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Old 01-21-2011, 11:49 AM   #196
byways
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When last summer, exactly?

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Originally Posted by tele-steve View Post
We road parts of the same route this last summer. You guys had MUCH better conditions on the Oregon Trail than we did. The section before Farson was... challenging.


Looking forward to the rest of it!!
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:15 PM   #197
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Middle to end of July.
The monsoon's hit at a strange time last summer so there were very isolated pockets of horrible clay and mud. We were riding perfectly dry trails one second, and them impassible mud and clay the next. We never actually road in the rain, but we were certainly chased by thunder and lightening...
RR can be found here...
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605739

Sorry for the hijack... on with the story!
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:39 PM   #198
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When to ride

First - hopefully DO will get back to the ride report in the next few days

When to ride. Many ADV'ers seem to want to get out in the spring or early summer. If you look at any of DP's ride reports you'll see that we ride late summer / early fall. Usually some time in September. We have been blessed on all of our trips with near perfect weather, no crowds, no bugs. Some cool nights, but I like that!!!

So my recommendation for all you FF's is to keep riding in the spring and summer. Leave the good conditions to us and stay off the trails when we are out there.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:42 PM   #199
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Having lived in the mountain west most of my semi adult life, you hit the nail on the head, late Sept and Oct is always great weather for doing stuff outside...Fall Colors, cool temps, usually no crowds and blue skis!!!!!
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:58 AM   #200
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Day 4 ends

Now where was I ?

Ah yes, before I abruptly left for vacation we were not quite at the half way mark of the trip, diverted off the CDR route and riding the Oregon Trail through Wyomings "Big Empty" and getting ready to make camp for the night. Here we go!
As I hope everyone remembers we were traveling across the Big Empty on the Oregon Trail now looking for a good place to make camp. Water and maybe some natural structure would be the ticket but we weren't hopeful as you can see.


But as usual, lady luck was with us and we come across this right on the Continental Divide ! We wondered how many Oregon Trail pioneers also may have circled the wagons "right chear". Not to mention Shoshone.



After we setup our tents Bruce breaks out his collapsible rod as we pull rocks out of the streambed to make a fire ring.




Finding stones to make our fire ring. I must point out that anyone who knows this area of Wyoming knows it blows almost 365 days out of the year. This particular day that we were here there was absolutely no wind. Complete stillness. Quiet. Have you ever heard quiet ? I mean real quiet ? That is until the wolves or coyotes whatever they were started to howl at sundown. Pure magic fellas.


The sun set




And the moon rose. Notice it was also full.


Meanwhile Bruce was trying to furnish us with a fresh meal.
Looking east down the Sweetwater


Bruce is using a rusty old Mepps spinner. Wouldn't catch shit with it here on the east coast. But here in the Big Empty, the trout are very naive !
Bruce pulls one out in about 2 casts.


It just does not get any better than this fellas.
Dennis's new Nemo 1 man in the foreground.











I have never in my life seen so many stars. And that full moon casted shadows of us and was so magnificent we needed no flash lights to wander around away from the fire.


We enjoyed the food and the beer and just made small talk. I don't think anyone wanted this night to end. We are on the frickin Continental Divide near South Pass in late September on a full moon lit, windless night !


Ah, the trout is done. Notice our preparation table ? I guess the coyotes were hear feasting as well.




A cup o soup to compliment the fresh trout.


Mikee just enjoying the evening. I got to say, behind us it got pretty cold away from the fire.


John and Mike.


I can't help but think to myself maybe is wasn't too bright to pitch my tent so close to the only brush around for miles. If any critter is going to come into camp at night he'll come through my tent !


The sun rises the next morning. We eat breakfast, wash up and strike the tents.






John warms the KLR by the morning fire as it was, if I remember correctly, about 22 degrees when we got up that morning.


When I return, we continue across the Big Empty, ride the Oregon Trail to a little know but significant milestone for the pioneers "The 9th Crossing". I know not too many people have been here. You'll see original wagon scars on the banks of the Sweetwater.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:33 AM   #201
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Bout time you got back to it.....instead of wasting too much time on the BS going on in the GS TOR thread.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:41 AM   #202
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He's back!

How many pioneers must have looked up at that same night sky, camped along that river, traveled those same tracks, gazed out across that exact same landscape ... hard to imagine. And they had so far yet to go. This truly is one of American history's most important locales. The real thing.

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Old 01-22-2011, 10:11 AM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DockingPilot View Post
Now where was I ?

Ah yes, before I abruptly left for vacation we were not quite at the half way mark of the trip, diverted off the CDR route and riding the Oregon Trail through Wyomings "Big Empty" and getting ready to make camp for the night. I must mention here and now, this upcoming relatively short section took a lot of research and phones to make happen. This area here you are about to see is privately owned by a huge ranch owner. How huge ? try 2,000 square miles . Last year I was tipped off as to who and where I might find her. Yep, that's right her. Yea, we could have ridden right through there but we would have none of that. So I started to hunt the owner down. A call to a bank in Cheyenne that a cousin worked at, some small talk about who I was and why I wanted to contact the owner. A week later I got a call back from the owner. I told her our interest in the history and how and when we would be traveling and wala ! "No problem". So again this upcoming section is privately owned and must be respected as such.
Hey Frank,
I can appreciate your contact with the owner of the ranch to obtain passage permission. Coming from a family of ranchers myself, and from my own experience riding in eastern Oregon, maintaining a positive line of communication with ranchers is one of the ways to guarantee we, and the people riding after us, have continued access to certain riding areas.
Cesar
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:39 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by DougZ73 View Post
Bout time you got back to it.....instead of wasting too much time on the BS going on in the GS TOR thread.
Oh that just may be the best thread going on ADV right now. You just cant make that stuff up !
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DockingPilot
So again this upcoming section is privately owned and must be respected as such.
Curious how you knew from afar that it was privately owned.

Great to have you back and storytelling again.

John
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:46 AM   #206
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Hi John,
I was doing my usual digging and rooting around in the Rockies thread and was tipped off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sourjon View Post
Curious how you knew from afar that it was privately owned.

Great to have you back and storytelling again.

John
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:42 PM   #207
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Day 5

We shoved off for another day of complete freedom, no time constraints or even thoughts as to what day of the week it even was. Didn't much matter. But before we continued on the Oregon Trail and headed for the 9th Crossing we decided to see Atlantic City and South Pass City that is on the CDR route. So we did.

Arriving in AC
Historic Atlantic City, WY. 3000 miners lived and toiled here back in 1869.






Atlantic City Mercantile


South Pass City




Oregon Buttes, viewed from South Pass City Road, Wyoming. Buttes were an important landmark to wagon trains.




To be perfectly honest with you, we were warned at the Crooked Creek Cabins that we stayed at earlier on Union Pass that it was nothing special. They were right in our opinion. It was just not worth the time or even any pictures. It had history but we were kind of "ho hum" when we looked around. There just wasn't much there except folks homes that live there today. Dennis was able to find the only fuel around for miles here from a local fella and topped off the Husky. We had a ways to go before we hit Rawlins where the next fuel and food was available. So, without haste, we quickly saddled up and headed back for the trail. The "Oregon Trail" that is, with some real unadulterated, unspoiled history. "The real Thing" as Tony say's. The CDR, just tweaked a bit.



Back on the Oregon Trail now as indicated by the marker. Again, I was quite amazed that there were even markers out here !


We come across "The Twin Mounds". The pioneers used this landmark as a guide. They actually had a guide book, almost like off road riders use a "Roadbook". They looked for this landmarks a beacon that they were headed in the right direction.
Twin Mounds historic landmark (following photograph). The mounds signaled travelers they were close to the highest elevation of South Pass.




Signs out here marking this stuff ! I mean, fellas, when I tell you this is off the beaten path, I'm really not exaggerating.


We continue heading for The 9th Crossing


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Old 01-22-2011, 01:01 PM   #208
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Great RR.

Why do all the signs naming the town, list the elevation?
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:04 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by Schmittenhymer View Post
Great RR.

Why do all the signs naming the town, list the elevation?
I'm not sure.
Tony ?
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:40 PM   #210
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Day 5 cont.

We ride on..........

Duane coming.....


And going


I just had to keep getting off the bike & shutting her off to just take the solitude in. It's a rare moment in my life when I can be so removed from the rest of the world.
Notice the buttes in the backround. I was guessing on just how far off they were.


There would be some short lived minor soft spots in the trail. Meaning sandy, but for the most part, as you can see here, it was easy riding.




Does adventure riding get any better ? You tell me.


We approach the Sweetwater River again and now The 9th Crossing.
Wagon wheel depressions still visible after 160 years


You see, the Sweetwater runs in a east west direction but in a serpentine form. The same direction the pioneers were traveling,. If they didn't cross the river at every "S" and just followed it's banks, that decision would add miles and days to the journey. So they crossed it every time. 9 times in fact. This was the 9th and final crossing.




Absolutely amazing. The scars from thousands of wagons, mules, oxen, horses and American pioneers still visible today due to the remote, undisturbed location.




In respect for American history, we would not ride the bikes across the river, although I must admit, I really wanted to, just to say I did it. There was a small rickety wooden bridge that was ok for the bikes. I'm not sure I'd drive a car over it though.


When I come back, we say goodbye to the Oregon Trail and eventually hook back up on the CDR where we ride southerly across this huge, vast place they call "The Big Empty"


AND, lets not forget, we have way more to come, like Colorado high country, Pony Express, Trans Continetal RR and more
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