On the third and fourth days of our annual Brother Ride, we leave the beautiful campsite along the shore of high mountain Big Trinity Lake with plans to descend to historic Atlanta, Idaho, then venture on trails unknown to camp along the North Fork of the Boise River before returning home.
On the second day of our tenth annual ride, my brothers and I descend from Lava Mountain for gas before heading deeper into the mountains. At least that’s the plan. Mountains have a way of messing with plans.
Finally. I’ve been telling Kayla’s Polish boyfriend Nick that we’d ride for more than a year now. This may be his last summer in America for a while so it had to happen. We did the quick, sort of standard loop along the backside of the Boise Ridge, Humpty and Daggett. It was a nice workout.
An oft expressed intention was finally made real as my neighbor and I got out for a ride together. For a solid five hours, I saw the world without made-up political memes. At first my eyes stung but slowly they adjusted to the lack of hyperbole.
Today is a town day. My brothers and I will resupply in Avery then return south for another lakeside night. At least that’s the hope. On this “best of” ride, tonight’s is the only campsite we’ve never been to. We weren’t able to make it last time we tried to get there.
At just a bit over π miles to the next campsite, it should be an easy day, in spite of almost exclusive single track. We’ll ride from Crater Peak to trails among the Marble Creek headwaters then around to Lost Lake, another of our original brother ride campsites.
In an ode to the early years, and contrary to previous plans, Jeremy, Joel and I begin our annual ride in the foothills of Moscow Mountain, at our mom’s house, and make our way to the first ever Brother Ride campsite on Crater Peak.
With special dispensation from Jessica, I hastily changed oil, cleaned the chain and otherwise prepared the bike for what may be the last ride of 2015. I rode hard until dark, meeting along the way fiddling friends, Mickey and Moose, for whom are named popular flats above the South Fork of the Boise River.
The last of our five day ride requires only that we make it to our mother’s house in the evergreen hills between Troy and Moscow, Idaho. This day seems always to arrive sooner than expected, four brothers, five days in the blink of an eye.
The fourth of our five day ride begins with single track. We climb through trees from our meadow campsite to ridges that lead us to the historic Red Ives Ranger Station. Then we speed through showers on the little highway along the St. Joe River for much needed fuel in Avery before continuing back to forest climbs up to Huckleberry Lookout.
On the second of our five day ride, my three brothers and I follow mountain ridges through sodden clouds from our campsite along Big Creek to Wallace for gas and lunch at the Red Light Garage then over Moon Pass to sleep on Shefoot. The weather is entertaining.
We meet for the eighth year in a row, my brothers and I, to ride and camp off our motorcycles for a few days in Idaho mountains. Fires and a funny forecast mean we aren’t sure what we’re getting into. For the first day of five, we ride from our mother’s house on forest roads to tiny Calder, Idaho, along the St. Joe then up the tributary Big Creek.
An idea to ride overnight in the Upper Reynolds Creek area gave way to a simpler day ride to check on my old friend Lava Mountain and see if I could connect from there across Bear Gulch for a half-day of riding single track by myself.
Michael and I take advantage of unseasonably warm February weather to explore roads and histories south of the Snake River. [ Addendum: I’ve added images at the end showing some motorized restrictions we overlooked during the ride. Plan accordingly. ]
From our wet campsite along Canyon Creek below Pinyon Peak, my three brothers and I ride over Loon Creek Summit to visit the Yankee Fork Dredge then, deviating from earlier plans, we take lunch in Stanley before finding our way to camp high in Washington Basin.
Along Deadwood Reservoir, through Bear Valley to Pinyon Peak, our second day of riding treats us to vistas even more vast. We are held up by mechanical troubles but not deterred. Rocks in our path are an integral and expected part of the experience.
The first day of our seventh annual Abbott Brother Ride, this time, for the first time, in South Central Idaho. We stage at my house then head over the Boise Ridge, from desert to forest, on our way to high mountains.
Michael and I ride from Boise through Prairie and across the mountains to Pine and Featherville before turning north to camp around a high mountain lake. We cover highway, gravel, dirt roads, ATV and singletrack, a real dual sport adventure.
Per my usual process for a solo ride, I pan around Google Earth looking to see things I haven’t seen, consult with the Idaho Trails site and finally lay out a route in the GPS software. It works great thirty percent of the time.
Hunter and I explore a homestead and ancient petroglyphs along the Snake River across Swan Falls Dam. Heavy clouds darken the sky as we’re close to completing our arid loop. (Before you get excited, note this route is currently closed to motor vehicles.)
Michael and I make a loop between Idaho City, Rocky Bar and Atlanta, Idaho, down forest roads, through a bit of snow, and finally ridge-top single track. It was a good thing he brought a saw or we might have missed “whoopty hell.”
I am led by some guy I haven’t met before, Michael, down hours of mountain single track around Deadwood Reservoir. We start up to Bogus, through Placerville and Crouch before hitting narrow mountain trails I’d never ridden before — adventure as usual.
Plans for an easygoing day go the way such plans usually do. We take an unexpected run at Windy Ridge and make an unexpected visit to one of our 2010 campsites. “Unexpected” is the word of the day. We conclude the day laughing around a fire under tall cedars. All’s well that ends well.
I haul two motorcycles — one for me, one for Jeremy — to Pierce, Idaho, starting point for the year’s Abbott Brother ride. I am there an evening in advance to secure our spot so I use the extra time to visit historic sites around the town.
I go alone to follow narrow trails along unexplored Lava and perhaps Rattlesnake Mountains. I hope to reach North Star and Smith Creek Lakes seen on the map. The scenery is the best I know this close to home even as aches and pains remind me of my age.
Hunter and I trailer to the Eighth Street trailhead then ride the rest of the way to the ridge and Eagleson for his first overnight trip off the motorcycle. We see a skink, sit around a fire, sleep and ride home through some difficult mental terrain.
Hunter and I trailer our motorcycles to the Hemingway Butte riding area where we spend the afternoon improving our hill skills. Hunter does great, especially considering it’s only his second motorcycle ride.
I ride over the hills to the Danskin area for my first overnight trip of the year and first time camping from the KTM. Luggage woes and difficult trails keep me from getting as far as planned but morning along Willow Creek makes it all worth it.
After a couple months parked in pieces in the garage, I finally get the new KTM out for a first dirt ride on the Danskin trails under patches of blue and between sheets of rain. The whoops are more pleasant than on the GS and the singletrack more inviting.