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Old 10-07-2012, 02:31 PM   #1
hayduke.klr07 OP
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Tour de Wyoming VI

Tour de Wyoming does northern Colorado (atleast a little bit of it).

Here is the most amazing part of the whole trip, (really no point in reading beyond here) it wasn't raining and in the 30's when we left! First time in 3 years.

here is last years start:



or maybe that was the year before, the point is it wasn't raining this year. In fact we could have not asked for better weather except for maybe this:


and even then, it made for hero conditions with no frickin' dust!

Three of us took off on a Friday, home on the following Saturday, and rode about 1500 miles. Now some of you would say "big deal" and I don't blame you. But keep in mind one of our days we made 20 miles in 4.5 hours, only to triple our miles because the closest beer was 40 miles away. And that was the biggest day!

We managed to see Carhenge, Chugwater, Deadman Hill, the 177 road, Walden, Steamboat, Rabbit Ears, Encampment (and a guy name Jesse, who made us look like a bunch of sallys), the diffculty road (sort of) and the Dixon road. Now who wouldn't call that fun.

As a guess, we rode about 80/20 dirt/asphalt from Rapid City round trip. My only regret is that I can't do this all the time.

Will try for a better job of an actual ride report as compared to last year (tour de V). That shouldn't be too hard as I am already one post ahead of last years effort!!
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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Day One

When planning a trip through wyoming a person will generally head west out of South
Dakota, not us. Seems as if a person should go through Nebraska first, shouldn't they? I can tell you if you want to see one of America's great destinations you need to.

We meet Stiss near Hot Springs and run highway (blah) south for what seems quite a distance on a sixfity. Fortunately, i don't have any maps for Nebraska so I am riding on sheer faith behind a guy (shep) with his new Garmin Montana. The only thing better than scootin' down the highway is seeing brake lights, a left turn, and suddenly I have to pay attention.

Kings Canyon Road is a hoot. To my pleasure, it had rained there within the past 24 hours which made for hero conditions, a fortunate thing 'cause I think it would have been a loose, sandy "holy crap, my bike is heavy, tires hard, and I am not ready for this so quickly kind of moment."

I knew what was ahead. I hadn't been there in years. I hoped that it lived up to my memories. And it did.



Carhenge is great. If you are ever in western Nebraska, go to Alliance and check it out. Doesn't cost a dime and why wouldn't you?

http://www.carhenge.com/









And there is more than just cars!







Next stop, Gering. We ride a bunch of ranch gravel hell (RGH) and make our way to Scottsbluff, beer up and head for Wildcat Hills State Park. Nice little park, we are the only ones there and are pleased to be out for our first night.



Shep is pretty proud of his camp cooking and there is a reason why. Primarily, because it is really good. He made camp pizza a few nights which resulted in "camp pizza envy." Fortunately, he likes to share. Believe it or not, it was WAY better than my bags-o-camp food that I brought.


Stiss, has some serious "camp pizza envy" as well.


Notice the pizza tray on the table.
Day one is in the books. Tomorrow? Chugwater and on to Laramie.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:53 AM   #3
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carhenge

Had to laugh about car henge. Have stop there a couple of times traveling through. Nice use of the PBR case Keep the pictures coming.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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Day Two

We awake in Wildcat State Park near Gehring. This is where the real trouble began. I am a bar and an instant coffee ( I can endorse Starbucks Via Veranda: http://www.starbucks.com/coffee/blonde/veranda-blend/via) kind of guy when traveling. My boys, are not. Stiss is super high-tech. He comes with the same piece of Rubbermaid container as last year for his hot granola. Shep on the other hand is a gear-head like myself. Here is where it all went bad. He comes with this: http://www.gsioutdoors.com/products/pdp/collapsible_fairshare_mug-_green/
I have a fairshare mug, but not the collapsible version. Way more practical for our purposes. Believe it or not he may have reminded me once or twice that his particular version of the Fairshare mug is collapsible, and mine isn’t. The good news is that Laramie (which has multiple good outdoor stores that will surely make this right for me) is but a short ride for us to the west.

We leave camp, ride a bit of asphalt, and make our first stop: LaGrange, Wyoming. Do not be confused by the guys with beards, LaGrange in in Wyoming. That’s right, we made it nearly 40 miles before we stop for the first time today. LaGrange is a fine little town. The water in the city park is just fine.





We head west towards the next big burg of the day: Chugwater. The good news is that there is some fine riding to be done before we get there. We take Bear Creek Road to the west.



Bear Creek Church (est 1897)


Bear Creek Road was good fun. Gravel to dirt to two track and back again multiple times following, you guessed it, Bear Creek. Rolling good fun. Then we come to this place. Can you imagine?




This must have been the place back in the day. That date above the door says 1882.


We continue west pass through Chugwater, enroute to Laramie, our true destination for the day. We ride some really fine roads between here and there.






We make it Laramie and enjoy lunch at Anong’s: http://www.anongthaicuisine.com/ If you make it to Laramie, eat here. You will not be disappointed.
We meet up with a few buddies who are also in town and enjoy a cool beverage. While in Laramie, being the gear-head that I am, I needed to fill a hole in my soul the shape of a collapsible Fairshare mug. Two of the better outdoor stores you will find and I discover that they both suck. Denied! NO FAIRSHARE MUG FOR ME! Shep is delighted because he can now surely show off his mug for days now.
We water, beer, and food up and head out of town towards Veedauwoo, possibly one of the windiest places on the planet. What is weird is that the wind, was not and did not blow while we were there! One minor goal of this trip was to find the bunker that doesn’t exist. I had recalled seeing a “bunker” during my time Laramie as a student (a very foggy time indeed), and at some point there was contention as to whether or not these “bunkers” existed or not. Well, here is the story: http://www.awayfromthegrind.com/blog/hiking/wyoming/treasure-hunt-at-pole-mountain/

Here is my personal proof:



Having been exonerated of my delusions, we make camp at a perfectly delightful spot:







I know we didn't ride all that many miles, but what a great day. The weather and riding only improved from here. Day two is in the books. Tomorrow: Sand Creek Road, Red Feather Lakes, and camping above 10,000 feet.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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Off like a herd of turtles! There was long shot that a 4th may be joining with us but to no avail. Needless to say we were a little slow getting out of town which is beginning to become a theme and we like it.


Shep and his outback oven do it again. This time cinnamon rolls
From out camp site we headed through Vedauwoo proper. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedauwoo Spent some of my formative years here cutting my teeth in the world of rock climbing. It really felt good to be back in familiar ground.


And of course we had to take in the tourist sites! Ames monument, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_monument the highest point on the transcontinental railroad, stands in one of the windiest places on the planet. Weird, it wasn’t windy.


We head south out of Laramie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laramie,_Wyoming#Geography_and_climate
on the Sand Creek Road, BIG ‘ol dirt road. We pass an area that I know as the “hoodoos”, I have no idea if that is what they are actually called but they are in fact hoodoos so the name always seemed appropriate to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoodoo_(geology)




At the Colorado border a person would swear that you are in the Four Corners Country. Nope, you are at 7,000 feet on the east central Wyoming/Colorado border. A completely apt place to stop for a snack. Keep in mind we have ridden nearly 40 or 50 miles at this point. We certainly don’t want to push ourselves too much!

We continue south and begin a meandering route to Red Feather Lakes. We ride some fantastic dirt all over hill and dale. Every now and again a person would come into a corner, a rut, some sand or rocks a little hot causing a fellow to pucker up a bit. I know I would giggle and think, “holy shit” then I would roll back on the throttle once again ‘cause it was so much damn fun.


The roads begin to open up a bit the closer we get to Red Feather Lakes. Some really nice ranch country up there.



Red Feather offers us H2O, fuel, and beer (not in any order of importance). Not really knowing where to stop for the night we keep heading in our general direction which is west and south. That makes no sense. West and south are two directions, not one…well you get the idea.


When work out a route for our rides it is more like a loose plan. We will look for long stretches of dirt with short connectors of asphalt. I personally an drawn in by road names. When a person looks at this part of the map you cannot help but see Deadman Hill and Road. Now who wouldn’t want to ride a road with a name like that? Perhaps it would get us in the general direction but holy buckets, washboards and dust. A setting sun and the accumulation of dust on the helmet visor sucked. I was getting ready to stop for the day. A quick look at the map and it was determined that camping would be better sooner than later. Breaking south on a road that looked good for tomorrow we manage to find a decent place to bivy for the night. One of the difficulties of this trip was actually finding a place to sleep where there was no potential for a dead tree to fall on one of us in the night. Folks out west are familiar with the mountain pine beetle and ‘damage’ it has wrought. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_pine_beetle
I would look for a twenty year old clear-cut in the lodge pole. No snags there! Managing to find one could take some creativity, but we always managed to get it done.



Knowing that some storms were in the area really didn’t phase us much as it was such a nice evening. Then Shep comes with this, “you know were are camping above 10,000 feet right?” Oh, it will be fine! It really was a beautiful evening.

Day 3 was in the books. None of us had any idea what awaited us tomorrow.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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Can I add to this?

So, yes but no..I can't post pics here. Anyhow, I sent my write up of Day 4 to stover for posting...so there should be more soon. It was a great ride to say the least
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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Day 4 on the Tour De WY

As an IL farm boy, I have a certain fear of being in the mountains and doing something stupid. Like riding a KLR to a beautiful spot at 10,000 feet…then camping there in September. So when it was snowing pretty good before sun up…I was dreading sunrise a bit. Stover had found this nice snag free camping spot, and it had been a great evening, but when I looked out of my tent….at daybreak, I was more worried.



The snow was coming down pretty hard at that point. So I checked things out, and started to roust the other 2. The KLR is pretty capable, but motorbikes, snow, and steep roads seem like a bad combo. On my last tour with my little brother we got shut down in Yellowstone due to snow, and did not want to repeat that experience.



In the end, the sun came up and it stopped snowing. It was still rather cold though. Since Shep and I had just spent 2 months in Greenland…we had to be tough though in order to save face.



Once we got all dressed up, packed up and wheels turning….the plan was to go down the way we came. We would seek out a warm café and make a new plan over a cup of small town luke warm crappy coffee...(yes I know...I can be high maint.)



Once we got to the road though…we found out that conditions were fine and the little amount of precipitation actually made for SUPER hero traction conditions, and that was good….because most people would question the route finding decisions we made over the coming few hours
.
I had my Gerbings jacket plugged in and all was comfortable (best invention ever). With the conditions as they were we decided to head uphill the way we had talked about going the night before, and see what happened. I had to switch to thinner gloves as the riding immediately was more then I wanted to do in my puffy winter gloves.

Soon, we were down on a bigger road and started talking to some bow hunters from KS. Nice guys… one of then had a KLR at home. We asked him if he had ever been on the 177 road…AKA the Greenridge trail. He said he had, and something about floating his ATV across the mud holes….last time he was there. That should have been a tip off for us to stay on the big gravel road and enjoy the pretty leaves....but we were on Dual Sport ride after all. I think going for it was the right call, but perhaps taking the right turn that resulted in a 4 hour adventure that only covered 20 miles...vs the quick trip to the next big gravel road.....could have been the wrong choice and I’ll admit , it could have gone awufully bad.


Luckily it went perfect. They had had a rather dry year in the rockies…so the small ponds that frequent the trail were doable on a big fully loaded KLR.


The terrain on the 177 road did keep your attention while riding. I think for a lot of it…I even turned off my music. Mostly though because I wanted to put my overpriced phone/music player in a ziplock for safe keeping away from the muddy depths.



We did dismount a fair amount and "scout the rapids" for keeper holes.



I self elected myself to walk down one side of the deeper looking mud holes…till the water about topped my riding boots then check out the other side...and point out the least hardest route to the boys. Also, that way the mud was always stirred up so nobody could see what lurked on the bottom. We were ADVENTURE riding you know!

Always remember the motto… “Sit up straight…elbows out…pin it…..wheel speed is your friend.”



We were quite amazed at the number and depth of the water holes. I mean…there was no way I could have counted
them all. We fell into a ride-scout-ride-scout - ride - scout rhythm with no clear leader, just constant progress, and the trip just got better from there. It was a turning point for all of us I think. We chatted a little, but mostly, we just rode, waded in the water, looked at the bolder strewn hills, spun out on the greasy narrow muddy trail, pinned it up the STEEP hills, and rode it as best we could. We all knew we were out in a place where a little problem could become big...so we stayed focused and made it happen...along with a little luck and a lot of smiles, it was GREAT.

It reminded me of “read and run” class 4 rivers from my white water kayak days. The crew just took it in stride as it came. This is what we were here for.



We really only took a few pics as we were all focused on the task at hand….and trying not to get our asses handed to us by this trail. We did stop and talk to some more elk hunters from NY. They looked pretty worked after trekking XC up a BIG hill all morning. They thought our big bikes loaded with a long weeks worth of camping gear and crap, were perhaps not the perfect fit for this trial, but compared to hiking out, I think they might have tried the KLR’s.
While stopped, Shep did notice the road had taken its toll, not just the one, but both fork seals were seriously leaking…and so we had that to talk about the rest of the trip. The USD fork mod is in the works as I write.

Oh yeah…that is where Stover discovered that storing cans of beer in his side panniers is perhaps not the best idea. He had laid it over a few times, and the result was a great testimonial to the waterproofness of his new Powder River Panniers. They kept 100% of the beer outside of the cans, but inside of the bags….and that sure smells great!



Now by the time we got down to the trailhead. We had all had about as much fun as we wanted. The perma grin was plastered on all our faces, but we were ready for some smooth relaxing riding.
I thought Stover was going to pee himself he was so darn happy about how things had went. I mean the guy was outright giddy! Even after he discovered that his un-opened bottle of Pendleton Whiskey had leaked out through the lid, and soiled his other Powder River Pannier. 0 for 2, but still smiling and wiser for the experience.



We toasted our success with the remaining whiskey…Unanimously voted Stover the “most improved rider” and noted that whatever phobia he had previously had about water crossings…he had been 100% cured somewhere between water hole #89 and #110.

We talked about a cabin and most importantly, a warm shower at the nearest KOA, but upon arrival we discovered a nice place, but no beer.

Deal breaker....we saddled up again and got a room in Walden. We might have trashed the place a bit as we dried out everything and cleaned up our bodies and gear. Let the record show, that I did go borrow a vacuum from the maids before all the dirt was ground in and spread around to much.

We went to the Sports bar at the Inn for both happy hour/dinner and then again for wings and football. Talked to our wives and all was well.

Somehow they were not as impressed with us and our accomplishment as we were with our selves. Somehow I think everyone who has ridden something kinda cool and told someone about it can relate to that.

The next morning we packed up (all important bottles and cans safely stashed in the top bags) Stover an I were a bit worried about the amount of oil we had burned on the day before. 685 kits and all, we thought that was not supposed to happen anymore???

Upon returning home…I did research the Greenridge trail. Now, I’d follow Shep anywhere, but if I’d have watched the youTube video of the dudes on un-laiden 250’s riding all those waterholes prior to the trip, I’m pretty sure I’d have turned down that trail. Once again proving that “ignorance is bliss.”
It was not the prettiest day of the ride, but defiantly the most fun/challenging/satisfying day.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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SRC ... You are tough! Thanks for doing this report, and spotlighting the Cowboy State.

Oh ... Do you recall which national forest that nasty road 177 is in? Wouldn't mind avoiding it myself on my own silver/green KLR. And you're right about that bike ... it is tough and reliable.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:08 PM   #9
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Forest Road 177 (better known as Green Ridge Trail) is in the Roosevelt National Forest. It takes you from Chambers Lake near Cameron Pass most of the way to Red Feather Lake. It is not a road to be avoided by the adventurous but it IS a road to be treated with some measure of respect. Green Ridge has been known to claim a victim or two, and there's ample video and photographic evidence around ADV. Green Ridge is a favorite route among the local ADV gang, especially on hot summer days when getting drenched with muddy water feels refreshing.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hayduke.klr07 View Post
Bear Creek Road was good fun. Gravel to dirt to two track and back again multiple times following, you guessed it, Bear Creek. Rolling good fun. Then we come to this place. Can you imagine?




This must have been the place back in the day. That date above the door says 1882.
That is the former home of Oscar Yoder and family. The Yoders were a Mennonite family that settled in central and southern Goshen County. If you look on the map, you'll find the town of Yoder straight north about ten miles, named for them. Yoder, Wyoming was my childhood home, and my family were early settlers in the area too, though we have only reservoirs and abandoned oil wells named for us! As the size of the Yoders' house indicates, the Yoder family was large. While the name has mostly died out now, the bloodline surely has not. Years ago I worked for the state government in Cheyenne, and no fewer than three of the lawyers I worked with, and one engineer, were all direct descendants of Oscar Yoder.

You hit three of my favorite dual sport rides on this trip. I live near Laramie, and I can hit Green Ridge Trail from my front door with only one mile of pavement. I often make an excuse to hit Bear Creek road past the Yoder homestead when I ride home visit my folks, who still live near Yoder. And the bunker you found is along another of my favorite loops in the Veedauwoo area. I guess I should admit that I live in a sort of dual sport heaven.

BTW, the bunker is one of the most obvious remnants of a former military training area. That lovely forest we now know as Veedauwoo was once a WWII ordinance training ground and aircraft gunnery target range, and to this day we find occasional unexploded ordinance in the area.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:28 PM   #11
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great report

Can you tell me what type of panniers are on the KLR? thanks
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:28 PM   #12
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Forest Road 177 (better known as Green Ridge Trail) is in the Roosevelt National Forest. It takes you from Chambers Lake near Cameron Pass most of the way to Red Feather Lake. It is not a road to be avoided by the adventurous but it IS a road to be treated with some measure of respect. Green Ridge has been known to claim a victim or two, and there's ample video and photographic evidence around ADV.
10-4, Cowboy. Thanks for that intel. You've a great state there. In fact, got myself an amazing wife in Lander some 30+ years back.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:49 PM   #13
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10-4, Cowboy. Thanks for that intel. You've a great state there. In fact, got myself an amazing wife in Lander some 30+ years back.
I guess we have two things in common: wives from Lander, and respect for each other's states. I'm planning a Bruneau Canyon ride next summer.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:29 PM   #14
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Day 5 --- Leaf peepers paradise.

Day 5
Sleeping in a hotel was the right choice. Sharing a room with 2 other dudes who snore…well, it was cheap, but maybe not the best way to actually get a good nights rest. All of us were fairly slow on the get up…clean up…load up. Esp. as Mr Stover had to empty most every bag he had in order to clean beer and or whiskey out of them and wash all the items that had been blessed by this good smelling brew.
Of course because it was there, we did enjoy breakfast at the local diner. The omelet was good…the coffee was….weak and brown but at least plentiful, and the waitress had a nice smile.
After poring some of the finest petro chemicals we could find into our road warrior machines, we fueled up and headed north (I think) out of Walden. (Shep or Stover will have to fill in the road names and or numbers....I'm not to good at keeping track of that stuff when I don't need to be)


Turning off shortly onto gravel, we were soon shut down by a gate that closed off a road though wildlife refuge a walk in only area. Sheps GPS showed us a road and we tried to go follow....so while it was not technically wrong…it was not really right in its routing ability. Mental note…do not try to take a 'shortcut'.... XC to the next road you can see through dried out humicy wetlands. Very tough terrain to ride through…and even exciting to just try and turn around in.



Plan B and our fearless route finder Shep then led us back to the asphalt for a few miles and up another gravel road where we started our ascent into the most perfect fall foliage leaf peeper Quaking Aspen viewing day of my life.



Just when you thought it could not get any better, the next curve would show off an even more perfect yellow-gold-orange hillside and the next hill top yield an even more firery vista.




The actual riding was largely uneventful. Totally suitable for a big GS bike or whatever. The gravel sweepers of the Routt National Forest Roads led us to scenery that I’m untalented enough to capture in photos or words.
Trying to ‘auto tour’ on a motorbike is not all it is cracked up to be. Yes, you get the fresh air, great smells and not so great smells, and a snoot full of dust along the way, I had to stop many times, just so I did not run off the edge of the road while riding. The thick gravel along with the potential of other distracted drivers coming round the blind corners demanded more attention then I wanted to give our travels. I just wanted to sit back and gauk at all of Mother Natures splendor.















After riding through Buffalo Park... on road ???? we took a look at a trail we thought we might be able to ride out of there in order to add some more technical riding to the day. No dice. It was a single track hiking only trail...no motor vehicles. We then tried the ashalt to another possible option that landed us at another closed gate.... Darn private land this time.



We did not really intend to camp out in Steamboat that night, but our hope was that we would use that area to meet up with one more friend who was many days overdo in joining us for the balance of the trip. Hope faded. The phone messages and photo text to him turned from encouragement to join us to smack talk and bragging about how great it was to a fair amount of ornery ribbing, an I’ll leave it at that.








Rabbit Ears Pass was the only gnarley tracks we laid that day. Boldly following Shep, we charged up it as far as we dared. After we walked up and down the last really steep section, I think it would have been OK to ride, but exciting to say the least. The left turn at the bottom may have been more then a fully loaded KLR wanted though.
We must have been bored though, as Shep decided that taping a camera to his chin guard for the trip down in order to film the ride down was a good idea. Mixed success.


I did the drive and stop method...with mixed success. If Shep got any worthy footage of me going down the steep parts, I've not seen them, so here is a little bit of the runout section below.

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">





My favorite part of the little clip was the teeth rattling clank of Sheps totally blown out front suspension when he hit a rock.

Back at the asphalt we had a pow wow and, and tried to figure out how to avoid another night in a town, but with the time of day and our lack of beer in the saddle bags, our options were limited.
Our goal for the trip was to hit towns for a mid day break, and to load up on necessities for the night. With the miles we rode that day…. No word from our friend…we were kinda stuck with hitting the friendly grocery store and riding into the evening and setting up camp in the dark, or hitting the campground on the north side of Steamboat.



All and all, the Campground on the north side of town was pretty nice. It was an easy sell, and after a train or 2…quiet enough to get a little sleep. http://www.steamboatcampground.com/

Stover searched out several stores on his quest for a volume control for his non Apple product smart phone to no avail. Just goes to show…if you want to be cool, you need a KLR and an Iphone.

The burger joint we had supper in was OK, but most of all, convenient. We even fueled up so we didn’t have to waste time the following day and get an early start…..

Wishful thinking…..
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:52 PM   #15
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Power River Panniers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtnadvil View Post
Can you tell me what type of panniers are on the KLR? thanks
Dirtnadvil - Those are Power River Panniers on the back of all our bikes. Shep and Stover both riding the pre 08 bikes have home made front panniers.

http://www.dakotadualsportsupply.com...=0&id=11797549
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Riding the KLR is a great distraction from running Sylvan Rocks Climbing School...but any way you look at it.....Life is Good.
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