|Winter 2019||Louisiana MSTA Newsletter||Bob Chappuis, Editor|
Some great weather made for three nice lunch rides in November instigated by Kevin Yeats and Tony Crowell. On the 2nd Kevin, Tony, Chuck Boylan, Brent Herold, Rod Fors and I met for lunch at the Grapevine Cafe in Donaldsonville, LA all riding in from different home towns. I rode down from St. Francisville, 40 miles north of Baton Rouge. I crossed the Mississippi River south of town via the John James Audubon bridge and rode the river road except for a stretch of LA 1 from Port Allen to White Castle. Although I arrived right on time, everybody was already at a table in the cafe except for Rod who pulled in a few minute after me. The Grapevine is a cool place in downtown D'Ville in a quaint old building. More importantly the food is great.
On the 10th Kevin, Tony, Brent, Paul Lefort and and I met at G&J Drive Inn Livingston, LA. All I will say about G&J is it has nothing in common with the Grapevine! Although the food was uninspiring my ride to and from Livingdton via back roads was delightful with perfect weather and empty back roads.
On Sunday the 16th Kevin planned a lunch at Not Your Mamas Cafe in Livonia. Tony says the food was great but I can't confirm as I was a no show. Despite a scheduled ride ride to Biloxi, MS for the night I intended to hit Not Your Mamas on the way (40 miles in the opposite direction) . However, The Concours 14 would not start. By the time I was satisfied the battery was toast despite showing 12.8 volts on my multimeter, and got my luggage swapped over to the Multistrada it was too late to make lunch. I did have a nice ride to Biloxi. The battery that failed me despite use of a battery tender was only a year old. I do not recommend Scorpion batteries!
This issue features Tony Crowell's third installment of his story of a ride to Hyder, Alaska and back by 4 MSTA members. Enjoy
It was only about a six-minute ride to the U.S Border from Osoyoos. As we approached the Port of Entry it was immediately clear that what appeared to be a fairly new POE seemed to be deserted. As we approached there were confusing signs that said “Stop” and “wait here”. We could clearly see the inspection lanes but there were no inspectors in sight. Furthermore, there was a chain-link fence blocking our entrance. We waited a few minutes…nothing, nobody. Finally, we rode forward and went around the large building to find a single inspector working in a booth that was hidden from our view at the stop sign. The actual inspection only took about 4 minutes per rider so pretty soon we were on our way south.
After a quick stop for gas in Omak, we headed east on WA 155, a very nice road that would take us to Coulee Dam and Grand Coulee. From there we headed southeast across Washington’s rolling hills on our way to Lewiston, Idaho and the Old Spiral Highway. I had ridden this beautiful road a few years earlier. It was once US 95 that spiraled down from a high mesa into Lewiston. Now it was largely deserted as the new US 95 took a less circuitous route into town. Unfortunately for us, the highway department covered most of the road in tar snakes that made the ride down less than fun.
It was here that me and the boys split up. They wanted to take a 90-mile detour to cross into the Oregon and add another state to their conquests. As it was getting pretty warm…I decided to head for the air conditioning of our motel in Kamiah, Idaho.We were staying at the Clearwater Motel near the River of the same name. A nice motel with huge rooms and a friendly staff. The only problem in this town was a complete lack of telephone reception. We were truly in the boondocks here.
We had the good fortune to be riding in a string of days of great riding weather. Today would be no different. We rode the famous and beautiful US 12 east along the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers. While riding alongside the Lochsa, we saw a young black bear emerge from the river and crawl over the Armco barrier. He was furiously shaking the water off his furry body when he looked up, saw us riding by and decided that he would become Kamikaze Bear. He ran straight across US 12 and directly in front of Scott who somehow managed to not hit the creature.
We continued east on 12 to the beautiful Lochsa Lodge. I had been here before and wanted to stop again for breakfast. The Lodge is run by the National Forest service and has a great restaurant and gift shop along with a small gas station. While dining, the view out the back of the lodge is just beautiful.
After a great breakfast. We were off to Missoula and an appointment at Big Sky BMW. A few days earlier as we were examining our tires it became apparent that some of us MAY not be able to make it home on the rear tires. I usually get the worst mileage of the group and was quite worried that I might see the steel belt before arriving back in Baton Rouge. We had called Big Sky and the service manager had assured us he had a huge selection of tires to fit our GS’s and they would fit us in to their busy summer schedule. Upon arrival we pulled out my tire tools and went to work removing the wheels of Scott and Kevin’s bikes. After seeing the prices of the tires, I decided not to get one. I thought that if I really needed one before getting home, I could probably make it to either Oklahoma City BMW or the BMW shop in NW Arkansas. As it turned out, I made it all the way home and still had about 500 miles left on the rear. After about an hour and a half the new tires were mounted; and wheels re-installed by us. We headed onto the beautiful I-90 eastbound for Belgrade and our night’s lodging at the Super 8.
I wish you all a great holiday season and some good rides. We are lucky here in Louisiana to be able to ride all year long. With just one more month to go in 2019 I am on pace to make 30,000 miles for the year! The MSTA events schedule for 2020 is online so make your plans for next year!
Bob Chappuis, Editor