Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays from Matt & Brayde

Happy Holidays to all our riding friends and family.  We hope the new year brings many exciting adventures.


Matt & Brayde

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Come Ride with Us: Mexico Copper Canyon & Baja Trip!

Brayde and I have exciting plans for the Spring of 2014:  We will be helping Skip, and the crew at MotoDiscovery guide a group of riders through some very remote areas of Mexico including the famed Copper Canyon and the Baja Peninsula.  This will be an 11 day trip starting in Arizona in March, and ending up in Southern California.

If you'd like to join us on this adventure, click the link below to learn more about the route and sign up for the tour.  It's a really good deal considering all that is included.  You can always email us as well if you're interested.

Hope to see you out there,

Matt & Brayde

Monday, October 21, 2013

Silver City, Shaniko, then home

The last leg of a trip is always bittersweet. The miles between you and home are shrinking instead of growing, there are more days behind you than days left in vacation; then again, by now you feel relaxed and regenerated, and the need to ration food and clothing is diminishing. Because we didn't push further South on the first half of our trip, we can take it easy on the daily mileage to get back by the end of the weekend. We end up wending our way north and west through northern Nevada and Southern Idaho, over into our favorite riding areas in eastern and central Oregon. Matt has a couple favorite destinations that we shape our route around: the living ghost town that is Silver City, ID; and a once restored and now for-sale town, Shaniko, OR. Along the way, we put on several more dirt miles and dodged a few thunderstorms. 

So far, we'd been fortunate to have sunny skies, but as we neared the Nevada-Idaho border, our luck ran out. As we rode along Hwy 225, we ended up playing a game of leapfrog between a pair of ominous black clouds. The raindrops are so big and heavy here that it feels like hail when we're riding at highway speeds. Luckily, we found an alternate path along a dirt road that skirted us around the storm, so we took it. By nightfall, though, the rain caught up to us, so we ended up watching the lightning from the comfort of a hotel room.

Silver City, ID, was once a booming mining town in the late 1800s. As is the natural progression of these things, though, it went bust and was a ghost town by the early 1900s. It is now slowly being restored here and there by a handful of residents, but it remains largely closed off during the winter months because you can only get to it by dirt road on a mountain pass. Pretty neat place. Well worth the trip.

The town's hotel still functions today and hosts the only restaurant in operation.

Another group of visitors traveling in style.

One of our last campsites for awhile, outside of Burns, OR

To make the most of our time left, we picked out some of the twistiest roads we could find. This, of course, took us through the John Day Fossil Beds and into the town of Shaniko. Shaniko was a rail hub in the early 1900s, but once trains were diverted to another line, it effectively became a ghost town. In the 1980s, an investor came in and restored an entire historic district, probably with grand ideas of tourism profits. Doesn't seem that's really come together yet, though... 

All in all, another great ride for the books! You can see our whole route below. Thanks for following.

3345 Miles Total in 12 Days
- Brayde & Matt

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Moab, Utah to Bonneville Salt Flats

From the Mecca of off-road to the Mecca of speed...  In this leg of the trip, we head North and West from Moab, Utah to the Bonneville Salt Flats on the Utah-Nevada state line.
It was a beautiful but hot morning in Moab.  After breakfast at the Love Muffin Cafe, we explored the OHV areas and watched some Jeeps tackle the trails. Heading North out of Moab, we spent several hours checking out Arches National Park.  From Arches, we decided to make our way along a dirt road to a attractive camp spot along the San Rafael River.  We had the whole valley to ourselves and woke up to one of the most beautiful morning scenes yet.  Riding through the "Baby Grand Canyon" was spectacular, and we even came across a group of riders from Seattle that were doing the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route (UTBDR).  After we came out of the canyon, we decided to hook up with section three of the UTBDR.  It was such a great ride that we decided to try section four after lunch.  Unfortunately, the slick, clay mud partway into the route clogged our street-oriented tires and prevented us from finishing.  We doubled back and camped outside of Provo along a stream in a beautiful canyon.  This morning, we stopped in Salt Lake City to check out the BMW dealership and have some of the best Al Pastor tacos in the country at Chunga's.  A long boring stretch of highway brought us to the rained out Bonneville Salt Flats and a super-cheap hotel room in Wendover for the night.  Here are our photos from this leg of our trip:

Jeeps climbing "Baby Lion's Back." The main Lion's Back trail was closed.

Matt wanted to see what it was like to ride on the rocks of Moab.  This is the entrance of the "Fins n' Things" trail.

Made our way North to Arches National Park.  Weather was beautiful but very hot.

Delicate Arch

Remote campsite at the entrance of the Baby Grand Canyon.  Just off of the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route.  Had the place all to ourselves.

Petroglyphs  in the Canyon

Small gorge along section 3 of the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route.

After a big rainstorm, the road on section 4 of the UTBDR was too slick for our street-oriented tires.  The clay mud stuck to our tires, and we lost all traction. Had to turn back and pick a different way.

Breakfast burritos with sausage, potato, peppers, onion, and avocado.  Campsite in Hobble Canyon, just outside of Provo, Utah.

 Bonneville Salt Flats were very wet.  The World of Speed event that weekend has been cancelled.  Lots of disappointed racers around Wendover.

Tomorrow we'll head North and try to do some more off-pavement riding in the Owyhee Mountains of Idaho.  Our trip is more than half over, but we're still trying to make the best of it.

- Matt & Brayde

Monday, September 2, 2013

Photos From the First Five Days

We've reached the halfway point of our trip and are finally somewhere with internet access. Brayde and I rolled in to Moab, UT, the off-road Mecca of the world, late last night and decided to get a room so that we could do much needed laundry, take showers, and post photos.

Since Wednesday, we've ridden across Washington, Idaho, South through Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, and back into Utah to Moab. We've managed to do a good mix of backcountry byways, dirt roads, and highway.  We've ridden some awesome roads and seen some beautiful landscapes so far in the trip.  Rather than write pages and pages of text, we decided to make this a photo posting.  Enjoy!

Wild Horse Wind Farm Visitor Center.

Made our annual pilgrimage to White Bird Idaho to drink $1.25 ice cold beers at the Silver Dollar.

Night two campsite at Grand Jean, ID.

Road out of Grand Jean, ID.

Craters of the Moon, ID.

Airing down the tires at the start of an 80 mile stretch of dirt road out of Blackfoot, ID.

Breakfast, somewhere between Idaho and Wyoming.

Road between Blackfoot Idaho and Alpine Wyoming.

Many people herding cattle that day.

Morning scene at campsite at Flaming Gorge NRA.  Laundry drying, breakfast, scenery.

Dirt road through Flaming Gorge NRA.

The top of Douglas Pass in Colorado.  Reminiscent of roads in Switzerland.

We're looking forward to the next half of our journey . Today we'll ride through Arches, and then pick a few more destinations in Southern Utah before heading back North towards home.  Next time we get internet access, we'll be sure to post more pictures.

- Matt & Brayde