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2013 IAMC Challenge Journey Highlights

by Craig O. Olsen
Originally Published in the IAMC Newsletter, May 2014

My 2013 IAMC Challenge journey began in May 2013 with the Nevada Pony Express Trail Ride that Sam Stone put together. A report of this ride is found in our last newsletter. [1] During that memorable ride, I picked up 7 of the 2013 Challenge sites. Of these the one that stands out most was riding up to Kieger Gorge Overlook in the Steens Mountains. We attempted this on Memorial Day, May 27, on our way back from the Pony Express ride and encountered snow at about 6,500 feet elevation. We continued on several more miles in an increasingly dense fog and snow storm, finally being stopped by deep snow at 8,938 feet elevation a few miles short of the overlook where this picture was taken.

Another outstanding Challenge site occurred on September 10. While riding solo, I attempted Caribou City when the voltage regulator on my 990 KTM suddenly failed about 2 miles short of the site. With loss of all electrical power, I could not jump or bump start my bike. I was looking at an approximate 20 mile hike back to civilization where I could get a ride or help retrieving my bike. Fortunately, about 15 minutes after this happened, a search and rescue crew out of Idaho Falls happened by on their way back into Caribou City to pick up some of their equipment from rescuing an injured hunter earlier that morning. They had extra room on their equipment trailer and offered to haul me and my bike back to Idaho Falls. While I has waiting for them to return, I coasted my bike three quarters of a mile back downhill to the junction where I took this picture. About an hour later the search and rescue crew returned, loaded my bike on their equipment trailer, and gave me a ride to a U-Haul dealership in Idaho Falls where I rented a truck and hauled my bike back to Boise for repairs.

This is the second time I have had to haul this bike back to Boise from eastern Idaho for repairs. The first time it failed me was near Island Park on the Continental Divide Trail ride in July 2011. [2]

One objective of the 2013 Challenge was to make it more big-bike friendly. As a result, I visited at least 8 of the sites on my Harley Davidson Road King while doing two-up rides with my wife, Lenna. I am sure that I could have visited at least another 15 sites on this bike.

While I have had it off road several times, it is not very sure-footed in the dirt or gravel, and I must admit that it is much more fun to ride the KTM.


1. Riding the Pony Express Trail through Nevada, by Craig Olsen; June


2. 2011 Continental Divide Trail Ride, by Craig Olsen; October 17, 2011.

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