Colorado to Wisconsin Ride

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by ddn, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. ddn

    ddn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    NE WI
    Well, it was a week long trip but it was it no way "epic". I had a reliable motorcycle, gps, mobile phone, a couple MP3 players, food, and in the US on paved roadways so I'll put this report here....


    My oldest son just graduated from Michigan Tech w/ a BS in Physics and was accepted to University Colorado Boulder's Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences doctoral program. He was accepted to a few other programs, but I told him that if he selected Boulder that I would help him move. Boulder was his first choice, and when they flew him out for a visit, the choice was a slam dunk for him.

    The plan was that we'd rent a moving truck with enough room for my 2008 V-Strom and his stuff, and haul his car out on a trailer. I'd help him move his stuff in, hang out for a couple days, and then ride from CO to northeast Wisconsin over seven days.

    My plan was:
    Day 1 – Denver, CO to Laramie, WY, thru Rocky Mountain NP
    Day 2 – Laramie, WY to Hot Springs, CO
    Day 3 – Hot Springs, CO to Eagle Butte, SD, thru Wind Cave NP, Custer NP, Deadwood, Lead, Spearfish Canyon.
    Day 4 – Eagle Butte SD, to Wahpeton, ND
    Day 5 – Wahpeton, ND to International Falls, MN, thru Lake Itasca park, Mississippi headwaters
    Day 6 – International Falls, MN to Bayfield, WI – thru Ely, MN and MN route 1 and along Lake Superior
    Day 7 – Bayfield, WI to home

    I've read a lot of reports here on ADV and I just cannot comprehend how brilliant and detailed some of the reports are. So, this is going to be pretty basic and really just a way for me to document my trip.

    For me, the joy of a motorcycle trip is just riding my bike, rolling down the road with the music cranked, and watching the scenery go by.

    My Spot tracks can be found here if you want to know the route I took: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0bqWiKLvn2K3nZHk0ZVMGJcrUFA2lxUYb


    Day 1 – Denver, CO to Laramie, WY, thru Rocky Mountain NP

    Rocky Mountain NP:
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    Northwest of Walden, CO:
    Antelopes:
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    Rain Ahead:
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    Continental Divide, Willow Creek Pass, CO:
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    WY border:
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    260 miles day 1
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    Day 2 - Laramie, WY to Hot Springs, CO, mostly making miles

    Northeast of Laramie, WI – typical scenery for the day
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    Antelopes – they stand nicely at the side of the road until you get the camera out...
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    Rest stop outside of Guernsey, WY
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    SD border:
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    Hot Springs, SD
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    Maybe.....
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    267 miles:
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    Day 3 – Hot Springs, CO to Eagle Butte, SD, thru Wind Cave NP, Custer NP, Deadwood, Lead, Spearfish Canyon.

    Wind Cave NP buffalo – it was about 8am and a shower had just gone thru. The smell was just incredible
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    Black Hills
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    Mt. Rushmore – although it was only around 10am, the place was just crawling with tourista and they wanted another entrance fee so this is the pic I got.

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    Went thru Deadwood and Lead and just kept rolling thru Spearfish Canyon, where it was time for a lunch stop:
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    My lunch buddy
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    The ride from Bella Lueche and Faith SD was windy, hot, and there wasn't a tree to be found - 72 miles between anything. About 40 miles into it, just as I'm thinking that this kinda sucks and poor, pitiful me, I come over a rise and see a guy on a bicycle. Kinda put into perspective what kind of adventurer I was ….

    Eagle Butte, SD natives:
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    291 miles day 3
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    Day 4 – Eagle Butte SD, to Wahpeton, ND

    Was thinking that this was just going to be another day of the Great Plains O' Nothingness. When I woke up it was raining, so checked the radar and it looked like I had an oppurtunity to get north and east of the rain. After about 30 minutes in the rain, I finally was in front of the weather.

    My favorite pic of the trip:

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    Missouri River – Lake Oahe
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    North Dakota border – it was a beautiful day to be riding. More green, and lots of potholes made for a great ride.
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    Beer thirty:
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    351 miles on day 4 – route was 319 planned.
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    Day 5 – Wahpeton, ND to International Falls, MN

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    My feet in the headwaters of the Mississippi
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    Big Falls, MN
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    Strange restrooms in MN:
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    272 miles day 5
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    Day 6 – International Falls, MN to Bayfield, WI

    Had a hell of a time waking up. After about an hour, a ten minute nap and I was finally awake.

    Soudan, MN
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    The reason to go up to International Falls was to be able to ride MN 1 from Ely to Lake Superior. After a 15-20 mile detour south of Ely on gravel roads, I was a bit disappointed in the ride. Plus, I was getting tired again and just wanted to ride. A quick stop and nap at Beaver River was just the ticket.
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    Lake Superior from MN
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    Thru Duluth and Superior under threatening skies – I kept planning on stopping to don the rain gear, but was out of it and time to keep rolling until a stop along Lake Superior from WI:
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    Last night before home tomorrow, so decided to stay in a little nicer place along the lake in Bayfield:
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    340 miles
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    Day 7 – Bayfield, WI to home

    I've been out this way more than a few times, so no pics.

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    #1
  2. ddn

    ddn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    NE WI
    Some more photos:

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    #2
  3. MelonMan

    MelonMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Your son made an outstanding choice. The program he is entering is world class! Besides, now you have an excuse to come down to Boulder and explore what lies west beyond the Flatirons.:clap
    #3
  4. Utah Bones

    Utah Bones Gas X ready!

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,607
    Location:
    Brain in Utah but homeless in Wisconsin....
    I moved to Wisconsin last year and I'm home sick for Colorado/Utah...you were going the wrong direction. :lol3
    #4
  5. Conductor Tex

    Conductor Tex Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Mart,Texas
    Thanks for sharing,great pics and report!
    #5
  6. adge4u

    adge4u n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Looks like a great ride! Really like that pic with your bike at Mt. Rushmore.
    #6
  7. Trail bandit

    Trail bandit Random adventurer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    Flatistan Nebraska and Melbourne, Australia
    Enjoyed the pics:D

    I'm doing a trip next week. See my pic below compared to yours. Wondering how you went "getting the leg over" I'm probably not going to put the bag on passenger seat this trip for that reason. A few times I was tired and climbed on left footpeg rather than struggle the right leg over that passenger bag.

    Oh, and I brought an airhawk. 8 hours in the saddle and a literally red raw behind (admittedly in hiking pants and not biking pants) made me a convert. I'll take it on 17 hour flight to Australia next month as a bonus and will probably have it pinched by my wife even though she has a rather plush behind.

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    #7
  8. ddn

    ddn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    NE WI
    Getting the leg over: most times, just throw it over. Not sure I can really explain it....

    Alaska Leather butt-pad, cycling shorts, and keeping things clean and dry help immensely (carry hand-wipes and small bottle of Gold Bond powder). Also, when I was done for the day, first item was a shower and some Destin....

    Have a great trip!
    #8
  9. Trail bandit

    Trail bandit Random adventurer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    Flatistan Nebraska and Melbourne, Australia
    Must have younger legs. Mine are 54 and run a marathon or two.

    Might try cycling shorts.
    #9
  10. ddn

    ddn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    NE WI
    Not quite to 54 yet and a 32" inseam, but I've been doing it for a few years :lol3. I guess I've never really thought about it much....

    Cycling shorts or other sweat-wicking type shorts - and Anti-Monkey Butt Powder or something similar seems to really do it for me.
    #10