Coast to Coast and back - Deanman's turn on the TAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Deanman, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    It was about 1pm when I left Kooskia, having wet my vest and chilly pad for relief against the 80+ temps, and headed South, I think on 13, through Harpster, and Grangeville, then onto 95 and Old 95 from the top of White Bird Hill (elev 4,450') to White Bird. Old 95 was a section of probably 20 tight switchbacks that descended into the valley, I had it to myself, and it was spectacular. Unfortunately those are among the pics that disappeared, but here are some from that segment:

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    Next stop was the Riggins Ranger Station, where I had the pleasure of dealing with a nice young man named Cade, (sorry for the crap pic, but obviously I'm not much of a photographer)


    [​IMG]


    who was quite helpful. He directed me up Salmon Creek Rd (I think that's the name) towards Burgdorf, which he said was open for sure. He knew also that I could loop down to McCall for sure, but was not sure if I could cut over from Burgdorm through Warren, Yellow Pine, and down to Hiway 24 which I could take into Stanley.
    The road out of Riggins started out nicely paved and followed the river for a while,

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    winding along leisurely until it turned into graded gravel.

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    I stopped and talked to a guy on the road and he told me pretty much the same thing Ranger Cade had, so I continued on. Eventually as he said, it then crossed a creek

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    and after some more serene views on fast gravel


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    [​IMG]

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    headed up,

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    through more beautiful country. There were many flowers in bloom, lots of flying buzzing things in the air, and the smells of mountain flowers wafted over me in waves. High alpine meadows have a smell you just can't get anywhere else!

    The flowers made me think of a hard core adventurer I had the pleasure of hosting once, so I took a couple flower shots in honor of Nomadgal.

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    [​IMG]

    Hi Esther!:wave


    The road began getting steeper, rockier and more rutted as I went. :D

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    Again more switchbacks and awesome views.

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    And around the corner was this, so I took a timer shot of me next to an old weird abandoned bus :huh

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    Passed this evidently historical cabin

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    but didn't see anything to explain its significance. It's a little run down, but I think it has potential.

    After passing a few nice camping spots, and more spectacular scenery,

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    it was getting late I came across a big wide spot that was parking for a trailhead. One side was covered with about 8" of this

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    which offered an oh shit moment, but I plowed through it and down this

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    which lead to this

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    so I set up for the night.

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    I didn't make it to Burgdorf, and hoped I am not too far (There was a sign at the turn that said 21 miles to Burgdorf, but I forgot to check my milage and I find it's hard to gauge how far you've gone on these roads.


    The road numbers (if if it doesn't just say "unpaved road" on the GPS don't seem to match the paper map, and it's really hard to see where a road goes on the GPS. You have to zoom in close enough to see the road number/name, then scroll and scroll trying to follow the road. Sometimes I can just tell it to find the next nearest city (and avoid hiways) but today it couldn't find Burgdorf, Yellow Pine, or Warren, so that didn't help me.


    Total milage: 203
    Horizontal Bike Events: 2
    #41
  2. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Day 4 Weds July 2

    All of the pics from yesterday are nowhere to be found, so you'll just have to use your imagination. I feel like I got robbed! :cry

    Got on the road at 7:58 after a quick cup of coffee. Turns out I was 8.5 miles from Burgdorf, which was closed down anyway. Not really much to see, just some cabins and a few old buildings. More 60MPH gravel.

    Frrom there I followed the road down into McCall for gas, and a check with the friendly Ranger, Robert, who, after checking the latest update, told I could get over the gravel roads through Yellow Pine, and down into Stanley
    So I took Lick Creek road out of McCall, and had a beautiful ride up to Yellow Pine, a town of 35 people in the winter, and many more in the summer. I was surprised to see an Espresso sign on a little trailer at one end of town, so I stopped and visited with June, the proprietor, for a while. She and her husband used to run the Warm Lake Lodge nearby, but retired to Yellow Pine, and now snowbird in Arizona in the winter. She sells coffee for something to do. She let me fill up my camelbak and water bladder with ice and freezing cold water! Thanks June! You rock!

    From there I headed South, down 413, a nice twisty gravel road with awesome views. I took a little side trip up up this really steep and rutted 2 track, with a sign that said there was a lake at 6 miles and another at 10, but turned back after about a mile when it turned from challenging to really freaking difficult. I should have shot a couple pics of that, it was gnarly. But I didn't want to crash, and it was pretty much a certainty if I tried to keep going on on that road, so I headed back to the mainline and continued South.
    When I got to the pavement again, I saw a sign for Warm Lake, and being only 9 miles away, I headed for it. At the top of a hill which turned out to be the summit of the climb from the lake basin, I ran into a group of about 8 bicyclists, and stopped to chat. They were from Portland, Seattle, and Montana, and had gotten together to ride a week long loop they'd found somewhere. They had just pedaled up from Warm Lake.

    Holy Crap! I knew it was downhill to the lake, but it was a steep descent that switched back again and again, with really tight turns. Damn fun, but I couldn't imagine pedaling up that sucker! And in 80+ temps! They were all young and buff, but still, what a workout. Probably 3 or 4 miles of steep ascent with no relief until the top. Hard core for sure.

    Warm Lake turned out to be a bit of a tourist trap, at least by my standards. I didn't check the temp of the lake.

    At that point I was starting to think about finding a place to camp, and had already burned up a good bit of gas, so I searched and found the nearest gas to be in Cascade, about 25 miles away.

    After thinking about it, I decided to play it safe and top off, even if it meant a bit of pavement to get there. But what a bit of pavement it was! Yet another well maintained twisty windy road through awesome scenery. I was really feeling good, and riding well too, at least it seemed that way. Carving through one corner after another for miles, with a big smile on my face. After a while it straightened out though, and the last few miles into town were pretty, but boring.
    I went straight to the gas staiion and while there I talked to a guy on a BMW, I think it was a K bike of some sort? Sorry I'm not up on my BMWs. He said he also had a Honda 650L dual sport. Matt, if your with us, it was nice meeting you and chatting at the gas pump.

    So back the way I'd come, past Warm Lake, up that awesome set of switchbacks, and back onto the gravel road 413 where I settled on Buck Mtn Camp. It's a tiny campground with 3 sites, kind of a crappy little place, but has a nice stream running next to it, has a pit toilet, and picnic tables. Good enough! My site was not next to the water, but close enough to hear the stream.

    I jumped into my swim trunks and went and laid down in the stream. brrr! but it felt great! I also washed some clothes in a ziplock bag, and later even took a shower with my solar shower. It didn't have a chance to warm up completely but was not too cold at all.

    Cooked up some dinner and typed up my notes from the day, and started a small fire in the fire ring hoping to drive some of these mosquitoes away. They are pretty thick :(

    Total miles: 262
    Bike nap count: Still holding at 2

    Day 5 coming up, then if I don't screw up and lose all my pics, I'll share the Hailey Idaho Independence day celebration with you.
    #42
  3. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Getting caught up finally! Good thing cause it's getting late!

    Day 5 Thurs July 3

    Man it got cold last night. Not freezing cold, but cold enough that I woke up shivering and had to put on my shirt and camp pants. I slept in a bit but was on the road by about 8:45am.

    It was a beautiful morning and I felt great as I stood on the pegs and let the beauty flow by. The bike is running sweet, and even loaded down I can throttle steer through the gentle sweepers, especially as the rear tire wears down. I love the feeling of the bike skittering around under me as I drift over the marble covered road, just pointing the bike where I want it to go and gassing it. Sometimes you just find your groove, and I was feeling it this morning. Spectacular!

    My senses were barraged by the sights, scents, and occasional oh shit moments, due to the numerous deer that like to leap out in front of you, and by the 4 wheeled road hogs who seem to think that nobody else uses this particular road except them. I learned a long time ago to always hug the right side of the road because too many others don't.

    I often take left handed photos on the go, but have the camera on a lanyard so if I drop it I won't lose it.

    It was a zen-like ride down the fast gravel enjoying the views

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    but watching out for these:

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    most of which were to rude to allow me time to get my camera out before bounding off manically into the woods, or across the road again. I must have seen a dozen deer in a few mile stretch.

    Also other things to watch out for

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    More really beautiful scenery

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    A selfie in motion

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    You can't see it in the pic but I'm grinning :D


    Lots of this forest had burned not so long ago making for striking views



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    Eventually I reached the pavement that led to Stanley.

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    More nice views, but a long straight road

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    I've been to Stanley a couple times before, on a Sasquatch Dual Sport Tour, and with Michele on the Goldwing, and I had assumed I would have cell service, but no such luck. I stopped at the visitor center where the nice lady let me use here cell to call Diane, who I was to meet here. It was about 10:30 by this time and I worried she would be on the road and not answer, but Luckily she did, and told me to hang out at the Bridge Street grill, where her brother is a chef. So I did.
    I ordered smoked trout eggs Benedict, because I have low will power, and because I didn't want to hang out here for a couple hours and only order coffee. The trout was fresh caught and smoked this morning. Yes, it was quite tasty.
    While waiting I talked to these nice people, Craig and Terry

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    who were out for a ride to Boise, I think? Anyway, had a nice chat with them.

    Then my host Diane rode up on her Fat Boy (I learned that's what it's called today) and Craig snatched my camera out of my hand and took this

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    Diane grabbed a mushroom burger and I had the first beer I'd had since Saturday (Hey, I'd had breakfast!) and then we headed out to ride the 70 some miles South to Hailey.

    The parking lot was filling up. Quiz: Which motorcycle is different?

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    A couple left handed shots on the way to Hailey

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    And now I'm in my about done for the night. I've had a shower, dinner, I'm caught up on my Ride Report (although I'm still pissed about all the missing pics, I'm going to have to be more careful and develop a better protocol to prevent this), caught up on laundry, and have a real bed to sleep in.

    Happy happy.:clap:clap

    More to come, so don't touch that dial!

    Total miles: only 96
    Motorcycle spontaneous repositionings: Still holding steady at 2 :D
    #43
  4. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    I just figured out how to get my phone pics up to Smugmug (I thought I'd had it set to do that automatically) so here is the view from the deck of the Bridge Street Grill in Stanley

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    Tough to have to look at that all day!

    And the obligatory food pic of my delicious smoked trout eggs benedict

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    OK, off to bed I go!
    #44
  5. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    408
    Location:
    near Barber Motorsports Park
    What an AWESOME trip!
    Loving the photos and the backroad meandering!
    :thumbup
    #45
  6. bluestar

    bluestar the rain maker

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Oddometer:
    9,537
    Location:
    N.E. Louisiana
    Great updates. :clap Keep them coming when you can. Sux about the lost pix.
    #46
  7. yakawars59

    yakawars59 n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3
    This is so awesome Dean! I am taking a trip vicariously through you with the help of your pics.and posts. I really like the style of your story telling. Now i fear i might be hooked and will need to start searching for an adventure type bike. Stay safe my friend. Looking forward to the next installment.
    #47
  8. mortalsphere

    mortalsphere Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    Somewhere outside of City 17...
    I'm just learning about all of these wonderful rides, such as the TAT. I'm excited to see your trip unfold. Godspeed and have fun!
    #48
  9. Deanwife

    Deanwife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    The smoked trout looks yum. Good choice.
    #49
  10. Deanwife

    Deanwife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Help me understand why Spotwalla keeps changing the starting point. Does it only share a rolling two days at any one time? Boo! I want to see the whole trip.
    Off to Riverton tomorrow? Say "hi" to the Jackson's for me. And don't forget to thank Diane for the 4th of July stop.:feelgood
    #50
  11. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Hi everyone,
    I'm back from the parade, in the cool of my host's basement. The good news is I found my lost pics, and I am intending to repost day 4 with pics. The bad news is her computer freezes all the time, and I lost about an hour of work this morning when my iPad froze and everything I'd written was gone. So here goes again.

    Day 4 with pics

    Woke up and made coffee, struck camp, and was bummed to see this (hard to tell in the pic but the aluminum tent pole is cracking)

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    I may have to find an REI soon...


    Got on the road at 7:58 after a quick cup of coffee. Turns out I was 8.5 miles from Burgdorf,

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    [​IMG]

    which was closed down anyway. Not really much to see, just some cabins and a few old buildings.

    More 60MPH gravel.

    [​IMG]

    Frrom there I followed the road down into McCall for gas,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    and a check with the friendly Ranger, Robert, who, after checking the latest update, told I could get over the gravel roads through Yellow Pine, and down into Stanley

    So I took Lick Creek road out of McCall, and had a beautiful ride up to Yellow Pine, a town of 35 people in the winter, and many more in the summer.

    Here is a shot of a popular rock climbing place. I decided to forgo the rock climbing this trip. Too dangerous, don't you know.:D

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    I was surprised to see an Espresso sign on a little trailer at one end of town,

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    so I stopped and visited with June, the proprietor, for a while. She and her husband used to run the Warm Lake Lodge nearby, but retired to Yellow Pine, and now snowbird in Arizona in the winter. She sells coffee for something to do. She let me fill up my camelbak and water bladder with ice and freezing cold water! Thanks June! You rock!

    From there I headed South, down 413,

    [​IMG]

    a nice twisty gravel road with awesome views.



    I took a little side trip up up this really steep and rutted 2 track, with a sign that said there was a lake at 6 miles and another at 10, but turned back after about a mile when it turned from challenging to really freaking difficult. I should have shot a couple pics of that, it was gnarly. But I didn't want to crash, and it was pretty much a certainty if I tried to keep going on on that road, so I headed back to the mainline and continued South.


    When I got to the pavement again,

    [​IMG]

    I saw a sign for Warm Lake, and being only 9 miles away, I headed for it. At the top of a hill which turned out to be the summit of the climb from the lake basin, I ran into a group of about 8 bicyclists,

    [​IMG]

    and stopped to chat. They were from Portland, Seattle, and Montana, and had gotten together to ride a week long loop they'd found somewhere. They had just pedaled up from Warm Lake.

    Holy Crap! I knew it was downhill to the lake, but it was a steep descent

    [​IMG]

    that switched back again and again,

    [​IMG]
    with really tight turns. Damn fun, but I couldn't imagine pedaling up that sucker! And in 80+ temps! They were all young and buff, but still, what a workout. Probably 3 or 4 miles of steep ascent with no relief until the top. Hard core for sure.

    Warm Lake turned out to be a bit of a tourist trap, at least by my standards. I didn't check the temp of the lake.

    At that point I was starting to think about finding a place to camp, and had already burned up a good bit of gas, so I searched and found the nearest gas to be in Cascade, about 25 miles away.

    After thinking about it, I decided to play it safe and top off, even if it meant a bit of pavement to get there. But what a bit of pavement it was! Yet another well maintained twisty windy road through awesome scenery. I was really feeling good, and riding well too, at least it seemed that way. Carving through one corner after another for miles, with a big smile on my face. After a while it straightened out though, and the last few miles into town were pretty, but boring.
    I went straight to the gas station and while there I talked to a guy on a BMW, I think it was a K bike of some sort? Sorry I'm not up on my BMWs. He said he also had a Honda 650L dual sport. Matt, if your with us, it was nice meeting you and chatting at the gas pump.

    So back the way I'd come, past Warm Lake, up that awesome set of switchbacks, and back onto the gravel road 413 where I settled on Buck Mtn Campground. It's a tiny campground with 3 sites, kind of a crappy little place, but has a nice stream running next to it, has a pit toilet, and picnic tables. Good enough! My site was not next to the water,

    [​IMG]


    but close enough to hear the stream.

    I jumped into my swim trunks and went and laid down in the stream. brrr! but it felt great! I also washed some clothes in a ziplock bag, and later even took a shower with my solar shower. (Don't worry, no pics!)
    It didn't have a chance to warm up completely but was not too cold at all.

    Cooked up some dinner and typed up my notes from the day, and started a small fire in the fire ring hoping to drive some of these mosquitoes away. They are pretty thick :(

    A friendly deer visited me

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    [​IMG]

    Towards dusk I hiked up the hill on the other side of the road for a shot of the campground.

    [​IMG]

    One kind of freaky event happened: The breeze had been blowing a bit on and off, and during a moment of no wind at all, I heard a huge crack and crash up the hill (near where I got the pic from) and saw a rather large burnt tree topple down. I guess they fall pretty frequently being all burnt and dead, but it was still strange to witness it, and it was LOUD! For a moment I thought it was some yahoo with fireworks, but no, just the tree. If a tree falls in a forest and... never mind.

    So that should fill in the blanks a little bit.

    Total miles: 262
    Bike nap count: Still holding at 2
    #51
  12. Swampyankee1

    Swampyankee1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Hey Deanman, I'm enjoying your pictures and posts. I'm part of a party of 3 planning to leave Tellico Plains on Aug 9. Maybe we will run into you. Good luck.
    #52
  13. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Hi Baby!:clap

    Hmmm. Well, I've been turning the SPOT off at night and on again each morning, and then hitting the OK and then the Tracking buttons.

    I just checked the Spotwalla page and indeed, found it only displaying 2 days. However, if you go to the Adjustmens box on the left, set the history to All, and click Go, it will display the whole trip. Don't forget to click the Go button or it won't work. I don't know why it defaults to 2 days :huh

    I've put off my Riverton visit until Sunday, as I realized it's over 400 miles from here to there :eek1 and I don't want to do that all in one day. So I'll find somewhere in the middle to camp out on Saturday night.

    You know me, I'm always polite. And I really can't thank her enough for the hospitality. Laundry, shower, a real bed, and it's nice and cool in here! Couldn't ask for more, and the price is sure right!

    By the way, I should explain to our viewing audience out there in the tubes of the interwebs, that Diane is my big sisters best friend from HS, whom I had not seen since my Sisters wedding 28? years ago!!
    I was mildly corrupted by them as a young teenager, when I would occasionally get to sneak out and go to parties with them. I recall one time at a house up by 80 Acres, and my feet actually got wet from all the beer on the floor, and the room was so hazy you couldn't see the other wall. Must have been 500 people there. Good times.

    So we've had fun catching up..

    Hope the bit about SPOT works for everyone, and maybe I'll figure out how to make the page display all history by default.

    More to come...
    #53
  14. Deanman

    Deanman Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Today I went to a parade. Check it out:

    Just before the official parade start

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    Diane in her Red Hat getup, ready to Be Happy!

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    And the first vehicle down the road

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    Followed by

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    and

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    and the cheerleaders

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    and horses

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    Cool old trucks

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    more horses

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    And the Red Hats. A few shots of them doing the Happy Dance in front of the judges

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    http://dandms.smugmug.com/TAT-2014/Day-6-Friday-July-4/i-WczZd44/0/M/image-M.jpg

    Diane putting her heart into it!

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    And since this is a Motorcycle forum, this caught my eye so here it is
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    I'm happy that I've secured stays at friends on Sunday night in Wyoming, and am aiming for Des Moines IA to stay with another friend next weekend, so that is reassuring.

    No miles ridden today,

    Bike is still vertical in the back yard. :D
    #54
  15. FongMan

    FongMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    419
    Location:
    Free State Wyoming
    "Motorcycle spontaneous repositionings":rofl

    Great report Dean!! :freaky
    #55
  16. jerrybiker

    jerrybiker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Southwest Missouri
    A RR I have dreamed about. About 6 years ago I rode 130 miles with a friend on the TAT in AR. Great ride & pictures. I!m subscribe.
    #56
  17. Mud-Ectomy

    Mud-Ectomy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
    Well done report! I'll be following!
    #57
  18. MOTOBRUNETTI

    MOTOBRUNETTI MotoBrunetti

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    California... So many rides
    :clap:clap
    #58
  19. GoDoMore

    GoDoMore Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Nervana
    I like the Kermit Chair..is it ok sitting low? I thought about getting the leg extensions...I am an old fart (59 tomorrow :evil ) and it is sometimes hard to get up form something that low.
    Loving this report..keep up the good work..SAFE RIDING :clap
    #59
  20. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    776
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    I like my Kermit, I'm an old fat fart....You might have to roll out of it ...I have the leg extensions...

    I ride in the east and find that I don't have much use for it....most campgrounds have picnic tables. ...I just did the TAT out to Ark and didn't use it once.

    If you have a campfire at night, that's when its usable or if you cowboy camp.
    #60