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Old 11-29-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
jeffgrig OP
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Go West Scooter Man!!

Road Report: "Go West Scooter-Man"


The intention of this of this is to describe my 2010 expedition. With my then trusty steed - a 2006 Suzuki Burgman 650 - I planned a trip at the end of June that would have been my longest touring trip to date. these are taking from my notes, so if you're interested, have a historical read into my favorite trip. (Cue dream sequence........)

......yes, there is much time before push off, but I want to take this time and do some planning of routes, destinations and purchase and organize some gear. At this stage, I will post my thoughts of this trip.

On the expedition, I plan to take a laptop and post pics throughout.

My rough itinerary is as follows: From my home in Shorewood, Illinois (SW burb of Chicago):
-Head north to the IRSSR Scooter Rally in Iron Mountain Minnesota. Good times and good friends.
-From there, go west to Yellowstone National Park. People say its beautiful and I want to spend some quality time there.
-Head west to Portland Oregon and visit with my sister Linda and her tribe for a couple of days.
-Go south, enter California, see my old friend Frank in Chico, California, then stay south along the coast - Highway 1, Pacific Coast Highway.....and bask in the beauty.
-Go all the way to Carmel, California and visit my aunt for a day or two.
-At that point, I want to think about heading east towards home. Possibly via the Grand Canyon, but who knows.

I plan on camping as much as I could to reduce costs.

So, from now until push-off, I hope to include you, fellow wanderlust devotee, on preparations. More than just the trip itself, this will be a time for self-reflection, self-discovery, and some serious soul searching about what's important in life.
Right now, I feel blessed and fortunate to even entertain this venture. Thanks for visiting and I hope you not only enjoy my journey, but resolve then to take your own sojourn.

Here we go.......

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I think any solo expedition is important in many ways....and mine is no different. I have a scootering friend -let's call her "J" - who stated that being a busy mom and wife, working tirelessly, she just wanted an escape hatch - especially when her whole family and extended family was telling her she was crazy for going off alone on a long trip. Gender issues aside, I know how she feels.

Not that my life is so hectic, but come Spring, my heart jumps with the sound of the first motorcycles I hear cruising by. Cooped up all winter, one just wants to fly!

For me, it has much more romantic roots.

To be honest, some of it has roots in my marriage, when we had a Goldwing and traveled the eastern U.S. Those were magic times and I am nostalgic for those open road memories and the feelings they conjure up. Simple memories; from tying up the motorcycle onto the coal ferry to cross Lake Michigan, to taking a picture of Ro brushing her teeth with bottled water behind the Piggly-Wiggly in southern Wisconsin. From cruising along a lonely highway and seeing our shadows being cast on the pavement - and waving to it and having her shadow wave back to me. I imagined her shadow smiling at me....

One of those memories made me give up motorcycles for 15 years. Riding through the awesome beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina - zipping through the twisting turns, I thought, "...one wrong turn or slip and we are over the side of this mountain and our small kids are parentless." When we got home, it was the main reason why I sold the beloved Goldwing.

I'll be honest, I had a tear in my eye seeing the Goldwing ride off without me when I sold it. Not so much for the machine, but for all the times we had on it and the times that will be lost without it. There is nothing like riding therapy for a marriage. Not only were we bound and close quartered, but we had those mics attached to our helmets and we could chat while riding without screaming to be heard. We once raced ahead of a nasty thunderstorm while in Kentucky and found a bed and breakfast that had a huge hot tub on the back porch. We sat in the hot tub by ourselves while that storm burned through and it was awesome. We beat the odds and Mother Nature....together.

Every Spring since, I would white-knuckle my way through hearing the cycles as much as the baby birds welcoming the warmer weather. Just a few years ago, I thought I could assuage that feeling by getting a little 250cc scooter....and it worked. I zipped around town and doing errands, and that was enough of IV drip of motorcycling to make that part of my life bearable.

Then I progressed to a Yamaha Majesty, which is a 400cc scooter. Now, I have a Suzuki Burgman 650 scooter and it is the largest scooter made. It really seems to be the best of both worlds; I can hop on and zip to the store, or pack it up and head off to the hills.

So, the question then is, "will my wife come with me?" While we do go on short rides to farmer markets and such, she does not want to do the long distance stuff anymore. I never really thought she liked long distance touring in the first place - but she tolerated it because she knew I did. That's the kind of wife you keep....

I did have this thought that she could fly to Portland, Oregon, meet me and we could cruise down the California coast. I think that would be terribly romantic and I want to show her San Diego - which is my favorite city, and then she could fly home. But, Summer is her busy time at work and I just don't think she wants to anymore. I respect that- even though it makes me sad a bit. Life goes on......

So, to make a short story long, that is why the whole trip has some nostalgic and romantic roots.

The other reason is more me-centered.....like most things male. As Wilfred Peterson said, “A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” Indeed.

Routine is an indignity suffered by men not bold enough to go around the next corner or forge ahead often against the will of others. He blazes his own trail because that is where adventure lies. Work and family life are noble and rewarding, but there has to be something more. The brass ring lies out there somewhere, and though I shall never find it, there is adventure in the hunt for it. It's force is as strong as the constant pull of gravity.

Aside from California, everything West of where I live has been fly over country. I want to experience all the things I have read about. I want to see those tall Redwoods, the geysers of Yellowstone, and all the point in between.

I most certainly do......

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Old 11-29-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
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Yes, my scooter has a big ass, alright? Or, as a school bus driver, my high schoolers would say, "That girl got a lot of Crisco." AKA: Fat in the can. Boys....what are you going to do?

Anyway, with my Givi hardcases attached, it measures 48 inches across at the rear!! Holy cow! I never did much lane splitting, but with these storage unit attached, I wouldn't even think of doing it. The most I do is scoot along the curb side to make a right turn while during rush hour and when it is severely backed up.

But with these bags on, I won't do much of that either.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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Day One: 109 miles

If I had any more crap stacked on the scoot, I think granny would appear in a rocking chair atop the stack.

I will consider unloading the sleeping bag once I am done camping in higher climes. I have a fleece bag liner, sheets and thermals that should suffice. I would then just box the sleeping bag, the small red bag and mail them home. All my clothes in the small red bag would then fit in the larger red bag. Voila.

My other concern is the weight in the side hard bags. My left side hard bag houses the backpack with my computer and books and it is heavier than I would like. My rear plastic bumper became un-attached at the same point where I replaced that rivet, and I think the culprit is the hard bag - which can shake that plastic loose. I may switch the sleeping bag with the backpack in order to transfer the weight. But I do like just pulling into Macs, grabbing my backpack, and updating this blog. Hmmm...will have to think about this.

On the plus side, that tall stack-o-bag provides a nice extended back rest for me - which will give me some support.

I stayed at my brothers house in Rockford, which was my 'shake-down' cruise. I reconfigured the red bags a bit and shifted the tripod and tent. Nothing fell off - so that's good.

It is muggy and cloudy now, but when I meet my riding partners for the Rally leg of this tour, Bob and Bill, at noon, it is supposed to storm. A quick radar check revealed a line of storms coming our way, some of them severe. Rain gear standing by and accessible.

Okay, off to meet the guys, then onward beyond the Cheddar Curtain (Wisconsin).

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Cleared Illinois and made it to mid-Wisconsin. We missed all the predicted rain - which was fortunate. It reached 100 degrees though, and the super-slab made it feel like 110 degrees. Lower, and even mid-Wisconsin, IMHO, is nothing more to me than a far north suburb of Chicago - especially riding an interstate highway. There are some splendid back roads, but we are trying to make some time at this point.

Bob is good riding company and Bill had mechanical issues with his scooter, so he is riding his car up to the rally. On the plus side, because he is riding in the car, he brought his wife up with him - and those two are good,fun people.

Tomorrow's forecast is dismal with isolated storms through out the intended leg of this trip. Some severe. Well, all one can do is press on.

My scooter has issues: That rear fender is hanging again, so I duct taped it together (lucky the silver tape matches my scoot!), and my right side hard bag bracket came loose from one of it's points of attachment. Actually, because of the weight of the bag and the jostling forces, the pressed-fit screw hole underneath the handrail separated from its mooring - so it's not like I can just screw it back in place. Have duct tape, will travel.

In Virginia, Minnesota - at the rally - I plan to modify my gear substantially. I plan to remove the hard bags, box them and send them home along with the sleeping bag and some smaller items I could do without. I will end up leaner with just the large and small red bag - and even try to eliminate the small red bag. We will see how the re-distribution of gear goes. Not happy about this lack of planning, but will adapt and overcome (thank you USMC).

My ass hurts; my neck hurts and my back hurts. For me, it will take me a few days to get my 'road legs.' It's like the road gods take two, big asphalt hammers and pound the crap out of you until you resemble something worthy to tackle the open road. It leaves you two choices: Go home/shorten the trip or toughen up.

Since I still plan on going out West, it better be the latter choice.

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Old 11-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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Made it to Virginia, Mn. with no issues - but the rain has been relentless since Eau Claire.

I will post again post-rally when I am on the road....which will be tomorrow (Saturday). I am leaving the rally early because there appears to be a weather window opening for tomorrow. My intention is to make it to Fargo, ND.

I decided that I needed to lighten my load considerably due to weight and scooter capacity.

Lesson Learned: Go with semi-minimal gear; you can always add gear as you go if needed. It is cheaper to add to gear on the road than to mail home extra gear. I am not hiking the Tetons; there's Wal-Mart's in just about every town.

Speaking of laudable joints, I am indeed thankful for McDonald's every few miles. Dollar coffee, clean restrooms and free wi-fi. Just what I needed.

On one rally side-trip to Grand Rapids, MN, the gentle rain took a bad turn. There was funnels clouds 3 miles north of us - and just where we needed to go. There was two storms cells and a small window of space between which we shot for. We caught the tail end of the first cell which produced marble-sized hail. Many of us ducked under the cover of a gas station canopy. I thought it was cool.

Camping in the rain. The rain did not let up until about 3 am. Getting into the tent was good and I only allowed a bit of moisture in and no skeeters. Oh, yeah, Minnesota - land of 10,000 Lakes. What they don't tell you is that the natural sequitor in that name is "Land of 10,000 lakes - which produced 10 billions mosquitoes."

These things were huge! I learned quickly that I was not going out of the tent for a night time bathroom call. Even if I didn't run the gauntlet to the bathrooms and just choose a tree, I believe there were squadrons of mosquitoes on 'pecker patrol' just waiting for the sound of a zipper unzipping. No siree.

Actually, I slept more net hours in the tent than in the rooms two nights prior. It got cold and I realized that the sleeping bag was needed - with the under-armor thermals. That was the hot ticket and I was cozy.

I did laundry today and am set for an early departure. A guy and gal at the rally told me about Beartooth Pass, coming from Red Lodge Montana into Yellowstone Natl Park, which is supposed to have breathtaking roads and views with some high elevations.
I am going to try and ride that - weather permitting. It can very cold up there and there has been snow in July I am told. We will see.

Okay friends, a lighter, leaner me is getting ready to head out after dinner tonight with the Rally folks. More later...and a few pics.

---------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:49 PM   #5
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Day 5: 252 miles

Sorry for the pic order; I found a few more rally pics and just inserted them. I am currently at the KOA in Moorland/Fargo, North Dakota using their wi-fi, and trying to write, next to a 9 year old who is beating a video arcade game to death. Easy lad....then again, screw it, go for it.

I left Virginia at 0815 hrs and arrived here at 1430 hrs. I am glad I ended the day early - I am exhausted, and pulled over twice for coffee to stay awake. Not enough sleep these last few days but I was sawing logs until I had to wake up at 0500 hrs to break camp. I hope to catch up tonight.

I left West on 169 through Hibbing, MN (where Bob Dylan was born - and yes, they all mumble there), through Nashwauk, Taconite, Bovey, Grand Rapids, Cohas-s-e-t...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....ye ah, it was that boring. I am falling asleep just typing the names. Things didn't pick up until I turned onto Rte 2 which led through Chippewa National Forest. An okay drive if you like water and trees...and I do, so there you go. Rte 6, then 34 led me by Leech Lake - which was huge and scenic.

I ended up on 10 to 94 which led me to the campground. Weather was overcast and cool. Some drizzle but not bad.

I set up camp and will go for dinner soon. The tv here just flashed some storm warning but I don't know if it is for here. They said something, but the blonde haired video-game destroyer here is two bucks in quarters away from annihilating the video world.

Give em hell kid........
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This is Linda - wife of Kevin, the rally coordinator, who rides a Burgman 400 and has a cool 2-way radio set up.


This is a statue dedicated to miners in Chisholm, MN. The area of the Iron Range is home to the country's largest supply of iron ore/tacomite. Mining is serious business here.


We took a break from an organized ride, and was waiting for this storm cell to pass to our North. It produced hail and funnel clouds - but was cool to look at.



My last night at a brat cookout at a local park.

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Old 11-29-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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That above dash setup worked out well. I noticed a hew other scooters riders with it. I just purchased a jogger/hikers hip pack with water bottles, and strapped it around the handlebars. I was great for holding my camera, sunblock, etc and the water bottle came in handy and was in the right spot. Perfect.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:53 PM   #7
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This is my new improved set-up: The hard bags were replaced with soft bags my wife mailed overnight to me...and they are located hanging between the front and rear saddle - which is a bit forward than their usual location, but it is working out well as I do not have to move the bag to fuel and can still open the seat to get into the trunk.
The GPS is becoming indispensable. Not for long runs from point A to B, but for getting anywhere in a town, say, dinner...or finding the nearest anything, like Wal-Mat, gas station or McDonalds. I'm loving it....the GPS that is.

Many scooter riders have a fanny pack strung between their handlebars - which I thought would be very convenient. I picked-up a runners hip pack - which also solves my 'where can I put my drink?' question. I have to adjust it more, but I am liking how much it holds.

I broke camp at 0500 hrs and timed myself doing so....just to see. It would have took me 35 minutes to wheels rolling, but a guy was up walking his dog and stopped to chat. I promised myself that if it came down to the mechanics of the trip or talking to people....I was going to talk to people. Mike, the early morning dog-walker, was a pretty interesting guy. He is on his way to Virginia for a Boy Scouts convention - and he has been involved with them for over 50 years. He and his wife both are HAM operators and went on about that which I found interesting. He has taught over 500 scouts how to use the Ham radio network.
That organization has been so maligned recently. I am glad to see men of Mike's caliber involved in the scouts.

I thought I had exited Minnesota without a bug bite, but it seems a spider got me, as my left hand is swollen. Not bad and it doesn't seem to be getting worse.

You know, I have never stayed at a KOA campground before, but I was not impressed...and got into it with the nice lady running the office. The site was fine, but the shower facilities.....I mean, I expect backwoods conditions at State run facilities, but private campgrounds?

Our conversation went something like this:

"Hi you doing! Enjoying your stay?"

"Ummmm...yes, the site is fine, but what's with the men's showers?"

"What's wrong with them?" (smiling)

"Well, no toilet paper in stall number 3; I go to hang up my pants on the shower hook, and took them off with a big glob of chewing gum that was unseen and attached to the hook...now attached to my pants; then the shower drain doesn't drain quickly so I am standing ankle deep in shower muck..."

"We have some of the best facilities around (smiling)"

"Really? Do those other facilities leave the restroom door propped open so the mosquitoes can hold their evening convention in there?"

(lolol)"Now, mosquitoes are part of camping. It's like outdoor ambiance" (smiling)

"Oh, so these are special mosquitoes......ordered on-line from letsmakecampingmiserable.com.?" (not smiling)

(peanuts shells on the floor of the Ground Round is ambiance; this is a nuisance...is what I wanted to say)

.............no reply.....just smiling at me.

"Ever hear of West Nile virus? Never mind...."

I should say that I was very tired and crabby and thought I held my tongue well considering.

It did rain and thunder starting at 2200 hrs....but by then I just rolled over and sleep like a log until 0500 hrs. Dry and toasty.

North Dakota is pretty unremarkable, scenery wise, until you get past Bismark. The crosswinds were fierce. A couple of HD guys I met at a rest stop also were complaining of the winds. Speed limit is 75 mph, but there was no way I could maintain that speed with those winds. I stayed at 60 to 65 most of the way.

Here is how windy it was: I rode at a continuous 15 to 18 degree angle to the right. The wind was pressing so hard against my helmet, it was pressing into the right side of my face so much, it created some space on the opposite side between my head and the helmet - so much so that my IPod earplug popped out from having no contact with the helmet liner and my ear. That has never happened to me before. That one is for the books.

I wanted to clear ND and make it to the border of Montana, but fighting the wind wore me out. Also, I found a church and went to mass at 0830. St. Joachim & Ann is a beautiful church in Fargo but that made me get on the road late.

So I made it to Dickinson, ND - which is a pleasant town off I-94. This must be serious cowboy country. Most of the guys here have the requisite cowboy hats and cock-roach killer boots, crew cuts and look they could hog tie you in about 10 seconds and put in some fresh chew under their lower lip to boot. I am tired, but I think I will keep my smart ass comments to myself tonight.

I am staying at the Northside campground in Dickinson, ND. Now, KOA should take lessons on how to run a campground! Nice bathrooms and shower; shower massage heads and even those red, french-fry warming lights in the ceiling. Fancy.

After mass, I got to thinking about the trip so far - especially about bringing so much gear with me. Isn't that analogous to life in general? So worried about not having enough that we become overburdened; we become over-satiated and no longer thirst for things outside our comfort zone, even if it means a simpler life. The fear of not having our 'stuff' makes us slaves to it - whatever that turns out to be.
Getting rid of all that gear made me feel like chains were lifted from me somehow. I didn't need layers of safety nets. All the important things in life I had - and have in my life.

No need to fear.

I am sitting here at Mac's, eating my daily breakfast burrito and coffee....$2.15 for breakfast, thank you....and will do some catching up.

I stopped at a laundromat in a small town because my carryall bag was starting to smell like a goat. I pulled up and saw three grey-hairs looking out the window at me as I disembarked from my steed.

That's right ladies.....lock up your daughters. Here comes the polite, bald, wire-rimmed glasses wearing scooter man, sporting their trade mark Columbia cargo khaki cargo pants!

"Morning ladies."

Nothing. They just stood there between this two-wheeled miscreant and their freshly laundered beige-colored unmentionables.

That turned out to be fortuitous as I had to wash the pants I was wearing....and there was no restroom to change into my camp shorts. Since the grey-hairs were always the greatest distance from me even as I moved, I just did a quick change right there, hidden by the large commercial washers.

So, waiting for the wash to do its thing, I browsed the magazines. At least 20 Cosmos and 2 Ladies Home Journals. Really? Listen, I wasn't expecting Sports & Fishing, but perhaps a Motor Trend or Family Handyman...hell, I would have took a Popular Mechanics!

That's okay, Cosmo it is. "65 New Ways to Please Him", "The 10 minute Orgasm - Guaranteed!". Who reads this stuff? I look at the titles...and then back up to the grey-hairs, and wonder how these periodicals arrived here. Either I missed the 24 year old women doing laundry here, or the husbands of these grey-hairs were a pretty peppy bunch.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:56 PM   #8
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More posts to follow........
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #9
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**Handy tip: Remove your glasses from the hanging loopy thing inside your tent, before you roll it up, put it into its travel bag, secure to your scooter, start it up, put your helmet on, kickstand up, and then say, "Why is the road so blurry?"

Day 8: 325 miles, Billings, Montana

Figures, as soon as I was going to write off ND as a big snooze, it picked up right after Dickinson on I-94. North Dakota's Badlands are pretty awesome to look at. It was the perfect morning also: cool temps, no wind - and doing 75 mph all the way. Sweet.

It got to 92 by noon, but it wasn't too bad on the scoot.

I have been having tent woes. It works fine and all, but it is just too small. There is literally no room for anything else than my air mattress - so my travel bag and sleeping bag all share space on that raft with me. Changing clothes is an exercise in frustration - and I had a quad cramp two nights in a row from contortions while changing. Marty at the rally convinced me that a scamper can haul a bigger tent. That settles it. Larger tent time.

Six Wal-Marts through three states were out of their four man tents. When I got to Billings, I stopped at Cabelas and, although out of 4 man tents, I got a 6 man Eureka that fits nicely on the scoot. Goodbye leg cramps. I can actually stand up in it to change. I will sleep like a rock tonight.


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Old 11-29-2012, 04:36 PM   #10
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Theodore Roosevelt National Park


This was at a rest stop in Montana. There goes my planned midday nap. Crap.

No offense to the Rally, but I now have been to a smattering of campgrounds, and West Two Rivers is a hole. So is the KOA at Fargo/Moorehead.

I didn't make reservations, but being a Monday and needing only a tent site, I figured I had a pretty good shot of finding some room. The Yellowstone River Campground in Billings is the best campground I have found to date.

It is pricey for tenting, $37.00, but I had my USMC hat on, and the gal behind the counter had a thing for Marines, so I got the military 10% discount. But the old gal had a twinkle in her eye, and if that price including her taking out her teeth and visiting me in my new roomier tent, I am very willing to pay full price...and then some.

Anyway, the ground is situated next to the river and has high buttes/cliffs in the background. Just beautiful. Lots of trees and high-line motor homes so I figured this place rates amongst the hoi-polloi. In fact, I met two wealthy couples at the very clean and shaded pool from New Jersey who gave me the low down on Yellowstone.
They mentioned that they were in Yellowstone, when about 200 bison decided to cross the road in front and behind them. They were stuck. They said they couldn't imagine a motorcycle doing that! I can!

Anyway, it is so nice here, I think I am going to stay tomorrow also. Relax, do some laundry, lounge by the pool, catch up on napping and clean gear and the scoot a bit.

Man, did I sleep good...and boy, did I need it. I slept 12 hours; 2030 hrs to 0830 hrs. There was no moisture on the tent or scoot cover - does that mean there was zero humidity last night?

There is a different clerk at the office (thank goodness) and I asked her about breakfast. She said there was a diner down the road that served great steak and eggs. Well, I'm doing laundry now anyway, so its going to be Snapple and trail mix for b'fast....which is fine by me.

They're not kidding about steak around here. This is cattle country, and coming in West on I-90, I saw cattle processing stations. It was at about that point that I started to salivate.

I want cow, and I want it now!

So, after I set up camp last night, went for a swim and relaxed a bit, I hopped on the scoot and headed for Montana's Rib & Chop House. One 22 oz bone-in ribeye later, the beast in me was satiated.

My plan today is to get a map and figure my next leg to Red Lodge - which is the start of the Beartooth Pass into Yellowstone Natl Park. I will organize the gear a bit, already doing laundry, walk to the river and take some pics, wash the scoot, swim some, nap some, stretch some and read.

Also, I need to eat some fruit. I can't remember the last time I had some. I feel like a pirate who has scurvy ....just, you know, replace fish with loads of beef.


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Old 11-29-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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View from camp site

Okay, so my souvenir of my stay in Minnesota was that spider bite. It has been 48 hours now and the darn thing is not better. In fact, it seems to be getting puffier, redder and a bit more tender.

So - at the firm insistence of my better half over the phone - I went to get it checked out. Some antibiotics and creme later, we are good to go.

It is blazing hot here. One temperature-reading sign said 111 degrees. My scoot said 117 degrees - but came down to 112. Still, way too hot.

So, trail mix for b'fast, a Fiber One bar for lunch and I just had a hamburger at the Lucky Cuss Saloon & Casino. Yeehaw!

A good, but quick, thunder storm came racing through last night. Good noise and lightning show and a moderate amount of rain. Tent performed well - but I would like to see a good wind storm come through to put it through its paces. I am not sending my old tent home until I see that.

I can't figure out how to work my timer on my Panasonic camera. I used that feature last year, but for some reason, it won't work for me. I press the 'timer' function, and I see the timer clock on the display, but nothing else happens. I think I recall that you then click the camera to start and timer. Oh well, that is a little annoyance.

I can see the silhouette of the mountains in the distance and can't wait until tomorrow. Believe it or not, this mid-Western boy has never really seen mountains up close and personal.

I am now waiting for the 'all clear' of the passing storms before they open the pool again. Tough life....I know.
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Okay, so the forecast looks like more rain for the next three days. I'd rather have that than this heatwave.

Oh geeze, I read that the nighttime temps at Yellowstone are 39 degrees! Holy crap! My sleeping bag is rated for 40 degrees, but I don't know. I do have a ski mask hat just in case - but it may be a night in the hotel. But i do want to try it and see first. I have thermals, a fleece pull-over and my hat...and the bag. What more could it take?

High temps are in the 70's so that's great with me. Hmmm...but what does that say for Beartooth Pass? Me thinks I am gonna freeze my ass off.

We shall see.....
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:39 PM   #12
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Okay, so the forecast looks like more rain for the next three days. I'd rather have that than this heatwave.

Oh geeze, I read that the nighttime temps at Yellowstone are 39 degrees! Holy crap! My sleeping bag is rated for 40 degrees, but I don't know. I do have a ski mask hat just in case - but it may be a night in the hotel. But I do want to try it and see first. I have thermals, a fleece pull-over and my hat...and the bag. What more could it take?

High temps are in the 70's so that's great with me. Hmmm...but what does that say for Beartooth Pass? Me thinks I am gonna freeze my ass off.

We shall see.....

------------------------------------------------------------

Starting at Red Lodge, Montana, and ending at the NE entrance into Yellowstone Park National Park.

On the advice of someone at the rally, I drove the Beartooth Pass and was absolutely stunned by the views. Every turn - and there is constantly a turn - opened up to new, majestic scenes of astounding beauty. I am indebted to him for his advice.

I really have never experienced so many awe inspiring, gorgeous and expansive views in my life. This pass moves to my number one position on the 'most beautiful sights
' in the continental USA. I highly recommend making the trip, on bike or car.

While putting on rain gear at the base, I met this Goldwing rider, "Gary", a USAF retired guy who now works for the Sacramento PD, driving his white 1997 Goldwing with trailer. We met several times along the pass because we each pulled over every other turn to snap a pic.

On the descent, we had a bunch of time to trade ride and cop stories as we had to wait for the 'pilot car' to come and escort us down a portion of the descent due to some construction.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:40 PM   #13
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #14
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The BT Pass is continuous twisties and switchbacks.

-------------------------------------------------------------------







I was at a rest stop on the Beartooth Pass when this group of Goldwings came in. 2002 to 2005 wings and they all looked like new. I talked with this group, and they lived in Ohio, work for Honda and built Goldwings! This is the last year though, as GW's will now be built in Japan.

After I pulled out of there I got the GW fever again and started to talk myself into getting another one. IMHO, it is a behemoth, but there is no better 2 -up touring machine made. But that's the rub for me: I have so many fond memories of my wife and I touring around on our old Wing, that to have one and her not in that seat on my trips would only remind me of those days and - I just know - it would bum me out.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:42 PM   #15
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