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Old 08-09-2013, 03:26 PM   #1
bwhip
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A quick (750 mile) weekend trip through some awesome scenery (lots of pics!)

I hadn't had a chance to ride the Multistrada much this summer, mostly due to being very busy at work, and ridiculously hot weather. Tommy and I did the Oregon ride back in early June (Oregon Twisties), but not much else.

As last week went along, it looked like I might be able to do a quick getaway over the weekend. I looked at the map, and decided it would be very doable to revisit one of my all-time favorites - Lolo Pass in northern Idaho. I could ride up on Saturday, and then make a loop of it returning through some different scenic territory on Sunday. Here's the map of the route:



It would be about 750 miles total, split about evenly between the two days. The weather forecast was for mostly bright sunshine and warm temps. On Wednesday I had some new tires mounted, as my old set of street tires were pretty well done. I decided to try the new Pirelli Angel GT tires, after reading some great reviews.

Saturday AM I left around 8 AM, and headed toward McCall. It'd been so hot recently that I barely remembered at the very last moment to throw in a light liner under my well-ventilated jacket. Good thing I did, as the temps dropped to 48 degrees along the way as I climbed in elevation.

Once I got to McCall, I had to stop at my favorite little cafe there for breakfast - the Fogglifter. They make a fantastic veggie breakfast burrito. I read the morning news on the iPad, and warmed back up.



After breakfast, it was time to head north. So many people think of Idaho as the potato state, but probably don't realize that it's 70% forest. It makes for a great place to own and ride motorcycles! Here's a pretty typical section of Hwy 55 just north of McCall:



Next, I turned north on Hwy 95 and headed toward Grangeville. Along the way there is the small town of Riggins, which is a mecca for river rafting on the Salmon River. Here are a couple of pics from either side of town:





A little south of Grangeville there is a huge hill that is a really fun climb on a high-performance bike, at White Bird. At the top the view is quite spectacular!



At Grangeville I headed east on Hwy 13 to head toward Kooskia and Lolo Pass. The short stretch just outside of Grangeville is absolutely sublime for motorcycling. Steep, super twisty, grippy and fun! Highly recommended. The map kind of shows just how curvy the road is there.



A little south of Kooskia on Hwy 12 is also an awesome stretch of road, which winds along the south fork of the Clearwater River.



Now, on to one of my favorite roads I've ever had the joy of riding - Lolo Pass!



Yep, 99 miles of pure awesomeness. I wish photos could do it justice, but they don't capture the grandeur of it all, the flow of the curves, the majesty of the trees, the blues and greens, the smell of unspoiled nature... You've got to ride it.





How twisty? Well, look at this small section on the map:





Your mind is blown with how great it is, then you see this sign. Oh darn.





Yep, it's that good. Definitely a road that should be on any motorcyclist's bucket list.

At the top of Lolo Pass, I found a little dirt road that led me to a pretty amazing view.



About 25 miles or so to the small town of Lolo (and back to civilization), I noticed that I was running quite low on fuel. I thought I'd had plenty after filling up in Riggins, but the computer on the Ducati was suddenly telling me I had about 30 miles left to go before running out. It was all downhill, so I wasn't too worried. However, as I continued, the gauge would say 18 miles, then 14, then 11... and I still had about 18 miles to go! I did my best to conserve fuel, but was growing increasingly worried that I'd run out. Not cool.

Finally, with about five miles left before Lolo, the gauge was blinking "E" and remaining range said "0 miles." I rounded a corner and saw - a gas station! Thank goodness. I didn't know my tank held 5.31 gallons, but that's what it took. Huge relief.



The couple of small hotels in Lolo were booked up solid, so I went 16 miles north to Missoula and spent the night, having traveled around 370 miles on Saturday.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:28 PM   #2
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Sunday AM I got up and headed south on Hwy 93. The first hour or so through Hamilton and a little south of there is fairly boring, but then it starts to get really good in a hurry as you get closer to Idaho.



There is a big mountain to climb on a fast, twisty road, and then just past the turnoff to Wisdom, MT, you descend down an equally fun and scenic road amidst spectacular forest. (click on photo for full pano view)



As you continue on into Idaho, the terrain changes from forest to more of a rocky, desert landscape. I found a little dirt road off the highway that led to a shady oasis along the river.



Some cool bridges along the way, too.





I had a new experience along this stretch. I got hit in the head with a bird! Out of nowhere this bird flew at me. I ducked and it glanced off my helmet. It was a pretty good thud that snapped my neck back - there was a little bit of weight in that bird! I hope it was okay, not sure what happened to it.



Mile after mile of beautiful (and pretty empty) highway, with views that are just awesome. The stretch of Hwy 75 between Challis and Stanley is also a personal favorite. So twisty, so amazingly fun to ride!





The remaining stretch from Stanley to home is fantastic, too, but I didn't stop much there as it was getting pretty hot and I've already taken about 1,000 photos there in the past.

As you can see, it was a great weekend ride. The Pirelli Angel GT's were outstanding, and I gave them quite a workout.



No matter what challenge I threw at them, they gripped and gripped. I didn't have a chance to test their wet-weather performance, but so far, so good.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I love the Multistrada and can't imagine a better all-around bike for my street (and occasional dirt) riding. It's completely awesome.

Very grateful for a fun and safe weekend, and grateful to live in such a beautiful state!
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:07 PM   #3
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Nice! Those are some excellent roads out there!
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:16 PM   #4
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Awesome report and photography!
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
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Very cool--I love Lolo Pass and the area near Stanley.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
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Very nice pics.

Great riding out that way, I hit Lolo pass 3 times I'm itching to go back with a dual sport and fill in the middle of that map.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #8
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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I really enjoyed the report and pictures!

Thanks for taing us along for the ride
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:14 PM   #10
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Thanks, my pleasure!
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:08 PM   #11
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amazing ride route and scenery.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #12
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #13
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Thanks for the report and pics! Gorgeous scenery
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:46 PM   #14
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very nice, i would like to join you next time
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:20 AM   #15
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Thanks very much, all! It was a great weekend for sure. I feel blessed to live so close to such incredible roads.
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