2-Up to Yellowstone

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by TigerMike, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    Hi all,

    New member here - I've done a lot of reading in your forum and finally joined. I decided I would post about a ride I did last May (a while ago I know) to get the ball rolling for me. After reading many ride reports, I hope I don't bore anyone to death.

    I wanted to take my fiance somewhere on the bike, but since she was new to it, we didn't want to do anything crazy. Our trip was set to be about a week from Minneapolis to Yellowstone National Park and back. I spent the months prior to the trip acquiring gear that would help on our journey.

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    I must admit, I hadn't taken a trip of this length yet either as I was used to riding sportbikes mainly for the past 10 years. I had gone on long Saturday and Sunday rides with friends, but this trip would be the beginning of new adventures for me, straying far away from home.


    Day 1:
    We set off right after rush hour. Heading south from Minneapolis towards Mankato and eventually across southern MN and SD on 90. All was well and after about an hour on the road I stopped to check on things and top off the fuel. My fiance had discovered riding at freeway speeds was going to be taking it's toll on her neck muscles. I reminded her we had about 2000 miles left on our journey but that she would get used to it. She was a little sad and it made me worried that she would have difficulty early on. We continued..

    Southern MN and SD is about the least exciting travel one will ever do. Long, straight, flat nothing-ness for miles and miles. And the heavy crosswinds add to the drain and strain on the body while sitting still for great lengths. I've never ridden to Sturgis or been in SD for that matter, but I was starting to wonder why people bothered.

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    Not much to see here. Except maybe a biker on the side of the road catching a glimpse of the view..

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    The background gives an idea of what the riding out here is like. On the other hand, if you're like me, you've never really ridden on the back. My fiance tells me this view also becomes a bit redundant.

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    Meanwhile, at home..

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    We stopped in Chamberlain, SD for the night on the river. The next day we would hope to see something more than grass and blue sky.


    Day 2:
    We made our way across SD enduring more boring freeway miles. Eventually we hit the badlands and things start to finally get interesting.

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    Our plan was to see Mt. Rushmore but then continue on. I would have to save the wonderful badlands for another ride.

    Mt. Rushmore was a must see for me since I had never been. Much smaller in person (we did get closer than these photo's suggest). The hills around the park are a great ride, and because we were early in the season, few cars were on the road yet. I can imagine once it's tourist season, this would've been an RV parade at 15 mph.

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    Like every large monument in the US, it's quite commercialized. But still a site worth seeing if you haven't.

    We ended up staying that night in Custer, SD which was a nice little town. Again, it was very quiet since it was the off-season.

    The trip was about to get much more exciting though..
    #1
  2. Knute Dunrvnyet

    Knute Dunrvnyet marooned in realtime

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    great start! Keep it up!
    #2
  3. rodr

    rodr Been here awhile

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    That's some amazing hospitality!

    Looking forward to the rest. I'm planning a Yellowstone trip for early this summer.
    #3
  4. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    We talked to him quite a bit and he had many great stories. He let us walk around his ranch with the dogs and walk near the cattle. Though they were very shy and didn't let us within about 10 feet. What a life living on that beautiful ranch in WY with a view of the mountains. :bow
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Looks good.. lovely cat :thumb

    I deleted your second duplicate post.. just be patient and your posts will be approved.
    #5
  6. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    Thank you sir, total noob here (aka boob)..
    #6
  7. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    Day 3:

    We set off and rode into Wyoming. The best parts for riding, of course, are the mountains. From the East, the first range you hit is Big Horn and it's a wonderful site, especially after a couple days of flat surface and cross winds.

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    The fiance was great, but a little worried through the mountain roads and curves. There were almost no cars on the road, it was fantastic. The only time it got a little hairy was when the road suddenly was covered a spider web like design of tar snakes. The bike started to become a bit loose and the fiance was awfully worried. I slowed down a bit.. :evil

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    We arrived at a cabin outside of Cody, WY and our timing was excellent as the last 50 miles or so it began to rain on us. The temps were in the 50's so it was a little chilly for a shower. Greeted by the dogs, we felt very welcomed. A farmer owned the cabin and was quite surprised when we rode in.

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    The fire helped with the chilly evening - though it would have been less chilly had I covered my crack. We would make this our home base for a few days while we toured the park and Cody.

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    The owner of the farm was extremely nice and even gave us some fresh beef from his cattle. We explained we wanted to go into the park the next day and he said there was a chance of snow overnight and temps well below freezing. We would have to wait until morning to see what the conditions would be like. But he even offered to let us borrow one of his cars if the weather was unbearable. He let us walk around the farm (with the dogs as our guides) and see the cattle. It was a beautiful area.

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    Then, we had some great food and enjoyed some fine beverages before nodding off.
    #7
  8. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    We spent a few days enjoying WY. Cody is certainly a western town obsessed with guns and rodeo. I've never been to a rodeo, and sadly we missed the nightly rodeo season. For 4 or so months in summer, there is a rodeo every single night in Cody. No surprise for the rodeo capital of the world.

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    We then headed to Yellowstone. On our way, we traded our 2 wheels for 4 legs (each). Had I been a real ADV rider, I suppose I would've enjoyed this trail on a bike.
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    Our guide pointed out bear footprints, we thought it was just part of the ride. It turns out the area has a massive wildlife population, including bears. This is one thing people often tell you about Yellowstone. It turned out to be true. Our horses were getting spooked and we were told it was likely from a bear around. Luckily no close encounters.


    Back on the road..
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    Once in the park we must've literally seen thousands of buffalo during our day amongst many other animals.

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    The road was perfect for a gentle cruise. We went 55 mph the entire time and just took in the scenery. We just beat the holiday vacationers, so the park was pretty quiet with almost no RV's in the way.

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    After seeing old faithful, we journeyed home in the following days.

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    Day 6:

    We went north through Montana first.

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    There was a lot I would've loved to see and ride through in Montana, but that will be for another adventure..

    On the night of Day 6 we stayed in Glendive, MT. Just before we arrived, we were behind a semi-truck briefly. I didn't know what was going on but suddenly my fiance wanted me to stop. I thought she was tired and wanted a break but we were so close. I stopped though as she sounded a bit frantic. When we pulled off the freeway she got off the bike and pulled her pants down! :rofl She had a number of bee stings on her thigh from the truck. I thought she was slightly crazy and didn't realize what happened. When we got to Glendive I realized I had dead bees all over the front of my jacket and the bike as well. Some had gotten into the vents in my helmet too - good thing they didn't make it in there alive. Apparently the semi was carrying bee's!

    Glendive was, well, a dive.. We found it interesting that most people got around in this town on 4-wheelers. We tried to get a photo of an old woman riding her 4-wheeler but missed it.


    Day 7/8:
    It was then on to North Dakota to visit an old friend of mine who was living in Jamestown at the time. Once you're out of the mountains in western Montana, you find yourself terribly bored on the interstates once again. So it was a lot of boring riding once again. If we had more time, I suppose we could have found a more scenic route through these areas of eastern Montana and North Dakota?

    After spending the night in Jamestown we headed to Minneapolis on the last day.
    #8
  9. Skoron

    Skoron Adventurer

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    What a great post. Thanks for sharing. Big Hi Five to your fiance for doing a 2000 mile road trip for her first big ride. Sounds like a great lady and a keeper.

    Noted you had communications on your helmet. I assume you both had them for talking during the trip?

    Thanks for letting us see your trip. keep posting more rides on the Roadie.

    Skoron
    #9
  10. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    We did have communication devices that we've used before. They work most of the time, but honestly at freeway speeds you really can't hear the other person. We basically gave up trying a few hours in..
    #10
  11. flyrodder

    flyrodder Donny, please.

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    #11
  12. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    :clap :clap :clap

    Great ride report!!! Sounds like you guys had a great time.

    Time to start planning the next trip.... :D
    #12
  13. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    You sir, just gave me a place to go to heading west from the twin cities! :clap

    Some of those narrow fire roads look excellent :evil
    #13
  14. SandHogSC

    SandHogSC Adventurer

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    Great pictures. If your going that way I also recommend the Beartooth Highway from Red Lodge, Montana to the Northeast entrance of Yellowstone.
    #14
  15. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    can you give us some information on that cabin? Looked amazing.
    #15
  16. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    We were told to go here and I wanted to badly. But our limited time forced us to miss out..
    #16
  17. TigerMike

    TigerMike boob

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    I found it through a management/rental company online:
    http://www.codylodgingcompany.com/va...geDataID=15971

    Just know the management company you'll deal with sucks, but the owner of this cabin and the farm (Rod) is the man. He will treat you well and I'm certain this will be one of the highlights of your trip (certainly the highlight of places stayed). Oh and the name - it's called that because it's next to heart mountain - a mountain in the shape of a heart. When you pull off the main road, there's also a building which has a visitor center totally unrelated to the farm/cabin (it's about 3 minutes before you get to the cabin on the dirt road). Apparently it was a "relocation center," during the war. But really more of a concentration camp for japenese people they didn't trust. It was closed when we were there, but could be interesting history to see for some of our country's dark past.
    #17
  18. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    Nice ride report. Looks like you packed a lot in a short time.

    You do know cats love bikes? Next time just duct tape her to the top of your helmet, she'll love it.
    #18
  19. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    Great RR + pics!

    Thanks,

    JM.
    #19
  20. shocker4her

    shocker4her When I am King

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    +1
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