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Old 07-15-2013, 10:04 PM   #76
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What to do, what to do?

I've got the maps spread out everywhere because suddenly I'm not feeling the Tetons/Glacier route. I'm just not wanting to head north unless I can cross the border, feels like it should be a different trip.

So now what?

Hmmm, planned on riding down 395..... which way should I go to get there?

Hmmmmmm

Tbc
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:35 AM   #77
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Might want to take a look at the AMA's top 15 motorcycle rides for inspiration. FWIW, after Salem, I'm riding route 12 to Lolo, then Glacier, and across the Bear Tooth on the way back to Lake City..
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:27 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlestonADV View Post
Might want to take a look at the AMA's top 15 motorcycle rides for inspiration. FWIW, after Salem, I'm riding route 12 to Lolo, then Glacier, and across the Bear Tooth on the way back to Lake City..
The Bear Tooth highway is amazing!!
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:56 AM   #79
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And the winner is......Highway 50 across Nevada

I drove this highway about 20 years ago and saw 1 other car. One.....

The plan: Vernal to Great Basin National Park, then....I don't have a plan, yay!!!

I didn't expect this ride to be so pretty, and up high. 9000 foot pass. The route is funny, you have to go southwest, then northwest, then southwest again. About 350 miles, gonna be a long day.

Hit the 15 and then the hunt for a bike shop begins. I forgot chain lube and yeah......after some false starts I find a shop and hose down the chain. Poor Maxwell...

Headed a little south on the 15 then you pick up a parallel road (6) on the west side. Wow. Also did not expect this to be so pretty! Up the hills, riding through the Junipers and mining towns (silver, I think).

Dropped down into farm land. Uh oh, getting hot again. What's that ahead? Shade! Under gas station pump covers! On these trips I get very attached to gas stations. I spend a lot of time sitting on the curbs outside drinking water, having a snack. After I have some water and cool down a bit, I see, that they have ice cream...not the packaged stuff from inside a cooler, but the real thing! Giant multi gallon tubs, ice cream scoop and waffle cones. 18 or so flavors. myyyy gosh!!! Yes, yes, yes!!!

OK, I'd better get going. I hit Delta and just poop out, it's another 100+ miles to the park. Boy, the heat really gets to you, wears you out. Find a motel and so does everybody else, lots of contractors using it as a home base.

Turn on the TV and there's a really interesting documentary on the establishment of the national parks and the first tours. The AAA put together an expedition and off the group went in 1920 on a 5000 mile journey, on a barely put together and almost nonexistent road system (all dirt). The tour was the idea of a man named Westgard, I'm going to have to find some information. In order to enter Yellowstone NP you had to prove that you had sufficient parts to repair your car and the know how, or you were turned away. Really wild stuff. If you want to talk about some real adventure riders....

No pics today, too much I gotta get there riding.....
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:35 AM   #80
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Delta to Great Basin National Park

Let the roller coaster begin.

I'm going to be riding across the Great Basin, a region defined by hydrology. None of the water runs to the sea, it either enters the water table or evaporated from lakes in the basin bottoms to form playas. Loooong time ago the crust began thinning and stretching causing blocks to tilt. The tilted up sides formed mountain and the other sides, basins.

This makes the geographic region, the Basin and Range. The 2 don't have the same boundaries. Both are not contained in Nevada, but stretch into other states like the east side of California (the Sierra and White Mountains).

The best description I've ever read is that Nevada, from a satellite photo, looks like a bunch of caterpillars crawling north. (John McPhee, beautifully writes natural history)

The ranges run approximately north/south so if you ride east or west you're going up and down and up and down. Just about the time it's getting hot, up you go!

Off we go andddddd, wait, where did these cars come from, hey! This is supposed to be the loneliest road in America, what's going on!? I stop a few times for pics and most times a car appears, I want pics showing no cars! Ah heck, oh well.

Great Basin NP is our newest park and the only one to allow grazing within its borders. I'll let you hunt down the details, but the only way the park was going to happen was by making that concession.

Pulled into the teeny town of Baker, the town at the bottom of the hill. The park, besides some other cool things, shows the Basin and Range changes in habitats as you gain altitude.

Time for lunch. Pull over to a little cafe/general store and they don't open for another 15 minutes. Rats. I'm not the only one waiting, there's a 20 something bicyclist on the bench outside. We start talking, he's riding across the US, heading to San Francisco to meet up with his dad. We get a table together, he's here from Sweden and having a great ride. He's putting anywhere from 60 to 100 miles a day. For you bicyclists, imagine doing a century almost every day!
Super nice kid, Christian. Weird how you hit a certain age and you start thinking of people in their 20s as kids.

Baker is a funky little town , not sure what the main income was before the park opened. First town Ive been in with no cell phone reception. Yay, off the grid. Woot!

Stopped at the lower visitor's center to check out the camping situation. The ranger tells me that I really should go to the top campground, it's beautiful, and she's absolutely right! Wheeler Basin, I think, it's at about 9600 feet.

However,mthen I'm walking back to the bike I see something that's really bad. Seriously not good. Ooooh shit!!!! The load shifted just a bit and dropped one side of my tent too close to the exhaust, the ended is melted into a crusty mess. Man, I just bought this tent, it was really expensive and I really like it. Geez.

Now, when I pack tents I never fold and roll, I always stuff. I know that the bottom of the bag contains either the tent body or the fly, but I can't remember which and I certainly can't tell from the molten bits of tent and I'm too depressed to look in the open side. Well, I'm camping no matter what, so up the road, thinking about what I'm going to sleep under tonight. Argh.

I find a campsite, get number 28 if you're up there. OK, moment of truth....it's the fly! Actually that's the best outcome, I can set up the tent with just the fly and the footprint, privacy and rain protection. Unfortunately the fly didn't escape unscathed. There are melted bits that I have to pull apart, leaving some spread hand sized holes (and a little bigger). Duct tape, crud, not enough. I pull out a couple of plastic clothes bags I picked up at hotels and tape them over the openings so I at least have some privacy and the illusion of rain protection (but I know better!). I hatch some plans about tying my rain jacket over the holes in case of rain, but it's a nice nights. Wow, the stars! The park is known for being one of the best dark star locations in the US.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #81
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A few pics

Shoe tree west of Delta



The tent, ugh



Campsite with tent "repairs"

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Old 07-16-2013, 01:36 PM   #82
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Nothing like the smell of burnt NYLON in the morning ...........

Hope you can fix it without replacing the whole thing.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #83
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Nothing like the smell of burnt NYLON in the morning ...........

Hope you can fix it without replacing the whole thing.
I'm going to sew some waterproof fabric over the holes and them seam seal the heck out of it. Can't make it any worse!

Unfortunately, the tent body was completely toast, it went into the bin. However, the fly and the footprint do make a pretty nice combo if it isn't buggy. I think I'm going to buy some screening and sew it along the bottom and add some kind of screen door. It will be Franken-tent!
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:40 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
I'm going to sew some waterproof fabric over the holes and them seam seal the heck out of it. Can't make it any worse!

Unfortunately, the tent body was completely toast, it went into the bin. However, the fly and the footprint do make a pretty nice combo if it isn't buggy. I think I'm going to buy some screening and sew it along the bottom and add some kind of screen door. It will be Franken-tent!
We're goiong to have to open a trailer park for tenters ....

You can be the official "Queen of the Double-Wide" ... tent
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LATER...........Gregg

Then, while at WFO on my way up a dune, I understood. It was like the heavens opened up and I heard the voices of Angels.
Shortly afterward, I heard the voice of God. He said, and I quote, "Dumbass."
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:18 PM   #85
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We're goiong to have to open a trailer park for tenters ....

You can be the official "Queen of the Double-Wide" ... tent
Sounds good to me!
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:47 PM   #86
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Another night at Great Basin

I was reading back over the trip, and wow, I really have done very little proof reading.

Get up that morning, go drink coffee by the stream behind my site and decide I need to stay another day. I wasn't planning on going through the cave this time, but got a sudden yen for some flowstone.

There is a lot of sedimentary rock across Nevada that was/is still being tilted upwards. Amongst this is limestone from ancient coral beds and small critters with limy shells dying and drifting to the bottom of the sea. The limestone is dissolved by rainwater that becomes slightly acidic due to a reaction with carbon dioxide in the air and soil and voila, you have a cave (ok, maybe not that simple...) the cave formations occur when the chemicals in the water precipitate back out and build up over time.

The park has one cave open to the public, Lehman Cave. It's a nice one, discovered at the turn of the last century, but relatively unscathed considering people were allowed to break off formations and take them home. Not good. I hadn't heard this before, the ranger said that Lehman would allow you into the cave for a buck and you could spend as much time as you liked and if you could break it off you could keep it. If you weren't out in 24 hours they would come looking for you.....this was before the cave was "developed" with paths and all exploration was done with candles. The poor cave has also suffered through a wedding or two, dances in one of the rooms and the production of a really bad scifi movie, Wizards from Mars.

So, really good shape, considering....

I get my butt moving, pay for one more night, damnit I don't have the right change and have to put in a 20 instead of 12. Donation, I guess. I head down the hill to the cave visitors center, wander around and buy a ticket, then ride down to Baker to see if I can buy a tarp to throw over my rain fly, in case it rains (something really wrong with that sentence.....). Success, back up the hill, lunch at the cafe at the visitors center and then kick back under a cottonwood tree, reading, until it's tour time.

Have a group of about 10, ok size. The ranger who's leading is pretty funny, with the smaller group it's a lot easier to be relaxed and you can have conversations with people rather than having to do the regular spiel.

You're allowed to take pics, yay! I didn't bring my flash, boo! Actually, this works out better, I saw a few flash pics and the flash really ruins the colors (it's also really annoying to be around in a cave....)

I start out trying manual shots, lens wide open and exposure times too long to hand hold. Get a few decent pics using the cave lighting. I decide to put the camera in, "you figure it out mode" and wow, I should have trusted it before!

Myself and another woman drive everybody nuts because we keep taking pics on the way out....sorry, but it's too cool! She points out some nice water drops and holds a flashlight for me, I get the ranger to do the same thing a little later, I will not be denied! I whine about not having enough time and mention that the park should do photography tours. They do! You have to give about 2 weeks notice, it's just you and a ranger. I didn't find out the price, but it's certainly not the 12 bucks I paid for this tour.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:09 PM   #87
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Lehman Cave



People used to write their names on the ceiling using the soot in the smoke from their candles. These two I really liked, 2 women who got to this spot alone, probably in full length skirts. No paths then and a lot of belly crawling. You go girls! Notice that the signatures are Mrs. So and so, instead of just their names. Sign of the times.
Around the names you can see a lot of damage from "souvenirs"



New formations building on the ends of broken ones



Shield formations with drapery





Stalactites and stalagmites join to form columns, flowstone in front/bottom



Built up pool rims



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Old 07-17-2013, 12:07 AM   #88
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The usual helpful and entertaining commentary and those great pics. You are, in effect, a travel promoter for all these places you visit.

But am I the only person who loathes shoe trees?
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:24 AM   #89
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Beautiful photos in the caves Sue.

If you haven't already, you really need to go to Carlsbad Caverns......
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Then, while at WFO on my way up a dune, I understood. It was like the heavens opened up and I heard the voices of Angels.
Shortly afterward, I heard the voice of God. He said, and I quote, "Dumbass."
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:50 AM   #90
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The usual helpful and entertaining commentary and those great pics. You are, in effect, a travel promoter for all these places you visit.

But am I the only person who loathes shoe trees?
Thanks! It's a hard job, but somebody has to do it...
I'd never seen a shoe tree before, I kept thinking about all the clothes kids leave in my room every year and never bother to come get.
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