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Old 10-04-2010, 09:40 AM   #1
Questor OP
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Questor and MotoAdventureGal go looking at Aspen Trees

Hello All.

MotoAdventureGal and I spent this past weekend in search of Aspen trees in Fall foliage colors.

So after consulting some local experts, websites that plot the location of Aspen Groves, and spending some time on Google Maps, I plotted a nice 350 mile loop that took us though the Targhee and Bridger National Forests.

In the end we had a two day trip, with a night of camping, and saw some really wonderful places.

The route looked like this and was 80% dirt!





We DID see lots of pretty Yellow Aspen Trees.

Here are a few "teaser" highlights.






Stay tuned for more...
Q~

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Old 10-04-2010, 10:50 AM   #2
Ladybug0048
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OK fine, since you say stay tuned, I will. Someone pass me the butter.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:52 AM   #3
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Byways help

I want to thank Byways Tony for telling us where to focus our trip for the best views of the aspens!
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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OK.

Let's keep this simple...
I mean really, what can you say about riding beautiful National Forests for 10 hours, and looking at marvelous scenery and trees with yellow leaves.

So First. Pack up the bikes.


Then take a self portrait as you head out of town.


Yeup. MotoAdventureGal is in formation right behind me.

Leaving the urban area, we head East into the hills.


Looking over my shoulder, MAG is right behind me, and the city of Idaho Falls is in the background.


Out past the giant windmills.


Into the wide open farmland beyond.


A few small Aspen trees.


This looks promising.


But where's MotoAdventureGal?
Let's pull over and wait.
Meanwhile.. let's take some pictures of the pretty KTM.


Hmmm... Still no MotoAdventureGal.
Better circle back and see what's happened...

Oh there she is.
She stopped to air down her tires to get better traction on the loose gravel.


Clever Girl.

Headed East again we enter Long Valley.


It's Tiger country!
For those who don't know this... "Tiger" is my happy KTM 950.
He loves wide open spaces and no traffic.

Go Tiger GO!!! Vrooooom!
You can go as fast as you want out here...


But watch out for cows!
They come up fast at 100 mph...


Cow corral.


More wide open desert.


Let's GO!!!
Watch out for that lone cow that is about half a mile or 25 seconds away.


Tiger likes!!! Roar!!!


Where's MotoAdventureGal?
We should stop and let her catch up.

Here she comes.


More Tiger country.


Some 60 odd miles of wide open spaces and we never see another soul.


A whole bunch of Cows, eating lunch.


So we decide to stop and have lunch too.


Q~

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Old 10-04-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
markbvt
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Oh good, another Questor report!



--mark

PS: Had breakfast this morning with Alex. He agreed that your new job is perfect for you!
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:49 PM   #6
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So we had a quick lunch, while watching cows in the field, and cruisers on the blacktop.

But for us, we were headed into the Targhee National Forest. Wide open plains, river valleys and 8000 foot passes.

But first we have to get there...
Giddy up Tiger.


We see a few more small Aspens.


Looks like we timed the Fall colors correctly.


Tiger saw this straight away and I couldn't hold him back.
Tiger can be strong willed sometimes, and this was one of those times.
Hold on, here we GO!!!


That was fun!
Good Tiger.

An intersection. We need to let MAG catch up, and let Tiger cool down.


Down into this little valley with a stream in it.


An old homestead.


The road is loose gravel on hardpack.
It can be a bit squirrely - but trust the bike, and crank the steering dampener all the way up. (Mine goes to 14.. )


Looking forward...


Looking back.


A few more Aspen trees.


Oooohhh.. A big grove and perfect afternoon sun for lighting.


A few more little trees all turning yellow.


We need to stop and get a good Tiger picture. Click!


Moving on, the road goes down into a smaller valley, and the road gets narrower.


A nice shot of the valley.


After cresting the 8000 foot pass, we stopped to take a break.
MotoAdventureGal parked directly behind me.

Once rested, I went to start Tiger and he let out a huge backfire.
Sorry MAG.
I guess he's running a little rich.

Dropping down into the valley bellow.


We saw this scene and had to get a "Front Page" candidate picture.


We continued. Looking back you can see MAG behind me.


The trees just kept getting better and better.


And the trail got smaller and smaller.






Eventually we came out of the forest into another high desert plain.


We turned right and followed the dirt road.








Oh so relaxing...


More yellow trees.


Not quite as nice as my Native New England, but different and MUCH bigger, and you can't beat the riding. There is SO MUCH OF IT!

And suddenly it turns back to desert.
Following the GPS...


and the road turns into a trail, and the trail gets smaller and less used...


I go up a hill, over eroded washouts, and get to the top of the pass... and the road simply stops...
We have to turn around. But where's MAG?
So we come back down the way we came.

That's the dead end trail behind Tiger.

I find MAG. What's she doing?


Turns out her pannier fell off from all the rough trail and high speeds.
So zip-ties and bailing wire to the rescue.


Q~
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
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After getting MAG's luggage fixed with wire, zip ties and a large Cam Strap, we turn around and head back the way we came...


We have to detour around and wind up on pavement for a while.
We cross into Wyoming.


Roadside art.
Not a bad shot for moving at 45mph.


Looks like a big forest fire up there.


After a 16 mile detour to get gas, we get back on the trail and head into Bridger National Forest south of Smoot WY. (That name just makes me laugh.)

Its getting late and the sun is getting close to the horizon. We need to find a place to camp.


After 25 miles or so we find a secluded spot and set up good old Camp Snuggly.


Time to have a few beers (that MAG was thoughtful enough to pack for me - thank you Sweetie ) and nestle into our warm sleeping bags.

It's been a great day.
Q~
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #8
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The next morning, we make our coffee, take down camp, get yelled at by the resident Red Squirrels, and get on our way.


Another perfect day of weather.
More Aspen Trees in a grove up on the hillside.


Not a cloud in the sky. Perfect visibility.


A nice high alpine valley.
Gosh I love it out here.


Tiger likes it too.


MotoAdventureGal likes it too, even though she's been eating dust for hundreds of miles. She's such a good sport.


We ride some more...


I guess this is very important if you are a drop of water.


We continue down into the Grey's River valley and head back towards home.


Some interesting history.


Continuing down the valley.


It just gets prettier and prettier.






My Ansel Adam's attempt.


Down the Grey's River Vally towards Alpine Junction. 63 miles of paradise!




Volcanic geology.


Blissful emptiness.

Uh Oh... Tiger country... Hold on!


Looking back, yeah we're moving along, making distance.


More Aspens and perfect weather.




Don't get lazy or stop paying attention...


Looks like a cattle roundup.

Get through the herd slowly, and we get to another cattle drive.
Real Cowboys - Wyoming style.


Once past the Cows we continue back down the river valley.




We eventually exit the valley and get gas and food in the town of Alpine Junction.

Then we head down the road to find a good scenic lunch spot.


We find this spot, overlooking the south end of the Palisades Reservoir.


and eat our gourmet lunch.
Glorp and expired sandwiches - ah the glorious life of an Adventure Rider.



After lunch we continue home in the National Forest to the south of the reservoir.

But then the GPS takes us on a detour...


I've never been out here and had no idea what to expect.

But look at this panorama!
We just came up that road you see down below us.


and then we drop over the ridge and down into the valley on the other side.


Nope... This doesn't suck.




MotoAdventureGal stops to admire the view.


and the final blast home on pavement.


alongside thousands of acres of farmland...


To arrive home safe and sound, albeit a bit dusty.

Total distance 350 miles, 10.5 hours.

A great weekend, with my girl, my bike, and a wonderful country to explore.
Who could ask for anything more?

Q~
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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Good one. Looks like MAG needs a 950 too so she can keep up.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADK
Good one. Looks like MAG needs a 950 too so she can keep up.

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Old 10-04-2010, 05:18 PM   #11
Ladybug0048
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Nice yellows you found out there in those mountains. I suspect the two of you are really going to enjoy many Adventures in your new neighborhood.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for another lovely Questor & Motoadvgal ride report
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:36 PM   #13
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Hey, you two, I didn't realize you were going to make a camping trip of your outing. Good thinking ... and really good to see you taking advantage of what your new home has to offer.

Thanks for the report, my friends.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:58 AM   #14
markbvt
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Damn, Q... the foliage out there may not be quite as nice as back here in Vermont, but it looks like you've got way better dirt roads to ride.

--mark
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:57 PM   #15
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Q,

I see you and Tiger are getting aquainted with your new surroundings. What a nice weekend.
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