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Author Topic: Chasing Trials  (Read 5610 times)

Offline trialsguy

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Chasing Trials
« on: December 05, 2016, 11:25:22 PM »
So I need to jump in here.  "Chasing Trials" is what I did on my Big Trip last summer.  The photos are about a thousand, the time was 3 weeks, the writeup is something that could be put off forever, 'cause I ain't got time.

Last weekend, we had a trials here in NM.  40's or so, sunny, great day.  But what applies here is a discussion of a 'down' that puckered me up   :bugey:  .  I was told that you couldn't hesitate, you had to keep going and "be committed".  I knew that being scared and hesitant can do you in, going with the flow can be really sweet (and not painful).  Besides, I'm on the verge of being committed anyway   :Hap1:

So I'm committing here, I got this thing started and have to go with the flow or risk mental pain having it hanging over my head.

So there.

Here's the idea.

My son was riding the National Trials in the Expert-Sportsman class, and the series was broken up into 2 sections (except for the Pro's, they did them all).  East and West.  So we had 2 trials in Tillamook, OR, followed by 2 in Canon City, CO. 

I figured I had a KLR-Trip deficiency, so why not?  Take the vacation and follow the crew. 

Along the way was a visit with my brother-in-law, who retired in Klamath Falls, OR, where I used to work for the Forest Service.  My old stompin' grounds.  Cool place.   :thumb:

I have to say, our club has super-dedicated people, some of whom can drive motor homes and trailers to the national events.  Those that can't, get their bikes hauled and can fly to the event and chip in for expenses.  So even though trials is an individual sport, we're a real team.

So I'd chase 'em. 

First obligatory photo, this is a "leaving-home" landmark, in the Hagan Basin very roughly between San Taffy and Albaturkey. 

This part of the trip goes quickly, as if I posted everything interesting to me, this'd be a loooooong post.  (PS, it's gonna be anyway).

So here's the next picture... Hagan Basin ends at the Hollywood Casino on I-40, then it's on I-40 a bit to the Old Road, then to Bernalillo then San Ysidro.  (You do have your map out, eh?) San Ysidro, Jemez Pueblo, through Jemez Springs and La Cueva, past Fenton Lake and over the mountain to Cuba.  Much better than the highway that skirts all the good stuff.

To Cuba, then on up... um... 550?  44?  Dunno, they've changed numbers.  It's the road NW to Farmington.  There's only one, so you can't get confused. Just short of Bloomfield is the BLM campground, Angel Peak.  Love to stop there, even though this time there was riff-raff in MY spot.  Oh well. 

Here's the road off the highway, headed to the campground on the dirt.  Pale rainbow, just a few little showers.

The peak.

Camp.  Glorious evening.  A few showers.  Brought a bag of firewood from home, as the place is a bit heavily used and is sparse on wood to start with.  Had a nice little fire.

Cool old juniper stump.  I'm guessing 300 years, minimum.

Speeding onward, leaving Angel Peak, through Aztec towards Durango.

Durango's an ok town, but onward, heading west.  Cool mountains, the San Juans.

Onward west, and just before the Utah line, I took a backroad north and then west.  Deserted.  Nice road.  Great weather too.

End of Part 1.

Offline bulleteer

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2016, 09:43:02 AM »
Nice!  :thumb:


Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials (Part 2)
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 09:15:15 PM »
Sooo, it's pretty much up the CO-UT state line.  I'd heard of a big mine in that area, and sure enough, I ran across it.  No picture of the mine (seen one pit, seen 'em all), but upstream was this impoundment... I think it was from a different diggings.  Anyway, the color was amazing.

Onward, to La Sal, then catch the main highway at La Sal Junction.

Hooked up with the main highway coming into Moab from the south.  Right after you hit the real redrock country, there's a nice rest area.  You can see some of the red cliffs beyond the trees, it's pretty dramatic.  The green grass and water were NICE, as it was getting pretty hot.  Neat contrast between the harsh rocks and the lush greenery... a real oasis.

This is where things started getting weird.  It just kept getting hotter and hotter as I dropped into Moab.  My little meat thermometer (works great, mounted on the fairing) said 102.  Through Moab north to Crescent Junction to catch I-70.  Even my helmet was complaining.

On I-70 for a bit, off at 6/191 to Price.  Hottern' hell.  I had to stop every 10 miles or so and soak down.  Even then, things felt sketchy.  I was glad I carry 5-6 jugs of water at such times.

Got off at Price, the intent being to head past town up the canyon a bit, then head NE towards Duschesne a ways, and camp out up on the pass, where Son Trev and I camped out once before.  Nice place, it'd be cooler.

But first, I had to provision-up.  Utah has weird liquor laws, and even for a good beer you have to go to the state-run store, and those have limited hours.  I asked at the QuickyMart where the store was, and the nice lady told me and said you better hurry as they're ready to close.  Yessir, KLR's can be fast, if you flog them hard enough.   :Hap1:

Made it, and they locked the door behind me.  Life is good.

So up the canyon, get off at Helper, named such as that's where the 'helper' engines were hooked to the trains to get up over Soldier Summit.  Then the trains zinged downhill to the Salt Lake Valley.

Up into the mountains, nice camp.

Next morning, a cold ride down the hill, back to Helper, then a cold ride up the canyon to Soldier Summit, then down to the Salt Lake Valley, Spanish Fork.

Wanting to get out of there asap, it was SW on back roads, I made my way clear when I reached Elberta.  A really cool old gas station there, in a nice little town.


This is kinda familiar territory, as I ended up in the Army in UT, then stayed on and went to school, drove a truck, and worked for the Forest Circus there.

Past Elberta, the goal was the Pony Express Trail.  I'd been on a bit of it before, but this time, I wanted to take it all the way west to Nevada.  Turned out that would be the most dirt road I'd see on the trip, and even that was a gravel superhighway.   :(

At the end of this long straight is where I'd catch the trail.

Onward... what's that?!  A strap in the road, could be useful.

Nope.  But I turned around, and here was this guy.

Got the picture before he slithered off..... onward on the Trail to Lookout Pass.  Kind of like the divide between the Salt Lake Valley and the West Desert.

Part 3?  Fire aftermath.

Offline hotshot

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2016, 12:19:23 PM »
That was some great pictures. Please keep them coming.
Pushing for 100,000 miles

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials (Part 3)
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2016, 10:23:13 PM »
Why "Fire Aftermath"?  Well, I came through there in 2013 (that long ago???  :scratcher: ) (,145.0.html) (scroll down just a little bit) on a NM-to-Bonneville trip, saw 5 fires along the way.  My eyes got real big and my ears perked up at every one, as that's what I did for the Forest Service way back when.  Well, the one at Lookout Pass I saw the lightning from a couple miles away, then saw the smoke coming up, then this......

So here's what it's like now.  Fires are part of the cycle, the trees weren't happy about it, but all the other stuff that now gets to come up thinks it's great. 

Onward along the Pony Express Trail.... entering the Basin and Range country.

Here's Simpson Spring Pony Express Station.... when I was in the Army just to the north, I'd never made it down there.  (Stupid me).  Now, 45 years later, I did it!  Would you like to live here in 1860?

Onward..... miles and miles of nothing but miles......

After a while, I saw a bunch of dust and commotion up ahead... a herd of wild horses!

Funny thing, this is a well-known wild horse place ( and there was a herd of people, about 20 head, taking pictures.  Lots of lawn chairs, as this looked like a regular watering hole (for the horses).

I was in the Army at Dugway Proving Grounds, and Dugway Pass was south of there.... finally made it, here's the view from the top, looking back east at the horse territory.

I'm glad I wasn't coming up the road when this was going on.....

Lots of nice historical signs in that country.  Cap'n Simpson.

Down the pass, on to Fish Springs, a Nat'l. Wildlife Refuge.  I guess there are a lot of waterfowl pass through there.  It's located in the left of the picture, immediately above those 3 trees, at the foot of those closer mountains, at the edge of the salt/mud flats.  Simpson Spring had a primitive campground but it was too early to stop, I knew Fish Springs would have one, and I was looking forward to that.

Man!  I love seeing the country like this.  The BIG picture.

Closer, Fish Springs is that teeny bunch of trees you might be able to make out at the foot of the mountains.

Getting to where the birds and other critters might like it (as opposed to the salt/mud flats).... some cool reeds.  Pretty close to the mountains.

So I get to Fish Springs, kinda tired, lots of nice big trees, buildings, ummmm.... where's the campground?  Check out the kiosk.... says there's camping on BLM lands all over the place. 


So it's onward, lots of BLM lands but no side roads.  Keep going and finally find one, goes down to the mud/salt flats.  The other topographic type is really sharp lava fragments.  No dirt.  Follow the road, come across a Trail marker.

Not a decent place to camp, sharp lava or salt/mud, or mud/salt..... 

Got desperate, bike on the rocks so it doesn't fall over, tent on the flats so it doesn't get cut up.

Did I mention the bugs?  In one place there were a zillion dragonflies zooming around.  A swarm like I've never seen.  In the Utah west desert?  That was really, really cool.

But at camp there were flies and skeeters, bigtime.  It was a quick tent setup, don't leave the door open, etc.  Hunker inside.  While setting up, I was enjoying a Mike's Hard Lemonade.... nice and refreshing.  Set it down, did a bunch of setup, went to take a big swig.... and there were about a dozen big flies in it.  P'tooey!

One view.  From inside.

Ok, so every RR needs some humor, right?  So here's the other end of the tent.   :Hap1:

That night, by flashlight, I saw the water in my (clear) bottle was cloudy.  Ain't right.  Fished out another.  Next morning, taking a big drink, I noticed there was tons of crap floating in the water.  Agh!  Both probably from the spigot at Simpson Springs.

Next morning, it was west the little bit out of Utah to Nevada.  Didn't look good.  There was serious stuff off to the south, didn't know if I'd get past in front of it or not.  Deep Creek Mountains ahead.  Followed the road signs instead of my Benchmark map and my instincts, not a big problem, but an extra 15 miles or so.  Still made it to Callao and turned north ahead of the storm.

Pretty warm, still on the dirt/gravel, and there are a few showers.  Given the looks of the storm coming that was coming that way, I was hoping I didn't get blasted and end up on a road that turned into absolute snot when wet. 

Just to make me feel better.....


The photos pretty much stop here.  As it turned out, I didn't hit any nasty roads, but the rain started falling and the temperature dropped.  Seriously.  Quickly.  Ended up blowing about 20 and raining pretty good.  So I'm in the nowheres of Nevada, not a shelter in sight, no overpasses, no porches, no abandoned buildings.....not even a culvert big enough to get into.   Nice warm clothes in the bags, but can ya get out of the rainsuit and put them on and put the rainsuit back on without getting soaked?  Nope.

So it's shiver and grit the teeth, finally make it to Wendover, and get a motel about noon.  Just to illustrate how bad this was.... a motel is my final, emergency, last resort, stay-alive shelter.  For one, I'm cheap, and I just don't find them pleasant.  (No offense to the folks that like 'em!   :thumb: ).

I was REALLY happy to be there!

After thawing out, and the rain stopped, I wandered down to a casino.  Much to my surprise, one had this big panel out front, devoted to Landspeed Racing, and that upper right picture is my buddy(s) Jon and Nancy Wennerberg, who own ( that I do the tech work on.  Great people, they've been my hosts for a few visits to Bonneville to see all the nutso stuff that goes on there.

Anyway, the next morning there was no choice but to get on the I-80 slab to Winnemucca.  Geared up, this time.  Showers off and on, sometimes heavy, but not for long.  Cleared up by Winnemucca, when it got glorious!  70 and sunny.

North from Winnemucca on 95 to 140, which would set me free into the NV/OR empty places.  Hit the great weather and the great places at the same time.   Empty?  Turning onto Rt. 140, here's the road and the sign.  If you can't make it out, the sign says "Next Gas 179 miles".  AAAAHHHH!

Lots of this country.....

Just after getting into Oregon is the Doherty hang glider launch.  It's a long west-facing escarpment, looks like pretty good flying to me.

This was all sorta up on a plateau.  The way down is through that notch.

Onward to 4.....

Offline Red_Baron

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 07:35:41 PM »
You sure got me thinking about going out west again.

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 09:31:00 PM »
You sure got me thinking about going out west again.

Well, I see the pictures of the little roads winding through the trees, and the waterfalls, and the little barbecue joints that seem to be everywhere.... and I'd sure like to ride back there.   :smiler:

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials (Part 4)
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 10:36:06 PM »
So it's across south-central Oregon, heading for my brother-in-law's at Klamath Falls.  I don't like to ride into the night, but there was a nice warm bed and good folks when I got there, so I pushed on. 

Partways across is the town/place of Adel.  Pretty cool.  Here's the store, which my brother-in-law said I HAD to stop at.  Well, I guess they didn't know I was coming, because it was closed.  I hear it's part store, restaurant, and museum, with a great attitude.

A couple links:

Onward, got dark, had a sketchy experience in a construction zone... some a**hole was tailgating really bad, and the pavement suddenly turned into a foot-deep pit of loose gravel.  Couldn't hit the brakes, just powered on through squirmilly ( :scratcher:). 

You wouldn't think it but that area has lots of water... a few lakes but mostly marshes.  Which breed mosquiters.  Had to stop 3 or 4 times to clean 'em off my faceshield.  Here's a rider's-eye view taken the next morning.

Made it to Klamath Falls..... great family.  Here's a view of Klamath Lake from the dining room.  Pretty rough life there.

Turned out there was a James McMurtry (incredible songwriter/singer) concert in Bend.... I'm not a concert person, but I really, really would have liked to zing up there and see him.  Just wasn't time, or decent weather.  But he was doing another in Rifle, CO, right on my way, and the timing looked good.

Stayed a couple great days, the best of in-laws, but had to head out if I was to make the Tillamook trials.  It was REALLY unseasonably rainy and cold, but.... whatever.  Just bundle up and head out.

Stopped on the way at a place called Algoma on the east side of the lake.  Lived there for a short time with my girlfriend and parents, in a "company house" above an old lumber mill.  Here's the only big structure left....

... and here's a historic photo.  See those houses on the hillside?  A few are still there.

Pushed on north, turned west over the hills, and the closer to the coast I got, the sunnier and warmer it got.  Go figger. 

I need to 1) take better notes and 2) do a RR sooner after the fact.  So here's a cool bridge over some river flowing to the sea, dunno where it is.  I think between Eugene and Florence.

Wouldn't it be .... unique.... to work here?

The ocean!  Quite a nice change from the dark grey wet rainy cold cr*p on the east side of the mountains, where it's spoze to be nice like this.

On up the coast, a sometimes painful ride.  Traffic.  Slow traffic.  Congested traffic. 

Just short of Tillamook, I saw this.  Take a good look.  See those little silo-looking things at the right end?  Those are big silos.  I figured it had to be an old blimp hanger, and sure enough it was, a wooden thing built in WWII to house anti-submarine blimps. 

Their web site:  It's almost 1/4 mile long, 200' high, and built of little pieces of wood.  Amazing!  Check out their site.

Made it to Tillamook! 

Got to camp in the sleeper part of my friend's rig, very good.  It was wet everywhere.  This is different country than Nuevo Mexico.  We don't see this kind of stuff.

The trails they have in that State Forest are amazing!  Lots and lots of miles of them.

However, the law enforcement was intense.  You can tell by this guy's face.  Ever seen a Cota 4RT in the back of a gummint truck?  I like Oregon.

A few trials photos....

Not real good traction here.

Just a couple more pictures of the cool country.  This stuff is pretty different to me.

Trials over, time to pack up.  Everybody pitches in, loads the rigs that are transporting stuff to Colorado.  Here's one prominent NM trials family loading up, I won't say what their name is.  Sometimes space is tight.


Couldn't help but do something with that photo.  Darn dog was crashed, right in the middle of the road.  Maybe just enjoying the heat from the sun and the road.  No animals were harmed in the shooting of this photo.  Really.

Left Tillamook, past Portland, on to eastern Oregon again, this time up the Columbia River.

To part 5 (of 143).

Offline SWKLR

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 08:54:05 AM »
Man, that looks like a wonderful trip... those photos from Oregon bring back lots of memories, I grew up just south of Eugene. I've done that road from Eugene to Florence more times than I can count, and have seen huge rafts of logs go under that very bridge! Never worked there, though.

And yeah, sometimes the weather will fool ya up there... more than once I left the Eugene area in miserable rainy fog, got to the coast and it was glorious. Also had my share of the other way around...  :gerg:

Good job on the write-up and pics! Now I'm itching to do a similar run. Looks like I might get forced into early retirement in January, so maybe it'll happen...

Well armored and filthy

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2016, 03:30:33 PM »
I like Oregon, all of it!  Planted trees a winter from Springfield, in the Oakridge area besides working around K. Falls.  It's cool that you know that bridge.    I'm retiring about March 1.....   :banana:

Offline SWKLR

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2016, 09:40:41 AM »
Well, hey, maybe we should start planning a ride! The NMBDR looks intriguing...  :think2:

And wow indeed... I lived in Springfield for a number of years, and if you've ever bought gas in Oakridge there's a good chance I was on the crew that installed the gas station fuel tanks. But I haven't spent much time in K-Falls... I think we did one (gas station tanks) job there, not even sure of that.

Well armored and filthy

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2016, 07:04:52 PM »
Well, hey, maybe we should start planning a ride! The NMBDR looks intriguing...  :think2:

And wow indeed... I lived in Springfield for a number of years, and if you've ever bought gas in Oakridge there's a good chance I was on the crew that installed the gas station fuel tanks. But I haven't spent much time in K-Falls... I think we did one (gas station tanks) job there, not even sure of that.


NMBDR? You bet.  Son Trev and I did a portion of the UTBDR, pretty neat.

Gas in Oakridge? Maybe the crummy driver bought some, I was trying to sleep in back (good luck with that).   :rollinglaugh:

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials (Part 5)
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2016, 07:58:18 PM »
Onward up the Columbia..... I guess this is Mt. Adams, at the time it was "Mt. ReallyCoolMountain", now I'm trying to put a name to it.  It's north of Hood River or thereabouts, if anybody can help me out.

On up the river.  I thought this was a really nice little place, in this alcove. 

Along the way... windmills.  I like these things, besides the good-energy aspects, they're gorgeous engineered, very efficient things plopped down in some very natural land.  I like the contrast.

A barge on the Columbia.  Looks like they go clear on up to Idaho.  Leaving the Columbia now, but we'll kinda see it again, the Columbia goes north, but the other half is the Snake, comes in from the east. 

About to leave the river.... I just thought these were cool hills.

On to the dryland of SE Washington.  Maybe this is considered the Palouse country.... if you go to WikiPedia, there are lots of different ideas about it.  I'll settle it here and now.  This IS the Palouse.  Dryland.... stuff..... I suppose some is wheat, some is dirt, dunno what the green stuff is. 

But I thought it was an amazing landscape.

Camped at the Lewis and Clark State Park, NE of Walla Walla.  Pretty nice, had some evangelists come in about three times, but they were nice folks.  We exchanged ideas respectfully.

Onward, another windmill.  Those blades make me think about sailplane wings.  I think they're about the same thing.

Up just short of Clarkston WA / Lewiston, ID.... long after the Columbia had branched off with the Snake River.  Barges go this far up, first the Columbia, then up the Snake.

Stopped in Clarkston at a great Honda shop.  I did something dumb, figured the chain was good for the trip.... nope.  Stretching bad, downward spiral, got a cheap chain for a replacement if worst came to worst.  Nobody had sprockets for to do it right.  No more will I "figger it's good enough to get by" on a trip.  Nope.  The rest of the trip had this sketchy "will it last?" cloud hanging over it.

Good place to stop here, as Part 6 goes into something really stoopider, and it deserves a part all of its own.     -laf   :rollinglaugh:   

Offline rarepartbuilder

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2016, 09:05:05 PM »
Bob... you are leading by example... if that gps  line ever heads north east ... shoot me an email and we make sure some rolling the throttle days simply happen  :smiler:
 got to say..i'm enjoying the read... umm umm ... December here slammed in like a lion... with mucho... less than desired weather ..even for the heated gear die hards  :ricky:..

If ya dont mind..i'd  like to dedicate this to your thread ...keep it coming

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials A short Part 6)
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 09:37:44 PM »
RarePartBuilder, I'd love to ride back there.  Ridden trials and street in the east, nothing in between.

The next installment?  Well, this is serious.  There's been a major recall on the KLR oil cap.  Have you heard about it?  I got mine replaced with the new version, here it is:

It seems that the old cap, being a simple screw-off type, could be unscrewed, oil added, and then not screwed back on.  A major design flaw.

Happened to me after Lewiston, ID, I stopped at a casino campground and added a bit of oil.  Carefully set the cap on the fairing, topped off, put the oil bottle away, geared up, and rode off.  Not my fault.

Through Lapwai (familiar place from 45 years ago), after about 20 miles, I stopped for some reason or another.  Looked down, and my riding suit was saturated with oil. 

Major, major "Oh Shit!!!!"

I guess the oil was coming out in a fine mist, not hot enough to get attention but enough to soak me after a while.

Enough oil left to ride the bike, so I found a pill bottle, "modified" it and took it easy back to Lapwai and topped up.  (Never in 1968 would have I imagined being in this situation in Lapwai!    :gerg:   )

So it's back to the casino, hoping that's where the cap was.  Yup, right there, even right-side up, no dirt on it.  I don't know whether to feel cursed or blessed....

So it's back to Clarkston, see my old buddies at the Honda shop.  The rear brake pads are soaked, but they have some new ones.  I plan to put 'em on later.  Find a car wash, blast everything off as best I can, including the rear brake.  Surprisingly, it comes back to life, not perfect, but good enough.  After a bit of use, it was like new.

Back outa town, pick up the pieces.

That's the  :Aarrg:   :banghead:   :Hap1:   -laf   :rollinglaugh: oil cap story. 

On to the Magruder Disaster....

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials (Part 7)
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2017, 09:35:14 PM »
Wow, this is dragging on.  Life and work interferes with important stuff.  Like, spent all day (literally)  adjusting the valves in Mom's Subaru.  First time, didn't hurry, wanted it to be right.   :thumb:

Anyway, it was on back past Lapwai, only time lost, and I was on a schedule, which isn't the way I usually ride.  Onward on 95 to Grangeville, then east to Elk City, the start of the Magruder Corridor.  I gather it's a great ride over the mountains to Montana.  I'd heard of it for years, it really sounded interesting.  So on this trip, I'd be far north enough to do it!  Since most of the trip had been pavement, it'd be the high point so to speak.

I checked web sites, and there were scheduled road closures.  Luckily, I just happened to be between 'em.  Looking good.

Around Grangeville were a lot of these fields, an amazing amount of yellow.  Turns out they are canola.  Now the word has a whole new meaning.

Cool trestle, the country is a prairie, cut by rivers and streams.

The sign explains it much better than I could.

Then I get somewhere east of Grangeville and see a big highway sign, that the road to Elk City is closed from 7:30 to 5:30, with a one-hour open window at noon.  Otherwise closed.  Turns out there was a major (yeah, it was MAJOR) slide that actually had the road completely closed, I'm guessing for a month or so. 

So I need a place to camp, and find one on the river (South Fork of the Clearwater), towards Elk City. Not as close to the road closure as I'd like, but it's a steep, narrow canyon with precious few places to get off the highway.  I didn't want to press on, and not find a decent place.  Figuring... there'd be time to get up and make the 7:30 cutoff.

Nice camp, but got there kinda late, no fire, no steak.  Life is rough sometimes. :'(

So, I wake up at 4 am., and.... it's light???  Came the dawn (figuratively speaking), must be up against a time zone.  Am I screwed?  Made it in time, though.  Turns out they were on Pacific time too, so I was 45 minutes early, not 15 minutes late.   :mol:

I wish I could have gotten a picture of the slide,  it was this bare dirt thing, and waaaay up there was an excavator, looked like a toy.  Wow.

In Elk City, I decided to get some grub, stopped in a little place, only me and two old guys.  We got to talking, "Well, the Magruder is closed".

WHAT!!??   :bugey:

Turns out there was an unscheduled slide and it's closed.   :(

I go to the Forest Circus place to get the lowdown, yeah, it's closed.  I wonder about sneaking through, but given the terrain, that's not likely. 

So here I am, the highway's closed behind me until noon, and I have to get to Colorado...... and the Nice FS Lady says "... but there's a way around that slide..." (meaning the one between us and Grangeville).  Thank you Ma'am!   :mol:

I guess the Elk City people used that 'back way' for quite a while while the highway was totally closed, the only way in and out of the place.

Okay, okay, just don't shoot me.  NICE road.

Through the valleys and up the mountain......

The things you find..... I sure am glad somebody took the time to put up this sign.

I thought this tree, probably a spruce or Doug Fir was dramatic.  New growth.

Maybe 20 miles of that nice road, around the slide, and back down to the highway along the river.

Nice rock, but I was in too much of a hurry to stop and take a picture that morning.

Back to Grangeville.  Again.  Kiss the McMurtry concert in Rifle goodbye (I'd go through there the morning after).

This doesn't look like much, but man, was it good.  Little wagon-kitchen in a parking lot.

South of Grangeville is White Bird Grade.  I have vivid memories of the 'old grade', as our overloaded fire-crew school bus would have to go up and down that 'tortuous' hill.  I love the name too, and the song 'White Bird' by Beautiful Day... anybody remember that?

The road's been bypassed for quite a while, so these signs are on the 'new road'.

The old road.

Next is heading down through Idaho through the Salmon River country.  I think most of Idaho is "Salmon River country".  This is going to take some figuring, as there's the Salmon, Little Salmon, Middle Fork Salmon, East Fork Salmon, South Fork Salmon, and probably some Forks I missed.

To be continued....

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials (Part 8)
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2017, 09:50:55 PM »
The Salmon Sign.

As always, there are LOTS of interesting things all over the place.

Without the sign, I'da just passed on by, maybe noticed the gash... maybe not.

Onward, I thought this was a cool bridge, and a pretty dramatic mountain behind.

Well, remember the oil cap disaster?  Heading south from Grangeville along the Salmon, then the Little Salmon, I stopped in McCall, spent a godawful amount of money at a laundromat de-oiling everything that was on the right side of the bike.   Well, actually, I washed the whole thing, as you can't wash just one side of a pair of pants.   $10 for a little box of soap.... argh, but I gave the rest to a young couple in the laundry mat.

South to Cascade and Banks, then east along the South Fork of the Payette.... the roads follow the rivers, as there's nowhere else to go.   :Hap1:

Here 's a raft, there was a whole string of them, chock full of excited people.

Heading towards the Sawtooth Nat'l. Recreation Area, I stopped at Warm Springs Creek Campground.  Nice night.

Next morning, heading out, saw this dramatic road cut.... white rock with dark brown stripes.

Onwards to Sun Valley/Ketchum.

Stopped at a pulloff, there was this guy/gal with something to take home to the kids.

Up at the headwaters of the Salmon...

South through Sun Valley/Ketchum.  Never been to Sun Valley.  It's amazing how different towns can be.  Looked like a fun place to explore, but I just pretty much wanted out. 

Ended up a Picabo, a nice little store that's half museum.  The nearest stream is Silver Creek, favored by Ernest Hemingway for it's good trout fishing.  Also, the name 'Picabo' was made familiar by Picabo Street, an Olympic skier who grew up nearby.  Bet ya didn't know that.  (Thanks, Wikipedia).

After a nice break, I headed to Craters of the Moon.  Monstrous, dramatic lave fields..... here's a picture from the western edge.  I like the grassy hills and the tongue of bare lava.

Nice park, camped there previously, met the Mobius Trip couple, great people.  Too early to stop this time.  Did stop at a big pulloff..... drawn in by this.

No, it's not a dinosaur skeleton.... It's a sculpture reproducing the shape of a lava tube.

The explanation....

On across the Snake River Plain, through Idaho Falls, and on to the Swan Valley, almost in Wyoming.  Time to stop for the night.  Supposed to be a campground up a side valley.... kept going, no campground... that's ok.  There were a few pulloffs, I found a nice one.  Except for the smell.  Pretty swampy, and the place was rank, but it did the job.  Wanted to get out early and make time.

Onward to Wyoming.....

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2017, 02:41:15 PM »
So let's finish this up.

On into Wyoming, looks like Hwy. 89, which will duck back into Idaho for a bit, then pop back into WY.

Didn't have time to take a hike....

Into different country... the SW corner of WY.

Onwards towards Green River.

Stopped at a Harley dealership in Green River to get some chain lube to nurse my dying chain along.  Nice place, nice people, but I was struck by the boutique-ness of it.  Spiffy 'branded' displays, and the thing that really struck me (or else I wouldn't be commenting on this at all, other than to mention the nice people) was that the stuff like PJ-1 chain lube was on a separate table, with a disclaimer that that was NOT a Genuine Harley Item.  Like it was somehow tainted and inferior. 

Well, I bought some Genuine Harley chain lube.... went to use it, put the tube into the little nozzle, pressed the button....

BLOOSH!... spit right out, chain lube all over.  Couldn't get it to stay in.  And the lube came out thinner than water, sprayed and made a big mess.  Used it, as that's what I had. 

This is not to besmirch Genuine Harley stuff, just a recount of my experience.

Onward through Green River to Flaming Gorge, Utah.  Cool place.

Camped here before, nice memories.

South to Vernal.  Now, this is cool.   

Towns in that corner of Utah always have great big pots of geraniums all over the place.  On the sidewalks, up on the lampposts.... really makes the place pleasant.  I'm glad the folks that live there have the pride and put the effort into doing that.

But I have to move on.

Through Dinosaur, but not without stopping at the great rest area there.  I know, rest areas are just... rest areas.  But I've always found this one to not only have great facilities, but to be staffed by very friendly people.  I like it.

Southwards through Rangely then west on... 64... to Kenney reservoir.  Kinda dramatic evening, rain showers elsewhere, really dramatic light.

Next to me were a grandma who was visiting her *kids*, and took the grandkids out camping because she liked to get them out.  Nice lady and kids.

Weird situation with dogs, the Nice Grandma had a really mellow dog that wandered down the way, started a blue-streak top-of-the-lungs hollering fit with the lady down there.  I guess maybe her dog wasn't civilized and couldn't socialize with other dogs.  Dunno.

Next morning headed down to Meeker.  Another thumbs-up for historical signs.  Lots happened here, without the sign, I would have ridden through.... nice valley... ride on.

South to Rifle, just missed James McMurtry by half a day..... rats.  Catch a bit of slab to Glenwood Springs, then south to Aspen.  Given my disposition, I slid right through Aspen the best I could, ended up leaving....

(PS, I'm sure Aspen has a lot of neat places to explore... I was just on a cheap camping trip and had to get on to Canon City anyway....)

Heading up to Independence Pass, saw this mine frame.

Closeup.  I like woodwork.

Continuing to Independence.

At the top.  I took a careful photo, left out the zillion tourists out.  (Note: I was NOT a tourist, I was a traveller passing through.  )

Twin Lakes, down (more or less) off the mountain.

Time to lube the chain, put the cut-off-aluminum-crutch trail jack to use.

Made it to the trials!  Held on a ranch outside of Canon City.  Nice camping in a field, riding was up a canyon from there.

Daughter-in-law Lia, loves trials, rides trials, loves camping... what more could a father-in-law want?  Oh, dawg Jones in the background.  Part of the family.

Along that canyon were these nests. 

So the sections are strung out in this canyon bottom, on a ranch... and here comes this unauthorized rider. 

No!  You're not signed up!

Well, allright then, I'll just chew on this little girl's water bottle.  I love the crunchy sound!

Ok, on to the real riding.  Here's a staunch member of Team New Mexico hard at work.  A 'Minder' for a competitor.  Their job is to 1) carry water for the rider and 2) keep the bike from killing them if they don't make it up something big.  And 3) give words of wisdom if they're of that status.  I've done 1 and 2, not 3......

Seriously, here he is at work.  He was just waiting for his rider.

Son Trevor, Expert-Sportsman class. Came in #2 for the Western Series.

Big dab!  That's Micah doing the dabbing, Dad Chris doing the minding, ready to hop in, but not needed.  Brother of the guy sitting on the stool a couple photos back.  Great trials family.

So here's a top rider.  Pro Class.


But they don't always make it....


A nasty uphill, lots of loose crap then a hard right across that skinny ledge.

... and there were some downs...

Time to pack it up and head home, after kicking back a bit.

Won't make it home to Albaturkey tonight.  Son Trev knows of a great hot springs at the north end of theSan Luis Valley, we'll soak and campout there. 

On the way.... not Photoshopped.

A few deer along the way.

Last photo.  Twas an absolutely fantastic sunset in that valley.

Next morning, stopped in Alamosa at the restaurant that's part of the San Luis Valley Brewing Company.

We wanted beer, but they said, "No, it's breakfast time".  Oh well.... great breakfast then on home.

Have to check the total mileage yet.... about 4k.  Great trip, but a bit scheduled and rushed. 

Onward to the next ride!

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2017, 03:18:30 AM »
Wow! Great trip, great pics, and great report  :mol: 
Excellent details on the trials riding,very interesting
Thanks  :beer:

Offline Spanky

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2017, 12:51:55 PM »
Yeah...been MIA for a while. That was a good report !
Zat choo, Buckwheat...?

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Chasing Trials
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2017, 02:49:01 PM »
Good to see ya back! :wave:


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