The fourth day we would go from The Cedars campground by Red Ives Ranger Station through the mountains to Crater Peak. I wasn’t sure how long it would take.
We didn’t know what to expect of the roads at this end of the St. Joe Ranger District. It turned out the views and conditions were great.
I didn’t want to dally too much on what looked to be a long day riding but Needle Peak seemed impressive on the maps. I wanted to have a look. It turned out the road doesn’t go to the top so I clipped on my photo-bat-belt and started jogging up.
It didn’t seem like my brothers believed their older bro could get to the top in a hurry (they were at the dirt lot in the middle of the picture) so I had to raise my arms in breathless victory when I got here. The view was spectacular—360° like this.
Instead of taking the trail back, I thought scrambling down might be faster.
At Red Ives Ranger Station we had the option to take the St. Joe River Highway to Avery or stick to the planned, unknown mountain roads. We opted for the mountains.
After a lunch of toffee almonds and beer we were ready for the second leg of the day’s ride.
The cool bridge made us optimistic for the mountain route.
The roads were great. We were glad we decided to stick to the dirt as planned.
Joel took the lead on Road 301 and I fell way behind so I wouldn’t look like Joel.
We camp one night at a site on the ridge above Crater Lake almost every year. It can’t be accessed by car so doesn’t get much use. Most times it’s exactly as we left it, right down to bits of trash in the fire pit.
It was a long day of riding. We were ready to sit and eat and not much else.
Jeremy decided to run down the hill to, I think, use the outhouse at an improved campsite. We were glad he made it.
Maybe. It doesn’t seem like Clarkia has so many lights but I can’t find anything else in that direction.
Jeremy and Jesse have a post-libation ritual of walking somewhere in the dark. This night it was the high point above Crater Lake under an unfettered dome of stars.
The light in the trees to the left of Joel and Jesse is our campsite. On the hill behind them is Jeremy shooting for a long exposure.
This plane circled overhead three or four times.
I planned to do as usual and stay over a night at my mom’s to rest and clean-up for the 300 miles back to Boise the next day. But at Deary I made a spontaneous decision to just continue riding. The music was good, the ride was good.