Brother Ride 2012

Part 1 of 4
Marble Creek
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July 20, 2012
Where every good ride begins
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Where every good ride begins
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After a suspension rebuild, new final drive seals and whatever else, the final step was to wire in six one-to-two amp USB ports for all the gizmos.

No crazy trails this year
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No crazy trails this year
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After the toll of last year’s trails I promised an easy-going route of Forest Service roads, heading from our mom’s house over Moscow Mountain, along Palouse River Road to Clarkia to camp along Marble Creek; then through Avery to Stateline Road into Montana to camp along Diamond Lake; down to Superior, Montana, then back over Hoodoo Pass for a night near The Cedars campground; finally, through the mountains by historic Red Ives Ranger Station to our traditional campsite near Crater Peak.

All the parties
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All the parties
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Jill’s bachelorette and birthday party would happen while we were in the mountains so all the ladies came as far as Moscow to participate in those shenanigans. The guys were instructed to treat Joel to as much of a mountain bachelor party as we could muster, our Abbott attitude being as much a handicap as the remoteness.

I can’t say how others would rate our success but we did all yell “bachelor party!” pretty much anytime something happened. That should count for something.

Future rider
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Future rider
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Someday our little ladies and gentlemen may join our brave trek through the wilds. For now, we’re grateful to our families who keep everything going in our absence.

He begs to sit on them
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He begs to sit on them
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Bachelor man
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Bachelor man
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KLR roundel
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KLR roundel
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Moscow-opolis
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Moscow-opolis
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Whether needed or not, we always hit the town for some shopping before we ride.

It was Joel's third time here today
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It was Joel’s third time here today
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We struggled to find anything we needed, let alone wanted, but it’s fun to look nonetheless (t-state.com/www.t-state).

Sugary sweet
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Sugary sweet
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Our mom, as usual, sent us off with a big breakfast, this time cinnamon rolls homemade in her new breadmaker. Thanks mom!

First day to Marble Creek
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First day to Marble Creek
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“Check, check,” through our radios, parting pictures from the ladies, and we headed up over Moscow Mountain.

Things gone and made
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Things gone and made
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This is the base of what we still call the Tamarack Ski slope on Moscow mountain. Even when I was little it had fallen into disuse but the equipment remained in place: the small A-frame lodge, chair lift and a fire lookout at the peak.

The lookout area was visible from my bedroom window growing up. When I got old enough, I used to time myself to see how fast I could motorcycle from home to the lookout, cutting across fields, sliding around corners, whatever it took.

I never imagined twenty-plus years hence I’d be up here with all my brothers—such a great outcome.

Laird Park
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Laird Park
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We stopped for a break at Laird Park. It looked like every campsite was taken. I know I’ve said it before but it made me think again: camping with a denser population than my home neighborhood seems weird.

Palouse River CCC Dam
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Palouse River CCC Dam
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Check out that sexy leg
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Check out that sexy leg
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Bachelor party!
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Bachelor party!
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Emerald Creek Garnet Area
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Emerald Creek Garnet Area
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None of us had followed Palouse River Road. It was great! Dappled shade, meadows, not too gravelly.

After Laird Park, I’d marked the Emerald Creek Garnet Area for a little visit. The closed gate at the bottom of the access road said it was closed so we decided to walk a mile to check it out. You know, mark it off our bucket list.

It didn’t seem so closed when we got there.

Treasure buckets
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Treasure buckets
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You can pay a few buck to dig some dirt, sift it then wash it, and maybe find some garnets. We declined.

When you gotta go
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When you gotta go
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As you’ll see, this is a face Jeremy has somehow perfected.

Everything a man could want
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Everything a man could want
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“Bachelor Party!” We always stop here at the J&E store-bar-gas-station in Clarkia.

Almost bounced
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Almost bounced
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With the 250s gassed up, Jeremy wanted some beer. He asked if he could take a look in the cooler behind the bar and the lady pointed out the list on the wall.

So Jeremy walked behind the bar to look in the cooler.

We weren’t sure if she was really upset or teasing but the lady gave him what-for. In past years we’ve seen her take a hammer to the gas pump outside to get it going so she’s not one to be crossed.

We made it to Marble Creek
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We made it to Marble Creek
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Jesse had camped along Marble Creek just a week or two back so he took lead to find us one of the good spots he remembered.

Road along Marble Creek
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Road along Marble Creek
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First campsite
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First campsite
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Jesse went out of radio range and I was doubting his leadership before we found him at this sweet site. I take back all the mean things I said.

Just the essentials
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Just the essentials
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Out of the rain
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Out of the rain
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I had planned a quick visit to Hobo Cedar Grove but an ominous sky urged us to get setup. Good thing—we had to back our chairs up under the trees to get out of a steady rain not long after getting our tents up.

I hope it doesn't grow
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I hope it doesn’t grow
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The rain let up and Jesse started fishing
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The rain let up and Jesse started fishing
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Bachelor Party
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Bachelor Party
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Must be investigated
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Must be investigated
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We all dropped what we were doing to check out a tunnel Joel found up the road.

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Jesse’s fancy new light is brighter than ours.

Ghosts in a cave
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Ghosts in a cave
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The tunnel cuts through a foothill that the current road loops around. We looked but didn’t find any treasure.

Serious spelunking
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Serious spelunking
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Where is everyone?
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Where is everyone?
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I couldn’t find the others who had gone to fish upstream so decided to walk through the creek back to camp.

My shadow in the water
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My shadow in the water
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I only almost fell once
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I only almost fell once
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The day was beautiful after the rain. We began to settle in for the evening with dinner, drinks and Jeremy’s hoisted lantern when Jeremy generously provided the evening’s entertainment by walking backwards into Joel’s tent. “Bachelor Party!”

MacGyver
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MacGyver
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Jeremy felt pretty bad about breaking Joel’s tent pole. “I just think it’s funny,” Joel said.

Welcome to the club
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Welcome to the club
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Now I’m not the only one who wipes my bike down a bit while camping.

Hoping for fish dinner
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Hoping for fish dinner
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Watch the evening tire
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Watch the evening tire
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How big is your fire?
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How big is your fire?
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Delicate transfer
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Delicate transfer
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7-UP and vodka.

Marble Creek and the stars
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Marble Creek and the stars
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