Monday, July 24, 2023

OGRES Motorcycle Club 2023 "Orofino" Summer Run Report

The OGRES Motorcycle Club 2023 Summer Run began with immediate route changes due to road closures and construction. Highway 21 was closed to through traffic between Idaho City and Lowman so an alternate route was used. Thanks to G-Man for being "heads up" to keep us from angst.

OMC members present: RipCity, Rowdy, Gundy, Slick, Smooth, G-Man, Bomber and Grim. OMC members absent: Duke and Krome.

We met at the appointed place/time and headed up Highway 55 through the cool morning air. The traffic was light to the point of being non-existent. Our first stop was at Garden Valley for a pit stop and leg stretch. We then continued past Lowman and up over Banner Summit. Our next stop was Stanley for gasoline and the motley crew decided to press on to Challis for lunch.

We stopped at the Village Inn Cafe in Challis and found a big table. The server was a riot and she met all our verbal jousts deftly and pointedly funny. It was a nice meal and company.

The mass of motorcycle mania then headed on up the road to Salmon. At the point the heat began and the riding was much more warm. Little did we know, the temperature was nothing compared to what we would experience the following two days.

Upon arrival in Salmon, we parked our bikes and checked in at the Stagecoach Hotel. The Vice President rallied the troops and organized the evenings activities while the President made the reservation at the Shady Nook. 

At the appointed time, OMC members and guests walked up to the Shady Nook and found our table ready and waiting. Coincidentally, there was a table of 18 people, sitting right next to us, that had just finished a week of rafting on the river. Needless to say, it was a rowdy and loud evening. However we had a nice meal even if the restaurant did not have any ice cream. After paying our tabs, we wandered back to the hotel past some live music. In the hotel, we hung out and socialized for a while. This time was very nice, and unusual, as normally everyone just heads to their rooms or other solo activities. It is hoped this becomes a regular practice in the future.

After a restful nights sleep, everyone met up for breakfast in the hotel. As usual, the repast consisted of mostly carbohydrates and not much protein. After the safety briefing we headed on down the road towards Darby.

It was a lovely cool ride through the valleys and mountains to Darby. The scenery and roadways are always top notch over this part of the run. Again the traffic was very light and almost no-existent in the direction we were headed.

The crew stopped in Darby at the usual place and found that the interior of the shops had been changed making it more fun to explore all the changes. RipCity and Grim had their traditional shared chocolate haystack and even shared with Rowdy. Bomber bought his traditional annual present for his bride and everyone was ready to leave on time.

We then jammed up the road through Hamilton, and other towns, until we stopped for fuel at Lolo. This is the point where the heat started up with a vengeance. We quickly fueled up and headed up Highway 12 towards Lolo Pass. The road was clear of traffic and the views/scenery was as fantastic as usual. 

The twin engined entourage rolled into Lochsa Lodge for lunch, as usual. It was clear by their demeanor, the servers were not glad to see our group of ten. Grim theorized that the chairs of the tables are glued to the floor so we seated ourselves into two groups of five. Everyone had a nice lunch, however, until near disaster struck. As we were leaving, G-Man discovered his "cut" had wandered off. He soon found it on the coatrack with kindred clothing as to not be lonely. Phew!

There were two construction stoppages that were encountered during the Lolo Pass leg of the Run. The first one had a pilot car and this second did not. When we rolled up on the second stoppage, Grim talked to the driver of the motor home at the lead and the driver had already decided to let us go first. He probably almost changed his mind when several of the OGRES group were not ready to go when we were waved onward. We managed to pass the motorhome and get down the road.

We continued down the beautiful, but very hot, windy mountain roads until we made a stop at the Three Rivers Resort. It turns out that it was a fortuitous stop as Bomber discovered his bike's clutch was having problems. Gundy quickly diagnosed the issue and brake/clutch fluid was quickly procured at the little store on site. Problem resolved at least for a while.

We then headed out as a group, except for G-Man who was dawdling as usual. He waved us on saying he would catch up and Grim accommodated him. However, his brother, Bomber, failed to hear him. After he had gone down the road awhile, Bomber realized G-Man was missing and and began to search for him. This started a domino effect forward with everyone slowing, stopping and turning with semi trucks whizzing by. It was scary.

In the future, we will all depart as a group, without fail, as this was very nearly a gang wreck that didn't need to happen. 

All us bikers continued down the road without, much traffic, but laden down by the heat and the mileage. The route was uneventful until we reached Kamiah where Grim was going a little fast, having missed seeing the speed limit sign. A kindly deputy sheriff on the roadside hit his overheads and motioned the errant President to slow down. It was kind of the lawman to leave the encounter at that. Phew!

RipCity Was a Hottie

We arrived in Orofino and parked in our usual spots. We quickly unpacked and checked into our rooms so we could get in the pool and hot tub as quick as possible. RipCity organized the evening's events and Grim made the reservations for dinner next door.

A wild time was had in the pool and hot tub with grown men turning quickly into 10 year old boys. Cannonballs, cold water fights and general mayhem quickly ensued It was great time and RipCity did his best imitation of a submarine that was almost sunk. We finally became waterlogged and headed off to dress for dinner.

We met in the lobby and went to the restaurant where our table was waiting. There was a 40 person party upstairs with a large group of bikers right next to us. 

It quickly became apparent to Grim that he had made a mistake countermanding RipCity's direction that "cuts" would be worn. 

Our "cuts" make our Club membership special and we should represent the OMC whenever we gather as a cohort. My apologies to the Vice President as he had made all the right calls. Grim appreciates his leadership...and his contribution to the Club has made it possible for Grim to carry on. Grim didn't realize how worn down he had become until RipCity took his role as Vice President. 

G-Man and Bomber both had the Shrimp Melt to commemorate past like meals and it actually looked pretty good.

After dinner, part of the bunch sat in the lobby of the hotel and traded jibes and stories for a while as to wind down for a night's sleep.

Morning found us getting breakfast in the lobby to prepare our bodies for the upcoming day of riding our bikes. After a safety briefing, we headed out on our last day's cruising. 

It was as nice, as usual, riding over the rolling farmland and great roads over to Grangeville. We made a pitstop at the truck stop and, as luck would have it, G-Man ran across some relatives at the truckstop. After the short family reunion, we headed on our way. It was still pretty nice sailing until we got to the bottom of Whitebird grade and the temperate increased drastically. 

We powered on past Riggins until we reached New Meadows where we stopped for gas.  Just before New Meadows, we encountered the only two idiot cage drivers of the trip but they were soon left behind.  After a quick meeting, it was decided we would take an alternate route through Council, Tamarack and Cambridge to Midvale for lunch. With the Pancake House permanently closed, Grim's main motivation for taking that route is gone.

We had a nice repast at the cafe, in Midvale, with an efficient and patient server. The salad bar was the big favorite.

We jumped aboard our steel horses and headed down the last leg of the Run. The back road to Middleton is always quiet and smooth and today was no exception.


OMC Members

After topping off the brake/clutch fluid in Bomber's Harley, we said our goodbyes and headed out our respective directions to our homes.

Even with the heat, the ride was a great one and everyone seemed to have a good time. The traffic was the lightest in recent memory and made the ride even better.

'Nuff said.

Photographs by Vice President RipCity
Words by President Grim

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