Troy Days, Beers and Bears

View Another Adventureexpand_moreexpand_less
menu
July 19, 2008

I ride north from the sweltering heat to attend Troy Days and ride with my brother Jesse around the forested mountains.

I guess we’re famous
photo_camera

Camera Settings

I guess we’re famous
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500357759
infoinfo_outline

Last weekend I took the highway up from Boise to Moscow, Idaho to ride with my youngest brother (his first motorcycle) and hang out with various family who tend to congregate annually at Troy Days.¹ The first place Jesse brought me was to our namesake (but no actual relation) road.

  1. Troy Lions Club, “Old Timers’ Day”: troylionsclub.org/troy_day
Pancake feed
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Pancake feed
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706890233
infoinfo_outline

Our plan was to ride some of the Palouse OHV trails,¹ starting the day with whatever Abbott cousins and uncles might be at the Troy pancake feed.

  1. Palouse Ranger District, “OHV System”: lewisclarkatv.org/…/palousemap
Tall tales
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Tall tales
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14664002726
infoinfo_outline
Uncle Joe
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Uncle Joe
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706893603
infoinfo_outline
Here, hold this
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Here, hold this
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706894983
infoinfo_outline
Over the mountain
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Over the mountain
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500342380
infoinfo_outline

After filling up with pancakes, coffee, sausage, and uncle stories, we headed over Moscow Mountain to ride on trails Jesse discovered above Potlatch. I was sad to see on the way that many of the peaceful areas I rode as a kid have become a maze of dusty logging roads.

The lookout
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
The lookout
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14664009066
infoinfo_outline

We made a tiny detour to take in the view from the old lookout atop Moscow Mountain, a place I’ve been many, many times. Jesse remembered the spot but hadn’t been able to figure out how to get there. This was my mountain destination for many years.

East to Spring Valley
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
East to Spring Valley
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500368779
infoinfo_outline

I grew up in a house just up the hill from the small reservoir we could see in the distance, Spring Valley. Jesse often fishes there.

Striking a pose
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Striking a pose
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500386648
infoinfo_outline
Shrine
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Shrine
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500568277
infoinfo_outline

Near the lookout outcrop was an apparent memorial for someone fond of the spot. The photo was no longer discernable. We wondered if the grey fragments were the remains of an urn.

Down the other side
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Down the other side
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14664015536
infoinfo_outline

We could see our mountainous destination as we headed down the backside of Moscow Mountain.

Climbing again
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Climbing again
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500352750
infoinfo_outline

After hitting the highway and riding over to Potlatch for gas, Jesse led us north toward the OHV trails. We were hoping for something better than logging roads.

Nice trail
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Nice trail
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14687024305
infoinfo_outline

After reaching a dead end, my brother suggested we shortcut through brambles he recognized to reach better trails. He assured it me it would be worth it.

So there is a trail
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
So there is a trail
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706909073
infoinfo_outline

... after all. For a while I thought we were just riding through the brush.

Brush free celebration
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Brush free celebration
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706910403
infoinfo_outline

Jesse was right about the better trails.

Big cycle advantage
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Big cycle advantage
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500358740
infoinfo_outline

While not so great through brush, the wide motorcycle does make a nice coffee table. We stopped to celebrate with a strange drink my brother had in his fridge.

Dramatized
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Dramatized
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14687030705
infoinfo_outline

After a break, we set up to make a small water crossing look as dramatic as possible before heading up to purported mines.

No wake zone
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
No wake zone
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14684648274
infoinfo_outline
Left or right
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Left or right
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14683856031
infoinfo_outline

At a fork in the trail, we planned to go upwards after first exploring to the left. There weren’t any signs to suggest one way or the other. A few miles down the left trail, though, a guy with some homebrew gold panning equipment told us we had to turn around, that we shouldn’t have disregarded the sign. What sign? He insisted there was one.

One mile or two
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
One mile or two
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14684651614
infoinfo_outline
A little rest
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
A little rest
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14686751222
infoinfo_outline

We rode up over the gold hills then down to gravel and across Highway 6 for a little rest at Laird Park.

Gollum
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Gollum
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500588827
infoinfo_outline
Catch our breath
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Catch our breath
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14664035256
infoinfo_outline

The two track behind Laird was easy-going but sometimes had ruts to be mindful of. A scary bug flew into my helmet and after a flailing moment I felt the tire catch before hitting the ground — first time down on the GS.

We'll take Moose Creek
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
We’ll take Moose Creek
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14683865211
infoinfo_outline

We found proper single track a few miles down the gravel road from Laird.

Finally, a real trail
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Finally, a real trail
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14664039546
infoinfo_outline

Trail 330 was a blast. It was a little more technical but less dusty and whoopty than the four-wheeler or jeep trails.

Race track
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Race track
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14683869521
infoinfo_outline

There were some switchbacks followed by stair step roots that were interesting with the high GS gearing. Otherwise, it was fun to stand on the pegs and see what the pig could do.

He had cell service
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
He had cell service
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706932693
infoinfo_outline
Hope it lasts
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Hope it lasts
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14686765012
infoinfo_outline
Out in the sun
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Out in the sun
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500421878
infoinfo_outline

Sadly, the single track only lasted about four miles then merged with a dusty, whoopty ATV trail. We stopped in a clearing to check in with the women. Jesse went hunting for good toiletry leaves which, as usual, signaled everyone in the vicinity to converge.

Chance encounter
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Chance encounter
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500406789
infoinfo_outline

A tall fellow on an ATV rolled into the clearing first. We shot the bull while waiting for his buddies. He was griping about having to ride an ATV instead of his motorcycle. It sounded like his friends talked him into it. He was a little surprised to see the GS there. “Katoom” is his preferred ride.

It was about fifteen minutes before we saw those friends of his — almost worrisome. The one in shorts had gone off the trail after losing visibility in the dust. He said he knew he would be rescued since he had the beer.

Leisure Time
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Leisure Time
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706939733
infoinfo_outline

Back into the woods, the trail started all friendly and nice and then turned to loose rock on steep hills, eventually landing us on a logging road. The Palouse OHV map omits most all the roads and trails so it was hard to figure out the best way. We just kept choosing the downward option.

Woah, looky there
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Woah, looky there
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706941653
infoinfo_outline
We saw something special
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
We saw something special
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500429018
infoinfo_outline
Bears!
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Bears!
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14683884261
infoinfo_outline

A momma bear suddenly ran across the road in front of us. We killed our engines to see if we could spot her and then noticed her cubs scurrying up a tree to our right.

Running upwards
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Running upwards
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14684679384
infoinfo_outline

They were already well beyond our reach but continued to scurry upwards.

You can't see us
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
You can’t see us
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14686779502
infoinfo_outline
In hiding
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
In hiding
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14686781122
infoinfo_outline
Anxious mother
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Anxious mother
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500617847
infoinfo_outline

The momma watched anxiously, something of a mutual feeling. She was making huffing sounds while we looked at her cubs. I figured Jesse was closer to her so I would have time to get away if she got violent.

Exiting the mountains
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Exiting the mountains
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500423259
infoinfo_outline

A mile or so down the road, we saw a mother moose and two babies running into the brush. When I lived in this area, moose came around our house somewhat regularly.

Wrong side of the law
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Wrong side of the law
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14683895301
infoinfo_outline

After what seemed a mind numbing distance on dreadfully dusty gravel roads, we had the highway in sight. Then to our great dismay, we saw a metal gate with a large chain and padlocks across the road we’d endured so long.

On closer inspection (praise the motorcycle gods), the chain was only hung on a nail, not wrapped around the post. We opened the fence and went through, then noticed the “Keep Out” sign. It seemed a bit weird since we didn’t encounter a gate or signs coming from the other side.

Back to civilization
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Back to civilization
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14686788562
infoinfo_outline

We were glad to see blacktop and headed back to Troy Days for drinking and dancing in the street.

Cousin
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Cousin
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14500405290
infoinfo_outline

We didn’t see our uncles again but found our cousin Bill in the Abbotts’ favorite watering hole.

Family hangout
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Family hangout
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706961533
infoinfo_outline

We didn’t see our uncles show up this time but a couple cousins did.

Departure breakfast
photo_camera

Camera Settings

Departure breakfast
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14683903521
infoinfo_outline

It was a nice first ride for Jesse and I. Before heading back to Boise, we had breakfast with our mom at the traditional location, The Pantry.

Overlooking Lewiston
photo_camera

Camera Settings

Overlooking Lewiston
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14706965363
infoinfo_outline
Atop Whitebird
photo_camera

Camera Settings

Atop Whitebird
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14664080076
infoinfo_outline
Last break
photo_camera

Camera Settings

Last break
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/14687086195
infoinfo_outline

With full gear, including tall black boots, I was glad for cooler temperatures in McCall. I’d seen 104°F over the last hour. It remained above the century mark for the last two hours home. I felt well done but also well pleased with my first grown-up brother ride.