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Old 11-02-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
Road Trip OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Oddometer: 18
Three rookies ride the CDR

Well, i put this report together upon our return last summer after a great ride down the CDR. As you'll see it was written for the average folk ..friends, family etc. Not so much directed towards the hard core adventure rider. Probably more appropriate for me anyway , hell .. I wasn't sure if i should even post. Truth be told, I'm a bit intimidated about the whole thing, as i am a total newby , .... at adventure riding and writing reports. But what the hell, here goes.

I hope i can do this trip justice, it was one hell of a good time!

My older brother Don (Big-D) and I have always enjoyed spending at least a couple weeks a year together on some sort of adventure trip. Unfortunately Big-D lives in Vegas while I call home Everett WA. I guess this separation has been the catalyst for our trips together .... and that's a good thing. So, the question was "Where to this year"?

I knew I couldn't talk him into another attempt on McKinley. Maybe another great backpacking trip in the high Sierras. Or..... how about we do an "adventure ride"! Take some awesome dual sport motorcycles, gear em up for back country travel and explore the world, ... you know, like Ewan and Charlie. I knew he wanted a bike. My buddy Gary (G-man) and I had picked up a couple recently and I was constantly taunting him on how awesome the damn things were ..."dude, you gotta get one"!

"Sometimes you just have to say WTF! .... just go buy the damn thing, what do you have to lose? Worse case scenario sell it". Then it brother finally pulled the trigger on a new F800GS he'd been eyeballing. This being BMW's latest and greatest addition to their famous line-up of adventure motorcycles ..bikes designed for a combination of paved road (or slab) and off road ..dirt riding!

And so it began.

Big-D, G-man and I would embark on our first true "adventure ride". The fact that none of had much experience at this sort of thing ...uh ..well experience I guess ...didn't matter. Lets do it! The grand plan was to take a couple weeks off from the "grind", load our bikes with camping gear, tools, food etc. and ride!

The cast ...Big-D, G-man and yours truly. Facial hair is a prerequisite for adventure riding.

Ride where? Well, the CDR (Continental Divide Route) to be specific. The CDR is a route following dirt roads and scenic byways from Canada to Mexico. As the name implies it runs down the spine of the continental divide ..thru Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and finally New Mexico. This route is a back country ride, some areas remote and all of it very scenic! We would be on our own navigating the back roads and camping the majority of the trip. This was the appeal, we have the camping thing down as we've been hiking and climbing most of our lives, but the motorcycle part was new.

CDR route overview

We would attempt the ride traveling south, jumping on route at the small Montana border town of Roosville ....ride south as far as we could until we ran out of time, weather went bad, bikes broke down or who knows what, maybe we would just collapse of exhaustion. That was part of the whole idea, the unknown, the "adventure" behind the ride. As we are total newbie's at this stuff our apprehension level was rather high, but what the hell, as the much abused and over used motto states ...."you only live once".

After countless hours of planning, anticipation and prep we were off!

G-man and I left Seattle on a sunny Friday afternoon. We would travel to Kalispell, Montana to meet Big -D who was doing the slab ride up from Vegas with a couple of his riding buddies. Unfortunately he couldn't talk any of his Harley buddies into trading in those pigs for a sweet off road adventure bike ..... A true riding machine! I mean, what's the point of owning a bike that wont get you off the slabs? (some may disagree with me here ..I'm a bit biased). Obviously Don's friends on their mean street machines would be headed back south before we hit the dirt and the start of the CDR of them to ride north with Big-D though. Anyway, G-man and I had our own plans before we even got to Kalispell …. we would take the scenic route, highway 20 over the North Cascades and thru eastern Washington. We knew this would add some time but this trip is about the ride, the scenery, the roads ...we would stay off the damn interstates as much as possible!

The obligatory departure shot

Our first night we found a cool little spot at Lone Fir camp in the North Cascades national park .... man I love that park, hiked many a mile thru it and never get tired of that mountain pass! Riding it on our first day with our over laden bikes and minds ..finally on the road, full of anticipation was a great start.

Lone Fir Camp North Cascades

G-man and I got up early on day 2, we planned to ride to northern Idaho and find a place to "throw down" for the night. No set location, whatever happens .. happens. As it turns out we put in a long day, well ... a long day for us newbie's anyway. I mean we're no "iron butt" riders or anything, I think we rode around 350 miles or something. By the end of the trip this would prove to be a couple hundred short of our longest day. For anyone not familiar with riding motorcycles, miles aren't logged like when traveling in your nice comfy air conditioned cruiser. Fatigue becomes a factor much quicker. Of course there are the hard core bad arse riders that will scoff at 500 miles a day as a kiddy ride ...but that's not my thing. So, we peeled off the highway in northern Idaho when we finally spotted a sign stating "Meadow Creek camp 10 miles" .... cool, I'm ready to pitch my tent! It was a great camp area next to a beautiful creek, definitely remote but nothing compared to some of our camps to come. Side note ...sadly, we got word that a hunter was mauled and killed by a grizzly a couple miles form this camp a few days after we passed thru.

Meadow Creek Idaho

Day 3 ..another perfect morning. So far the temps had been warm, especially traveling thru the basin in Eastern Washington ...high 90's. The key is to stop occasionally, stretch the legs, take a breather and soak yourself with water, then hop on the bike and cruise ...keeps you nice and cool, at least for a while anyway. Of course the heat we were dealing with was probably nothing compared to the guys heading north from Vegas. We headed out a bit late in the morning figuring Big-D had a longer day ahead then us. We received reports that he was making good time from Vegas and had spent the night near the southern Montana / Idaho border. Perfect, we would rendezvous in Kalispell as planned later in the day.

Big-D's riding buddies on the slab ride north ...... damn these guys really are Harley riding bad asses!

Big-D reaches the border

So we made it, all the planning with my bro and now we were here …. Kalispell! Time for a cold beer and a shower! Hell, we haven't even started "the ride" and we feel like true adventure riding bad arses! All a self absorbed illusion of course but who cares.

Now us three amigos were really gonna do this thing, we hopped on our rides and headed north to the border, cruised thru Whitefish Montana and on up to Roosville (Whitefish was a cool little town). Roosville on the other hand isn't much to speak of, just a place where a main drag crosses from one democracy to another but we were glad to be there.

It wasn't long before our route headed off road, east towards GNP (Glacier National Park). I'm almost ashamed to say I had only been to Montana once and that was as a twenty something year old kid hung over in the back of a pick-up. This place was beautiful! Just amazing, God's country! We were headed to a remote little town on the western edge of GNP called Polebridge. Now I know some of you have been to this joint but it was my first visit and it didn't disappoint. We picked up some of the famous pastry's for lunch along with a supply for tomorrow mornings breakfast.

Northern Montana, GNP

This is where G-man had is first little issue with his machine ..the tried and true KLR650 ...the dual sport legend of a bike. Anyway, it seems he couldn't get the damn chain adjusted properly. We had been messing with it a bit the previous day to know avail. So, once again G-man was down in the dirt inspecting his bike ...made a few adjustments and took it for a quick run down the road. It sounded like hell ..something definitely wrong with her ....chain clanking like a trapped rat in a cage. It was the damnedest thing ...he pulled that bike up to the fence in obvious disgust and three good ole boys appeared out of know where "hell ..that don't sound good, let's take a look at er", "I got two 1200's back at home ..put er up on the center stand that chain is shot ...look at that damn sprocket"! Then this one dude rides up out of the dust on a beaten up KLR650, (we deemed him KLR Karl). He looked like he'd been on that bike for years .."let me take a look" ...ah hears the problem! Shit ...your chain is shot ..etc. etc. So, with the help of these great guys that appeared out of nowhere it was decided to head for a shop and swap out the chain and front sprocket. The camaraderie between riders while on the road kicks arse! ... one of my favorite aspects of the whole thing. I think the parting words from "KLR Karl" were ...."get on that bike and ride er like ya stole er ...get to that shop ...ride on!". This advise seemed a bit off to Big-D and I seeing as it was determined the chain could explode at any minute. Now G-man, well ..he took it to heart. Hell, he barely slowed down to check out a black bear that bolted across the road in front of him. We followed his dust south thru the beautiful scenery of the western boundary of GNP.

Polebridge. Several riders will soon appear from nowhere to decipher G-man's chain issue

We made it to the shop. I lost a bit of confidence with us getting a timely professional repair when I asked the guy if they had any Roc Straps for sale ...."what are those" was his response. What? What kind of shop is this ... you haven't heard of Roc Straps, now I'm worried. I shouldn't have been, even though they were unaware of the coolest tie-down straps available, they did a damn good job fixin the KLR. They had the parts we needed and the bike fixed within an hour ...back to the ride!

Thanks for the quick repairs!

We had planned to jump off the CDR and make the ride thru GNP, so we headed back to West Glacier to find a place to pitch the tents and sip a bit of rum.

Our 5th day on the road and we were up early and headed into the park, I was pumped! Finally get to check out the "going to the sun" road. It didn't disappoint! What an outstanding place ..must go back and do some walking in this park ...looks like paradise to me. Spending my life in the pacific northwest exploring the great cascade range .... mountains and alpine terrain has always been my favorite. Had a great ride thru the park, stopped for lunch on the east side. To our surprise we ran into KLR Karl there ... sitting on his bike spinning a tale to some fascinated tourist. We said hello and he promptly invited himself to join us for lunch. He asked us about the bike repairs, our ride, asked for maps .. ..wasn't sure where he was headed next. We wished him luck and moved on ....I'm sure he's riding now as I write this .....all the best KLR Karl!

Going to the Sun road, GNP

After our sweet ride thru GNP it was back to the route, we had some ground to make up. Holly crap, I've been out 5 days and I'm just leaving Glacier .... I should have taken a fricken month off, I knew it! We headed south on some rural back roads diligently following our GPS tracks. Thanks to the kick arse website "ADVRider" we were able to thoroughly study the route and download the entire GPS track, this trip would be virtually impossible without it. We rode south enjoying the new scenery anxiously awaiting what lay ahead. After a few hours it was time to find a camp ..... Flathead Lake State Park provided a comfortable spot ...nice grassy location and a good shower for 4 bits ...done!

Headin South

Camp at Flathead Lake

Sunset Flathead Lake

Day 6. Ok, lets get serious ... so far much of our ride had been on slab, this isn't adventure riding. Day 6 changed all that, what great country ..thick forest, open grass lands ..dirt roads to nowhere, now this was more like it. We rode on. Towards the end of the day the dirt would finally give way to some highway slab riding. Our route would then lead us into the town of Helena Montana, it was getting late so we decided to forgo the camping and find a cheap motel.

Typical obstacle .... they were a bit unpredictable.

The terrain opens up

Hotel stay, Helena Montana

Day 7. The next morning we enjoyed a great breakfast at a cool little cafe in Helena then headed west out of town. We were back on route following the magic blue line displayed on our GPS's. The terrain was slowly becoming rougher and a bit more challenging, but nothing we couldn't handle, or so i thought. That's when i suddenly found myself taking a dirt nap. Not sure what the hell happened, rear end slid out from under and i was headed straight into the embankment …it wasn't even on a rough stretch of trail. No harm done, bent the crash bars a bit ..thats cool, they did the job as designed … I just added a bit of character to the bike. We would all add "a bit of character" to our bikes before the end of the adventure.

Assessing the situation after my little mishap …. G-man is right .."dude, there's nothing hear ..what happened?"

We'd just passed thru the very small town of Wise River Montana when Big-D noticed his bike acting squirrley. Sure enough ...flat tire! So here it was, our first roadside repair ...not a problem. We had the proper tools, studied up on procedure, done a bit of practice back home .....we were ready. And so it went, Big-D took the lead and we had that tire fixed in no time. Cool! While we managed to get the job done on our own, we did have several folks stop and offer help. ..."ya'll ok? ..i own the shop behind the store folks be sure an let me know if ya need anything". I was impressed with how helpful and friendly the people were in this area. We lost a bit of time with the flat tire but hey, we're not on a schedule here's not about getting there or the destination's about the ride. And the flat tire was part of the ride, all part of the adventure you know.

Roadside repair

The next section of riding was a great piece of pavement along the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway ...outstanding! Yeah, it wasn't dirt but the great twisties and natural surroundings made for awesome riding. We rode on soaking it all in, slowly it started to cool off, the "golden hour" was approaching. I love riding at sunset, its tough to beat. Soon it was time to find a camp. There were countless options in this area. We found a sweet forested spot and settled in for what was becoming our evening routine ...... unload bikes, pitch the tents and bust out the Captain Morgan's for a couple sips before dinner .....Ok, Ok ...sometimes more then just a couple, but hey, we're on vacation here. This always turned into a discussion of the days trials and tribulations along with a review of our pics. If we had cell reception, Big-D would make some posts on his on-line blog and of course we would all check in with our crew back home. Life was good.

Camp in Beaverhead National Forest Montana.
Notice the similar tents, what the hell? What are we, team MSR? This was purely coincidental of course. I mean sheeez .... I own no fewer than 5 or 6 tents as do the other guys. Couldn't someone have picked a different tent?

Big-D keeping in touch with his fans. That's vitamin water in the foreground.

The following day the terrain would make a drastic change. We would trade the densely forested landscape of Beaverhead National Forest for a beautiful section of open rolling hills and dry prairie. Our route would take us straight thru Bannack State park, an old ghost town which was the first territorial capitol of Montana. Pretty cool place, one could wander thru the town for hours contemplating days long gone .....what was it like to live hear as long ago as the late 1800s? I walked into the old jail house ...dang, at one time somebody sat in hear waiting to meet their maker ...the gallows could be seen just on the edge of town.


Jail House

The old ghost town was cool all right but we had places to go, exploring to do, characters to meet and most of all ...riding to be had! We jumped on the old Bannack freight road and made some dust. We would eventually follow Muddy Creek Rd along guessed it ..Muddy Creek. The thing is, it wasn't muddy. In fact, it was crystal clear. I never wanted a fishing pole more .... what a mistake not bringing my tried and true eagle claw fly/spin combo rod and reel. I knew this stream was loaded with fish, it was one of many we would encounter along the ride.

Looks like great fishing to me.

Our route continued in an easterly direction thru southern Montana, the goal for the day was Idaho! Eventually we would turn south and cut thru the corner of Idaho before we jumped into Wyoming and the Grand Teton National Park. But first we must stop for gas in another little Montana outpost ...Lima.

I mention this particular gas stop at Lima because we had a rather unique encounter there. Hear we are fueling up our thirsty steeds and what do we see ... a massive 4 wheel drive plastered with adventure riding logo's, of course all from top manufacturers of various riding gear. "Dude .. check out that rig" what the hell is it doing out hear in the middle of nowhere"? Kind of a stupid question actually, probably the same thing we are. Turns out there were three rigs ..all support vehicles for a guided trip traveling north on the CDR. These guys were out in front of their group of 20 riders, fueling up and getting supplies. They would carry all supplies, set up camp, cook all meals and fix all mechanical problems. All it will cost you is a cool 4 grand + rental expense for the bike if you don't have your own ...add a grand. I contemplated that for a bit. Guided ride, really? The clients would carry no gear, no worries of route finding or mechanical problems planning or prep that adventure riding? Hmmmm ...not in my book, just not my style. First I'm thinking ..these guys are "posers" ..that's not real riding. But you know what, who the hell am I to judge ... to each his own right. Hey, they were out riding enjoying one of their passions, enjoying life, beats the hell out of staring at the idiot box from your couch!

Check this thing out, one of the support vehicles.

We asked the support crew if they might have a spare tube we could buy to replace the one we had used the previous day ..."sorry boys, no tubes ...had 15 flats so far, really like to help ya out but can't do it". "Oh well, thanks man ....we'll make do". Fifteen frikin flats! Holly crap, what did they ride thru? Were screwed! They told us we would probably meet their riders on route within an hour or so.

Eventually we ran into the guided group of riders. Albeit, much later than expected. I chatted with the owner of the outfit, Jim Hyde who was leading the group (a bit of a legend in the world of adventure riding) ...he was cool enough, nice guy. Said they were running late, had a flat tire ...imagine that.

Riders from the guided group.

Eventually we reach the Montana, Idaho border

We cruised into Idaho, excited that we had one state down ....also starting to realize our chance of completing this entire route in our allotted time would be nearly impossible. Oh well, we decided we weren't going to rush thru it .... once again ..our motto "its about the ride not the destination". We'll keep cruising and when we run out of time we peel off and hit the slabs for home. Of course i was already working on my speech to try and talk the guys into calling home, letting everyone know we would be gone for a week longer then planned. Just maybe we could make it to Mexico.

On into Idaho, looking for our next camp. We wound up at Big Spring …. a great camp spot at one of the largest springs in North America. Crazy the amount of water continuously flowing from this thing. This water is the source of the South Fork of the Henry Fork (Snake River) ….supposed to be unbelievable trout fishing. I wont go into it ….what a mistake.

Big Spring

We woke to begin our 9th day on the road, excited knowing we would be traveling into Wyoming …i would soon see the Grand Tetons for the first time in my life. But first, our plans had us taking the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway thru the outstanding scenery of Targhee National Forest Idaho.

Of course we would stop at Mesa falls for a quick look …..Wow!

We crossed over the headwaters of Jackson Lake, the scenery just continues. Every stop .."holy crap, this is amazing …best place so far". Of course, looking back on it there was no "best place" …all of it spectacular in it's own right.

First look at the Grand Tetons, i could spend all day sitting here, another place that is a must return for more exploration. I can just imagine how awesome the hiking and climbing must be.

Would have loved to have spent more time in the park …but the trail beckons, always a wonder of what's to come …we move on.

We follow highway 287, …still savoring the last few views of the Tetons in or rearview mirrors as we head East. We take the turn onto Brooks Lake Rd which leads us off the slab and back onto the dirt …we're gaining elevation and the scenery slowly changes. It starts taking on the look of those classic views of Wyoming back country …not the high desert plains yet, but beautiful high mountains with open views in all directions. The plan is to camp at Brooks Lake …wonder what it's like?

Pretty mediocre uh….

I can't really describe Brooks Lake. In the words of a local old timer we met at camp…"boys, you managed to find one of the most beautiful spots in Wyoming" …i didn't doubt his word. Just incredible! Picking a couple photos for this report is impossible, damn ..i love em all just couldn't take a bad shot here.

Brooks lake is situated at the base of some beautiful escarpments at 9200 feet. It would always drop down in temp come evening at these higher elevations ..we had the proper gear so we slept warm. However, getting moving in the mornings could prove to be a bit chilly.

Bears are prevalent throughout the CDR, one should always camp smart and take precautions. All three of us has camped many a night in bear territory, even so, …we were kind of glad we didn't see this sign until morning. We found out a bear had been frequenting the area just prior to us arriving.

Time to get moving, we load up and head out of camp. Day 10 on the ride takes us south traveling along the western slopes of the famous Wind River Range. We would then turn easterly across the high open plains of southern central Wyoming… a section we had been anxiously awaiting.

Taking a break near the headwaters of the Green River, Wyoming. The three of us had floated the southern most section of the Green years ago from just north of Moab Utah to it's confluence with the Colorado River. We had spent two weeks on that trip with family and friends. Now hear we were at the headwaters …kinda cool.

This is G-man's typical disposition …the ride wouldn't be the same without him that's for damn sure!

Southern end of Wind River Range and some nice twisty's in the background …. great riding!

Slowly but surely the terrain changes as we traveled south, eventually we find ourselves in the beautiful open plains. This is one of the most remote sections of the ride. We make use of our stored extra fuel to get us thru. If you happen to have a breakdown hear could be out there for a while.

The plan is to find a nice spot and "throw down" for the night. This camp would prove to be our favorite …. no designated spot, nobody else around for miles.

Another great shot from Big-D ….. as many in this report are. He's definitely the artist of the group. This explains why I'm in so many of these pics ….it's not that i'm an egotistical ass, it's that my brother is a way better photographer….sorry bro …i'll try to improve before our next trip, maybe we'll get a few shots of you. This shot is of G-man, quite the stoic pose bud.

The next morning were up early and starting our morning routine ….. brew up coffee, chow down some breakfast, bust camp, load up the bikes and hit the road. By this time in the trip we had it down, all of it happening without much talk …each of us doing our thing, enjoying the quite morning air, wondering what the route had in store for us that day.

Whenever possible I like to position my tent to view the morning sunrise. Nothing beats watching the sun come up from the comfort of a warm sleeping bag.

Morning routine underway

So, hear we are ..morning, day 11. We figured to cross the border into Colorado today reaching the halfway point of the route. It was obvious we wouldn't complete the ride in time allotted. I had to make my plea tonight to the guys for more time. I knew they really wanted to finish this thing and all of us had plenty of riding left in us. I mean hell ….the bikes were performing, the scenery was amazing, weather was perfect and we were having a kick ass trip! We had to ride on!

We move out ..headed thru the second half of the high mountain plains. I haven't mentioned much about wildlife but believe me we saw a lot, bear, moose, deer, coyotes, etc. etc. …. and tons of antelope. This area of Wyoming was full of antelope, you had to be careful. They would run along side sometimes bolting in front crossing your path, and were moving right along …. you could really open up the throttle out here. It was awesome to ride along side of them, you get a real feel of their power and strength. Sorry, no pics of the antelope ..they were to fast. This area also treated us to a beautiful herd of wild horses …. sorry, no pic of them either, really wish we had gotten one, they were amazing.

We did encounter a lot of wildlife, but not near as much as "free range cattle" ….here is a typical Wyoming standoff on the CDR.

Not far out of camp we would ride thru a couple of very remote outposts ….. South Pass City and the famous old mining town of Atlantic City. These places are out there …still a few hardy souls living there, keeping their historic pasts alive.

Atlantic City Mercantile

I must mention i think Big-D made the right choice when purchasing his BMW F800GS. As you may have noticed I have the same bike. These things are an absolute joy to ride …on and off road. I have to share my favorite shot of mine. No offense G-man ..the KLR650 is a damn good adventure bike!

As we continue southeast we finally reach some pavement and turn south. We need to make a stop in Rawlins Wyoming for food, fuel and supplies. Now i'm not one to knock a place that I know nothing about but here i must make exception …if there is one town on this entire ride that i would recommend avoiding, it is Rawlins. My apologies if i've offended anyone hear, but the place just had a strange aura about it …and not in a good way. When we stopped to grab a sandwich at Subway .. we agreed it was definitely time to hit the road when the classic banjo dual from the movie Deliverance began to play over the speakers. "OK guys …lets ride"

First, we had to stock up on essentials.

We leave Rawlins following the old Sage Creek RD south towards Colorado. This takes us through a rather famous stand of trees on the CDR .."Aspen Alley"

I don't remember seeing a sign telling us we crossed the border …i peered down at the GPS and thought ..hey, we're in Colorado! I'd been exited to see Colorado …"Rocky Mountain High ..Colorado". Yes, i admit it ..i'm a John Denver fan, wish he was still with us.

Once again the terrain slowly began to change. This is one of the aspects of the ride that makes it so appealing …. the wide variety of terrain.

Northern Colorado

The plan was to follow our route to Steamboat Springs State Park, we would make camp there for the night. As we approached Steamboat our surroundings became more mountainous as we traveled back into the forests. I noticed a small comment on the track shown on my GPS .."rocky hill climb" it said. Hmmm rocky, how big a hill we talkin hear? I was wondering if the other guys had seen this. Well, the "hill" turned out to be very rocky! and what seemed to us as steep as hell . ….and it went on for an eternity! I'm not sure how we all managed to get up that thing without dropping our bikes. If we would have taken a spill, i'm sure the bike would still be rolling today. None of us got any pictures of this ….we were to busy holding on, keeping into the throttle and praying! By far the most challenging section of the trip. It was followed by a six mile "rocky descent" … as stated on our GPS's. We made it though, ….. it was a good thing we hadn't faced it on day one. The outcome, I'm sure would have been much different. Later that night we studied the route and realized there was an alternate track, a bypass …one which was "highly recommended" for riders on big bikes ….oh, I see now.

We cruised into camp proud of our accomplishments …. we were the real deal now …. no longer posers or adventure rider wannabe's. Nope, we could handle the worst ..true adventure riding bad arses ..yes sir- ee!

Ok, so we made camp and settled in for our nightly routine …on a particular high note. Perfect time for my speech ….i think i actually had the guys talked into riding on and trying to finish the route …it didn't take much convincing. The plan for now was to continue to ride south, take the route to Breckenridge .. we had one more day of solid riding for sure until we had to make the decision. Lets see what tomorrow brings us!

I woke up in the middle of the night to a sound i had heard so often when backpacking back home in Washington … rain! It poured all night. Morning light finally came and we had to make a decision. We shouted between tents .."what's the plan boys" …check the forecast Big-D ..what's it look like"? "Not good" was the short answer. Shit! The weather showed a low pressure system hanging right over us with no relief in sight ….further west into Utah it was clearing. I think we all knew right away what it meant, although it took us a couple hours to admit it. We knew from our research that the southern portion of the ride was virtually impassable when wet, this would mean bypassing much of the route and riding slab to the border …what was the point in that? It was time to head home. We wouldn't go to Breckenridge, we would jump off the route in Steamboat Springs and pick up the slab heading west for the long ride home.

Busting camp, getting ready for the wet ride homeward.

We were OK with it all, nothing could ruin our spirits or take away the awesome ride we were sharing. We rode on in good spirits ..all part of the adventure.

We jumped onto highway 40 heading west, I was in the lead, rain continuing to fall …i needed a break. Rest stop coming up ..good! We pull in for a break. G-man rolls up to stop right behind me …"hey Doug, my lights on"….. "nope, why?" …"because my bike just died". What did he just say? Sure enough, his bike was dead. Long story short, the good ole KLR had some sort of electrical problem, we were stumped. G-man got to work making calls and dealing with the logistics, i was impressed with his calm demeanor. The result ….. a tow to the nearest town straight to the shop.

The KLR gets a lift.

The fix. Turns out the wire harness had been chafing against the frame. Must have been at it for some time, just so happens it finally gave out and shorted out the electrical system … right at the rest stop. Eighty dollar fix at the shop and we're on our way. I wont mention how much the tow was ….

We contemplated the events. Pretty damn lucky actually. If it hadn't of been raining we would be halfway to Breckenridge in the backcountry out in the middle of nowhere ..totally screwed. Somebody was looking out for us alright. I'm convinced G-man has enough good karma for all of us …the guy would give ya the shirt off his back if you asked him.

We jumped on our bikes and headed west, dodging storms as we went.

Road Trip screwed with this post 11-03-2011 at 01:09 PM
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:48 PM   #2
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:00 AM   #3
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Freakin' Awesome!

Great pics! Thanks for bringing us along on your trip.

'08 KLR 650

"Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle." - Anonymous
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:07 AM   #4
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Subscribed and if you have them would love to have your tracks for furure reference

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Old 11-03-2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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Yep, Rawlins is an odd town. I stopped there last month to get some lunch and didn't feel like fast food. After driving around downtown for a while and seeing only one restaurant (a Thai place) I found only one other restaurant on the west side of town. The whole place had a bit of a weird feel about it.

Anyway, I, too, rode the CDT this summer - my second time - and have posted the ride report, and you are doing a wonderful job of it. The pictures rock! Keep it up.
Something, something, something ... in latin.

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Old 11-03-2011, 01:40 PM   #6
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Nice, I really like the bikes yall have! Also be careful guys with that vitamin water!!!
Keep your $0.02 if it ain't going towards the bill
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by D-Stylz View Post
Great pics! Thanks for bringing us along on your trip.


Thanks! Glad you like ... really was a great trip. Have a few more pics to share.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Colorado Uli View Post
Yep, Rawlins is an odd town. I stopped there last month to get some lunch and didn't feel like fast food. After driving around downtown for a while and seeing only one restaurant (a Thai place) I found only one other restaurant on the west side of town. The whole place had a bit of a weird feel about it.

Anyway, I, too, rode the CDT this summer - my second time - and have posted the ride report, and you are doing a wonderful job of it. The pictures rock! Keep it up.
Appreciate your comments. I can see why you have done this ride twice ..just spectacular! I will look up your report.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:08 PM   #9
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Nice report, love the pics.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:26 PM   #10
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Thumb A finish to a great ride!

A cheap motel in Varnal Utah would be our days end. We busted out the maps and studied our options for the ride home. In the morning Big-D would head southwest for Vegas while G-man and I would pick-up 191 and head north. We all decided we wouldn't rush home on the interstates, no point in that …nope, the trip wasn't over…we would follow the scenic byways as much as possible, see as much as we could ….enjoy the trip, it's all about the ride!
Obviously we were a bit bummed about parting ways and all. Without getting to sappy hear ….but man, it just wont be the same without Big-D.

So it was..we parted ways the next day and rode on.

G-man and i headed north, i took the lead …this didn't last. G-man was the smoother rider on the slab … i was the one in front on the dirt. He took the pole and stayed there for the remainder of the trip. I was amazed at the way he could get that thumper to roll in and out of the turns ….smooth as could be. Man, if he ever picks up that BMW 1200 he's dreaming about i'll never keep up with him.

We made our way north thru Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and back into Wyoming.

We cut over into Idaho, rode thru Craters of the Moon National Monument and on up into the Sawtooth National Forest finally finding a motel in Ketchum near the famous ski resort of Sun Valley Idaho. It was a beautiful ride, but we were exhausted …long day for sure.

Big-D sent a text ….said he had a outstanding ride and long day as well. He had ridden down thru Capital Reef National Park and Escalante Utah finding a place to stay just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park.

G-man and I grabbed some grub the next morning and hit the road. We continued north, cruised thru Sun Valley and into the Sawtooth National Forest ..we followed highway 93 north thru Idaho into Montana was a beautiful ride! We rode on, riding thru Missoula, following 200 towards Thompson Falls Montana. The scenery was outstanding ..great riding! We could feel home pulling us along ... back to family and friends, we were getting anxious, we missed home.

Shortly before dusk we pulled into the quite campground of Thompson Falls State Park. Wow, this is it ...our last camp, last night on the road. We were ready to be home but kind of bummed at the same time. No rum tonight, no review of pics stories ...just thoughts of pulling into that driveway back home. Don't get me wrong, we were in good spirits ...but you know how it gets towards the end of a trip. I mean, G-man is a hell of a guy ....but I missed my wife and kids. No offense bud. I knew he felt the same way.

Thompson Falls Camp … last night on the road.

Big-D contacted us, he was home! Said it felt great to be there ...., we were envious. We had another 500 mile day in front of us, but it would be a good ride.

Our last day, up early, lets do this! On the road, thru Idaho into Washington towards Spokane then following highway 2 across the basin. It was hot as hell! We dropped down into Wenatchee Washington (my hometown) ...I explored memory's of my childhood as we rode on. The last stretch of ride took us up over the Cascade range, a section of road we had both traveled many times. It didn't matter, we love this area …. thru Tumwater Canyon and over Stevens Pass. I'm sure it just blows people away the first time they see it. It's our backyard, pretty damn lucky I think.

So that's it ...we pulled in about 8:00 PM just before dark, our family's there to meet us. Man it was good to be there! We had just finished our longest day on the bikes, but we suddenly felt revitalized ....we unloaded the bikes and shared our entire story!

In the end we had ridden15 days and traveled a little more than 3800 miles, 1200 or so off road on the CDR. We had managed to ride the CDR from Canada to Steamboat Springs Colorado, slightly more than half the route. Not bad for us rookie adventure riders. We'll be back next summer for the second half ..Mexico here we come ...ride on!

If this report hasn't thoroughly bored you to death and you care to see a few more pics, check out this website. Make sure to try out the "Map This" function a bit of an overview of our route, pretty cool.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Road Trip View Post
Appreciate your comments. I can see why you have done this ride twice ..just spectacular! I will look up your report.
Mine was pretty low on pictures and heavy on the writing:
Something, something, something ... in latin.

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Old 11-03-2011, 02:52 PM   #12
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What kind of camera did you use? Lot's of HDR pictures? The photos look great. Many of them remind me of postcards from days gone by. Great work.
"So I got that goin' for me.... Which is nice."
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dubl-A View Post
Nice, I really like the bikes yall have! Also be careful guys with that vitamin water!!!
Thanks. Oh yeah, that vitamin water can get ya if your not careful!
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jailor8 View Post
Subscribed and if you have them would love to have your tracks for furure reference


Check out this thread for great reference to GPS tracks
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:00 PM   #15
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Nice job, Doug.

What kind of camera did you use? Lot's of HDR pictures?
Most of the shots were taken with an iPhone then worked with an easy post app.

Big D
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