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Old 08-19-2012, 10:43 AM   #16
just passin' through
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Joined: May 2005
Location: Tumalo, Oregon
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go wrong!?!

My eyes are watering just looking at the smokey skies, still - spectacular country, great story and photos.
What's next? More action!
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:01 PM   #17
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Location: Southern Oregon
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"From Lowell go east on Highway 12 about 10 miles to Glade Creek. From here it is about 2 miles to Deadman Creek and Trail 16 that heads north to Van Camp."

For some reason I read that as "Go up Glade Creek Trail about 2 miles to Deadman Creek Trail."

Looking at the Clearwater NF map sort of confirmed that with that dotted line that kind of follows the highway from Glade Creek to Deadman Creek.

So I took off up Glade Creek Trail.

First problem

A hole that swallowed my front wheel and tried to pitch me off the hillside.

I took the tent off my bike and walked a few feet ahead on the trail to drop it and most of my gear in the shade.

It took about ten minutes of pulling and gassing it for thirty seconds mixed with sitting in the shade for two minutes, but I finally got through.

While sitting there breathing hard, I looked at the map some more, and realized that Glade Creek Trail 142 goes north to that road. The trail I saw go to Deadman Creek is actually the boundary for the Wild and Scenic River area!

Eff it. I can make this new route work, that's why I bought the USFS maps.

I get my stuff back together and continue up the trail to this

Can't go through the middle, looks too tough to go over on the left with a full 6 gallon tank

Might be able to get under on the right

So I take the tent and backpack off and give it a try. No good.

Well, Martin said bring a saw, so I brought a saw

This saw is incomplete.

What do you mean incomplete?

Incomplete. The opposite of Complete.

You were supposed to bring me a saw.

I've been carrying that saw for 1600 miles.


I am dirt bike not logging truck!

BUT YOU CAN STILL COUNT! It's easy, look at my hands, four saw segments, one log cut. Three saw segments, ZERO LOGS CUT!!!

What about this?

Oh so you are a log truck after all.

Well, I guess we'll see how this works

So with little energy and zero saws, I turn around and go back to the highway.

Apparently a saw pouch that is made to be carried vertically should not be strapped horizontal to motorcycle handlebars. Between this trip and my pre-run tank and gear test through Central Oregon I have narrowed the location of the missing segment to about 2700 miles of road, trail and highway.

The decision to go back was made a little easier knowing that this was waiting for me at the bottom.

Knowing that even if I get on the right trail, I still don't have a saw, I choose the 2010 alternate easy route marked in the Benchmark Map. West on Hwy 12 to Syringa, north on Smith Creek Road to the Lolo Motorway, East to Cayuse Junction, Northwest to Toboggan Ridge and Kelly Creek, and from that point the 2010 and 2012 routes are close enough to call the same.

View of the Clearwater River from Smith Creek Road

The camera can show that it's hot out, because I park in the shade and walk to take a picture.

After the past two days, 4600 feet is a lot less impressive.

Lolo Motorway following close to the Historic Nez Perce Route and Lewis and Clark's route.

Possible wolf sighting

Fire that looks like it would be in the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness Area

Yeah, it was dusty.

After ripping on this road and parking, I dismounted, removed my goggles and gloves, pissed in the road for about half a minute, took out my camera, and after all of that took this picture of dust still hanging in the air.

The Idaho Bridge Builders were here

View from my campsite on Blacklead Mountain

I picked the high elevation, clear spot for the meteor shower that was tonight, but after watching until an hour past sunset with nothing sighted, I went to bed. I guess they picked up around midnight.

Back on the road in the morning (Day 9)

This is where my camping habits were taking their toll. The timing was coming down to me hitting a town around noon, riding through the wilderness until it got dark, then waking up and riding more. But when I woke up, I was five hours of fast riding from breakfast, which was really lunch by the time I got there. Then there would be no towns the rest of that day, so this would be the fourth day in a row that I ate nothing but a burger around mid-day.

So when I got to FH50 and had a choice between go right and follow the route through a possible 3-4 hours to Wallace, or go left to slab it to Wallace for about 1.5 hours. My stomach won.

Road 456, the leftmost arrowset, is partly on the old Hiawatha Railroad Route. Below it is the old Milwaukee Route. On the way to Wallace I took the upper route on 456, through tunnels and over a couple of steel girder bridges.

Picture of the lower road from the upper

Got to Wallace, filled up on gas and had the worst burger of the trip at the City Limits Pub. Dry bun, dry meat, funny cheese, the water and Mt Dew were good though.

I head back south so I can hit the Stateline Road.

Picture of the upper road from the lower

The southern few miles of the lower route are open to ATV and motorcycle only.

I took FH50 almost back to the original intersection where I deviated, but then I saw Road 337 I think which cut off a lot of the pavement and took me almost to the same place on Stateline Road as 50 would have.

Camped at Silver Lake in Montana, a couple of miles from Stateline Road

Nobody for miles, and the lake was pretty warm and I had a bar of soap.

I probably should have stayed at a motel this night or the one before, but this was the next best thing.

"Why don't you just kill me?"

"Your punishment must be more severe. When we have reached Priest Lake, and you are in a truck, and I am in a hot shower with a cold beer, then you have my permission to die."

I only have Fifth Element on VHS tape, so yes, those screen shots came from sitting in front of the TV with the camera
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:26 PM   #18
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Location: Idaho home of the fiesta bowl champ BSU bronco's
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Nice write up

Great adventure.
"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 08-20-2012, 05:51 PM   #19
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Location: Southern Oregon
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Next morning I hit the Old Hiawatha Bicycle Route. This is the last tunnel before this road goes down to Road 326 in the valley and the bike route follows the old railroad through many tunnels and bridges around the valley and to the other side.

I was hoping to see all of the trestles from the valley road, but the trees got it the way and I only saw a couple.

326 went West to 456, and was back to Wallace in time for breakfast (finally) at the hotel restaurant on the west end of town. I think it was the Best Western.

In the woods Northwest of Wallace

One place I disagree with the directions a little:
"The GPS track will prove invaluable in keeping you on route through the maze of logging roads that criss-cross this area."

I just followed the signs and found the way through fine.

I hate to understate any part of the TID, but I've seen logging road mazes, and this was pretty tame.

Paved road

To a dirt road

To a view

To a trail!

I was hesitant to hit Independence Trail for a bit, but then I figured my tank was nice and light, and I was in the mood for some trails and this whole thing would be over soon.

OMG a creek crossing! I need a picture!

Another creek crossing, I guess I need a picture of this one since it's bigger.

The next seven creek crossings did not get the same reaction.

There were steeper sections, but I thought more about riding and less about pictures for them

This was the brushiest section though.

I wondered for a while how I got through that without any ticks, but at the bar in Priest River I found out that I hadn't.

Made it past the amusement park (which was packed to the gills on a Monday) and Athol to the Clagstone Road. Some other road took me to Road 2550, but then I found this sign

due to logging

Rather than find the northern end of the road by Priest River to get to Hoodoo Mountain, I gave up on that one an went to dinner and water. Tenth day and I was wearing down.

Got a burger, beer, beer to go and a gallon of water at the Kings Bar, and a couple of gallons of gas down the street. I didn't realize how far the end of the road really was from here, and I thought half a tank would be enough to get me to the end and back to Coeur d'Alene.


I took the dirt roads out of Priest River to the lake, and stayed at Priest Lake State Park, Indian Creek Unit. I don't like paying for camping, but when fatigue, laziness, "I don't give a damn," and "I want to drink the beer in my pack" combine, Compromise happens.
No pictures of the campsite, but you can imagine a gravel patch surrounded by travel trailers and boats, with signs that say "Don't camp on the grass." Having not brought a sleeping pad to save space, gravel is the one thing I avoided for camping on, but oh well, I slept.

On the road around 7 the next morning.

Last real intersection

Going thataway ->

Mountains and stuff

There is a gypsy camp just around that corner, and the end of the Tour of Idaho is just past them.

According to the guys who actually did it and went all the way, the gypsies had pretty much shit on everything while they lived there.

Saw Canada

And that's pretty much the end of me taking pictures on this trip.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:29 PM   #20
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For the trip back I kind of wanted to take the left turn at that intersection to Nordman and the West side of Priest Lake, but I had gone further than I planned on that light tank and Indian Creek had gas.

Glad I went to Indian Creek, because after getting my gas, breakfast candy bar and Mt Dew, I ran into the first people on the entire trip who had heard of the Tour of Idaho!

Pat from the Idaho Parks and Rec Department saw the tank and asked if I was riding the Tour of Idaho. He has been wanting to ride it for a while but was worried that his little 250 would get him murdered on the highway section around Athol. Not sure if it was a CRF or XR250, but I think he'd be fine either way. He said he has a son-in-law named Robert I think that finished it last year.

I hit the dirt roads back to Priest River and then the highways to Post Falls. Had a sandwich at KFC and met Mom with my truck somewhere around there. Washed about 1/2 a pound of dirt off at a hotel and had a shower beer.

Took the scenicish route home around CDA Lake, down Hwy 95 and to Hell's Canyon. Camped at Hell's Canyon on a sleeping pad and real pillow! Had steak and beer for dinner even!

Daily Mileages

Day 1 257, Crater Lake to a little past Prineville
Day 2 338, Prineville to around Fruitvale, ID
Day 3 176, Fruitvale through Boise to around Featherville
Day 4 183, Featherville to Fairfield to Ketchum to Arco
Oil change and air filter change morning of day 5
Day 5 167, Arco to Clayton
Day 6 147, Clayton to north of Challis by really scenic route
Day 7 239, Challis to about Elk City
Day 8 203, Elk City to middle of woods between Lowell and Wallace
Day 9 233, Woods to Wallace and back to woods south of Wallace
Day 10 226, Wallace to Priest River to Priest Lake
Day 11 177, Priest Lake to end of road back to Post Falls

Lowest was the Railroad Ridge day, highest was the get out of Oregon day.

I changed the air filter two more times, but can't remember which days.

Both tires are obviously smoked. Kind of saw that coming and I got new ones a month ago.

Clutch plates might be done too. Now it squeals on some takeoffs, and though it doesn't slip, it probably will soon. 5 years is probably a good run for a clutch on a 540 thumper.

Swingarm pivot bearing: done before I left! I noticed it clunking when I was oiling the chain for the last time, but I wasn't about to say "Suspension is clunky, can't go riding!"

The chainslider I put on two months ago is done. Apparently when you put on a years worth of riding in two weeks, these things happen.

I suppose I can use this as my KTM Reliability story. Pat (Honda guy) gave me some flack about making it further than walking distance from a truck on a KTM, but there I was after 2300 miles, with no problems except that one morning it actually took six kicks to get it started

Big thanks to Martin for putting the route together!

Not sure how I'll top this ride next year.
I'm kind of torn on whether I want to go hardcore and do the whole Tour of Idaho next year. I'm sure I can do it, but that doesn't mean anything until I actually do.
And if my friends can make it for an Idaho ride next year, they're not going to want to do a Baja pace torture ride when the other option is camper, cold beer and campfire with a week of day loops! Which doesn't actually sound that bad...

I'm sure I'll think of something
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:54 PM   #21
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That was one terrific ride report. Too bad it's over and I have to wait until next your for your next adventure.

Thanks for taking the time to share.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:04 PM   #22
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Great job!
I am glad to hear the bike ran so well for you, I'm hoping santa will replace my KTM with a new one!
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:16 PM   #23
Joined: Aug 2006
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I gotta hand it to you for making such a ride, especially by yourself. The report and pictures were awsome. Thanks for sharing your ride.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:59 PM   #24
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Fantastic report. Thanks.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:54 PM   #25
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Loved the report! Thanks for sharing and taking the time and effort.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:10 PM   #26
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Location: Southern Oregon
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I almost wasn't going to write up a report, but then the log and saw thing happened and I thought of the Fifth Element story. I figured between that and the mountain pictures I had to share
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:35 PM   #27
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Location: St. Louis MO
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Thumb Awesome!

Love the pictures and writing style. Fifth Element is one of my favorites too! You are making this Missouri boy drool with all that gorgeous scenery!
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:27 PM   #28
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NICE report and pix. I've wanted to ride Idaho for a LONG time. Now I REALLY want to ride there! Well done sir.
Time spent riding is not deducted from one's lifespan...
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:09 PM   #29
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Location: Oregon coast
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Laugh Heh

Originally Posted by OrangeYZ View Post
What do you mean incomplete?
What do you mean, there are no photos from the return trip?

Enjoyed your report and photos, thanks!
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:38 PM   #30
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Ha! I rode past that area last summer, they haven't done much to improve it I see. Great RR
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