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Discussion Starter #1
It was a good weekend to ride.

We rode from about 8,000 ft. down to 1,550 ft. Roughly 6,500-foot difference.

Still going through pictures and video's, but thought I'd post a couple teasers.



Fall Mtn. colors were captivating.


I'm speechless. There are a lot of words to explain what we see and enjoy, I just don't have any to add!


Yep, good times.


to be continued
 

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I just want to thank The Admiral for finally letting me be in the lead!
Normally I'm in the back, trying not to choke on dust.. He thinks I'm so far back because I can't keep up so he goes slower which makes me go slower....but when I'm in the front I can go as fast as I want and he can choke on my dust! Apparently I CAN drive a lot faster than he thought I could. Giggle
 

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That's a pretty amazing area. I was elk hunting just east of there and really wanted to get over into that country but couldn't make it. Traveling Forest Service roads takes a wee bit longer than running the pavement into the area. If you made it up to Black Lake, what was the campground like there. From the maps, it looks like a very beautiful area.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's a pretty amazing area. I was elk hunting just east of there and really wanted to get over into that country but couldn't make it. Traveling Forest Service roads takes a wee bit longer than running the pavement into the area. If you made it up to Black Lake, what was the campground like there. From the maps, it looks like a very beautiful area.
The photo's we took are mainly of the lake. We rode to the S.E. by the vault toilet and a few camp spots. I'll pull a few photo's from the video I had rolling when we rode in and out. Other folks were camped at the north end but we didn't go there with all the vehicle parked there. I think the south end we were at has the trails which lead up to the old mine. I read the townsite was at the north end.

Briefly spoke with a couple guys who were camped there and hunting in the area. They mentioned "goat" so I suppose they may have been hunting something other than Elk or Deer. Just a guess though.

And your maps didn't lie, very beautiful.
 

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Mrs. Admiral: In the lead, up front or on top we like it all. You go girl. When my wife and I are riding on the street she wants me to lead, but she is and always has been a safe car driver. When she sees a yellow light if she can stop she always does even if very quick. I am surprised she hasn't been rear ended. Any way she follows me on the motorcycle @ 3-5? car lengths back and we are always getting seperated. I have to pull over and wait for the light to change. We have had some discussions about it and finally she is following at a safe distance and to the side but not so far that we don't go through the same lights together. That also keeps someone from pulling out in between us and hitting her. Plus two of us riding closer together is easier to see so we don't get hit. On the dirt I don't mind her leading sometimes exactly for what you said, it's only fair.
 

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Thanks for the photo of Black Lake, was just curious about camping there and if "The Wife" would like it. She is much more, shall we say "selective", than I am about where we camp. ;)

I was glassing the Smith Mountain Lookout from about two canyons away, reminded me of the Great Pyramid with the lookout sitting at the point. Must be one hell of a view from up there! Would get pretty exciting in the middle of a lightening storm, might have to change my Depends a time or two!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mrs. Admiral: In the lead, up front or on top we like it all. You go girl. When my wife and I are riding on the street she wants me to lead, but she is and always has been a safe car driver. When she sees a yellow light if she can stop she always does even if very quick. I am surprised she hasn't been rear ended. Any way she follows me on the motorcycle @ 3-5? car lengths back and we are always getting seperated. I have to pull over and wait for the light to change. We have had some discussions about it and finally she is following at a safe distance and to the side but not so far that we don't go through the same lights together. That also keeps someone from pulling out in between us and hitting her. Plus two of us riding closer together is easier to see so we don't get hit. On the dirt I don't mind her leading sometimes exactly for what you said, it's only fair.

On one hand, I'm not exactly sure Mrs. Admiral in the lead is a good thing. Who is it who hasn't had a speeding ticket? Oh yeah, that would be me! :D

On the other hand, she led for a short bit in the Black Hills. My instructions, as much as she will listen to me, are to stop at the next intersection and then we'll proceed to the next and so forth! In the Black Hills, it was easy enough to find a loop trail back to the place you intended to turn!:p

...but truth be told. All my career I've had to be the leader. I'm actually enjoying just tooling along lagging behind. Just not too far as it may cause the initiation of a search & rescue! fpalm.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Day 1.

We take off from camp


and ride through the Bear, Id area.


It's so friendly! I suppose frustration has led to anger which is translated by us as unfriendly. I understand and we obey and ride through Bear very slowly!


Black Lake & Smith Mtn. lookout our are first destinations on the day.


History. Though we didn't see any remains, the Forest Service has placed a lot of these signs in the area to inform us of some of the local history. Without this sign, I wouldn't have known.


On the road towards Smith Mtn. L.O. & Black Lake we are alerted to Placer Basin & Placer Basin Mine.


We're probably seeing the remains of the 1930's era.




As we continue riding Smith Mtn. L.O. comes into view.


This picture of Mrs. Admiral I posted earlier is zoomed in on the road below the lookout.


to be continued
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Day 1 continued.

So we ride by Smith Mtn. Lookout but will return on the way back. Looking back at the lookout as we head to Black Lake.


N.W. view of a valley from a saddle kind of place past the lookout.


This is the saddle kind of place. I wouldn't recommend pulling a camper or trailer in here without a point vehicle to clear the way.


Not far from here is another unnamed saddle and from there to Black Lake the road gets a bit rougher and narrower. (This is on the way out but you'll get the idea of narrow)


The steepest area with some loose rock the size of baseballs is as you make the last climb up to the lake. But it's pretty once you arrive!








For Backcntrycrwlr. Sucky campground pictures. When I get done with the video it will show it better.






And for you civilized folk, we have one of them multi-gender toilets they all been talkin 'bout causing a big stir. As anyone can see, this toilet can be used for wheelchairs, woman, man, and my ex-wife!


Edit 5 Oct: I forgot I had done some research of the Black Lake area. I wondered why is there a road to the area. My answer was as I suspected, mining. Two groups of mining claims in the Black Lake area, Summit Claims above the lake and the Maid of Erin group below the lake are know to have been under the Idaho Gold Coin Mining Company name. Here is the only photo I could find of any of the mines near the lake.

Courtesy Idaho Geology.org, Victoria E. Mitchell (History of the Idaho Gold Coin Mine-Maid of Erin and Summit Mines) Adams, County, Idaho

to be continued.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Day 1. Back to the lookout.

It started out fine, but the lookout road got pretty darn rough.


Rough enough that we decided to park the TW's about 50 yards from the tower.


The rock you see at the base of the tower is what the last 50 yards was made from.


Except right at the very end. In the distance you can see smoke from a prescribed burn by the forest service.


View of the ridge we came up from Bear on.


This is the road north of the lookout to the first saddle which you can see in the upper right. Lost Basin is off to the right I believe.


It was very windy today and there was haze from fire smoke throughout the whole day. Some may have been from wildfires and some from prescribed fires like this one again.


Having a great day


Of course I have to look for a geocache


Unfortunately, it was wet inside so I couldn't log it and didn't leave anything either. I tried to let it dry out but it was still a little damp when I put it back.


Old weathered trees


The three wise men (wise person if you're pc by nature).


Moving along, we head back down the ridge in the direction of Landore townsite and Blue Jacket Mine


Down the ridge, turn right, ride up the valley and you'll find what's left of the old mining town of Landore. Not much to it anymore.




Across the street is an old car left behind


Some old photo's of Landore I pulled off the www google search with credit to the Idaho Historical Society.



Then on to Blue Jacket Mine area.

to be continued
 

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Then on to Blue Jacket Mine area. to be continued
Sounds like a great place to explore....next summer..:p Another addition to the bucket list.
Where did you camp? Lafferty looks kinda nice, but right next to the road. Is it busy, and /or dusty? It's a long way in there!
Bear CG or Huckleberry looks good and shady on GE.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sounds like a great place to explore....next summer..:p Another addition to the bucket list.
Where did you camp? Lafferty looks kinda nice, but right next to the road. Is it busy, and /or dusty? It's a long way in there!
Bear CG or Huckleberry looks good and shady on GE.
The road from Council to Bear is paved so no dust at Lafferty. If I recall Lafferty and Huckleberry only have 8 spots each. That's what it looked like Lafferty had. They were full and we heard from a hunter who was staying in Huckleberry that it was full also. Hunters!

If you turn left at Bear and head towards Cuprum there are some free spots you can see from the road. Might be some back farther as well. We didn't go to Huckleberry so I don't know what it's like back there. It's private land all along the road from Bear to the Bear Guard Station which is where we turned. I see on the map there is a Bear Work Center down toward Huckleberry as well. There was a good camp spot just before Cuprum but my guess is it would be dusty.

Daylight was running out when we got on the ridge out to Sheep Rock Viewpoint. We skipped going on a couple side roads to Helena/Peacock Mine and even skipped Horse Mtn. Lookout. We got back to camp at dusk. Our camp was located past Lafferty but we got there late Friday night and took the first place we saw. I won't recommend where we stayed. Worked for us on this trip.

We were hoping to make a loop ride out of the Kleinschmidt Grade day ride but just past Oxbow dam on Windy Ridge road it is owned by the Oxbow Ranch and is gated off to motorized traffic. Foot & horse traffic is ok. We were really disappointed as Windy Ridge road intersects back up on the ridge with the Kleinschmidt Grade rd. We had to ride Kleinschmidt back up. Still the ride down Hell's Canyon on blacktop was fun! We had heard all these bad stories about how bad the Kleinschmidt Grade road was. On the TW's it was cake. When I get done editing the video you'll see how good the road was. Sure, it is a dropoff on one side most of the way but just hug the inside like I always do! As afraid of heights as I am, I was never nervous going up or down the road.

Oh, and the temperature was perfect for us. It was about 70-75 degree's in Hell's Canyon so we didn't get hot at all. Very comfortable as a matter of fact. I rode in part of Hell's Canyon earlier this year towards Brownlee Dam and it was 85-88 which was not comfortable. I can't imagine what it's like when it's hotter. Guess that's why they named it Hell's Canyon eh!
 

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Admiral & Ms. Admiral - thanks for sharing! I have looked at all this area on the map so its great to actually get the visuals on the area. You guys do a great job of documenting and sharing, much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Day 1 continued: Blue Jacket Mine

Blue Jacket Mine was a short distance away from Landore. After riding around the mountain on a more travelled mine road where we found some of the mine tailings, we then headed down a trail less travelled to get to the company headquarters site.

From the overgrown trail we discover what we later learned was the cookhouse.


You can see some of the ax hewn marks on the log.






Inside the cookhouse


What the cookhouse looked like once upon a time.

Courtesy Idaho State Historical Society

Looking up the hill to the north we see the remnants of another building. Not much left.




What it looked like a few years before we got here

Not my photo but taken from the Blue Jacket Mine geocache from www.geocaching.com

Of course we wondered what it was. More www searching found this. We believe it's the same building. We also noted it looks like at least one window was added downstairs at one end.

Courtesy Idaho Historical Society

Sometimes you just never know what you're gonna find in the woods!

We then continued down the overgrown trail for some distance before popping back out on the main road between Landore and Curprum. Apparently there was another townsite between the two others. We didn't find anything left here except a nice camping spot.




It's getting late in the day but we decide there is enough daylight to head up on the ridge below White Monument Mountain and ride out to the end of the road at Sheep Rock Overlook.


to be continued
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Day 1 continued: Sheep Rock Overlook & Kinney Point.

While riding out to Sheep Rock Overlook we stop at another historical marker. It was very interesting to see they tried to have a railroad line way up here. We think we saw some of RR Grade when we were at Kinney Point.



There is about a 1/2 mile interpretive trail at Sheep Rock Overlook. We decided to dismount the TW's and get some exercise.

From the trail, here is two of the peaks in the Seven Devils Mountain Range. Rugged!


Part of Hell's Canyon looking at Oregon on the other side


We could see the Wallowa Mountain Range in Oregon indicated on this sign but the fire smoke haze obscured them from a clear view. Darn!




TW's resting at Sheep Rock Overlook. Horse Mtn. Lookout is barely visible on the bare mountain top above the TW on the left. We skipped Horse Mtn. Lookout on this trip.


We then backtracked and rode to Kinney Pt.


There used to be a forest fire lookout here but it's gone. All that remains are some cement footings for the tower. However, it had some of the best views of the Snake River in Hell's Canyon.


Snake River zoomed in. Again, smoke ruins the view somewhat. River is about 5,000-6,000 below were we're standing. I believe we are looking at Hell's Canyon Reservoir part of the Snake River.


Kinney Pt. in 1954. Photo taken from the fire lookout location

Courtesy of American Tradition Almanac

We left something to come back for. As I mentioned, we skipped some places to see up here. One is the old townsite of Helena & nearby Peacock Mine and Horse Mtn. Lookout. We'll return some day and finish what we started. Here the sign is next to the road out to Kinney Pt. Helena is across the canyon shown to the right in the photo.


This brings to a close Day 1. From here we ride through Cuprum back to camp. By the way, Cuprum is Latin for the word Copper, which is what they mainly mined in this area.



to be continued-Day 2
 

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Day 2. Kleinschmidt Grade and Hell's Canyon

Kleinschmidt Grade-Pete Zimowsky Seattle Times 2012. "The Kleinschmidt Grade, built by a miner with an ill-fated plan to ship ore on the Snake River, is a winding, narrow and steep dirt road that takes daredevils and white-knuckled drivers into Hells Canyon".

Hells Canyon-Wikipedia-is a 10 mile wide canyon located along the border of eastern Oregon/Washington and western Idaho. It is the deepest river gorge in America at 7,9333 feet.

Well, despite what Pete Zimowsky said, we didn't find the grade as bad as he said. I suspect others will though!:p Photo is taken at the bottom.


We rode first from the top down to the river and because the loop route we wanted to ride was gated, we later rode back up. We started at the Jct. of Cuprum & Kleinschmidt Grade Rd's.

If anyone has ridden the Kleinschmidt Grade road, this barn located near the road junction is a landmark. This is what it looked like on our ride (2016)


Here is what it looked like on a trip through the area in 2011. More of the barn was still standing in 2011.


And here is what it looked like in 1978. A lot has changed that's for sure.

Courtesy Idaho State Historical Society

We got glimpse's of the Snake River/Hells Canyon Reservoir nearer the top, but it wasn't until we descended quite a bit before we got a good look at it from the road. You can see part of the road carved into the side of the hill in the distance (left side of river).


Looking downstream. You can barely make out the highway


Mrs. Admiral taking a break on the highway, down by the river.


More Hells Canyon history


We decided to ride 15 ish miles to Hells Canyon Dam. Mrs. Admiral had never been here before. I have once before. There are three consecutive dams in this stretch of river just past Farewell Bend near Huntington, Or. Brownlee Dam, Oxbow Dam, and Hells Canyon Dam.


Hells Canyon Dam during construction. It was finished in 1967.

Courtesy of Idaho Power

Just downstream from the dam is the visitor center. You can see part of the road which leads to the visitor center in the photo above. Road is on the far right.


The Snake River returns to somewhat normal until it reaches the next dam, Lower Granite Dam in Washington state.




View of Hells Canyon Reservoir just above the dam


Up river towards Oxbow Dam


And that about does it. We rode back up Kleinschmidt Grade, loaded up the TW's and headed home.


I'll post up some video in the coming days. The End
 

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Wonderful report. We had dreams of retiring up in that area of Hells Canyon, Halfway, Oregon. We bought and owned a beautiful piece of land, 20 acres, old ranch home, barn, shop etc.... 6 miles to 10,000 ft....
As we age ideas changed so we sold it.... My Uncle and aunt lived in the town and after we bought the place West of town they moved out there to take care of the place. Uncle passed away at too early of an age and things changed. OMG the area is heavenly!

halfway_oregon.jpg

Halfway.jpg

Jim
 
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