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Old 07-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #151
jdrocks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AspentureRider View Post
All you can do is aim for where they are, and hope when you get there they aren't-
...says the guy who owns that bike, hi Mike.

since the bike is in Anchorage, i figured it was ok to pull that little deal out of my notes, not to cause a heart attack, or nuthin'. no telling what's in those notes.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:03 PM   #152
MTrider16
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
hey mr. cheesehead, since you're a well traveled Montana man, you might see some of your roads coming up.
I'm watching too.



You I know you saw this, just missed taking a picture.

I know you're a little partial the Versys, but the Vffr does pretty good on these roads also.

David
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:06 PM   #153
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
I'm watching too.
you're the Montana road man with Wyoming on your resume.

i think i know that road, and there was a construction zone along that stretch with trailers and equipment in the turnout where your bike is parked. i just wanted to get through there, hot, and i wasn't idling along. over 1300 frames, and i missed as many. if i had gone back to pick up every shot i missed, i'd still be out there.

you will recognize the roads on day 3, since we talked about the specifics of the Montana part of the route. thanks again for your help David.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #154
MTrider16
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
i think i know that road, and there was a construction zone along that stretch with trailers and equipment in the turnout where your bike is parked.
A man, construction on one of the good parts. That sucks. - David
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:21 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post

I know you're a little partial the Versys, but the Vfr does pretty good on these roads also.
you would have wanted the stablemate from your barn for some of the roads this bike will cross in the days ahead.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:51 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
...says the guy who owns that bike, hi Mike.

since the bike is in Anchorage, i figured it was ok to pull that little deal out of my notes, not to cause a heart attack, or nuthin'. no telling what's in those notes.

I never worried for a second about my bike while it was in your care, DP!
(well, okay, maybe a moment of "Huh"? when, knowing the advanced condition of the Bridgestones, I saw you head north on the Dempster! )
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:55 AM   #157
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you would have wanted the stablemate from your barn for some of the roads this bike will cross in the days ahead.
I know, but south of the 49th it would have been good. -David
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:14 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by AspentureRider View Post
I never worried for a second about my bike while it was in your care, DP!
(well, okay, maybe a moment of "Huh"? when, knowing the advanced condition of the Bridgestones, I saw you head north on the Dempster! )
i was angling for the Guinness record book under the heading "The worst tires to ever start the Dempster".
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:16 AM   #159
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I know, but south of the 49th it would have been good. -David
just add ATV Highs and the new TKCs that will fit, head north.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:33 AM   #160
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I crossed Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone, famous for it’s box canyon downstream, found the intersection with 212, and turned east onto the Beartooth Highway, the road that would cross the pass of the same name, and also land me in Montana. I was still concerned about running into some kind of weather event at the pass, the storm fronts looking unpredictable, with rain one minute, then a patch of blue. The Beartooth was a narrower road than the Chief Joseph, minimal right-of-way clearing at the lower elevations on the south end, and it was tough to get a look at the surrounding country.

When I found an open spot, I was looking back southwest across the Absaroka Wilderness, and into the heart of the Rockies above Yellowstone, peaks like The Thunderer, Windy, Saddle, and Sunlight, all in the 10-12000 foot class.





The bottom of the road was packed with vehicles, apparently full of amateur photogs, intent on capturing every conceivable nuance of a small waterfall on the south side of the road. Additionally, I found myself behind a tandem axle dump, must be road work up ahead, and the driver was struggling up the grades in double low at 15mph, damn, I’ll be a freakin’ old man by the time I get to Montana.

With quite a bit more traffic on this road, overflow from Yellowstone National Park, there was no opportunity to pass, and I was loping along in first, impatient in the drizzle, then a few pings of sleet. I pulled off when I found a gusher of snowmelt crashing down the mountain, tired of following.



Nobody was there when I stopped for the photo, but as soon as I had the camera out, everyone stopped, both directions. A 15 passenger van nearly caused a headon when it swerved across the road and skidded to a stop in front of me, nose on, the bumper not a foot from my front tire. Doors flew open, people jumped out, enough camera gear for the White House press corp, although I think they were Euros, had funny looking shoes. I could kinda guess the story that would be attached to these photos…”I had just made an arduous 5000 foot ascent, and when I encountered this snowmelt swift crashing down the mountain, it was only after some carefully placed cams and a textbook tie off that I was able to maneuver the camera to get the shot. Bloody good, eh”. I made a note to call my local Senator when I got back, if he doesn’t vote to lock down the freakin’ borders, I ain’t sendin’ him another penny.

The bottom had fallen out temperature wise, and I found more and more snow, fewer trees, as I neared the top.



I caught the truck again at an automated light that took forever, and when it went green, the truck driver waved me around, thanks buddy, but the construction zone destination was only another mile ahead.



Above the tree line it looked more like a winter scene, wind blown, some sleet and snow flakes, and I had no plans to linger, man, I needed to get off this mountain before the road got slick, trapping me on top.



Everywhere I looked, there was cause for concern, scary stuff when up top on two wheels.



The pass had been opened on schedule this season, the snowblower cuts still visible.



Most of the snow had melted, still plenty left, and all the visitors wanted to be photographed standing in it, lying down on it, snow balls, snow angels, all kinds of crazy snow stunts, no bikinis, no nudity, a disappointment. What the heck, don’t ya have snow over there, wherever that is, and I honestly wasn’t sure, except that almost everyone up here besides me looked like they needed a passport to get here. I had my own ideas on what to do with snow, and each one involved a nuclear powered device.





Granite Peak in Custer National Forest, Montana’s highest, off in the distance, even higher than those peaks to the south.



After a finding the bear tooth, namesake of the pass, it was time to quit fooling around, get my butt outta here, I wasn’t in the mood to take any chances.



I started a long ride down through the switchbacks on the Wyoming side, in a hurry, or sort of a hurry, still some things I wanted to preserve. Two cruisers passed going up, must be blind to the weather, the pass was surrounded by ugly signs.





A mandatory stop at the Montana line, only a day and a half of riding, and on schedule, although a little beat up, and I was looking forward to the stop at Red Lodge, only about 25 miles ahead, down through the switchbacks on the Montana side. The pass is listed at 10947, but my GPS altimeter had me at 11893, so either the pass isn’t at the highest elevation, or I got some very serious air on that last whoop.





I put the motophoto career on hold, buried the camera in the tank bag, zipped it up tight, no mas, done for the day. Cranked and gone, burners lit, and I was making some good progress when I ran up on a pair of slow ass cruisers pulling trailers down in the switchbacks. Plenty of oncoming traffic, but I intended to squeeze by anyway, until I realized that the rider on the bike in front of me could barely keep the rig on the road surface. The bike was wandering back and forth between the centerline and the shoulder, trailer slewing along, looked dangerous as heck, better not pass. I was sympathetic until the three of us got down to an arrow straight section, and watched the guy nearly ride right off the road, WTF, must be impaired, and I passed, running far left.

I planned on riding into the old part of Red Lodge, find a good place to eat a side of beef, medium rare, thank you, and then go camping…if I could still stand. My plans went awry when I found Red Lodge one big construction zone, someone had decided to dig up the whole town in the middle of tourist season, business owners must have been thrilled, I wasn’t. I backtracked, stopped for fuel, and asked the lady in the quick mart for a dining recommendation, she didn’t hesitate, “Red diner on the highway, best in town, cheap too”. I don’t know what got me roped in first, “best” or “cheap”, but I was one hungry hombre, and knew exactly where this little ramshackle red building was located.

The diner was a takeout place, seating on the creek side deck if the weather was good. It was good now, but earlier in the day Red Lodge got 2 inches of rain mixed with hail, and that is what I had seen on the horizon, and managed to dodge. This little place is where the locals ate, whether from in town, or outlying areas, and there was both a stock trailer and a horse trailer in front, each behind a big diesel pickup.

The stockman left, but I talked with the pair of cowgirls who had been out exercising their horses. Surprisingly, both were from western North Carolina, and one was returning east in September for a wedding in Virginia Beach, only a short distance south of my home. We both remarked “Small world” at the same time, then laughed. We discussed ranching too, and their take was that it was just plain hard to make any serious money, the root of ranch family problems. Their food came up, and they moved over to a table. Casually watching them interact, I got the faintest of feelings, maybe they weren’t just friends.

My food came up too, and in the same breath that said “Smells good”, it was gone, and I was sitting there like a dummy staring at wrapping paper, wondering what the heck happened. Lucky no one was sitting next to me, might have incidental bite marks on any exposed skin.

I knew there was a Forest Service campground several miles up the mountain, so I ran the bike up there, nearly hit a skunk on the way, and I found a campground showing little use or maintenance. I shut the bike down, thought about it for a few minutes, removed camping from the equation, then rode back to Red Lodge.

The new plan was to find a cheap motel, get a bucket of ice, and drink up cheap bourbon, in fact, free Jack, courtesy of Mike. I told ya he had the bike prepped, didn’t I.

I called home, and was greeted with “What’s the room rate on that motel, honey?”, I was supposed to be camping, damn SPOT.

(to be continued…)

jdrocks screwed with this post 07-05-2013 at 09:01 AM
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:10 AM   #161
MTrider16
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
just add ATV Highs and the new TKCs that will fit, head north.
That's why there are multiple bikes in the stable.

David
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Mountains, Moose, and Miles: a Montanan's Alcan Highway Story
Continental Divide and More: the "No Dust" Tour of WY and MT
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:06 AM   #162
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That's why there are multiple bikes in the stable.

David
i did think of that, but figured you'd want to get back in the States without detouring through that service department over in Calgary, it's wait listed 6 weeks.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:20 AM   #163
MTrider16
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
i did think of that, but figured you'd want to get back in the States without detouring through that service department over in Calgary, it's wait listed 6 weeks.
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Riding roads in Montana - Big Sky Country
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Mountains, Moose, and Miles: a Montanan's Alcan Highway Story
Continental Divide and More: the "No Dust" Tour of WY and MT
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:20 PM   #164
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This put a big smile on my face. The bike will be back there on July 25th-

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Old 07-05-2013, 12:30 PM   #165
MTrider16
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This put a big smile on my face. The bike will be back there on July 25th-
The weather should be more hospitable then. -David
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Riding roads in Montana - Big Sky Country
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Mountains, Moose, and Miles: a Montanan's Alcan Highway Story
Continental Divide and More: the "No Dust" Tour of WY and MT
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