What an amazing day! Did you happen to catch my post about Butler Motorcycle Maps? If not, you might want to read it before you get a little lost… no pun intended. Butler’s Idaho map helped plan an epic route that lived up to every ounce of anticipation I felt the night before, and then some! I rode with several IdahoSTAR instructors throughout the day and I want to extend a special thanks to Sunshine for coordinating the ride, to Lindzee for making sure I had a place to sleep, and to Jay for carrying around my extra crap!
We started the day promptly at 7:30am, where we met up at a Stinker (gas station) before riding to Idaho City for breakfast. The group meandered through the rolling hills as we slowly climbed in elevation. The air was cool and crisp and I could smell the pancakes being prepared at Trudy’s as we rolled in. What a fun little place! There we met a lone traveler on a Vstrom who had just come through several of the same states I was about to explore and he both joined us for breakfast and the ride afterwards. If you’re reading this, it was great meeting you, Aaron!
From Idaho City we braved Lowman pass, the twistiest road of the Survivor Ride yet. Butler rates the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Route (route 21) a G1 ride and I can’t agree more. 33 miles of pure adrenaline while both climbing and descending between 4000 – 6000ft of switchbacks and scenic views. We stopped a few times to take some photos, but most of the area is surrounded by huge pine trees so we spent most of our time riding (the way it should be). From Lowman we headed over to Stanley where we suddenly found ourselves in a winter wonderland. The West edge of town is flanked by the snow-capped Thompson Peak and it was just breathtakingly beautiful in the middle of an otherwise hot summer. This is where Aaron split off and continued on towards Salmon as we wished him safe travels. The rest of us decided to head south and brave another G1 ride.
From Stanley, we went south on 75 towards Ketchum. To get there, we had to go over Gallena Summit which stands at a majestic 8500 ft. I have three words to describe the big sweeping turns, close-to-the-edge feeling and quick climb through the Sawtooth National Forest: SO MUCH FUN! I was able to really open up the throttle on the Concours and see what Black Betty had to offer. This is my kind of ride, hands down. I wanted to turn around and do it again, but I had lunch and a National Monument on my mind, so I vowed to return another day and said goodbye to Galena Summit after taking some photos.
We ate lunch in Hailey and then parted ways. I was heading towards Craters of the Moon National Monument and heading there fast because the sun was threatening to set. I expected to just pass by and take a few photos but I couldn’t help myself but stay for almost two hours once I got there! What an out-of-planet experience. Black rock, black soil, black hills… it’s beyond weird and yet weirdly gorgeous. I took two laps through the park and filmed them both so you can take the ride with me. Keep an eye out for the footage coming later this month.
As the sun started to set, I came through Arco where there was yet another fire, and finally into Idaho Falls where I stayed the night with a wonderful couple associated with IdahoStar and the CMA. Thanks to Tom and Cinda for a lovely dinner and overnight stay. I’m simply blown away by the generosity of everyone I met on this trip.
On July 7th, 2012, I will be departed on a 4500 mile, 11 day motorcycle ride to bring attention to the often forgotten SURVIVORS of breast cancer. These women and men face a lifelong battle and are in desperate need of ongoing medical attention, psychological care, hope and encouragement, and most of all: the help and support of others. I aim to bring attention to this specific issue created by breast cancer to show everyone how they have an opportunity to make a difference. My journey was inspired by the Women Who Ride CONGA and is meant to further contribute to the efforts of this amazing group. Become a “spirit rider” from anywhere in the world by donating here: DONATE TO CONGA FOR THE CAUSE. My journey will be benefiting The Scar Project and Reach to Recovery International. You can follow my updates at #SurvivorRide via Twitter this summer. CLICK HERE to donate or learn more about my epic journey on the Survivor Ride.