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Old 09-02-2013, 04:29 PM   #16
Bigger Al OP
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Originally Posted by Treadless View Post
Greasy beans?












Come to Rio Nido and find out.

Hiya Mikey!
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:48 PM   #17
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I know it's a pain doing the gear and links but thanks! I always like to see what everyone is using.Enjoying the ride report also
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:46 PM   #18
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We headed out of Hungry Horse, MT on Saturday morning. Prior to our departure, we were invited to go to a parade in the nearby town of Columbia Falls. It was Pioneer Days, or some such thing, and the parade was the culmination of a week-long celebration of the town's history. Really, I wish we'd have known about it prior to booking reservations in Yellowstone, as it would likely have been fun to see. As we were loading up, the Rvpark lady's husband rushed by in a hurry, telling us that they didn't want to be late for the parade. I made an offhand comment about "seen one local parade, seen 'em all", and he told me that his wife was in the parade because she was a Montana State Senator. Considering that she had so much trouble keeping our reservations in order, this news was kind of a surprise to me. Kinda not, too.

Anyhow:

Saturday was a travel day between HH and wherever we ended up for the night. I gave us 2 full days to travel to Yellowstone in case we found something neat to do or see. We retraced our route down SR-83 to SR-200, then went East. My biggest goal on this part of the trip was to avoid larger highways whenever possible, and we were able to do that. The riding along the 2-lane secondary roads between Hungry Horse and Bozeman was some of the best we've ever done. Some trips we take because they riding is tough, some because it's challenging, and some because it's beautiful and relaxing. Rural Montana was that latter. We cruised through ranch lands, small towns, river canyons, and territory that you just don't get to see when sticking to the slab.
We went through Helena, and turned South to link up with the highway to Bozeman. The cross winds on this stretch of road were nasty, with gusts in the 30 MPH neighborhood. We rode about 70 miles leaned over at a 15-degree angle just to hold lane position. That's an easy way to get worn out, and by the time we reached Bozeman we'd had enough.
Not one pic was taken that day, mostly because I think we were just having too good a day riding to worry about it.
The skies were cloudy and dark, threatening thunderstorms for the evening, but none materialized.

_______________________________

The following day was going to be a short riding day, as I was hoping to get a camp spot somewhere near the North entrance to Yellowstone NP. Again, the touristy geek in me was taking over. Since I was a kid I've wanted to drive through the Roosevelt Arch that sits at the North entry to the park.

We went East from Bozeman to Livingston, then South towards the park. The temps had remained nice and cool thanks to cloud cover, and the ride down to Gardiner was smooth and comfortable.







We found the Yellowstone RV Park on the North side of Gardiner and were able to get a nice little grassy camp site for $27. That's not too bad, considering that they had showers, laundry, and free wi-fi. ONce camp was set up, we rode into Yellowstone to check out the Mammoth Hot Springs, which was an area of the park that we'd not been to on our first trip.



The clouds were really starting to thicken up, and there was the distant rumbling of thunder off in the distance.





The tourist geek in me lives for this kind of stuff:



















We explored the Mammoth area for a few hours and rode back out to camp for dinner.
An elk cow wandered through while I was trying to get some pics uploaded to Smugmug.





Some rain fell in the evening, driving us into the tent before sundown. That was not a bad thing, and was destined to become normal for the next several days.


_________________

The ride into Yellowstone the next morning was very nice. The sun was out, it was cool, and the traffic was light.
While waiting in line at the entrance, a couple rode up in the next line over on an old BMW Airhead twin. It had California plates, so I shouted over to ask how their trip was going. Turns out the gentlemen was an Aussie, and the lady was a Kiwi, and they'd flown into CA, bought the bike, and were riding all over the Western US. They were both smiling, and told me that they were having a ball. We passed them again in Hayden Valley a couple of days later.





Our destination for the day was Canyon Campground, which is situated almost dead-center of Yellowstone. I picked this location to make for easier access to all of the major attractions that Yellowstone has to offer, and I was not disappointed.
We expected the campground to be writhing mass of humanity as so much of the park can be during Summer, but were pleasantly surprised. The sites were large, well-spaced, and included a spot for the tent that was pea gravel bordered by small poles. Nice touch.
The showers and laundry were about 200 yards walking distance away, and the Canyon Village, which had a general store, visitor's center, post office, and food, was about quarter-mile away. All of the sites were full, but things still remained very pleasant and quiet.








We were met in the CG by a lot of these butterflies. They loved the bright colors of the riding gear, and stayed around until the wind came up.





Once camp was established we decided to make a quickie run through Hayden Valley to see some bison, then down to Mud Volcano to hike a little bit. It felt good to climb uphill after being of the bikes so much.









This is Sulphur Cauldron, and it is not for the weak of stomach. You might wanna skip this one if you're bothered by bad smells.







Okay, it's time for a little disclaimer:

As was mentioned before, and as you can probably see by the pics, I'm not a small guy. I'm also not easily spooked or frightened. I was both on this day in Yellowstone.
This very large bison was having his merry time just strolling along down the middle of the road. He did this for about 5 minutes, and it was clear that he was not giving one teensy fuck about anything until a park ranger drove up in front of him and let him have a blast of an air horn.



The horn did it's job, and the big, badass bison moved through traffic and came over the shoulder on my side of the road. I was about 2 feet to the left of the white line at this point, and I saw that he was heading my way. Figuring I was going to get a completely kick-assed closeup of a bison, I steadied my cute little Canon point-n-shoot for the shot. He moved along towards me, stopped right next to me, and gave the most primal, guttural growl that I have ever heard in my life. Had I not had a colostomy bag, i'd have shit myself right then and there. This stunning image capture was the result, as I dropped my camera, which snapped back on the lanyard and promptly whacked me in the face. So much for being a tough guy.



Tourists are constantly reminded of the dangers of wild animals, and no animal is more dangerous and unpredictable than the bison. In fact, the next day a rider was trampled in the same spot while stuck in a traffic jam. It can be a bad feeling having no place to go when 1800 pounds of furry attitude is staring you down and sizing you up.

____________________________

We finished out the day by going to Artist's Point, which gives and incredible view of Lower Yellowstone Falls and sweeping vistas of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It's truly an awe-inspiring place!




I had to mess around with one and see how it turned out:









We rode back to camp just in time to get a really nice thunder and lightning show, followed by some nice, steady cool rain. Mountain House chow tastes pretty good, given the right location and circumstances, and sitting under a tarp watching the rain is one of them.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gham View Post
I know it's a pain doing the gear and links but thanks! I always like to see what everyone is using.Enjoying the ride report also
Thanks Gham! I was sitting on our front porch this morning during a very nice thunderstorm (our first for some time) trying to do this report, and I neglected to put in any details about riding gear. I'll rectify that in the next post.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #20
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Nice shots Alphonso! That Bison made you feel smaller then usual?

(they do kinda remind one of Mertz the dog,but giant size and mean)
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #21
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Riding gear:

Yeah, this report is turning me into a post whore. So sue me.

I'm a big fan of Olympia Moto gear. I've had their jackets for the last 8+ years, and I'm very satisfied with the way their products fit, and the functionality as well. For this trip I wore a GT Air jacket, which features zip-down panels that expose mesh underneath for maximum airflow. I matched that up with a pair of Olympia's Moto-X pants, which feature the same kind of panel design as the jacket. I took along the zip-in liners for both, as I knew that at some point we'd find some rain. I tend to stay warm when I ride, and the rain liners proved to be more than enough for me even on days when the temps dropped into the high-40's.
Gloves: for the hotter temps I use a set of Cortech Supermoto gloves. They don't necessarily give the greatest protection in a fall, but the amount of airflow allowed makes up for that. Cooler temps and rain had my hands in a pair of Elkskin Gauntlet gloves from Aerostitch. I bought a pair of these gloves in 2010 before our first Big Trip, and they've been my favorites ever since. I bought yet another pair for this trip, and they fit like butter right out of the package. The elkskin seems try dry very quickly after the rain, too, which is a plus.
I used Keen Detroit 8"-tall work boots for the riding on this trip. I have a couple of pairs of dedicated motorcycling boots, but decided that the Keens would give me adequate protection while letting me hike as much and as far as I wanted off the bike. They feature a Gore-Tex liner, and kept my feet cozy and dry throughout the rain. They're superb boots.
Helmet: I became a fan of flip-up helmets several years ago when I bought one of HJC's original Symax models. It was comfortable, a bit loud, and very convenient for long-distance travel. The HJC IS-Max is the helmet that both my wife and I used for this trip. It's almost as quiet as a true full-face jobber, fits me like it was made for me, and offers the flip-down sunshade on the inside. That got used quite often, as we rode a lot of miles as the sun was either coming up or going down.

My wife's jacket is an Olympia Airglide 3 Women's model, and her pants are an old set of Firstgear HT Airs that she's had for about 4 years. She took along rain liners, as well as a quilted inner liner for her jacket. Her boots are Magnum Women's waterproof work boots, again with the idea that they're better to hike in than dedicated moto boots. She prefers Alpinestars Stella gauntlet gloves, and had a pair of Olympia Winter Gore-Tex gloves stashed in the luggage, just in case.

She wore a Camelback Classic 70-ounce hydration backpack, and used the hell out of it. I had a Camelback StoAway 100-ounce reservoir that I strapped to my Ortlieb duffle bag. I wore a backpack model on the last trip, and sweated like a pig throughout. I need the air flow on my back to stay comfortable, and the strap-on reservoir was the perfect solution.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:12 PM   #22
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Nice shots Alphonso! That Bison made you feel smaller then usual?

(they do kinda remind one of Mertz the dog,but giant size and mean)

Like I said: thank God for the colostomy bag, or else I woulda had to wash the seat at the next stop.
It's funny, but Mertz never came to mind during that whole episode. Later he did, and it was Holly that mentioned it first, but while I was face-to-huge-fucking-giant-bison-head, I was otherwise preoccupied.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:22 PM   #23
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Well it surely appears that you two are having an Awesome adventure. Thanks for sharing your experience and your doing great on this RR.

Not all adventures have to entail dirt/rocks/ crashes, and in general scaring the shit out of ourselves it all in what we make of it and what we want out of the ride.

I love Yellowstone but hate the traffic. Next make sure and do the Bear Tooth Pass road
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #24
Bigger Al OP
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Originally Posted by Idahosam View Post
Well it surely appears that you two are having an Awesome adventure. Thanks for sharing your experience and your doing great on this RR.

Not all adventures have to entail dirt/rocks/ crashes, and in general scaring the shit out of ourselves it all in what we make of it and what we want out of the ride.

I love Yellowstone but hate the traffic. Next make sure and do the Bear Tooth Pass road
This trip happened about a month ago, and yes, we did do Beartooth.

Thanks for the kind words!

I know that someone will eventually give me some crap about how "This is ADVENTURE Rider, not vacation rider!!" or some such thing. I can take it. Gots me some big shoulders.
As you said, it's what we want out of it, and what we wanted was a nice, relaxing ride to some incredible places. We got that, and more.

We've been through YNP twice now, and I too hate crowds. Both times I just resigned myself to the fact that it's one of the most popular destinations in the United States (if not the world) and that there were going to be loads of people. Once I did that, it was easy.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:21 PM   #25
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Yellowstone, Day 2

Our second day in Yellowstone started in the Canyon Village cafeteria. We'd been eating instant oatmeal for the entire trip, and it was time for something different. There's a nicer sit-down restaurant in the village, but the line to get in was about 30 minutes, and cafeteria filled the bill with no wait.





The plan for the day was to ride to Old Faithful via Norris and Madison. We wanted to check out the other camp grounds in the area, and stop at some geothermal features along the way.

First up was the Artists Paintpots, which is an area with some mud pots and hot springs, all accessible via a one-mile trail.













Fountain Paint Pot is just a few miles further down the road:





There are some out there who would find the idea of going to Old Faithful akin to having dental work done with no Novacaine. It's true that the area is a mass of humanity most of the time, and the crowds and traffic can indeed be maddening. In my thinking as a tourist geek, missing this classic American sight would be a shame, even though my wife and I have seen it before. We discovered that by getting there later in the afternoon, we were able to park closer, and the crowds had thinned out considerably. It was about 5:30 PM when we got there on Day 2, and we were able to see a nice eruption with a very menacing sky as a backdrop. This makes for much better contrast for pics, and the rain that fell on and off helped drive off even more of the people.





My wife just loves her little stuffed bear.



We also took the opportunity to go through the new visitor's center at Old Faithful. It was under construction during our last visit, and it's well worth a look.

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Old 09-06-2013, 04:37 PM   #26
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Way Cool! Americana,small bears,Biscuits and Gravy,all very good!

Now we need some gnarly weather,slick roads,heavy wind,like what really happens out on the road.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:13 PM   #27
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Way Cool! Americana,small bears,Biscuits and Gravy,all very good!

Now we need some gnarly weather,slick roads,heavy wind,like what really happens out on the road.

I think that there's a bit of all of that coming along.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:18 PM   #28
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Wow, this looks like an awesome trip!! great RR
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #29
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Our ride back to camp from Old Faithful was very pretty, with more of the same threatening skies, rain, and a little wind tossed in for good measure. My wife's F650 hit 36,000 miles about a mile from camp, and she had to stop to record the moment.



Once back in camp, we ate a late dinner, got our gear sorted for the following morning, and did a little relaxing by a campfire. My wife's toe was still giving her some fits, so I got to play doctor, and dug this out:



It was about 3/8" long, and 1/4" wide, and was embedded under her little toe. The relief was immediate. I could see a tiny bit of sliver still under the skin, but trying to dig it out really hurt her. so I stopped.
The next evening I did manage to remove a second splinter that was the same size as the first, and it ran just about straight in toward the joint. Musta hurt like hell. I married a pretty tough girl.

We fell asleep to an incredible light show, courtesy of a thunder storm that moved in from the North. It rained hard for most of the night, and I don't know about you guys, but I don't sleep any better than I do in a tent during a storm.

______________________________

Yellowstone, Day 3:

We wanted to ride South, around Yellowstone Lake, to Grant Village, which had all of the displays for the fires of 1988. It's amazing to see how the park has recovered in the 25 years since.
The route took us once again through Hayden Valley, and the inevitable bison traffic jams. This one was following the double yellow line like it was the trail.










I had no idea that bison could swim as quickly as they do. This huge bull crossed the 100-yard-wide Yellowstone River in about a minute and a half, then climbed out and shook like a dog. A really, really massive dog.





There's a tiny lake that sits squarely on the Continental Divide. Half drains East, the other half West, and during Summer it's covered in lilly pads with yellow flowers. We stopped to take pics, and the parking lot was crowded in by a bus full of tourists from New Jersey. While we were there, a woman approached my wife and excitedly asked if there was any way that she could sit on my wife's pretty little yellow bike and have her picture taken. She did, and so did a few others. Note the expression of joy on my face, as I stand at the rear, waiting for one of them to drop the thing on themselves.







They really were nice people, and it was fun to see how excited they were to do something as daring as to actually SIT on a motorcycle.



Obligatory nature shots:





We made our way back to Old Faithful to try and catch one more eruption.





This time, on the way back to camp, it was my turn to snap a pic of MY odo, as the Strom clicked over 59K. Oddly enough, it happened at exactly the same spot as my wife's "odo moment" the evening before. Strange, pithy, banal, but true.

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Old 09-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #30
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Figured I would drop my first ADV post here! Have been lurking for some time, so may as well join the fun!

While this RR may not be mud, rocks and flops, I am still thoroughly enjoying the virtual journey. Sure makes me want to take a vacation and hit the road. Great report; keep it coming!
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