Monday, June 25, 2007

The Three Legged HOG

Several riders and I left Friday afternoon to Ride the first Three Legged HOG Challenge. The three legs come from the three Eastern Idaho chapters that were involved. The Magic Valley Chapter from Twin Falls, the Grand Teton Chapter from Idaho Falls, and my group, the Portneuf Valley Chapter. We all gathered for a meet-and-greet at the Challis Hot Springs resort on the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River. Some camped at the Hot Springs campground while others took advantage of more luxurious accomodations in the nearby town of Challis. My daughter Andrea and I shared a tent.

Saturday Morning after breakfast, about forty bikes staged in Challis and then broke into two riding groups. The Magic Valley crew rode north to Salmon and on up into Montana and then returned. The other two chapters headed west and followed the river down to the Beautiful Stanley Basin below the Sawtooth Range. The is amazing country, equal in beauty in my opinion to the Tetons and Jackson Hole in Wyoming and, while it's not exactly empty, the Stanley Basin does not suffer the heavy tourist traffic of Jackson. After a rest stop in the small town of Stanley ($4.06 for premium) we rode on for a brief stop at beautiful Redfish Lake, then to Smiley Creek Trading Post for lunch. (highly reccomended--good inexpensive food and excellent service). From Smiley Creek we rooled up to Galena Summit where we stopped to enjoy the view. You can see the headwaters of the Salmon from Galena Summit. We then rode down to Ketchum,Idaho and Sun Valley where we mingled with the super-rich for a couple of hours. Then back along the same route to Challis. All of this ride, about 240 miles round trip, rolls through some of the most scenic country in the U.S. with enough curving, winding road to satisfy any rider.

That evening we all gathered at the Hot Springs campground for socializing, cold drinks and a feast of barbecued beef brisket, chicken, and all the trimmings. Needless to say we all had a good time.

Sunday morning we were up and after saying goodbyes, our group went to breakfast in Challis and then took the beautiful ride north to Salmon where we cut back east to Leadore and then across the Northern end of the Arco desert (only bad part of the ride--horrible crosswinds in ugly country) after passing through appropriately named Mud Lake, we jumped on I-15 and headed south for Home. Late lunch in Idaho Falls, then back in Pocatello around six. Altogether we rode about 716 miles. We made many new friends, saw some great country and enjoyed the freedom of the open road, and that friends, is what it's all about. I'm posting a few pictures here.

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