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Old 05-26-2012, 04:26 PM   #76
Cariboostrom OP
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Cody to West Yellowstone

Yes, this road trip was the one I took LAST summer, 2011. So we left off the tale after meeting up with Ara and Spirit, and then heading down to very hot Cody Wyoming for some lunch at Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel. What a neat old place. Zigy had been there, and said "We've got to eat there."

It had a pressed tin roof, and deer horns, and chandeliers, and HUGE old paintings in massive frames....all kinds of antiques, and it was packed for lunch! It's quite a landmark in Cody.




Cody was WAY too hot for me, and Zigy went back to Red Lodge, and I rode on solo to Yellowstone Park. We arranged to meet up again later.

Now I've been to Yellowstone several times, and it seems to me to always be massively busy with traffic. I know, I'm spoiled at seeing bears quite frequently where I live, but really folks, do you have to stop, dead in the middle of the road, and cause a traffic jam a mile long, just to look at a very small bear at least a half a mile away? I rode and rode, and enjoyed the open areas, but the traffic jams looking at wildlife were CRAZY. I mean, it's hard to ride a fully loaded bike THAT SLOW! So, while trying not to let it bother me, I decided on a simple solution that wouldn't cost a penny for the US Govt. Seriously, why not make the basic figure eight roadway through the park into ONE WAY! You go one way around the two big loops, and two ways across the joining middle bit. So there is the right hand lane for those who want to stop and gawk for an hour at a squirrel, and the left hand lane for the traffic that wants to move along. Makes sense to me.

Anyway, at one point, after stop/start/stop/start for at least half an hour, I did see about 100 buffalo, big ones, small ones, beside a river....that was cool! I should have stopped the bike in the middle of the road, got off, grabbed my camera and taken a few pictures! but I didn't.

Anyway, finally I got to West Yellowstone KOA, where I had booked a campsite (thinking it might be booked up....didn't realize that they have 1,000 campsites there!). Anyway, during the evening, a strange storm blew in, and turned the sky a strange colour before pouring down rain and hail.



Fortunately I was sitting on the covered deck checking emails when the sky broke loose and it poured.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:49 PM   #77
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West Yellowstone to Deer Lodge

Day 9 July 11, 2011

I'd never ridden Hwy 191 up through the Gallatin, but it was very pleasant and scenic. Zigy and I planned to meet up at Deer Lodge KOA. This town had a real problem with mosquitos. Apparently there had been a flood in the spring, and the town was alive with the biting little buggers! Now I HATE mosquitos...and they LOVE me. I think I bathed in Deet when I got there...it was hot and humid, and I took a shower and there were even mosquitos in the shower room.... Doused myself in good old Muskoil with Deet, did some laundry and turned the Strom into a closeline. I managed to get the tent up and then Zigy arrived.




Zigy had brought his bicycle along carried in a holder on the back of his Beemer:

Day 10 July 12
Made some coffee and oatmeal and fruit for breakfast and I headed off ahead of Zigy who wanted to sleep late.

It was cold in the morning at Deer Lodge...well cold enough to wear long johns under my shorts! I was rockin' the Tree Planter look! Maybe some of you don't know what "tree planters" look like.....we have lots of tree planters up here in the spring and summer, and they seem to love wearing long johns under their shorts!



We were heading for Kalispell for the night. I rode on through Garrison, Avon, Helmville, Ovando, and turned on to the very scenic Hwy 83 to Kalispell. Stopped for lunch in Seeley Lake and ended up at a motel in Kalispell. All set to ride the THIRD great road of this trip, the Going to the Sun Road.

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Old 05-26-2012, 06:07 PM   #78
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Awesome trip

I think of my strom as a 2 wheeled motorhome. Its red but we have the same luggage and bag system. Its amazing how much stuff you can put in there. subscribed
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:00 AM   #79
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That's your basic healthy breakfast there; especially with a Bud chaser.
And yes, the Yellowstone traffic is horrendous; had a scary near collision there, last time.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinty View Post
Yellowstone traffic is horrendous; had a scary near collision there, last time.
If you can do your adventure trips between Labor Day and Memorial Day, the national parks are much more enjoyable.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:01 AM   #81
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When I grow up I want to be like you Cariboostrom!!! BTW many years ago my uncle and aunt homesteaded in Williams Lake... . When you (Cariboostrom) wrote, "So then it was onwards to the Rattlesnake Pass and down to Hell’s canyon. The weather was still not too hot, as I started down the switchbacks into Hell’s Canyon. I stopped at the café at the bottom, and took the camera and walked out onto the bridge over the Grande Ronde river. " Actually you were not in "Hell's Canyon" as that canyon has the Snake River in it... you were very close to that famous canyon (it is actually East as crow flies about ten miles from the Rattle Snake Grade). You can ride into parts of Hell's Canyon if you can ride on dirt/gravel (Dugg Bar) and ride along the rim on Forest Service roads like at Buckhorn overlook.

FYI my wife and I rode down the Washington side of the Rattlesnake Grade yesterday and then turned West at the bottom of the grade and rode back roads (and thru some snow lol) over to Milton Freewater, Oregon. If you ever get into this area again give us a jingle and we will show you Hell's Canyon... I also noticed you were in Deer Lodge MT... other than dead of winter it seems to always be buggy there and you are correct Yellowstone is a zoo of people and not worth going to in the summer... in the winter it is GREAT!!!
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:45 AM   #82
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Glacier National Park and Going to the Sun Road

Where were we....OK, Kalispell....I spent July 13th riding around Flathead Lake looking for cherries...no cherries ripe in this area, as the season was, according to a local, about a month behind schedule...cool spring. I bought a new camera, and went to Snappy Sports Centre, and bought a new camp stove to replace my old Coleman which had served me well for about 32 years...and a new slightly smaller better quality air mattress. Zigy had some unsettling news from his home and decided to head back to home in Boulder. I spied this bike in the parking lot of the motel:




In the morning I got to meet Joe, the owner of the bike, who is from England, and who has been riding around South and Central America and is on his way to Alaska. I gave him my contact details and hoped to meet him again in Quesnel, on his way through. This really is the best part of travelling - all the wonderful and interesting people you meet on the road.

Today was the first day that the Going to the Sun Road was open for through traffic, owing to the high snowpack from the past winter taking so long to clear.

Day 12, July 14, 2011.
I headed off from Kalispell early. I like Kalispell, and have been there a couple of times:


The Strom "leading the pack"....


Heading into Glacier Park






Joe had said there were some areas of gravel that were freshly graded and wet. He'd come through from the Eastern side the previous day (first day open). He said he'd seen a bunch of Harley riders turning around, saying they weren't going to ride "on that shit"....but he reassured me "you'll be fine on your bike".... Joe, just a young guy (late twenties?) didn't seem to think it odd at all that I was riding around on my V-Strom on my own, and appreciated my skills and suitable bike....awesome!

There were some delays on the road, one lane at times, but it was great to have a chance to get off the bike and take some pictures. These guys in front on their Gold Wings (?) were having quite a time of it to stay upright, as we were going very slowly, in loose and freshly laid down gravel.




the sun was shining; it was a gorgeous day; the snowbanks got higher and higher as we approached Logan Pass...what a fantastic road to be riding .... !






Wildlife appeared out of nowhere at the top.....mountain goats I think?


Lots and lots of snow still beside the road at the top.





I've ridden the Going to the Sun road from East to West several times, but this was the first time going West to East, and yes, it does pay to ride it BOTH ways, as it's quite a different view each time.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:56 PM   #83
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Ride safe. I did that trip last year from Canmore through Kananaskis and into Waterton Park. There was no where to camp all was full. So we headed into the USA at the border crossing. Great ride although late. Then we stopped close to Glacier entrance in the KOA. It was great. We were first to stay in one of their highbred tents. At dinner and a beer at that nice log lodge just outside the park. Great food. The trip into glacier was wonderful. So different from Banff National Park just outside my door at home. Colossal would be a good word.
One through the park we avoided the tourist traps and stopped at a hole in the wall pub on the side of the highway called Packards Roost. Cold beer and the largest $10 hamburger I have ever seen. We fed 3/4 to two mongrel dogs on the deck outside. We were all very happy.
Through Whitefish Montana then Sandpoint ID. Great epic ride. We met Kurt and Martha outside Sandpoint ID whom own BlackDog CW and adv gear company. Great people! Got great advice on where to ride and even were invited to camp by the river on their spread.
Good Lord we had a great time. Love the USA.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #84
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Waterton Park

Riding East through the remaining stretch of Going to the Sun is beautiful too. This road is spectacular from start to finish (either way!)




I followed Chief Mountain Highway, and crossed back into Canada and turned up Hwy 5 where I set up camp at Crooked Creek Campground, just outside of Waterton Park, where it was SO windy, that even though I had put the tent up behind some brush, I woke up in the middle of the night with the tent flapping about my face, with about half the tent pegs pulled out! So folks, ya know you're REALLY camping and having so much fun when you have to get up at 3 am and get dressed and go out and re-peg your tent down again in a howling wind!.


Someone had got a little inukshuk going on one of the picnic tables. This is a really nice friendly campground, but it sure is WINDY here!


Day 13, July 15, 2011
So then I went into Waterton Park - sister park to Glacier, which is ALSO spectacular...








At the end of the road in Waterton Park is Cameron Lake...







So then I headed over the Crowsnest Pass Hwy 3 into British Columbia again, and I was so glad to get out of windy Alberta.

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Old 05-28-2012, 09:00 PM   #85
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Gorgeous pics. I want to be you when I grow up! (I'm only 57)
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #86
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Wow.....what a ride!

Thanks for sharing....:-). Are you home now?
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:59 PM   #87
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Brand of tent?

What is the brand of your tent? I'm really digging that vestibule/storage area.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:19 PM   #88
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Great to read your report!

Somehow there are not a whole lot of woman on the road.
And you are. That gives me a lot of positive energy toward my own future.

I still have to wait 16 years till our son will be able to get his driverslicense.

And then I hope we will be on the road with my husband, my son and me.
(allready saving for a great adventure together).
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JemezMtns View Post
What is the brand of your tent? I'm really digging that vestibule/storage area.
The tent is an OutdoorWorks Summit - It was cheap. I got it at Costco about ten years ago. It works really well, sleeps two easily, three in a pinch. If it's raining I have plenty of room inside to sit and read and dress/get undressed although it is not tall enough to stand up in. The vestibule is awesome, room to put ALL of my gear under cover if it's raining (except the wonderful V-Strom, but she's tough). The tent weighs 10 lbs, is 28" long all packed up. What I like about it is that the rain fly comes right down to the ground, so if it's raining and windy, I stay dry. I've slept in this tent through some amazingly heavy wind and rain and stayed dry. The tent was about $100, I think.

I doubt it is available still, but try and find a tent with the same design.



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Old 05-29-2012, 09:26 AM   #90
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Wow.....what a ride!

Thanks for sharing....:-). Are you home now?
I took this trip LAST year 2011....
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