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Old 07-02-2013, 03:19 PM   #136
JaxObsessed
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Lovin it JDR!

I couldn't figure out why the snow fences were so far from the road.... but I'm an idiot.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:25 PM   #137
jdrocks OP
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Lovin it JDR!

I couldn't figure out why the snow fences were so far from the road.... but I'm an idiot.
jack, howling wind across those open spaces, if the fence was closer, the drifts would still cross the road. there were areas where the fence had been blown down. hold onto your hat...unless ya want to chase it into Nebraska.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #138
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Northwest on 287, then continuing northwest on 28 to Lander, I was way overdue for a break. There was a new quick mart at the intersection with 789, and I didn’t hesitate, it was hot, damn hot. This was a busy place, and at least a dozen six packs walked out the front door while I fueled, none in a bag, plastic or paper. It occurred to me that the assumption locally was that most everyone was sipping on a cold beer while driving around this parched countryside, no need to conceal it. I also noticed that most of these guys could walk, talk, scratch their nuts, and spit all at once, takes some talent. This wasn’t the cowboy crowd, more like the mid day “ain’t got no job but my girlfriend does” crowd.

Inside, the AC was running 65, the drinks extra cold, and while waiting in line I thought I might just hang out for a minute or two. The woman in front of me was holding onto a two year girl for dear life, and had what looked like a bowl of banana and carrots mashed into her hair. Her beauty queen status didn’t keep her home when she ran out of beer at noon, maybe I should eject after all, and I was gone to Riverton.

Lander to Riverton wasn’t much, either was Riverton itself, despite the new Wind River Casino. Likewise Riverton to Shoshone, but for the direction I needed to travel combined with the paved road requirement, there was no convenient ride around that I could see. Fortunately, I turned north on 20, and after only a few miles, things got better, way better.





Besides enjoying the country, I had been watching clouds build to the west and northwest, and now it looked like weather was covering my route completely, could get interesting later on.



There was another individual keeping close watch, the local sentinel cow…never moved, not even for the LV, and believe it, I tried. Who said these animals were dumb? No horse, no hat, no rope, no belt buckle, ain’t movin’, too hot.




More wild broken country, I could see the horizon most directions, with no idea how anyone could make money running cattle on this range.





People crossing the plains, both natives and later settlers, navigated by landmarks. Where they saw a mere objective, I saw something else.



The country was by no means flat, the road flowing through the features, on a path of least resistance.



One of the fascinating things about western travel is viewing how geologic strata is selectively exposed over millions of years, the changes remarkable.







The Boysen Reservoir is framed by the Owl Creek Mountains on the Wind River reservation to the west and the Big Horn Mountains a short distance east. The Big Horn River flows north from the reservoir, water levels looking low, but maybe it was seasonal. The weather fronts were on the move, except now I couldn’t tell the direction, looked like I was surrounded.



I was stopped at a construction zone at the top of the reservoir, the air temp up to 100 again, my body temp up to 150 under all the gear, radiator fan running until I shut everything down, and I was parked for awhile. Good, gave me even more time to think about the “ICY” word on that sign.



The construction zone extended through a series of tunnels, although the ongoing work was to repair the roadway where the Big Horn River had gouged some chunks out of it. When I looked at that small tunnel, I was reminded of another same size tunnel where I followed an old beat-to-crap truck, spewing clouds of oily over rich exhaust, one that would never pass inspection anywhere, but with a near illegible hand painted “BLASTING” sign, and the required “EXPLOSIVES” placard. Today I was behind a Kia, confident I would see the light.



(to be continued…)
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:35 PM   #139
Dirtmonkey8
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Reading of this ride and adventure is so amusing and freaking awesome I am nearly wishing my son's childhood away so I can go disappear over the horizon. Good work Dave. I am right there with you. "Left a couple of beers in the fridge... I hope it works out." That one cracked me up.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:43 PM   #140
dljocky
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Loving the RR jdrocks!
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:33 PM   #141
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"... I hope it works out." That one cracked me up.
nobody wants the rooms that gal cleaned up after mine.

get on out there, the XC would be a good choice.


more on the way, stay tuned.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:43 PM   #142
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Loving the RR jdrocks!
hey mr. nix, remember this...hang around, see what happens.

Time to go, goodbye, and I’m off adventuring once again. Starting on down the road on a trip like this feels like you kept a flask of adrenaline in your hip pocket just for the occasion, pulled it out, and drank it up in one long pull. All of it. If you’re not feeling alive at this point, as in absolutely and urgently alive, please consider staying home. I’m convinced that this heightened state is what allows your return, maybe not unscathed, but certainly alive.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:47 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
ALL paved except for about 2 miles coming down to the Stikine River, south of the bridge.
Thanks, and Dave's right, the roads are always changing. I'll deal with whatever when I get there, I guess.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:50 AM   #144
dljocky
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Yes. I remember it well!


[QUOTE=jdrocks;21787557]hey mr. nix, remember this...hang around, see what happens.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:39 AM   #145
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Thanks, and Dave's right, the roads are always changing. I'll deal with whatever when I get there, I guess.
IF the road is open, any bike can be ridden on the Cassier. just remember to check for road closures before you're way out west on 16, the Yellowhead. it's a long backtrack to PG and north if your itinerary has a tight schedule, like mine. i had built some constraints into my schedule that did not allow for major Cassier delays.

with a good smart phone, you can check here...http://www.drivebc.ca/

my verizon phone now has coverage at every city and town, including some unexpected locations. verizon piggybacks one of the Canuck cell services.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:42 AM   #146
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[QUOTE=dljocky;21788241]Yes. I remember it well!


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hey mr. nix, remember this...hang around, see what happens.
i got to test my theory a time or two.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:23 AM   #147
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The weather ahead was weighing on me, I could see what looked like very heavy rain off in the distance, man, I had hundreds of miles to go, and scooted north up to Thermopolis. When I say “scooted” or similar, that’s code for 80 cruise, and this bike could do that effortlessly all day. Guys like their thumpers out here, and I understand that, given the combo rides on pavement, gravel, and sparsely traveled tracks. This ride was not one of those, and I think a thumper motor would end up a mass of melted alloy sitting in a puddle of hot oil somewhere out here, unable to cope with the day-after-day heat and speed of these runs. A more leisurely ride, sure, go ahead. Wouldn’t work for me, the requirements of this ride were specific.

I couldn’t say much about Thermapolis, I rode straight through, my sights on Cody, farther northwest. There was road construction as I transitioned northwest to highway 120, and from experience, these are always a crap shoot, never knowing until you’re in there what the road conditions will be. This zone was rough, soft, and slick where watered for dust control, and I had the opportunity to try Mike’s bike on the pegs, eeeek, these street tires don’t like the grease, but I popped out the other end, a little entertainment for the vehicles following.



I had a pair of highways in mind above Cody that I didn’t want to ride in the rain, so I just plain dropped the hammer, c’mon, I don’t have to explain that again, and the country was sliding by in a greenish brown blur, bike jogging around in the cross winds I’d been facing all day. In the distance, I could make out a pair of vehicles on opposite sides of the road, and then a small stick figure waving what looked like a red flag…road hazard, breakdown, wasn’t sure.

When I got close, I could see that the vehicles were from a nearby ranch, the flagger was a cowgirl, although no youngster, and the objective of stopping traffic was to move a small herd of cattle across the road. I pulled the bike over to the shoulder and coasted up to where she was standing, scared the heck out of her, until I quickly had a camera out. I shut down that Leo Vince, can’t spook anything. The riders already had their hands full, some of those cows did not want to cross, the rare case where the grass did not look greener on the other side.







I took the opportunity to talk with the ranch lady, my main question being “How do you keep the present generation of kids out on the ranch when it’s 20-30 miles to pavement, nothing happening compared to what they see on TV?” Her answer was short “We can’t, they don’t stay. As far as the location, that’s where it is when you’re working a lot of range”, and with a smile and a shrug, she turned her attention back to the cattle. The cowboys weren’t youngsters either, and I left pondering what “a lot of range” meant if your ranch road was 30 miles in itself.

Through Meeteetse, no more stops, then up to Cody, a planned stop for fuel and a sports drink, maybe a Snickers if I was good. There was a Buffalo Bill Museum here, but I was in the area for the wild, not the drone of a docent, maybe next time. The quick mart was flanked by a, you guessed it, liquor store, and I got a replay of that video from down in Lander, except one dude looked like he was about to dive into an afternoon of rum and coke, had the fixin’s. Then there was that girl in the yoga pants accessorized with her alligator cowgirl boots, call your broker, have him sell any equity that has a dime in denim, jeans are officially over, dead and done. She stuck out her tongue when she thought I was staring, she’d a been disappointed if I wasn’t. C’mon now, I was staring at them boots…mostly.

Continuing northwest on 120, I made the run up to the turn west onto 296, the well known Chief Joseph Highway, weather chasing me, or maybe I was chasing it, couldn’t tell anymore. Little traffic, and I was doing a run and shoot, man, beautiful country again.





A moto is ideal for shooting along the roads, especially in light or no traffic, just grab the brakes and stop, shoulder or not. You can not justify riding by these things, your photos should be taken with the full realization that life, or the lack there of, may prevent return to this location. Take the photo, you’ll never regret it.



The road was crossing the foothills of the Absaroka Range to the southwest, the 11,000 foot peaks of the Rockies in the background, while Yellowstone lay southwest a little farther, over the hill, so to speak.





I saw plenty of elk, but didn’t have a lens that could reach out that far, although it didn’t stop folks from clicking away with a little point-n-shoot, that animal would look like a speck of pepper in the photo. There were no turnouts for interesting views, l just stopped. The scattered red rock formations looked spectacular against the surrounding grays, browns, and greens.





The road was climbing, scattered drizzle, but so light I hadn’t zipped the vents yet. The country became more rugged, these were not foothills any longer, and now the road was wet, temp falling.



Damn, it was beautiful up here, but I needed to get on the gas, there was a pass up ahead, might be snowing, no joke.





I had dropped into a high valley, light rain starting again, but ya just can’t leave.



Stowed the camera in a ziplock, thunked into gear, clutch, ass end fishing around on a wet road, second, third…and I nearly ran slam into a big freakin’ elk at 60mph, still accelerating, the miss so close there might be hair on the fender. Luck, karma, there’s no explanation for a charmed life, it just is, and that’s that. Over thinking near catastrophe saps energy and momentum, so I was cruisin’, the turn for Beartooth coming up, looming destiny at 12,000 feet.

(to be continued…)
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:24 AM   #148
siyeh
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
I’m convinced that this heightened state is what allows your return, maybe not unscathed, but certainly alive. [/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]
great stuff JD keep it coming please.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #149
AspentureRider
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Originally Posted by jdrocks
Over thinking near catastrophe saps energy and momentum

All you can do is aim for where they are, and hope when you get there they aren't-
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:46 PM   #150
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great stuff JD keep it coming please.
hey mr. cheesehead, since you're a well traveled Montana man, you might see some of your roads coming up.
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