Friday, July 24, 2009

Cabinets 2009

East Fork of the Bull River

My friend Earl and I have this affinity for the Cabinet Mts in Idaho and Montana. They are fairly close to home and just absolutely beautiful. The picture above is at about 5500 feet up on Gem peak just below the lookout tower. We could not get to the top because of some snow but we did hike to the top anyway.

Our adventure started out in Spokane WA and we headed east to Sandpoint ID. Enjoying the scenery that part of the country offers we continued east further towards a little town in Montana called Noxon. We headed north on hwy 56 off hwy 200 to my friends cabin located a ways off the highway on the west side of Government Mt.

This is not a good picture of the cabin but it gives you the idea of what we were staying in. This cabin was built by a friend of mine over several years and it is very comfortable with all the amenities you could imagine. For the most part we cam back from riding the back roads and trails only to cook up some dogs on the fire and then crash on the cots in the loft resting up for the next day.

The first day of riding brought us all over the place with about 160 miles logged on everything from highway to forest service roads. We adventured to the top of every peak we could make our way to. Some of them still had snow and my favorite.......mud. Earls KLR is more oriented towards the street and has on Avon Grippsters. Those tires are about a 25% off road and 75% on road tire. Believe me it made for some amusing trail rides watching him go through snow and then mud and then snow all over again while the back end of his bike was whipping back and forth really fast. I started laughing so hard at one point he could hear me over the sound of the motorcycles and through helmets. We had to pull over and get it out of our system so we could continue. I have pretty aggressive knobbies and was having a blast tearing up the roads and trails.

After the first day of riding we convened at the cabin with out dogs and a nice cozy fire to relax by for the evening. We were sitting around the fire shooting a .22 and being the general noisy people we can be and in a short lull in the action we were amazed at how several deer approached the area around the cabin. I seem to recall about 5 of them and two were bucks. A 4 by 4 and a 3 by 3. Beautiful animals so close. One of the does actually walked all the way around the cabin munching on the soft grass for about an hour. All in all a relaxing evening.

The next day brought some really interesting adventure. It was the absolute best day of riding I have ever had. We rode the Idaho Montana border most of the day and came to Porcupine pass and dropped down into Idaho towards the town of Pritchard. We worked our way back up the hill and hit some snow about 5500 feet. It made for some interesting travel as we had to traverse this road with patches of snow with mud holes in between. We took most of the gear off the bikes and hiked it up to where we thought we would end up to load back up. I hopped my my bike and tore through the snow and mud grinning all the way. Now once again back to Earl and his less than knobby tires. We actually walked his bike through the woods a few times simply because it seemed safer to do with his KLR. Especially since his is an 08 and has a lot more fairing to damage. We worked through about 300 yards of this until we got to a point that we could not get any further no matter what. We back tracked about 100 yards and got on a road that lead towards the town of Heron MT. We got about 5 miles down the forest service road and as I cam around a corner Earl was stopped with a flat tire. Well we tried to be prepared and I had some slime and he had a CO2 pump for the air. OF all things he picked up a nail up there somehow. We pulled the nail, removed the stem, squeezed in the slime and used to CO2 pump. Up went the tire and we noticed that there were still leaks all over the tire. Uh Oh. We had 3 more cartridges so what we ended up doing was actually kind of fun. Well for me anyway. Earl rode as far as the air would remain in the tire and when I caught up I would lay on the road, hook up the CO2, pump the tire and Earl would tear off like he was on a NASCAR pit road. Needless to say we got about 2 miles from the town before we had to stop for fear of ruining the tire completely.

I am going to let Earl finish the flat tire part of this story as it becomes very amusing. Even a little bit of thievery involved. (there was a trade though)

The above picture is the next morning at the cabin where a convenient stump worked as a perfect bike stand. Earl had to ride my KLR about 90 miles to get his tire fixed.

There is so much I know I am forgetting to write about but all I know is I can't wait for next years adventure ride.