Forgot to mention that we saw 77 bikes yesterday and traveled 251 miles. Today we saw 109 bikes. That’s probably because we were on one of the most sought after roads in America, the Lolo Pass (Hwy 12) in Idaho.
We awoke around 7:30 to clear skies and temps in the low 60’s. The hotel had a nice little continental’ish breakfast. Scramble eggs, sausage, imitation bagels… We are used to “real” bagels. Next time we’ll stick with the toast. All in all it was pretty good for “free”.
The Best Western in Orofino is simply awesome. Check out the photos. The hotel is right on the Clearwater River. The snow is melting and there have been several inches of rain so the water is high. Every few minutes we saw large logs and other debris floating by at quite a clip. View from our room: View from Hwy 12:
We departed at 11:00 and it was already 77 degrees. We hit Hwy 12 (East) and the scenery and weather was glorious. There were a ton of whitewater rafters on the Lochsa River. We stopped at Lochsa Falls and shot some photos and a video. There was a professional photographer there too. Check out some of these photos: http://tinyurl.com/ouo787. Class IV rapids: Lochsa Falls
We stopped for lunch in Missoula, MT. and as we looked South the skies were not looking good so we put on the rain gear to ward off the precipitation. It almost worked.
Near Huggy Bear Ln. just North of Victor, MT we had a nice chat with a Deputy Sheriff. The speed limits in Montana can be confusing. Brian honestly thought that the speed limit was 70 so we were doing 75. We came upon a white Suburban and from about 100 yards away recognized the “SHERIFF DIAL 911” sticker on the tailgate so slowed to 70… that speed brought us even closer so, like a good driver, he pulled to off to let us by… or not.
Once pulled over he turned on the overheads. We stopped. As he approached we already had our helmets off and were getting off the bikes. He asked us to remain on the bikes with the kickstands up. Hmm… that seemed like a pretty safe way to approach biker scum. It would be hard to assume an offensive position as a rider in that position.
The nice deputy said “the reason I stopped you was because I was doing the speed limit of 65 and you two came upon me pretty quick”. Brian said “I thought that the limit was 70”. He took our licenses, ran us, then came back to visit. He said “your paperwork came back clean… I just stopped you to tell you that the speed limit here is 65… sorry that I had to stop you”. Then he asked “Where are from?” and realized that he already knew. He just wanted to know a little about our trip. He must have said “I’m sorry I had to stop you” at least three times.
Anyway, as we approached the 7,264 foot summit of the Bitteroot Mountains (Chief Joseph Pass) it began to rain. Not much, just a “shower”.
The ride down the other side turned dry pretty quickly and we coasted into Salmon around 6:00 (or 7:00 as they say in this time zone). We fueled the bikes, grabbed a bottle of Idaho wine and were in our room at the Syringa Lodge by 6:30. Here is a view from our room:
Tomorrow it’s off to Twin Falls, ID. The weather guessers are promising lots of sunshine.
Today’s SKF: Temps: 55 – 88. Average MPG: 48 Average speed: 58 Total miles: 311.9 miles Wildlife spotted: 1 bald eagle, three elk and two deer. Log Home Manufacturers: too many too mention. Sheesh.
Dana here, sitting on the deck at our hotel room right on Clearwater River in Orofino, Idaho, I’m writing my first ever blog. The sun is setting, the water is lapping, I’m drinking a glass of wine and Brian is contemplating his new cigar hobby over a glass of single malt scotch. This is the life!
We took off from Baker City this morning about 11:45 after repacking everything. Literally. We spent so much time planning what to pack but not how to pack it! It was much more logical and consolidated after we were through.
My breakfast plan worked out well – pre-scrambled eggs with bacon and cheese frozen in packets, heated up in the microwave and wrapped in tortillas. I’ve got enough of that to get us to Utah where we can grocery shop and restock.
We stopped in Enterprise for gas and to see if we could get a new seal for the little coffee-espresso pot. It the same kind of seal typically found in a blender – you know, it goes between the beaker and the blade? Brian sorta forgot to put a certain ingredient in. Nothing important, just, you know, the water. So the seal kinda got, you know, melted a little bit. Anyway, Enterprise doesn’t have a place to buy something like that, so we continued north on OR highway 3, also called Rattlesnake Road. When you cross into Washington on that road, it becomes Washington 129. It’s a way cool twisty road.
In the middle, right before crossing into Washington, there is this little café place that serves good food and GREAT shakes and malts. So we had lunch there around 2:30. Continuing north we got a few drops of rain – just enough to make the road a bit slick so we didn’t push too hard. What beautiful country God put us in!
Riding along, enjoying the riding and the scenery, I noticed that Brian was suddenly breaking and I was about to rear-end him. I noticed there was a large turkey standing in my way. I thought it might not be good for me to hit the turkey. I figured Brian thought the same, which was why he was about to get my front tire up his tail-pack. I love anti-lock breaking systems, especially mine and especially on my bike. The turkey remembered it was Memorial Day, not Thanksgiving so he flew away.
We got into Lewiston around 5:00 where there is a WalMart. I got a new coffee seal. “Free”.
From there we followed Clearwater River to Orofino, and got here around 6:00. Really nice place!
SKF (statistical key figures, for those not in the accounting world) starting temperature 72, high of 88, low of 64. Around 245 miles. Really perfect riding weather. All in all, a wonderful day two. Tomorrow is on to Lolo pass, in and out of Montana via the Bitterroot Mountains and staying at Salmon, ID. About 300 miles.
We arrived in Baker City around 7pm and had dinner with Jim and Penny. Even though we just saw them a couple of weeks ago I didn't mind seeing them again :-O
We decided to count the number of motorcycles we saw today (either "moving" or parked in a spot where they probably still had warm motors -- not bikes for sales, in driveways etc.). The total was 107.
Seven of these bikes were at a gas station in John Day and we chatted them up. It was a group of guys from Las Vegas. I heard one of them mention "Gustavo". How many can there be?
"I know a Gustavo" I said... turns out it is the same guy. I've only met him once or twice but he's on a group that I exchange e-mails with: OBS (Oregon Biker Scum).
We left the house at 11:11 and it was mostly cloudy and 58 degrees. We took Hwy 20 through Sisters, then through Prineville, Redmond, Mitchell... It got as warm as 88.
During the last 40 miles or so we were wearing our rain jackets due to threatening skies. It never really rained but the pavement was wet and lots of cars had their wipers going. The temp dropped down 54.
We're spending the night at a Best Western in Baker City and have just finished "re-packing". We've never been gone for two weeks so we're learning as we go. Our dinner companions took a many-month long motorcycle trip last year so we played 20 questions with them tonight. We got some good information.
We also discovered that we will have to detour tomorrow. One road that we wanted to take is still covered in snow.
Tomorrow it's off to Enterprise, Lewiston... then spend the night in Orofino, Id. We'll be on Hwy 3 in SE Washington (Rattlesnake Rd). It's the second best road that we've ever ridden.
We will be gone for two weeks. Our route begins by heading northeast, through Baker City, then on to, Orofino, ID, Salmon, ID, Twin Falls, ID and finally arriving in Utah where we are staying at the Hansen House in Sandy. We're staying in the English Fox Hunt Suite.
Brian has an app on his iPhone that will allow us to update our location periodically. You can check our latest position via our website.