Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's a coming....

I came over Togwotee Pass today on the way back to Jackson from a work trip out and saw this field of coolness.  The sea of red will be a sea of white in two months and sleds will be leaving tracks.  Hell yes!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer is winding down

 But we are making the most of it! Had an awesome weekend here in Jackson, just hanging out and enjoying where we live.
Of course that means a little river time. Watching the sun go down over the water.

 Taking the boat out just as the sun sets, doesn't get much better.

And the last free summer concert was last night, I think the whole town may have been in attendance...jumping for joy seeing Robert Randolph at Snow King!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Idaho, You Win!

Last of the Tour of Idaho shots.  Some notions I took away from the 8 days of moto from Utah to Canada all through Idaho....
1. Idaho is rugged, gnarly, remote, awesome, and full of adventure
2.  I am a proud native son of the great State of Idaho
3.   We may have won the battle, but Idaho won the war!
4.  You don't have to spend a ton of money on an overseas trip to some far flung location to have a wild experience, it's literally right on your back yard.
5.  We will be back next summer to do it all again!

With the big miles everyday, we opted to ship oil, filters, and cleaning supplies to Shoup and did some bike maintenance half way through.  

 Early morning sunrise on Iron Mountain Road, near Elk City, ID.

 Sunrise, Selway River.  Our route the middle of our trip took us along, over, and through three of the most hallowed whitewater rivers on the planet.  The Salmon, Lochsa and Selway Rivers.

 Gas in lil ol Lowell is not cheap.

 Shots are a bit out of order, but here is Stevo, at the Canadian Border, Day #8.  Damn right!  2,000 miles later.

 Me, Day #7, crossing Kelly Creek.

 Toward the very end of Day #7, which was the same distance as from Los Angeles to San Francisco, although we did it all on dirt, we were treated to the Ol Milwaukee railroad line that has now been torn out and turned into a multi use trail.  Yep, Stevo, no headlight, heading into the dark.

 Me, emerging out of the tunnel, stoked knowing that Wallace, ID was just a short bit away.  

Contrary to popular belief, you can be on a moto and still see a ton of wildlife.  We saw....
-Big Horn Sheep

Steve, crushing it on the last day on the Independence Creek singletrack.  I grew up fishing here as a kid, it was sweet to get back up to "home" and run the amazing singletrack up there and know Canada was well within our grasp.
 Charging the upper reaches of Independence Creek.  The beauty of the TOI was certainly the variance in the terrain  throughout the trip.  We rode amazing singletrack, buffed forest service roads, sand, US highways, cow trails, and just about everything in between.

 Of all the things we saw along the route, this was probably the weirdest!  First ones on the scene of a plane crash near Priest Lake.  Nobody was hurt.

 What were once brand new tires 2,000 miles ago in Utah were now slicks by the time we had Canadian soil under the bikes!

Canada, eh....Hell, fing yea! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I challenge you to find a place.....

Where fall happens in the lower 48 sooner than Jackson!  Shot I took today on the bike commute home from work.  Yep, August 23rd and fall is literally in the air!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More TOI Goodness

 The TOI continues on.  Looking back at all the epic shots has me already nostalgic for this years trip and completely stoked for next years.  

Stevo, on top of Railroad Ridge, posing like the badass he is!  Have a look at Steve's fuel tank and the mass above it!  He fashioned a spyder net system to keep all his gear in tow.   Believe it or not, some bagels in the net traveled 2,000 miles and had zero mold on them by the time we got to Canada!

One can only wonder what the top of Railroad Ridge would look like in a big snow year in August!
I couldn't help myself!  I heart snow, no matter the time of the year, so, I had to get myself on it.  Got me thinking about riding sleds and skiing.
Maybe one of my favorite shots of the trip!  Drew, descending French Creek down to the Sawmill Resort on the Salmon River, Day #3.  This was some sweet singletrack after the big climb up to RR.  
Loose Talus rock ain't no thang for the STD crew.  French Creek.  I experienced 5 Hour Energies for the first time on this massive trip.  Always skeptical and afraid of any type of energy booster that is sold by the register at any gas station, I quickly learned they were a godsend on the TOI.  The body and mind were so taxed and drained that a 5 Hour Energy toward the late afternoon perked you right up.  Note to self, dont drink two, if might make you do dumb things on the moto!
Stevo and Me, top of Twin Peaks lookout.
Day #4, Twin Peaks Lookout, near Challis, ID.  The TOI route burned out of Challis in a hurry en route up the highest road in Idaho, to the top of Twin Peaks and the fire lookout up there.  We got up there just as the sun had risen and were treated to this awesomeness!
 The fire lookout was manned and the folks that were watching it mentioned it was actually too smoky to see fires! This was all in the area of Stanley, ID which was and still is completely on fire!

 Drew, Darling Creek singletrack, closer to Shoup than to Challis.  Amazing area.

Classic TOI shot.  Chasing the setting sun, riding like wild bandits trying to get into civilization before it got dark, tired, stoked, and in a trance.

Panther Creek, near Shoup, ID.
Drew and Stevo were renegades with regards to the bikes they took on the TOI.  Most, like me, take Enduro bikes that have headlights, big fuel tank options and wider gear ratio's.  Nope, not Drew and Stevo.  They manned up and took motorcross bikes!  So, not only did they not have built in headlights, they also didn't have kickstands.  So, hence the lean and piss maneuver!

The long awaited Shoup store!  Shoup has one permanent resident, his name is Ben.  He is an awesome Dude.  If ever in Shoup, swing in, say hello, and be sure to take advantage of the $1 beers!  BTW, there is no Gas in Shoup, ID!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tour Of Idaho Part I..

Seems like I have taken my sweet time in getting the TOI shots up on the blog.  I think I am still trying to digest what almost certainly was one of the more amazing 8 days of my life.  The TOI as we learned is "the read deal" and an undertaking not to be taken lightly!  

Shot riding out to the Utah border from where we car camped with our shuttle on the way down.  Jenkins Hollow, UT/ID border.  
Start of the ride, UT/ID border, if only we knew what kind of  punishment and abuse we were about to endure the next 8 days the smile wouldn't have been so big!
 Oxford Ridge, Day #1.  It took us a while to settle into the moto groove and we moved too slowly the first day not really realizing the depth and magnitude of each day and the necessity of keeping moving to cover the insane mileage demands.  

Day #2, sunrise, Pocatello city limits!  We watched the sunrise and sunset for 8 days straight on our moto's!  We quickly figured out that we would need to be up early enough to get moving to see the sunrise each morning and we rode until sunset or after every night despite out best efforts to get into our desired towns with time to spare.  So much of the trip was an absolute effort.  It was super hot, super dusty, the bikes required ongoing maintenance, eating, drinking, route finding even with the GPS was difficult at best.  There just were not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that we felt like was necessary!  

Steve-O, our fearless navigator!  Steve was usually out front, with the GPS trying to figure out our desired route.  All the kudos in the world to Steve, he is the man!  55 years old and charging what was easily the most demanding physical grind I have ever done, day after day after day.  Those that have ridden moto understand, those that haven't, trust me, take whatever sport or activity you think is hard on the body and physically demanding, times it by 10 and then do it for 8 days straight.  Ugh....., I am sore just thinking about it!
 Day #3, pictures are a bit out of order.  Oops.  Anyhow, high point of the ride, at almost 11,000ft with all the high peaks of Idaho behind us, including Mt. Borah, the highest in Idaho.  This was in the middle of no where between Arco and Challis.  Day #3 was my favorite.  It was long.  We left Arco at 6:30 and pulled into our B and B in Challis at 9pm to a waiting home cooked meal, cold beers, laundry, shower, and a friendly B and B host.  

Day #2 between the Arbon Valley and American Falls, ID.  Boonies.  We didn't see much of anyone the first 6 days of the trip.
Day #1.  Sedgwich Peak, near Lava Hot Springs.  Still pretty green at this point!
Ahh yes, the sand day!  This was on Day #3 where we rode from Pocatello to Arco.  Now, something to remember, if you were to drive this in a car, I think its under 100 miles.  But, when you take the TOI route, its all on dirt, or sand, and it traverses multiple mountain ranges, deserts, etc.  So, as an example, this was a 250 mile day instead of 100 if you were riding on the blacktop.  Anyhow, it was 103 degrees when we pulled into American Falls and headed out to the  desert between there and Craters of the Moon National Monument.  Was probably close to 110 out on the sand.  We had a blast riding the fresh sand and ripping fatties.  Riding sand on a moto is really similar to riding pow on skis or on a sled.  It's amazing and you get a floating sensation.  
 Done with the sand after a few hours of brutal heat and northbound, almost to Arco, having braved the volcanic rocks of the Craters of the Moon.

Drew, with an amazing haircut that went well with the gas situation.  Gas was an issue.  SOme of the days it was over 250 miles between towns and gas fill ups.  My bike was ok as I added a big tank just for the ride, but Steveo and Drew had to go to other means to make sure they didnt run out of gas.  Drew used coffee bladders that he pirated from Starbucks and then triple wrapped them and threw them in his pack.  As soon as we burned enough fuel from our main tanks the guys would dump fuel in.   We actually never ran out the whole trip...........until..............., Steve-o ran out literally 4 miles from out shuttle pick up after we had made it to Canada! 
 Middle of no where, Idaho, just us, the bikes, and about a million important decisions to make!

 Another desolate valley all to ourselves.  At this point we were over 60 miles to the nearest paved road.  

Drew also had a fuel container up front that held 1.5 gallons.  Getting ready for the Massacre Mountain singletrack loop.  It was too gnarly of a trail to get my camera out much of anywhere.  Sorry!
 "The STD" crew, Day #3, again, middle of no where!

Picture 3 up-  Steve-O, manually crossing a super sketchy section of the Little Boulder Creek between the East Salmon River and Salmon, ID.  You really had to be pretty conservative with  your riding knowing how far from any sort of medical help you were pretty much the entirety of the trip.  

Picture 2 up- Never have I spent so much time in and around gas stations.  Gas stations were our friends.  They had water, they had gas, they had toilets, they had food.   It was amazing how our crew gathered a crowd when we pulled in.  Nobody wanted to talk to the Harley riders, but everyone was curious where we had been, where we were going, and if we were "crazy?"  We also ate a lot of gas station food because often times we would leave too early in the morning and not have enough time for a sit down breakfast and then get into town too late for a sit down dinner.  It was tough.  And, your body was being taxed like no other, burning probably close to 10,000 calories a day.  

Picture 1 up.  Railroad Ridge, high above the old mining ghost town of Livingston, ID.