A CannonRide Down the Great Divide (solo)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    They capped the old lady already but the three cubs are going to a zoo.

    It is disturbing to think that the mother attacked these three campers to get her three cubs to feed on them.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h-zvKvHc7LVgGFN-WcG2niIDZNZwD9HAUDAG0

    <!-- google_ad_section_start(name=article) -->Grizzly cubs from deadly mauling were malnourished

    By MATT BROWN (AP) –

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Three grizzly bear cubs whose mother killed one person and mauled two others in a late-night attack at a Montana campground were malnourished and still in their winter coats.

    The cubs have arrived at their new home at ZooMontana in Billings. Zoo executive director Jackie Worstell said Sunday the two female cubs and one male cub were underweight, possibly explaining their mother's unusually aggressive behavior.

    "It may be an indication of what happened," Worstell said. "There's obvious signs of stress and malnourishment. Maybe (the sow) was desperate."
    The year-old cubs each weighed only between 60 and 70 pounds, versus a normal range of 80 to 130 pounds. Wildlife officials are investigating what caused the cubs to be malnourished. Grizzlies are omnivores and eat everything from berries and ants to fish and elk.

    Kevin Kammer, 48, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was killed and two people were seriously injured when the adult bear ripped into several tents Wednesday at the Soda Creek Campground near Cooke City, an old mining town just outside Yellowstone National Park.

    The 300- to 400-pound sow was euthanized Friday after DNA tests linked it to the attacks. Wildlife officials have said she appeared to be healthy, but they intend to further study the body in hopes of explaining her behavior.
    Worstell said the cubs will remain in quarantine for at least 30 days to make sure they are disease-free.

    The zoo has one other grizzly, a year-old male obtained from Yellowstone National Park that had been seeking food from park visitors. The zoo also has a 10-year-old Eurasian brown bear.

    The three cubs aren't expected to be available for public viewing until fall.
    Wildlife officials say the cubs likely participated in the attack on Kammer, and so cannot be released back into the wild having probably learned from their mother's behavior.
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    It is a ten mile run up the peak. The peak is around 10,000' and is 4,500' above the valley.
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    This FAA long range radar started up in 1962. Back in the 50s, airliners used to fly over points of interest to entertain their passengers. This stopped after two airliners collided over the Grand Canyon.
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    Tetons
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    I was trying to figure out the horizontal lines on the mountain face. Turns out the Civilian Conservation Corps installed those terraces in the 1930s for erosion control.
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    At one time 7 technicians and three road maintenance workers stayed up on top (in some spacious living quarters) to tend the radar unit. Now control is remoted to Salt Lake City. There is a big generator on the hill in case of power failure and a 20,000 gallon underground water tank. This is replenished by trucks that haul water up the mountain twice a year.
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    This mountain was chosen because they could get up it. Two other higher mountains nearby did not offer access.
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    There are several avalanche hazard areas along the road that they regularly blast in the winter time.
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  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Good to hear from you Jon. Hope Cali is treating you well.

    Thanks Meef. That gallery of Burmis shots really had some striking images.
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    I took a short side trip over to the smokejumper and aerial tanker base at West Yellowstone.
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    This P-3 Orion is for dropping retardant on fires.
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    I was talking with a P-3 pilot once and he told me that the configuration of the engines and wings made it easy to deal with an oncoming stall. He said the engines move so much air across the wings that a little tap on the throttles would tidy things up nicely.
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    Loading retardant. This thing carries around 2,500 gallons.
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    This is the retardant mixing/storage station. Retardant is really fertilizer. Red dye is added to mark drops for return applications. They are usually dropped ahead of the flames to dampen things, but sometimes they are dropped right on the flames to cool and suppress the fire.
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    This is a lead plane that is used for aerial supervision. It goes out ahead of the drop planes.
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    These guys got a resource tasking so they headed out.
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    Important to keep a spare in case you have to pull over along side the airway enroute to change a tire.
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    These guys went out right behind the lead plane.
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    Later that day I was watching The Weather Channel when I saw film of this plane making a drop on a fire in the State of Washington.
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    This Dornier is a contract plane they use at this base for dropping smokejumpers.
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    It will haul one pilot, one spotter, eight jumpers, and their gear.
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    There are 21 jumpers assigned here. Parachute loft.
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    Smokejumpers jumped into Madison Canyon to provide assistance and first aid after the quake.
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    Another fatal slide as a result of that quake.
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    http://visitmt.com/history/Montana_the_Magazine_of_Western_History/Spring03/earthquake.htm


    Individual Accounts of the Quake
  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Three tracks. The red one takes some non-motorized trails. The blue one follows the railroad grade trail. The gray one is Big Dog's track down the scenic byway.
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    Big Springs is the headwaters of the Henry's Fork of the Snake River. It is one of the 40 largest natural springs in the world. It produces about 120 million gallons of water a day.
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    This picture will cause a headache. The rolling surface of the water from the springs beneath will not let your eyes think they are focused.
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    Before he was connected with the Sopranos and organized crime in New York, Johnny Sack built this cabin here at the springs. He had a waterwheel generator to produce electricity. Sack arrived here in a blizzard in June 1909.
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    I didn't go into the cabin for a tour, but since Sack was only 4' 11" I suspect the dooways may be a little low. I understand that he was a very handy workworker and that there are items in the cabin that he made that are quite remarkable.

    I headed out to this trail heading south.
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    On this end of the trail, things are annoyingly whooped out and the soft ash like surface material is not so much fun.
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    I decided to stay with it for a few miles to see what would happen. Glad I did as it turned into a nice ride.
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    Tetons
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    I think there are four of these gates along the trail. There are side gates to go around instead of over. Even creeping along my KLR dragged a little going over these.
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    Besides having to occasionally deal with cattle, this trail tried to take me out a few other times. The soft gravel in the center tries to put you down when you change lanes. You change lanes sometimes to avoid brush that is growing into the traffic lane of the trail. I had more near misses here (none serious) than I did going down Fleecer Ridge.
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  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    If I had a big bike, I might skip the northern portion of this track and take the byway instead. But, I would do the southern portion near the railroad tunnel for sure. There are a few opportunities to leave the grade and hit the byway as you go north.
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    The surface is a little more solid down that way as well.
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    The tunnel is closed.
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    But there is a nice go-around along a ledge.
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    Nice drop along this narrow stretch.
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  7. Wansfel

    Wansfel 50+ yrs on 2 wheels

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    Finally got around to looking up your adventure. We met at Coolidge. You gave me our card. Glad to see you made Bannack. We spent the prior day there. Our pictures of Bannack are posted on Youtube. Search for "bannack days 2010". I've made a couple of short runs on my KLR since, but would love to extended it out.
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    The scenic byway is an alternate from Big Springs.
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    The Big Falls Inn was built by a power company in 1915. It became a popular stop on the Yellowstone Highway. In 35 it was sold to Montana Power who used it as a company resort. In 86 the Park Service got it.
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    People had ideas about power generation here, but it never went anywhere.
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    The falls is about 114 feet high and 200 feet wide. Flow runs between 600 and 1,500 cfs (387-967 million gallons per day).
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    It was pretty hot that day and the water looked pretty refreshing.
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    I noticed that the ranger was packing some bear spray. She said they have 1-3 bear incidents a year there.
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  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    It was nice meeting you and your wife. Would have been a good day for you two to be out on the bike! Enjoyed your Bannack slideshow.
  10. davidm

    davidm davidm

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    Great report. The only thing I don't like about it is I did not get to go.
    This is something I would love to do some day.

    david
  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Built in 1920, this hatchery produces about 165,000 adult rainbows for put and take stocking in the region. Fish that are stocked are sterile. They also produce 10 different strains for statewide use. They produce rainbows, brooks, browns, goldens, grayling, and Kamloops rainbows. The majority of fish produced are 1"-6" for distro around Idaho.
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    The put and take fish are put into high density fishing spots. The state has a great native population throughout.
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    Stocked fish are disease free.
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    Some species of trout are more aggressive territory wise than others. It makes it important to be careful with stocking so as not to crowd out desirable native reproducing fish.
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    Some of the put and take fish are nice eaters.
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    Ashton calls itself the world's largest seed producing area. Potatos are big here.
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  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    The water in this irrigation canal is really moving.
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    Water slide. :D
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    118' Grassy Lake dam (Bureau of Reclamation) built in the 1930s and recently upgraded.
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    Something like 15K acre feet.
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    It is operated by an irrigation district.
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    Evidence of the patchwork nature of the 1988 Yellowstone fires.
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    Rocky wanted to preserve much of this wondrous area. When the government wasn't getting it done, he bought up large parcels of land and later donated them to the government.
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    Lots of reminders.
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    When I was riding in this area (and some others) the road would sometimes wind through some willows crowding the path which would limit visibility. Having run into grizzlies while backpacking, I was concious of maintaining visibility so as not to surprise a bear. At the very moment I was thinking about what a bad spot this one location was I came around a tight corner crowded by willows when brown fur (a deer) popped out from behind a bush right in front of me. Another brief startling experience. :lol3

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    The 1988 Yellowstone fires together formed some serious fires. At the peak, over 9,000 fire fighters were assigned to the park. 4,000 military personnel were put into firefighter service. The fire burned up 35% of the park but burned in a patchwork pattern instead of taking out everything.
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    Trees are coming back.
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    Flagg Ranch. Camping available here - along with many other things.
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  13. BAGSTR

    BAGSTR BAGSTR

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    Cannonshot,

    Can you please detail what you, and the Forest Service, consider proper Food Storage? Canisters, rope and bag over tree branch. Are bear boxes usually available? Yes, we have our Pepper spray.

    How was campsite availability along the way. Were any full when you showed up at 6:00PM

    Three of us are heading north from Salida Aug 15 and looking forward to you posting your tracks and waypoints. We have the Adventure Cycling Association GPS Tracks, but I like the way you have your route and Big Dogs overlayed.

    Regards
  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    I'm no expert but here is some info to consider.

    In some areas they have food storage lockers (metal cabinets) to store food in.

    Otherwise there are instructions on how to properly bear hang food. Here is one site with info: http://www.yellowstone-bearman.com/campw_bears.html

    Personally I don't carry food in - or wear/store clothes that have food cooking smells on trips like this one.

    The campgrounds in popular areas fill fast (late afternoon, early evening). If you search the web for a specific NP campground, they will tell you what is full or not (and what time it filled). Also, you can look back a year to see what time the place filled up last year to use as a gauge for this year. http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/cgstatus/cgstatus.cfm (Not sure if Yellowstone has this feature.)

    The more basic and further out the camping area, the more availability. There are a lot of campgrounds around if you are willing to go off track a little to less popular areas.

    I'm sure others can share their experiences as well.
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Side trip down toward Jackson.
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    Jackson Lake Dam (Bureau of Reclamation) was first put in back in 1906 but the log dam blew out in 1910. A better dam lasted until the 1980s when they replaced it because it was too vulnerable to earthquakes.
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    The damn raises the lake 30'. The water is used for irrigation.
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    The Snake River snakes on for another 800 miles to the mouth on the Columbia River.
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    The light was shining on the other side of the mountains. Best to photograph these from this side in the morning.
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    Info for hikers.
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  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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  17. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    Beautiful!
  18. gnuse

    gnuse Ride to Fly

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    Thanks for taking us along to places some may never get to visit.

    Can you tell me about the maps you are showing in your RR?
  19. oldtoolmaker

    oldtoolmaker Adventurer

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    Look in post #68
  20. oldtoolmaker

    oldtoolmaker Adventurer

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    Enjoying your report Cannonshot


    Now I have to convince this little voice in my head that I realy don't want to do this ride.