29 July 2008

Entry from my journal July 21, 2008

A week ago, I took a Monday off to go for a ride over Lolo pass. I hadn't been there in a while and thought that it would be a nice ride. I was wrong. The ride from Lewiston, Idaho to Kooskia was swarming with Motorhomes lumbering down the highway at about 35 miles per hour; they seemed to be strategically spaced at about 1/4 mile intervals as well. A couple of miles out of Kooskia, I had enough of the rolling monoliths and decided to make a right turn onto a forest service road in an attempt to get away from all of the people. It worked. Before I knew it, I was so deep in the forest that I continuously lost my G.P.S. signal because of the tree cover. Although I knew where I had come from, after about an hour of riding through the forest, I wasn't really sure where I was. I rested for a spell in the shade and re-hydrated myself with some water while I wrote a brief entry in my journal. I plan on doing a larger post about the trip when time permits.

Sometimes getting totally lost, as long as you keep your wits, is extremely therapeutic. Also I never strayed from the trail and I knew that this trail had to eventually lead somewhere. With 300 miles worth of fuel in my tank, I wasn't worried. God bless my KLR and her ship of the desert tank.

I’m not exactly where I thought I would be right now. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure where I am right now. Before I lost the signal on my G.P.S., I was 210 miles, as the crow flies, from home. I’m resting against a rock, under a thick canopy of pine trees, so thick that my G.P.S. signal keeps failing. I can hear running water somewhere in the canyon below, I think that’s where I’m headed; although, that’s all I know. I left the highway about 20 miles back and the forest service road became a narrow piece of single track about 5 miles ago. I can tell that it is used by A.T.V.’s by the tracks; I suppose it could be a snowmobile trail during the winter.

I don’t know where I am, only that I’m somewhere in the mountains of Central Idaho. I do know where I came from so if I get really lost, I can always turn around; I’d rather keep moving forward to see where this ends. I’m riding alone, I’m okay with that; nobody knows that I’m here, I’m okay with that too. It’s supposed to get hot today and already, mid-morning, there is strong evidence that it will do just that. I need to be careful with my tires, no repair kit; this is a reminder to get one. I really shouldn't be in here without one; it’s a long walk out.

I’ve seen a number of Elk, a few deer (a couple of small Buck’s), and a Coyote, not much else so far. I don’t expect much to be out moving around in the afternoon.

I topped off the KLR back in Kooskia, so I’m not worried about fuel, or water, I packed plenty of that too. I’m thinking of climbing to a higher elevation to cool off later, but not until I get my bearings and I know exactly where I am.

It’s time to go find that running water, all water leads somewhere.
I am lost in the woods, and I could care less, this is why I got this bike, to take me to these places; it’s doing a wonderful job!

I wonder where I am.

The running water that I eventually found, turned out to be the Central fork of the Clearwater river. That's where I stopped along the trail to take the picture in this post, about thirty minutes after I had written this journal entry.


irondad said...

You're never really lost if you don't care where the road goes.

Charlie said...

Well buddy I am working an trying to disrupt your solitude on a few of those back roads. Be like doing the trips in the old Blazer but on bikes. Thoughts like those keep me going on a daily basis.

Earl Thomas said...

Irondad; True.

Charlie; Hurry up!

Anonymous said...

e.t.....I'm LOVING this post. My Wing is not designed to take me where you were. Thank you for letting me live vicariously through your post.

MAN this is a good post - note to self - come back and read more of e.t.'s blog this afternoon.

Earl Thomas said...

Sarch; Thanks for the kind words. I'm going to post a little more in depth piece about this ride here soon, kind of a start to finish thing.