The Gates of Flathead County

There are oodles of gates around here. I suspect about 90% of the dirt roads are blocked by a gate. I took a ride up to the lookout tower and gated-out about a half mile short of the tower. Then I went in search of Lost Lake, gated-out miles from the water

Lets see if we can find it

The ride up the road was nice. Trees, rocks, bear prints. The usual

NF 511 on the way up to the lookout tower
Husqie ADV 450 in it’s element and aired down to 10 psi

NF 511 is nice and smooth at the bottom and gets steeped, looser, and rockier as you climb it. I ended up airing down to 10 psi to take the rough out of the road. It’s doable in a Subaru wagon if you know how to drive. The dirt road to the gate is about ten miles. There are many trees overhanging the road so expect to get some pinstripes along the way

Lookout! Tower!
Locked gate on the way to the lookout tower
Bear paw print on the NF 511 road
Bear paw print on the NF 511 road
Locked out on the way to lost lake

Out of town on a rail

Rail to Trail between Kalispell and Somers (the nice bit)

I rode the Great Northern from Kalispell to Somers. It’s largely along the side of Hwy 93 until close to Somers then it becomes a nice tree-lined path. Somers has a museum dedicated to the RR and the lumber mill that started the town

Welcome to
A yard engine from the lumber mill in Somers
She’s small, but she handles wire-rope like a pro

While I was riding around Kalispell one day I came across a piece of Americana from the 1950’s

Saw this cool old booth in Kalispell
So retro!

Orange is the New Summer

Smoke gets in your eyes

There are approximately 45 forest fires burning upwind of my summer camp spot. The sky is a thick grey haze that blocks out the sun. déjà vu. I suppose it’s time to just accept this is summer in the American west and get use to it

Lake Koocanusa from the visitor center

Lake Koocanusa which straddles the Canadian/ US border north of Libby MT. Koo-Can-USA. Maybe there is a pattern here. Don’t know any Koo though

Now the skweeters will stay off his nose

I got the boys a bug tent. Since there are a lot of mosquitos and I don’t want them getting eaten while they are out sleeping in the shade

The smell of burned tires

I guess pealing out is the Montana state sport. I have not seen a single stretch of rural pavement that does not have burn-out marks on it. Keeps tire dealers in business

Out of Service

Lotta wind this year. Downed out-houses and trees dot the landscape. Took a walk around the neighborhood and talked with the local excavator. Been here his whole life. Anyway I learned that the forest around here is mostly private and what’s been going on with it. Seems it was all Rail-Road land/ Logging company land and they sold it to a big real estate company back east because the trees are all to young to harvest. The real estate company has been selling it off to retirees to build their dream homes. Which is good for the excavator company guy. He moves a lot of dirt and trees

Tenacity + Opportunity

Flowers gotta grow

Ten miles from Kila to Kalispell on the old RR grade

I rode my bike from Kila to north Kalispell partly on the old railroad grade. About ten miles of paved trail running next to Hwy 2 West of Kalispell. It’s a little rough and I had a headwind both ways but not a bad way to spend the day.

Lots of concrete holding back Lake Koocanusa
The Fisher River
Another smokey day on the Fisher River
This is why we have mosquitos around here. There is a lot of standing water

Lakes, Logs, and Landings

Nice little road through the woods

I took a ride from our camp spot over the hills (the back way) to Marion, MT. Traversed a dozen miles of logging roads with ankle-deep silt on them. I did not expect to be riding in deep silt this far north and in the mountains. I thought silt was a desert thing. Apparently not

I hit some pave near Little Bitterroot Lake and followed it around as much of the lake as I could. Most of the lake-shore is private so no access to the unwashed masses. I did find three access points for regular-folk courtesy of the State. Thanks Montana

On the left – 1940’s? / the right 1950’s maybe

I spotted a couple of old log trucks in a person’s front yard. One looks to be from the 1940’s and the other from the 1950’s. Time was those trucks were state of the art and had that new-car smell. A 2020 F-150 could out-pull either of these trucks and maybe both combined. We live in amazing times!

On the way home I swung through a private air-park and started up a conversation with a guy in a three-wheel golf cart. Times are changing here too

One fish, Two fish

Red fish, Whitefish

Weird weather around here

I spent another day touring the back roads and checking out the local color. The weather forecasts around here are not very accurate and the temperature predictions are off by about 5-10 degrees each day

City of Eagles ~ Libby Montana

The last time I passed this way I caught a pix of a different eagle in Libby (https://askmikemoore.com/2018/07/14/flathead-lake-to-yaak-river-campground-mt/)

The old homestead

Spotted this old ranch on a trip near Thompson Lakes. None of the buildings have windows anymore and it’s still a delightful meadow for cows and about a million deer. Every time I go out I see deer and bunnies, oh my!

Welcome

We’re going to need a bigger boat

Ridin’ Around

Nice views from the cleared sections

Spent the morning riding the Husky ADV 450 on some nearby logging roads. Since all the mines and cutting operations are closed for the 4th of July it was a good time to ride without a bunch of haul-trucks hogging the roadway.

McGregor Lake from the North shore

I was not able to loop the logging roads into anything so it was an out & back day. It’s nice to be riding in the forest again. Green and humid with just a hint of mud puddle left by the last rain. Enjoyed several nice views of McGregor Lake and spent some time checking out the lake-side villas

I’m outa here!

So long 105º – Hello frosty windshield!

First night out of the desert

We left Fruita before the sun came up and it was still 74ºF. Cruised along the motorway to the mountains east of Toponas CO where the high was 72ºF and thunder storms lit up the afternoon sky. The morning brought a frozen windshield! All hail the glorious rain and cold temps! We saw a yearling moose who was sniffing around the camper – very fun!

Great camp spot

From our first mountain camp we headed to the mountains east of Laramie WY. We camped at 8100 feet so the days were a cool 70-something with 40-something at night. No need for the A/C, but we were running the furnace at night

Great riding around here!

Ride all the rides! We camped near some Mtn bike trails and managed to ride a few of them. It’s nice to have new trails and totally different riding conditions. My local friend and I put on about 50 miles of trail rides during the week. YaY!

Early morning walk on the rocks

The boiz got to go out and sniff the local sniffs, climb the local rocks, and chase after the local squirrels

The ferocious Puma prowls the rocks near the house

We have been enjoying some fine cool temperatures and rain for the past week. That’s about to change! Dammit! The reason for going north was to escape the heat, I can check out but I can never leave. The hotness I planned to escape has moved to where I’m going. Dammit again!

Dammit!

Early Hotness!

It’s over a hundred about a month too soon! I planned to get out of here before this happened! Oops … We were suppose to be in Montana before it went triple-digits in Fruita. Maybe next time

The cacti bloom was a delight this year

Size matters. Although the little guy is the Alpha. I like seeing them together (awwww)

The shepherd watches over his flock of mice

Yellow Cat

Since I rode about 4,000 miles in the desert last year there are not a lot of places left to explore around here. One of the last is the area between Arches N.P. and I-70 in Utah. There is an old mine out there named Yellow Cat and a highway off ramp by that name that leads to it. I always wondered …

The ADV 450 at the old load-out

I spent a day out there on some surprisingly smooth dirt roads. Thanks Grand County Utah! I don’t know what they were mining out here but if I was to guess I’d say uranium

I think it used to be a bus?

Near the end of the day the clutch slave on the Huskie ADV 450 failed – AGAIN! This is the second time it failed and left me without a clutch. The original one lasted two years (40 miles!!); only got 18 months out of the second one. I ordered a rebuild kit this time and I think I figured out why the factory ones fail. Maybe I avoided that pit-fall when I rebuilt it

That dirt track is a gas pipeline

I rode the gas-line road out to the border of Arches N.P. There is a big parking spot out there and I suspect there are some kewl canyon hikes to be had from there. From the rim I could see tall trees in the canyons and a bunch of slick-rock

North of Arches N.P. with the LaSal’s in the background

The mining roads out here predate the Park. The Park installed fencing to keep the wheels out, but feet and hooves are welcome

Arch on BLM land

There a a ton of roads out here which are not on any maps I have. Most of them are gas-line roads and end at a well-head. One of the intersections had a sign that says “arch” and pointed toward this delightful place

Like it said on the sign: Arch
Looking toward the LaSal’s
Desert Blooms

Freeze Warning and Fire Watch

Climate Change is Real

We had an ice storm the other day

The weather has gone to poop around here. High winds, fire watches, and freeze warnings – Oh My!

My new ride on the Western Rim Trail

I rode the Western Rim last year on the Huskie Adventure 450 and I suspected it would be more fun on an ebike – I was right again!

The Western Rim Trail on a cloudy day

There are a TON of people camped out in the desert now. I saw a cute little guard-bull on the Rabbit Valley road

I saw this dude standing guard on the Rabbit Valley road
Slick Rock! This is on Mel’s loop. It’s the only good part of that ride. The rest of it is deep sand 😦

Mel’s loop is a moto trail and I’ve ridden it a couple times on bicycles. The part of Utah it’s in is mostly deep sand. It’s less busy than Moab or Fruita, but there are still peeps camped out there