The first few weeks were depressing. I lost my adventure-mobile, my home, and part of my identity for the last year and a half.
It was tough.
Shopping for a new rig has not been going well. Used school buses are becoming the new rage, and the bidding wars are pushing them out of my price range. So I have been spending my time working, building, and modifying the bike for longer distance. I am watching a couple buses closely, and hopefully be able to snap one up in the next couple weeks, so I can start building the new adventure-mobile. I am pretty excited and anxious to get my mobility back – the thing most Americans are missing. You don’t really know what this facet means to you till you lose it, and man it hurts.
Was headed south towards Lake Havasu but decided to slow down near Vegas and see some sights. Never been to Lake Mead, or Hoover Dam, and decided to stretch my legs. The weather has been windy and cold, so no paddling this week. Loading the bike up in the morning and headed further south. Looking for lows in the 40’s, maybe next stop?
Had a nice short ride down WRT to Lathrop Canyon, a short spur down to the river. When I arrived at the river, I realized it was time to move south. I am certain l I could spend another month here, but I am itching to see Zion and Bryce Canyon.
Got a nice paddle in on Monday, but I have been so busy I am just now getting around to posting. Got my parts in yesterday, after getting blood drawn for my new Western Doctor – YAY!! So now I don’t have to beg Eastern Doc, for refills, or drive back to Bama for auscultations. Got the bike fixed by sundown, and went to celebrate – and witness the Meltdown of America I could not vote so don’t blame me!!
Rolling out of McCall, north towards the Payette was harder than it sounds. McCall is a beautiful lake/snow town, and no, I did not get any pics, as it seems I was always gathering or doing something else in town, other than relaxing. Night 2, I moved up to a nice hillside spot above Burgdorf – an old hot springs resort right off the road. I did some exploring the next morning, to get my bearings and find what all I needed to see in the coming days. I had talked to Alabama-Jared from Boise, and coincidentally, he was to be at an event, less than 3 miles from my camp, with his new hardcore-singletrack friends from TVTMA. While he got his soul-crushing single-track-fix, I did more exploring around the endless wilderness along the Salmon River.
I never did find the 2 hidden hot springs, or the prepper’s hilltop bunker, or any of the old mines, but I did find many other gems.
I also found it so hot in the valley, I had to go for a dip in the birthday suit – I did not expect any more paddlers, as the nearest upstream put-in was in Montana. I guess that explains the flag on the lead-boat of four, all with small children on board. I did have my pants on by the the time they came around the bend
Total number of animals almost killed while riding:
Tiny foxes = 4
Rodents(squirrels, etc.) = 50+
In fact, this morning while leaving, I realized the visitor I had the night before had either returned, or was still inside the bus. I have no pics, but somehow, a chipmunk got into the bus. I should know by morning if he hitchhiked all the way to Boise?
Oh sure, the states and nations were all close together, and it was only a few hundred miles, but it was the longest day of riding I have had in awhile. And I have long days of riding several times a week. I really should have driven the bus up there and explored a bit more, but Canada does not like guns, and I do, so the bus stayed in ‘Merica, and I will have to plan another visit.
The highlights of my Canadian Day-Tour were the free and timely ferry rides, and climbing the 4wd pass across into Kootenay Bay from Kimberly, saving me hours of driving on pavement. The ferry ride over to Balfour was fast and smooth, and I did not want to get off. The ride back across the bay hours later was rough, windy and wet, and I could not WAIT to get off. I could see the storm brewing on the other side, dumping rain onto the mountains, and my path “home”.
I wished I had more time, but at least I know what is waiting on me when I return.
I spent five days in the middle of bear country, camped on the North Fork of the Flathead River, about 45 miles south of the Canadian border. The promise of my forgotten little town – Polebridge, was a bit disappointing. Turns out, that riding down a dusty dirt road for 30 miles will lead to Polebridge, a small, off-grid community from the turn of the century, but all the tourists have found out about this quaint spot. I thought I might be one of 5 people to grab a huckleberry bearclaw (it was 10x better than it was described even) along with a goat-cheese, sundried tomato thingie that was almost as good. The coffee even washed MOST of the dust down too.
Deer were everywhere. They used the roads as a salt-lick, and could barely care about your bus or moto. A large elk came crashing thru the camp one night, between my fireplace and the river, while a visitor that had paddled in late (10:30) and I watched.
The most striking thing I noticed about Flathead, and Glacier, was the amount of damage to the forest caused by the 2003 burn. While I read Glacier suffered a 13 percent loss, I think it might be double that in Flathead. I used several trees as firewood. Sorry for the lack of pics, my camera was damaged after being ruunt-over.
As I mentioned in a previous video, the day I had planned to run over to Glacier early, was the day I lost my valve-stem on the rear tire(almost crashed at 70+). I spent the pre-dawn hour walking back to the bus, and was picked up by Border Patrol agent, and that is how I found out about the grizzly killing(in more ways than one). I spent 1/2 the day finding a tube. and 2 more hours replacing, then patching my pinch, but did get a short ride in. As much struggle as I had, I thoroughly enjoyed my time up there, topped off by a trip to Canada.
I am so banged up from riding, paddling, and walking thru the bus (no I was NOT drunk), that it may take a few weeks for the cuts and bruises to heal. Fortunately, the smile will last much longer than that.
So my attempt to paddle Alberton Gorge yesterday was a fail, but I will make another attempt next week – it looks WAY too awesome to miss.
On a lighter note, I just filled the tank with 250 miles on it, and only added a quart (rather than 2 gallons) so I think the takin-er-easy method is working on the sprinkler system. Which is why I am headed north.
A week of blazing down twisty roads, dirt and paved, left a smile on my face. It seems as every twisty road had a stream or river beside it, or crossed one many times. The scenery, the vistas, and the roads combined with the cool forest temps to make this a hard place to leave.
So I took the boat out Saturday. Of course it took me 2 hours to rig it up, as it was the first time I rigged it completely, AND put the boat in the water. After rigging it up, I sat on the beach, reading the manual, trying to muster the courage to get on the boat, with having only a small clue about sailing.
Like rigging the boat, I really needed find out WHAT I DID NOT KNOW before I could really start learning. That is how I learn.