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Ride for the Gold 2016

by Chuck Scheer (Gold Tire Level Winner) 
Originally Published in the IAMC Newsletter, January 2017

“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find You get what you need” – Richards & Jagger 

It’s encouraging to observe how the Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Club has managed to stay alive and become reinvigorated with renewed efforts of long-time dedicated members and new talented members ready to help make motoidaho a success. There’s a need for a club like ours to encourage and educate dual sport riders and to serve as an example for adventure riders everywhere. Here is another chapter in my story of riding opportunities and incentives provided by the Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Club since my first Challenge season in 2010. 

The 2016 season included a few sites I’ve already visited and some I’ve claimed in previous challenges but also offered were enough unseen places and unclaimed sites to make it interesting. Even the familiar ones were fun to revisit, many, I have to accept, I’ll probably not see again. 

The knowledgeable well traveled members that annually complete the task of selecting, identifying, assembling and presenting the Challenge sites face an increasingly difficult task as many of the most select locations are collected and locked in the collective memories of the challengers. To complete the annual Challenge is demanding even when many sites are not as difficult as some have been in past years. Challengers all know the considerable amount of time involved, time for the passion of adventure riding that eats into work, family, and other pursuits and commitments. Many of us ride “on the cheap” camping and eating “rough” to be able to reach distant oken remote destinations where luxurious accommodations aren’t available even if we could afford them. I’ve been to spectacular places, seen really amazing historical and cultural challenge sites, that I had no idea even existed before I joined the IAMC and began riding the challenges. I’ve mets ome great folks along the way, made some great friends in fellow club members and have always tried to be a good ambassador for our club and dual sporting. 

Here is a short list of some of my 2016 favorites with photos. 

Ola Inn in Ola, site #-28.
Inside Ola Inn.

My first site visit was on an early spring day with a lunch ride to the newly remodeled Ola Inn where I met the owners who were remodeling the worn out and derelict structure. They did a terrific job and have since flipped the Inn and its attached residence to the present owner who is maintaining the quality and ambiance. If you didn’t make it to site #28 I would highly recommend it. 

Camping at City of Rocks National Reserve.
Murals in Casstleford, site #-10.

In late June I rode a loop through southeastern Idaho to spend a night’s campout at City of Rocks State Park hosted by the BMW Club of Idaho. Along the eastbound leg of the route to Magic Valley, I passed through 1,000 Springs and under Balanced Rock on my way to Castleford. I appreciate murals of local subjects the mural there is is a good one. 

After the City of Rocks campout I rode southeast as far as Snowville, Utah, catching more sites along the way finally resting for the night in Montpelier, Idaho.
I had missed the ghost town of Chesterfield, a site from a previous Challenge so I extended the ride from Bancrok and it did not disappoint. It is preserved very well considering the winter conditions that exist there. Don’t miss the ride from Freedom, Wyoming to Soda Springs via Gray’s Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Idaho State Highway 34. 

Amusement Hall in Chesterfield, Idaho.
Butterfield Home located in Chesterfield, Idaho.

In early August I rode the “The Nez” a formidable 5 day ride and campout sponsored by the BMW Club of Idaho. Each year a different venue is planned, and 2016 took us to Clark Canyon Reservoir for the first night out so I took 

Combination Masonic Lodge and school built in 1874 (Bannack, Montana).
Bar inside saloon at Bannack, Montana.

advantage of the route and scored several motoidaho Challenge sites along the way. Second day of the Nez included a side trip to Bannack City, Montana where I enjoyed the sights of the State Park. I highly recommend a day there. It is a remarkably well preserved mining town from the civil war era that was once the Capital of Montana Territory, 

In 1864 when the First LegislaWve Session was held here, Bannack was named the County Seat of Beaverhead County. In 1875 this impressive brick building was built as the first Beaverhead County Courthouse, but by 1881 the gold rush to Montana was history. Stock raising and agriculture were displacing mining as the main industries in Beaverhead County. Bannack was evolving into a humdrum se$lement. Dillon, twenty-five miles to the east, on the other hand, was emerging as a bustling metropolis of about 800 people. The Utah and Northern Railroad had established a terminus in Dillon and it was evolving into a flourishing freighWng center.

The ciWzens of Bannack fought to keep the county seat, but in February of 1881 the Territorial Legislature called for a special elecWon in Beaverhead County to vote on moving the county seat to Dillon. Aher a venomous ba$le, Bannack lost the bid and the county seat was moved to Dillon.

The large brick building remained empty unWl about 1890 when it was purchased by Dr. John ChrisWan Meade for $1,250. Dr. Meade remodeled and turned the building into a plush hotel that operated on and off unWl the 1940’s.

Source: http://bannack.org/photo-tour

In early September I made a loop through spectacular eastern Idaho as far as Island Park, Tetonia, Driggs and Swan Valley picking up sites along the way. In mid-September a ride following the South Fork Salmon River road led to Yellowpine for cheeseburger lunch and challenge site photo then over Lick Creek Summit and on to highway 55 and home. 

South Fork Salmon River
Sign welcoming you to Yellow Pine, site #-40.

September ended with a last ditch effort to see central Idaho. I found more local art in Weippe and beautiful river scenes along the Clearwater where I would be steelhead fishing in another month. 

Murals in Weippe, site #-38.

Those sites north of Lewiston that would make my efforts turn Platinum were not to be as other commitments and changing weather curtailed my riding. Now it’s that time of year again when we must consider the possibility of another Challenge, hopefully the 2017 Challenge. I’m looking forward to following yet another quest having gofen so much from previous challenges. I’ll not be able to resist the adventures and rewards of another. 

Scene along the Clearwater River.

Thanks again for the opportunity to ride with a purpose. 

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