CaveBiker -No Return Ticket – Just a Ride Report /w Pics

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cavebiker, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. willnevergrowup

    willnevergrowup Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,667
    Location:
    Green Bay, Wisconsin
    Get well wishes to Cavemom!

    If I can help with anything let me know...I am not that far from the hospitals.
    #21
  2. Joyseeker

    Joyseeker a biking sweetie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,121
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    get cavemum out of hospital asap to avoid those after op infections!

    all the best.
    #22
  3. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    870
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Thanks so much everyone for the well wishes to my mom! I just told her about it and about her new title, cavemom, her face lit up, and there isn’t anything better then that. Cavemom is back to her old self, full of spirit and telling me to go for it and enjoy life now. What a mom! I jumped at the opportunity to take the first watch after surgery and the first week of recovery. Holding her hand for hours while she was in excruciating pain, sleeping in a chain next to her so she can see something familiar when she wakes, listing to her describe her hallucinations and state of delirium was something I wouldn’t want to miss. It was one of the hardest things ever but with that comes a feeling of euphoria that can not be described. Tomorrow she will start 2 or 3 days of physical rehab, from there she is going home, thank god! My 4 brothers and 2 sisters will pick up the effort then while Heidi and I return to our adventure of a life time.

    Also thanks everyone for the help offers, so kind!
    #23
  4. Hipster

    Hipster Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,031
    Location:
    Mpls, Mn.
    Glad Cavemom is doing well!
    #24
  5. Papa Dulce

    Papa Dulce Old Enough to Know Better

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Hey Tom,
    Good news about Cavemom. Great that you could be there with her.
    Warren and Carol
    #25
  6. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,485
    Location:
    New Hampshah
    Great to hear, Tom! Go CaveMom! :clap
    #26
  7. UpFront

    UpFront Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    78
    Cavebiker,

    You need to make a trip into Spooner and see Dr. Randy Larsen (Chiropractor). He'll fix you up.

    You might even know him; Ski instructor for Spooner kids, races the Birkie etc...

    Upfront
    #27
  8. Doloe2

    Doloe2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Bellingham
    Hi Cavebiker-

    I enjoyed your Jeep report and am looking forward to this one. Glad your mom is doing better.
    As for your back....... For me, riding a cruiser bike for more than a few hours is very painful to my lower back.
    Please keep the RR and pics coming!
    #28
  9. bike4ever

    bike4ever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Thawed Wasteland
    Hey Cavebiker,

    Just got back from Italy yesterday. I will save the ranting about our fabulous trip for later. Just say we had a great time. Carved more turns in a day than I will probably ever do in a lifetime in Minnesota!

    Sorry to hear about your mom, but great news about her recovery and return to health. You are so lucky to have such great parents and genes! Best of luck with the back recovery, and on with the trip.

    Dave
    #29
  10. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    870
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Saturday:
    The final pack. We feel like we are on some type of auto pilot. Our eyes meet, we start to yell. Ahhh! I never even tried to pack the laptop until today, it seems to fit. I hope it will hold up to all the shock. Heidi seems to have her packing down. I have the right pannier, Heidi the left, we share the backpack. It looks like it will all fit.
    [​IMG]


    A little get together the day before we leave with some good friends. We thank them for all the support they have given us.
    [​IMG]
    ====================================================================================

    Sunday:
    Now we’re yelling a lot, “This is it, ahhhh!” Moments before finally locking the door for the last time I go to put on my boots, wrong feet! Duh! Guess I’m a little more frazzled than I thought.
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    We are finally off. This is Unreal… 2 years, it doesn’t seem possible.
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    We’re on the road before noon. The weather is perfect for riding. The bike feels super heavy. I’ve never ridden anything that feels this big. The county road we exit on is super bumpy and dippy and a good example of what we should be able to handle. The bike is bottoming out and I had to take it real slow. I just say to myself “Slow is good. This is OK” (Holy crap!).

    We first thought we would ride through Minneapolis and do the Joint bar scene where the slogan is “Where the ride begins and ends” It would have been cool but we’ve been there, done that, Heidi wanted to do something new (liken that) We shoot for North Dakota, neither of us have ever been there before. Our goal is to do VFW (Very Few Freeways) but that calls for a lot of map reading and looking at the sky. The kind of travel I like and am use to but it kind of freaks Heidi out, ya know, getting lost.
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    Heidi and I try to get into the motorcycle travel philosophy right away. We don’t want to push too hard the first day and not like it, so I constantly look for places to chill in a nice country scene. I prefer this to a gas station or restaurant.

    I stiffen the rear shocks all the way at a gas stop. I thought I had them about midway but it was only slight stiffer then the lightest setting. I didn’t mention it to Heidi but she noticed the riding difference right away. (I like that A Lot…..) The bike feels a lot better now. We still dip down low but we don’t bottom out. This is good to say the least.
    ====================================================================================

    The first stop:
    A nice golden farm field with plenty of crickets.
    [​IMG]
    ====================================================================================

    The second stop:
    I do a good job finding this place. Heidi is into it, she knows just what to do.
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    We throw out our leathers on the grass in the shade, a bottle of water. This Is Good.
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    We did not make it to Fargo the first day but did find a great state park (Carlos State Park) on a small lake just north of Alexandria, MN. The place has a great swimming beach right in front of our tent.
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    This is a popular camp spot with campers all around. As always Heidi and I engage in some intense and slightly heated discussions. I say “Stop yelling at me” and bring up that other campers are probably hearing us and thinking we’re fighting. Heidi says “I’ll stop yelling at you when you stop doing stupid stuff!” We laugh. We are really hammering out our system (I hope).
    [​IMG]
    ====================================================================================

    Monday:
    It got a lot colder the first night then we anticipated. The new light weight sleeping bags were supposed to zip together but they don’t zip the way they should, or the way we think they should. It was a challenge staying warm, we weren’t ready for that being it’s the middle of August. Immediately our plans shift from riding through North Dakota to riding straight to the South Dakota Badlands where the temps should be at least 10 degrees warmer. Heidi and I like to make ‘On the fly’ changes, I hope this works with biking.

    We got started late again today waiting for it to warm up, plus we didn’t have our camping act down ‘at all’ yet. We don’t mind a late start, that’s the mode we like. The ride started out cold. It wasn’t too long we started getting hot, than we were hotter then H. We are seeing temperatures in the high nineties. We drove long and hard, not wanting to stop because of the heat and no shaded spots to pull over to. We were toast. I was looking hard for any place to pull over and chill, then I get a firm single jab. We were at a ‘No horse’ town exit. Heidi says she doesn’t care if we have to lay under a cow for shade, we’re stopping here. We pull off at a nice unmarked wayside rest that didn’t even have a parking area. The park wasn’t maintained much but it had nice grass and shade to lay out our leathers and rest. Heidi got a lot of attention from locals while she was up at the bike alone. We love spots like this.
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    We rode late into the day trying to get to a camp spot in north central South Dakota that looked nice. The place was a little challenging to get to but was worth it. It had a lake with a nice beach and we were the only tent there. The thought of a long swim kept us going. Again a lot of map reading and turning around, Heidi is getting a little more freaked, she’s used to me having it all together. I assure her that this is all normal for back road traveling. ??
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    We park the bike at the camp spot. It was hot with a capital H. Heidi wanders off in a daze looking for shade while she takes off her gear. We get the tent set up and we immediately head for the beach. We have the whole beach to ourselves and we are in the middle of nowhere. I asked a ranger if a store is around here. I get a definite “No” but he did say there is a restaurant up the road. That’s all we need. The place has tables with a view of the lake and a nice little bar. We watched a boat pull 4 water skiers at the same time. Kids sure know how to have fun here. Cocktails and a fabulous meal. Heidi and I are talking about the temperature fluctuations we have experienced and how we should deal with it. We talk about camping protocol, techniques, what we should have ‘At the ready’ and what we should stow deep. I never dreamed I would ever meet such a compatible travel partner let alone be married to her. I am so lucky….
    ====================================================================================

    Tuesday:
    We are packed to the gills and it’s getting to both of us. I shift things around a little. Heidi hands me something else that’s needs to be packed. I say “There’s no room”. Heidi says “It was in there before!” The discussions are heated. We both keep assuring each other that we have so much stuff that we will use up or throw away. It’s tough, I constantly think I’m going to break a zipper, Heidi keeps thinking she’s getting short changed on space. Heidi suggests we need to have the straps loosened on the backpack while filling it, she was right.

    We can’t believe it, its cold again this morning. After the 100 degree stuff yesterday we didn’t think being cold today was possible. We slowly get going. I’m having trouble getting our new international camp stove to do anything but scare Heidi. I miss my propane stove. We talk more about communication while on the road. 3 little pokes, Heidi sees something in the road like a hazard or something. A 2-handed chop, lets stop for a photo or a rest. One swift jab, we need to stop and pull off the road for equipment change or whatever as soon as it is safely possible.

    Around 1:00 PM the heat started to rise again and the wind started picking up. The wind was strong but on our rear quarter. It was fatiguing fighting the wind. We pushed hard again today wanting to make it down to the badlands. I know a camp spot there that has a pool, cold beer and a tree. We are driven.

    Cruising the back roads of South Dakota. ‘Double chops’ from Heidi. Good call!
    [​IMG]

    The back roads of SD are beautiful. Heidi tells me that these round bales of hay are now illegal in Wisconsin. (Do you know why?) I love a girl with a sense of humor ?
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    Fabulous, the tent is up, a 6 pack of ice cold Coronas pool side. We are liken life.
    [​IMG]

    The sun came up red today. I thought that was weird. Later I hear on the radio that it’s because of the forest fires in Wyoming. One fire is in the Big Horn Mountains, just where we are planning on riding through. Interesting…..
    [​IMG]
    ====================================================================================

    Wednesday:
    We paid for 2 nights at the Badlands camping spot, Circle Ten. Today is devoted to exploring the badlands, a little hiking and just R&R, a perfect day in our world. Heidi is actually admitting she likes this type of camping. Am I imagining things?
    [​IMG]


    Badlands:
    [​IMG]

    Heidi and I theorize how this weird landscape got formed. We’re experiencing feeling of mystery and magic. The colors, shapes and vastness of the land are moving.
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    The colors of the landscape are like out of some sort of weird dream.
    [​IMG]

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    Prairie dog:
    [​IMG]

    Interior SD:
    A little bar in the heart of the Bad Lands.
    [​IMG]

    Downtown Interior:
    [​IMG]

    Wall Drug:
    Heidi thought it was about the drug store. Ha!
    [​IMG]
    ====================================================================================

    Thursday:
    Today we’re shooting for the western Black Hills. We’re going right past Sturgis so we decided to stop and have breakfast there. Also Heidi heeded a black tank top to replace the white shirt she has been wearing. We figure we could find a tank-top in Sturgis (Do ya think?).

    We couldn’t believe how dead Sturgis was. It felt like a ghost town. It’s hard to believe that there was thousands of bikes right here less then a week ago.
    [​IMG]

    We couldn’t even find a place to eat on main street. Heidi found a tank-top and I scored a big tool bag for thirty bucks.
    [​IMG]

    We head up into the hills down Spearfish canyon and stop for lunch at Cheyenne Crossing. We like this area. Heidi lived in Colorado once and says this area has the same feel.

    We score a great camp spot in the Black Hills. White Tail Court, camping, RV, motel, $12. The new owners are super friendly and the facilities are unbelievably clean. We ride across a foot bridge over a babbling brook to get to our campsite.
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    We have the place all to ourselves. We pitch our tent right on the babbling brook. This is super. There’s a hiking trail from here up into the hills and forest. We devote two nights here for some serious hiking and chill’n.
    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    870
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    I’m starting to feel the Dharma, I think we both are. Our minds are freeing. We are focused only on our reality and what is important to us now, at this point in time. We find ourselves looking intensely into each others eyes and nearly burst with emotion. We are falling more in love. We are discovering ourselves and each other all over again as if for the first time. This trip has already been a journey in more ways then one.
    [​IMG]

    ====================================================================================
    Friday:
    The sun is red again this morning. We need to find exactly where those forest fires are.
    [​IMG]

    Heidi had a dream that my head burst in flames while I was lighting the camp stove. I can see why! I re-read the stove instructions. Now I know what I was doing wrong.

    [​IMG]

    We had big thunder storms moving through the area overnight. We purchased a small short-wave radio for this trip. It’s about the size of a cigarette pack but thinner. We tuned into a local station and received constant updated of two cells, one cell they said is capable of producing ping-pong size and baseball sized hail. Then a tornado watch in the same cell. We were near the smaller cell and I kept assuring Heidi that it’s at a city close to us but moving the other way. I didn’t tell her that that other city is only a few miles away. We stayed up during the storm listing to the radio, counting how long it took for the thunder to reach us. We calculated it coming toward us, being close to us, a second away at the closest, and moving away. This was great. I love this kind of stuff And it kept Heidi from running and hiding in the shower room.

    Heidi is having some bad pains in her hip and was up crying in the tent last night in pain. She doesn’t think it’s from riding or camping or hiking, none of that bothers her. She noticed the pain first after a long ‘jump-roping’ session over a week ago. She’s worried it’s something serious. Doctor Tom jumps in and diagnoses it as some type of inflammation in the hip caused by a marathon jump-roping session. The prescription is for anti-inflammatory medication, Ibuprofen and time. I need to take care of my riding partner and get her better. She’s part of my sole, my zest in life.

    ====================================================================================

    Saturday: Wyoming
    We get an early start. The temperatures are expected to be in the mid nineties today but were perfect all morning for riding.
    [​IMG]

    Heading West from New Castle, WY. For over fifty mikes there was only one shade tree to park under. We hit it…
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    A bunny at Heidi’s feet.
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    ====================================================================================

    An antelope checking us out.
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    ====================================================================================

    Nice flowers. This stop was a score.
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    [​IMG]


    Tooling toward Casper, WY:
    Heidi sees some rain way ahead, she comes up with a new signal for rain. It looked like we were going to ride right into it. We pull over near some cool rock formations and evaluate the situation. We decide to wait and see if it will pass. We pick a high rock formation and observe the sky. We determine the rain is moving away so we decide to just wait. 15 minutes we are back on the bike and the rain was gone. We did hit wet roadway and about 10 sprinkles. We made a good move there. We’re developing and honing good skills.
    ====================================================================================

    Sunday morning:
    Heidi’s hip is good. We are at a motel in Casper, WY. –Like’n Life!

    ====================================================================================
    #31
  12. m0x

    m0x the VooDoo Child

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    259
    Location:
    South East of +8 GMT
    nice v-machine you got back there, and a good report too
    #32
  13. Stakei

    Stakei Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Where the snozberries taste like snozberries
    Great report! It's good you two are back on the road. Let the adventure begin....
    #33
  14. Joyseeker

    Joyseeker a biking sweetie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,121
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    great start .... at last :clap :clap :clap

    1. don't forget the food pics this time.

    2. what's the camera?
    #34
  15. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,485
    Location:
    New Hampshah
    What a great update. You guys are hitting your stride. :thumb


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    The first, of no doubt many, front page worthy shots on this trip. :clap
    #35
  16. Hipster

    Hipster Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,031
    Location:
    Mpls, Mn.
    Good to see you guys started your trip. Too bad about Heidi's hip pain but, glad to see Ibuprofen and rest is working.

    Ride Safe,
    Hipster
    #36
  17. Oly

    Oly Deadlines whooshing by

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,099
    Location:
    Underground Gardens
    Ride your own ride CaveCouple. :thumb Great report.
    #37
  18. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    870
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Nothing much to report, just a lot of good riding, camping and a few good pics.

    Monday:
    Just before leaving Casper WY we stopped at a mountaineering store. I was looking for one more Thermorest sleeping pad just like the one we already have. I also wanted a tiny fuel bottle for our camp stove. I don’t like having to dig out the big fuel bottle every time. The store had the exact sleeping pad and fuel bottle. Super! The foam rubber bed pad I was using was old and had lost all its spring. I’m not use to camping in parks and camping areas. Primitive camping I choose tall grass or soft sand to sleep on. In a park you have an area to put your tent, usually hard as a rock. Thermorest pads are super pricy but do a heck of a job, pack up super small and weight only 13 ounces. I suck it up and pay the bill, happy knowing I will sleep better. Also this will give Heidi my old foam rubber pad on top of her Thermorest pad. Hopefully this will help prevent a mutiny. All this camping is new to Heidi and she is having a hard time at night. Like a captain of a lifeboat, I must take ultimate care of my crew. The success of the journey depends on it.

    Casper to Shoshone:
    This is a desolate part of Wyoming. We pulled over at a famous site where American Indians would stampede Buffalo over a cliff as a means of hunting, Hell’s Half Acre. I had to check this place out. My father being part Native American made me aware of such practices. I know he would be thrilled I visited the place.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cody WY:
    We were heading straight toward Cody WY, that’s the home of sierratradingpost.com, a website where we purchased a lot of our gear. I needed a new pair of mountain running shoes, the pair I ordered from them are a half size too small and my feet aren’t liken it. Hiking is going to be a big part of this trip. We both need good foot gear. Anyway, I found the perfect shoe, I call them white mans moccasins. They’re a type of sandal hiking shoe, not a lot of cushion but a good grip on the bottom and are super light weight. Heidi questions my call with the light weight hikers. I assure her this is the shoe made for me. We will see.

    Boysen State park:
    Just north of Shoshone WY are a number of reservoirs with camping. We hit the first, Boysen state park. It felt a little primitive. We were use to South Dakota state parks with nice showers. The first place we put our tent up was nice and close to the water but we soon noticed ants were everywhere; on the ground, on the picnic table, on our stuff. Heidi takes a short hike up the beach and shouts back “There are no ants over here!” We both take a longer hike and find an even better spot. It was secluded on the beach and had shade. When we marched back up the beach to start moving camp we found the outside of our tent covered with ants. I pick up the tent and haul it to our new spot. We theorized why all the ants were at the first site. That first place was close to the boat launch and is probably one of the most popular sites. With that includes all the food and crumbs. Anyway, no ants at our new camp and we are happy.

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    The weather here was perfect, warm and dry. I love waking up early while camping. Making coffee, reading and watching the sun rise, mmm…
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    Heading for Yellowstone:
    We are shooting for the Yellowstone park northeast entrance. This entrance was closed last time I rode here, it is supposed to be a great ride.

    There are a lot of great places to pull off the main road here and explore. Heidi seems a little nervous about the roads I take her down. I go super slow. She keeps quiet.

    [​IMG]

    Great chillen spots.
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    We provision in Cooke city. It’s a nice little mountain tourist town but not much else.

    We camp just a few miles from the park entrance in Montana, Gallatin National Forest. Nice spot right next to a creek and isolated from other campers, just the way we like it.

    [​IMG]

    The next morning was cool but it got comfortable as soon as the sun came out. We ate a primitive camp breakfast of oatmeal, caned black beans, V8 juice and coffee. I’m loving it Big-Time. Heidi looks deep into my eyes as if she is saying “What the H did I get myself into?”

    We suit up wearing long-johns under our leather. It felt good starting out but as soon as we entered Yellowstone Park it started getting colder.
    #38
  19. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    870
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Yellowstone Park:

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    After entering the park we finally find a nice spot to pull over without tons of people. The stream was a steep hike from the road but it was a great spot to chill and look over the Yellowstone map.

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    Cruising Yellowstone Park: O Yeah….

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    From the 1988’ Yellowstone fire: Eerie but it was cool seeing all the new growth. We thought the pines should have been taller by now. It must be the high altitude that makes them grow slow.

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    Geysers and weird colored sulfur pools are all over the place, so are the people. We didn’t think there would be so many people at this time of year. We think about what the crowds would be like in July.

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    Lots of wildlife to see, for-sure that’s one reason Not to miss Yellowstone Park.

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    You have to personally experience the people frenzy sensation when wildlife is seen by the road in Yellowstone. It reminds me of a shark feeding frenzy or something. People are nuts! Sometimes there is nothing to see but rangers have to stop and direct traffic because of the hysteria. Cars are parking everywhere and anywhere. People are running with their cameras, binoculars and telescopes. A lot of pointing. Some claim they see antlers, most claim they see nothing.

    [​IMG]

    The plan was to camp in the park and do a day of hiking. But with the crowds and the much cooler temperatures we decided to just enjoy the day cruising the park and camp in lower elevations, where it’s warmer….. Heidi and I seem to share the same brain when it comes to making ‘on the fly’ course changes. How long can this last?

    This park is long, over a hundred miles the route we took and a lot of riding is 30 MPH. This makes for a long day of riding and we were getting cold. We make it to the south entrance of the park late in the day, the north entrance of Grand Teton national park.
    #39
  20. britman

    britman Britman

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    North metro Atlanta
    I especially like the ones of the camp areas you are finding.
    #40