Arrowrock to Thorn Creek Butte

menu
August 10, 2008

I ride with a club I just learned about up Blacks Creek to the Y-Stop, over to Arrowrock then up to Thorn Creek Butte before an ice cream stop (thanks Sam) in Idaho City.

Motorcycles at Rockies Diner
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Motorcycles at Rockies Diner
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037487169

I caught wind of a local motorcycle group, Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Club, and thought it would be fun to try one of their short rides. It seemed they were my kind of people when I learned the take-off point would be Rockies Diner after a greasy breakfast.

Pulling into the parking lot, I was humored to see I would be adding the red to the fruity green and yellow bikes parked there.

Introductions
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Introductions
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037720701

There were three others who would be riding today: Sam, Phil and Doug. They seemed like good guys.

Tin foil sabre
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Tin foil sabre
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037726484

Although it looks like a tin foil machete, Sam was fashioning a salmonella habitat to bring his food on the road.

Stopped along Black’s Creek Road
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Stopped along Black’s Creek Road
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037726517

I rode my old XR along the Oregon Trail by Bonneville Point to Black’s Creek Road so was initially familiar with the day’s direction. What I lacked before was Sam’s knowledge of lesser known history. He was like having an Outdoor Idaho² narrator along.

Driver’s license landmark
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Driver’s license landmark
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037728565

Once we’d all come to a stop, Sam pointed to this unassuming barn and explained it’s image is on all Idaho driver’s licenses. I was curious how this particular scene gained the distinction.

Boise River canyon
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Boise River canyon
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037732515

On my own, I had only come as far as the Danskin riding area. I was pleasantly surprised by the vistas over the Boise River canyons just a few miles on.

Dusty bridge over the Boise River
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Dusty bridge over the Boise River
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037735443

We rode slowly and spaced ourselves, stopping here and there for photo opportunities or just to be sure no one had ridden off a cliff while staring at scenery. It was a nice pace.

Bringing up the tail
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Bringing up the tail
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037743045
Y-Stop General Store
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Y-Stop General Store
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037746235

After some time along the river, we pulled into the Prairie Y-Stop for lunch, your typical small town store-restaurant-gas station where food seems always to taste best.

Lattes at the Y-Stop
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Lattes at the Y-Stop
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/49093804162

My mom recently gave me an espresso machine as a gift which was put to good use filling a thermos with latte drink. I snacked in style.

Y-Stop hummingbirds
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Y-Stop hummingbirds
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037753398
Long Gulch Road
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Long Gulch Road
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037753657

From the Y-Stop we headed through the hills to Arrowrock Reservoir with Sam still bringing up the rear. We stopped to regroup again at the river.

Sam arrives
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Sam arrives
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037756097
Conversation along the Middle Fork
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Conversation along the Middle Fork
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037761860
Cottonwood Creek Ranger Station
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Cottonwood Creek Ranger Station
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037765739

The road along Arrowrock Reservoir can be tedious — loose gravel, winding and probable disaster if you miss a turn — so I was glad when we turned up Cottonwood Creek. After a few miles we stopped for a potty break in the shade at the old ranger station where Phil humored us with talk of the small snake he discovered while behind the bushes.

Sam atop a mountain
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Sam atop a mountain
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037767761

We climbed rapidly from the old ranger station along Cottonwood Creek, my favorite part of the ride. It was only the third time I’d had the new motorcycle off-road. It handled much differently than the XR but tracked well enough to give me confidence through the ruts and switchbacks on the jeep trail.

We broke into the open on top and waited again to be sure everyone had made it. Hi Sam.

Thorn Creek Butte Lookout
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Thorn Creek Butte Lookout
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037770923

The day’s ultimate destination was the lookout atop Thorn Creek Butte. We snacked and I had more latte as we walked around the deck overlooking Boise National Forest mountains all around.

Office with a view
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Office with a view
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037776993

There is something exhilarating about the high, unbroken panorama even if distant mountains remained shrouded in the smoke of summer fires. In part it’s a feeling of having arrived, the rest being the easy descent.

Accomodations
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Accomodations
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037782374

No attendant was present but we peered through the windows to imagine what days spent here might be like. For a moment the absence of curtains seemed odd then I realized the obvious, that they would belie the purpose.

Outhouse photo-op
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Outhouse photo-op
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037784974

You are asking to catch some grief emerging from an outhouse with camera already in hand.

One last latte for the road
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
One last latte for the road
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037784955
Gumby the mighty green bike
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Gumby the mighty green bike
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037792882

From the lookout we followed logging roads to Idaho City where Sam treated us all to ice cream. Hooray! The others planned to take dirt roads back to Boise while I would take the highway to get back to the kids sooner.

Parting ways
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Parting ways
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8037795416

Our first club ride was a very enjoyable success. Thanks Sam, Phil and Dave!