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Old 11-11-2013, 02:14 AM   #181
GP1152 OP
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Apparently stephanie isn't the only one that likes a free breakfast. This is what I learned the next morning when we made our way downstairs to the fairly large breakfast room and found what looked to be a heard of people grazing over the spread of unimpressive food. I guess "free" has a special allure in it's own right. This wasn't exactly cruise-ship like over-exuberance, but close enough. All this commotionalso meant that we had to walk out to the lobby and eat while seated on one of the sofas. Not the worst thing. It was comfortable AND there was a TV out there to watch the news.

After breakfast, as we were packing, I called ahead to the hotel we had reservations at in Ketchum, ID. The lady that answered told me they had started pre-evactations in the area and that there was a lot of smoke in the area. Not the best for 2 people riding in on motorcycles. I asked about cancellations and she said it would be no problem. For now though we would play it by ear and see how the next few days played out. But, it didn't look good.

Time to get going. We mowed down quite a few bugs in the last few days so on the way out of town we stopped at a self-serve car wash. I carry a few small microfiber towels and quick-detailer to clean the visors, so I did the best I could with what I had. At least it wouldn't take long….



Our destination today would be Cody, WY. Although we were headed back eastbound to get there, we would only have to back-track through a small portion of where we rode through yesterday




Photo-op on the way towards the West entrance to Yellowstone NP:


As we pulled up to the gate at Yellowstone Stephanie motioned towards the tank and I realized, "oh crap, we didn't get gas". It was going to be a fairly long haul through the park and we were pretty close to empty which meant a u-turn was in order. The gas station was just about a quarter-mile behind us so it wasn't so bad. As I'm getting off the bike at the gas station the guy next to us says something about "that loud sound". I tell him that yes, it's kind of loud but then realize he's not kidding and not referring to the exhaust. The guy was referring to the sound of the dry clutch. I told him it WAS actually normal for this bike and he either didn't seem to agree or wasn't impressed (or both). I wasn't about to start debating MY bike with this guy so I went about filling up. There's a first time for everything I guess. Not for someone not to be impressed, but for someone to have the kind of attitude this guy had. With fuel taken care of we set off again towards the park.

It was still relatively early but not early enough to where you didn't feel the heat that was coming. Not unbearable heat, but enough to get a good sweat going when you weren't moving. Especially in the line to get into the park, which of course was longer now than it was just 10 minutes ago before we turned around for gas. Damn Murphy!!

First stop was the Canyon village for lunch. This place consists of a visitor center and a few restaurants……and a TON of visitors. Not to worry though. We pull in and find our spot right away. We unload and as we start walking we realize that we parked on the exact opposite side of the lot from where we would have wanted to be. Oh well. Not going to gear up and change spots now so we just keep walking.

There were 2 restaurants. One was a Johnny Rockets type diner and the other more of a sit-down restaurant. We were hot and hungry so a nice cushy seat at a table sounded good right about now. This place was surprisingly nice for a restaurant out in the middle of a National Park by the way.

The service was a bit slow here, but I think it was more due to this being our servers first day than than anything else. At one point before our food came out I went to the restroom to wash up a bit and when I open the door there's this "plump"….ahh screw it…..this FAT, shaggy-haired teenage, pimple faced kid at the sink, without a shirt on and he's got the water running and the hand dryer going. I guess he spilled something on himself and was now trying to clean it up. Problem was this kid is making this everyone else's problem as he's doing this at the only available sink in there. In a true "GET OFF MY LAWN" moment I tell him something to the effect of "you need to do your laundry somewhere else, kid". I think he got it and moved over. Thanks, kid

As we were finishing up, the people a few tables over ask me where we were coming from. We start talking and I find out that they are the people we had seen out in the parking lot that rode by us on bikes. It was a mom/dad duo with their son. They were on a cruiser and he was on a ducati. Very nice people. Lucky kid too. Hope he realizes how nice it is to have parents like that!!

We paid the bill and trekked across the parking lot to the bikes. Stephanie went inside the visitor center to see about a stamp as I geared up. While I was loading the tank bags I noticed a guy eying the bikes. He eventually came over and asked me about the bikes and our trip. He was here on vacation from Italy and of course, like every respectable Italian…..rode a Triumph 675r??. We chatted a bit about bikes until Stephanie got back. We said goodbye and we were on our way.

It hadn't been all that long since we to gas, but I always like to leave "stranded without fuel" out of the equation, Especially in a place where we have ZERO cell phone service. Therefor, we stopped at the gas station across from the village and topped off.

There's obviously a lot of cool things to see in Yellowstone. There's of course, the scenery, but there are also animals. Big animals. And at this time of the year one of those animals are the Bison. Big, VW sized Bison. We were told it was also their mating season, so add horny to the description.

I mentioned before that Stephanie was looking forward to seeing a bear. A bear doesn't hang around very close to where people are, so chances are if you see one it will be at a distance. But the Bison, not so much. Case in point was where we saw these guys:





Stephanie took these pictures. I myself decided to hang out by the bikes. I don't know, but being 30 yards closer was not something I really needed. I could see them fine from where I was so I waited while she went and got a few pictures. Now, I should preface this by saying that I had warned Stephanie prior to this that these guys are potentially dangerous and one of them might decide they don't like or want a person so close to them. Anyway, as she's standing there, helmet on and camera in hand, a single Bison starts wandering closer towards the crowd where Stephanie is standing. "Close" is about 25 feet away or so and coming closer. So of course, the crowd (sensing that this could be NOT so good), in unison, moves back about 20 feet or so ………that is of course everyone EXCEPT Stephanie. I guess she didn't see it the same way as the 40 people or so that were now a good bit behind her. She is now literally standing there all by herself (insert picture of me with my hand on my forehead). This is my cue to go and save her from herself. As I'm walking towards her and past some of the people it's obvious to them what I'm doing. Some of them chuckle and one guy says, "hey at least she has a helmet on!!". I'm calling her name as I get closer, but she doesn't hear me. I eventually get to her, grasp the handle on the top of her Kriega backpack and pull her out of there. Her reaction was something to the effect of, "what? What happened?". She was having a great time and I think to this day she doesn't think she was in any danger. Perhaps she wasn't, but I myself didn't want her to be the subject of one of those "when nature attacks" videos on Youtube. More on that in a minute.

Unfortunately, one of the other things we were seeing a lot of out there were the fires. This and every surrounding state at that moment had major fires going. Although most occur as a natural course of nature, some don't. It's not unusual to find groups of firefighters from all over the country staying in hotels all around this area. We saw this firsthand during last years trip when riding through some forested areas in northern CA.

We were told this particular fire started the day before this picture was taken:






Short rest stop at "Fishing Bridge":






Back to the Bison for a minute. So far we hadn't come across any Bison ON the road. That was about to change. Just north of Yellowstone lake we came up on a group that had decided to use the street as a sidewalk. It wasn't a huge group but there were enough of them to block the road on one side. Our side. I stopped way back to make sure Stephanie and I were on the same page as far as how and when we were going to make our way through and to tell her we weren't going to simply stop next to one to take a picture (or pet it). We'd wait for our opening and ride through. For all we knew these guys might like the color yellow, or blondes!! In case that didn't work I told her that these guys are also horny and unless she wanted to give birth to a baby Bison, she better get going. Before you think this is all overly cautious, take a look at this and tell me how you think a bike would do:
http://youtu.be/ULBuLedK2Nw

Looks like we're all clear:


I stopped to take a picture of this guy a bit further up. He was alone and was roughing up the side of this tree with his horns:


As soon as we got riding along the lake the temperature dropped a good bit. It was fairly cool and a welcome change.

(along Mary Bay, Yellowstone Lake):


The road up ahead also cleared out a bit and figured to be a lot more fun. I'm ready to open it up when we come up upon a temporary stop light for a road construction site. Just as we were pulling up to it Stephanie starts motioning down towards her shift lever. When we stop she says her shifter is gone. "WHAT?????". I look down and luckily it wasn't gone, but it had come loose and was just barely hanging on. She just couldn't see it under her boot. Even LUCKIER was the fact that the bolt was STILL THERE, barely hanging on for dear life.

When they say things happen for a reason, man are they right. Had that stop light not been there, we obviously wouldn't have stopped when we did. Had we not stopped, Stephanie's shift lever would probably still be laying somewhere on the road a few miles between gear shifts. Right about this point I'm feeling pretty good about carrying tools (and loc-tite) too.

How's this for a pit-stop. Had a bathroom there if we needed it and everything!!



You can see the screw barely hanging on:



(for reference, here's what I carry in my bag)









I tightened everything up and waited a few minutes for the loc-tite to set. We agreed to stop in the next 10 miles or so to make sure everything was still tight and that I would take everything apart when we got to the hotel in order to get some loc-tite on there and allow for it to set while not actually riding the bike.

The road up ahead was a welcome change to the slower pace we had going in the park's main areas. Past the park's east entrance the road winds down along the river that leads to the Buffalo-Bill reservoir. That road, the North Fork Hwy, is pretty much a straight shot into Cody, WY.

(Inside park, before leaving through the east entrance)


Good thing I left the torch at home:




North Fork Hwy, past East entrance:







Smoke caused crazy orange glow:



We made it to Cody and the Holiday Inn we would be staying at. We pulled in and under the canopy by the entrance but this was one of the few hotels where we wouldn't have enough space under it for us to leave the bikes. Looks like we'll have to find actual parking spots.

As we parked the bikes we saw a truck that we had seen earlier pull in. It was a truck full of firemen that we had seen at a rest-area. We ended up talking to one of the guys that came over to take a look at the bikes (I always wonder if my bike would get as much attention if Stephanie weren't around……likely not as much). These guys were all from out of state and were headed home after a "shift" of about a month. Tough job man.

Back inside we checked in, went to the room and started winding things down. Time for dinner.

I'll give a few more details about the hotel and dinner in the next post. to be continued…...
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:25 AM   #182
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I just love your photos. The fire photos with the blue sky were really unusual. Usually, there is a general haze of smoke so it was interesting to see the clearly defined plume.

As usual, can't wait for the next installment!
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:23 AM   #183
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Hi,
Your photos are magnificent
I adore them




Thank you for making us share these good moments

See you very soon


sorry for my bad English !!!!
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:41 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candiya View Post
I just love your photos. The fire photos with the blue sky were really unusual. Usually, there is a general haze of smoke so it was interesting to see the clearly defined plume.

As usual, can't wait for the next installment!
Thanks, Candiya. The lighting seemed to change from mile to mile. in some of the pictures you can see more of a haze than in others and it was mainly due to a pretty decent wind that was blowing. It was keeping the skies clear in areas that weren't down-wind. In talking to the rangers though they said that wind was definitely making things difficult for the people that were fighting those fires.


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Old 11-13-2013, 08:57 AM   #185
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For the record, I felt the same way about the traffic in Yellowstone as the bison in that Youtube video.

I was in one of those lines that was stopped for the bison. The bison were walking toward me while I was stopped. There was really no where for me to go. I could have reached out and touched it. He was that close. I guess I was a bit naive then, as I just pulled out and took pictures (without the flash on of course!).

I like the compactness of your tool roll and kit. Would you post some details about it? I have a Kriega tool roll and it does not pack down all that well. I would like something a bit more compact.

Cheers,

JG
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:26 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by live2ridetahoe View Post
I was in one of those lines that was stopped for the bison. The bison were walking toward me while I was stopped. There was really no where for me to go. I could have reached out and touched it. He was that close JG
That happened to me in 2010. Was only one in the road. He /she charged at me! I had to bolt and pass the car in front of me on the right side!

Then a little while later momma bear and cub walking right by as I was again stuck in traffic!
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:30 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by * SHAG * View Post
That happened to me in 2010. Was only one in the road. He /she charged at me! I had to bolt and pass the car in front of me on the right side!

Then a little while later momma bear and cub walking right by as I was again stuck in traffic!
Yeah, not the ideal situation. I'm sure those animals are de-sensitized to a point. But there's always that moment that they realize: "wit a second.....I'm a wild animal!! I don't have to deal with you being here if I don't want to".


Quote:
Originally Posted by live2ridetahoe View Post
I like the compactness of your tool roll and kit. Would you post some details about it? I have a Kriega tool roll and it does not pack down all that well. I would like something a bit more compact.
Funny you should mention the tools since we just lost the little columbia pouch this past weekend in Death Valley. It now lies somewhere out here:


Anyway, I had to re-order what was in there. Haven't found the same pouch so I need to find something equivalent.

The tool roll is a craftsman tool roll. This looks to be the same one HERE.

The socket kit is THIS ONE below. Works great and is the only thing I've found small enough to fit into tight spaces on the bike.


This had a specific size I needed at one point:
http://www.amazon.com/Hex-Insert-Bit.../dp/B000T9UAF2



Found these bit holders that work great (HERE and HERE):


Search eBay HERE for this bit set:


You can pretty much eyeball the rest to see what is what. In the tool roll I have, from left to right in the image above:
- tire plugs (twizzler looking type)
- Tire pressure gauge
- Rasp and needle tools (to bore out and plug tire)
- Razor blade/knife (I always have one of these on me as well)
- Telescopic magnet tool (you never know if you drop something down a drain ditch or something)
- Wrench
- Needle-nose pliers
- Zip-ties (because duct-tape doesn't fit in here)
- Small micro screwdriver set (Like this one). Comes in pretty handy)
- Work gloves

Lastly, we carry this air-compressor and an SAE adapter that plugs into the battery tender lead to be able to power it. The USB plug you see in the picture lets us charge phones, camera batteries, etc.





I think that covers everything. If I missed anything just let me know.
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RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:55 PM   #188
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Shit man....I wish I read this thread earlier. I would have suggested a much nicer route through Montana instead of going through Great Falls. That place is a total shithole and you bypassed some awesome roads which would have been on your way.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:10 PM   #189
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:45 PM   #190
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+1

jg
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:03 PM   #191
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All I want for Christmas is a 14th page...cuz it means an update has been posted
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:41 AM   #192
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Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's....4,000 miles (and then some)

Sorry for going dark on this thread. We've been traveling a bit and with the year coming to an end things have been pretty busy. We're headed to Death Valley for Xmas (no bikes this time). I think this is the 4th time just this year. I'll post updates when we get back.

Here are a few pics from our last trip there:















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RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:08 AM   #193
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Guess I missed the part where the dirt bikes came. How'd you tow the trailer with tailgate down, did you have to get a stinger or something for the ball? I'd like to do that with the 29 Airstream but not sure possible.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:48 AM   #194
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Guess I missed the part where the dirt bikes came.
It's filler from another trip while he gets back to typing up some more of this one
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:56 AM   #195
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Antihero was in DV over Xmas too....I was hoping for a serendipitous meet-up....
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