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Old 06-25-2014, 01:53 PM   #1
WVRiderIM's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2014
Location: West Virginia
Oddometer: 6
16 Days, 5031 miles, fullfilling dreams

I'm new to this site and was told by my friend who joined me on this trip I was more of an adventure rider even though I do it on a sport tourer, so I thought I share our latest adventure. Kinda long so made it two parts.

Part I

After all the miles of riding last year the dreaming this long winter began I began actually planning a trip out west which I've wanted to do for a number of years. Could I make it happen? Would I have to go it alone? When to go? However, once decisions and plans were made and my friend Dan from Boston chose to join me on this huge adventure. I requested two weeks of vacation time so I would have 16 days to make a grand journey travelling from WV through 9 other states as far west as Idaho, thru much of Wyoming, as far north as Montana and back into South Dakota for the MSTA STAR rally and 4 days of great riding.

The NT loaded, running and ready for take off.

Saturday the 31st of May had us on the road by 8am and headed west. It was super slab from Zanesville OH to somewhere past Peoria IL. We were able to make it to Lake Story Campground near Galesburg, IL that night. Very nice campground for those going through that area.

On Sunday it was our hope to make it somewhere on the western side of Omaha, NE. We took Rt.34 which was mostly 2 lane. We were about 12 miles out of West Point, NE on Rt.275 when a huge storm struck. Note to self, never ride into this nasty type of storm in flat land like NE again. We rode through 50 to 60 mph straight winds and tornado warnings. When we saw more coming we made a quick decision to head for a hotel for the night. The management let us park the bikes down in a small passage way to the downstairs entrance.

We were in that small white area just southeast of Norfolk. Notice there is more coming.

The next day was beautiful as we pushed west.

Our hope was to make it to at least Chadron, NE by that night. Instead we actually pushed all the way into Douglas WY. Here are the bluffs near Chadron NE.

Entering Wyoming

Douglas was a neat little town and we enjoyed our stay at the Douglas KOA for the night. We pushed on the next day toward the Grand Tetons. Once at Shoshoni WY we were told about the Wind River Canyon by the lady at the gas station so we did a side trip of 50+ miles roundtrip out to Thermopolis and back. It was sooo worth it.

As we headed out from Shoshoni the terrain began to change in soo many different ways.

As we climbed the mountain prior to the Grand Tetons it was obvious it was only June 3rd. The temperatures dropped and there was still lots of snow on the ground even in the lower altitudes.

As we rolled down toward our destination along Jackson Lake at the Grand Tetons I found myself breathless at the site of the Grand Tetons in the distance.

We were able to find a campsite at Signal Mountain Campground within 50 yards of the lake with spectacular views of the Tetons. The views that actually stir the soul, and were soothed with some needed refreshments.

Nearly dark at the lake.

i was up early the next morning and waited for the sun to get in the perfect location. Soo unbelievable.

As I sat there in my small chair with gloves and winter wear sipping my piping hot coffee I seemed to be lost in the moment when Dan reminded me we were riding into Idaho and then Yellowstone so we needed to get moving. One last glance..

We left and rode the Tetons Park Rd. on our way into Idaho.

We then shot across the mountain and into Idaho just to say we were there.

After that we made our trek thru Jackson Hole where we picked up some steaks and other goodies for that nights meal. We rode past the Tetons via the highway and headed into Yellowstone.

As we entered Yellowstone a Ranger walked over and warned us of severe weather up in Yellowstone. Very high winds, rain and some hail reported. The temps began to drop rapidly as we started in. The first lake still had ice on it. Just after that the rain started. 39 degrees and raining made the fingers a bit cold.

By the time we reached Canyon Campground the storms had moved through and all was great again. We then enjoyed the falls nearby.

Thursday we left the tents set up and rode unloaded bikes around the Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone. "See the photo link a the end of post".

In that loop a huge herd of buffalo decided to use the road as their route of travel so we spent over 1 1/2 hrs behind them. Dan and I made our way along side the traffic jam to get to the front and get pictures.

Between that ordeal, another where a bull actually came at my motorcycle, having to wait for several crossing and then meeting one head on while coming around a corner on the mountain road, I could care less if I ever see another buffalo.

Part II = Leaving Yellowstone, to follow:

WVRiderIM screwed with this post 06-26-2014 at 07:45 AM
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:44 AM   #2
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Joined: Jun 2014
Location: West Virginia
Oddometer: 6
Part II

Part II

We left Yellowstone through the Northeast Entrance and rode Beartooth Scenic Byway, then into the Big Horn Mountains east of Greybull, WY. Beartooth is a must see/ride. It was absolutely amazing to ride through this winter wonderland with temps in the mid 30's, dry roads, and see skiers having fun on the mountain at the same time.

Once in Greybull WY we turned onto the Big Horns Scenic Byway (US14) and enjoyed the Big Horns. Another must do.

Shortly after crossing the Powder River on US14 between Sheridan and Gillett we came across some cowboys (litterally) branding the yearling cattle. We turned around to take a few pictures and were graciously invited over to see up close. The Ranch owner Mike was super nice, offering us lunch, drinks, etc. We enjoyed watching the cowboy and cowgirl, on horseback, rope the calves, drag them out the gate where the ranch hands would hold them down while they were tagged, given their shots, branded and more, if it was a steer (ouch!). What a fantastic experience to see first hand.

We made it all the way to Spearfish, SD that day (Saturday) after stopping by Devils Tower. We rode into Spearfish City Campground and was not impressed. Neither of us like it so we found Chris' Campground a short distance from there. Much better in my honest opinion.

Next morning we shortened our ride due to rain and took super slab to Rapid City where we were about to get into our cabin by 10:30am thanks to some awesome folks at the Rapid City KOA. Highly recommended..

We spent 4 nights there and in that time rode as many of the roads and saw as many sights as possible. Here are just a few of the many photos. (See link at end for more).

Thursday morning, after some storms on Wednesday night, we woke to a spectacular morning and had 4 beautiful days to back road our way back to WV and Dan had 2 more days to finish his trek back to Boston. Clear skies day and night.

I logged 5,031 miles in those 16 days and Dan around 6200. The NT performed flawlessly the entire trip, the PR 4's handled great on every road surface we threw at them and mileage? I got an amazing 67.8 mpg on the Grand Loop in Yellowstone (by calculator) and the worst mileage was on the super slab, 75 to 80 mph and never got below 51 mpg. Note, my friends WeeStrom performed great also although mileage was never near mine with lows around 35mpg and highs around 56 mpg in Yellowstone. What a fantastic way to live the dream and mark a few things off the ole' bucket list.

Here is that link to my entire album if you want to see more fantastic scenery.

Don't just dream about that ride....... Do it !
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:24 AM   #3
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Joined: Jun 2014
Location: West Virginia
Oddometer: 6
Thanks for fixing post

Just wanted to thank the moderator for fixing this post. My bad. It was a great adventure and would be glad to share the routes.


"The destination isn't as important as how you get there"
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