Three National Forests

Part 2 of 3
Sawtooth
View Another Adventureexpand_moreexpand_less
menu
August 6, 2010

Jessica and I thread our way on the motorcycle along dirt roads by a buzz of wildfire activity on our way to find the next night’s lodging in view of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Bear Valley
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Bear Valley
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634209755
infoinfo_outline

Packing up a tent and campsite to stow on a motorcycle while it’s still raining is unpleasant business. Thankfully, the rain that had come in the night had also ended in the night. The glistening droplets that remained wouldn’t last long under a blue sky and rising sun. I started a fire and began a pot of coffee while Jessica slept a little longer.

I wanted to add some air to the tires after they’d felt squishy on the highway. This provided the opportunity to learn that the twelve volt socket I installed is basically inaccessible while the luggage is mounted. Darn. Who planned that? Simply adding air to the tires turned into a multi-faceted operation tantamount to capping a deep water oil well.

I kept the fire burning long enough to dry out our canvas chairs then those too were folded, rolled and strapped into place on the motorcycle. I promised Jessica grander sights ahead as we made our way back onto Forest Service roads.

Fire crews
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Fire crews
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634219565
infoinfo_outline

We backtracked along the creek until reaching the turn to detour. The day began to warm up as we sped in the new direction through trees, by occasional meadow, finally arriving at the next major intersection where we might choose Warm Lake to the left or Stanley to the right. Several firefighters milled about in matching outfits, ready for action but not in it.

Bonneville Hotshots*
photo_camera

Camera Settings

Bonneville Hotshots*
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634233005
infoinfo_outline

A sign to the right warned of fire activity but didn’t say “no.” As we rode along, we marveled at the growing number of state and federal employees — BLM, Forest Service and Fish & Game — working along the road at often inscrutable tasks. We waved and they waved back.

  1. starBureau of Land Management, “Bonneville Hotshots”: blm.gov/…/bonneville_hotshots
photo_camera

Camera Settings

http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634241155
infoinfo_outline
C-5
photo_camera

Camera Settings

C-5
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634246735
infoinfo_outline
Spot fires
photo_camera

Camera Settings

Spot fires
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634271953
infoinfo_outline

There seemed to be several small fires.

Old burn
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Old burn
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634263535
infoinfo_outline

The charred and scattered bones of old trees, stacked like matches, told us these forests were no strangers to fire. The new fires seemed minor next to expansive tracts that had burned before.

First look at the Sawtooths
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
First look at the Sawtooths
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634609034
infoinfo_outline

The detour eventually looped back to our original route and soon after we rejoined Highway 21 as it bends eastward to Stanley. It was Saturday and people were on the move, including many of the Stanley Stomp¹ crowd. It was a little strange to us that we had to get around several riders going ten under the limit and holding up cars. Maybe coming off a hard night at the Stomp ...

  1. Bavarian Mountain West Motorcycle Club, “Stanley Stomp”: idahobmwriders.com/stanleystomp
Sawtooth Range
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Sawtooth Range
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634622194
infoinfo_outline

As the Sawtooth Range came into view, we started looking for a place to pull off, stretch our legs and have a look.

Room for the night
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Room for the night
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634628214
infoinfo_outline

After skipping breakfast, we were both hungry. Rather than heading north to Pinyon Peak and over to Challis, as planned, we decided to go straight to Stanley for lunch.

“No, I don’t want pizza,” Jessica intoned as we circled around the first restaurant we came to in Stanley. As we sought alternatives, we noticed the Mountain Village Resort¹ had an almost empty parking lot. It was notable because of all the “no vacancy” replies I’d had when checking on Stanley lodging.

“Can we get a room for tonight?” we asked at the lobby counter. It seems they had plenty. Go figure. We didn’t hesitate. We unloaded the luggage and cleaned ourselves up before resuming our restaurant search. The chance to shower was most welcome.

  1. Mountain Village Resort: mountainvillage.com/mountainvillage
Stanley Baking Company
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Stanley Baking Company
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634633274
infoinfo_outline

The Mountain Village has it’s own “restaurant” but I have to put it in quotes because it’s more of a cafeteria. It took some walking around to find a satisfactory eating establishment. I reminded Jessica we still had our second dinner, the pasta, we could prepare but I couldn’t hear what she answered under her breath.

Rolling in, rolling out
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Rolling in, rolling out
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/13634640654
infoinfo_outline

With satisfied tummies, we returned to our room, and its view across town to the Sawtooths, for a little nap before venturing on. It was later in the afternoon, clouds beginning to build, before we were motivated to roll out of bed with intention to ride. I wasn’t sure how far it was to Chinese Wall or what the weather was supposed to do. I refilled our water and packed in our rain gear. We would find out.