Archive for July, 2015

Tar Snakes By The Score

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
The OFMC at Glen Canyon

The OFMC at Glen Canyon.

There was one point on this recent OFMC trip where I think everyone would agree the riding was more than memorable.

We had just come through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and were somewhere in the vicinity of Natural Bridges National Monument and we came upon a series of tight turns. This is normally something we who ride find delightful: tucking in, leaning first this way and then that and then back this way, maybe even scraping some hard parts if you’re on that type of bike. But in these very same turns we also encountered something we were not thrilled about: tar snakes.

Not just a few; they were like a spider web, going everywhere in every direction. Totally impossible to avoid. And right there on these tight turns where we were already leaned over, with not a lot of traction to spare.

Holy crap! Nothing to do but ride it through.

Of course that’s a lot easier to say than to do when you feel your front tire sliding out from under you only to then feel your rear tire going, while the front has stabilized. But stabilized only for a second because as soon as you’re past one there are three more in your path. And sometimes your front and back tires are sliding at the same time.

So we got through a series of turns like that and breathed a sigh of relief but just a minute later here was another series of turns with just as many snakes as the last time. Yow!

Of course, it was a hot day, so they were soft and oozing. There was not a single one of us who had encountered tar snakes that bad ever before. No one went down and no one got hurt but every one of us had a memorable experience that came up in conversation more than once in the next couple days.

Here’s a bit of advice I found on how to deal with them: Once on the tar snakes and leaned over go loose on the bars and don’t chop the throttle. Look for pavement areas that look to have less tar and try to alter your line/lean to get the front tire there. If possible cross the tar snakes at 90° or at angles never ride along the length of a tar snake.

Thanks to dirtrider for that bit of advice. And yes, that seems to be the consensus, don’t over-react, stay loose and ride it through.

Then of course, later in the day we ran into about 10 miles of new chip seal. Brand new chip seal. Not our favorite day of the trip.

Biker Quote for Today

Tar Snakes. Their bite is painful. Their laughter is silent. — RedWings

Gunnison Then Home On 2015 OFMC Trip

Monday, July 27th, 2015
Creede To Slumgullion Pass

Creede To Slumgullion Pass.

Free Eggs blasted out of Ignacio on his way home, after hearing that his lady friend had broken her foot in a car crash. The rest of us left later, at a much easier pace. Into Ignacio proper, then east on CO 151 through Arboles and up to US 160 a little west of Pagosa Springs. Then up over Wolf Creek Pass to South Fork and northwest on CO 149 to Creede. Here we made an obligatory stop for ice cream. An army may travel on its stomach but the OFMC travels on ice cream. At least if Dennis has anything to say about it.

Then up and over Slumgullion and Spring Creek Passes to Lake City and down to Gunnison. The nearly constant rain and overcast had finally abated and was replaced with sun and heat. Personally, I’ll take the rain and cool.

In recent years we have taken to stopping for two nights somewhere along the line, generally playing golf on our day off from riding. This was our Gunnison stop. We stayed at the Water Wheel Inn, which backs immediately onto the Dos Rios golf course so we didn’t even have to do anything except walk on over to the clubhouse. We liked the course and the motel so I suspect they have not seen the last of the OFMC.

On golf day, however, some members needed to head out so Ray and Johnathon took off. The remaining six played golf, and then most of us enjoyed the weekly catfish fry at the clubhouse for dinner. It was very nice to take a break after riding so much.

Saturday morning came and it was time to split up. John headed west to Montrose while Dennis, Randy, and Bread headed to Denver. I had been in touch with my friend Kevin, who I had just been on another long ride with a few weeks ago, and he invited us to breakfast. Bill and I accepted, so we got a more leisurely start.

Soon enough, though, it was time to roll and we headed toward Monarch Pass. Even on Saturday, however, there was road construction in progress so there were delays. Then at Poncha Springs Bill peeled off to stop at his daughter, Jenna’s, place and I rode on alone. By 3 p.m. I was home, uneventfully, and this year’s trip was over. And I have no desire whatsoever to go anywhere else any time soon. Three long trips in two months has satisfied me. For now.

Biker Quote for Today

Murphy’s Motorcycle Laws: 5. The only part you really need will also be the only part on permanent back order.

OFMC Rides New Roads In Utah

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
Riding through Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Riding through Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

The OFMC rolled out of Vernal heading for something special: new roads. We’ve been all over Utah but in plotting out this trip John realized there is a section in the middle–south of US 40, north of I-70–where we had never been. And looking at the Utah map by Butler Maps, he saw there was some red and yellow on some of those roads. Time to fix this deficit.

We headed west to Duchesne, a town we’ve been familiar with since the very earliest days of the OFMC, but then did something different–we turned south on US 191. This took us through a canyon and over a range of mountains that were pretty nice all on their own, but they were only the beginning. We hit US 6 as it comes out of Price and jogged northwest a short distance until we turned west and south again on Utah 96, which goes past Scofield State Park and the town of Scofield. This is called the energy loop and we passed a variety of mines, power plants, and a (presumably) hydro lake name Electric Lake.

Past Scofield the road became Utah 264 and twisted and curved its way up on a high ridge. This was some of the red on the Butler map. Red means good. Up on top we hit Utah 31 and it descends through a long canyon, more red, then yellow, all the way to Huntington, where we picked up Utah 10, to Ferron. Ferron was our stop for the night. A little town out in the middle of not much that makes you wonder how people make a living way out here.

The following day we stayed on 10 until it hit I-70 and after a short jog west we continued south on Utah 72. More yellow and red as we cruised up a canyon and over a pass. More gorgeous country we had never seen. And I might add here that so far we were missing all the July heat we could easily have encountered. Each day was cloudy, even rainy, so going over passes we were bundling up and every once in awhile we were putting on the rain gear. We’ll take that over 100 degree heat any time.

Running down Utah 72 toward Loa we took the more roundabout route of Utah 25 around Fish Lake. More red and yellow. Judy and I had been on this road some years ago but we were going the other direction so it’s always good to take a road the other way. Then we hit Utah 24 and turned east to Loa and Bicknell and Torrey and through Capitol Reef National Park. Out the other side we were at Hanksville, our stop for the night.

The Hanksville Inn was gritty but very biker friendly and they gave us our own corner of the place with a patio all our own. We added some excitement to this little burg when John suffered a medical issue he is familiar with but which we had no warning of. We found him seemingly comatose and called 911 but a quick call to his wife, Cheryl, by his son, Johnathon, gave us the tactics we needed to revive him. Cheryl was totally calm, having been through this numerous times, but we were taken unawares, and the ambulance did show up, siren wailing and lights flashing. And John, of course, was embarrassed by it all and wished we hadn’t called 911.

And oh yes: at Hanksville we met up with Ray and Randy and Johnathon, who had ridden from Denver that day. So that made us nine.

The next morning we turned south out of Hanksville on Utah 95 headed through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The last time the OFMC had been on this road we were headed the other direction and we had come to Hite on the south side of the lake and spent the night before taking the ferry across in the morning. In the years since then the level of the lake has dropped precipitously and the Hite marina has been abandoned. They built a bridge or two to get you across and so this time we took the bridges.

Just south of Blanding we hit US 191 and turned south to Bluff. Here we took a less well known series of roads that cut across north of the Four Corners area, saving us time and avoiding that tourist attraction. About 10 miles out of Cortez we ran into new chip seal and oh boy was that a mess. If I’d been on the V-Strom or even on my CB750 it would have been better but the Concours hates gravel. But we endured.

Then from Cortez on to the snarl that is Durango and finally to Ignacio, the the Sky Ute casino and hotel for the obligatory gambling spot we always have on these trips. Along the way Friggs (Free Eggs, that is) got word that his lady friend, Vicky, had been in a car accident and early this Thursday morning he set out for home. The rest of us are on to Gunnison today. Right now, though, it’s breakfast time.

Biker Quote for Today

Riding my motorcycle around L.A. is like my own video game. But unlike many folks at the wheel, I am occupied with getting where I’m going and keeping myself safe. Most people are applying makeup, texting, and checking out the beauty in the next car. — Hugh Laurie

A Lazy OFMC Trip

Monday, July 20th, 2015
Riding Trail Ridge Road

Riding Trail Ridge Road.

Our third day of riding on this year’s OFMC trip is done and we’ve gone all of about 450 miles. This is an easygoing trip.

Starting out the first day our meet-up point was the Century Casino in Central City. Bill, John, Dennis, and I came together there and got on the Peak-to-Peak Highway headed for Estes Park. The wind had been gusting pretty hard when I arrived and Dennis especially was concerned about rain, so there was some suiting up before we left. Of course the sun came out brightly as soon as we left so by Nederland it was time to stop and peel off this unbearably hot stuff.

An uneventful, but very pretty, ride brought us to Estes Park where we checked in to the Twin Owls Motel. I truly believe that perhaps 30-50 years ago this may have been one of the premier lodging establishments in Estes Park but boy, this old girl is showing her age. It’s still attractive, with a nice patio and a lobby full of extremely large plants, but the place needs repair and many of the old repairs are themselves in need of repair. Kind of Sad. But a nice view.

In Estes we were joined by two more, Free Eggs and Bread. John tried to speak a text message to Friggs and Bret and his phone interpreted their names in a way we found sufficiently comical to saddle them with those names for the rest of the trip.

A little confusion ensued in the morning as John led the way toward Rocky Mountain National Park. When the lead four made a traffic light and two did not, nobody waited around for us to catch up. A conversation had been held discussing the route but certain of us were not privy to that discussion. So I took the lead and Bread and I headed to the Fall River Road and into the park that way. I knew there were two entrances, however, and suspected the others had gone the other way so we cruised on to where the two roads meet before heading up Trail Ridge Road. Sure enough, they were coming the other way and we met them there.

Trail Ridge was good. Not horrible traffic and not overly chilly. And the elk were having a field day. We saw herds in three different spots and they were out there just prancing and showing off their racks like they owned the place. Which they pretty much do. All the crowds of tourists stopping to look and shoot photos were restricted to the road and the paths while the elk had free run of the whole mountain. Very cool.

Down where that road meets US 40 just outside of Granby we stopped for gas and a break and the new Indian Dennis is riding got a lot of attention. The bike that caught my attention, however, was the one ridden by Dave of Missouri, who pulled in on a 2002 Kawasaki Concours. I’m on my 1999 Concours on this trip so we had to talk and exchange notes. Turns out Dave just bought this bike two weeks ago specifically for this trip he and his buddy are on. We compared gear and I was very interested in his Givi top bag while he was very interested in my highway pegs. He was definitely feeling the lack of those.

Heading west on US 40 we ran into light rain at Hot Sulphur Springs but John, in the lead, made the decision I would have made, which was to keep going and ride out the other side of it. We did get wet going up Byers Canyon, and there were placing when you could just see the rain in the air up ahead of us, but we did ride out the other side and by the time we got to Kremmling we were dry again.

A little past Kremmling we turned onto the road over Gore Pass and it soon became very clear we would be getting wet, so we stopped and suited up. And a moderate rain did come down. But hey, if you don’t ride in the rain you don’t ride. We ride. And by the time we reached Toponas it was pretty well over with.

We turned north from Toponas just the short distance to Oak Creek and that was our stopping point for the day. The Oak Creek Motel is very nice and the two restaurants in town both serve good food. After we had walked over for dinner and were back at the motel the rain started and this time it was coming down pretty hard, along with some powerful winds. We were sitting out under the eaves of the motel when a couple on a BMW came into the parking lot, obviously looking for shelter. Sadly for them, though the motel was not full, the proprietors had turned on the No Vacancy sign, presumably they did not want to be bothered late at night by new arrivals. The beemer folks saw the sign and rode a circle and headed back out. We commented on how that poor guy was probably hearing it big time from his lady friend about why he hadn’t wanted to make reservations. We sure were glad not to be in their predicament.

It was raining in the morning when we got up so we had breakfast and got all suited up. It rained lightly for a while but soon the clouds started to lift. We were heading west on US 40 again and stopped before we got to Hayden to unsuit. On to Craig, Maybell, and Dinosaur and then we were into Utah. The first town of any size is Vernal and that was our destination today. Fourth time I’ve been in Vernal in the last two months. We didn’t have lunch so we had an early dinner and now the guys are out in the pool. It’s hot here! And now I’ve got this blog post written I guess I’ll go join them.

Biker Quote for Today

The only time you’ve got too much gas is when you’re on fire.

Prepping For The OFMC Trip

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
New tire on Kawasaki

Got a new tire--I'm ready to ride.

We leave tomorrow on this year’s OFMC trip and I’ve got a lot to get done. Right now I’m at Joel’s (Mountain Thunder Motorsports) taking care of the single most important thing on my list: getting a new rear tire on my Concours. The used Avon tire Jungle put on it three years ago when I got a puncture in my six-day-old Dunlop is just about shot. Time for another new Dunlop.

Then there’s so much more to be done.

Of course I have to pack, though that will be less of a job than it was for the recent trip with Kevin and Jeff. We camped on that trip but the OFMC does not camp any more. That lightens my load considerably.

All my electronic devices need charging. How many of these do you travel with? Here’s what I carry.

  • laptop
  • cell phone
  • PDA (a Palm–yes, antique, but I don’t have a smart phone)
  • digital recorder (good for quickly and easily capturing thoughts and details I might otherwise forget)
  • cameras (two)

I also want to get a haircut today. My hair is long enough that on this last trip a strand or two would often get loose in my face in my helmet, flicking with the breeze and tickling my face. And hard to effectively tuck aside.

And these things unrelated to this trip that just need to get done:

  • send an invoice to a client for services rendered
  • plant some more beans and lettuce in the garden
  • take my car to the car wash (I have a coupon for a free cleaning and it’s going to expire)
  • water the houseplants

Yep, busy day. But right now, here at Joel’s, I guess I’ll just read this March issue of Rider magazine.

As an aside, here is a useful resource from a biker lawyer on safe driving for motorcyclists.

Biker Quote for Today

You have 1/4-inch chicken strips? Wow, I’m so impressed!

The Bike On Dirt, Dirt On The Bike

Monday, July 13th, 2015
Muddy Suzuki

The dirtiest this bike has ever been since I've owned it.

I was out 10 days on this last ride and on almost every single one of them there was at least some dirt to ride. I expected this and that was part of the reason I took the V-Strom.

Now, Kevin has tons of experience on dirt and gravel and Jeff, although he was on a Moto Guzzi Le Mans, “is not allergic to gravel.” Jeff could never be allergic to gravel because he lives up a small side canyon in Idaho where the road goes to gravel long before you get to his driveway and then his driveway itself is much worse gravel than the road. I’m not in a league with either of them, though I hope I’m getting better and it is experiences like this trip that are making me better.

The first time we got off the pavement was when we got a campsite between Alpine Junction and Jackson, up in Wyoming. This was alongside the Snake River in a narrow and steep canyon. It was loose gravel and, as I said, steep, so I was intimidated. But I was also determined and I took it very slowly and carefully and was relieved when we got parked. Then I worried about getting down the next morning.

Getting down, however, turned out to be no problem. Kevin had told me the first time we rode together to keep my hand off the front brake going downhill on loose gravel and I had learned the hard way riding once with Ron Coleman what can happen if you do touch that brake. So I just took things nice and slow while using the rear brake and it was far easier than going up.

Later, after we had been up on the Beartooth, we turned north out of Red Lodge, Montana, headed toward Helena. It was blazing hot so it was no surprise when Jeff, who was in the lead, braked suddenly and turned off down a fishing access road. He has one of these vests that soak up and hold water that evaporates as you ride to keep you cool. He wanted to soak it in the river. Kevin wanted to soak his t-shirt. And being on the V-Strom I just went right along, not the slightest issue at all. It would not have been that way on my Concours. The Connie hates gravel. And there were other pull-offs like this that were too small and numerous to mention.

A couple days later we arrived at Jeff’s so I got to ride up to his house and yes, I had a little apprehension, but made it fine. I also had some apprehension about leaving the next day but that went smoothly, too. I do think I am getting better.

Two days after that Kevin and I were heading back to Colorado and we camped up a side canyon in Utah. The road turned to gravel–no problem–and after we set up camp we wanted to run up the road to see more of this gorgeous canyon and where the road went. Where the road ended in a turnaround loop it was the roughest piece of dirt we encountered the whole trip. This was stuff that threw you around harshly and we also rode through some water and some mud. I’ve been through water before but never mud. So I didn’t know what to expect.

I just hit it with some speed and tried to keep the front straight and rode it through. No big deal. And I got the bike dirtier than it has ever been since I’ve owned it. In fact Kevin’s bike didn’t get anywhere near as dirty as mine did and we’re not quite sure why that was. But I’m a little proud of that mud and haven’t gotten around to washing it off yet.

Riding out of that canyon was our last run off the pavement. Out of my 3,053 miles on this trip it all added up to less than 53 miles but whatever it was it was more miles than the OFMC ever rides off pavement. I like having a chance to ride with other guys as well as with the OFMC. This was a good trip.

Biker Quote for Today

A bike in the dirt is worth two on the pavement.

A Bug’s Vengeance

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Busted turn signal on a Suzuki V-Strom.

The only casualty of the fall.

Kevin and I were crossing Idaho on US 20 when I caught a big, juicy bug on my visor directly in front of my right eye. It left me effectively blind in that eye so I pulled over to clean it off.

I got off the bike and set it on the side stand, pulled out my cleaner stuff and sprayed the splotch of bug guts. While I was doing this Kevin pulled in behind me and got off his bike. Apparently he didn’t notice the bit of slope we were on, and as he released his grip on the bike it started to topple away from him. At the same time, it rolled forward just enough to nudge my bike and push it forward off the side stand. His bike crashed to the right and mine went down to the left.

I will forever regret that I didn’t have the presence of mind to pull out my camera and get a shot immediately of these two bikes on the ground and Kevin standing there with a dumbfounded look on his face wondering what the heck just happened. But I was too busy wondering what the heck just happened, and then we both jumped to get them both upright again.

My top bag was open so I could get the cleaning spray out, so all its contents were now scattered on the ground. The spot where I had sprayed my visor now had a patch of dirt and sand where the cleaner had picked it up as the helmet hit the ground. I had some clean-up to do. Yeah, that bug made me pay for snuffing its life.

The only damage was the left turn signal (in the picture above), which was busted. I’d call that a design flaw in the V-Strom. If the bike falls over one or the other of those is almost guaranteed to break. Kevin, who used to rent V-Stroms out of Gunnison, said it’s a $90 part and his customers were forever breaking them.

So he replaced them on all his bikes with a flush-mount set of signals that he said cost $15. His didn’t break. And he’s pretty sure he still has at least one of them that he took off one of his bikes, so replacement should be easy.

Just another day on the bike.

Biker Quote for Today

90% of my paycheck goes towards dirt bikes (the rest is just wasted).

Bike Trip Goes Three Into Two Into One

Monday, July 6th, 2015
Motorcycle on winding road

Through the hills of Utah.

Jeff rode with us from his house outside Boise into town and then we parted ways, with Kevin and me jumping on I-90 briefly just as far as Mountain Home. Then we got off onto US 20 to cross Idaho running roughly parallel to the interstate south of us. It was a great decision because the first half or so went through hilly country that was pretty and fun. The second half was pretty much straight and boring and hot. Just like the interstate would have been all the way.

Past Arco we turned south through Blackfoot and worked our way down into the Pocatello area and beyond. We got off on US 30 and continued east through Lava Hot Springs. This little town of maybe 800 people was boasting a current population probably around 5,000 as the 4th of July weekend got going and people jammed into every parking and camping spot they could find to enjoy the tubing in the creek and the water park features that have made this town a destination.

Up over the ridge and down and we stopped for a break at the old schoolhouse that the OFMC stayed at on a trip in this area in 2009. Great place for a large group. We were both fried and ready to stop but no likely camping spot was presenting itself. I ventured that I would not be opposed to a motel in Soda Springs and Kevin wasn’t either, so we did.

Morning came and it was July 4 and this little town was abustle with preparations for the parade. So much so that there was no place to get breakfast. The grocery store worked. We headed on south through Cokeville to Evanston, Wyoming, and down into Utah over Bald Mountain Pass. That stretch over the pass was some of the best scenery of the trip but the swarms of people were incredible. Quite a bit different than the last time I went that way.

At Kamas we picked up food for dinner and rode east again on Utah 35 over Wolf Creek Summit and our maps showed that at the east base of the summit there was a small road that went up a canyon with campgrounds. The first campground was full so we continued. The road turned to gravel but hey, we were on V-Stroms, so it totally didn’t matter.

We found a site at the second campground and set up, then cruised on up the road further to see where it went. This canyon was incredibly beautiful. The road doesn’t go anywhere or else it would get a lot more traffic than it does. We passed the third campground and splashed on through mud and water and hit some road terrain before the now miserable road gave way to a two-track that went who knows where. We didn’t explore.

This was to be our last night out together and Kevin wanted to get all the way back to Gunnison, so the plan was to get up early and go. At about 5 a.m. it was starting to get light and we both heard rain start pattering lightly on our tents. Guess we’ll sleep a little later and hope it stops. By 6 a.m. it had and we were up, made coffee, ate granola bars and we rolling before 7. There was no recourse but to roll up the tents wet.

The morning was cool and wet and I was glad to have my electric vest. Leading, I took it fairly easy on the highway because I was sure we’d be encountering critters. We actually came across a heck of a lot of open range cattle but did also have opportunity to slow way down for the deer on the road. We hit US 40 at Duchesne and blasted. At Dinosaur, finally back in Colorado, we turned south to Rangely. At Rangely Kevin turned south and I continued toward Meeker. A wave and our ride together was over, though I was still far from home.

We had already come a long way that morning so I was looking forward to a stop in Meeker. I was also keeping an eye on the sky, and so far it was OK. At Meeker, though, I could see that going south toward Rifle I was going to get wet so when I was ready to roll again I was all geared up.

It was only noon or so but it was already a long day so over on I-70 I intended to make a stop in Eagle but by New Castle I had to stop. I was really fried now. I went in a cafe and got a hot bowl of soup and a bunch of crackers, ate it all, and just sat there fatigued for about an hour. Finally ready I rode on to Eagle.

Willie and Jungle live in Eagle and they welcomed me and asked if I’d be spending the night. It was now Sunday on the 4th of July weekend and anyone who lives around here knows what that means about I-70 coming into Denver. Four hours to go 80 miles is typical. I was counting on Willie’s invitation and I accepted it.

Accustomed by now to waking with the sun, I woke this morning at 5 to find I had a killer headache and my stomach was all messed up. I took some drugs but lay there with frequent waves of nausea washing over me and wondered if I would get home today or not. I fell back asleep and woke up feeling perfectly fine. I have no idea what it was but it was gone.

The run from Eagle to Denver was a cat and mouse game with the rain the whole way. I never suited up entirely but when I reached Silverthorne the rain had just passed through and the road was very wet. Tires were throwing up water that was soaking me so I did put on the rain jacket. Although I never saw a single raindrop, we did reach a place where a cloud had come down to earth and riding through it there were just water droplets suspended in the air. My bike and jacket and boots were soaking. Surprisingly, my jeans stayed pretty dry thanks to the deflection from the V-Strom’s body work.

And then I was finally home. This trip was a total of 3,053 miles in 10 days. That’s a lot of riding. And now I need to start getting ready for this year’s OFMC trip. We’re leaving on July 17. Poor, poor me.

Biker Quote for Today

Ride fast, take chances.

The Three Guy Ride Continues

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
Motorcycle along the Salmon River.

Through Idaho along the Salmon River.

We rode the Beartooth. Kevin and Jeff were appropriately impressed. Spent the night in Cooke City so we could go up early in the morning, which is always a good plan. And that brought us down to Red Lodge with plenty of day left.

We headed out of town going north and then west. And there is extreme heat all over the west. I’m really enjoying on this trip that I’m on my V-Strom because these guys go off the pavement numerous times each day. On this particular one we were blasting along and Jeff suddenly hit his brakes, signaled a left turn, and we turned down a fishing access gravel road to soak t-shirts and cooling vests. That sort of thing does not happen with the OFMC.

We reached I-90 and needed to blast west about 70 miles on it so blast we did to get it over with. Then it was north again before connecting with a state road going west. Down a river valley and we came to Townsend, Montana. There’s a big lake here with numerous campgrounds around it but none well marked. We camped in a free campground with minimal amenities but at least we did have trains. All night long. Blowing their horns to let you know they were there.

Come morning we cruised into Helena and hit some shops to find things that had been lost. Then up and over a good sized hill and took another northward state highway to avoid doing 70 miles of interstate to Missoula.

Lunch in Missoula and then it was on up over Lolo Pass. I had last been up that pass, to Lolo hot springs, back in 1977 or 1978. The hot springs were natural and no one else was there. Now it’s a business. Sad but no surprise.

Going over the top of Lolo, however, we were all tickled to see a sign that read “Winding road next 99 miles.” We cruised down along the Lochsa River for that many miles, although not all at once. About 70 miles down we turned up the Selway River and found another nice, free campground. And this one did not have a train.

In the morning we went back to the Lochsa and on the rest of the 99 miles and then rode a lot of hours more on various winding roads down river valleys. This is Idaho and Idaho has a plentiful supply of motorcycle roads.

Jeff lives outside Boise so we made it on to his house, which is why I have wi-fi again, and tomorrow we’ll part company with him. But Kevin and I still have two days plus to get back to our homes in Colorado. So this ride is not over.

Biker Quote for Today

A touring bike is whatever you have in the garage when you want to go somewhere.