Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Drunk-horse tour of Idaho, Oregon and Washington - Day 3

The real riding begins.

After some tasty waffles for breakfast I set out at about 8.30. I'd been in touch with Phil (HeadingNorth) and he'd made a number of suggestions about places to ride. In addition I'd seen other reports of the Lolo in a number of ride reports and was looking forward to it.

After Kamiah I started down NF 100 and the road is a ton of fun!

It twisted and turned like that for a while. I had a bit less weight on the bike as I left all the camping gear behind so the bike was more fun to ride as well.

Finally I thought I had a gravel road that would cut over to the 500.

But after about 5 minutes I found this blocking my path

And I only had a small hatchet with me. So back I went.

Just a few seconds up the road:

I swung down the road right in front of the sign and booted it ... only to realize I was on a road into a camp ground. Whoops.


The 500 is wide open and fast and after adjust to riding quick in the soft gravel I started having fun steering with the throttle.

Then onto the Lolo

Things got tighter and a bit more technical in a hurry.

I was having a blast. The weather was slightly overcast, not too hot, no rain, just a good day to be out riding.

At this point I was only stopping occasionally to take a photo, until I got to this spot. Time to get off the bike, have a powerbar and enjoy the quiet solitude.

Not too may places higher than were I stopped

After my snack it was back to riding. Every now and then I slowed a bit to take in some sights, but mostly I was focused on not running the bike off the path :) I haven't done that much solo offroad riding, especially when no one knew where I was, so I made sure to ride inside my comfort zone.

Two hours into the trip, I was about half way.

Note: If you click on the images you can see the details and should be able to read the text :)

This was one of the only places where you can cut out to Hwy 12.

Back on the trail though and the amazing scenery kept coming (I think this is just past the 'Indian Post Office')

The path runs across the top of the ridge

The road below

I was starting to get a bit tired, especially when I ended up on a freshly graded section. The loose rock and sand did not make for a very good ride. After about 30 minutes I finally reached the grader and was able to make it past.

At around 2.30pm I saw the sign advising of the Hwy 12 ahead.

One final look back

By now I was starved and turned into Powell Junction.

At the lodge I enjoyed an excellent Elk burger. YUM! If you're out that way I recommend you stop by. They have gas too, though I didn't think I'd need any and decided against filling up.

The rest of the trip back along Hwy 12 was pretty uneventful except for a number of construction sites which caused traffic to back up.

I had to switch to reserve just outside of Kamiah, but at least now I new the range when I ran a bunch of off road with load at elevation :)

A great day of riding followed by some beer and steak!

No comments: