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Old 08-19-2013, 12:06 PM   #1
Moxy OP
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Turning the cannon 'round: Boulder, CO to BC on the CDT

Intro:
First of all I'd like to give a HUGE thanks to Cannonshot for his gps tracks on the Continental Divide, they really allowed us to do this section of trail with ease, and were a great tool. Thanks so much!!!!! We were so inspired by his original post that we just had to do it ourselves.

The players:

Eric the Red - Eric and I first met getting our comp sci degrees, and became fast friends. He is the one who talked me in to getting my first (functional) motorcycle, my WRR, in the first place about a year ago to go on the TAT with him, and he has been great in teaching me all I need to know about motorcycles. He currently works as a web app programmer, has been racing super moto (which is what got him started on bikes) and has a great wife who is currently learning to ride on a TTR to go on our next trip with us!


Crispy Adam - Eric's little brother, Adam earned his nickname working as a welder for the last year or so. Currently Adam is getting ready to move to Cleveland, having quit welding and gotten a job at the Cleveland Art Museum to put his true passion to good use. Congrats to him! Adam got into motorcycles riding his old KLR around France when he was studying abroad and got his XR650L by trading in his SV650 right after I got my WRR, having been convinced to go on the TAT with us.


Yours truly - As mentioned I met these guys getting my comp sci degree, and right now am employed as a firmware programmer. I have always wanted a bike but spent too much time and money in school, but having gotten out I decided to take the plunge. My first bike was a '69 BSA which I figured I could put back together quickly. I was wrong (still working on it) and in the meantime was convinced by Eric to get a WRR for the TAT last year. That was a blast and got me hooked. I was the slowest one of our group on that trip having been literally the first trail I ever went on, so I have been practicing dirt of all types as much as possible since. Also I picked up a Street Tripe R.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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The Bikes:


Adam's XR650L - Nicknamed the Big Pig, she may not be the fastest bike on the trails but she has the engine of a tractor. Since last trip Adam has done some upgrades to it, including a BC headlight set, a new front fender (following the cardinal rule "you gotta look fast to go fast!"), a 14 tooth front sprocket to smooth out the power gaps, some big old bark busters, and some TKCs.

Eric's WRX - Eric bought the WRX fresh out of the factory with the intent of racing super moto as well as having a trails and adventure bike all in the same machine. In excellent fashion the bike has accomplished this, and Eric has in the mean time done some upgrades as well. Zeta bark busters, the rear fender eliminator kit, a 47 tooth rear sprocket, the open air box mods, and a FMF power programmer and Q4 exhaust. Now that he is getting better at racing he is upsizing to a new bike, but the WRX will remain around as a pure adventure beast.


Moxy's R - Knowing basically nothing, Eric steered me towards the WRR and I haven't regretted it for a second, the thing is bullet proof and all around awesome. Since I was learning about bikes from Eric I was also following his upgrades, the rear sprocket, open air mods, FMF programmer and pipe and I did a power bomb as well, on the bark busters and etc.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:02 PM   #3
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The Plan:

We were all hooked from last year's bout on the TAT and we have been talking about another trip since. We decided on the CDT for a few reasons, One, it goes right through Colorado near where we live, so it is easy ot hop on. Two, it has support like the gpx files of Cannonshot to make it easy for us to navigate. Three, it looked amazing. Of course time and money are always a consideration so we couldn't do the whole thing. We decided to go north....because...basically we thought it would not be as hot as south...in August...which because of job constraints is basically the only time we could go.

So with those wonderful, wonderful gpx files our route is mapped for us. Other than that all we needed was gear, a few extra clothes, some tools, some whiskey, and plenty gusto!!

Our plan is to leave just after noon on a Friday (the 9th) with Eric and I having worked during the morning in order to still get moneys for the day. Adam's last day at his welding job was that Thursday, so he was supposed to be getting ready. Our last trip took us longer than expected (probably because I was soooo slow) so we over planned a little, making the last day we could make it home the 20th.

We would be camping all along the way staying in hotels as little as possible, one because it's expensive, and two because we all love camping. Myself I used to go backpacking all the time, Eric used to as well, and Adam still does (oh to be young again).

We planned to meet up with the trail in Kremmling, CO on that first Friday, and go from there. Follow the trail the whole way up to Canada, and then turn around and highway it home in two days.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
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The Execution:

Day 1:

Knowing the plan I had spent my time well the week before, practicing some in the dirt on the previous weekend as well as getting all my gear packed, my oil changed, my tires on...etc. I went in to work as planned Friday morning, solved a few issues and peaced out at 11:30 I headed over to Eric's house with the intent to meet up and basically head straight out.

Little did I know disaster had struck. Eric and Adam had accomplished basically no packing yet as they both had to work on getting the pig working. Now that I am typing this, of course I can't bring to mind what exactly was wrong with it, but the point is we were off to a slow start.

So we ate some sandwiches and spent the afternoon getting them all packed and ready. 4 hours later we are ready to go and head out.

Except we have to stop by my house. I had forgotten my passport (needed to get into Canada...grumble grumble...) as well as a pair of long johns. Okay, my bad.

Our route to Kremmling takes us through Rocky Mountain National Park over Trailhead for those of you who know it, a beautiful drive. However it is slowed.

You can always tell people who don't get into the mountains much, as they are blown away by the site of Elk. These things are EVERYWHERE in the Colorado Rockies at least. Still the scenery wins out eventually and we have a great ride into Kremmling.

I notice something a bit off though. Before we get in to Kremmling my gas light comes on. That can't be right I think, my R should get better gas mileage than this! Stopping in Kremmling for gas Eric discovers his is on as well. Since the last time we have gone on any long distance routes we had both done the open air box mods, the programmers, and exhaust systems. This all had increased our power to the rear well from around 19 HP up to around 29 HP. But nobody had mentioned that 50% more power meant 50% less gas efficiency!

This became a big deal. We both had upgraded to 3 gallon tanks, but this still gave us about a ~150 mile range with the new mpg. We were also each carrying an extra 2 liters of gas. We hoped this would be enough. Again I will thank Cannonshot, specifically for including gas stops in his file. BIG help.

We stop in Kremmling for a quick burger, and head out to find a camp site on the trail. Our mission is successful as we find the last camp spot open in the closest site, well after dark, and we settle in for the night with a few sips of whiskey.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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Day 2

I wake up early (I am a coffee addict) and discover why there was only one spot left in our camping choice. It is right on the Colorado river and a perfect drop in for all sorts of rafters and fly fishermen. Lucky we got it! While I am waiting for Eric and Adam to get up and tell me where the stove is so I can make some &*@#ing coffee. I take some pictures of the camp site, watch the coal train rumble through, and try cold brewing coffee which is not satisfactory. Beautiful morning though!






Eventually Eric and Adam wake up, and after a quick talking to about the rules surrounding camping stoves and the common considerations that must be made for COFFEE, we brew up a few cups and all is well. We pack up and take off.

The trail coming out of the camp site is quick and fun, and we get to the top of the first hill and decide to take some pics to commemorate the accomplishment :)





We continue on down the trail when we run across some fellow ADVers!



We all exchange a few stories and laughs. They told me their names but I can't remember them, sorry guys hopefully you are reading and recognize yourselves! I am horrible with names. They warn us a water crossing is coming up that one of them dumped their bike in, not easy. Eric and Adam have never done a water crossing before, so it will be a fun first experience!

As I am the experienced one (a first) they let me go first. Success! I make it across and make it look easy in the process. I take some pics of them, hoping for the best, haha!



Eric makes it through in fine style, and here is Adam jumping in!



Halfway into the water the pig stalls, very luckily in the shallowest section of the water.



With a little luck and a lot of throttle, Adam gets her running again and completes the crossing.



Once we're all on the other side we take a look at piggy and figure out exactly why she stalled. The choke cable has fallen out of the carburetor. What, how could that happen!? We look at it and it is supposed to be threaded, but is not....like...at all. Not even recognizable as having had threads at one point. This leaves our heads being scratched and our ears listening to Adam's many expletives. What are we going to do about this? Well, Steamboat Springs is only a few miles away and it has a power sports shop, so we shove the cable back in and it stays enough o run, and we head in to town.

We eat a quick sandwich and hit up the Steamboat Power Sports. There guy behind the counter has us pull the pig around and he takes a look at it. Yep. No threads. They do not have the part in stock but they do have some other options. Like tape. Well props to their bandaging abilities because this solution worked flawlessly for the rest of the trip! Turns out they know their stuff and we are on our way!!! The combination of roads and dirt on the way north is fast and we are making great time. Mother nature sprinkles on us a bit but nothing to worry about, and we are on our way to the border.







Here we are at our first border crossing WOOHOO Wyoming here we come!





Goodbye colorful Colorado!



Coming in to Rawlins, Wyoming we stop for gas and ask about dinner. The gas station attendant recommends a place down the street called Buck's. We read on the gpx file that there is a camp ground super close so we figure we are good to go. Buck's turns out to be a great example of why American's get the reputation they do internationally. I'm not sure there is anything on the menu less than like, 50000 calories. Maybe a slight exaggeration here...but not much. I get the pork hoagie, Eric gets the bacon cheeseburger pizza, and Adam gets a burger with french fries on it, covered in gravy and 2 fried eggs. Adam actually finishes this! Neither Eric nor I are members of the clean plate club.

After dinner we start the bikes and discover something bad, Adam's BC headlight is not working. Dang. We carefully go looking for the camp ground and discover it is not in fact a camp ground, but a suburb. A rare slip up of the gpx. Dismayed, we get a room at the closest, cheapest hotel and prepare for the next day.

Moxy screwed with this post 08-19-2013 at 03:08 PM
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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Day 3

This day opened with us waking up, eating a laughably poor continental breakfast and getting into figuring out why the headlight had failed. After taking it apart it turned out that the connection to the bulb had shorted and melted the plastic around it. Hmmmm...what to do. Since BC uses a custom connector into the bulb Adam comes up with the idea of replacing the bulb and connection of his high beam with his low beam. Genius! Now his low beam needs a switch, but she rides! And we're on our way out of Rawlins!

The way out of Rawlins is a bit of open concrete, so Eric comes up with an idea, how about Adam goes in front and we try to draft off of the pig? This will work... Turns out you have to get pretty close to draft off a bike, even one as big as the XR (ha!). I stayed back and watched.



After that we hit some dirt. Fun right? Wrong. This section is all county roads and dusty and dry and long and flat. Fast? Definitely. Monotonous? Also Definitely.



Early in the afternoon we arrive at the small town of Atlantic City, an old mining town that has somehow survived all this time. I'm sure there is history here,sorry my report is not as in depth as the cannon ride. Anyways, we stopped by the Atlantic City Mercantile for a quick bite to eat. Pretty good! And well decorated, here is a moose on the wall with a cigarette hanging out of it's mouth.



The history in this town is tangible, it would be really cool to explore. Unfortunately we have miles to make and the day is hot, so we'd better get a move on. We start calculating how much gas we burned coming in on those fast county roads, and how far the next town is and we realize we're not going to make it. Even with our reserves. ARGH stupid increased performance!!! What if we wandered off the trail, how far is it then? We start asking the towns people. The closest gas station is still too far.... Luckily one of them recommends a man named Kaiser (spelling?) who lives across the street from the gunsmith in town, saying he might have gas and be willing to get us some. We go ask and success! We fill up a few gallons each, pay him a few bucks for his troubles, and we're on our way!!!

Going out of town is more interesting than coming in, that's for sure! Here is a glimpse of the mine that must have started Atlantic City in the first place. I LOVE old mines!!!



Although it is more interesting than coming in, the road out is still fast slab and county roads for quite a bit. We stop on a high ridge and take some scenic pics.

Here is Adam embodying the look I call "Mr. Dualsport". Notice the European jacket! Te he he.



And here is me giving my best hulk attempt hahaha.



Continuing on and on and on and on.....there are eventually trees! And green things!!! Man that is a relief from the dry, hot, dusty, tan middle of Wyoming. We stop in a town called Pinedale for gas, it seems like a really nice place! Even has a brewery right off main street! Living in front range Colorado we are all big micro-brew fans. Wind River Brewery it is called. Wish we had time to stop but we still have miles to make!

On the way out of town it is about dinner time and we see a restaurant marked on the gpx, it is called "The Place" and is one of the few restaurants Cannonshot felt like marking. We can't pass it up! We stop in and are immediately greeted by a man named Roger. He sees our gear, asks us about it and buys us a round of drinks. We sit down at the bar, order some food and chat with him. He seems like a regular there, and has had a few already so combined with his thick accent he is a bit hard to understand. However it turns out he used to race short track alongside some guy name Kenny Roberts. He asks us if we know who he is and of course we don't, although we all nod and say "for sure!". :) Turns out that is pretty impressive really!

(for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Roberts)

Talking with him is a lot of fun though, and the bartender is really nice too. Soon other patrons gather and we all chat about his or that. The current forest fires, fishing season, motorcycles, etc. Before long we have to get on the road and find a camp site. Just north of this place is a spot right along the green river, and before Union Pass which is our next step. Perfect! We take the spot and settle in for the night with a few more sips of whiskey.

Here's some pics around our campsite this night.






Moxy screwed with this post 09-25-2013 at 06:52 PM Reason: pic way too big
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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Hey all!

Sorry I kind of dropped the ball here, I got super busy with other stuff and kind of back burnered finishing this report off, hopefully it is not too late for my adoring fans!

Here is a recount of what I have been doing in my time!

Racing my friend on his 1200 BMW. (Notice my bad start, and his ridiculous reaction time..I don't think he had a start slower that something like .06 seconds the whole night)



Painting my new house! I bought my first house just before the trip (end of June) and have been swamped in fixing it up and making it my own since...ugh.



Fixing my radiator. I went dirt bike camping labor day weekend and did some single track that just killed my bike. I ended up scrunching my radiator, my fan got stuck and spun itself to death, my rear tube popped, and my goggles (which hold my prescription inserts) got all foggy from the rain and I had to ride down the hill with an over heating, flat tired bike and no ability to, you know, see stuff very well. Oh, I hit my ankle on a log too and spent the next few days limping around.



Brewing beer! My roommate and I keep the brew kettle pretty streamlined, we just finished off an experiement, a root beer flavored brown ale, turned out pretty good! And we have a pumpkin ale fermenting right now for the upcoming season!



Ummmm...taking care of my dog? Here he is making the most of the recent flooding along the front range of Colorado.




Anyways, I promise I'll do my best to finish this thing off, and in the manner it started.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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Day 4:

Today is Union pass! We had heard great things, and were excited to get going. Well....kind of anyways. The previous night we had finished off about 3/4 of a bottle of whiskey between us, and Eric and I had heads about two sizes too big for our skulls. None the less we were excited for the upcoming trail. We had gotten just a taste of it the previous day and it was a welcome change from the rest of Wyoming!

Unfortunately for me shortly after the ride I started to get uncomfortable. You see, I had been using a spray on sunscreen made by Neutrogena (100 SPF it claims, WOW!). For those of you who hadn't noticed, all of us are as paler than the moon on a clear night. Anyways this sunscreen had managed to get into my eyes and it appears that Neutrogena should re-brand this sunscreen as bear mace. Man did it sting! I tried to keep up on the trail with tears streaming down my face, barely able to keep my eyes open but it didn't work so good.

Here I am trying to wash my eyes out.



Washing out my eyes here helped, but I was still in a lot of pain. I guess this is a good sign that the sunscreen is so water resistant that you can't get rid of it no matter how hard you try??? I don't care, it hurt! We continued on, but I was counting the miles until we got to a sink with some soap. On the up side, here is some moose we saw. :)



As continued on we get out of the pass and start to see the south end of the Tetons! So gorgeous!



However it looks like rain is on the horizon. We hurry on, stopping for gas where I wash my eyes out for a good 30 minutes, man that feels better! Before heading in to the park we get to hit up some fun double track. More trails!!! Just what we had been looking for! We take in some pics with the mountains and then Eric attempts to keep up with me as I let loose a little.







We head towards the park and stop for lunch at some place that was a cafeteria/bar for some Teton tourist cabins. Don't remember the name. Their salad had ALOT of dressing on it is what I remember. As we come out of the restaurant the rain starts, and we head in to the park.



In the park there is a lot of stop and go traffic. They are working on the roads and it is single lane in several spots. We are on a mission too, we need to get into Idaho by the night, and we feel behind with the traffic. Unfortunately we don't take the time to stop by the lake for the iconic photo op, or in Jackson as we pass by. As we head towards the back of the park we hit more dirt and we start to notice it is dry. Like, really dry. And there has been a fire in recent years (coming from Colorado we are sensitive to this, poor forests). The dryness problem is exacerbated for me because of two issues, Eric has the GPS so he is in the lead and I want to go fast so I follow him closely. Here is a good example of my view.



There is a dam we stop by for some pics. Here is my first selfie.




Just past here is the border into Idaho, we made our goal!!! Here is our obligatory border crossing photo. You can tell we are excited.



We truck on into Idaho and hit slab. We go into a town called Ashton for gas. Ashton has a sign as you enter it that claims "Adventure starts here". Wrong Ashton!! But we are glad to be here none the less.

Here is proof of how dry it was this day. Dirt beard FTW!



We stop by a campsite on the north side of Ashton to bunker down for the night. It was a great site! I wish I could remember the name so you all wold go there, but I don't. None the less they had electricity to charge our GoPros, bear traps so we didn't have to hang out food in a tree, sand pits to set our tents on, and all next to a lazy wandering river that was just perfect. The campsite wardens even came by and got us some firewood and fresh apples for snacks. First class service! We go to sleep that night satisfied in all things and await the following day.


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Old 09-26-2013, 04:15 AM   #10
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If you think the big empty was boring, then don't come to the southwest. Better to stay snug to the front range.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:20 AM   #11
Moxy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
If you think the big empty was boring, then don't come to the southwest. Better to stay snug to the front range.

Really? That is dscouraging, we were thinking of finishing off the CDT next year by taking it from Colorado down to Mexico.

Where exactly are you speaking of?
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #12
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Warm River

A google search confirms that campsite in Idaho was called Warm River, in case anybody was interested. Highly recommend if you want some cushier camping (the fee if I recall was a little higher than usual but worth it for the amenities, if that's what you're after.)

Adam
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:48 AM   #13
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:56 PM   #14
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Day 5

In keeping with the theme of goal setting from the day before where we set our sights on Idaho, this day we aimed to set up camp in Montana. This was mostly me, I am the slave driver of the group. I think Eric and Adam tolerated my haste quite well, although they seemed slightly annoyed at times. I take this moment to point out though, that we ended up getting to our end goal in nearly exactly the amount of time allotted, and that both of them thought we would end up falling short. Just sayin.

This morning we encountered a major obstacle in our goal though. Eric's chain was dead. His rear wheel was all the way extended and still had PLENTY of travel. This was not good. We were in a situation where we could either risk it going forward and wait for our next meetup with a large town in Butte or Helena, or go south some 50 miles into Driggs.

So what do we do? We decide that it is worth it to take care of this now instead of stranding ourselves later. We wake up early, get packed in a reasonable amount of time, and head on out at full speed towards Driggs. Unfortunately for my pesky slave driving nature, we didn't get out of camp as soon as hoped, and Driggs was far away, and the mechanics shop was not where the GPS said it would be. It seems the motorcycle mechanic had moved from the south end of town to the middle of town and had already opened a shop up north, so we wandered around for awhile looking until we finally found him just east of downtown. Luckily he had a chain and time to get it taken care of right away, so we were on our way. We stopped for some quick lunch at O'Rourke's Bar and Grill which THANK GOD had coffee, which both satisfied my addiction and shut me up for 5 goddamn minutes which I'm sure pleased both Eric and Adam. Also they served food which was not necessarily beef and that was a welcome change from Wyoming haha!

So with our bellies full and our chains tightened we are on our way! We head back up all the way past Ashton and the campsite and back on to some trails. For the first little bit it is a great fun trail right next to a river, quite scenic.



However after a bit it turned into straight, loose double track. That was dry. And straight. And loose. And did I say it was dry? I was thanking Neutrogena for making an indestructible sunscreen this day for sure! Here are some pics of the straight, dry, looseness.




Also of note, notice in this picture here, how Adam has a GoPro on his helmet.



And how in this subsequent pic I took of Adam riding he is sans-GoPro as it were?



Yep, turns out he hit a tree branch and it got knocked off. What's more later on Adam crashed while he was the last one in line. Eric and I waited for a bit before he showed up and we discovered he was missing his camera. Adam went back and looked for it but he was gone for a few so Eric and I went to help. At the spot of his crash the GoPro was nowhere to be found of course, so we called it a loss and kept pushing on. This night I was looking closer at my camera pics and noticed this, that he had lost it much earlier than we though. Oh well.

As we got closer to Montana it started to get a bit less dry.



We stopped in a little touristy town for gas and directions, I think it was Island Park? Either way, we gassed up, got some directions from the locals and after being warned by them that we definitely needed all the gas we could carry, we were on our way. Not too far down the road and we're in Montana!!! WOOO!!! More obligatory border crossing pics for all!




As we cross into Montana I realize why they emphasized gas. Good thing we fueled up because, man, there is nothing out there. Here is a list of my first impressions of Montana.
-Empty
-Windy
-Cold
-Scenic
As we moved down from the pass the wind REALLY intensified, and so did the cold. We all bundled up in our coats, and continued on. On the plus side the scenery out here was great, this was about as far from society as one could get, a hundred miles in any direction to even get to a gas station. There were so many cool old log cabins out there that I wanted to stop and explore!!!! But alas, we needed to make time to get to a camping spot....maybe just a few quick pics.







And again, because of the wind, the dryness, and the fact that I couldn't keep my distance, I present to you the ultimate dirt beard!



Onward we go and eventually we spot civilization! Huzzah! The town of Lima is a welcome sight for sore eyes. Quick photo stop and we're on our way into town for gas and some food, along with me getting to wash the dirt our of my homegrown air filter.





We get into town and stop for gas, and pick up some chili, mac and cheese, and whiskey. A good night is ahead of us, we can tell already.

We head out of town and up the route, stopping at what Eric tells us is a good camp site. His keen instincts pay off, it is a glorious site indeed. Unfortunately we have no wood and the campground is bare. We start to scavenge and when we think we are doomed to a cold night the one other person in the camping ground shares some of his wood with us, along with a starter log! The kindness of strangers!! In talking with him and his wife it turns out that all that coldness and wind we felt earlier was in fact a huge rainstorm that had moved through north of us at the time, and right on top of him. Good thing we missed it, unfortunately it did not do much for the wildfires burning in western Montana at the time, which happened to turn the sky a nice shade of pink and make for some nice pictures as we settled in.






We cook our chili mac, drink some high class drinks, and rest up for a long day ahead tomorrow.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:58 PM   #15
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Day 6

We wake up after a nice restful sleep in the cradle of the Montana wilderness and it is a gorgeous day. As usual I am first out of the tents but Eric and Adam are starting to catch up to me. No stopping for breakfast this morning, we get on the road as quick as possible and enjoy a brisk morning and some gorgeous mountain scenery!




A bit further and we come up next to the Montana/Idaho border, although we don't cross it, we take some pics anyways to commemorate the near-cross.





As we continue on the roads open up a bit into more typical county roads. There are a lot of cows, and even more...well...not much.




As we get out to asphalt we look around for a restaurant that is supposed to be there. We don't find much so we eat a quick snack and press on. Have I had my coffee yet you ask? Why no, no I haven't. I would be starting to get a bit grumpy if the riding today wasn't so much fun.



A bit more dirt, a lot more asphalt, and we finally pull in to a place for lunch. I don't remember the name of the place. We pulled up and sat down, nice big place with all the brands from the local valley on display. The waitress explains to us that they just hosted a big wedding and were out of a bit of stuff until the next truck came through. YOU DO HAVE COFFEE, RIGHT!!!???? Yes, yes they did. The raging beast calms down. Actually they still had plenty enough to make us a nice set of meals. I think I had an omelette. After leaving we had some REALLY fun riding on the concrete. Twists and turns and steep up and downs made for a memorable experience, and I was pushing myself to keep up with the super-moto racing Eric. I want to go there again!!!




We pull in to Wise River and gas up, no more concrete fun...so it's back to he trails for us! After tooling around on some jeep trails looking for the correct route we come across the ATV trails leading up to what would become our (especially my) DOOM. DUH DUH DUH.

I started out rocking the trail, pulling ahead and LOVING it. Then we come up to fleecer hill, and things don't go so well. This video will explain it better than my words ever could.



For those who don't know Fleecer hill is a uphill climb, nearly a mile long in total (GPS said .9 miles) and at a constant ~30-40 degree angle. Along it's entirety, at least the portion we saw, there is basically nowhere to stop. You may be able to tell by my tone, that we did not make it. Personally I attempted (and failed) this climb more than a dozen times that afternoon. I ended up breaking some of the pieces attaching my bags to my racks, and dented up the stuff in those bags. Adam's forks bent a bit, broke his rear view, and busted his headlight again. Eric's bike was relatively unharmed. After about 2 hours of trying we admitted defeat, and gave up. Defeated, we slabbed it in to Butte and to make it all feel better we stayed at the "Historic Finlen Hotel".



For those of you who don't know, Butte is a town whose economy is largely based off of a huge open pit copper mine, which has produced millions of dollars worth of copper and been in operation for decades. Sadly, with international shipping and third world exploitation of minerals being the way of the future, local mineral production is a dying trade, and Butte is a dying town. The signs of this were very evident all around. Stuff was not in good shape anywhere.
None the less it was an enjoyable stop. Down the street from the hotel is a nice BBQ restaurant, Sparky's I think it was called. We had a delicious meal and a few beers, go back to the hotel bar for a final drink and discuss the plan going forward. We did not plan to stay in a hotel here, and we had planned on making it further, plus without a headlight driving is dangerous for Adam. We decide to wake up at the crack of dawn and find parts to fix Adam's headlight at least, as well as me finding a more permanent solution for keeping my bags on the rack. After that we make sure to emphasize the need for speed to the border!

With the tracks laid out, we crash in our beds, comfy and awaiting the long day ahead of us.
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