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Old 09-22-2014, 03:48 PM   #1
ShadyRascal OP
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Location: the Root, Western Montana
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To Hells Canyon and Back

As our season winds down and the nights get cooler, it's time to sneak in one more Big Ride for us Bitterrooters. Bob, Marty, and I meet at the office to scan the maps, and soon a plan is born.

Lolo Motorway, then Hells Canyon, back up the Grande Ronde, then up the St Joe river. All good stuff, and all of us will see land we haven't been to in one place or another.

Enough talk, let's get to it.

Thursday mid-day we left Hamilton, and gassed up in Lolo



Up to the Lochsa Lodge where we bought some ice. Met ADV member Wansfel there, who was riding with a friend on a KLR. Wansfel is quite happy with his new-to-him KTM 690. Chatted for a bit then left out of the big cedars and up the Lolo Motorway.











Find the rider!











We made it up a ways, and set camp along the top of a ridge. Some folks who were there before us "paid it forward" and had left cut firewood, and a fire starter on the grill. We were pretty happy about all that, and wished we could have left something like that for the next folks.



Marty set us up with appetizers. We are spoiled.



Campo Relaxo



Night came soon enough, and even though we were at over 5000' elevation it didn't get too cold.



Next morning we were up and at 'em, with many miles of the 115 miles of dirt composing the Lolo Motorway in front of us.

View from camp in the morning was good, with a little less smoke than the day before.





I love roads that tunnel through thick forest















We come down to Highway 12 and on into Kooskia for a burger that would double as a brillo pad to remove rust from your chrome. After choking that down and still leaving a tip (felt we needed to do something nice after the pay it forward firewood) we headed down to Grangeville.
__________________
Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:16 PM   #2
ShadyRascal OP
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In Kooskia we hit a car wash, blew tons of dust, dirt, and grime off the bikes, and prepared the the next leg of our journey.

But Bob, I had a shower just last week!



In Grangeville we were just about to head south, when we saw all these old bikes at the gas station. We stop and see what's up.

It turns out we ran smack into the Pre-1937 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance run. This is a group that begins as 100 motorcycles, all 1937 and older, and for 14 days ride from coast to coast. All maintenance and repairs are to be done by riders only, not by chase vehicles. These guys are doing 250 to 300 miles per day on these antiques. I noticed all the bikes had roll charts on them, so apparently no GPS and they did it as a timed and scored event somehow.

They have a detailed website here:

http://www.motorcyclecannonball.com/

There were many different bikes at the station, some actual choppers, and a variety of riders. Many dressed in period-proper gear, it was great. There were bikes coming and going the whole time we were there, fueling up, dribbling oil all over, guys were sunburnt and wind whipped and smiling. I'll tell you one thing, going coast to coast on these bikes, you've heard of the stuff they make the jetliner black boxes out of ("Indestructible Material!") that's what these guys' balls are made of.

This is Norm Nelson, he filled us in on the event. He was running 2nd place at the time we talked, and in the end he turned in a perfect score to be a top finisher. Nice fellow, on a 1928 BMW.



1923 Harley with a rider from Ireland.



I helped this fellow from Poland lift his 1936 Harley onto its stand.



Over stunning Whitebird Hill and on towards Riggins, we saw many more of the antiques running, stopped on the side of the road, and on trailers. They were all quite friendly and we waved enthusiastically.



On towards Riggins.



We made it to Council ID, and were ready for a hot shower. Rented rooms at a motel that's scheduled to be torn down next month for a highway project. Ate pizza and relaxed after a long day.







We were on the bikes bright and early, heading for Hells Canyon.



Directly west of town for a while, we head for the big canyon.












And then we came to the main event.









I rode up to a little knob and saw this hilltop memorial, and it made me wonder what the story was.





Down we went



__________________
Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.

ShadyRascal screwed with this post 09-22-2014 at 04:37 PM
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #3
ShadyRascal OP
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In the bottom, there is an extremely nice campground owned by Idaho Power. Green grass, docks, bunch of campers there. We hung out and had a snack, then headed up the other side across by Oxbow dam and towards Joseph, OR.



I laughed.



Up the hill



The canyon from the west side.



Coming into Joseph is gorgeous.





Ate lunch here and it was spectacular. Turkey wrap, with dried cranberries, sweet nuts of some kind, huckleberry sauce, oh yeah.





The next leg took us north through Enterprise, and to Joseph Canyon carved by the Grande Ronde river. It is just stunning.





These canyon roads are all heavenly curves. Our tires got lots of use on the sides!





You can see Marty way down there.



Up Rattlesnake Pass, with its thousand beautiful curves, and on into Clarkston WA.





__________________
Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.

ShadyRascal screwed with this post 09-22-2014 at 04:40 PM
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:33 PM   #4
ShadyRascal OP
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We made our way to Plummer ID for the night, and in the morning rode to St Maries, and up the beautiful St Joe River over to St Regis MT. Lotta saints around there. The St Joe road is another classic like Lolo Pass ("Winding road next 99 miles"). Our whole trip was curves and hairpins. Fantastic.









After St Regis we beelined it home on I-90 and called it a day. Tired and all smiles. About 900 miles, many different environments, it was such a fantastic trip, Bob said "We could package this and sell it!"
__________________
Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.

ShadyRascal screwed with this post 09-22-2014 at 04:41 PM
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:57 PM   #5
bluestar
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Very nice.
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:33 PM   #6
81forest
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Great report, I visited Hells Canyon last month as well, minus the dirt. Lot of roads I need to go and explore, thanks for the pics.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:46 PM   #7
MOJO
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GReat trip!
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:52 PM   #8
selaznog
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Good stuff.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
Martymoose
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Great post Shady, I'm ready to lock the office up and turn and burn and go do that trip again,
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #10
Badjuju
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadyRascal View Post
In Grangeville we were just about to head south, when we saw all these old bikes at the gas station. We stop and see what's up.

It turns out we ran smack into the Pre-1937 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance run. This is a group that begins as 100 motorcycles, all 1937 and older, and for 14 days ride from coast to coast. All maintenance and repairs are to be done by riders only, not by chase vehicles. These guys are doing 250 to 300 miles per day on these antiques. I noticed all the bikes had roll charts on them, so apparently no GPS and they did it as a timed and scored event somehow.

They have a detailed website here:

http://www.motorcyclecannonball.com/

There were many different bikes at the station, some actual choppers, and a variety of riders. Many dressed in period-proper gear, it was great. There were bikes coming and going the whole time we were there, fueling up, dribbling oil all over, guys were sunburnt and wind whipped and smiling. I'll tell you one thing, going coast to coast on these bikes, you've heard of the stuff they make the jetliner black boxes out of ("Indestructible Material!") that's what these guys' balls are made of.

This is Norm Nelson, he filled us in on the event. He was running 2nd place at the time we talked, and in the end he turned in a perfect score to be a top finisher. Nice fellow, on a 1928 BMW.



1923 Harley with a rider from Ireland.



I helped this fellow from Poland lift his 1936 Harley onto its stand.

Just saw this on another MC forum. Stolen in Tacoma. Very sad.

"storage trailer full of cannonball run classic HDs stolen from hotel last night. Lost is a big gray trailer w/cannonball logo, a '19 J model, 2 JDs ('26, '28) ND A '31 VL. You'd have thought they would've secured their parking location better"
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badjuju View Post
Just saw this on another MC forum. Stolen in Tacoma. Very sad.

"storage trailer full of cannonball run classic HDs stolen from hotel last night. Lost is a big gray trailer w/cannonball logo, a '19 J model, 2 JDs ('26, '28) ND A '31 VL. You'd have thought they would've secured their parking location better"
Damn, that's terrible.
__________________
Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:05 PM   #12
WoodsTripper
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Very nice report - pics and write-up. Your route is a chunk of a larger bucket list ride I have in the works. Any chance you can share your tracks for me to compare?
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:36 PM   #13
ShadyRascal OP
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Originally Posted by WoodsTripper View Post
Very nice report - pics and write-up. Your route is a chunk of a larger bucket list ride I have in the works. Any chance you can share your tracks for me to compare?
Sure, I'll shoot you a PM.
__________________
Originally Posted by Javarilla

Evolution, or, natural selection, has nothing to do with better.

It merely weeds out what is no longer suitable for the given context.


Originally Posted by Dragoon

I would rather be on my motorcycle thinking about God than in church thinking about my motorcycle.
ShadyRascal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2014, 06:10 AM   #14
mattoid1
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Thanks for the report! I rode through Hell's Canyon in June. I stayed in Riggens the night before, nice area.
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Old 09-27-2014, 04:19 AM   #15
Ever Onward
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I HATE you guys !


Whatever youz do... dont "package and sell it" !!! Thats been done to far to many areas.

Now all I will think about is when I lived a dozen miles from Lolo all over again for like the next week ! THANKS !

Excellent ride report as allways, and never forget how lucky you are to have it in your "backyard". Ride one last spurt this fall to Jerry Johnson for me !
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