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Old 07-02-2012, 08:53 AM   #31
Chet
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Colorado
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Father + Son + Sand = Pain in the...

Hope you guys are feeling ok today. That could take a few days to shake off.
Thanks for the updates. Be aware out there!
Allan
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:21 PM   #32
theofam OP
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Thanks, Allan. We're being careful. Get your GS so you can join us on another trip.

MBackman, as DonnyO puts it, we used Day 2 as a dirt-training day! Our grades were lower than we hoped for.

mundobravo, glad to have you along with us!
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:36 PM   #33
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Day 3 of 42 – Thunder Jack

With ribs still aching, DonnyO joined me for breakfast at The Irma’s restaurant. I pulled a “dumb city slicker” move when the waitress brought out my English muffin. A small peanut butter container was covering the “B” and all I saw was Iackberry for jelly. I exclaimed, “Cool, I’ve never had jackberry jelly before!” “It’s BLACKBERRY,” she told me.
We had a good laugh and, at the end of the meal she asked if I wanted to take some jackberry jelly with me. “Yes, two please.” Out came this:



We headed out of town and before long were about to take Chief Joseph Scenic Byway on our way to Beartooth Pass.



It was nice to leave the non-descript plains for the verdant hills of the byway.





We met a Michigan-based father-son duo on the byway’s most scenic overlook. The son, who recently graduated high school, snapped this pic of us. Notice the road twisting, snaking upon itself below us! The GPS screen looked like a two year old grabbed a purple crayon and scribbled – that’s the best kinda road right thar!



The view was fantastic!



We then hopped on Beartooth Pass. It was gorgeous. Waterfalls misting in the pines, trickles of snow runoff alongside the road and wildflowers abound. Here is a pic near the summit – should make whitewater rafting in these parts a blast for quite awhile given all the snow remaining. Some of the snow drifts were still 6-8 feet deep!



Dropping down the other side of Beartooth Pass, we crossed into Montana.



The sinuous road precipitously dropped us from 10,947 feet in elevation – a little slice of riding nirvana.

We rolled into Red Lodge, Montana, as townfolk were setting up chairs along the sidewalks for the annual July 4th parade – on July 2nd.



After another hour’s riding, we stopped in Columbus at the New Atlas Bar. The staff and patrons were very helpful with riding suggestions and maps. This dude was a card. I heard him tell someone while on the phone, “I’m at the office having a beer.”



New Atlas Bar is loaded with taxidermy. In fact, I’ve seen more taxidermy in the last 48 hours than I’ve seen in the previous 43 years! I was told I had to get a pic of the two-headed calf. Turns out it even lived for awhile. I asked if it had a name. The bearded guy at the end of the bar chimed in, “Yeah, Dead Cow.”



The views on Highway 89 north were reminiscent of those north of Alamosa, Colorado, which is framed by the San Juan and Sangre de Christo mountain ranges. Bracketed by mountains, the Shields River Valley was another scenic highway.



I had to give this trapper, modeled after the likes of Bridger, Colter and Fitzpatric, a high-five for helping Lewis and Clark broker travel across these lands with the Native Americans. His name? Thunder Jack, as named by Shields Valley 2006-2007 first-grade class.



Onward to Helena we went on Highway 12. Helena sits in a valley bowl with mountains like this creating a 10-mile-radius ring around it.



Hotel room – check. Post-ride beer – check. Dinner –check. Then it was off to snap a pic of the bikes in front of the State of Montana Capital building. It’s gorgeous.



Tuckered out, it’s off to sleep for us in hopes of getting 9-10 hours. DonnyO needs as much rest as possible to mend those ribs!
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:39 PM   #34
swinada
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Very nice pictures of the beautiful scenery I think I have to plan a trip south of the border.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:45 AM   #35
theofam OP
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Swinada, we can't wait to see your neck of the woods over the next week!
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #36
Buuurrrt
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hey a quick question. What kind of tire is this strapped to the back of the red beamer? Looks like a pretty good dirt tire and could wear nice and long. I have about had it with my TKCs. I have to replace them every 2000 miles due to blow out or flat..
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:32 PM   #37
akadvntr
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Subscribed !

Great report and pictures Ride safe, I want you to enjoy the Great White North. You are welcome to feed our mosquitoes while up here
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:01 PM   #38
rockinrog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buuurrrt View Post
hey a quick question. What kind of tire is this strapped to the back of the red beamer? Looks like a pretty good dirt tire and could wear nice and long. I have about had it with my TKCs. I have to replace them every 2000 miles due to blow out or flat..
Looks like a Heidenau K60.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:30 PM   #39
theofam OP
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Buuurrrt, rockinrog is correct, the tire is a Heidenau K60. We've no complaints with the rear tire, thus far. The front, however, leaves a bit to be desired (see earlier posts).

akadvntr, word has it the mosquito is Alaska's state bird! We are really excited to get up there and see what you get to enjoy!
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:40 PM   #40
theofam OP
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Day 4 of 42 – Glacier

I’ve heard of Jackberry jelly, but Marionberry Jam?



Breakfast was at Helena’s #1 rated joint – Steve’s Café.



DonnyO got the corn beef hash – you should, too.

Blue skies and gentle rolling hills greeted us.





On our way down Flesher Pass, we had to grab the binders upon noticing a gray, moving blanket ahead. What is it?



500 sheep and 750 kids



Did I simply guess at headcount? Nope. Spent time speaking with my new favorite Peruvian Omar.



Yep, that’s a rifle. Didn’t ask why he needed it. Omar explained people told him his English is poor. I told him, “No fumar espagnol.” That broke the ice. He wakes up at 5:00am and brings the sheep off the mountain, takes lunch at noon, the sheep nap (siesta) from noon to 3:00pm, then he takes them back up the mountain to avoid the afternoon heat, after which he walks down the mountain to his camp for the night.

Six dogs work the flock with him. This one let me pet him for a couple minutes before he took off like a shot, joined two other dogs, and herded the sheep into a tighter flock. It was a blast to watch them work!



The wind blew us to the plains, where it continued to beat us to a pulp for a few hours. Though beautiful scenery, it was difficult to do much but concentrate and ride through it, as we were often thrown off our intended lines around corners.



Then . . . it happened. We were approaching Glacier National Park on the east side via St. Mary. We had been looking forward to this part of the ride given stories of the Park.



Donning rain gear, we entered Glacier.



A monstrous, white-capped lake filled the valley floor.



Mountains shot skyward around us.



Waterfalls were plentiful, often cascading hundreds of feet off mountain faces.



Many were roadside, too.





Emerald blankets covered the mountainsides.



And the roaring river of snow melt took a turqoise hue.





Any line of sight resulted in a beautiful view.



Moral of the story? Stop reading this - if necessary, buy a motorcycle - and ride directly to Glacier National Park. Today was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It beats PCH, Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway, and the Grand Tetons.

We came into Whitefish – a very cool town if you’re into skiing, fishing, mountain biking and hiking – grabbed dinner, rode through brief showers, and had this waiting for us outside our hotel room window.



Tomorrow – Canada!
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:55 PM   #41
enumclaw
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Great pictures, great writing. SUBscribed!
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:55 PM   #42
BioFool
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Hi guys. I'm now subscribed. My wife and I are enjoying reading the blog and sharing the experience vicariously. How is your Chatterbox system working?
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:16 PM   #43
atokad
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[QUOTE=theofam;19037196]

In two days, we’ve yet to find the intended use for a Heidenau K60 front tire. It chases tar strips and rain channels like a beagle after a rabbit. It also ups the pucker factor dramatically on gravel by floating rather than tracking. Once we were on the correct road north to Hyattville, we had to air down to improve front-tire traction.[quote]

I have the K60 on the front of my Triumph Tiger. (British version of the GS Beemer) BMW of Denver told me to run it at about 34 on paved. If I am in loose gravel, I have been airing down to about 26.

Not sure how that compares with yours, but I find the tire very stable at those pressures.

Subscribed - good luck!
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:00 PM   #44
theofam OP
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Enumclaw, great to have you with us!

Biofool, the chatterbox units work well up to about 60 mph. A bit difficult to discern speech therafter.

Atokad, we only went down from 35 to 32. We discussed going lower, but we were concerned about potential rim damage, as we were on alot of sharp rock in addition to the gravel, packed dirt and sand. If we know it's gravel only, we'll try your 26 and report back. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:41 AM   #45
Chet
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I can hardly wait to go into Irma's Diner and ask for some Jackberry jelly!

Looking forward to your Canadian reports!

Oh yeah, I might end up with a KTM 990 Adventure instead of the GSA. I know you don't care as long as I get back on two wheels.
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