In search of new roads – 2nd Half

Once the bikes are properly fueled, or at least the DRZ since the mighty 690 is a tanker …. we headed north along the river. The days forecast called for potential showers of which thus far we have been spared. Until now ….

With the rain starting to fall one would expect moral to drop, but in this case the opposite was true. The rain seemed to transform a section of road I have only had the privilege to pass in the dustiest of conditions. With proper gear worn and water on the road …. the experience was …. different … and almost refreshing.

Left or Right

Our choice for today would be left. According to the map West Fork Creek Rd will connect over the ridge to Clear Creek Road and/or Hwy 55.

The map indicates a few miles of riding to find West Fork Creek Rd (600), but not before passing a cascading creek as it free falls down a drainage opposing the road.

Rd 600, Junction CJ, West Fork Creek

The rain has stopped leaving behind tacky dirt and clean air. We rail up the road following recent side by side tracks who, by the looks of their roost, are enjoying the day same as us.

 

The road has a few intersections that are not apparent on my map. Each direction recently traveled we flip a coin and choose a direction. We twist and turn making our way back up towards the ridge covering enough ground that we start to second guess the choice of the coin before another intersection comes into view.  Clear Creek Road is right, Hwy 55 is left …. as we descend towards Hwy 55 views of Cascade present before us … the clouds against the blue sky and the Green timber contrasting against the receding snow make for quite a view.

Hwy 55 across the valley

We make our way downward eventually coming to a closed gate. As we cross the gate we notice a No Trespassing sign only visible from the opposite direction. Not sure if the road we came down on was private as there were no visible signs up above … we close the gate behind and proceed.

Now connected with Hwy 55 we decide the best route into Cougar Mountain … time for lunch!

 

 

In search of new roads – Take 1

“True adventure lies in the road ahead”

I find myself always chasing new roads. Paved roads, dirt roads, improved roads, primitive roads, forest roads …. all roads that lead around the next corner or over the next hill. These are the roads that make adventure. Riding over those hills and around those curves feeds our curiosity to continue riding forward. It entices that seeded sense of exploration that all of us have in one shape or form.

For some time I have wondered about a route that would connect us from the small community of Crouch Idaho, just north of Boise, and over the hill into Long Valley. I know the route exists, this is just country I have not spent much time in other than riding a few of the single track trails in the area.

Our weather the last few days has been scattered with a bit of rain, but is forecasted to start clearing. The call goes out for a ride!

My friend John E answers the call and we plan a meeting spot on Bogus Basin Road with a plan to ride over Bogus and the Ridge Road.

John on the mighty 690 and myself on the Z … we make short work of the fun and twisty 16 mile section to the Bogus basin Ski Area.

Time to break and adjust layers ….

The heat of the Summer had not yet set in …. Winter snow had been holding a tight grip on the high mountain routes with reports of the ridge road just opening up.

The Ridge Road, which I’ve spoken of often as it being a popular connecting route to Garden Valley or Idaho City areas, flows unassuming along the ridge line towards Harris Creek Summit. Along the way you’ll pass a stand of mature Ponderosa Pines that I always have to stop and admire.

The Boise Ridge Road (374) deposits us onto Harris Creek Summit. While dropping down to Harris Creek I spot dust plumes in the distance which is an indicator of an annual event called the Idaho Rally.  As cool as the event is I always seem to find myself entangled in their spider web of course selections.

John E and the 690

FR 374

We ride into Placerville to find the town center, more or less a grassy park, to be the staging and pit area for the rally participants. We inquire with the local EMT’s as to which roads are effected by the days events and they confirm that FR 615 over Alder Creek Summit is being kept open into Garden Valley…. that’s a win this being our intended route and a detour could have cost us quite a few miles.

Placerville City Center

Alder Creek Summit

We successfully make it to the Banks/Lowman Hwy. With no traffic and great road conditions we steer the bikes towards Garden Valley/Crouch. We’ll top off fuel before heading up the Middle Fork of the Payette and for me on this day parts unknown.