thing of JB Weld putty. I don't know if this stuff works as well as the regular epoxy stuff, but I do know that it doesn't break open and coat all of my other tools with it.
Quart of oil, Bag with three pre-oiled air filters and a few sets of rubber gloves for changing them.

Didn't bring the tin snips, or the chainsaw blade sharpener. The chainsaw chain might have been handy later, but I didn't have that either.

It is a good thing I brought that front tube, because for the first time in my life I managed to wrap the damn thing around the rimlock when I put it in and got the highest concentration of pinches I have even seen when I tried to inflate it.
New tube fixed everything and I was on my way to Horseheaven Pass.

Got this picture of what I thought was Horseheaven Pass

But I'm pretty sure that this was the real deal

I wish I had taken the side trip to the headwaters of the Pahsimeroi River, but at the time I thought I might manage to stay on the Tour schedule. When I got to Dry Gulch Road I knew that wouldn't happen, but it was too late to go back.

Doublesprings Pass

Scarp at Thousand Springs Valley

One of these might be Mt Borah, but it really blends in with the rest, and when you're standing at 7,000 feet, a 12,000 foot peak doesn't stand out like Hood or Rainier

Found my way up through Arentson Gulch

At this point I was getting hungry, and since Railroad Ridge was something I would want to spend some time at, I decided to take the quick road to Sawmill Station and camp in the neighborhood around there.

Also at this point I missed the Mosquito Gulch challenge point. I've been wanting to do this ride since 2010, thus the 2010 route is what's marked in the Idaho Benchmark Atlas I'd been using to navigate from Arentson to Sawmill. I have the 2012 V1 maps printed out, and the 2012 V2 directions printed, both of which had Mosquito Gulch as the route, and neither of which I was looking at.

At the end, looking a little hammered after a few days of being wedged in my chest protector

Pic of Joe Jump Basin

And the East Fork Salmon River

Got the burger at Old Sawmill Station and it was good! Also bought a Mt Dew, a beer, some candybars and a 3L jug of water.

Camped out at the East Fork Recreation Area where the Salmon and East Fork Salmon Rivers meet.

Next morning (Day 6) I was on the way back south on East Fork Road to the Little Boulder Creek Trail.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
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Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Idaho home of the fiesta bowl champ BSU bronco's
Oddometer: 1,445
Great pics

"Do today what other's won't, so you can do tomorrow what other's can't." Jody Sears-West Point
It is not enough to want to make the effort. Its in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals."
Just tell her my wife said it's OK-Handy
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:34 AM   #7
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Location: Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
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Nice pics and report!
The Trinity fire has gotten huge, almost to Featherville.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
OrangeYZ OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Oregon
Oddometer: 635
At the camp I had studied all of the maps and saw the discrepancies I had, so I made sure to follow the newer and more fun sounding route.

Not bad...

Now we're talking!

Naturally I take pictures of the easy parts because the hard parts are too much fun to stop

I live in Oregon (the beaver state), by a creek, went to Oregon State (the beaver school) University, and I have never managed to see a beaver dam until this trail!

Glad I took the extra day to do this section

Cool bridge, but I don't have enough friends here with rope to get my upside-down bike out of the creek

So I ride the creek crossing

Saw some horses from up on the hill

"I want to see mountains again Gandalf!"

Frog Lake

Trail down the other side of Red Ridge

Livingston Mill, which I would like to have looked around but it's private property

More Goats at the top of Railroad Ridge

Chinese Wall and Crater Lake

Idaho is a great place, but I think Oregon Crater Lake wins this one

Alone on top for about ten minutes

Then another group of dirt bikers came up. They were on a trip from Clayton to Mountain Home by trails. They had one flat tire already, and repaired another while they were there. Then some guys on BMWs showed up. They were on some multi-day rally in the area. The dirt bike guys had come up French Creek Trail, and said the big bike guys should have no problem making it down, but after riding it myself, I hope they didn't try.

Lunch: another burger at Sawmill Station

On the way up to Buster Lake, there was a muddy spot. Picture of the aftermath

Hmm, sure seemed messy when I was there

Thought this was Buster Lake

But this one had a sign

Road on the way out

Went up the Keystone Mine Road to the Lombard ATV trail

Coming into Challis

In Challis I heard that the Halstead Fire had shut down Hwy 21 past Stanley, and while I was there the smoke went from "Can see town from the ATV trail three miles away," to "Can't see across town"

According to the map there should be mountains there

Found them

I wanted to go to Twin Peaks Lookout, but with the smoke being this bad in the valley I figured it would be a waste of time to go up there looking for a view.

So I missed the Darling Creek Road turnoff and fooled around in these hills looking for the route. Ripped up a hill to look around and found the road I want across this valley.

Looking East

Came to this and figured I was on the right path

Came to this and wasn't sure which path to take.

Right was East and looked like a nicer forest, so I went there.

Wait, what's wrong with these trees?

This is no forest, it's a tomb!

Run through the tree graveyard to this road, which dead ended in those trees

Back to take the left instead, which took me up the hill, around another hill, down the last hill and to the intersection I was looking for.

What in the heck is this guy making?


Getting into some clearish skies

Summit, real trees and a clear sky. Yes!

McDonald Flat campsite

End of day...Shit, starting to lose track...
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Nice pics and report!
The Trinity fire has gotten huge, almost to Featherville.
Supposed to reach Featherville tonight or tomorrow. I was thinking about going for a ride tomorrow to check things out.
Originally Posted by Cigar Mike :With plastic buy two.
'93 XR650L A few stock parts left...
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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Location: NP, ID
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Nice report! Did you know your first campsite in Idaho was the Big Nasty Hillclimb? They usually have a sign there. I live just a few miles to the south of there.

Explain to me again why enjoying life when I retire is more important than enjoying life now?
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:20 PM   #11
OrangeYZ OP
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Location: Southern Oregon
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Originally Posted by trailrider383 View Post
Nice report! Did you know your first campsite in Idaho was the Big Nasty Hillclimb? They usually have a sign there. I live just a few miles to the south of there.

Ha! I even saw the sign for the event when I pulled in there, but I forgot about it.
In the morning I couldn't really recognize a hillclimb path, and it definitely didn't look like there would be enough parking space for a big event because the other side of the road looked like a crop, so I figured it was further down the road.

Camped right at the end of the main ravine by the road
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #12
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Great pictures and ride report! Brings back memories of places I have been and rode.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:44 PM   #13
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Great pictures, waiting for the next installment.
2006 KLR 650

Visit Kneetopia
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:07 AM   #14
OrangeYZ OP
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Originally Posted by Snirt-MT View Post
Great pictures, waiting for the next installment.
Loading to Photobucket is what's killing me here!
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #15
OrangeYZ OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Oregon
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After a bit of map study and seeing some signs, I decided that the Bighorn Crags, Yellowjacket Mountains and Tincup Mine might be worth checking out in the morning. With more than enough fuel to get to Northfork and all the time in the world it should have been an easy trip, and I was far enough North of the Halstead fire that the views should be good.

Got up to the last ridge road to the Bighorn Crags and it looked like I hadn't gotten away from the smoke after all

Weird looking smoke, but whatever, I guess I'll head back.

I made it about a mile back to the four-way intersection when the sky started coming apart. That was no smoke, it was a thunderstorm! The wind was blowing gravel clouds around, giant pine trees bending over, lightning striking all around me and rain mixed with hail coming down.

I set a land speed record getting off of that mountain to this old cabin on the main road and hung out for about 30 minutes waiting for the lightning to calm down.

Most of the thunder was coming from the North

One order of blue skies, on the way

Panther Creek Road


This must have blown down in that storm, and this guy had most of it sawed through when I got there. I helped him with the rest to make a big enough spot to get his truck through.

Salmon River I believe, could have still been on Panther Creek.

The Mustang Fire had Horse Creek Road closed. Martin says there's a route around without hitting the highway, but I couldn't tell if the trails I saw on the map were motorcycle or hiking only, so I hit the highway.

Hwy 93 North to Conner Cutoff Road and the Nez Perce Road. I should have gone around Painted Rocks Reservoir, but I was excited about the Magruder Road.

Nez Perce Pass, where I saw the sweet trail I could have ridden if I had taken the Painted Rocks route.

I went up to the Hell's Half Acre Lookout, talked to the guy running it for about two hours, and somehow didn't take a single picture of the road, lookout, view or anything until Observation Point 20 miles later.


Fire Weed

And my camp a few miles from the West end on the Magruder Road

1500 miles on the rear

About 2600 on the front

At this time I thought I only had 500 miles left, and figured "Well, they'll be smoked but I'll live."

Begin Day 8 with an ATV trail

And some bushes

Bottom of the hill before hitting some dirt roads back to the top of the hill

Not sure why Martin routed the TID off of Divide Trail and back up to it later on, rather than just staying on it the whole time.

Back on the Divide Trail




Wooden trail to a view

Having a hard time getting these tower pictures vertical, but trust me, the hills were steep but not that steep

Regular Trail

Must be in the right place

Bridge over the Selway River

I didn't do the East Boyd Trail, because it was Saturday and the place was full of hikers and horses. And I was getting hungry enough that either of those would have been tempting.
Made it to Lowell for burger, gas and water.

And then things started to go wrong.
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