I ride with a club I just learned about up Blacks Creek to the Y-Stop, over to Arrowrock then up to Thorn Creek Butte before an ice cream stop (thanks Sam) in Idaho City.
I caught wind of a local motorcycle group, Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Club, and thought it would be fun to try one of their short rides. It seemed they were my kind of people when I learned the take-off point would be Rockies Diner after a greasy breakfast.
Pulling into the parking lot, I was humored to see I would be adding the red to the fruity green and yellow bikes parked there.
There were three others who would be riding today: Sam, Phil and Doug. They seemed like good guys.
Although it looks like a tin foil machete, Sam was fashioning a salmonella habitat to bring his food on the road.
I rode my old XR along the Oregon Trail by Bonneville Point to Black’s Creek Road so was initially familiar with the day’s direction. What I lacked before was Sam’s knowledge of lesser known history. He was like having an Outdoor Idaho² narrator along.
Once we’d all come to a stop, Sam pointed to this unassuming barn and explained it’s image is on all Idaho driver’s licenses. I was curious how this particular scene gained the distinction.
On my own, I had only come as far as the Danskin riding area. I was pleasantly surprised by the vistas over the Boise River canyons just a few miles on.
We rode slowly and spaced ourselves, stopping here and there for photo opportunities or just to be sure no one had ridden off a cliff while staring at scenery. It was a nice pace.
After some time along the river, we pulled into the Prairie Y-Stop for lunch, your typical small town store-restaurant-gas station where food seems always to taste best.
My mom recently gave me an espresso machine as a gift which was put to good use filling a thermos with latte drink. I snacked in style.
From the Y-Stop we headed through the hills to Arrowrock Reservoir with Sam still bringing up the rear. We stopped to regroup again at the river.
The road along Arrowrock Reservoir can be tedious — loose gravel, winding and probable disaster if you miss a turn — so I was glad when we turned up Cottonwood Creek. After a few miles we stopped for a potty break in the shade at the old ranger station where Phil humored us with talk of the small snake he discovered while behind the bushes.
We climbed rapidly from the old ranger station along Cottonwood Creek, my favorite part of the ride. It was only the third time I’d had the new motorcycle off-road. It handled much differently than the XR but tracked well enough to give me confidence through the ruts and switchbacks on the jeep trail.
We broke into the open on top and waited again to be sure everyone had made it. Hi Sam.
The day’s ultimate destination was the lookout atop Thorn Creek Butte. We snacked and I had more latte as we walked around the deck overlooking Boise National Forest mountains all around.
There is something exhilarating about the high, unbroken panorama even if distant mountains remained shrouded in the smoke of summer fires. In part it’s a feeling of having arrived, the rest being the easy descent.
No attendant was present but we peered through the windows to imagine what days spent here might be like. For a moment the absence of curtains seemed odd then I realized the obvious, that they would belie the purpose.
You are asking to catch some grief emerging from an outhouse with camera already in hand.
From the lookout we followed logging roads to Idaho City where Sam treated us all to ice cream. Hooray! The others planned to take dirt roads back to Boise while I would take the highway to get back to the kids sooner.
Our first club ride was a very enjoyable success. Thanks Sam, Phil and Dave!