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Old 06-30-2007, 09:37 AM   #16
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Joined: Feb 2006
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Amarillo Area

Boy, those are familiar looking sights. The ones you drove by near Sweetwater are near my home. The big windfarm you drove by near Post on that big mesa is a place where we have Texas State Enduro Circuit races.
If you have an enduro bike you owe it to yourself to come and ride the Lonestar enduro. We have about 39 of those things on our lease. We ride right near those pictures you took of the wind mills. We are busy laying out trail for the Sept. race. Should be a really great one this year with plenty of fun fast stuff and some challenges that will not disipoint.

Anyway, on the way back when you come through Dalhart. Take 385 down through channing. Its a little strait like it is to dumas, but the pay off is turn on of FM1065 (IIRC) right at the Cal Farley Boys ranch toward Amarillo. I did this coming back from Des Moines, NM. I did some work there if you could beleive that! I was in my truck, but still a nice drive and break up from the Norm.

You come out on the west side of Amarillo and don't have to go through downtown. Take the loop (Loop 335 IIRC)around Amarillo throught the west side. Lots of places to stay and Eat good food around there. there is a Hooters right there to. When you get to I-27 just under the freeway is a Loves truck stop (it was kind of dirty in the bathroom last time I was there, but it was super busy) if you need to gas up. The route was on the map, but was just a bit confusing getting on the Loop, but just make a right at the over pass afteryou see the Hospitals (tall buildings in the distance) coming into town.

Good Luck and Have fun.

Also, on I-27 near downtown (south of the airport on I-27 there is a new Flying J truck stop and just outside of Lubbock on us 87 there is a chisum trail truck stop. Both are fairly new and last time I stopped they were clean.

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Old 07-01-2007, 06:55 AM   #17
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What a small world. I used to live in Rawlins which is near Saratoga and that whole area of WY was my stomping grounds. Now I live somewhat near you just outside of Austin! My folks live in MT too. I've taken the same trip you are taking but it was in my little Jeep. Next time it will be on my bike. Try to ride through Flaming Gorge in southwest WY. Really beautiful. Let me know if you need to find scenic places in MT. Good luck on your great journey!
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:07 PM   #18
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Camelbak day

Man these ride reports are a lot of work

June 30, 2007

Day.... what day is it?... oh who cares

Left late this morning after a breakfast at Lollipops in downtown Saratoga. The waitress told me on her drive in this morning she had to stop for a young moose - he stood and challenged her on the road and she said she had to back away. She warned me to be careful and to take the moose seriously.

I headed south to catch 130 over to Centennial. That's a great road and thanks to all who suggested it! The peak is spectacular at the top. Don't miss it if you're near the area.

I almost got a ticket in Centennial...

Reversing to back to Saratoga, I took a dirt county road off 130 that cut across. It was an easy ride except for the small elk that bolted near me. I had entered a narrow area of aspens and luckily he bolted away from me other wise I'd have smacked him about 40mph.

From Saratoga I went straight up through the plains til Wolcott and I-80. It was getting hot and I had intended to take Cowboy's suggested route through Seminole State Park but it was getting late and the heat was rising. I decided to skip it since it would add several hours to my ride. Instead I took 287 from Rawlins towards Lander. I'm glad I did because the heat today was intense and had I ridden alone in desert areas I think the exhaustion would have caught me. I'll save those dirt roads for another time when it's cooler.

The wide plains were empty and seemed to go forever. Dropping down into the lower elevations the temps really soared and I blasted on enjoying the massive distances that lay to either side. The straight road ahead disappearing into a shimmering mirage of sky, it gave one plenty of time to think...

Time to think things like who came up with the word "chipmunk"??? and for that matter why do the suckers always bolt for your front wheel???
If we can buy deer whistles do they also sell elk and moose whistles in Canada? And what's that new noise I'm hearing - is it wind or something on the bike?

Suddenly you catch something out of place and sure enough there's a pronghorn antelope standing right at the edge of the road in the middle of nowhere. Grab the brakes hard and sure enough he trots right across not 50 feet in front of me. He was beautiful and muscled as he confidently trotted to the other side.

As the hours pass with subtle changes in colors and landscape, I finally see Split Rock and realize there's hope that the plains are nearing their end.

The heat is heavy and feels like someone blowing a hair dryer on you continuously. Thank God for the Camelbak because dehydration is really easy. Nearing Lander, the sight is breathtaking when you crest plateau and see the huge Lander valley below. Descending the long grade down the winds pick up dramatically. So does the heat. I don't know how hot it actually is, but it is stifling. The winds were strong and buffeting so that I couldn't do much looking. A couple of times I was blown completely across the lane and had to stay on top of it all the way in to Lander.

I will warn you that this stretch from Rawlins to Lander is long, hot and the winds are intense. You will be alert the entire time and the beating takes a toll on you. Be sure you are hydrated through here.

Lander is a nice sized town with plenty of gas and hotels. I was exhausted and stopped for a bit before pushing on. My goal was Jackson before dark. As I raced along, watching the incredible desert scenery change, I rounded a sweeper and off to my right saw a Chili Red Triumph Tiger "Steamer" loaded with gear and coming up a dirt road. It was the first adv type bike I've seen on the trip and I grabbed the brakes hard. I looped around and pulled up next to him at the road entrance.

We introduced ourselves and started chatting.

Matt was from Laramie and was heading to Yellowstone to visit his girlfriend, camping and flyfishing on the way. He said he was camping ahead at Brooks Lake west of Dubois and invited me to camp with him. Perfect! We hooked up and headed as fast as possible to try and beat the setting sun. Hwy 287 was torn up for miles and the gravel was tricky at times. We finally turned off onto the campground road just below some incredible peaks with spires and fingers - I can't remember the name. The dirt road wound about 5 miles up through the woods and I was covered with white dust as the setting sun sat blinding in the clouds. We finally found a spot and set up camp. Matt's altimeter said approx 9000'. It was getting chilly and we got a fire going, set up tents and talked bikes until 1 am. I was relieved to see him retrieve a short rifle from his bedroll for the night but a bit miffed to see him also drag a bloody steak out of his cooler and pour the blood out in the campground before cooking it on the fire - especially being my first night in Grizzly territory. Matt had lived in Cooke City for years and had lots of info on riding here as well as warnings, including never camping in the region without some serious firepower - thus the shortie rifle in the bedroll. Slept great considering the grizzly bear warning signs but exhaustion can be your friend.

Today's Route:

Sunday 7.1.07 - Brooks Lake to Jackson to Yellowstone

I woke up early with the temps in the high 30's and got the backpacker stove going. I made a cup of hot chocolate with a 12 year old packet I've carried for years in my backpack. FYI it was still good.

The area is just incredible and the crisp, fresh morning air is so nice after Texas.

We rode together until Moran Junction and said goodbyes and good lucks.

The great night in the woods gave me the energy to face the upcoming tourist trap in Jackson.

A few pics on the way in:

The route:

Heading north today and will see what happens...

More later amigos!

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Old 07-01-2007, 01:09 PM   #19
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Warrior - thanks man!

HPJeep - that's cool and I may ask for some info when I get the chance

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Old 07-01-2007, 01:37 PM   #20
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the random encounters are some of the best things about long trips.

awesome so far

06 Kaw KLR650

“There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire, and a Zamboni clearing the ice.”
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:01 PM   #21
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Now you're roamin' through Wyoming

Hey Joseph, Sounds and looks like a great trip. The pictures really help tell the story. Easy to tell that you're a photographer. Last time I was on that route I got an old ditty in my head that just wouldn't let go. "Roamin' through Wyomin', with our chest hairs blowin' in the breeze". Never could remember the rest of the words. Here's a pic for you, same place, different time.
Looking forward to your next posting.
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Old 07-02-2007, 03:59 PM   #22
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Thanks Udo - now I've got that stupid song stuck in MY head...

Having a ball!

See ya man
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Old 07-02-2007, 04:01 PM   #23
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I arrived in Yellowstone pretty exhausted for some reason and decided to try and stay there for the night. It was fun seeing the entrance, as all my life I'd read of the place but wondered if I'd ever get there.

I stopped in at the Old Faithful Lodge amid throngs of foreign tourists and amazingly managed to "get the last room anywhere in the park."

Wandered over to watch the eruption and then headed back to Grant Village for the room.

I saw only one buffalo on the ride into the park, and the traffic wasn't too bad. Entering from the south, there isn't much to see from the road since there are so many trees.

I decided to wander out in the dark and get some fresh air after checking into the room. A brown shorts moment occurred in a pitch black area of the path I was on, when apparently I walked up on an elk, who breathed heavily in the darkness a few feet before I would have walked into him.

Took a good shower and hit the sack.

Monday 7.2.07 - Grant Village Yellowstone thru Beartooth Pass to Cody

I woke up this morning feeling great and ready to ride. The weather was perfect and the air was crisp, filled with the scent of conifers, fresh air and freshly roasting bugs on the oilhead's cylinders... mmmm.

Only the best for man and machine

The ride past West Thumb lake was crisp and uneventful, other than spotting the Loch Ness Monster. Either that or it was an overturned canoe with someone desperately waving a paddle. I waved back and continued on.

Didn't see much but the rear end of buses and motor homes as I went north towards the east gate. Rant on: WHY in the heck do people try to bring everything they own with them? I saw so many huge trailers and motorhomes towing other trailers behind them. Man, just buy a house! Rant off:

This dude jumped up on the walkway! I bolted...

Reaching the Canyon intersection, a lot of the traffic disappeared and the scenery got much more interesting as I headed north.
I stopped here and there, always aware that the bozo I'd just spent 20 minutes trying to pass would get ahead of me again. Aaaaargh.

There were several herds of buffalo across the road and I more than patiently waited for them to cross :)

What I noticed is they pay no attention to cars, but DEFINITELY watched me, turning their head slowly to track me. Maybe the bike looks like some weird creature... hmmmmm

Heading through the Towers area was beautiful and only got better. The Northeast road towards Montana was breathtaking and that is definitely the way I'll enter the park next time. Very few cars and people and the roads are smaller and less maintained - it felt like I was back in the 60's era of the park. Here and there were clusters of cars and people with spotting scopes but I could never see what they were looking at. Wolves I heard later.


Just before exiting the park, I saw a black bear not too far off the road and watched him eat his way towards me. Suddenly I felt the need to move on.

From the park exit to Cooke City was an incredible ride and again the scenery is astounding. Outside Cooke City I saw the dirt road leading to Daisy Pass and decided I needed some dirt adventure. The first section of switchbacks had me reconsidering my decision - they were rutted with lots of large loose rock and sand. The bike is so loaded with gear I had my hands full getting up it. It was just pick a line, gas it and pray. No big deal for a dual sport but the loaded pig was a handful. I must say the new Ohlins probably made the difference between me busting it and not. The handling was much improved.

Further up the pass they had worked on the roads and they were good. Reaching the top, I was disappointed to find the road blocked with a few feet of snow. Still I was at the top and it was beautiful. Heading down I shut off the ABS and sweated out the last mile of rock strewn road.

Feeling my oats from the offroad excursion I blew on to Beartooth Pass. The ride over the pass can be described in one sentence...

Un bee leave a bull.

The ride from the park over to Red Lodge is just astonishing. Next time I'll just bypass RMNP and come straight here! my life is now complete - I got to ride it with no one in front of me and blue skies - yowza!

Finally made it to Montana at the top of the pass. Just across the line there were 75 mph speed signs still on top of the pass... I like Montana already
High winds at the top of the pass made the ride even more breathtaking.

Red Lodge Montana is a cool town. Despite being touristy it still has character and some rough edges left.

Arrived in Cody late to found there is a huge Pro Rodeo going so the town is packed. I finally found a room to stay the night in - wasn't cheap and sure is low end but at least the manager put me in a room next to the office so I could get wifi :)

On the way to Belfry then Cody:

The Cody Hilton

The Route:

More later...

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Old 07-02-2007, 08:22 PM   #24
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I sure have enjoyed your report. Thanks for posting. The narration and pictures are outstanding!
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:27 PM   #25
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Hey Helo - thanks man! I'm havin fun and would like to add more info but I'm always to tired to remember it

Garland eh? I've spent most of my life in Dallas and lived on the edge of Garland for many years.
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Old 07-03-2007, 02:41 PM   #26
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Enjoying the report so far!

I thought I would add some more to what I said earlier. If your going to through synder and not staying in lubbock and you don't want to stay on the I-27. Take I-40 east of of Amarillo and jump on 287 toward dallas (right at the split) and go to Claude. Take Hwy 207 all the way to down to Post and catch 87 to synder from there. There is plenty of flat lonely stuff, but a you will come through two awsome canyons (backside of palo duro canyon) between Claude and Silverton. Decent stuff between Ralls and Post. A few good dirt roads near the caprock (can remember the numbers, but they are clay and sand) that will take you into Southland on 287 or into post maybe even farther southeast.
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Old 07-04-2007, 06:56 AM   #27
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Bug Fiesta Siesta

July 3, 2007

Last night at the Grizzly Bear Lodge proved to be interesting.

I was crashing comfortably on the bed in the little dump motel when I saw a large spider run across the floor at high speed and go under the bed. This guy was big and fast.

Hmmm... I got up and flipped the sheets back and there sat another large spider right under the pillow, which then bolted down the headboard. I didn't ride 2000 miles to get bitten by a spider. A wolf maybe but not a spider.


I carry a tent for emergencies - just didn't expect to have to use it in the middle of a motel. Oh well, the bed made a good sleeping pad.

When I went to brush my teeth, this guy let me know who was boss. I tried to wash him down the drain with hot water but he was unfazed and gave me a dirty look

I washed him down the drain several times with hot water but he'd come zooming back out. I figgered this was the nicest place he'd ever lived so I left the sink to him.
Fully expecting baby snakes to come squirting out of the shower head, I was pleasantly surprised when I had a full shower unmolested by critters.

Had breakfast at Granny's in Cody and folks were lining the streets early to see the Stampede Days Parade. After breakfast I hit the Cody Museum - absolutely great! The gun collection is great as are the other areas. When I came out the parade was still going on and staging from the museum parking lots. A senator from Wyoming was there (last name starts with a K) and he and his assistant ended up standing next to me. As the parade wound down I jumped on the bike and pulled out behind the two cop cars at the tail of the parade and slowly followed them down the route - so I can now say I was "almost" in the Stampede Days parade.

I was pleasantly surprised to see cheering crowds waiting for my arrival

This dude's tall enough to ride a KTM 950

Cody PD

The senator is in the blue shirt - he was too squeaky clean

Following the cops and pooper scoopers on the route

Delayed by a bunch of clowns in Cody, I headed up Chief Joseph highway at a good clip. It was really beautiful - less dramatic than Beartooth but a great road.

Rollin rollin rollin, keep them dogies rollin, rawhiiiiiiiiiide!!!!!!

I stopped in Cooke City and grabbed a coffee and snapped a couple pics.

Cooke City

Continuing on back into Yellowstone I looped around the top of the park and out through the west entrance. The traffic was heavy today and made the ride long and slow. By the time I got out of the park I was ready... Luckily I saw another black bear, lots o' buffalo, elk and a bald eagle on the ride.

West Yellowstone was another Touristastan but I got a sandwich there and headed on for Dillon, MT. FYI there is a "Pizza and Internet Cafe" right as you come into the town. Skip it and go on. They charge 20 cents a minute for internet access...

The scenery changed as I went west on 287 past Hebgen Lake towards Ennis. The mountains looked different than in Yellowstone
and eventually fell away to rolling hills and wide open valleys between the ranges. Still a beautiful ride. Somewhere on 287 I passed a KLR 650 and a blue and white 1150GS heading towards Yellowstone. They were loaded with gear and we waved. It was good to see some other ADV bikes finally. I have seen very few - about 4 1200GS's in Colorado. 2 pairs in Yellowstone, the above mentioned and 2 1200's in Virginia City.


Earthquake Lake

On the way to Ennis

I wish I had a dollar for every Goldwing with a trailer I've seen - I could've paid for the Ohlins shocks easily. Of the seemingly thousands I'd guess that almost half were trikes. I didn't realize the popularity of them. Harleys were the second largest group. The rest were a smattering of BMW's and only a handful of sportbikes.

Speaking of Virginia City, that is a really cool town! It appears to be an old mining town that has remained unchanged - the buildings are old aged black wood like you see in ghost towns but apparently have going concerns within them. The little town was hopping and I went through without stopping or taking a pic - wish I had but was brain-dead at that point and forgot to. A couple of miles down the road is Nevada City - smaller but with old buildings and several abandoned rail cars that speak of the wealth that was there.

Nevada City

Psychoville Manor

I will make it a point to come back to those towns next time I come through.

The day was fading fast and I raced on to Sheridan, then Twin Bridges and south to Dillon.

The Route:

Tomorrow my destination - across Chief Joseph Pass and up the Bitterroot Valley!

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Old 07-04-2007, 08:35 PM   #28
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Need your opinion

BTW, great report and beautiful pics. But I saw your bike parked in front of the western ho store. Which do you think are better?...western ho's or eastern ho's. I've heard lots of differing opinions on the issue.

OK, OK, I realize that was pretty lame...LOL! Hey, really enjoying the ride, and your write-up is great. Man...the spiderfest in that quality lodging establishment sounds erie. When you awoke in the AM, was your tent covered in hundreds of spiders, just like in the horror movies?
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:02 PM   #29
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Hi Joseph! Your photos and report are great! I just wonder what happened in the arachnid motel room after you were asleep. Probably something like this.

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Old 07-04-2007, 09:08 PM   #30
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Great Report!

Sorry I couldn't meet you and share part of the trip through Wyoming! I'm also sorry you missed out on the Seminoe State Park route, but I understand. I spent the weekend on my bike, riding from Laramie to Colorado Springs on Saturday, and back on Sunday. Your blow-dryer analogy is right on the money. What a scorching weekend!

Glad to learn that your trip is going well. Good luck!
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