One Day, Three Peaks

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September 19, 2009

Jessica and I ride together on the GS1200 with a few of the Idaho Motorcycle Club crew to Pilot Peak, Sunset Mountain summit and Jackson Peak, then we take off on our own for a little exploration, discovering one of the rare Idaho Moai.

Welcome to Rockies
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Welcome to Rockies
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Jessica and I joined one of the famous Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Club¹ rides. It was to be “One Day, Three Peaks” organized by rockhopjohn.² Per tradition, perhaps divine fiat, we met up for breakfast at Rockies.³

  1. Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Club: motoidaho.com/motoidaho
  2. Adventure Rider profile: advrider.com/…/member
  3. Facebook, “Rockies Diner”: facebook.com/…/188884235978
Front line
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Front line
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After getting our fill of animal proteins, we admired penny mods and planned our escape route.

Feet in the air
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Feet in the air
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Our first destination was Pilot Peak northeast of Idaho City. We rode over Aldape, along Robie to New Centerville. I don’t know the roads like the others but I think it was close to New Centerville that we deviated from the main road solely for the opportunity to cross Grimes Creek.

“Who wants to get wet?” Obviously, no self-respecting rider is going to decline.

Now you’re clean
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Now you’re clean
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Jess and I crossed first so we could shoot the others crossing, maybe witness some drama.

Gas for some
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Gas for some
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From Grimes Creek it was some dust eating into Idaho City for those needing gas.

Ride reports
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Ride reports
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Puddle jump
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Puddle jump
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Next stop, Pilot Peak.¹ The dirt road up from Idaho City (Bear Run, I think) was pretty sweet, my favorite part of the ride. By the club rating system,² it was level 3 seasoned with level 4—perfect for two up on the GS—and great views.

John stopped by this puddle to make sure everyone was still with us. Gary here had already taken his own private route once earlier.

  1. Idaho Summits, “Pilot Peak”: idahosummits.com/…/pilot
  2. IAMC trail ratings: motoidaho.org/…/6
Heath’s turn
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Heath’s turn
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This ride was so easy for Heath he was doing it with his eyes closed.

Rest stop
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Rest stop
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We stretched our legs a minute after the water crossing before continuing on.

Pilot Peak
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Pilot Peak
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Pilot Peak is something like 8,128 feet. We sat at the foot of the lookout and had lunch.

Pilot view
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Pilot view
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8,128 feet

Don’t touch the tank
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Don’t touch the tank
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Heath’s lunch
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Heath’s lunch
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The critters were after some of Heath’s delicious food. After eating, drinking, calling and texting, we mounted up for the next destination. If you happen to look at a map you can see what would be a straight line between Pilot Peak and our next destination, Sunset Mountain. And there’s a road that will take you that way, the road most everyone else followed. Unless you took the adventurous ATV track back down from Pilot Peak in which case you bypassed the correct turn and ended up following a much longer route. That was us with Gary. Happily, everyone else was waiting for us at the Mores Creek parking lot. Reunited (queue music), we headed up Sunset Mountain.

Kings of the mountain
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Kings of the mountain
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The road up to Sunset Mountain summit¹ was pretty fun. Good views and a bit technical in spots. Once at the lookout (7,851 feet or so), we had a better view of smoke in the distance—a controlled burn, we learned from the lookout attendant.

At the top we met three KTM guys with the Boise Ridge Riders.² I didn’t have the heart to tell them they weren’t on the Boise Ridge.

  1. MountainZone: mountainzone.com/…/detail
  2. Boise Ridge Riders: boiseridgeriders.org/www.boiseridgeriders
Sunset Mountain vista
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Sunset Mountain vista
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Through the lookout glass
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Through the lookout glass
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I wouldn’t mind staying in one of these lookouts sometime. The attendant was looking for a fire that had been reported in the south.

Jackson Peak picnic
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Jackson Peak picnic
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After Sunset Mountain, half the group decided to call it a day. It was just Jess and I, Gary and John to carry the torch on to Jackson Peak. On a map it looks like it could take a while to get there from Sunset Mountain but straight, fast roads made it surprisingly quick.

Jackson vista
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Jackson vista
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Jackson Peak¹ is similar in height to our other stops, about 8,124 feet.

  1. Idaho Summits, “Jackson Peak”: idahosummits.com/…/jackson
Sawtooth horizon
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Sawtooth horizon
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Beautiful passenger
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Beautiful passenger
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Late bloomer
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Late bloomer
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I was surprised to see Indian Paintbrush and Lupine still blooming.

Old flames
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Old flames
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All alone
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All alone
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Jessica and I decided to hang back for random exploration and a leisurely pace after John and Gary departed.

Here and there
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Here and there
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The Sawtooth mountains were visible on the horizon. We watched as the descending sun turned golden and finally cut through the haze.

Downward
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Downward
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As we began riding down, golden gave way to gray as clouds moved in front of the sun. It meant an end to mountain photography but it was still breathtaking. We stopped first at one of the open camp sites just a few miles from the peak to take in some serenity.

Patience
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Patience
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We stopped to look at a potential campsite.

Crooked River tributary
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Crooked River tributary
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Rock stop
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Rock stop
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Just a little farther down, we thought it would be fun to climb on some rocks along the road.

Geometry
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Geometry
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Scrambling up
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Scrambling up
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Penultimate
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Penultimate
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Risk taker
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Risk taker
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Idaho moai
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Idaho moai
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We left under the watchful eye (see the face?) of a Moai.¹ Thanks everyone for the company and great destinations! I look forward to seeing the other riders’ pictures.

  1. Wikipedia, “Moai”: en.wikipedia.org/…/Moai