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.