Iron Butt 2012- Border Run and Back

Little jaunt up north and back


1,127 Miles

21:02 Hours

Number of stops- 10

Animal sightings- 1

Close calls- 0

Fuzz sightings- 0

Famous person sighting- 1

As some of you know I like to ride my motorcycle and ride it far.  So when the itch to complete my Iron butt for 2012 presented itself I did what any other motorcycle crazy would do,  I scratched it.  I had just had added a few new farkles to the FJR and wanted to give them a try.  The most important one being my new Cee baileys windscreen.  From how it was performing in town I couldn’t wait to get it out on the open road.  (I wasn’t disappointed).  The new Vance and Hines pipes also where going to get there first long road test on this ride.  I was surprised when they preformed above my expectations.  They were as loud or quite as my throttle hand would allow them to be.  The Power Commander V did its job but needs some fine tuning.  I wasn’t disappointed though.

2:30am alarm goes off.  Snooze.  2:40am alarm tries again.   Roll over and lay awake.  2:50 and I am up.  Quick shower and the gear is on.  I had the bike ready the night before which was only a mere 4 hours prior.  I made sure the cats had extra food and water and off I went.  I reached the Chevron at 3:30am and had to explain to the gentleman what I was about to do.  He gladly signed my papers and asked if I needed a coffee.  I thanked him and waved him off.  My first leg of the ride was going to be from Mountain home to McCall a easy 155 miles and a little over 3 hours.  Great warm up for the butt.

My first and only bike malfunction/error/I was stupid happened while cruising the interstate toward Boise. I had noticed that the GPS was running on its internal battery which was odd. The red alert started playing in my head.  What did I forget to hook up.  The GPS cradle looked ok and the wires to it were firmly plugged in.  The only thing it could have been was thats  I forget to hook up the ground wire to the GPS cradle when I was installing the Power Commander a few days before.  DUH!!!  I rode into boise and made a quick stop at a gas station right before the McCall exit.  I was pretty impressed with myself as I had the plastics that hid the battery off and back on in less than 15mins.  With the GPS running on the bikes power I was feeling a whole lot better.    Next stop McCall.

FJR and Sock monkey enjoying the McCall morning

I made my first (or second if you count that oops i had earlier) stop at a Chevron in McCall.  Filled up the tank and wiped the windshield.  The town was awaking up and it was going to be a nice one.  A few coffee shops were starting to open but I only really saw about a hand full of people.

Lake in the Morning

The next part of the leg was McCall to Grangeville.  I had been on this road before with a Wheels of Faith ride so it was all pretty familiar.  It was a nice morning ride and I got to see the sun come up and start to warm things up.  I spoke with a local guy in Grangeville as I was changing out my lenses on my helmet.  He told me he was looking to get a FJR and asked how the ride was.  I told him there was nothing else like it.

Changing out the lenses in Grangeville. Sockmonkey wishes he had some shades.

The road out of Grangeville took me north toward Orfinio which would be my second gas stop.  It was a nice morning ride along the river.  I would pretty much follow this river all the way north on highway 12 till it I hit Orfino .   From my past experience whenever your ride takes you along a river it means that the road will be twisty!!!  Out of Orfino on Old Idaho 7 was probably one of the twistest  roads I have been on in Idaho.  I am pretty sure the pegs touched pavement more than once on the switch backs.  The Google map doesn’t do it justice just look at the elevation gain and you know the only way up something like that is switch backs.  Switch backs = Amazing fun for motorcycles!

Old Idaho 7 how I miss you.

Once you get up top after all those switch backs it turns into flat farm land mixed in with some forest back country.  I was finally starting to running into some light traffic most of it seemed to be locals heading into town.  Right out of Kendrick I had to stop and snap a picture of this.  The sign said “We are having a bumper crop”  Funny stuff.

Bumper crop. Get it? Haha

My climb north took me on Highway 3 toward Deary, Idaho.  Again I remember this stretch of road from a pervious ride.  It was a quick leg not seeing a single soul till I hit Deary.   Deary was having a car show so I made a quick swing by to snap a photo.

Some pretty nice cars

I stopped at the local gas station for a candy bar and a bath room break when I met these friendly guys.

” They don’t know there not dogs “

I over heard the owner talking to another Deary local about his ‘buddies’ and I had to take a look. The old man said ” They don’t know there not dogs”  ” They go everywhere with me”  I asked to snap a picture and told him my wife would get a kick out of it.  He just looked at me funny.   I continued north on highway 3 till i hit St. Maries.  Filled up and took a stretch break at there local Yamaha shop.   It had mostly dirt bikes so me and the guy at the counter had nothing to talk about.  After the feeling came back in my back side I continued on.   It was about 12ish so the traffic was starting to really pick up.  I was getting a little worried about my time frame and if i was staying on track for my 24 hours.   I had about 3 hours ahead of me till I reached the border.  I won’t lie i thought about turning around and calling it a great ride. I am glad I didn’t.

Self portrait

On the road with GoPro

As I approached Cour De Lane lake I knew that I either made the worst mistake time wise or the best decision when it came to the route.  I had told my self earlier that I hated to make this ride an out and back, following the same route back would just be plain boring.  So the plan was to take the east side of the lake up and the west side back.

Great for pictures. Bad if your in a hurry

If I was on a casual ride this route would have been perfect.  It was scenic but slow.  I got stuck behind so many ‘Saturday out for a drive’ drivers that it was just killing me to watch the time tick.  The house/cabins/mansions where neat to see.   Lots of boats on the water also.  With the days temps set for 100+ didn’t surprise me that the lake would that busy.

cool little town on the lake. Must go back.

Come on I was on the bike. Give me a break

Ok picture this.  Been riding for about 10 hours.  No lunch, temperature was about 98 and climbing, Camelbak was getting low and I am about 1 hour and 45 mins from the border.  I was feeling it.  Throw in a traffic jam and some construction and I about flipped.  From Cour de lane to Sandpoint nothing but construction and less than 20 miles an hour speeds.  I was frying and stressing about my time.  Only thing cool about these is I got to follow this guy for most of it.

Dodge Viper SRT8. Yeah that bad boy is fast!

Once out of the construction it was throttle on all the way to the border.  I was getting pretty tired at this point.  The heat was starting to get to me but I knew once I hit the border is was going to get better.

I made it!

I met this lovely couple who where riding to Spokane for the weekend.  They were from Canada I could tell from there funny accent.  They were nice and funny.  The guy wanted a pop from the vending machine but it only took US currency.  His wife was laughing at  him as he cursed the Vending machine.  I offered a buck but they declined.  I hopped back on the FJR and began me trip south.

“it takes US money honey” Damn machine hahaha

I stopped taking pictures on the way back because my phone died.  The charger that I had brought was a piece of crap and wouldn’t work.  I was a little pissed about that.  My return trip took me South on 95 all the way down to Moscow, Idaho, Lewiston and back to Grangeville.  When I hit Lewiston it was 105 and all of 105.  I was cooking on the pavement.  I did stop in Lapwai, Idaho for gas and a drink.  I had a Spark and some Rehydrate and I am glad I did.  It was starting to become late afternoon and I still had about 400 miles to go.  Lapwai to Grangeville to McCall was pretty much a blur.  I just kept the hammer down on the throttle.  I am not going to lie I was trying for a land speed record  some place between Grangeville and Riggins.  That reminds me the stretch from Grangeville to Riggins is also along a river and what did we learn about roads along rivers?   nice long sweepers! It was nice as all the campers and travelers where settling down for the evening.  No one was on the road. :-).  I rolled into Mccall just around 10pm.  I needed gas.  I was spent.  The ride was really starting to take a toll.  I could feel the road grime on my face, my eyes where blood shot from the wind and my ass was SORE.  I stopped at the Maverick and proceeded to pump some gas.  I ran my card and it gave me ‘see the attendant’.  I tried it again and got the same result.  So I went in side.  Spoke to the ‘attendant’, who was a big  nasty bad word and he told me that my card was declined.  I was like ‘figures’.  I wasn’t going to argue so I jumped on the FJR and headed to the Chevron that I filled up at in the morning.  Slid card. Same result ‘see attendant’  This time I had my cash out and walked inside the store.  I was greeted by a young gal who was a whole lot more cheerful than that dirt bag at the Maverick.  She told me that my card probably didn’t work because I used it up and down the state in less than 24 hours.  I prepaid 20 and went out side to fill up.  As I was walking out I noticed an older couple starring at the FJR.  I could tell they where just looking and said hello.  The lady was the first to ask, ‘What’s the monkeys name?”  I just smiled.  The gentleman asked what type of bike and where I was heading.  I told them I was heading home from Canada.  The lady who look pretty concerned at my physical state asked if I was ok and if i could make it home.  I told her that I was almost there.  She really freaked out when I told here I had left that morning for Canada and was returning.  The gentleman asked what I did and what my name was.  We made introductions and when he told me was a Simplot it really didn’t click.  (1000 miles, less than 24hrs= slow) I think he knew it didn’t click so he added “You know my names on all those big rigs you see everywhere” Ah SIMPLOT.  I am tracking now.   I kick myself for not documenting it somehow.  I really don’t remember his first name either.  I later googled him but none of the pictures really looked like him.  He might have been fibbing.  The ride from McCall was a gingerly one.  It was dark now and I was on high alert for deer.   I  rolled into Mountain home around 12:30 and was home by 12:45.  I parked the bike, stripped down, showered and hit the sack.  I was out like a light.

Oh the one animal sighting was a fox coming into Boise at 11pm at night.  I thought it was funny that the only animal I saw the whole trip up the length of Idaho was a fox in the city limits of Boise.   I clocked about 1100 miles in about a 21 hour time frame.  It was a great ride.   I would definitely do it again.

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