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Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by dontoe, Apr 22, 2006.
Oh I know it's in the U.S of A. I know for sure cause it's in miles
Now, narrow it down a bit.........
lolo pass, montana
le'me tell you, as a former over the road truck driver,,,i have seen ALOT of signs, and i have NEVER seen a sign that read something like that, that many miles of winding roads,,,that's just nuts.
Try driving Highway 36 in N.CA at least twice that long and windier than sh!t.
June 11, 2003
West Glacier, MT - Idaho City, ID
10 hr 30 min riding
Some days everything just seems to come together. Today was one of those days. When you combine great roads, excellent weather, little traffic and breathtaking vistas you approach motorcycle nirvana.
There is certainly nothing original about this picture. If you have read motorcycle magazines for any length of time you have seen this spot before. This is part of the reason I added this to my must do list. It turns out that I had no idea where it was until a friend, hearing about where I planned to go, asked me if I was riding Lolo Pass. Huh? "You know, the 77 miles of twisties sign." "Oh...well...hell yeah then!" I have heard people say that it isn't worth heading west for and I agree but if you are already there it is more than worth the time. In fact, it was a definite highlight of my trip.
I headed south out of Glacier after packing the tent in the mist (yes, wet again) and headed towards Missoula. The weather started to improve almost immediately and continued to do so the further south I went. I hit 12 and headed west into Idaho. Hwy 12 runs along the Clearwater River which is designated a National Wild and Scenic River. What this means is that there is no development and the entire 77 miles is virtually untouched except for a winding and twisty road. Traffic is very light because there really isn't anywhere to go if you are not driving the entire length.
I'm pretty sure there is a pickup truck driver who thought I was completely loco. He was in a small truck carrying a refrigerator. I passed him quickly and disappeared around a curve. I decided to stop and take a picture next to the river. He slowly cruised by. I got on the bike, caughtup to him in less than a minute, and passed again. I stopped to check out this picturesque rock outcropping. He slowly cruised by. I got on the bike and passed him again. Wow, look at those rapids I think I will stop and have a little snack and drink of water. He slowly cruised by. Anyway I must have passed him a half dozen times and all I could think about at the end was the story of the tortoise and the hare. Someone else has written about this same analogy but I can't recall who.
Since traffic was so light I decided to play around with the camera on the bike while riding. I had not tried this before and my first try was only partially successful. My plan was to lock the throttle, reach into the tank bag for the camera with my right hand, take pictures, put the camera back in the tank bag and release the throttle lock. After trying it I can tell you this is not the best way. Nothing happened but the basic flaw is that you have to put the camera back in the bag before you can resume two-handed riding. If something happens quickly you may not be able to do this and the only alternative is to drop the camera on the road. Not good. I found out things work much better with the camera strap around your neck. This limits the camera motion quite a bit but the extra safety margin is worth it. A couple of pictures turned out ok and the one below of the curves is a personal favorite of mine. After 12 I headed south toward Boise. I was looking for a particular campsite (KOA) because I desperately needed a shower and a place to do laundy. I was completely out of dry, clean clothing. The trip took a little longer than I had planned and to make a long story short I ended up in Boise just about the time it was getting dark. I never did find the campground and ended up on Hwy 21 heading northeast. By this time it was completely dark and it was getting pretty cold. Hwy 21 is a twisty mountain road and I guessed it would be great fun in the daytime but it wasn't so fun at night on the GS. Anybody who owns one will tell you the stock lighting is piss poor in turns. About the time you get the bike leaned over you realize that you can't see where you are going.
just in case
When it comes to tools there seems to be two common approaches. One approach is to bring basically everything required to rebuild the entire motorcycle with plenty of special tools and lots of spare parts. The second approach is to bring nothing but a cell phone, credit card and the phone number for road side assistance. My approach falls somewhere between these two extremes. I would feel foolish if a blown headlight or fuse stranded me but I don't entertain the notion that I am capable of rebuilding the bike's transmission on the side of the road.
I carry: factory tool kit
leatherman super tool
small adjustable wrench
ball peen hammer (mainly for tent stakes)
tire pressure gauge
air pump ($10 walmart unit w/out case)
swiss army knife
valve stem wrench
oil sight glass
quart of oil Almost everything fits in the small tupperware type container in the picture at the top with the exceptions of the obvious (like the quart of oil). So far (knock on wood) the only time I have used the tools is when tightening a screw or adjusting a cable. I did blow a taillight once but was home 3 weeks before a cop finally stopped me and I remembered to use my spare. Out of sight, out of mind.
I decided that at the next town I was going to try and find a place to stay for the night. So far I had spent every night in the tent so I didn't feel too bad looking for a hotel. I had earned it. Serendipity struck when the next town happened to be Idaho City. On one of the side streets I found the Idaho City Hotel which is an 1800s style two story building that just oozes character. I quickly got a room, took a loooonnnngggg HOT shower, and climbed in bed under a homemade quilt. Ahhhh... What a day. It was at this time that I realized that half my trip was over and tomorrow I would be "officially" heading towards home. This left me with mixed feeling as I drifted off to sleep.
nice! ive been on that road, in my lifted 85, very windy, and fun to see some roll... The fishing is great, thats the reason i went.
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