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August 28, 2010

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Back in the States and I’m Going to Hell

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Back in the US.  Land of cheap gas, groceries, and readily available motorcycle parts.  Or at least that was my expectations after traveling through Canada and Alaska for 6 weeks.  From Nakusp I went to Spokane, Washington and found the first two of those items and the location of two Suzuki parts dealers nearby for the third.

Relatively Freshly ShavedRelatively Freshly Shaved

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Relatively Freshly Shaved

 

Monday morning I was off for my parts to discover both shops closed.  No worries, I’d ignored my blog for two weeks while I was mountain climbing.  Plenty of work to do for a day.  That day of blogging turned into two (much like what is happening to me right now) and the parts stores wanted to keep me around for a week for them to come in.  This was turning into Fairbanks all over again.

This time around I had choices though.  There were more stores to choose from than just Anchorage.  I was headed towards Seattle next and could have a chain and sprockets waiting for me there.  Now should I go straight over or cut down to Hells Canyon first like I’d intended?  Wait a second, lets throw in a newly considered third idea as well, Burning Man starts in two weeks in Nevada.

Having the Cemetery on the Way Makes It Easier to Keep Up W/The Population CountHaving the Cemetery on the Way Makes It Easier to Keep Up W/The Population Count

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Having the Cemetery on the Way Makes It Easier to Keep Up W/The Population Count

 

After asking for opinions on my Facebook Page and even talking to the host of SideStandUp during my second interview (Episode 280), nearly all said Burning Man which is the way I was leaning as well.  Ok, now we’re talking!  Hells Canyon is on the way to Boise and off I went.

I first heard about Hells Canyon National Recreation Area from Chris and Al, of ETAUnknown, the Kiwi couple I met in Yellowstone.  Great place to ride AND the sun was actually out.  I went in through the Oregon side and didn’t have to go out of my way to find some fun rides.  The reason for this is that the main road to Hells Canyon was closed.

Rough Forest RoadRough Forest Road

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Rough Forest Road

 
Ascent Road from Hells CanyonAscent Road from Hells Canyon

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Ascent Road from Hells Canyon

 

I decided to go see for myself and ended up on a 40 mile detour over 4wd drive forest roads.  Plenty of rocks along the road and a crew was adding/replacing culverts along the way so lots to watch out for.  It really had been a long time since I’d done a few hours in a row like this, but I kept the bike up the whole way.

It did add several hours onto the trip and I zipped up to the Hells Canyon Dam and back down as shadows were setting in the canyon.  Taking another dirt turnoff I soon found an unexpected (and unofficial) camp overlooking the canyon.  I was sold and up went the tent.  After 4 months of traveling and camping I’ve gotten pretty good picking out where its ok to stop and when I have to watch out.  Only one car came by the whole time I was up there.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lisa Neely
    Aug 28 2010

    I would buy the book of photograhs from your trip if you were to compile one…

    Reply
    • Aug 28 2010

      More work for me to do? Isn’t traveling and blogging enough? Just kidding, thank you Lisa. I’ve been overwhelmed with comments about my photos. I always thought I was just a decent enthusiast. Who knows what it could turn into one day….

      Reply

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