Brother Ride 2014

Part 4 of 4
Big Trinity
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September 1, 2014
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From 9,000 feet to 9,000 feet, my three brothers and I leave Washington Basin for lunch and fuel in Ketchum before beginning our westward leg along the South Fork of the Boise River toward home.

Sunrise
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Sunrise
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We are roused pre-dawn by our faithful brother Jeremy to stand in Washington Basin’s cold air, backs to the crackling fire and coffee in-hand, to watch a bright morning slowly settle upon us, the first morning of the rest of our lives.

Mountain goats
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Mountain goats
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Mountain goats ply the high ridges around us, remaining for now in the shrinking shadows.

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Husky magic*
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Husky magic*
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We have done our best to isolate necessary conditions of the Husqvarna faults. Altitude? Climbing? We’ve re-checked petcock flow, spark and air filter. Nothing quite adds up.

The most probable cause seems to remain within the carburetor so I guess we’ll dig a little deeper into that. Jesse squats to assist with the now-familiar disassembly.

  1. starPhoto by Jeremy Abbott
TW tune-up
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TW tune-up
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The TW has been sputtering at full throttle so Jeremy decides to participate in this maintenance moment, beginning with a check of the air filter.

“It’s not surprising to me,” I caution him when he prepares to dig farther, “that you’d get that behavior with the stock jetting at high altitudes. I’m worried we’ll accidently make it worse if we pull the carb or something.”

We agree we don’t want to end up with two fickle motorcycles.

Remember this order*
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Remember this order*
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/15197120390
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Everything about the Husqvarna float, float-valve and needle looks fine to our untrained eyes. We dig further into the diaphragm and jets (starter, idle, main). It’s all tight and clean. As we begin reassembling, I notice the diaphragm spring seems to have been on the wrong side. There are fitted grooves on the other side. None of us knows what the effect of that would be but at this point we’re just glad to find something to try.

  1. starPhoto by Jeremy Abbott
Test run
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Test run
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Jesse tests it on the little lake flat, accelerating hard. It seems strong. We’re not fooled into feeling confident, of course, but we’ll take what we’ve got. Let’s roll.

Hidden lake
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Hidden lake
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Joel waits*
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Joel waits*
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Although we hoped moving the diaphragm spring in the Husky’s carburetor would be a magical fix, we knew that didn’t add up either, so we’re not surprised when it hesitates a couple times on our way down the mountain — nothing worth being stressed about.

  1. starPhoto by Jeremy Abbott
Galena overlook
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Galena overlook
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With a practical top speed of maybe 52 MPH, the thirty-five highway miles from Pole Creek Road to Ketchum aren’t as thrilling for Jeremy. Winding through high mountains isn’t such a bad place, though, for a leisurely pace.

I survived the rapture again
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I survived the rapture again
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Bad gas was one of our Husky theories. Like the others, it doesn’t quite fit the facts but we figure we’ll grab a bottle of Heet or something to rule it out. We stop at the Ketchum Veltex where Jeremy and Jesse share a bottle between their tanks.

We then grab a quick sandwich and fries at the artless Burger Grill before heading west out of town on Warm Springs Road.

Dollarhide burn
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Dollarhide burn
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Other than a few hardy bicyclers, we have the road over Dollarhide much to ourselves. I didn’t realize previous years’ fires had reached up here. I’m surprised to see how much is burned.

Mudslide
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Mudslide
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We are concerned how the Husky will perform climbing back to 9,000 feet so we’re considering campsites along the South Fork of the Boise River. A nice place to bathe is also desirable.

Campsite selection seems to be the only thing that ever creates a quiet tension among us. I think Joel and I are happy with the places along the river but Jeremy and Jesse want to push for something more remote.

“This would be good for an RV,” Jeremy says of even the best riverside site (all vacated now that we’re back into the work-week). The connotation is understood.

Rocky Bar
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Rocky Bar
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We burn time exploring riverside options until I realize none will pass muster. Then, feeling a little exasperated, to be honest, I twist open the throttle for Trinity Lakes. Evening will soon be upon us so I lead hastily past Abbot Campground and Rocky Bar toward higher elevations.

Salvage logging
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Salvage logging
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Left behind
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Left behind
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Ignition source
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Ignition source
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“You made the right call,” I tell Jeremy when we reach Trinity Ridge. The Husky is doing fine and we’ve made good time. And it’s beautiful up here, this vast space seemingly all to ourselves.

Trinity Ridge
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Trinity Ridge
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Big Trinity Lake
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Big Trinity Lake
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The night’s pitch
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The night’s pitch
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Just a few miles on, we pull into the Big Trinity Lake campground and find we have our choice of sites. We circle around and choose the same one Brenna and I camped at last summer.¹

  1. Trail Image, “Big Trinity Damsels”: trailimage.com/big-trinity-damsels
Picnic
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Picnic
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Although a developed site is a little against the rules, it is nice to have potable water (there’s a hand-pump) and a place to set our stuff.

Frog pile*
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Frog pile*
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I walk down to the lake’s edge that before, when Brenna and I visited, was overrun with blue damselflies. I find a new, more peculiar overpopulation, frogs and tadpoles. There are so many they’re piled up along the banks.

  1. starPhoto by Jeremy Abbott
Truant
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Truant
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We speculate on the probable, night-time lagoon creature attack.

Kick back
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Kick back
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Continuing mission
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Continuing mission
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Jeremy takes a turn with Husky diagnoses, hoping to fix the flat battery and newly faltering dash.

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The power issue ends up being simpler. A battery lead is cracked.

Chili-mac
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Chili-mac
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The lake bottom is gooey so instead of bathing there we take little showers with the campground hand-pump. That water is head-hurting, hellu-cold! — but worth it to feel clean. We warm up around a fire made with wood hauled from a nearby site, the last of our freeze-dried, hot meals, and sips of whiskey or, in Jeremy’s shameful case, whipped-cream vodka.

Rotisserie
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Rotisserie
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The latter nights of our rides are filled with entertaining retellings of the misadventures that brought us here. And, as usual, it seems too quickly to be over. “I could keep riding,” we agree.

Underwater lights
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Underwater lights
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The night sky is again clear, stars reflecting deeply in the placid, private lake before us as a deep chill settles on this, our final night.