Day 1 was from Boise to Cutforth Park 25 miles west of Ukiah, OR. (1) My digs. (2) Chevron on Overland. (3) Gas in Unity. (4) Austin House. (5) Chevron in Prairie City. (6) Chevron in Mt. Vernon. (7) Chevron in Long Valley. (8) Thicket Cafe & Saloon in Ukiah. (9) Campsite in Cutforth Park.
This was our 2nd stop of the day after Kurt, who was running on fumes after 140 miles, got 89 octane earlier in Unity. After that gas stop, we rode up into the scenic forest over Blue Mountain Summit to Austin House at the junction of OR-26 and OR-7. Next, over Dixie Pass and down into Prairie City to the Chevron for some 92 octane. Noticed a good number of sportbikes in town which looks like a pretty nice place for a lunch break. Went through John Day, and stopped at the Chevron in Mt. Vernon to top off our tanks. 30 miles north of Mt. Vernon on US-395 in the tiny town of Long Creek was a Chevron with 92 octane so I pulled in for gas. US-395 was at its most scenic with great twisties from Dale to Ukiah.
6 hours after leaving Boise we sat down for supper at the Thicket Cafe & Saloon in Ukiah, OR. While enjoying our dinner it started sprinkling outside. Soon after 5 more folks on 3 motorcycles arrived. The guy on the Electra-Glide hit the saloon while two couples, who arrived on a GoldWing and Vulcan 1500 Classic from Burns, came into the cafe for a meal. They were heading north to the Gorge. We then went across the street, got 24 cans of beer and some ice before riding west. We got hammered by a rainstorm for several miles before arriving at Cutforth Park. Kurt managed to start a roaring campfire despite the wet wood. We had expected Steve and Mike to meet us at the campsite, but they never showed-up so we called it a night.
Day 2 was Cutforth Park to Boise via Cambridge, ID. (1) Campsite in Cutforth Park. (2) Thicket Cafe in Ukiah. (3) Gas in Sumpter. (4) Chevron in Baker City. (5) Hells Canyon/Joseph jct. (6) Gas in Cambridge. (7) I-84 jct. (8) My digs.
We had selected a nice campsite with plenty of trees at Cutforth Park as there were no other campers around that night. After crawling out of my tent that morning, saw that Kurt was almost finished packing his gear on his bike. He was helping me break camp when Steve rode in on his ZZR1200 from Heppner. As it turned out, he and Mike spent the night in a trailer up in Heppner due to the rainstorm last night. Mike arrived later on his borrowed FLSTC owned by a co-worker of his. Hadn't seen them for two years since I relocated to Boise from California. We then rode east to Ukiah.
Downtown Ukiah where we grabbed breakfast at the same cafe before riding southeast that cold morning to Granite and Sumpter. A couple of miles outside of Ukiah we startled 4 deer by the road.
Stopped here for a couple of minutes to take this shot of the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway sign then hurried after the rest of the group enroute to Sumpter.
Here's the view facing northwest from Sumpter where we took an outside coffee break as it had been cold ride down from Ukiah. We were around 5000' or so from Cutforth Park to Sumpter.
The rustic convenience store with gas pumps we stopped at in Sumpter. There was a tame deer grazing behind the blue pickup a little earlier that moved on before I could take a pix. That's Steve on the left masquerading as comedian. ;^)
20 miles outside of Sumpter is this Elkhorn Scenic Byway sign. The rest of the gang was waiting for me just down the road so I blasted by Steve with my loud pipes, and headed east to Baker City where we stopped at the Chevron for gas
We pulled over at this overlook along Hell's Canyon Scenic Byway west of Halfway to regroup, and enjoyed some beer that Kurt had in his ice chest. The clouds in background didn't appear too friendly, and were waiting for us to the east.
Hell's Canyon Scenic Byway right at the junction for Joseph east of Halfway. We continued to Brownlee Dam then got hit by a rainstorm from there to Cambridge, ID. The sun came out and dried the road after we killed time in Cambridge so we rode south to the I-84 junction, and slabbed to my digs in Boise for the night. My wife had purchased 2 Growlers of Buttface Amber Ale on tap for us. :-)
Day 3 we rode to Fairfield, Gooding, and Glenn's Ferry then followed Snake River back to Boise. (1) My digs. (2) Chevron in Mountain Home. (3) ID-20 jct to Gooding. (4) Gooding. (5) Carmela Winery in Glenn;s Ferry. (6) Shell in Grand View. (7) I-84 jct. (8) My digs.
We pulled over here just east of Fairfield the next morning as it was getting too cold to continue the ride out to Craters of the Moon. Decision was made to ride south to Gooding then west to Glenn's Ferry for lunch.
Kurt had suggested the Carmela Winery for lunch which is located in Glenn's Ferry. However, Kurt ran out of gas a couple of miles before the exit while on I-84. Steve filled a pop bottle with gas for Kurt, and we all filled-up at the local station before arriving at the winery. It was a nice lunch out on the rear balcony.
Just to the left of the Carmela Winery is this lush lawn being watered with Snake River Canyon in the background. This is where outside wine tasting is held during the summer months.
This is the parking lot and vineyards at the Carmela Winery facing north towards I-84. We cut west to ID-78, and followed Snake River out to Grand View.
Kurt's thirsty steed needed gas here at the Grand View Shell. Meanwhile, dark clouds were rolling in, and just after we left, a fierce rainstorm let loose with poor Kurt clad in nothing more than his longsleeve t-shirt and glasses. Steve had hauled ass up ahead of us, and managed to take a pix of the rainbow just after we got out of that rainstorm.
Fossil Creek Trailhead has a primitive restroom near the town of Murphy. We dried out here for a spell before returning to Boise where we had brews and dinner at The Ram that night. Next morning, Steve left early for his home in Lincoln via Burns, Alturas, Quincy and Bucks Lake. Mike left later that morning for Gridley via Winnemucca and Nevada City. We plan to get together again in June 2005.
Steve's e-mail after his ride home:
Hey guys - still feeling the effects from yesterday - this morning I typed up a 2 page memoir of the week and yesterday's ride only to get distracted and not save it and forgot to send it.
I may be getting too old for 700+ mile days - that or the ZZR is no R100R. Actually the ZZR was a lot better than I thought it would be for long days. But still, I rolled in about 7 last night - glad to be home before dark. 13 hours 704 miles.
It was only fitting this trip that 15 mins out of Boise the clouds joined forces and dumped on me in Nampa so I got nice and wet to ride in the upper 40s temp.. Those Boise weather forecasters are full of shit. I was not hungry due to 1 lb of cow in my colon and the failure to shit before leaving (I'm sure the girls and Barbara were thankful for that) but had to stop in Vale OR for coffee and food to "warm up" a bit. 30 mins back on 20 east and was cold again - (should be used to that by now?). Actually the plastic grocery bag pants and glove lining worked. I was cold, but not freezing. Hit a lot of construction on 20 - had two 15 min delays.
Arrived at Burns and it was still about 50 and cloudy. Was very happy to turn left (south) at Riley looking forward to warmer air. I'll be damned if a few clouds didn't get together again and dump on me in Wagontire. That's twice I've been through wagontire, twice I've had no fun there. About 10 years ago I went through Riley approaching reserve thinking nah., I can make it to Wagontire. Only to find the one building in Wagontire (combo motel, store, café, and gas station) was closed. I pounded on doors for a while and cussed my way back to Riley to catch the one gas station just as the guy was closing. Fuk you Wagontire!
Once through wagonfuk, I could actually see uninterrupted blue sky to the south. I was tired and wanted a butt break, but vowed not to stop until the sun shown unobstructed.. About 20 miles north of Lake View, I could finally feel some heat. Stopped by the lake at a gravel pile and laid down in the pile facing the sun which was fortunately the side opposing the wind. Enjoyed the warm gravel chair and some M&Ms for about 20 mins.
Finally got warm in Alturas .. Good ol California.. Got to Quincy around 5:00 and I realized I was getting pretty wiped out. Once on 162 though, got a 2nd wind on the nice road. Remember that nice pavement south of Buck's lake - smooth as glass w/ 25 mph sweepers? They are doing that all the way down to Lake Oroville. Will be killer in a year or two.
Unfortunately, the bastards were still paving at 5:30 and it was a long 20 min delay. What was worse was the ride behind the pilot truck. I have not ridden a street bike on a worse stretch of construction road since '92 on the AlCan hwy where I watched two Gold Wings get dumped. The asshole water truck just went through and believe me, it didn't need any more water. It was a clay surface and with the water, it was slicker than snot. After two miles of this, got another two miles of 1.5" rock just poured about 4" deep and not packed at all. This was hell. The ZZR carries a lot of weight on the front and I was doing all I could to keep it vertical. Fuking caltrans just don't think about two wheelers. I cussed out the other flagman (actually a woman who was quite a looker, sorry sweetie..) as I finished the mess..
As with all long rides, the last 45 mins seemed like two hours... Mike I didn't feel good about us riding home solo that long of a distance, especially with your bike spitting up parts, but I was sure glad go be home last night. Hope you got warm sooner than I did and had a good camp. Did the starter act up again?
All in all, the weather just sucked and am disappointed to not ride the cascade routes of Westfir to Rainbow and 242 to Sisters. Also really was looking forward to riding the beautiful Nez Perce country in the Wallowa mtns. Oh well next time. But hey, other than being a little cold and wet, I saw some pretty nice country, had some good times with good friends, and would do it again next month.
Quotes of the trip: Mike - "This is my vacation.".. Store owner in Spray OR: "Uh sir, you can't drink beer outside, the sheriff might come by .." I talked some shit for a while and chugged that fine pint of bush beer nonetheless. Somehow I knew the next hour would be hell.
Graeme thanks for everything and thank Barbara for the good food, beer/cig runs, coffee, etc.. Boise is a nice place and near good roads, but getting there from CA sucks. Maybe next year you and Kurt can ride west and we'll do the cascades and Nez Perce country and hopefully enjoy some nice/warm camping and hotels where we can get something other than a 5th wheel trailer. Then again, that smelly trailer was awful nice.
Kurt it was good meeting you, my wife is really enjoying the Reising as I type. For as much as you ride, you need a bike with more range!
Oh and Graeme it was a trip seeing your girls after 5 years or so. Wow what a difference.
Have a great night!