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Old 09-16-2011, 06:14 PM   #1
scarysharkface OP
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North by Northwet

North by Northwet - Scarysharkface goes to Wetfest in Tumalo, Oregon, on a girl's bike..

Alternate title: Scary like a shark face.

Seems my firm decision to either ride the DR350 all the way from West Terre Haute, Indiana, to Bend, Oregon, or to haul the little thing on the back of the Jeep for Wetfest fell apart just that quickly. A quick scoot on Pinktoad's Wee-Strom the Monday prior to my scheduled departure and suddenly my mind fractures into three pieces.

I had gigs scheduled on either end of the trip, constraining me to 14 days with no wiggle room. Friday night was with Dicky James and The Blue Flames. I'll add a link if I can ever get the video to upload..



Packed and ready to head out Saturday morning..





First fuel stop in Paris, Illinois. Dethraz rode the first 90 or so miles with me on his 990 Adventure, up to I-74 via state roads.



Just outside of Peoria the sky starting to look interesting. There was a front headed through with lots of water..



The rain was intense across much of NW Illinois and Eastern Iowa. The Hawkeyes game was even postponed due to the stadium flooding. Trucks and cars were pulled to the side of the road with their hazards flashing. What do I do? I blast right through, knowing that if I stop and wait it may take the better part of a full day for the system to pass. It wasn't a consistently-heavy rain, but more like a series of heavy squalls with breaks in-between which was not so bad..





Loves me some McDonalds coffee..





Eventually I'm through it and headed up I-29. It is an odd sight, having the roadway lined with sand bags and large pumps as water sits in the surrounding fields. No room to pull off, though, so no pictures other than what's in my head..

South Dakota..



Interesting rest stop..



It had been recommended by fellow travelers that I hit up the dam outside of Yankton, South Dakota, and check out the water that's being released..



It's rather intimidating, and to think that a month earlier they were releasing twice as much water..



I end the night by the parking lot of the visitor center, on a bench next to the nature trail..





Today's numbers..



John
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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At some obscenely late/early hour a pickup truck careens into the lot. I figure I'm going to have to explain to some yahoo what I'm doing there (enjoying the nature trail in all its serenity), but instead a guy jumps out and runs past me down the nature trail. I get on the bike and ride.

And wake up here, in a city park down the road twenty miles or so..



Sticking to my plan of not having a plan, I do discover some nice (albeit very straight) gravel..









Even some of the pavement is nice.



And some of it is configured to simply get you where you're going.





Time for a nap. I slept on top of the suit in the grass in the sun. I should do that more often.







John
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:58 PM   #3
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Continue, I do..



As the scenery gets scenery-er..



I find myself at The Badlands Park and park amongst the badly-parked bad-asses..



Interesting country..



And Western...



And I even find some gravel in the park..



It's warm though, and I've still got some miles to cover..



Deadwood, SD, is my home for the evening..



Today's numbers..



John
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #5
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Morning comes and a vaguely recall where I am..



That's a Harley next door and I didn't hear them come in.



Spearfish Canyon, out of Lead, is a sweet piece of tarmac.







Then a short distance up the road to Wyoming..



They've got gravel too..





Lunch in Gillette..



At some point I take this one road that goes up..





Yeah, good stuff. Guess which route I take..



Oops.



I'm actually much closer than appears.



It's uncharacteristically hazy coming down the West side..







But I roll into Cody and forget all about the haze. Bear spray and one jacket later and I call it good.



Let's keep going Westward...



John
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:40 PM   #7
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Beloved sights.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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Nice pix John! Looks like some great riding. I'll be curious to know how your tires wore when you get to it.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:38 AM   #9
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I thought I'd wanted to ride Bear Tooth Pass. Anybody familiar with the area probably knows that I'd already missed the turn if I passed the Sierra Trading Post outlet store. Perhaps it was my subconscious working on me, saving the quickly-wearing tires from hundreds of extra miles? I realize my mistake after I pull off for that last sunset shot of the valley and clouds and lake, but decide not to backtrack today. Maybe tomorrow I'll do it, but tonight is Yellowstone or at least somewhere nearby..

I suspect I know what this is..



I get closer, via an exceptionally fine fine fine road..



It's worth noting that all day long I've been wondering what was burning. I'd get a whiff and pull off to go through the tank bag to make sure my electrics weren't on fire...



It's getting late and the speed limit is rather crawly, so I beat feet to find a campground in the park..



I share a bear-box with some bikers who don't speak a lick of English but who appear to be inviting me over for beer and campfire. I appreciate the hospitality but end up just drinking a Bitch Creek beer from the camp store and going to sleep in the tent instead.

Today's numbers..



John
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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The combination of a stout beer and the altitude makes for some excellent sleep. I'm up early, kind of.



I've got an MSR Hubba one-man tent, which I absolutely adore. Recently we picked up this REI Half Dome 2 Plus tent and there's significantly more room to stretch out in, and I can sleep with my stuff instead of leaving it out on the bike. It packs a bit larger, but still all fits in the bottom of a pelican case, poles included.



As I'm packing up, I realize I've been walking across some dried bear scat a dozen feet from where I've been sleeping.



The fire hasn't flared-up yet this morning..



It really is beautiful here..



One advantage of having high traffic is that the park can justify coffee makers strategically placed throughout. I utilize this resource.









Next stop is Idaho, via a small corner of Montana..



John
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:17 PM   #11
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The map shows a grey line off the main highway that connects to some other stuff that's somewhat in the direction I think I want to be traveling, so I take it.



Saw this and had to stop and take a pic for Dicky James' harp player, Bob "Ice House" Freeze..







I'd been a little disappointed that the road was paved, but soon enough that changed..



Ahhh...



John
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:39 PM   #12
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Seems there was another rally in the area, although I didn't see anything posted-up about it in regionals..







It was too good to last, and now it's gone back to pavement..







Time to show the chain some more love..



Small town along the Interstate and the usual gas station fare, or hole-in-the-wall diner? The burger was really good.



I pop across the Interstate and keep going. I think the path was Idaho 20 or some such, and not much out there..

John
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:20 PM   #13
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Fuel stop in Arco, Idaho..

I look up from the gas station and see this..



Look back at the bike and see this..



Ride through town and see this..





Craters of the Moon, baby!



This cool van is in the parking lot..



And some sprinkles..



Down the road, more sprinkles ahead..



I manage to skirt them..







At the Boise KOA, I am the lone tent amongst a sea of RV's..



With a balding tire..



Today's numbers..



John
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:46 PM   #14
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5:30 am and the campground is a hoppin' with the buzz and rattle of Powerstroke diesels. I guess they need a couple of hours to warm up.

*sigh*

I put in earplugs and try to go back to sleep but it doesn't work.

Packed, mostly..



A short ride through fertile farmlands of Eastern Oregon, then back into some hills..







And the roads start to get fun again (I'm going right to left, contrary to what the arrow might indicate)..







By now I'm ready for breakfast..





I highly recommend this place..



As I eat, a couple of farmers who'd been talking KLRs inside admire Pinktoad's 'Strom outside..



Burns, Oregon, for coffee and some beta on the secondary roads..



And dogs on trucks..



John
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:11 PM   #15
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North toward Paulina looks like the hot ticket..





Way down there is a road. I want to explore. Map says it goes where I'm going.









I am reminded that the 'Strom is no KLR or DR as I cross the little erosion berms and feel the sweet kiss of skidplate-to-Earth..



Pretty..



As in life, there are sometimes roadblocks which must be routed-around..





John
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