If given the choice always take the road less travelled.
Riding Dry Creek Road, WY — closing in on Big Horn National Forest.
This guy started chatting to me about my motorcycle when I noticed his shoulder tattoo— It's at that point I realized I'm about a million miles from home - Gillette, WY
Number of ice-cold coke vending machine sightings so far: 0
Just before I parted ways with my friend Heather we exchanged travel tips. She said "Make sure you ride Rt 14 through Big Horn just west of Sheridan" and I told her about my stop in Blue Earth, Minnesota.
I made sure I followed her advice and at the end of Rt 14 I had to pull over and chuckle at the inequality of our respective travel tips. She'd just shown me the location of an mind meltingly good pass through snow capped meadows, pine forests and a snake-like road that plummets into a towering canyon where the shell falls dump 3,600 gallons of water each second into carved fractures of 500 million year old granite. I on the other hand had given her the location of a giant green man. haha.
Rt 14 through Big Horn National Forest just west of Sheridan, WY
Of course the other advantage of cutting through the Big Horn National Forest is it lines up well with traveling the northern route of Yellowstone Park (From Cody, WY 120 > 296 > 212>Grand Loop Rd>89) I suspect this way through is less trafficked than the roads further south but given I've only ridden it once you probably shouldn't quote me on that :)
American bison eyes up German bison. I'm praying it's not mating season.
Mammoth Hot Springs
In contrast to Big Horn and Yellowstone's stunning display of what nature can pull off when left to its own devices I then pulled into the fading town of Butte MT, home to the Berkley Pit.
The Berkeley Pit is a decommissioned open pit copper mine that's essentially a 1 x 1/2 mile hole in the ground filled with a 900ft deep cocktail of water, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid. The resulting mix shares the acidity of lemon juice and to my eyes has the perversely beautiful appearance of a freshly opened tin of swirling metallic brown paint. In fact the water contains so much dissolved metal that Copper can be mined directly from the water.