Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Motorcycle Ride from Calamity Creek Campground

Note: I have been having issues with Blogger. I have a number of posts written, but can't get them to post. I should have this straightened out shortly. Stay with me...

I decided to take a ride on Sunday, May 24. There were lots of people enjoying the holiday weekend by riding 4 wheelers, side-by-sides and dirt bikes all around us. I was not sure where they were camped when I started this ride, but that question would be answered. I had seen a trailhead when we drove in that looked good, so that is where I headed.
Here is a shot of the trailhead. It starts out innocently enough as a two track heading up the valley. I could see that would not last long as the valley got very steep and the mountains were much taller than anything we would see in the Midwest.

After about a mile of this fast two track, the trail got serious. The climb got steep and I went up and up and up with no breaks. I went almost 5 miles up that canyon. It started getting very steep and I remembered my promise to Kim to not take any serious chances. The bike started to overheat, which is a problem for this bike at high altitude. I decided this was far enough when I was faced with a steep muddy shoot with snow.

Did I mention that this trail was rocky? This trail was as rocky as anything we have in Missouri.

This is the view looking back down the valley. As is usual, the pictures just don’t show how steep this was. I could not easily stand on the trail.

I have to keep myself under control when I am out riding by myself. I decided that discretion is the better part of valor and turned around and headed back down. That sounds easy, but with the rocks and mud, it was sketchy, but fun. I made it out of that trail unscathed except for my pride. I really wanted to get to the top.
I decided to ride down to the Snake river and see the Riverside campground on the Holiday weekend. The Campground was not full, but there were rigs parked everywhere along the road and trails. I would guess there were about 300 rigs, all there to ride something. I rode around to check out the scene. Here is a shot of the water coming out of the bottom of the dam.

I saw a hill on the side of the road that some folks were trying to climb. It looked easy, so I gave it a go and went right up no problem. I was feeling pretty good as I rode across a flat field on the other side of the hill. Then for what still feels like no reason my bike took a hard right turn. I am still not sure what happened. It was kind of muddy, but there was no saving it. I hit the ground. I was not going that fast, so I was not concerned until I looked down at my GPS that I carry on my handlebars. It must have fallen out of its mount and smashed on a rock.

Well, that is not good. I really liked that GPS. I got up and looked over my bike. The front forks were tweaked, so I had to straighten that out. I then eased back to my camp. I looked over the bike closely and found that I had a bad front wheel bearing. Could that be the problem? I really don’t think so, but I spent the afternoon changing them. I am still very confused about this incident. I have never liked the way this bike handles and I really don’t like the front tire I have on the bike ( DOT Kenda). Oh well, I came away with just a bruise on my arm, so all is good. I will have to do some easy riding to get my confidence back in the bike.
In my last entry, I mentioned our private dining room and kitchen in our campsite. Here are a couple of pictures.

The fire ring is really cool. The grate and arm pivot out of the flame to flip the stuff on the grill.

We ended up staying at Calamity Campground for 6 nights. That got us through the holiday weekend. We were now ready to move on. We have a 80 mile drive over to a campground that is close to Grand Teton National Park. We once again found an awesome campsite. I will write all about Atherton Creek Campground on Slide Lake in my next entry.

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