Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cabinets 2009 Part Deux

Berlin Flats Campground

When Earl and I were up for our ride in the Cabinets back in June we dropped down out of the hills and actually hit pavement for about 25 feet. Just long enough to hang a hard right back onto the gravel of forest service road 412. We stopped to check the map to see where we ended up. I saw a sign a short way down the road and realized that we were about 7 miles from the town of Prichard Idaho and a few miles from a U.S. Forest Service Work Camp. We decided to head away from civilization following our practice for the week and wanted to gain some altitude again. On our way up the road I saw several campgrounds and noticed a lot of good places to camp and adventure during the day. A few miles into our ride and at about 5500 feet Earl and I came across snow and mud that was impassable and we ended up taking a different route and dropping into Heron MT. I vowed that I would be back and follow the road where it was covered with snow.

Where this picture is taken is the cutoff that headed up in altitude to Earl's and my ending point from the snow. This time though I could not be as careless since I had my friend Casey on his bad ass little KX65 and his mom Lisa (my woman of course) on her Polaris 4-wheeler. We followed the road all the way to Gem Pass. This put us at another crossroads that went 3 ways. Up to the top of 2 peaks and another back down into a beautiful valley. As my exploratory nature took over we headed up a hill into a area that had been badly burned by fire within the last year. What an eerie and dismal place. This finally turned into a road/trail of nothing but slate stone and shale. Not the easiest thing to ride on. By this point we were cresting 6000 feet and and Casey's two stroke 65 was not a happy camper at all. It was either all or nothing on the throttle. I adjusted the carb a few times and it ran better as I made adjustments. By the time we got to the top of this mountain we felt on top of the world. We had a gorgeous lookout over Montana and Idaho as we were riding the border. We ended up on Idaho Peak at 6508 feet. I know many people get to higher places but man what a feeling to share this with my friends.

We hung out here for a while and decided to drop down a bit and have lunch in a grassy area a little lower down. We finished the days adventure by following a few smaller roads back down to good old 412 and went back to the campsite. We had a nice spot just about 50 yards or so from the North Fork of the Couer D' Alene river which was running pretty good for August too. There was only one other group in the whole campground and they were all the way on the other side. Peaceful and quiet and really nice. We got up the next day and decided to head out once again but elected to go a different route down FS151 up to Porcupine Pass and once again the Idaho/Montana border. We made our way up to about 5500 feet or so and found it easier to stay below there so Casey's bike would run a little better. Both Casey's bike and Lisa's Polaris had minor issues during the day but were taken care of pretty easily. We road up and around several passes and followed small canyon edges. Adventured up roads that were supposedly closed to wide open forest roads that Casey and I could race down and really make his 65 scream. I guess it looked pretty humorous seeing us take off from behind with my KLR being so tall and the 65 so much smaller. I am really impressed with the power of that little Kawasaki. Next one will be a 4-stroke though.

We ended up riding about 100 miles in two days and was impressed how well Casey did keeping up. There is a lot of difference between my KLR and his KX as far as putting on miles. Lisa being on the 4-wheeler just hung on and enjoyed the scenery. She even pounded through a mud puddle or two like and old pro. We will be back up in the area again for sure. This time we will be there a little longer and find more neat places to see. Anyone want to join in?