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Old 09-11-2014, 12:40 PM   #1
TangoBob OP
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: North Scottsdale, AZ
Oddometer: 18
A Rocky Mtn National Park tour. Prepping for Patagonia.

On my way to Argentina as I write this up. Currently spending a couple days in Tucson with an excellent tango dancer and her 3mo old. A slow start means I have time to dance with old friends and time to put together a little story about the last two weeks.

I have one previous RR from a trip to a HUBB Campfire meet in Grant, Colorado:

As usual, the gpx tracks of this trip are attached. It doesn't have a lot of dirt: only about 20 miles in the Black Hills and an 8-ish mile shortcut to avoid Walsenburg while heading N/S through south-central Colorado. Most of the trip was planned with the Butler Motorcycle Maps Rocky Mountain Regional map.

I'll try and include GPS coordinates with pictures to the nearest I can remember.

The trip summary:
Phoenix to Moab, UT
Moab to Jackson Hole, WY
Jackson Hole to Helena, MT
Helena to Glacier NP
Glacier NP to Great Falls, MT
Great Falls to Spearfish, SD
Spearfish to Mitchell, SD <-- best part of the trip
Mitchell to Sioux Falls, SD
Sioux Falls to Boulder, CO <-- 710miles in 12-ish hours.
Boulder to Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque to Phoenix

36.864, -110.265
US-163 is the preferred way to ride through Monument Valley. I've also taken US-191 on a previous trip, which is nice, but not traditional. US-160 southwest of Kayenta is actually just as impressive because you're traveling through a canyon and thus up close and personal with all the red rock.

Road through about 45min of Thunderstorms after dark when arriving at Moab. Opted for a motel as I'm a fair weather camper. Actually, I only camped two nights on this trip due to storms and having friends in convenient places.

40.688, -110.898
US-189 to UT-150 was a great ride that takes you over Bald Mountain Pass.

I can't remember where this was. I took a picture of a sign mentioning the Lander-Cutoff, but no luck searching google. It's somewhere along US-89 in Wyoming or Utah on my way to Alpine, WY.

43.772, -110.711
Free entrances to NPs today! Lucky timing to be riding through too. This is Grand Teton NP. Jackson, WY was 50F (10C) and raining when I arrived and left but it cleared up just as I was passing through the parks. Met a German couple on air-cooled GS's just as I was transitioning between Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

43.787, -110.732
String Lake, one of the places that motivated my route.

44.152, -110.673
Moose Falls, just a mile north of the south entrance to Yellowstone, where I met a guy from Ouray, CO which is mentioned in my previous RR.

44.416, -110.577
After hiking seven miles because of mud on my last trip I've become vary wary. This was fortunately hard.

44.624, -110.435
More mud. Realizing at this point that National Parks are best experienced while backpacking. You're still limited to roads and near roads on a bike which means it's hard to escape crowds.

45.002, -110.693
In a few months I'll be at 45o South.

46.586, -112.041
Stayed with a very cute, smart, tough and adventurous veterinarian in Helena that I met while dancing.

48.681, -113.819
Morning on the Trail of the Cedars in Glacier NP. An easy one mile walk to make in motocross boots.

48.676, -113.813
The blue color and clarity of the water really floored me.

48.693, -113.728
Logan Pass on the Going to the Sun road.

48.687, -113.742
Hidden Lake, about a two mile round trip from the pass. Opted to use my other shoes and a sports brace on my recently healed ankle for this one. Probably don't need the brace anymore.

Continued in next post...
Attached Files
File Type: gpx National Park Trip.gpx (610.4 KB, 11 views)
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:41 PM   #2
TangoBob OP
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: North Scottsdale, AZ
Oddometer: 18
48.696, -113.717
Camper Clan! I met these guys on their trip from Argentina to Montana at the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ in May. Only talked to them a little before breaking my ankle at that event. Got lucky when I saw them on my way out of the park and had to chase them down. I'll likely stay a couple days with Tomas' family or brother in Argentina. They're now riding an electric bicycle to Miami and hope to arrive in December.

48.69, -113.38
East entrance to Glacier as I leave.

47.52, -111.255
Great Falls, MT. Mr Salvage Motorcycles on Central near US-89 has good tire prices. I replaced my heavily cupped front there.

44.35, -103.942
Roughlock Falls off US-14 Alt in south of Spearfish, SD in the Black Hills NF. Camped with a group of British students bicycling their way across the US the night before at Spearfish's city campground.

44.068, -103.648
Continued mostly in a straight line south from the Falls on this loose gravel road. The old railroad grades had been surfaced into excellent biking or hiking trails.

43.852, -103.574
Lots of twisty freshly surfaced roads. I'm beginning to understand Sturgis' reputation even though I've never been there and have no interest in the rally.

43.842, -103.546
Finally wearing away at something other than the center strip on this D606.

43.84, -103.54
Custer State Park, I think.

43.797, -103.342
Much easier to ride through Custer State Park/Black Hills NF. Traffic was dangerous in the National Parks because people would slam on their brakes at no notice if they saw an animal. The Black Hills had a more relaxed atmosphere with fewer people feeling pressured to consume all the sights.

43.993, -102.241
Wall Drug. Normally I would skip these kinds of sights, but a couple I met in the Black Hills recommended it. My brother could have used this shotgun while growing up.

43.855, -102.34
The Badlands NP. It was getting late in the day already because I spent a good five hours just tooling around 87 and 16A in the Black Hills.

43.715, -98.025
Heard about this last year from a friend from Sioux Falls (she's the reason for this SD portion). Unfortunately under construction. I thought it would be an agricultural museum or something educational.

43.714, -98.025
Wandered inside to find a college volleyball tournament. No complaints. Hung out a little...

43.714, -98.025
What it's really known for are these corn murals that change every year on the outside.

43.149, -98.538
Headed home. Rain wasn't too heavy, but the winds were massive.

43.172, -101.952
Swett, SD! This town has a population of two and is currently for sale for $400k. I read about it at some point over the summer and had to stop by. One of the locals was so surprised I knew of it and sought it out, that he gave me the shirt off his back as a souvenir.

40.015, -105.209
Boulder, CO. 710 miles and approximately 12 hours later. I rode a bit in the dark for the prospect of a free bed from a tango acquaintance. Made it to the big weekend event with 12 minutes to spare and scored a shared bed with one of my old tango teachers.

35.985, -106.051
From Boulder I took CO-9 south towards Taos. A forest fire near Los Alamos provided a nice effect.

35.038, -108.353
Hieroglyphics and four hundred year old Spanish carvings at El Morro National Monument. Final day. "Pasamos por aqui..."

35.038, -108.353
El Morro National Monument has a persistent collected pool of rainwater which made it an important stopping point for lots of travelers.

33.583, -111.835
Home. Just about 5000mi on that D606. Shinko 705 will be worn through Central America.

TangoBob screwed with this post 09-11-2014 at 01:20 PM
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