Friday, August 29, 2008

Home is where the bike is - Day 4

Today we finally left the big group behind and headed south.

The plan was to get a good early start, be out by 7:30 and get out of Dodge before it got warm. Like many a good plan before it, this one did not survive it's first contact with reality.

Mostly it consisted of packing things that shouldn't be packed, wanting to grab a bite to eat, and just general lethargy.

I'd smartly moved the KLR into the shade while waiting and then split to go get some food. Lessons learned from last year: Eat when you can. Get gas when you can. :)

We motored towards Salmo, the same path I took yesterday morning. It was actually fairly cool. Tony had filled up the day before and I had 200 kms on this tank already, so I decided to pull in at the Esso to get some gas.

Turns out that a couple on a VFR (from the meet) had managed to pick up a screw. He was enthusiastic about the whole thing though.

Nothing like having to get back to OR with a patched tire, 2 up with luggage. He had a hard time with the plug and an older shaggy looking local guy kept offering advice, none of which was appreciated.

But after enough comments of "Is it in yet?" and "Are you done yet?" from his wife, and the offer of "I'll fix it for a coffee", Tony bought the local guy a coffee and the tire was plugged within about a minute.

Now fully fueled and having had a bit of entertainment, Tony and I wished them a safe trip home and headed towards the border. (They made it home safely btw :) ).

We set a steady course southward and didn't stop again till Newport where we grabbed some drinks and powerbars. From here it was Hwy 41 to Coeur d' Alene where we stopped at the A&W.

Surely one of the slowest 'fast food' experiences I'd had in my life. Truly horrible service. But we weren't in a rush and the place had AC, a washroom and food, so no biggie :)

We gassed up and headed east on I-90 for a short hop to Hwy 3 south, a "Scenic Bypass". Within about a couple of minutes on the interstate my bike was sputtering and cutting out at 70 mph. My first thought "bad gas" so I pulled off at the next exit. Tony had no symptoms, so I concluded that it was something specific with my bike. The fact that it idled properly seemed to negate the bad gas scenario.

Screw it. Back on the highway and within a few minutes Tony indicates his bike is doing the same thing. Vapour lock? It is freaking hot out after all (over 40 Celsius).

We limped to the turn off and slowed to around 50 mph, where the bikes run fine as long as we keep the RPM's down.

Hmm, should have done the T-mod on the carb vent. I figure that the vent hose may have been collapsing. Eventually we stop to let the bikes cool off and to chat.

There was a cool breeze and the bikes were in the shade.

Tony went to educate himself on the local history.

It looked too damn far to me. I did however manage to burn one of my fingers on the exhaust while trying to check for any problems...

After a while we started heading further south. The bikes are now fine. Definitely heat related. Now I'm no longer concerned, we know how to cure it.

We passed on a number of spots that would have made for some nice photos, it was just too damn hot to stop. My bike only acted up once more and I cured it by slowing a bit and waiting to get to more open area where a bit of a cross wind was blowing.

In Deary I spotted a large group of cruiser riders hunkered down in the shade behind a gas station and decided to pull in to get some info about local roads. They were friendly and told us about a side road we should take on the way to Orofino. On my AAA map it's listed as "P1" but google shows it as the "Old ID 7"

On the way there we finally stopped to get a couple of pictures.

Eventually though ...

Wide spaces

I loved all the 20 mph corners on the drop into Oroville along Old ID 7, what a blast! At the bottom the heat got even more intense and I was very much ready to find a place to stay grab some food and some brews.

I'd spotted a sign for the "Kokoville motel" and we went to investigate. Around $50 / night, clean and friendly people. Sold. Then it turns out we're checking into room 140. We'd been staying in 140 in Nelson. Good omen.

We'd asked about dinner and by the time we'd dumped our gear and grabbed some shorts and sneakers to squid back into town, they had menus and info ready for us.

After some great Mexican food we grabbed some Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve and crashed early.

Sorry about the lack of photos, in the next part the visual content will return :)

Day 5 Preview

-Too good to leave
-Offroad? Yes please.
-Faster on gravel than the interstate? Say what?!

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