Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Day Ride to Jackson-Tin Cup To Home

As you leave Freedom, you turn onto Idaho 34. Your now in the "Tin Cup" area. That's Tin Cup mountain in the picture below. ID34 twists and winds through a combination of cattle country and the Caribou National Forest. Its a twisting, challenging, fun road to ride through extremely beautiful country.

Soon, you enter the area known as Gray's Valley, pastures, hay-meadows, curving road and moutains surrounding you. You'll ride past Gray's Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Nowhere between Soda Springs and Freedom, will you encounter much traffic.

Looming over Gray's valley is Cariboo Mountain. Both the mountain and the National Forest take their names not from those tundra reindeer of the far North, but from a prospector named "Cariboo" Jack, who discovered Gold on the mountain in 1870, setting off several decades of mining activity.

As you leave Gray's valley past Gray's lake you also pass the old Henry Townsite and the old Henry store. Not much happening at the store these days but it makes a great backdrop for a picture of your motorcycle. You'll drive a few more miles with curves and great scenery but then the last 7-8 miles into Soda Springs is straight. The best part of the ride is over.

At Soda Springs you pick up US92 and head west. More traffic now and the safety nazis have taken most of the curves out of the road but there is steel some scenery to be had. You cross Fish Creek summit at a little over six thousand feet. The picture below shows the view ahead as you cross the summit. You head on into Lava Hot Springs and on towards McCammon where you could join I-15 north to Pocatello, or you could, as I usually do, turn off on old highway 92 (no sense screwing up a beautiful day on the super slab), roll past Pebble Creek Ski mountain and on through Inkom, ending back in Pocatello. This great ride has ended.

Total mileage: 329
Time: About 9 hours, but this includes a couple of hours eating lunch and goofing off in Jackson, plus numerous picture stops, leg stretchers, snack break, etc.
Try it yourself. This is a marvelous way of life, this motorcycling.

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