|Story by David Jones|
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A short preface is in order. This is an account of a gathering of Spodes in the mountains of Idaho late in the summer of 1998. Several months of planning and organization went into this event. Spodes from five western states showed up.
For another account and some photos see: Old Fart's SpodeFest
For more info and SpodeFest photos see: Ride Photos
It was Tuesday before the big weekend. I had sewn up all the loose ends except finding an empty trailer hitch for the Porti-Potti. I was prepared to drive the crapper up on Wednesday and drop it off, along with the firewood and the awning. Then I'd need to drive home, reload with riding/camping gear and drive back up Thursday morning. At the last minute one of my riding buddies, DeLloy, offered to bring up the crapper on Friday morning. At this point I wasn't sure if I could haul all the stuff I needed in one trip but was determined to try.
I loaded firewood, tables, chain saw, awning, riding gear, camping stuff, coolers, food etc...Wow it all fit and I still had room to get in. Shoot, now I am ready a day early and chomping at the bit to get the hell out of Dodge. WTH, "Go on up...," my wife said. I was as giddy as a young kid on Xmas Eve. On the two hour drive up to the riding area, I would spontaneously stick my head out the window and yell, "SPODEFEST! YEHAWW!" I arrived at the camp at about 5pm, unloaded, got set up and had a quiet evening by the campfire.
I messed around the next morning, split some of the firewood, set up my kitchen and posted the directional signs. Now with all of my "mothering" chores done I was free to don my waders and see if I could tease some trout into chomping on one of my flies. I suited up and rode my bike up the river to a "catch & release" section, stopped at the first likely looking hole and began fishing. The action was pretty good, after about an hour and a half I had caught and released 11 trout. I tried for an even dozen but it wasn't going to happen.
Back at camp I barely had time to get out of my fishing gear when Dave Arndt (TazSpaz) rolled in. Yahoo, the flock was gathering! Dave set up his camp, we yakked a bit then I headed back to the river. This time it was just about as the sun was setting and the action was heavy. I could do no wrong, I released 17 fish and because it was a barbless section I lost about 10 more before I could "touch" them. I release all the fish I catch and I don't consider them "caught" unless I actually touch them. After that, if they flop off the hook so much the better.
Dave and I had a quiet evening BS'ing around the fire, finally calling it a night at about 1am.
Spodes began rolling in Friday morning and continued to do so most of the day. DeLloy got there with the "meditation room" about 2pm. With his arrival, the Idaho SpodeFest had officially begun! We positioned the crapper so if anyone wanted to, they could leave the door open, have a spectacular view of the river and the mountains beyond and still have privacy. We called it the "Room With a View". We had the deluxe model, complete with wash basin, hand soap and paper towels. We had unlimited deposits, and free checking but there was a substantial penalty for any withdrawals!
About 5pm a group decided to go for a short putt up to the USFS fire lookout above camp. It's about a 20 mile up-and-back ride (on an ATV width trail) to a rocky pinnacle at 9700'. Just as we were getting ready to depart, an ambulance was heard screaming up the dirt road. When we got to the trailhead we discovered that a young woman had been injured about six miles up the trail and the EMTs were hiking up. They asked if some of our group could catch up and give them a ride. I went back to camp to pick up my GPS unit in case we needed it. Bob Reinen and Mark Kessler started the grueling ride up with passengers. Somewhere along the line one of the EMTs carrying a back board offloaded it to another rider, Dan Haynes, who finished the trek to the top one handed!
When we arrived at the scene we saw a 22 yr old woman in a great deal of pain. Dislocated shoulder, head and back pain. She (Mrs. Idiot ATVer) was riding an ATV with shorts, t-shirt and tennis shoes, (no helmet) and had managed to flip it over on herself at 5mph. Her husband/boyfriend (Mr. Idiot) was dressed the same, riding a KDX200. We assisted as needed and got her on a backboard. The EMTs were in communication with their ambulance who in turn was in contact with Life Flight. They dispatched the chopper due to the rugged terrain and extent of her injuries. I pulled out the GPS, got a fix and explained to one of the EMTs how to read it to the chopper pilot. By this time the girl had been laying in the dirt for almost two hours. Within a few minutes we heard the distinctive sound of a helicopter coming over the ridge behind us. Thanks to the GPS fix he flew right to us. Whew, what a way to begin our SpodeFest! I was hoping we had chalked up enough "plus" credits in our Karma column that we might be lucky enough to make it through the weekend without injury. It must have worked.
Back at camp most of the Spodes had arrived with the exception of Keith Hunwick and Kev Unthank, Rick Bowser and Doug Landau. The Keith & Kev Show rolled in about midnight, Rick and Doug about 1am. I had thought I'd get to bed a little early this night.....I folded at about 2am, they were still up telling each other, "Just one more beer..." when I crashed.
DeLloy Forbes: local, good friend and one of my riding partners, excellent rider, 52+(?) yrs old, riding a KTM250 E/XC. Lead and/or sweep on the Leisure Loop Group on the long loop.
Dan Haynes: local, friend and one of my riding partners, also excellent rider, works with OldFart, 40+ yrs old, riding a WR250 and/or XR250. Led the Short Loop Group on Saturday.
Mike Hetrick (OldFart): local, another of my riding buddies, Mike is just starting to get into this trail riding stuff, ridden more desert here in Idaho, fast when he wants to be, camp humorist and king of the one liners, 40+ yrs, modified XR/CR350.
Wayne Larsen: local, fast-ass-sombitch, 55 yrs, been riding these hills since 1970 and knows them very well, past racer and past prez of our local club (TVTMA), KLX300. Led the fast group on the long loop Saturday.
Gene Evans: local, friend of Wayne, don't know much about Gene, nice guy, 40+ yrs, if he rides with Wayne he is fast and rides well. WR400 which everybody drooled over. Ran sweep with the fast group on the long loop.
Me: local, slow-ass-sombitch, been riding these hills since 1998, don't know squat about the trail system other than the few I've ridden. 49 yrs old, XR250. Swapped with DeLoy for lead and sweep on the Leisure Loop.
Dave Arndt: from the Bay Area, great guy, great rider, willing to go anywhere, he and I hit it off quite well, always has a sh*t-eating grin plastered across his face. 29 yrs old, KTM400. First to show up and almost last to leave. Took a trophy home, more on that later.
Rick Bowser: Redding, CA, big long haired leftover hippy, B class enduro rider (2nd place overall last year Rick?), one of the fast guys this weekend, always happy and infects others with his spirit. I met Rick at last year's Fest in Oregon, I'd ride anytime with Rick, 40ish, rides a XR600.
Mike Frietag: Portland, cousin of Dan Haynes, good rider, KDX200. Age ?
Keith Hunwick (DirtCrashr): Bay area, seasoned SpodeFestian from last year in Oregon, grows his hair long where he can, the camp intellectual when we let him, good rider who got better as the rides progressed. It was great to see him again. Long/high jump King. XR400 with trick looking black plastic and a penguin..... 40 yrs.
Kevin Unthank: Bay area, UK transplant , he and Keith seemed well matched, good rider and nice guy, lots of dry humor. XR400, 30 yrs.
(Keith & Kev take the "in and out" award, got there very late Friday night, left Sunday mid-day)
Dennis Kennedy: Corvallis, Oregon, excellent rider, quieter than most of the other Spodes, met him at Oregon Fest last year. 38ish, KTM360 E/XC
Kim Millhollin: With Dennis, the only woman among all these testosterone charged men. Age, who has the nerve to ask? Gutsy gal to ride the terrain she did and took home a trophy for her effort. KTM 125.
Doug Landau: Bay area (?), good guy and good rider, been up here riding before, sorry I didn't get to know him better. 30ish, CR250
Bob Reinen: Eugene Oregon, also at last year's fest in Oregon, another fast-sombitch, likes to lead, doesn't like dust I guess, somehow always had a cold beer out on the trails, while the rest of us sucked on our camel-baks. Bob sucks, a cigar that is. Thanks for sharing a couple of them things with me. 39 yrs, CR250.
Jeff Syslo: Bend, Oregon, last year's organizer at China Hat, excellent rider but was on a YZ125 which wasn't set up for these nasty trails. Got up close and personal with a four mile section of Willow Cr. trail, on foot.... more later. 28 yrs. Tried to outrun my mighty XR during the poker run but couldn't make it through the dust screen I set up. See below.
Jeff Wallace: LA area, another leftover hippy (thank god I wasn't alone on this front!), drove to Phoenix then to Idaho (1400+ miles!) rusty riding skills but made all the trails on the long loop anyway, needs more protective gear, hot springs junkie, Mr. Mellow, 41 yrs, KDX200.
Mark Kessler: Phoenix, AZ, rode up with Jeff Wallace, mtn bike racer, shows up with a 79 Husky 390 with the baldest rear tire I have ever seen short of being at a drag strip, toted one of the EMTs up on Friday's rescue mission. We all wondered if he was going to be able to ride these trails with that bike and tire, but he did very well. Put this guy on a modern bike and I'm sure he would fly. Needs goggles next time, eh Mark?
Rich Terry: Seattle, WA, shows up ten minutes before the ride is to leave, had lost his helmet and tools on the paved road, used most of his gas looking for same lost items while riding with choke on, ran out of gas on the short loop, major hassle, I will let somebody who was with that group fill in the details. Had he stuck around, he would have taken the "Spode of the Fest" trophy home.
We were nestled in among the pines and cottonwoods next to a huge meadow right on the South Fork of the Boise River. We had enough room to spread out, nobody outside of the group was anywhere near us. The view to the north revealed the desert nature of this part of the world, with sage brush, cheat grass, rock outcroppings and an occasional spruce tree adorning the south face of the ridge. To the south was a densely forested ridge (conifers), similar to most of the north facing terrain around here. Being next to a river, the ground was a bit rocky but I think everyone found suitable tent sites, maybe only bending *some* of their tent stakes in the process.
We couldn't have asked for better conditions with the exception of needing a little rain to quiet down the dust and increase the traction. The highs were in the mid 80s with nighttime lows down to 40-45 degrees. Perfect riding and sleeping weather. The skies were bright and clear blue 90% of the time with a spectacular star show appearing each evening. Some of the Spodes from the Big Cities wanted to know what all that stuff in the night sky was....... Fairy dust, I told them. The 'skeeters were there from time to time but didn't present a major problem.
There is very little easy terrain up there, even those easier trails usually have their nasty sections. Most are considered advanced to expert level trails. We locals don't call them this, but several riders termed them "goat trails". Yes they can be narrow, and there are some awesome sidehill sections, some steep rocky switchbacks, stair-step rock sections, and lots and lots of rocks. Most of the deadfall had been cleared with one notable exception, more on that later. There isn't much water in the smaller streams at this time of the year so the crossings didn't present any great challenges. To the contrary, the dust was terrible. Not much of a problem when and where the wind could carry it out of the way but in those sheltered areas, look out!
There are several hundred miles of interlaced trails up there. Pick your distance and map your route. You are only limited by your fuel capacity and your endurance level. Maps are essential due to the relative lack of good markers, even then it's easy to get lost, well not really *lost*, but "temporarily disoriented". I made sure we had three qualified locals for leaders and three for sweepers. With 20 riders we found we needed to break into three groups.
Saturday's Big Ride:
On Friday night I tripped around camp giving notice that the rider's meeting would be a 9am with groups departing at 10am. By 9am most of the Spodes were still dinking with breakfast, their bikes and waiting their turn for the "Room with a View". For those who had arrived after dark this was their first look at their surroundings. We had decided to break into three groups: The Short Loop Group, (about 35 miles), and two Long Loop Groups (about 60 miles). We long loopers loosely grouped into the Fast Guys and the Leisure Group. The two long loop groups were taking different trails to the first major intersection (about 14 miles) where we would evaluate everybody and make the appropriate adjustments if needed. We were headed from base to the little old mining town of Atlanta, which is 85 miles up a USFS dirt road from Boise, at the top of the Middle Fork of the Boise River, just west of the mighty Sawtooth Range. They have a couple of cafes with food but no gas, unless you can scavenge some from the locals.
The Fast group consisted of Wayne, Gene, Rick, Bob, Doug and Jeff S.
Wayne led the Fast Guys and set a blazing pace, without a stop until the intersection. Gene swept the group. Yamahdawg decided at the 4 mile mark that his bike wasn't going to cut this mustard and turned around to go back to camp. The only problem was that as the group left him and forged ahead nobody stayed there long enough to see that he got his bike started, which he didn't! Rick Bowser was carrying his tools, Jeff had no spare plug or wrench with him. He consumed most of his water trying to get the little beast started then began the 4 mile trek down to the trailhead, which was another 3.5 miles from camp. Out of water, full moto gear, hot and dry; it was a good thing I had warned everybody not to drink the water as Jeff was sorely tempted. It is cool and crystal clear, tastes great too but you never know which streams carry the guardia or cryptosporidium (sp?) micro-organisms. Very bad Ju-Ju for the tummy and beyond should you ingest many of these little buggers. I always carry a water filter for just these reasons. Once Jeff hit the road he was lucky enough to hitch a ride back to camp where he was able to re-hydrate, after puking up the first liquids he consumed. AARRGGHH! (Later that evening, Rick took Bob on the back of his XR600 back up to retrieve the 125, with a new plug it started on the first kick.)
Jeff W. and Mark got left at camp but managed to strike out on their own and catch the fast group while they were waiting for the "Leisure Loopers", I hesitate to call the "Leisure" group slow, we rode fast but took frequent breaks to regroup, making sure everyone was doing okay and to gawk at the scenery.
Our group included DeLloy, Kev, Keith, Dave A. and myself. Keith and Kev both took early excursions off the trail but managed to stay healthy while enjoying the scenery down there. Normally you can make a 6" mistake and it's no big deal but when the trail is only 8" wide and you make a 6" miscalculation you are going to suffer the consequences. Fortunately, their trips off trail were in fairly benign sections. On the more critical sections they both puckered up their butt muscles and held on to that seat no matter what!
At the regroup we decided to keep the groups as they were. We gave the fast guys a little lead and then followed them for the second portion of the ride. Every once in a while we'd catch up with them during one of their rest stops. It was a dusty SOB and we had to string out a little to avoid choking and to be able to see the trail in the tough sections. Just before we hit the two track road into Atlanta we came across a giant tree across the trail. It was about 4 feet high with no way under or around. Wayne had managed to find enough logs to build a little ramp which we rode up then manhandled the bikes over. Ahhh, nothing like riding in a big group when these obstacles present themselves. We were over and gone in no time.
Lunch in Atlanta, burgers for some, sandwiches brought along for others. We all refilled our water bladders with ice cubes and fresh water. The trip back was to go over a different route, and I, as well as some of the others were glad. We'd just been down some sections I definitely didn't want to have to go back up. Jeff W. and Mark decided to go with the Leisure Loopers on the way back. It was great trail with much less rock, and fewer nasty, technical sections. After beating ourselves and our bikes up on the way in it was nice to be able to cruise, lots of "yee-haws" were heard.
The Short Loopers
Dan Haynes was to take the group (Mike H., Dennis, Kim, Mike F., Rich Terry) about 35 miles over some of the mellower terrain but it ended up being about 50 miles and they went back up some of the very same terrain I mentioned not wanting to go back *up*. The ride was a minor (major?) disaster, but since I wasn't there to witness this first hand I will defer that story to one of you who was there. You guys don't be shy, lets hear all the gritty details complete with some finger pointing!
Karen, my wonderful life mate, showed up exactly on schedule at 6:30, food in hand. Boneless BBQ ribs (boneless bones?) and chicken breast, beans, green salad and peach cobbler was the menu for the evening. I got the food warming on chafing dishes and a group of us headed for the hot springs to ease sore muscles and wash off the day's grime. The very sight of this group approaching the springs was enough to chase off a beautiful young woman and left us with a couple of grandma types soaking with us. Of course just about when we had to get back to camp for dinner two more babes showed up, I had to drag some of the younger, single Spodes away, their tongues dragging in the pine needles.....
Once the food was hot it didn't take long to get rid of the major portion of it. Some of the Short Loopers were still out retrieving Mike F.'s KDX (water pump seal gone bad) from Atlanta so we mercifully saved some food for them. Everyone ate the food and seemed to enjoy it, but personally, I was very unimpressed with it. This was my fault, I neglected to go to the caterer and sample the fare. While it was "adequate", as a former cook, I figured I had just been ripped off of $200 for something I could have done better myself. Next time maybe I will. I have to say that the food at last year's Fest in Oregon was much, much better and more what I had in mind. There is just something primal about sitting around an outdoor fire, gnawing on real bones....ya know? I offer my apologies and promise that if we do this again, the grits will be good!
Saturday Night Poker Run
NOT! After dinner everyone was way too exhausted and/or sh*t faced to even think about a night run. Much alcohol was consumed, some cigars smoked and many BS stories were exchanged around the fire that night. I am not sure what time everybody hit the hay but I didn't lay down until about 1:30am. The Poker Run would have to wait until the daylight came, which BTW was way too early.......for me anyway!
Sunday Poker Run
The terrain around camp presented somewhat of a dilemma, it was either too mellow for decent riding or was too difficult/long to get in an appropriate "loop". Dave Arndt and I scouted around and we came up with what we thought might be fun.
Out of camp across a flat trail through the meadow, up a short steep hill (right turn at the top or eat a tree), out onto the dirt road (WFO) for about 1 mile then through a shallow stream, about 15 feet across, make a 180 up over a little bench then back into the stream, back down the road 1/2 mile then a left turn (across traffic) onto a little winding section, back to another trail in the meadow, (intersecting the first section) then up to a hairpin turn back to camp and the card draw. We did a "dead engine" start. Bob, Rick and Yamahdawg were out first with me very close behind. Somebody was on my butt but I didn't have time to look back to see who it was. I don't know if there was a race going on behind me, but I was sure there was one out in front. The dust was so bad at the hill climb I slowed just a bit but basically flew up it blind. I hoped there wasn't a pileup at the top.
The water crossing was great because it had two way traffic, as did part of the WFO dirt road section. Depending on just exactly when you went through you could either douse another rider or get it yourself from him. There weren't any rocks or boulders in the stream so you could hit it pretty fast. The water kept pushing my feet up off the pegs like I was water skiing (I finally figured how to hang my heels down to counteract the lifting of the toes). There was a group of riders from Idaho (Twin Falls) grouping at the crossing, waiting to go on a ride but they stayed to watch the action. I was pretty close to Yamahdawg when he hesitated at the first stream crossing. We made the turnaround neck and neck, and wailed out in search of Bob and Rick who were still in the lead. Yamahdawg blew out of the left turn off the dirt road out into the pucker-brush and cobblestone rubble field. I was right on his butt and took full advantage of his mistake. After that, I could hear that little popcorn popper behind me for a while, but running in the relative clear air in front was too much of an advantage. I never looked back and soon didn't hear him any longer. On the next loop he bounced out of the rut on the hill climb and had to XC it back to the trail. Now I set my sights on Rick and Bob who were apparently comfortable with their lead. As I came up on them on the WFO section they appeared to be in agreement that they wouldn't try to race each other and thusly stay out of the dust and roost. They were just cruising along and once they noticed me (he, he, he, they thought I was a lapper just catching up!) they parted and let my by. I actually managed to lap a couple of people. It's amazing how I can win a race when the other guy doesn't really even know it's a race. <G> Well, hell, some of us were racing anyway. I caught up with Dan Haynes through the water crossing and was right on his butt when he decided it was time to wheelie across the water on the way back. He came about as close as one can to looping out without actually losing it. I thought he was a goner for sure but he managed to *almost* keep it together and did a slow speed laydown on the far side. I am quite sure this was a real crowd pleaser.
Hetrick sat at the crossing and would wait until someone else was coming through and then do his best to soak them, we have it on tape Mike! What a naughty boy you were! Paybacks ya know......
I ended up winning the "race" but Bob won the poker hand with an ace high flush, Mark was second with three kings and Keith had three fives. I ended up with two pair (aces & threes).
Then it was time for the log jumping, wheelie contest and trials riding. There was a humongous log they built a log ramp to, then hurled themselves off. You notice I speak of them", I went off once, chopped the throttle when I shouldn't have and almost got flung over my bars. I sat and watched the rest. Someone told Keith he wasn't hitting it fast enough, so the next time he really launched it high and far. This must have really turned him on, as he continued to do the same and far and away won that test. Next came the wheelies. What a bunch of wussies! Nobody could get it up and keep it up for long. Then Dave managed to get in a pretty good one, assuring him of a win. But boys being what they are, he HAD to go back and try to top his already winning run. Hmmmm, anybody see this one coming? He almost looped it on the next try but managed to lay the bike down on its side and never even hit the dirt with his body. Whoops, hollers and cheers egged him on for one last try. Well, at the time we didn't know it would be his last attempt but as it turned out this was the last time he would mount his steed for the rest of the weekend. He looped it and snapped off his handlebar (Renthals) on one side. It didn't look as though he damaged the bike other than that and he wasn't hurt, physically anyway! <G>
After trying to "trial" ride "trail" bikes, some with more success than others, we got down to the trophy presentation. Rick Bowser did a great job with the trophies. He had them for: Best Crash (witnessed) Most Crashes, Longest Distance Traveled (and why), and the Poker Run. I put together one for Spode of The Fest. Rick also graciously presented me with my own award for organizing the Fest. Thanks Rick, I love ya man!
Poker Run - Bob Reinen
Best Crash - Dave Arndt (during wheelie contest) although there were a few contenders for this one, including Doug, Keith and Kim.
Most Crashes - Kim Millhollin - Kim mounted a valiant effort on the Short Loop but according to Dennis, she spent a good deal of time off bike/in dirt. This is further proof that, even piloted by a good rider, a 125cc bike isn't the hot ticket for these trails. Kim was reluctant to accept this trophy, but we wouldn't take "NO" for an answer.
Longest Distance: No contest here, Jeff Wallace clocked 1460 miles (one way) on his odyssey to Idaho (via Phoenix). This is an example of a really dedicated Spodefestian or a really dumb guy. As Jeff proved several times, he is no dumb guy. I figured he maybe just had to go that far to find someone who didn't know him and still likes him. <G>
We all love ya Jeff!
Spode of the Fest - Though the one who should have captured the "Greatest Spodely Act" wasn't in attendance at the trophy presentation ceremony, even if he was we didn't figure a trophy was appropriate. Mark Kessler, though far from being a true Spode, won this one due to his sheer tenacity in piloting that god-awful, old, obsolete, worn out, bald tired beast up all the worst terrain of the weekend after not riding for years and never complaining or making excuses, we voted him King Spode.
Although there was a snafu with the shirts and the original order didn't make it in time, Doug Tierney came through with a rush shipment just in time for my wife to bring them up. Thanks Doug and Karen! Everybody loved the shirts which had the RMD logo on the front and "SpodeFest 98" "Idaho SpudFest" on the back. Doug included a couple of hats and a few sample stickers. Doug is going to mail all the items to each individual that we couldn't deliver at the Fest.
The Keith & Kev show started packing up, as did a couple of others. A big group of us headed out on a 30 mile loop up Virginia Gulch to the Iron Mtn. Lookout and down the ATV trail. Yamahdawg had rejetted his popcorn machine and came with us. Virginia Gulch is a nasty trail, lots of gnarly switchbacks, rocks and rock ledges, very narrow sidehills. I gotta hand it to him he did great and once on top, where the trails were much more to his liking, he railed! Bob Reinen gave me a compliment of sorts one time when I was leading, he said he could barely catch up with me at times. Wow, I am duly flattered and if you rode with Bob you'd understand why. I can ride fast at times, and I can ride all day long, but I can't put the two together for any lengthy period of time.
Another BS session was going on that evening around the fire as I disassembled my camp and loaded up. Mark Kessler was riding with me back to Boise to hook up with some friends who live there. He wasn't in much of a hurry and neither was I. It was extremely difficult to tear myself away. I could have stayed another several days but my wife was off to Seattle on business the next morning, then off to Chicago and New York on Tuesday. Duties at home beckoned, I said my "goodbyes" and motored home. We arrived at my house at 1:30 am Monday morning. On Monday I delivered Mark to his friend's house, my son to a buddies house for the day and then blasted out of town back up to Baumgartner. I needed to pick up the crapper and the trash. Dave Arndt was just hitting the highway and I passed him on his way out. Dan and Mike F. were still up there, out on a ride, they were staying until Tuesday. I had made a side trip into Mtn. Home looking for a water pump seal for Mike's KDX but didn't have any luck. Fortunately, Dan had both his bikes with him so they got to ride Monday and Tuesday. Jeff Wallace was there also, I met him as he was leaving to run into Featherville for fresh ice. I waited for him to return to see if he wanted to go fishing with me but he seemed more interested in lunch and a nap. I hit the creek for a while, caught another 12 trout, then hooked up the crapper and was home by 9pm that night.
I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who came all the way up here. You guys made this the best weekend of my dirt biking life. I had more fun than should be legal. Nobody was injured, though I am sure there are some sore muscles all over the west right now. Hopefully all of you had a good time and maybe we can make this an annual event. Next time we'll wait a little later in the year so the dust won't be so much of a factor. And to you guys who bailed or wimped out or thought work and supporting your family was more important than SpodeFesting, you missed a roaringly successful weekend. M. Baxter, you go on down to that little thing going on in Texas, ya missed the big great one buddy! :) JC, scared to come up and ride my home turf huh? Think that CR500 might just pitch you off into oblivion? Fred in LA, you should have done whatever needed to get up to catch a ride with Tazspaz. Victor J. and Jeff D., several of us were looking forward to meeting you two and building some "come to Colorado" credits and learning more about GPS. Dennis was especially disappointed about Jeff not making it.
BTW, I inherited two matching beach chairs, one green and one orange. If they belong to you, come on back and claim them!