A band of rain across all of British Columbia meant we would see rain today as we started heading north. After a mosquito-free two days, we packed up camp this morning and left Osoyoos on highway 3 through a stretch of country dense with vineyards and orchards. There are a number of fruit stands along the way, mostly selling cherries, but we don’t have room in the panniers to stop and buy. Continuing on, we take highway 5A and then 97C north towards Prince George, BC.
After six days of riding, setting up camp then taking down the camp, we are taking a day off and staying two nights in Osoyoos, BC. It’s nice to not have to pack up the tent in the morning and to take a break from the routine. The weather isn’t great (overcast and windy) but at least it’s not as cold as where we came from. Thankfully, the campsite has a nice shelter so we are out of the wind.
There’s a reason we live in Arizona. We are weather wimps and cannot seem to get away from the cold. We have been doing a good job of avoiding the rain but cold is a whole other matter. Wearing heated gear while riding during the day is no big deal. However, waking up to morning temperatures in the low 40s F is not much fun while tent camping. Makes it reeeeally hard to get out of that sleeping bag in the morning – half the time I only leave my cocoon because Diane’s a slave driver, having me make her tea.
I didn’t think we’d make it this far today but we made good progress this morning. It was another ride Diane enjoyed – along the river, long sweepers, nice weather, and most important, no one on her tail. Diane was chatting with a local at a gas station south of Kalispell who recommended we take the bypass thereby avoiding all the Kalispell traffic. We did and before we knew it, we were in Whitefish, MT by about 11:00. Signage announced the Roosville border crossing as only 62 miles away. After a gas stop and some lunch (half an apple, half a pro-bar and some trail mix) in Eureka, MT we headed for the border.
After spending way too much time in Idaho we finally made it out of the state. Given our route up US 93 there was no way of getting around going through Missoula, MT.
It was another cold morning that required heated gear until just outside of Missoula. The riding was easy and interesting as long as we went along the Salmon river. Once we got into the valley south of Missoula traffic picked up and the road turned into a four lane highway.
**Update: Forgot to mention – we had planned to hike at Craters of the Moon today but decided to pass. The forecast called for 18-20 mph winds at the park which didn’t sound like a good set up for parking the bikes and hiking. As it was, it started raining in Arco as we were on our way out of town. Yes, we are doing our best to avoid bad weather. 🙂
Yes, still in Idaho. The weather isn’t cooperating — at least based on all the weather apps we’re consulting. Big thunderstorms and multi-day rains in Missoula, MT. Things aren’t going to clear up until tomorrow so we went as far north as the weather allowed.
The plan called for an easy and short ride east on US 20 to Craters of the Moon National Monument arriving early enough so we would have a good chance of getting a camping spot in the national monument campground. Leave it up to Oliver and the GPS (I blame the GPS ;-)) to take the longer, twisty route through the mountains on ID 21 also known as the Ponderosa scenic byway.
We were anxiously waiting for a phone call from the dealer to let us know that the bike was fixed. I finally called just before noon because the hotel checkout time was 13:00. The repair wasn’t going well. Apparently the thermostat didn’t fix the problem and the technician was on the phone with BMW technical support. Not good.
As it turned out the thermostat was indeed the culprit but when refilling the coolant after installing the replacement an air bubble was trapped that required multiple flush/purges. Once that was done all was well. Diane had her bike back by 15:00. We had decided earlier just to stay another day to avoid unnecessary stress. This allowed us to take the bike for a lengthy test ride to make sure the problem was solved and we would feel confident to continue. No incidents while we were out for a ride that included some freeway as well as stop and go city driving.
The next morning would see us leaving Boise behind and heading east to the Craters of the Moon National Monument outside of Arco, ID.
No avoiding the freeway today unless we want to more than double our riding time to Boise. There are no direct secondary roads so we get on I-84 for a two hour ride to Boise. Thankfully traffic was light.
Since Diane’s bike was in danger of overheating we changed up our riding order. I usually ride out front but today she led the way so that I would have a chance to stop with her if she needed to pull over to the side of the road. I had trouble keeping up with Diane’s heavy gas hand, she was riding like a bat out of hell, wringing that 798cc engine for what it had to give :-).
As soon as we pulled into the dealer’s parking lot, the overheating warning came back on so they could see it first hand. Once we took all the luggage and panniers off her bike they took it back to do diagnostics. After a while the technician came back with a diagnosis of a faulty thermostat. Since they didn’t have the part in stock they would need to order it with overnight delivery. So, another hotel night for us, staying in downtown Boise.
It’s late afternoon by the time we check in. A quick google search shows multiple brew pubs within walking distance. We jointly exclaim ‘Pub Crawl!’ :-). Well, more like a two-step event because we are light weights. We stopped at Barbarian Brewing and 10 Barrel.
It’s cold in the morning at the higher elevation of 6000+ feet, even in the summer. Waking to a frigid 44F makes that hot coffee taste and feel that much better. I’m like a lizard, seeking out the sun, trying to warm up sitting on a log. Thankfully, the temperature rises quickly so it’s in the 60’s by the time we pack up and leave.
We ride all day on US 93, more high desert with the occasional farming community sprinkled in. Again, beautiful scenery though the temperature never made it above 70F until we reached Twin Falls. We are prepared for it though, wearing our heated liner under our outer shell riding jacket. It’s now nice and toasty, just the way I like it :-).