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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TonyBKK, Sep 2, 2012.
LOL. Love this pic. Good report!
What a great ride report.
I bought an older GL1500 to ride with my young sons and have really enjoyed it.
is less then 8 degrees Celcius, huuuh I can understand that Kristhawee didn't want to leave the sleeping bag :huh
By the way as I understand you were very happy with the bike, did you have any problems whatsoever? How much did you pay for the bike? Did you keep the bike in the US somewhere or did you sell it again?
For the US and for the trip you had with Kristhawee it seemed to be the perfect choice.
I got very lucky with the bike- the gentleman I bought it from took very good care of it. He had one of those garages that I dream about- every tool you could want and a floor so clean you could eat off it
He did most of the maintenance himself and kept very good records so I was pretty confident that it was mechanically sound when I bought it and it didn't give me any problems whatsoever during our tour.
My plan had been to sell it cheap at the end, but due to state budget cuts the DMV in Minnesota where I bought the bike STILL hasn't completed the title transfer :huh Can't sell the bike without a title!
I called the DMV last week and they say they are just now starting to process June applications :eek1
So, no title, no sale. I ended up leaving the bike at a friend's house in Bellingham-
Come spring I might try to sell it, or I may just keep it...
Hitting Old Faithful bright and early was a good plan! Nice and cool and no crowds!
It was wonderfully deserted at this early hour-
About to blow!
Old Faithful erupts more frequently than any of the other big geysers, although it is not the largest or most regular geyser in the park. Its average interval between eruptions varies from 60 - 110 minutes. An eruption lasts 1 1/2 to 5 minutes, expels 3,700 - 8,400 gallons (14,000 - 32,000 liters) of boiling water, and reaches heights of 106 - 184 feet (30 - 55m).
After watching Old Faithful erupt we wandered over to the rustic old lodge to warm up and grab some breakfast-
Kristhawee was diggin the rocking chair
Father and son at the Old Faithful Lodge, Yellowstone National Park-
We grabbed a table with a view-
This is the closest we got to a Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone
Old faithful is just one of many active hydrothermal wonders in the Upper Geyser Basin- let's go for a hike!
View from the far side of Old Faithful with the Old Faithful Inn in the background-
It's warming up quickly and off come the coats. Here is Kristhawee in front of the Teakettle Spring-
Pump Geyser was pretty cool-
A short vid of Pump Geyser bubbling away-
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Some amazing colors created by thermophilic bacteria living in the hit acidic waters-
A better look at the complex series of ledges, elaborate border ornamentation, and deep blue waters of Doublet Pool-
Amazing that grass can grow in these conditions-
This is a pretty long walk- Kristhawee is getting tired, but he wants to keep going. Good boy!
We continue exploring the Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park.
I'm glad we got up so early- It's wonderful to beat the crowds and have the place more or less to ourselves in July!
Off in the distance Old Faithful erupts again-
So many hotsprings I lose track of their names-
Kristhawee admiring Liberty Pool, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park-
We had the good fortune of seeing Grand Geyser erupt in spectacular fashion-
Grand Geyser is the tallest predictable geyser in the world but eruptions only occur once every 7 - 15 hours so we were quite lucky to see it blow! It is a classic fountain geyser and erupts from a large pool with powerful bursts rather than a steady column like Old Faithful. We hustled over for a closer look-
Kristhawee at Grand Geyser, Yellowstone National Park.
The Grand Geyser eruption finally ran out of steam
Not sure where Grand Geyser ends and Turban Geyser begins-
Nearby Belgian Pool-
Continuing towards the north section of the Upper Geyser Basin-
Where do these amazing colors come from?
We cross the Firehole River to reach Oblong Geyser-
Father and son at the Giant Geyser, Yellowstone National Park-
Kristhawee at Mastiff and Giant Geysers-
Catfish Geyser was bubbling away-
Approaching Castle Geyser-
A bit of a slog back to the Old Faithful Inn-
We pass the Old Faithful General Store-
We cross a little stream and Kristhawee wants to know if it's hot... I tell him to stick his finger in and find out
The "Old House" section of the Old Faithful Inn was completed back in 1904 and is a National Historic Landmark.
Truth be told I find the Old Faithful Inn a bit creepy. Is this where they filmed The Shining??
Kristhawee in front of one of the giant stone fireplaces in the Old Faithful Inn-
Quite interesting architecture-
We spent about 5 hours exploring the Old Faithful Geyser Basin! So much to see! I'm really glad we went early and beat the heat and crowds.
Bye bye Old Faithful! See you again!
We were running out of clean clothes so on the way back to Lewis Lake we stopped to do some laundry at Grant Village-
Kristhawee is a good helper -
What the heck, why not throw him in too!
We had a snack while we were waiting for the laundry and met a really cool couple who had ridden their bikes all the way from Alabama and were headed to Washington! Respect!
Stopped at the Grant Village General Store to grab some grub and admire some nice bikes-
We got back to our campsite at Lewis Lake just as it was starting to rain-
I was pretty beat from getting up at the crack of dawn and exploring the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin, but Kristhawee wanted to play-
I eventually set him up with a movie on the iPad so that I could take a much needed nap. You can really see the "chemical peel" that started after our stay in Thermopolis in this pic-
Once the rain passed, the temperature really dropped. We bundled up and went fishing!
Lewis Lake looked stormy-
Think we'll catch anything this time??
We hiked along Lewis Lake for a while-
Not a real trail- we had to cross a few obstacles -
We reached the outlet of Lewis Lake where it empties into the Lewis River- you can see the steam from a hot spring on the far shore-
Are we there yet dad??
Hiking along the shore, the water is crystal clear and very very cold-
The Lewis River-
I waded out to find a good spot to cast- little guy followed but wasn't too happy about the cold water-
Fishing on the Lewis River, Yellowstone National Park-
Kristhawee wants to give it a try-
Kristhawee fishing on the Lewis River, Yellowstone National Park-
He fished for a while but we weren't having any luck, so he headed back to shore-
I wandered around and discovered a hot spring on our side of the river-
It was nice and warm here- I told Kristhawee to come check it out-
It was warm, but it was also really muddy, or as Kristhawee likes to say SQUISHY!!
We mucked around in there for a while and the warm water felt great as it was still cold out-
Some cute little wood ducks paddled by-
It was getting late- time to head back to camp. Now this is what I call Quality Time!
Back at camp I flexed my culinary muscles and whipped up a gourmet meal of macaroni and cheese with hotdog- Kristhawee loved it :dg
There were some really nice kids camping with their father in the site next to us and Kristhawee hit it off with them. He wanted to show them the Land Yacht-
Man that little girl was funny- no front teeth and covered in soot and ash, and she really wanted my son to sleep over in her tent
Her big brother was a really nice kid-
Three up on the Land Yacht
Had to take turns "driving"
She got a turn too-
We ended up hanging around the fire making smores together.
Their dad shared some beers with me
The kids played well together and I enjoyed talking to their dad, a divorced father, who, like me, had his kids for the summer and was taking them on a big road trip.
Tomorrow we're going to Grand Teton National Park!!
Monday, July 23rd
Good morning from Lewis Lake Campground, Yellowstone National Park!
Kristhawee helped me make breakfast :dg
We packed up and hit the road, following the Lewis River south towards Grand Teton National Park-
Another beautiful day!
Leaving Yellowstone National Park-
Entering Grand Teton National Park
I was hoping to get a spot in either Colter Bay or Signal Mountain campgrounds but by the time we reached them they were full...
The John D Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway was a great ride!
Our first glimpse of the Grand Tetons off in the distance-
We ride south along the shore of Jackson Lake-
Traffic is light, the weather is perfect and the views are amazing!
Looking across Jackson Lake at the Grand Tetons-
We've just passed 2100 miles on our journey. Only ~4400 more miles to go!
The mighty Grand Tetons!
Approaching Jenny Lake-
I believe that is Mount Moran straight ahead!
I know we have "bike porn" pics; how about "pavement porn"?
A closer look at the spectacular Grand Teton range-
Approaching Jackson Hole-
Welcome to Jackson, Wyoming!
Jackson Hole is a cool little tourist town-
Rolling in to town from the north you see the Snow King ski resort on the south side of town-
There's a really cool little park right in the center of town and on all four corners are these arches made of elk antlers-
We wandered around town, checking out the sites. Some pretty cool art galleries. Kristhawee was pretty impressed by these animal sculptures in front of the Mountain Trails Gallery-
That's one BIG Moose! :eek1
Hangin with the sheriff
Chillin with Abe
and Ben Franklin-
Tons of restaurants, and after suffering my cooking in recent days I reckoned it was time to get a properly cooked meal Kristhawee chose the E.leaven Restaurant and Bakery. He had chicken fingers with fruit-
My funny funny boy, we had a running joke this summer- he's at that age, where whenever you put something on his plate that he hasn't had before, he just immediately says, "I don't like that".
The first instance was at Grandma's house in MN- the first morning we were there Grandma went out into her garden and picked a big bowl of fresh raspberries and offered them to him at breakfast. "I don't like that" he says, which prompted me to force feed him one, after which he came back with "I like that!!!"
I lost track of all the different times we repeated this little game over the course of the summer, but I recall that with the fruit salad he said he liked grapes but not honey dew or cantaloupe. "I don't like that" he says, which of course means he has to try it. And of course, once he does, "I like that!!" He sure discovered a lot of new foods during our travels!
I enjoyed a killer taco salad
After lunch we headed back to the park in the middle of town-
The park was full of kids, so I let Kristhawee play while I made some phone calls. I knew that I'd need to tires for the Land Yacht sooner than later and decided I'd get them put on in Walla Walla, WA where we were planning to stop for a few days to visit one of my very best friends from college.
Big props to Motorcycle-Superstore.com for sorting me out with new Bridgestone Battlax BT-020 OEM Replacement tires at an awesome price, shipped direct to their recommended shop in Walla Walla. I placed my order while sitting in the park in Jackson, Wyoming. I wish I could remember the name of the guy who helped me- he was really knowledgeable and got my order processed and shipped in record time.
I ordered new brake pads too because the brakes on the Land Yacht were squealing like mad at slow speeds, especially the back brake, and try as I could, I just couldn't see the damn pads, so assumed they were squealing because they were about worn out. (Seriously though, is there a way to check the rear pads on a K1200LT without taking the caliper off? Cuz I sure couldn't figure out how to check the pads with the caliper on the bike...)
Well, turns out the pads were fine and I later learned that the K1200LT is just known for having really annoying squeaky brakes. Oh well, the EBC HH replacement pads I bought were pretty cheap. $107 for a full set. Thanks again Motorcycle-Superstore.com!
Colter Bay, Signal Mountain, and Jenny Lake campgrounds were all full so we ended up staying at the Gros Ventre campground which is right on the edge of Grand Teton National Park and just across the Gros Ventre River from the National Elk Refuge.
The hosts there were really nice and gave us the cheap hiker/biker rate and a cool wildlife activity book for Kristhawee.
It was a nice warm day so we hit the Gros Ventre river to cool down-
Kristhawee was having fun finding the shed skins of some kind of bug that molted by the thousands in this area-
The water was very cold so he didn't swim much, but seeing as how the campground had no showers I jumped in for a quick scrub
Kristhawee was fascinated by those bugs-
It was a beautiful spot and we had it all to ourselves-
The thistles were in bloom and I got a good shot of one of the flowers-
Kristhawee showing off one of the bug skins that he found. Weird creepy looking bugs with big pincers or stingers on the tail, I'm glad they only left their skins- I wouldn't have wanted to go swimming with them.
Hiking back to our campsite we both carried some driftwood from the river for use in our campfire later in the evening-
That evening there was a ranger program about the Pronghorn, which it turns out, is a pretty interesting critter-
They are not related to deer, elk, goats or sheep. Their closest living relative is the giraffe! The pronghorn is the second-fastest land animal in the world, second only to the cheetah.<sup id="cite_ref-natgeojan07_12-0" class="reference"></sup> But unlike a cheetah, Pronghorn can sustain high speeds for long distances. There is no predator in North America that can come even close to catching a Pronghorn. They're one of the only animals that can eat and digest sage. Pretty tough animals, but just like deer and elk, they get hit by traffic so I added the Pronghorn to the list of animals to watch out for when we were riding.
After the sun went down the temperature dropped quickly. Kristhawee bundled up for dinner. Spanish rice with hotdog :dg
Snuggled up in our sleeping bags and read Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Tonight's story: Rikki Tikki Tavi, the adventures of the valiant young mongoose who was taken in by an English family and subsequently saved them from a number of poisonous serpents. A timeless classic, I really enjoyed re-reading it and Kristhawee loved the story, but never lasted more than a few pages before he'd pass out. It took us a few nights to get through it. Now he REALLY wants a pet mongoose
Tuesday July 24th we woke up early to grey skies and the threat of rain. It had rained a bit during the night and it's never fun packing a wet tent, but fortunately we didn't have far to go today.
The Gros Ventre campground was ok, but nothing special and not close to anything. I was hoping that if we hit Jenny Lake early enough we might get lucky and score a spot there. The Jenny Lake campground is tent only and first come first serve. It only has 49 spots and fills up fast!
Riding to Jenny Lake-
Looks pretty cold up in the mountains-
We got lucky and snagged a great spot!!
There was a really nice family from Wisconsin who was packing up. They had a couple girls close to Kristhawee's age so the kids played while the parents packed and I chatted with their grandpa.
No trailers, campers, or generators are allowed at Jenny Lake Campground and vehicles cannot be over 8-feet high or 14 feet long. Campsites are available on a first come basis and fill early in the day. Reservations are not accepted in advance for Jenny Lake Campground.
As we're setting up our tent a huge buck elk wandered through out site-
What a beautiful animal! I'm so happy that we got a spot at this wonderful campground
The Jenny Lake Campground is just a hop skip and a jump away from the Ranger Station, Visitor Center and Boat Dock for the Jenny Lake shuttle boat.
I have very fond memories of hiking here with my mom when I was a kid. The weather was clearing up and Kristhawee was keen to go on a hike, so off we went. The view from Jenny Lake Campground-
It's a 5.2 mile hike to Hidden Falls, but if you take the shuttle boat that shaves off about 2.5 miles
Jenny Lake is so clean and clear, from the boat dock we could see many fish in the water, but we didn't bring the fishing pole and anyway, no fishing allowed on the dock.
I bought a one way ticket for us on the Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat. All aboard!
Kristhawee on Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park-
It's a short ride, but what a view!
On the far side on Jenny Lake Kristhawee posed for a picture with the "Jenny Leigh"-
Starting up the trail to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point-
Hiking with my son- it's a short but fairly steep trail. He did great!
Lots of very tame ground squirrels begging for food-
These ground squirrels are pretty darn cute. Kristhawee kept trying to catch them and I kept warning him that he'd get bit if he actually managed to grab one.
Onwards and upwards!
C'mon Kristhawee, you can do it!
Pretty please don't fall in!!!
Crossing Cascade Creek-
We made it!!
Kristhawee at Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park-
I'm proud of him for hiking all the way up here- I tell him he's a pretty tough five year old
Father and son at Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park-
We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch under the shade of a huge tree at Hidden Falls. After lunch Kristhawee got a second wind and told me he wanted to continue on to Inspiration Point. Good on ya!
Playing at Cascade Creek-
He was getting annoyed by all the pictures I was taking
I told him he'd enjoy seeing these pictures in years to come-
What a view! But we're not at Inspiration Point yet!
The trail is pretty rough and challenging in spots-
Yeah! We made it! Inspiration Point, 7200 feet!
Father and son at Inspiration Point, Grand Teton National Park-
There were a bunch of ground squirrels and chipmunks up at Inspiration Point
My son wasn't the only one that wanted to feed them-
Of course, feeding the wildlife is against the rules and a ranger came along and put a stop to it
Another pic of us at Inspiration Point-
Kristhawee and his new friend were still trying to catch the critters-
Amazingly, Kristhawee wanted to keep going up the trail! I told him about Lake Solitude and he said he wanted to see it. But that's a BIG hike and if we wanted to attempt something like that we would have needed to have left much much earlier and carry a lot more food and water. I'm so impressed by his "can do" attitude. I never had to push him on our hikes and I was constantly surprised by his stamina and endurance.
We hiked a little further up the trail so that Kristhawee could get a better look at the snow in the higher elevations-
It was getting late and the clouds were building- we started down-
I mentioned earlier that I bought one way tickets for the Jenny Lake shuttle boat. Kristhawee really wanted to go back on the boat, but I convinced him that the hike around the lake would be fun. He doesn't look very convinced
It rained a bit, nothing heavy-
Back at the boat dock- we made it!!
Tony, those shed skins look like they belong to Stoneflies, order Plecoptera. Stone flies look scary but they do not bite, sting, or pinch. The nymphs live in the water so you may well have been swimming with them!