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Old 01-09-2014, 05:23 PM   #331
byways OP
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And then there's Utardia ...







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Old 01-09-2014, 05:39 PM   #332
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My favorite sign - kinda sucks you in

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Old 01-09-2014, 06:50 PM   #333
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No kidding! Like Hansel and Gretel ...
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:31 AM   #334
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Yellowstone, too? Well maybe ...

Heart of the West ADV Route threads between two of America's most iconic national parks: Yellowstone and Grand Teton, both in northwestern Wyoming.

Yet H.o.W. only goes through Grand Teton. Even so, the paved loop that takes travelers along the base of that inspiring range is offered as an option, one that requires a $20 per-bike park pass. (Below, a group from Germany on the H.o.W. segment through Grand Teton.)

(For a mere $10, U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents age 62 or older can purchase a Senior Pass. Good for whatever years the sorry purchaser has left in this world, it provides free access to national parks and other federal recreational lands. The pass also provides a 50 percent discount on campground fees at federal sites, e.g., national park and Forest Service campgrounds.)



H.o.W. does go right past Yellowstone's southern entrance. But it doesn't then turn north into Yellowstone.



That's because the loop one could make is long, slow and entirely paved. Tourist traffic is often congested and slow. The speed limit is typically 35 mph. And some visitors decide to make U turns in the strangest places ...



Yet from time to time, and again just the other day, clients requesting personalized versions of H.o.W. ask about including a detour through Yellowstone. I advise them that it would consume at least a day.

If they have the time and desire, I will note something that apparently few visitors are aware of: there are only two dirt public roads in the park. Both are in the park's northwestern corner, and both are historic remnants of the way Yellowstone travel used to be. Both are open only when conditions are dry.

However, both also would involve even longer detours, and yet another day. But if you're interested, here they are:

Blacktail Plateau Drive (6 miles; one way only). It begins 9.4 miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs, where park headquarters are located. As its name suggests, this single-lane road ascends gently onto a plateau that provides a sweeping vista across the park's low, forested mountains to the wilderness of the imposing Absaroka Range.





The other is five-mile Old Gardiner Road, which links Mammoth Hot Springs with the gateway community of Gardiner, Montana. This road meanders through the foothills high above the Gardiner River.









If you wish to spend a night, plan well ahead. If you wish to spend a night in a more authentic bit of Yellowstone -- "Yellowstone the way it's supposed to be," as a friend once put it -- book a rustic little cabin at Roosevelt Lodge, at Tower Junction (the restaurant is quite good).









So yes, you can visit both national parks ... one conveniently, the other, well ... you'd need to add a day or two to your schedule. And you'd need to be patient.

Just ask. We'll make it happen.

byways screwed with this post 01-11-2014 at 06:05 PM Reason: add title
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:56 AM   #335
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Just got around to looking at Tony's Picassa album...................WOW!

https://picasaweb.google.com/tonyhue...at=directlink#

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We gotta talk about that bike packin strategy though...

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Old 01-12-2014, 11:23 AM   #336
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Those were the olden days. It worked! But it's mo' betta now. Got a pair o' Ortliebs and some Kriega packs.


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Old 01-16-2014, 04:00 PM   #337
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Those were the olden days. It worked! But it's mo' betta now. Got a pair o' Ortliebs and some Kriega packs.

And a shit ton of stickers haha. I should of hung out longer in Idaho with you.

Reading this thread and seeing the excitement of future HOTW explorers is really bringing memories of last year and where I was at, frame of mind wise, at this time. Obsessively going over reports, gear threads, annual weather reports, telling family and friends, endlessly and according to them, nauseously, about my plan. Then I would contact you and find your excitement matched my own. Really made me feel great Tony

What's your schedule like in February? I have unfinished business in the Moab area, come join me. Your good spirit and enthusiasm would be welcome.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:35 PM   #338
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Yeah, CaseyB, it's motivating to have a dream, a big idea -- and people who get it. But then to have it come true! OMG ... You did it, brother. And in a manner that shall become legend, I dare say.

I still can't believe what you did ... By every measure, you embody the singular spirit of solo adventure, and belong to an exclusive club that is not easy to join.

It was rewarding to assist, and it would've been a blast to have you around for a few days. This part of America is ADV riding paradise; one cannot live long enough to get enough. There's more than what you saw, but you saw a lot. (BTW ... we have a great airport here in Idaho Falls...)

You have unfinished bidness indeed down Moab way, for the weather gods were angry when you were there. (What did we do to piss them off so?)

February is still hibernation season for us hereabouts. But more than that, as great as Moab is, it is familiar after so many years. I find myself now looking more for new horizons, new roads to travel ...

That is my dream ...
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:31 PM   #339
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Tony, your attention to detail and willingness to share your experience is truly a great foundation for the relationship you build with travelers on the Heart of the West route. When I first read the original ride report (thanks to Frank & Co) of this route; seeds were sown but the reality of getting it done was truly sparked when I learned of the services and support you offered through Backcountry Byways. Your route took our group into such a variety of scenery, historical settings, and vast open country that descriptive terms fall short. Thanks to you, we had the experience of a lifetime worth treasuring forever.

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Old 01-20-2014, 08:31 AM   #340
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NEflatlander, I cannot tell you how much it means to me to hear that. Thank you so much.

This is not much more than an expensive avocation for me, yet one I take seriously. So the reward has to be in helping folks like yourself, Dockingpilot, CaseyB, DolphinJohn and so many others from so many places make this dream ride come true.

Tribe ... NEflatlander had difficulty posting a couple of photos from his Heart of the West journey in 2013, and asked that I post them for him. They are below. I'll confess: As often as I've been immersed in these landscapes, they make me yearn for more ...




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Old 01-20-2014, 02:07 PM   #341
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Tribe ... NEflatlander had difficulty posting a couple of photos from his Heart of the West journey in 2013, and asked that I post them for him. I'll confess: As often as I've been immersed in these landscapes, they make me yearn for more ...

Apparently the above spot made both of us want to pull out our camera.

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Old 01-20-2014, 02:22 PM   #342
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I think the above sign with "Heart of the West" placed somewhere would make a great sticker. Easily recognized by those who know and a little advertising for those who don't. I'd buy a couple if you ever make any.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:57 PM   #343
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On my way to Death Valley this weekend, my buddy and I overnighted in Kernville, CA. At a little breakfast cafe, I ran into a local that commented on our bikes. He said, "Last year I did a ride called 'Heart of the West'.... heard of it?"


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Old 01-20-2014, 04:57 PM   #344
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OMG, Klinquist! Small world indeed.

I did have several sizable contingents from the Golden State in 2013. I hope he spoke well of it. One group is returning next season for a bit more technically challenging route I'm building for them.

Maybe I should have stickers made ...

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Old 01-20-2014, 05:03 PM   #345
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Yeah, TxTiger ... That would be a fun one. Wish I'd thought of it!

But having once drawn inspiration from Wyoming's bronco-buster logo ...



... it didn't seem right, and I thought I should come up with something of my own.
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