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Old 09-13-2014, 08:02 AM   #1
lakecntyrider OP
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Beneath the Sacred Mountain - A Trip to the Rockies

I was finally able to carve out some time for another ride with my Dad. For the past couple of years, I wasn't able to find time for a ride, so I was really looking forward to one this year. Hard to top our last trip to Alaska, but this one still had the promise of being a terrific trip.

Once again, time was not on my side for the places I wanted to visit, but I tried to keep the riding to about 300 miles a day. That was a little more than I planned for on previous trips, but on past trips, that seemed to be about the average mileage we would do in a day.

This year, we would be starting from my Dad's house in southern Oregon and head east to the Grand Teton National Park before we headed north to Yellowstone and Glacier parks. From there, we would cross the boarder, head towards Banff before riding southwest through Washington and Oregon back to Grants Pass.



I had considered getting a new KTM 1290 or a GS for this trip, but my current 2007 KTM 990 Adventure has a great setup, so I decided to wait.


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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies

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Old 09-13-2014, 12:39 PM   #2
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Day 1

The first day was going to be a long one. I would leave the San Francisco Bay Area at 4 a.m. and tow my motorcycle to my Dad's house in Grants Pass, Oregon. After close to 8 hours, I arrived at Grants Pass, took a short break, and then began getting ready for the ride. We had about half a day left, so plenty of time to begin heading east. Finally, ready to go.



We started to head east towards Silver Lake in the high desert of Central Oregon. It was a hot day, and some fire smoke was blowing in from Northern California to obscure views, but it was great to finally get on the road. We finally arrived in Silver Lake and rested before heading to Christmas Valley.



Things slow down quickly in the back country. After battling traffic through the Bay Area, a welcome change. We make our way through Christmas Valley. A lot of smoke, as you can see in the following shots.





A number of long straight-aways in the high desert. Things are beginning to slow down.



I'm not too familiar with this area, but as you're on these roads, you'll see people in RV's sitting in the middle of nowhere. Not sure what they are doing, but there is nothing within miles of some of them. Seemed strange to me.

Two bikes ready for the trip to Burns.



We were doing some big miles - more than I anticipated. We finally headed to Burns, but since we weren't sure how far we would go, we didn't have accommodations reserved on a Saturday night. As we eventually found out, there were no hotels available, and even the local RV campground didn't have room for a couple of tents. After some work on the iPhone, we located an RV Park about 20 miles out of town at Malheur Lake. They told us they had room, so off we went.

When we arrived, we expected to be putting up our tents in the dark, but a family in the campground decided not to use the Yurt they reserved. They offered it to us at no charge. A picture of it in the daylight the next morning.



Inside, there was the main bed.



... and a bunk bed.



Neither of us wanted to contort ourselves into the main bed, so I took the top bunk. It was a long day, and time to finally get some sleep after some serious miles.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies
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Old 09-13-2014, 02:54 PM   #3
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Nice RR's. have you done HWY 20 across the North Cascades yet? Its a must see, and ride for motorcycles.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:33 AM   #4
lakecntyrider OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longrides1 View Post
Nice RR's. have you done HWY 20 across the North Cascades yet? Its a must see, and ride for motorcycles.
Thanks. Yes, I've seen pictures. Definitely a road I need to checkout.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:46 AM   #5
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Day 2

We traveled about 370 miles on day 1. I didn't expect such a long trek, but it was good to get this far east on the first leg. Next morning, a beautiful sky.



Still going through eastern Oregon. Some great views, but fire smoke was still keeping things a little hazy.



Well rested and ready to go.



Not a lot of interesting pictures during this part of the ride. Hot, long stretches, and more freeways than I like, but it was the most direct route to Idaho. After getting out of Boise, we rested by the water before going up Highway 21.





With the bad drought in California this year, nice to see all of the water and boating activities. Really missed that this summer.

The ride up Highway 21 is a great motorcycle ride. I highly recommend it to anyone going through this part of the country. The following is the first video I've done for a ride report. I'm new at this, but it does capture some of the feeling riding through this stretch.



We found a nice campground by the river, and given the big miles and the heat, we decided to stop early and relax. Our tents were about 20 feet away from here.





Next up, Grand Teton National Park.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:12 AM   #6
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Day 3

Nice and cool in the morning. A welcome change from the heat of the previous days. As we continued towards Stanley, more incredible views.





I'm going to have to come back some day to go fishing on these streams.



We drive along the valley and start up the mountain again. This picture doesn't begin to capture the wonderful views.



As we continue on, we start feeling a few drops, which was quite a change from the previous days of 100F degree heat. The drops turned into a deluge. It finally let up a little when we reached Craters of the Moon National Monument.



Amazing how these lava fields go on and on.



We kept a good pace, even with the heavy rainfall. Not a lot of pictures with all of the wet weather. It rained all the way into Jackson. We were hoping to get a hotel to dry off, but everything was booked. We decided to go into Grand Teton National Park and get a campground. Luckily, some were still available.

We came in through the south entrance by Jackson. The dirt roads past the entrance were a muddy mess with tight passing between cars stopping to take pictures of Moose along the side of the road. As we came into the Gros Ventre campground, the rains letup. It was nice that we wouldn't have to battle the elements as we setup camp. Spectacular views at the campsite.



Looking back at Jackson Hole.



Not long after we turned in for the night, the rain came down hard again. It was comforting being dry in the tent, but I was hoping it would let up as we worked our way north through Yellowstone the next day.
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09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:12 PM   #7
acidman1968
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Good stuff! Keep it coming!

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Old Yesterday, 10:15 PM   #8
lakecntyrider OP
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Day 4

After a rainy night, we woke-up to a dry morning. Like the night before, the rain broke just in time for us to take care of camp. A great view of the mountains with the morning sun, but I was only able to capture it with the iPhone camera before the clouds set in over the peaks.



On the road again. As you can see the clouds set in over the peaks. A little disappointing, but still, a beautiful drive along the mountains.



I would have loved a sunny day, but at the same time, clouds and rain bring their own character to the scenery. Nice pictures along the lake.





A number of Harley riders were riding in the park from Sturgis. Talked to a couple here at the lake. After doing a few of these trips, one of the things I really enjoy is talking to riders from all types of backgrounds and interests. These lake views were right along the road.



Made our way to Yellowstone. I really loved the gorges on this side of the park. The picture doesn't capture the depth, but still beautiful.



On the other side of the gorge was a bear walking on the steep grade. Not sure if I enjoyed that more, or the excitement of the kids standing next to me who probably haven't seen a bear in the wild before.

Yellowstone is packed with tourists. I certainly understand why - it's a beautiful park, but I didn't really have the energy to fight the crowds for pictures. That, coupled with the rain and clouds, meant I didn't take too many pictures in the park. Looking at how few I took, I kind of regret it now, but I remember seeing the turnouts with cars stacked by different sites, and just felt that enjoying the sites from the road was enough. I do wish I had one or two of the meadows and streams. They were beautiful.

As you come out of the mountains, particularly as cool as it was, you see the geyser steam over the trees. Very cool. We did turn into Old Faithful. Had to do it, since we were there, but when we drove in, it was like stadium parking. It's that crowded.



You can see the Sturgis bikes in the parking lot. Here is a shot of Old Faithful before it went off.



It was scheduled to go off in another hour, and it was sprinkling, so we decided to continue on. Not sure it was worth the wait and the crowds. Coming out of Yellowstone was a great stream with sheer granite cliffs, but the low clouds hid quite a bit from us. I'm sure on a sunny day, it would have been spectacular.
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Ride Reports:
09 RR: Oregon
10 RR: Glacier National Park
11 RR: Alaska
14 RR: Rockies
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