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Day 269– 3rd September 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 3, 2009

Thursday – Spokane, Washington

I slept in a bit, but not by much, mind you Mike was up well before me 🙂 We were going to meed Matt-Bruce at his brewery for a decko around 9am, so after a great breakfast we were off. Mike was going to ride with me for part of the way, just for the heck of it and was going to show me some side trips as well. I like Mikes house, it is a timber framed system and he built it himself, it is supposed to be quite energy efficient, I wonder what they would be like back home 😕

So, we arrived at the brewery cum cafe and Matt was nowhere to be seen, but rocked up a few minutes later, so he showed us around. This brewery only does Ales, mainly because that is what Matt likes to drink, so, fair enough, if I owned a brewery it would only brew what I liked to drink as well 🙂 Aussie Ed-Bruce turned up just as we were ready to leave. Nice meeting you all again 🙂

Next we headed for a quick look at the lake before fuelling up and heading north where we crossed the half way marker.

For the next hour we were riding through the Salmon River valley, a great ride, lots of fast winding road and great views

At one of the stops where we removed the cold weather gear as we were now boiling hot, Mike mentioned there were info boards along here, so I said I won’t hold his riding up, if I stop for a photo he is to keep going and just wait at turnoffs, which he did.

He did wait as promised and at a specific turnoff we then took the old road instead of the new straight one 🙂 This road was extremely technical as the wind was blowing a gale and we had about 30 hairpin turns to negotiate while heading uphill. They were quite steep and when you are half way through a slow corner and see tumbleweed fly past in front of you, you know you will be hit by the wind blast, so at least a fraction of a seconds warning is better than none 🙂 The riding concentration needed left me no hands free for photos, but I stopped at the top for a look back down, it does not really show what we did, but an idea of the road is gained 🙂

After this it was short ride to get to a small town where we had a Subway lunch and went our separate ways. Thanks for putting me up Mike, I enjoyed your company and the ride, I might see you in California in a few weeks if our paths cross.

As I was leaving town I got into a situation where I wished I had ABS. I was coming around a long sweeping bend and a semi was entering the road from a car park and heading in the same direction in front of me. It was my own silly fault, but as I could see around the corner ahead of him, when he was fully on the road I attempted to go around him, this was a mistake as he was still turning and was taking a long wide turn back into the same damm car park 😯 This meant I had hit the throttle and found nowhere to go, needless to say, using what I had, I came to a stop, but the back end had stepped out and let loose which gave me a bit of a scare. I left the evidence on the road, but went back for a photo of a lucky escape, we both stayed upright, me and the bike that is 🙂

As I left town I noticed a new fire started, they seem to burn the hay stubble after harvest, I am not sure why, but it seems to me that it is just unneeded pollution. I had stopped to put in my jacket liner, the wind was very strong and quite cool.

The road from here on seemed to be long rolling hills covered in either stubble or fire blackened earth, there were also a lot of info boards to stop and read along the way.

There were some interesting old trestle bridges for the railroad up here in the canyons as well.

Now, I had seen a lot of these recently, but never so many, these rail cars/wagons whatever went for miles and miles and miles. They just seemed to be abandoned on the rails, I could see where things were growing on them, so I knew they have been here for years. If anyone has any idea what they are used for, I would appreciate the heads up 🙂 What about you Jerry, I have not heard from you for a while, my information guy 🙂

I had taken this particular road so I could get a state sign photo, I was thinking about having a run down this road, it seemed interesting, but the wind nearly knocked me off my bike a few times while taking the following, so I gave it a miss.

Lucky me, just down the road I crossed the state line and grabbed the photo I wanted 🙂

Just down the road was graphic evidence that the wind was not a one off event put on just for me 🙂

Lots more rolling hay and grain fields with a lot of resultant dust.

I soon arrived in Spokane at the correct hotel where the Iron Butt Rally was to be concluded. After sussing out accommodation here and nearby, I decided to take two nights here.

A bit out of my budget, but better than riding to and fro with beer under my belt and I had already bought a banquet ticket for tomorrow night. Once in my room I found that Chainsaw would not be turning up, home life had intruded, bummer for him. I could see from the SPOT tracks that Margaret was near Crazy Horse and Davo was up in Canada and heading south, judging by the distances involved, I would not expect to see them until early morning. The check in window was from 4am until 7am, then a penalty window from 7-9am and after that too bad. A lot of bikes had turned up, mainly supporters and friends, so I looked around a bit and even met up with SemperV, a Vstrom rider I have known of on the VSRI forum, well met m8, nice bike too 🙂

During the evening, after dinner I wandered down for a few beers, but I intended to go to bed early and be up at 4am for the finish and see the riders come in, I had my Aussie flag ready to wave at Marg and Davo 🙂 I met some nice people downstairs, previous IBR riders and mostly Iron Butt riders.

So, I was in bed by 10pm after a final check of the SPOT tracks, it looked like an all night ride for both Marg and Davo, but the timing looked good.

Day 280 miles and 451 km
Trip – 34,914 miles and 56,189 km


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17 Responses to “Day 269– 3rd September 09”

  1. DS said

    The I-da-ho sign suits you well my friend… ROFLMAO

  2. Chainsaw said

    m8: See you are still in Washington but headed south. Crap weather yesterday and today here in the Willamette Valley. Supposed to clear up tomorrow and be nice for a spell (I think). Give me a holler when you reach Eugene, thanks.


  3. ybg said

    After 56,189 kms on North American roads you are allowed one mistake, but do watch out for those truckers, they do run by there on rules. Shame on him for not waiting for you to pass before entering the road in the first place.


    • Hi there ybg

      Seriously, I am not here to make mistakes that can be avoided , it only takes one to be the end, so I am disappointed in myself for being stupid.

      He was doing a slow enter, it was on a suburban street, so well within the 35mph zone, it was all my own fault for not wanting to wait, he would not have seen me as his cab was already turned and onto the road.

      Thanks for the thoughts though

      Cheers TS

  4. don hayward[windinhair] said

    I have just read of the sad passing of Davo on the V Strom site at home TS,my thoughts are with you at this time my internet friend,regards Don.

  5. Spyderman said

    Those rail cars are for carrying lumber, the center gives stiffness to the load to help prevent shifting and falling off regular flatbed car.

    • Ahh, OK thanks for the info

      As I had seen rail wagons with big U shaped arms, like logging trucks, I had assumed they were for something else.

      Cheers TS

    • Hi again Spyderman, just a quick question, where do I know you from, or do you know Al and Ann on the goldwing? I am at their place now, and we think that the latter is the case 🙂

      On subject though, Jerry came through once again with some good info, so thanks Jerry, but he sent it via the email page and not as a reply here to the comments, so here is what he wrote 🙂

      Looks like a collection of log cars and lumber cars, which would make sense as they are the two ends of the product. I contacted a friend in Illinois that works for a railroad car leasing company. He figures that some of the cars are old, but still servicable and an asset but not needed at present. Many of the freight cars today are owned by leasing companies and leased to railroads, or product producers/consumers who then contract with a railroad to move the car around after they load or unload it on their siding. The current economic situation, and resultant housing slump, has idled may of that type of car for the last couple of years.

      Not sure if any of that makes sense but that area has lots of train tracks that are no longer in use so can easily be used to store unused equipment.

      It all makes sense to me, I am sure, clear as mud 🙂 No seriously I understand 🙂

      Cheers TravellingStrom

  6. Art Wallace said

    RIP Davo Jones! Really some sad news. I just tried to join the FarRiders site to see if there was any way to contribute. Waiting for approval… Apprently Davo handled all that. :o( Never met him but from what I can tell he was one of us… A genuine, good bloke! He is dearly missed.

    Stay safe, TS and post an update when you can… Stay safe, m8!

  7. Matt G said

    Nice meeting you as well TS! I had a fun and unique night drinking beers and chatting!! Thanks for checking in the next am. I always enjoy a brewery tour…even when Im hung over and running late!! =)
    Im glad you liked the drive through North Americas second deepest river gorge (The Snake River is the deepest a few ridges west) The Salmon River drainage is spectacular. One of my favorite.
    Enjoy the rest of your journey.
    Matt G.

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