Idaho SpodeFest 2001 Stories

David Jones - Part I Chris Johnson Keith (DirtCrashr) Hunwick
David Jones - Part II Doug Wilson Maps
Photos by David Jones Photos by Wes Grass Back to the photos

David Jones 

From: David Jones <>
Subject: Idaho Spodefest 2001
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 16:10:01 GMT

Thursday: Short Smoky loop with Keith (DirtCrashr), Wes Grass, Peter (Rowdy), Joe Dowd and myself. Down a few miles of two track to a trail along the river. Rowdy is the fastest of our group so he should be in front. At the first intersection I ask Peter if he remembers where the turn off to the next trail is (N. Fk 074). He assures me he knows, and I caution him that if he gets to "blah, blah intersection" he's too far, go back about 1/2 mile. Peter takes off, then Wes, Joe, Keith and I. Keith and I roll up to the intersection, only Joe is there. Peter blew past, Wes chased him. Wes tried to talk him into waiting for the rest of us but he'd have no part of it and took off up the wrong trail. He's headed up Snowslide. Wes returns to tell us his tale, we decide he should boogie and see if he can catch Peter. We all got a good half hour rest before they returned. Peter was relegated to the back of the pack after that.<G>

This loop is your basic Idaho trail, some sidehills, some gnarly rock sections, some woods cruiser sections, some switchbacks, one good river crossing. There are a few new trees down on the N. Fk. trail. Some we could ride over, some required a little lift to get over, one required some creative route selection. It was only about 35 miles but ended up a pretty good workout for all of us. Somewhere in the middle we notice Keith's KTM300 is seeping coolant. It looks like a bad hose but we can't tell for sure. Back at camp Keith and I dig into it and indeed it has a small slice right under the clamp. We whack off about 1/2" of the hose, fit a new clamp (thanks Wes) and he is good to go. Now if we could just have as much success with altering Keith's ill fitting boot...  

<35 miles, ride time = 2:06 avg speed = 15.8>

Friday: Gnarly Real Man Ride ® - Peter (YZ4), Wes (GG250), Mark Clark (KTM300E), his 12 yr old son Marshal (KX100), Chris Johnson (WR4) and myself (KTM200E). This is the typical "beat yourself to death" ride. Lots of rock, steep up and downhills, very technical sidehill sections, loose rocky switchhbacks, step up ledges, boulder fields, a wide stream crossing and some unbeatable scenery. This is my "A" ride of the weekend.

After the first easy section along the river Rowdy leads out up the first technical section, a long sidehill climb on a very steep hillside (W. Fk. Big Smoky #224). Wes is 2nd then I follow. It's pretty dusty so I lay back a little to let Wes get a lead but soon catch him (hey, sidehill is my middle name). Wes is going a click or two slower than I feel comfortable with but there is hardly enough room for one bike on this trail, let alone room to pass. About half way up, Wes stops for a Mike W. photo op and I take my op to slide around him and climb the rest of the way to the top, where Rowdy is waiting. We wait, and wait and wait. Radio contact is sketchy with the rest of the group but we figure they'd call us if they needed any help. Soon we hear the bikes and they roll in. Seems Wes explored the finer points of Idaho Cliff Diving and it took them a while to get him and his bike back on the trail. Since I missed the action, I'll let Wes give his account, says he even has pictures... Look out Mike W.  Wes is a little shaken and has a nasty scrap on his thigh, the bike left a little red plastic on some rocks but is not really damaged. It was probably a good thing the next section was a difficult one (Emma Cr. #063) but no real "exposure" and one section of very large boulders. It gave Wes a chance to get his legs back. 

After Emma we cross the So. Fk. Boise, wide but not very deep. Marshal gives us a lesson on how to rip across a creek. When he gets across, his dad says. "Gee Marshal, you could have gone a little slower." To which he replies, "But Dad, I wanted to get it over quickly." That kid can ride, and he's only 12!

After the slow crawl down Emma it was nice to have a rippin' woods section on Horse Trail (059) but soon we are back into the rocky No. Fk. of Ross (226) [similar trail]. Both the forks of Ross are beautiful wide glacial valleys with steep sides and vast meadows. Spring is the best time to hit these, they are literally choked with wild flowers. As we begin the climb out of the valley floor there is one section where the trail blew out and sloughed away a couple of years ago. There is a poorly engineered reroute which involves a couple of switchbacks and a short, loose, rocky climb. I don't even try to make the first switchback, just get my bike into a position where I can scoot the rear end around to get a good shot at the next one, which I clean and claw and spit my way to the top. We had to help Marshal on his little KX and Mark got a little out of shape on the first turn and had to go back for another shot. Eventually we all made it up, hot and sweating but we're past the bad spot.

At the top of Ross, Marshal decides he's had about as much as he wants and asks where the nearest road is. Mark and he bail off to take the easy way out to the highway past Lake Alturas (205) and back to camp. The remaining Spodes head down Johnson Cr. (181) to Vienna Cr. (086).

The bottom part of Vienna is probably the most technical section of the day. It begins with a couple of switchbacks (full of rock) then a very narrow sidehill climb, also full of loose rock and roots. There is one place where you literally have about 6" of trail you'd better hit, with a little rock step up in the middle. Then it's a relentless climb up a trail that occasionally evaporates. One must be creative on this trail and I definitely enjoyed the advantage of having been up it a few times, so I knew what to expect. I'd warned the others not to worry so much about staying on the "trail" but just to keep moving. I get to the top and light up a smoke, expecting to see the rest of the guys soon. About 40 minutes later, after repeated tries to contact them on the radio, they drag up to the saddle. Wes' GG250 is spewing steam like a geyser, Rowdy's YZ is bubbling as is Chris' WR. This time it had been Rowdy's time to venture off trail when he didn't make a climb over a rooty section and tried to go under the offending tree. Oops, the three of them were pretty wasted by the time they extracted Peter and his YZ4 and made the climb. We emptied our water bladders into Wes' radiator and he was good to go. (Not to gloat, but my KTM200 has never even begun to overheat on this climb....)

The ironic part of this trail is that you slog and claw your way up about 5 miles of relentless uphill trail only to reach the saddle where you can see the road out, about 1/2 mile and 5 minutes away (Smiley Cr. Rd. 077). It's a slalom run down a very steep and loose set of switchbacks on an open hillside. Fortunately the switchbacks are all wide enough to easily ride and not many rocks, but it's so steep and loose that I usually just shut off the engine, lock the rear wheel and ski my way down. Normally, from here, I might take the trail route back to camp, depending on energy reserves remaining, but we were all pretty tired and elected to ride the road back to camp.

<57 miles - ride time = 3:25 - avg speed = 16.7>

Still to come in Part II: 

Saturday: Germania, Frog Lk., Grandprize - David (with the help of Chris) ties up the "Spode of the Fest Award" before even hitting the trail - Keith draws blood - Keith hucks boot into woods, threatens to ride barefoot!

Sunday: Light day, two track exploration

Monday: Ditto Saturday's ride with Bob and John from Oregon - bear encounter - how a local can pass faster riders.

Part II

From: David Jones <>    [ top ]
Subject: Idaho Spodefest 2001 (part 2)
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 17:09:02 GMT     

Saturday: I was kinda hoping to put together another loop on the Smoky side but the group's consensus was to ride the Germania - Frog Lake loop. We decided to save about 20 miles of road riding by trucking over to the trailhead where the loop ends. Joe rode his XR250 over, Wes, Keith and Peter were in one truck, Chris Johnson and I pair up in my rig with Doug and Randy in another truck. Two other groups were planning on riding the same loop this day, Dano and his clan were long gone by the time we reached the parking spot. The other group was well ahead of us also. 

Chris unloaded his bike first then it was my turn. I start backing down the ramp, then stopped to put my foot down onto the step bumper. As soon as I put weight on it, my foot slipped off and down I go, bike mostly on top of me, half in, half out of the truck, Chris quickly comes to my rescue but as we roll the bike the remainder of the way down the ramp he gets his foot under the rear wheel, falls down and I roll over him, aarrgghh, the ultimate Spodely Acts! After Chris gets up, I comment, "Hope this isn't the way the whole day is going to go." 

Wes, Keith and Joe elect to ride Grandprize Gulch over. Doug, Randy, Chris, Peter and I will ride the somewhat more technical Germania trail over to a meeting point along a dirt road where we'd all join up for the second part of the loop. 

Germania is one of those trails that seems to have a little of everything, it's one of my favorites. It has some fast woodsy sections, some technical "up-and-over-rocks-on-sidehills", several stream crossings and of course excellent scenery.

We allow Rowdy to lead but give him explicit and strict instructions in an attempt to keep him from roaring off down the wrong trail. There are a few "ghost" intersections where it appears the trail goes one way, when in fact it goes another. He complies, and waits at all the right spots. It's a good thing, because this is the only way I can keep up with that fast a** Austrian!

The little nasty spot on this trail has already been described by others, it's the same spot Mike Baxter slipped off the trail into the creek last year. It has deteriorated since then and I suspect it will be even more difficult by next year. We need some dynamite!

After a fairly uneventful ride over to the dirt road along the E. Fk Salmon River we meet up with Wes, Keith, Joe and one group that left just before us. Joe defects to the other group because they are taking a side trip he wants to go on. Wes and Keith join back up with our group and it's off up the 8 miles of dirt road to the Big Boulder trailhead at Livingston Mill.

This section has also been described by others. It's wide, bermed and bridged without too many rocky sections. It puts us up onto a saddle with incredible views in almost every direction. Somewhere near the bottom, Keith bounced into a tree and ripped a hole in his thumb. His one ill fitting boot is really bothering his foot, by the time he hits the saddle, he's not a happy camper.

Wes and Keith stay on the saddle while the rest of us relax by Frog Lake and have a bite to eat. Wes comes down and tells us he's going to ride back down with Keith on the same trail we came up on, sparing Keith the jarring, rocky ride down Little Boulder trail. 

We all meet up again on the dirt road and it's off up the valley along the river. We leap frog each other when we encounter gates along the road. I get in front at the last one but let FAA (Fast A** Austrian) go ahead. This is a fast single track section through mostly flat, desert like terrain. The dust is thick and even if I had the speed to hang with Peter I'd be doing it blind. Somewhere after we get into the woods I glance back and see Doug reeling me in. Then he's right on my butt, how he can ride in that dust is beyond me. I pull over and let him by, then try to keep up with him. I'm too tired and it's too dusty, Doug is gone in no time.

Back at the trucks, Keith begins with a long string of expletives that causes needles to fall off pine trees, then with a whoop he flings one of his boots off into the woods. Guess he was a little fed up with them at this point. I figured he wouldn't really leave the boot there, but made note of where it was so I could come back the next day to retrieve it, some of the hardware will fit my boots, never hurts to have spares. <G>

64 miles - ride time = 3:17 avg speed = 19.5

Sunday: I am planning on doing an extra gnarly ride on Monday and figure I should take it easy today so I'll have the energy I'll need. Dano, Murray and I take a couple 9mm pistols and my .22 rifle off into the woods to deposit some lead in some stumps, then we take a tour of the dirt roads on either side of our camp valley. It's a beautiful ride up Frenchmen's Creek. Vast lush green meadows, numerous beaver dams and ponds, soaring cliffs on either side. We also find the dirt road that goes to the top of Galena Summit and beyond. From there we can peer back into the Wood River valley towards Sun Valley and up the length of the Stanley Basin to the north. 

Back at camp, I don't feel like cooking and suggest we get a group together for dinner at Smiley Creek (Terry, Wes, Keith, Peter and I). Jokingly, I announce that Rowdy will be buying, damned if he didn't follow through. Thanks Peter, if I'd known you were buying, I'd have ordered steak and a $100 bottle of wine!

Monday: Plans started falling apart, Dano is whining about his back or something, Murray is bailing on me too. The Cali contingent is packing up and leaving later, Chris had to go home, Joe pulls out a couple of days earlier than originally planned. That leaves only Bob and John from Oregon and me. I'm still up for the gnarly ride but now that it's only three of us, I start expressing concerns about our ability to complete the loop. I haven't ridden it this year and there are some places where it would be next to impossible to get through if there are trees down. Neither Bob or John have ridden the Frog Lk. loop, so we decide to do that one instead. WTF, I'll just have to get to Big Peak later. 

This ride was pretty much a repeat of Saturday's ride. These guys are fast, soon I don't even seen the dusty evidence of their passage. I'd advised them about a couple of intersections but forgot to tell them about options at one of the rock ledges. I catch Bob while he's stalled on the ledge, I take the low route through the creek and try to put some distance between us. I catch John on another ledgy type spot when he's not sure which way to go. He hesitates and doesn't make the ledge. I don't pass him here but at least I can keep him in sight for the next half mile or so, then once again he's but a cloud of dust. 

I do manage to get in front of him at one spot where the trail approaches the creek. It appears the trail crosses the creek but in fact makes an invisible hard left through the river rock. John is dutifully waiting on the other side of the creek 'cuz that trail goes nowhere. I blast off at race pace in an attempt to impress this "A" enduro rider. I choose not to look back, so as far as I know I smoked him (yeah right!). I'm no dummy, the only way I'm going to win this race is if I stop while I'm ahead. I do so at the next viewpoint, about a half mile away.

I play this game once more on the Big Boulder trail when Bob takes a wrong turn. I slide past and book it up this wide open trail. Soon I hear the big thumper closing in on me. With my blinding speed and a convenient dust screen I keep him at bay for a while. I'm riding right on the ragged edge of my ability and soon blow a turn. As I'm picking pine needles out of my teeth, Bob roars by. Good thing, now I can catch my breath!

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful except that John had a bear run across the trail in front of him near Frog Lake.

64 miles - ride time = 3:10 avg speed = 20.2

Back at camp I get all my stuff packed up and the travel trailer ready to drop onto the hitch in the morning. Boo, SpodeFest is over. I didn't get to ride with everyone I wanted to, nor did I get to ride all the loops I wanted to. Not to worry, as I drive home I start to formulate a plan for next year, can't wait!

[ top ]

Keith Hunwick (DirtCrashr)        [ top ]

From: dirtcrashr@aol.comSpammola (DirtCrashr)
Date: 30 Aug 2001 19:55:50 GMT
Subject: Idaho SpudFoot 2001

<Rudy's voice>
"I dunno…"
</Rudy's voice>

Tuesday morning packing it all together in the truck I recalled that I had not lately, recently, oftenly (or frequently) changed my KTM 300's tranny Type-F™ ATF. On the phone it sounded like Wes and Rowdy still had a few stops to make - so I lit it up and rode around the driveway doing figure-eights to heat it up.

When I drained it, the magnetic drain-plug looked like a burnt Christmas fir-tree with so much flaky metal and stuff stuck on it like dirty x-mas fake-snow flocking, and the oil drooled out like black moly-graph. The really cool part was the two bite-sized bits of remaining metal, the size of half a Cheerio. Where the hell did THAT come from? <Cursing>

Met Wes and Rowdy when they cruised down the hill to my place. They both recommended just button it up and go - if it breaks it breaks, bring the Buddy-Tow™. I pointed to the old, worn, extra boots (Tech 7's™) hanging on the garage wall and in a fit of RMD inspired generosity wondered out-loud if I should bring them in case someone up there in Idaho needed "real" MX boots… A fateful indecision left them hanging there, and we set off.

Tuesday night Winnemucca, then the coffee shop in Twin Falls with the pretty girls - (pretty vacant anyhow) arrived Wednesday and set up camp, drank beer, told lies, and finally got to meet IRKurt. Cool!

Thursday the Short Smoky Loop, South of Chemeketan (I would never have known, I thought it was North) 37 miles and fairly just as DJones described it. Now I've ridden it three times in a few different directions, and each way it's a coolant boiler with sections of soft, power-sucky sandrock and narrow places to dive headfirst off the trail - if they don't see you it doesn't count. The KTM was drying out and my Idaho Ride Hero™ Joe Dowd provided refreshments with his KTM-Canteen, later I added what water was left in my 'back and back at the truck we diagnosed a hose failure. More beer and lies and grateful to have the boots off…

Friday the Boundary Creek Loop, which DJones avoids - it must be too easy. We truck up to the jump-off spot and with Joe Dowd and Kurt, we split off to the left at a junction and headed to the Little Casino Creek trail. It's a blast going in and out of sparkling meadow trails and not seeing a lot of goddamn rocks - that would come later. We are lead by Hero Joe and still manage to keep spodely riding to the surface, nosing off the trail here and there where it sidehills along a creek and whatnot before rhythm emerges. We move a tree out of the fairly un-ridden trail and soon run into a pack of horses lead by the Horse Whisperer - an older, bare-chested gent in jeans with long flowing white hair and beard, he seems no stranger to dirtbikes and no anger either as the big critters tilt around a bit before clambering up the hillside and around to avoid us.  A few miscues and we find the trail, splish-splash thought he creek and a bit more spodliness - Joe's picture shows me just before the sideways move and slippy rock… And we head up Big Casino on a deceptively flowing sunny-meadowy trail - then the Rocks begin. At least they're pretty well anchored and not rollers, but after a long series of descents we're climbing and climbing through this bone yard. Aged Gas-Gas Pilot would be in heaven here. Kurt's KX250 Mx-er is giving him grief with it's gearing and abrupt power - but my MXC isn't a whole lot better. Joe is totally in his element on the XR250 and cruising along. There are a few creek crossings, seven or eight maybe, and each is a good drop in vertical and similar climb out, with uneven rocky bottoms. In one case I flail and just pull the trigger and launch my bike up onto the bank. It clears the ground and misses Kurt by a few, but he got a good look at the undercarriage - oops sorry!!! We struggle onward upward with frequent breaks and occasional snacks - it's almost just like an enduro!  Finally we get to the trail crossing and decide to skip the extra bouldery journey up Lookout Mountain and head for the reward: Williams Creek Trail. Along the way Joe gets ahead of us, and when we reach him he's stopped alongside an impressive set of skid marks where after a long slide he saved it.

We bash through some more rocks until finally we get to Williams Creek - MikeW would be a lot faster than he could ever possibly imaging here, it's easy and a blast to gas-it in the corners and feel the rear step out and hook up against the banking. Joe is Waaaaay ahead and I'm shadowing Kurt to avoid the dust, riding looking over his shoulder and we're hauling ass. Down close to the bottom and almost over too soon, is a log at a stomach-high angle across the trail, and Joe is waiting. Skipping the wheelie heroics and gymnastics we lift and drag and all get across fine. More swooping corners and in a couple miles we're at the truck - beat to a pulp, I am sooooo happy to have the right boot OFF and walk around in my sock. Somewhere along the way a boot buckle is torn-off, musta been the rocks, meanwhile the plastic on the right boot is digging a hole in my knobby prehensile pinkie-toe-bone. I guess I wear a should size 12 on one and a size 13 on the other...

Anyhow, more rocks later.

C-Open '97 KTM 300 MX/C -D-36, BRC, CERA, COHVCO, CORVA Two-up '95 CB1000 

Chris Johnson        [ top ]

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 14:49:18 -0600
From: Chris <>
Subject: Straight outta Spodefest

I took the slow, scenic route to SpudFest because I was on vacation and in no hurry. The unusually stressful, albeit short, work week leading up to the fest demanded downtime. Finally confident I would still have a job when I got back, my dog and I and a pickup full of bike, gear and camping essentials wound our way around the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, through Idaho City and Lowman, over Banner Summit,  into the incomparable Stanley Basin. Sawtooths to the right, White Cloud Wilderness to the left, the soothing voice of Merle Haggard filling the cab, and the sh!t was starting to rinse off. We stopped  and smelled the forest often. I love that drive.

I snagged a spot slightly on the outskirts of Spode Central so that my dog could be his usual PITA self and not bother folks too much. Turns out he was pretty well behaved this time, and everyone was really cool with him. I hope he didn't steal too much food from you all – I swear I feed him! 

Downtown Spodeville consisted of the IRKurt/McGarry compound, the classic rocking Dowd district, the Bay Area shanty, and Terry's deluxe suite. Brian stokes a mean fire, and spodes from all over the campground eventually gathered there for beers, story telling and star gazing. David said he wanted to do a gnarly ride the next day, which made me wonder. I've been on some hella gnarly rides with him before, but he never calls them gnarly. So what the hell was this going to be? I drank too many beers and tried not to think about it.

I woke up cold and a bit hung over Friday morning, stumbled out of my tent and over a few saplings to take a leak, and decided to crawl back into bed for a bit. Next thing I know bikes are warming up and helmets are going on. Time to jam.

We took off from camp with David in the lead, Rowdy, Wes, myself, Mark, and Marshall. The trails and pace were good and I was starting to warm up and feel better. Dust was an issue at times, but then the fast guys would stretch a good lead and I was riding in the clear by myself, which was nice. Its painfully hard for me to concentrate on these trails because the scenery is so spectacular, but after a few close calls while rubbernecking, I decided I'd better focus on the single track, and just stop when I wanted to look at something. I stopped a lot.

There were a few really technical, narrow side hill sections here, and a Mike W. moment for Wes to share. I'm glad he wasn't riding a pig bike like mine, and really glad the damage was minimal, considering, well.... I was amazed at how well Mark's 12 yr old son Marshal did on this ride. He did all the nasty crap we did, and it was obvious he was enjoying it too. That guy is going to win gold medals some day soon.

After lunch Mark and Marshal split off to ride down to Alturas lake. I finally got to ride my namesake trail (Johnson Creek) and it was good, but something wasn't right. We'd ridden some great trail with lots of rocks, roots, step ups and drop offs, but this is normal Jones stuff, not the stuff I'd had nightmares about. He had something up his sleeve besides elbow pads. We took a short break in a pleasant little shady spot near a stream, then set out for the home stretch. Camp was just a few miles of dirt roads away, once we took the shortcut up Vienna Creek. And that's when things got ugly. The “shortcut” was 4MOH!

Steep, loose, narrow, steep, up, up, straight freaking up, and another Mike W. moment for Rowdy to share. We lost the trail. We found it again and kept going up. Did I say steep and loose? I dug trenches, tore knobbies, stalled it a couple times, fried my bike and myself, and finally made it to the summit where David was looking nice and refreshed. That was the most insane climb I have ever done! 

Camp, fire, stars, beers, burgers, bench racing, coyotes singing in the distance, and I was done early. Spent. I hit the rack and slept hard.

Woke up Saturday morning to frost on my helmet and goggles and other stuff I had just dumped in the truck bed after Friday's ride. Damn it was cold, and the dog was all geeked up for a walk. I resisted the urge to crawl beck into bed and obliged him. The sun slowly crept up over Galena Summit to fill our valley with light and warmth, and spodes started making noise again. Today was the easy ride. Right.

We hauled our bikes over to the trail head and gracefully unloaded them for the ride :) I rode with David, Rowdy, Doug, and Randy. DirtCrashr, Wes and Joe took a different route but we would hook up with them later. The morning was full of fun single track and killer vistas on the Germania Creek trail. We came upon Baxter's exit from last year, and the trail had mostly disappeared down into the creek. The little part that was left on the mountain was full of awkwardly angled rocks and roots. Randy and I walked our bikes through this tricky little section (David cleaned it and waited on the other side, Rowdy was already gone), and I turned around just in time to see Doug sail through it effortlessly. Damn!

We met up with the other group at the end of the trail, and took dirt roads up to the Frog Lake loop. I didn't get to do this section last year due to a late start and threatening weather, but I'd heard nothing but good things from others who had ridden it. It did not disappoint. It was a fast, smooth, wide trail to the top with berms in the corners and bridges over the streams. Sahweeeet! Up top, you could see forever into the Idaho back country. Doug pointed to all the various mountains and valleys where he'd ridden, Rowdy said it was his favorite spot on the ride, and I was completely stoked to be there. Then we started down the other side of the mountain, Frog Lake came in to view and it was equally stunning. The trail down to the lake is single track, and I had to stop a couple times to sight see. It just doesn't seem possible that places like this really exist – it's like a beautiful painting or a scene from a movie in which you star, except it's 3D real right there in your face bashing your senses silly. We found a shady spot near the water and ate powerbars, taking it all in. We were the only people there. The trail out (Little Boulder Creek) was the rock garden Wes had promised, but it was fun. It was really bumpy and nasty in some sections, and smooth and fun in others. The bottom section was smooth and fast, meandering through sagebrush and up and down rolling hills. This loop is simply amazing. We met up with Wes and BootChuckr again for the last blast back to the trucks (Grand Prize Gulch?). This is another really fun and fast section, but I'd blown it last year by losing a contact lens and then struggling through it. This time I wanted to kill it and finish strong. Doug and Randy held the gate open and I took off after David and Rowdy, trying to ride fast. I scared myself a few times but felt good in general, even fast in some sections. Then Doug passed me and reality sunk back in. He'd probably spotted me a couple miles while holding that gate open, yet reeled me in well before we made it to the end. I'm not worthy!

Camp, fire, beers, stars, steaks, bench racing, fat ladies singing in the distance, and I was done early. Expired. I hit the rack and slept hard. I didn't even try to get up Sunday morning. I could have and probably should have gone riding, but the previous two days had been epic, and both me and the bike had escaped injury, so I decided to call it good. I took the dog bumping around 4x4 roads in the truck, with the soothing sounds of Bad Brains, 2Pac and Bounty Killer filling the cab. I found another breathtaking high mountain lake (Phyllis Lake) at the end of a slow, bumpy climb up FR 053 off of Fourth of July Creek road. I sat in the shade and drank a couple beers, throwing a stick into the lake for the dog about a million times and thinking about everything and nothing. Life's been good to me so far. Back in camp it was time to break it down and head back to the grind :(

It was sure nice meeting spodes like Kurt, Mike, Joe, Randy, Mark, Marshal, Bob, and all of Dano's crew and others whose names I've forgotten, and seeing guys from last year like Brian, Keith, Wes, Rowdy, and Doug. And David, Les, and Dan, it's always a pleasure riding and hanging out with you guys. What a cool group of people to ride and camp with.

Thanks everyone!


Doug Wilson        [ top ]

From: "Doug Wilson" <>
Subject: 01 Idaho Spodefest
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 

What a great time! I was only able to make it to the Saturday and Sunday rides, but both Randy and I had a great time.

I went out to Randy's house Friday morning and picked up his bike and this year we decided to take his tent trailer, so we didn't have to sleep on the ground. Then around 4:00pm he called and said to come by the dealership and pick him up. So we were on our way around 5:00pm , we had to stop at the normal pizza place in Hailey. We arrived at around 9:30pm and proceeded to stumble around in the dark and try to find David to make sure we with the right group. We found Mr. Jones talking to Bob and John from Eugene. We talked about what was going to go on the next morning and then went and parked the trailer and set up and went to bed. We got up the next morning and ate a little breakfast and set out to see who was up for what. 

We decided to go for the Frog Lake loop because we hadn't ridden the whole loop this year yet. So we took off from the Pole Creek Road right above the Grand Prize trail head. I decided I would follow everyone until I got comfortable. We were making pretty good time going up through Germania. What a beautiful place this is. There were a few miscues but nobody that I saw went down. It was kinda fun to watch everyone wind their way through the rocks and trees. I had ridden this trail a month earlier and it was amazing to see what a little bit of time does to change the trails. There were a few mud rock slides that weren't there previously, that made it feel like I was riding a totally different trail. Anyway, we go to the East Fork road and took it up to Livingston Mill and to Big Boulder trailhead. What a blast this trail is. I got in behind and just kind of cruised, enjoying the nice smooth trail up the through the forest. I came upon Keith wedged up against a tree and I pulled up beside him and asked if he was alright. He said he tangled with the tree and said his hurt his thumb. He took off his glove and blood started to run down his hand, he took a bandaid out of his pack, put it on, and said he will bring up the rear. We got to the top of the ridge overlooking Frog Lake and the railroad ridge the other direction. We stopped and enjoyed the view snapped a bunch of pictures of everyone (David, Rowdy, Wes, Keith, Chris, Randy) and the scenery. Went down to the lake and ate a bite at the lake. Wes and Keith decided to take the incredibly fun Big Boulder trail back down and the rest of us took Little Boulder back down to the East Fork road. 

Surprisingly enough we met Wes and Keith as we hit the road. We headed up to Bowery and over Grand Prize, which is one of my favorites. I have been riding it since I was a young kid on a 76 YZ 80, so I know this trail very well and I love to really ride it. Got back to the trailhead and loaded up the trucks and went to camp, ate sat around and talked to everyone.

The next day David decide to take an easy day so we wanted to take someone and show them the incredible riding a little more north towards Stanley. We wanted a good ride and Bob and John wanted a gnarly one. So we headed out to do Boundary creek with myself Randy, Rowdy Joe, Bob, John and Wes. We started up Boundary and was enjoying the fast pace of riding with these guys. We decide to meet up at the lookout and eat a snack. What a great ride to the lookout a couple of nice rock obstacles and some sidehill and then a whole bunch of switchbacks. As Randy says What a HOOT! At the lookout we enjoyed the scenery for a while but could tell Bob and John were still looking for that challenge.

So we headed back down to the ridge above the Casino lakes and Wes and Joe decided they would take the Warm Springs trail down and out. So we left them and head down Little Casino. Randy had side-swiped a tree or something and was losing brake fluid out of his front master cylinder so we let everyone get ahead and tighten things back up and took off along the ridges and then started down into the nice sweeping trails through the meadows. Found Rowdy, Bob and John relaxing in a meadow. We then took off down the trail and it was amazing how much fun it was sharing this terrain with other people. We had a blast going down Little Casino. We hit the Salmon River and decided to stop and use the water filter and take a quick break before we headed up the rock infested Big Casino trail. It was a blast going from rock to rock and then root to root and then back to the rocks and then throw in some creek crossings. It was truly amazing to see John, Rowdy and Bob finesse there way up this trail. It was so much fun I didn't want it to stop we got the intersection we had been at earlier and headed down warm springs towards Williams creek. It was a blast going down this trail narrowly fitting between boulders, just to get going to find another set. What fun!! We hit the meadows and hauled across them and back into the forest and then out Williams Creek bermed and smoothed out by the MTN bikes it is like dessert after an incredible hearty meal. 

As Randy and I got back to camp we decided that we would have to take more time off next year for the next Idaho Spodefest. It was great to see the ones we have ridden with before and to ride with the ones that we just met. Looking forward to doing it again. I have to say you guys are incredible riders, to come from your own terrain and ride ours like it was in your back yard. I learned a lot and had a great time. 

Take Care so we can ride again
Doug Wilson
97 RMX

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