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Old 07-05-2013, 03:39 PM   #166
zgfiredude
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[QUOTE=jdrocks;21796010] 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.



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




Keep it coming! Good stuff.
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:55 PM   #167
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by AspentureRider View Post
This put a big smile on my face. The bike will be back there on July 25th-


that sign is just around the corner from Anchorage.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:06 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
The weather should be more hospitable then, but bring that Nomex riding gear, could be what we like to call "a little warm". -David
i'd listen to that guy, he knows stuff.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:24 PM   #169
jdrocks OP
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[QUOTE=zgfiredude;21798631]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post

I called home, and was greeted with “What’s the room rate on that motel, honey?”, I was supposed to be camping, damn SPOT.
not the first time i forgot to shut it off, but here's a piece of advice...be careful of your location when you do shut it off.

for example, if it's real late at night, and the SPOT is doing it's thing 20 feet from the front door of a saloon, don't shut it off there, ya might find yourself hooked up to one of them lie detector gizmos.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:43 PM   #170
fasteddiecopeman
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i was angling for the Guinness record book under the heading "The worst tires to ever start the Dempster".
Not TOO sure that'd be correct, Dave: in '09 we saw two BMW GS "whatevers" at Eagle Plains with bald rear tires, on our way N. Coming S we heard that one had a blow-out and BIG crash, then saw the other (STILL bald!) go by us at warp speed....
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:19 AM   #171
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Not TOO sure that'd be correct, Dave: in '09 we saw two BMW GS "whatevers" at Eagle Plains with bald rear tires...
sorry, crashing voids all claims, so does team riding, i think i got the record for running slicks on the Dempster with a right-side-up moto...solo.

nobody's going to just hand over a record to one of those rondel badged bikes anyway, case closed.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #172
jdrocks OP
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Day 3: Red Lodge, Montana to St. Mary, Montana (561 miles)

I was still fiddling with the gear, shifting things around, hopefully for the last time, when I pulled up stakes in Red Lodge, late by me, early by them. I planned on breakfast at a café I knew in Absarokee, and needless to say, I wanted to get up there, like pronto. I left the bike at the front door the evening before, not expecting the 130 pound motel clerk to bang on the door and demand I move it. I’m not trusting, might be some crazy roach spray huffing mofo looking for a joy ride, would kinda delay the trip while I tracked him down and found a suitable tree.



I had a guard bear, might be convincing if the guy was high enough.



I’d found a herd of whiny, needy, screaming kids occupying the lobby at the motel this morning, one of the harassed chaperone mothers at the coffee bar washing down a big handful of meds with coffee out of the orange top carafe, decaf, wouldn’t have helped, her flushed face looked one scream away from a terminal stroke. I decided it was best to leave before I intervened on behalf of the civilized world and restored order, possibly with a switch. The point here was that I hadn’t even had a cup of coffee this morning before departing Red Lodge, great for miles, not great for disposition.

I picked up 78 on the west side of Red Lodge, and after several twists, was riding northwest to start. The sky was troubled, looked bad one direction, not so bad another, but the wind was rising, a fact. The day had started cool, and I was looking at a great ride, heck, all I had to do was cross the whole state.



Rolling range to start, with plenty of new homes along the road all the way up to Luther, many more than the last time I had crossed this road. If you wanted a memory that didn’t include a McMansion, you had to pick your spots.



The view got better when the road curved west, now I was looking back at the Custer National Forest and the Rockies, including Granite Mountain, from the north.





The Rosebud Café was right where I left it, didn’t look like there had been many changes in the entire town.



Parked the bike across the street, the town was quiet at this hour, walked in, sat at the counter, and I was now one of their two customers. Placed an order without glancing at the menu, and found that I was fortunate to find the café open, presently only limited hours. The other customer was a school bus driver, and I got her take on contemporary ranch life “Kids today don’t want ranch work, as a matter of fact, they don’t want anything that sounds like hard work, that’s the problem”.

My waitress was pleasant, and I mentioned that I had been at the café a number of years earlier. When I paid at the register, I said “Hope to see ya again”, to which she replied “I don’t hope to see you again”. Okaaaaay, but she went on to say “I don’t want to be workin’ here much longer”, but the buzz kill bell had been rung, I didn’t want to be in Absarokee much longer, and was up the road to Columbus to top off the fuel and find some batteries for the camera. The lens wouldn’t retract, might be a clue.

(to be continued…)
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:03 PM   #173
AspentureRider
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Great Pics! Can't wait to see it in person-
just noticed that was basically a 600 mile day!
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:24 AM   #174
jdrocks OP
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Great Pics! Can't wait to see it in person-
just noticed that was basically a 600 mile day!
takes a good camera with a big lens to do the job out there, wish i had one, but i'm tough on cameras, or maybe moto travel is, so i never seem to put money in one.

every bit of those miles, wind brutal all day.

your departure date coming up, activate the countdown mode.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:50 AM   #175
AspentureRider
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takes a good camera with a big lens to do the job
I've got two- an inexpensive waterproof video/still cam for the handlebar, and a nice Lumix micro 4/3, two lenses covering 28-400 equivalent, for the tankbag.

countdown engaged, big week at work ahead-
http://www.aspenhistorysociety.com/c...le-monday.html
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:17 AM   #176
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by AspentureRider View Post
countdown engaged, big week at work ahead-
http://www.aspenhistorysociety.com/c...le-monday.html
geeez, now we not only need a ride report, but also a video of your performance at Aspen.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:31 AM   #177
jdrocks OP
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The woman at the register had a fright when I walked into the Columbus hardware store with my helmet and jacket on, a Hi-Viz griz demanding batteries, but I was already behind where I wanted to be on the day, and I wasn’t wasting another minute on the niceties. I did have spare batteries, but they were for an emergency out in the bush, and when I changed out the batteries in front of the store the camera was resurrected, ready to shoot again.

From Columbus I rode I90 west over to the Big Timber by pass exit, glad to get off, wind fierce, blowing even harder than yesterday, the wind gusts were like getting hit in the chest with a 2X6. I hadn’t bothered with fuel in Columbus, and decided to move the top off point farther up the route after thinking about the wind and the roads ahead. These motos will drink the fuel if pushed loaded into a strong wind, makes you think the injection nozzles have the same ID as a garden hose. I was sure I was hearing some chain noise from this near new chain even though adjusted and well lubed with Dupont, maybe I should get some WD40 while here, nah, let’s use up the Dupont first, and I continued on, a mistake in my wake.

I didn’t see much of Big Timber, must be some attractions there based on all the signs, but the part I did see was unimpressive, and got me wondering what kind of road I would find as I headed north northeast on 191. My Montana road guru, MTrider, made several recommendations on roads running north and west, and the Montana section of the route was pieced together from that selection of roads. Fueled, I would shortly be thankful of that decision, then gone up the road, and I was back on the brakes a short distance later, stopping for a sight an east coast flatlander doesn’t see on the home range.







Once completely clear of the Big Timber area, the range opened up, with the Gallatin National Forest, and then the Lewis and Clark National Forest, to the west.



The 11000 foot peaks of Crazy and Conical visible beyond the foothills, the smaller Bear Mountain to the northwest.



I had seen elk, deer, and coyote on 78, but this range had only camera shy antelope.



Once again I could see bad weather in the distance, the exact direction the route would take me, maybe I would dodge it.



MTrider said 191 was great ‘if you don’t mind open range”, no, I don’t mind at all, except that crosswind was about to blow the bike flat to the ground.



Nearing Harlowton, the Judith Gap wind farm popped up, might as well put the camera away. These projects are controversial on as many points as you care to name, but one thing is certain, they’re never erected because they improve on the natural beauty of the surrounding country, in fact, I’ve never seen one yet that wasn’t an eyesore. Organic, in any acceptable sense, they ain’t.



I crossed the famed Musselshell River of western lore at Harlowton, Chief Joseph Park on the right along the river, then turned west on 12 in the middle of town. Harlowton was at the intersection of these two important roads, not big, but fairly busy, fuel ok, and I didn’t stop.

I expected more traffic on 12, since people could get over to Helena, or connect to 89 and up to Great Falls using this road, but traffic was still scarce, and I pushed on, eating up the miles.



I turned southwest at the intersection with 294, then stopped at the entrance to the big ranch located there, dismounted to close the vents, making a heroic save when the wind nearly blew the bike over. Heavy rain was all around me, but just a few drops on this road, and I was over by Lennep when I grabbed the brakes. These signs are encountered across the west, infrequently, or I would have remembered many more, but still startling, and probably by intention. This sign was across the road from a graveyard, and the dated headstone said “Jane Doe”, not John Doe, causing me to think it was a warning, but also a memorial.



I could see the old Lutheran Church at Lennep, foothills of the Castle Mountains in the background, too far away for a photo, so I took a minute and rode closer. Nothing much left of the town except a handful of residents…and the church, seemed to be in good repair, and striking in this setting.



Turned the horses out, and I was down to the intersection with 89, then riding northwest again, my next road was west towards Helena, didn’t look promising.



I was resigned to getting wet, but the clouds moving across this landscape deserved a stop or two.





I had turned west, on 12 again, great looking country.



Yup, great country, but I was also faced with this sky, so I cinched everything down and started a big run to Helena, the heck with it. I still needed to get up near the border, and time was not in my favor.



(to be continued…)
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #178
AspentureRider
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This pretty much sums up those MT roads, doesn't it?
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Turned the horses out, and I was down to the intersection with 89, then riding northwest again, my next road was west towards Helena, didn’t look promising.


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Old 07-08-2013, 10:57 PM   #179
MTrider16
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Originally Posted by AspentureRider View Post
This pretty much sums up those MT roads, doesn't it?
Big Sky Country.

You're going to see some of this terrain if you stay on the east side of the divide in Montana. There are some open vista's on the west side also, but not quite as many. It is possible to route from Cody to Gardner MT and the north entrance of YNP, but then you miss Beartooth pass.

It is what it is; Montana doesn't have anything like Deal's Gap, but they don't have the Big Sky either.

David
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:14 AM   #180
jdrocks OP
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This pretty much sums up those MT roads, doesn't it?
roads were great, but i was skirting that rain all day. there were several times i was surrounded by heavy rain, but somehow wiggled through. rain was one thing, the wind was another, and the worst of it coming up.
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