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2017 IAMC Challenge Summary

by Craig O. Olsen 
Originally Published in the IAMC Newsletter, January 2018

2017 marked the 8th year of the IAMC Challenge in which 34 club members participate and 16 participants posted photos at one or more sites. As usual, there were some who visited sites but did not post any photos. The theme for 2017 centered around water — 15 hot springs, 4 lakes, 8 dams, 11 water falls, 1 reservoir, and 1 pond. 

In addition to these 40 sites there were 4 others that included a water crossing, a snow photo, a rain photo and posting your own ride. 

Of the 16 club members who participated during 2016, three achieved the bronze tire level (10-19 sites visited): Alex Crane, Gary Umland, and Gary Mountain. There were four who reached the silver tire level (20-29 sites visited): Clint Hoops, Chuck Scheer, Robert Scherzer, and Ron Hoppins. Three club members aLained the gold tire level (30-39 sites visited): Ed Torrey, MaL Spurlock, and Doug Patchin. There were two club members who achieved platinum tire level (40-44 sites visited): Arden Hill and Craig Olsen. 

We thank Mike Hardy for organizing the IAMC Challenge for 2017, and we recognize all who participated in visiting any of the 2017 Challenge sites. Several of the articles in this issue of the newsletter highlight the 2017 Challenge journey of our platinum and gold tire level winners. 

Experiences with the 2017 Challenge

by Arden Hill (Platinum Tire Level Winner) 

What a great year for riding. Seven major adventure rides totaling 11,907 miles visiting nine states and The Idaho BDR. Also, I had many day trips to various Challenge sites. The Idaho area is such a great place to ride. We have deserts, high mountains, wilderness areas, major river systems, huge lakes and comparatively, liLle population. What a great place to live. Here are a few of my Challenge adventures from 2017. 

Scary: Strode Pond 

Black Lake – as close as we could get and lots of snow with Craig Olsen.

On August 22, I decided to do a solo day trip to Strode Pond, cross over to Succor Creek and ride down Leslie Gulch to Owyhee reservoir. I had planned this trip with another rider, but he couldn’t make the dates. First lesson; don’t trust Garmin Basecamp. A few dead ends and a helpful farmer and I was back on the trail to Strode Pond. There were so many options so I took what seemed to be the easiest way, wrong. The trail lead to a deep water crossing with a 45 degree bank on the other side. No problem I thought; just carry a liLle extra speed in the water crossing. The water crossing was muddy, and I was moving very slowly coming out of the water to climb the steep bank. I survived only with help from “Recluse” and jumping off bike to push it up the bank. Second lesson; don’t ride alone. Garmin BaseCamp routed me on a very interesting track to Leslie Gulch from Succor Creek that leh me wishing I was riding with someone else. What started out as an easy 5-hour trip ended up taking an exhausting 10 hours. 

Dodgy: Wild Horse Falls 

Soaking tub at Burgdorf Hot Springs.

Craig Olsen and I took off to visit 7 sites July 7 & 8. The snow near Black Lake would surely be gone by then. The trip started with a rear flat on my 701 just west of Council. A nail was removed and we were back on the way. As we got closer to Wild Horse Falls, bear scat was on the road everywhere. I had never seen so much bear sign anywhere. Craig almost hit a bear as it ran out in front of him. “Private road” and “keep out signs” were everywhere, including at the gate to the falls. It was a day of near misses as Craig almost hit a deer coming back. That week turned out to be the week of extreme heat. The temperature was OK until we hit Lowman and it was over 105 degrees. The Harley riders were melting into their seats. Craig and I kept our riding gear doused in water, which helped a bit. That’s why it’s called Adventure Riding. 

Discovery: Three Forks Hot Springs 

Doug’s Tiger stuck in the mud

Craig Olsen, Doug Patchin and I did a day trip to pick up Three Forks and Spencer Reservoir sites. The day started off afoul as I had bent the kick stand sensor on the Husky 701 the night before while using a bike jack and didn’t know it. Running late, it quit every time I tried to put it in gear. “Oh well, I don’t have time as running late” so I took the KTM 500 for the 60% highway trip. We decided to do the “easier” way to Three Forks from the West side. It was over 30 miles off Highway 95 from Rome, Oregon, to the springs. The road was dirty and muddy. Doug slid off the side of the road into a large mud puddle, and we had to
lay his Triumph 800 on its side to drag it out. Craig’s Triumph 800 was overheating with a 15 mph tailwind that matched our ground speed. The quad trail the last two miles dropping down into the Owyhee Canyon turned out to be for small bikes only. Was I ever happy to be on the KTM 500. Craig and Doug walked 3.6 miles down and back while I rode both ways. 

Selfie at Three Forks Hot Springs.

After visiting Spencer Reservoir in the Triangle area, we came back over Backman Grade through Oreana and stopped at the Catholic church. 

Tough Ride: Indian Hot Springs 

On June 1, Ed Torry and I trucked the bikes to Bruneau to get the Indian Hot Springs site on the Bruneau River. We went down the old Centennial trail to catch the road to the boLom of Bruneau Canyon. There was lots of puckering the last 2 miles down to the boLom of the canyon. Ed and I did another trip and visited several other sites along the PayeLe. We were unable to make it to Deadwood due to two feet of snow still on the road. 

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven Church in Oreana, ID.

On July 22, MaL Spurlock, Cliff Seusy, Doug Patchin, Ron Schinnerer, and I took off to do the Idaho BDR. We traveled north to the top of the BDR by way of Cambridge into Hells Canyon, up the Hess Road to Joseph.

Arden Hill and Ed Torry, (Special Ed) at Indian Hot Springs.

Awed: Northern Idaho vast wilderness 

Arden, Doug and Craig in Horse Creek Hot Springs.

Doug Patchin, Craig Olsen, Norris Riggs and I trucked our small bikes to Challis Hot Springs for the Happy Trails Fall Ride, the Heart of Idaho Rally. We were still lacking Horse Creek Hot Springs, so we decided to go along the Salmon River route up to the site. We stopped at Blue Nose lookout — what a great area of the world. Keep in mind that Norris Riggs was 83 years old at the time and kept right up with us all the way. 

Photo taken from Blue Nose Lookout Tower.

Memorable: Sites north while doing Idaho BDR 

Enterprise, Oregon, then over the RaLlesnake Grade to Lewiston for the evening. A memorable stop at Boggan’s Oasis on Washington 129 next to the Grand Ronde River for a huckleberry was a first and last. It burned down last fall. 

Old train tunnel near Avery, ID on the Idaho BDR.

Idaho’s North was so vast; Wallace, Fern Falls, Cooper falls, the lakes, trees…so beautiful. Great group of riders. We were sorry to say goodby to Ron as his 690 gave out at Clark’s fork with a U-haul ride back to Boise. That’s adventure riding. 

Cliff, Doug and MaQ at Fern Falls on Yellow Dog Creek.

It was truly a great year of riding. I also lead a few rides over Bear Tooth Pass, Chief Joseph Byway, Tetons, around Arizona, California back roads and costal highway and Utah, Green River and Moab trips. Great rides with good friends. 

My 2017 Challenge Experience

By Craig O. Olsen (Platinum Tire Level Winner) 

The IAMC has sponsored the Challenge since 2010. During that time, I have achieved platinum level six times. With the exception of 2015, I have not chosen the Challenge sites, but I have been responsible for verifying their location, researching the history behind them, and posting them to our club website each year. In the process of doing that, I have learned a lot about each site, and that has peaked my interest to visit them. Each year it requires somewhere between 4,000 to 7,000 miles of riding and several days to visit that year’s Challenge sites. Following are just a few highlights of my Challenge site visits for 2017. 

Tracks from Jordan Valley to Three Forks Hot Springs and back.

In June 2017, I posted an approximate 350 mile day ride to Three Forks Hot Springs, Spencer Reservoir, and Swan Falls Dam — three of our Challenge sites this year. Two other riders joined me, Doug Patchin and Arden Hill. We met at the Gem Stop Chevron Station at the Junction of Highway 55 and 95 west of Marsing to ride to Jordan Valley, OR. Because of high water levels running in all the rivers from the spring runoff, I chose to approach Three Forks Hot Springs from the west side of Owyhee Canyon where the hot springs is located instead of the usual approach from the east side and fording the river. We took the Skull Creek Road, which became rougher and more primitive the further we went. Having never ridden this route before, I was surprised to find that the last segment descending down into the Owyhee Canyon was too rocky and technical to safely traverse on a large bike (Triumph Tiger 800). Doug and I (both on Tigers) parked our biles near to top of the descent and elected to hike the last 1.8 miles down to the hot springs where the three of us had a pleasant soak. Arden was his KTM 500, which was the right bike for this segment of the ride. 

Craig, Doug & Arden enjoying Three Forks Hot Springs.

On the way back we diverted further west to Indian Fort Creek and Mustang Road, a faster high speed gravel road that shortened ourreturn time despite being a longer distance. After lunch at the Rome Station and topping off our tanks back in Jordan Valley, we headed east on Pleasant Valley Road to Spencer Reservoir. Due to the lateness of the day, we did not ride to Swan Falls Dam. 

Spencer Reservoir.

A month later on July 20, three of us headed out on a day ride to Big Trinity Lake and Baumgartner Hot Springs. On the way we visited US Airmail Beacon-26 located just northwest of Mountain Home, triangulated between I-84, DiLo Creek Road and Martha Road. It will be one of the 

Craig, Arden Hill & Carl Beaver (not an IAMC member) at Big Trinity Lake.
US Airmail Beacon-26 (Challenge Site for 2018).

From Beacon-26 we rode to Baumgartner Hot Springs and then continued to the closure of Baumgartner Road (Nf-227) caused by the severe washout in August 2015. Next, we rode to Big Trinity Lake over Nf-172. On our return route over Fall Creek Road (Nf-129) we were turned back by deep snow drifts on the south facing slope of Trinity Mountain heading down toward Prairie.

Washout closing Nf-227 east of Baumgartner Hot Springs.

We backtracked through Rocky Bar (another Challenge Site for 2018) and Featherville and stopped at Higby Cave, a lava tube cave, with a large cavern about the size of a football field. It was closed to the public in April 2010, due to changes in structural integrity of the cave making it unsafe for exploration. 

Higby Cave on Army National Guard Training Center.

In August I made a 1,600 mile, 4-day solo ride to get 8 northern and central Idaho Challenge sites, and in the process rode the Magruder Corridor for the second time. Probably my favorite Challenge site from this trip was Horse Creek Hot Springs. The hairpin switch-backs on Nf-038 up the steep face of the mountain between Spring Creek and East Creek to the crest of the ridge and the extended track along the ridge provides an exhilarating ride with spectacular views. 

First visit to Horse Creek Hot Springs.
Second visit to Horse Creek Hot Springs

Two and one half weeks later while on the Heart of Idaho Rally, I led a group ride consisting of Arden Hill, Doug Patchin, and Norris Riggs back to Horse Creek Hot Springs where three of us enjoyed a warm soak. On the way back through Salmon, we visited Blue Nose Lookout that sits at 8,677 feet elevation on the Continental Divide between Idaho and Montana at the end of a one mile spur north of Nf-044. The last quarter mile to the lookout is a good level 3 ride up a steep, rocky, off-camber section with sharp turns, best doable on a smaller bike. Blue Nose Lookout will be one of the Challenge sites for 2018. 

Arden standing in front of Blue Nose Lookout.

Back again on the Salmon River Road (Nf-030), we stopped at the Indianola Field Station to visit the memorial to two helicopter fire fighters who lost their lives in the 2003 Cramer fire. It will also be a Challenge site for 2018. 

Fire Fighter Memorial at Indianola Field Station

By October 2017, I only had three sites remaining to complete a full sweep of all the Challenge sites — Swan Falls Dam, Brunea Dunes Lake and Indian Hot Springs. Previously, I had visited each of these sites before; Bruneau Dunes Lake with family and leading church youth outings, Swan Falls Dam multiple times going to and returning from rides in the Owyhees, and Indian Hot Springs when it was an IAMC Challenge site in 2014. That year I rode into Indian Hot Springs with one other rider. We trailered our bikes to Grasmere and entered from the West side. The other rider was intimidated by the steep, exposed descent into Bruneau Canyon with rock ledge step offs. I ended up riding both bikes, having to walk back up the canyon to get his bike as he walk almost all of the way down. When we went to leave, he had a dead battery, and we had significant trouble getting it bump started. I knew he could not make it back up the way we had come, so we crossed the dilapidated bridge and exited the canyon on the East side via Winter Camp, which I think is an easier way in and out. By the time we got back to Grasmere through Bruneau to load our bikes, it was near midnight, and we did not get back to Boise until after 1 AM. 

I led a small group of four riders (Included was Doug Patchin) to two of my last three Challenge sites, Swan Falls Dam and Indian Hot Springs. We met at the Shell station on Orchard next to Big Twin at 11 AM. Based on my 2014 experience, I wanted an earlier start, but one of the riders could not get away until 11 AM. Another rider didn’t show, thus delaying us even more as we waited for him. Finally, the three of us rode out Pleasant Valley Road across the Army National Guard Training Center to Swan Falls Dam where we took our site documentation photo, walked our bikes across the dam, and made our way to Grandview to top off our tanks at the Shell station (Gus Gas). At this point, the rider who requested the 11 AM start bailed on us and returned to Boise, leaving Doug Patchin and me to continue on southeast to Bruneau. 

As we turned south onto Hot Springs Road, who should we meet waiting there for us? It was the fourth rider who had not shown for our 11 AM departure from Boise. He is an older experienced rider with whom I have ridden several times before. When he showed up late at our point of departure in Boise and found that we were not there, he rode directly to Bruneau and arrived before we did. We moved along quickly through Winter Camp and down the east side of Bruneau Canyon to the decaying bridge. We stopped briefly at the old blue pickup on the way down the canyon to get a few photos. 

Montage of the famous blue pickup on the East side of Indian Hot Springs.

After getting our site documentation photo, we headed back out the East side of the canyon. Doug and I arrived at the top around 5:30 PM and waited for the third rider. Twenty minutes later when he had not show up, we headed back down the canyon to find out what was the matter. We found him sitting at the side of the road very near the bottom of the canyon with his bike taking a nap. He was very dizzy and weak, probably from dehydration. It was then we learned that he had lost his water boLle somewhere between Bruneau and the bottom of the canyon. The boLle holder that aLached to his rear luggage rack had snapped, and both the holder and the water boLle were gone. We began the process of slowly rehydrating him from our water sources, but it was obvious he was in no Soaking tub at condition to ride his bike out, and he also had a painful. Doug and I took turns riding our own bikes out and then walking back to ride his bike out as he painfully made his way up the canyon road with frequent stops to rest. 

Soaking tub at Indian Hot Springs

By the time the three of us were back to the top of the canyon, it was 8:30 PM and pitch black. Fortunately, our friend was feeling beLer and was able to ride his own bike the rest of the way. Returning in the dark was particularly slow for me due to the weak OEM headlight on my KTM 450. It was after midnight before we were back home in Boise. After these two similar experiences going into Indian Hot Springs, I think it will be a very long time before I visit it again. 

The IAMC Challenges are always an adventure. I have enjoyed the past 8 years, and I look forward to the 2018 IAMC Challenge. 

2017 IAMC Challenge review

by Matt Spurlock (Gold Tire Level Winner) 

At the beginning of each year, I tell myself, “I’m going to ride more.” Over the winter months I dream up grand plans for the year ahead to set out into the unknown and learn what the world has to offer. At times, I think I dream big. Sometimes Iloop myself into an imaginary ride of a multi-country transcontinental mega adventure. If you stare at maps long enough, you begin to realize how expansive this world is and the unlimited directions you may travel could be.

This road parallels the Idaho Centennial Trail in the Owyhee Desert near Clover Creek

Daydreams often pull me away from repetitive daily tasks and transport me to motorcycle Nirvana. “What is the ultimate adventure? How far am I able to push myself? Is there an end-of-the-road?” As I age, I realize
I truly do have an adventurous soul. I long to go for thin to the unknown and discover first hand the beauty and appreciate what this earth has to offer. I am extremely thankful for the ability and opportunity to enjoy recreating on motorbikes. It takes skill, dedication, organization, a little luck and love to explore the way we do. 2017 has been another awesome year to participate in the IAMC Challenge of this fantastic club. Thank you to everyone who has given effort to keep us outside and upright. 

I have been a member of the club for four years, and this year I set out to achieve Gold because it is the only tier I have yet to meet. Ride and route planning started the minute the locations were released early last spring. First, I categorized the sites by difficulty to challenge myself, and then I grouped them into sets that I could easily manage to obtain over the course of the riding season. One of my goals was to travel through North Idaho, so I secured time to include Challenge locations up North when leading an IDBDR ride this summer. There may not seem to be any rhyme to my madness, but like I mentioned, a liLle love and luck allows the completion of my goals. Below are short reviews of my favorite locations visited in 2017. 

My DR650 on the Blacks Creek to Prairie Road along the South Fork Boise River.

I have two bikes that allow a broad spectrum of adventure. I believe that each rider should have a minimum of two bikes to allow the opportunity to select the best equipment for the task at hand. The reliable Suzuki DR650 tackles the gritty, dirty, rough and tough while the extravagant April ia Futura RST1000 shutles me in comfort at high speeds covering great paved distances in less time. Services were kept up, tires were checked and changed, and flushing fluids gave me a failure- free year. 

My Aprilia Futura RST1000 north of Victor, ID.

Following are some of my Challenge adventures for 2017: 

(One) I do enjoy a challenge of skill. Riding west into Strode Pond had me second guessing the steep descent. I have learned to be firm but not stiff while controlling a downward slide over packed dirt and loose rock. This had my heart pumping for sure. The reward was a tiny peaceful oasis tucked away between the hills, which I had never visited. I plan to lead a ride next spring through this same area. 

Strode Pond near Marsing, ID (site #-25).

From the pond I continued my ride west to Succor Creek, then northwest to find Fishermans Road. I didn’t find that specific road, but I did manage to find one very steep and extra challenging. I should have taken a few breaks, but I continued downward until my arms failed from fatigue, and my bike decided it was sleepy time. I honestly thought one of the challenges was to click a pic of your motorcycle taking a nap. 

Difficult descent just below the Owyhee Dam, (site #-26).

(Two) Indian Hot Springs intrigues me as to why anyone would seLle in that desolate area. Signs nearby tell of a time when Jasper miners and bandits lived in the area, baLling out a meek and dangerous life. 

Indian Hot Springs, (site #-31).

Over a year has passed since I last visited this location, but it was no less challenging. The bridge crossing is failing. I did not nor would not attempt to ride across with a heavily loaded bike. I planned to camp the night here. Unfortunately the mosquitoes near the brush were so relentless I had to jump and dance around to avoid their painfully annoying bite. The spring was too hot to soak, so I tiptoed over sun-baked rocks to cool off in the Bruneau River. I explored the area a bit but the July heat leh me exhausted. 

Being “exhausted” in the Owyhee Desert heat.

Since I was solo I changed plans and headed north for cooler elevation in search of a camping spot. If there is one thing I don’t pass up is good food and fine wine. It just so happened that my route eventually brought me to lunch at Cold Springs Winery in Hammet, ID. They were hosting a summer shish kebab party. Steak and veggie stick with a glass of wine for $5. I recommend the red blend and their Hot Rod White. With chaLy new friends and a beautiful seqng, this meal cannot be beat. 

Lunch at Cold Springs Winery in Hammet, ID.

(Three) I have many fond memories camping near the Hells Canyon Dam. I’ve fished day and night in the reservoir, nibbled on wild growing fruits, and even explored a 

few of the tunnel mines up on the hillside. The twisty narrow pavement doLed with fist sized rocks makes for a fun and spirited ride on a weekday when traffic is very light. I sped down to the boLom of the dam and enjoyed the thunderous roar of the passing Snake River. 

Below Hells Canyon Dam.
Hells Canyon Dam, (site #-10).

(Four) In late July, 2017, I posted an IDBDR ride from North to South. What an epic trip! I’m currently working on a separate review with the full story — it’s a big one. I highly recommend Idaho as your first BDR if you haven’t aLempted one to date. The route is fairly easy to traverse, fuel stops are plentiful, and towns are accessible for shelter and food. Five of us started by meeting in Horseshoe Bend, crossed into Oregon, then Washington briefly, and back into Idaho. We spent two nights before reaching the Canada border to officially begin the 2017 IDBDR/ IAMC Challenge loop. I’ll highlight a few spots but expect a full review in the future. 

Canadian border crossing at Porthill, ID, (site #-31 from the 2016 IAMC Challenge).

Copper Creek Falls was beautiful. A short hike through a silent decaying forest presents you with a midpoint view of the 340 foot falls. 

MaQ, Cliff, Doug, Ron, & Arden at Copper Creek Falls, (site #-1).

Fern and Shadow falls were a treat! The shade and damp green growth allowed us to cool down a bit before our last leg into Wallace, ID. 

Shadow Falls, (site #-3).

From Wallace to Avery to Pierce is a great section of the IDBDR. It has very beautiful scenery with clear waters in the St Joe River and huckleberries in the bushes. I could spend all summer riding this area and enjoy every moment. I will return and explore this area again. I would love to stay a night in the blue cabin above Dworshak reservoir as well as a night camped at Rocky Ridge Lake along the Lolo Motorway. 

Flowers were still blooming along the Lolo Motorway.
My Blue Heaven Cabin, (private cabin for public use).

After the Motorway, we headed east along highway 12 to Lolo Hot springs for a relaxing soak. We continued to Lolo, MT then south to stay the night in a hotel in the town of Hamilton. The next morning three of us set out to begin the Magruder Corridor. This section does take all day, and if I were to ride it again, I would split it into two days and explore more of the area. We detoured 22 miles roundtrip up to Hells Half Acre where there sits a fire lookout cab. The 360 degree view gives you an idea of how rugged and desolate this route was in the past. 

Rocky Ridge Lake on the Lolo Motorway.
Fire Lookout on Hells Half Acre Mountain.
View northward toward Magruder Corridor.

(Five) Ed and I took a ride through Prairie, ID to find Big Trinity Lake. We started up the trail to Trinity Lookout but decided to park the bikes and hike to the top. I’m not very accurate at estimating distances, but I felt the hike was at least a mile long and probably 1000 feet of elevation gain. The effort was worth it, though. We had good visibility and spent a long moment gazing around at the distant ridges and lakes below. 

View north-northeast from Trinity Mountain Lookout.
Sitting on stairs of Trinity Mountain Lookout.

We met a few novice riders who had traveled just beyond the saddle summit and were turning back to head south. They were unsure if they could make it all the way to Big Trinity Lake on the muddy and icy road. Ed and I knew we would make it and be alright. Well, I think he knew that. Did you know that, Ed? We stopped at Big Trinity Lake (site ti-23) for a picture, and then continued downhill to Featherville, ID for a quick bite. We visited a few other Challenge sites that day and came back through Prairie, exiting on Blacks Creek Road. This is a great loop if you ever need a few hundred mile motorcycle quick fix. 

My 2017 Challenge Adventure

by Doug Patch (Gold Tire Level Winner) 

I will begin with a quote from my last year’s (2016) report on achieving the platinum level: “I will probably lower my expectatons next year and work to only get the Gold level! Therefore, I will have all four colors to round out my medal count!” 

Site #42: Snow photo.

So with lowered expectations, my challenge quest started on April 1st after our annual spring kickoff picnic. About 25 of us headed out on Mike Hardy’s annual “April fools ride,” which has whomever wants to lead, rides a route not planned or known by others, and we follow un?l the leader pulls off and lets the next rider lead. We ended at the top of Horseshoe Bend Hill (Hwy 55 and Pearl Rd) where about 6 of us continued on down old Hwy 55 to the Harris Creek Rd. We got our first challenge site of the year at the top of Harris Creek Summit. 

My next outing was with Ed Torrey (SpecialEd) and Arden Hill (AGHill) on a scouting trip for Ed’s upcoming “writing on the wall” ride. We arrived at Swan Falls Dam and snapped our pictures and then proceeded to push our bikes across the dam. 

Southwest of Swan Falls dam along the Snake River.
One of the many petroglyphs found along the river.

The next challenge site achieved was during our annual Spring Prairie ride at the end of April. After eating lunch at the Y Stop in Prairie, we continued west on Blacks Creek Rd to Long Gulch Falls. The hills were spring?me green, and the mountains were covered in deep snow.

Site #-24 Long Gulch Falls.
Along the South Fork Boise River looking east.

My next challenge sites were acquired during a six day ride to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona with Craig Olsen, Arden Hill and two others (not members of IAMC). We stopped at Salmon Falls Dam on our way south. On the last day of the trip Craig and I rode to Maple Grove Hot Springs on a very slick and snoay dirt road along the Oneida Narrows Reservoir. It was slow going with both feet down ac?ng as outriggers to help keep the bikes upright. From there it was onto American Falls Dam and then west to Boise. After fighting headwinds and riding close to 500 miles this day I decided to skip getting to Ritter Island, while Craig decided to get to this challenge site.

Muddy bike aGer the ride to Maple Grove Hot Springs, site #-34.

The next group of challenges sites I got during a ride led by Ron Schinnerer. We went to Pine Flats Hot Springs, Kirkham Hot Springs, Dagger Falls, Water Crossing photo, and Deadwood Dam. The ride was on June 17th and the Scoa Mountain. road into Deadwood was blocked by snow as well as the Bear Valley Road from Lowman, so we had to ride up Hwy 21 to Cape Horn to get down into Bear Valley. This was a long in and out ride and by the end most of us were very low on fuel. We all arrived at The Sourdough Lodge running on fumes. I put in 4.2 gallons in my 4.0 gallon tank! 

On June 22nd Craig Olsen, Arden Hill and I rode to Three Forks Hot Springs from the west side of the Owyhee River. The road down is best done on small bikes. Unfortunately, Craig and I were on our Triumph 800’s, and we decided to walk the last 1.8 miles down to the hot springs. Arden was on his KTM 500 and was able to ride down. 

I ended up in a mud hole on the way, and Arden had to help me drag it up and out.
There men in a tub – this will be repeated later in September. (Site #-27: Three Forks Hot Springs)

From Three Forks Hot Springs we got back to Jordan Valley and rode to Spencer Reservoir. 

At the end of June I made it to Heise Hot Springs, Teton Dam, Mesa Falls, Fall Creek Falls, Sharkey Hot Springs, Challis Hot Springs, Sunbeam Bath House, Easley Hot Springs and Redfish Lake. This was accomplished during a week long group ride to Island Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Beartooth Hwy, Cody and Thermopolis Wyoming onto the Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Wyoming and finally back to Island Park. 

On the way to Sharkey Hot Springs we stopped on the east side of the Lemhi Pass to visit the Headwaters of the Missouri River, which will be one of our Challenge sites for 2018. 

Beginnings of the “Endless Missouri.”
Straddling the Headwaters of the Missouri.

At the end of July, Maa (thesprocket26), Ron (RonS), Arden (AGHill), Cliff (cjseusy) and I headed north to ride the IDBDR from north to south. I was able to get to Copper Creek Falls, Torelle Falls, Fern & Shadow Falls, Falls Park, Dworshak Dam, Red River Hot Springs, and Burgdorf Hot Springs on our week long adventure. I especially enjoyed the ride to the Fern & Shadow Falls. It seemed like it was a long way from anywhere, deep in the Clearwater Mountains. 

On August 12th I lead a day ride to Big Trinity Lake and Baumgartner Hot Springs. During the Heart of Idaho rally held at Challis Hot Springs in September, I got to Barney Hot Springs and Horse Creek Hot Springs. 

My last challenge site for the year was a day trip on October 17th with Craig Olsen to Swan Falls Dam and then onto Indian Hot Springs. It was a very long and cold day staring at 11am and ending at 12:15am. You can see my explanation under the Indian Hot Springs site on the IAMC website. 

In 2016 I did most of the sites solo, whereas this year (2017) all of the sites were visited with other riders, which in my mind made the experience more enjoyable. 

2017 Very SpecialEd Challenge

by Ed Torrey (Gold Tire Level Winner) 

I have participated in each of the IAMC Challenges since they began in 2010, and I have achieved 1 Platinum, 4 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze. 

Montage of IAMC Challenge Bandanas (2010 through 2017).

The reason I sign up for the Challenge every year is to have possible des?na?ons for that year. I have had the mindset that I don’t need to get pla?num but to just get out and see new places. I keep all the past years’ challenge sites loaded on my GPS, and if I find myself near one, I try to stop and get a current bandanna picture if I haven’t been there before. 

Leesburg – a Challenge site in 2012 that I was able to get to in 2014.

By the spring of 2017 I was chomping at the bit to get out on the bike to visit some Challenge sites. I knew the high elevation sites were going to be snowed in for a while, so I started picking off the lower elevation sites closer to home. I recently picked up a new to me Husqvarna TE450 and began my assault with it. 

Heading to Spencer Reservoir.

At the end of May, I saw the opportunity to head to the Eastern side on the state and pick up 6 sites. 

Into the first part of June I kept picking away at the sites doing day trips. 

Then came the heat of Summer, and not long after that the fires started. July and August I found myself not ridding and wishing for cooler weather. 

Ed, Norris, MaY, Robert, and Mike at Map Rock.
Crossing Swan Falls Dam on our way to Spencer Reservoir.
Norris and I getting our snow picture on the Spencer Reservoir ride.
Spencer Reservoir, site #-28.
The “pucker factor” dropping into Strode Pond, site #-25, is quite high.
At the end of May, I saw the opportunity to head to the Eastern side on the state and pick up 6 sites.
Fall Creek Falls, site #-35.
Mesa Falls, site #-38, the only place I hit any snow on the road.
Heading down into Indian Hot Springs, site #-31, from the East side of Bruneu Canyon.

On a very smoky Monday in early September Judy and I had the bikes and RV loaded up, and we headed to Challis for the second of Tim Bernard’s Heart of Idaho Rallies. I had taken three weeks off from work and planned to camp my way from Challis to Salmon, Lochsa Lodge, Kamiah, Lost Valley Reservoir, and then home. I felt this would get me most of my 21 sites I s?ll needed to get Platinum. 

Arden checking out the old truck near the boYom of Bruneu Canyon.
My pickup loaded with bikes towing the RV to Challis Hot Springs.

The smoke cleared and the temperatures cooled. During the ?me in Challis, I picked up 5 sites and had some great rides with some fantastic people. 

After the Heart of Idaho Rally was over, we headed north and found camp above Salmon. Judy and I rode into Big Hole National Baalefield, and the next day I rode into Horse creek hot springs. After a few days we headed north again this ?me staying on the Lochsa River just below the lodge. The weather was star?ng to turn but I was able to do some riding on the Lolo. 

Arden and Doug Just below Big Windy Peak.
Galena summit talking with 2 gentlemen from England who were riding the TAT. (Look at the smoke in the back ground.)
Lolo Motorway below the Lochsa Lodge.

After a few days there, we headed west and camped in Kamiah. This is where I was going to pick up most of my remaining challenge sites. After picking up Dworshak dam and Red River Hot Springs, the F800 started making a popping noise from the rear end. I found movement in the rear ?re and quickly discovered that it had a bad wheel bearing. With this news I knew I was not going to get the 3 northern sites I had planned on. So I parked the big bike and did some exploring with Tim and the CMA
group who were up there for their event that weekend. 

Frosty F800GSA sidelined with a bad wheel bearing.
Trinity Lookout – thanks for the great season.

From there I headed south and found myself camped at Lost Valley Reservoir. From here I was hoping to pick up 3 more sites. It got cold that night and the snow level was around 5000 feet. I got an early start heading for Black Lake knowing I would run into snow. I was able to make it up to the lookout before the snow became slick. I then headed to Wildhorse falls and got my picture at the privet property gate. With the snow level so low I did not attempt Burgdorf hot springs. After returning home, I was able to pick up 3 more sites giving me a total of 33. 

In all I had a great year and saw some new places. I would have to say that Indian Hot Springs was my favorite site this year because in 1979 my family took a camping trip down there, and I always wanted to go back I will continue to participate in the IAMC Challenges because it gives me the opportunity to get out and explore. 

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