It's What Men Do

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by epicxcrider, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    655
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I fell behind a bit to take some photos and let the dust settle down. Trying to catch up, though, proved to be a problem. Nasty sections of loose gravel lined the road and good sized rocks were scattered all over. Not a problem on the straights were we were cruising over 70 at times, but it added some difficulty in the corners.

    Judging by the massive cloud of dust, I had started to catch up to Bernie and Shawn. I had to slow down and back off just to be able to see what was coming. A mild right hand corner up ahead. I dropped a gear and started to turn - the loose gravel keeping me from cornering too hard. Through the dust I noticed the radius of the curve decrease and started to turn and cut the throttle a bit - trying to keep things steady. I glanced down - 35-40 mph. Things slowed down when I looked up and it became clear I wasn't making this corner. I stayed with it as long as possible as my path crossed into the left lane and I looked ahead. Dropoff...Trees...

    **** it. I dumped it.

    The loaded Beemer came down hard on my leg and foot and we slid in a huge cloud of dust with my leg under the bike to the edge of the road where the bike went over, miraculously stopping without going far down the banking. The thought of sliding over seemed much better than going head first.

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    I stood up and did a self check - all seemed fine except my leg was pretty sore and my right toe felt crushed. The jacket had saved my elbow and side and looked, surprisingly, no worse for the wear.

    I took a look at the bike, thinking how the hell I was getting this back on the road myself when a truck full of forest service guys rolled up.

    "Hey, man, you okay?!?"

    "yup, I'm fine - don't know about the bike"

    "Want a hand getting it out?"

    "Uh, yeah!"

    They hopped out and grabbed a few straps which we attached to the handlebars. They cut the sapling wrapped around the peg (which probably kept it from going further) and everyone heaved-ho, The big bike scraping back up onto the road.

    Cracked fender, scraped fairing, bent hand guard. Not bad. I dug the gravel out of everywhere and made sure the radiator fan spun freely, then hopped on.

    "Wait, you're just gonna ride that thing off now?"

    (quizzically) "Yeah"

    "What kind of motorcycle is that? I gotta know what kind of bike can take that kind of crash and you'll just hop on and ride it off"

    "Beemer. F800GS"

    I thanked them again for the help and started off down the road - a little more cautiously this time. By the time I caught up with Shawn and Bernie my leg was hurting pretty bad. Not broken bad, but probably a hematoma in my thigh. I caught them up on the details and after going over the bike one more time we continued on.

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    It was a nice section of road, but my head wasn't really in it. The crash shook me up a bit and standing to absorb every water bar was a challenge now. I was getting a little cranky but still enjoyed the view.

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    We kept on the shared divide trail now, passing cyclists here and there and admiring the views.

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  2. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Crap! We missed it! Another thing to go back for now :evil
  3. NHTOTEROAD

    NHTOTEROAD Been here awhile

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  4. Lupe Nurse

    Lupe Nurse Adventurer

    Joined:
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    agreed with above, your about to go on the portion I did this last year and I'm very interested!
  5. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    No Internet at home except my phone - will have to stay late at work a few days soon to update :)
  6. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    The Divide route took us East, then South, then back West a good distance before spitting us out onto pavement just North of Kalispell. I found a general store and pulled in for a much needed rest since my leg and toe were really killing me now. Shawn helped me out and zip-stitched my fender back together while I took my boot off to see how bad my toe was and get some padding on it. It wasn't that painful, but was quite distracting and I didn't really need that.

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    A little rest, some limping around and cussing, and a good snack put us back on the pavement headed for Glacier National Park. I had driven right by it a few years ago on a road trip and always regretted not going. I turned up Rt. 2 and made for the park entrance.

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    The park was beautiful, though I found the traffic to be a bit much. As the terrain got steeper, evidence of past avalanches was clear.

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    Huge rocky peaks surrounded us, waterfalls flowing strong from the summer melt. It was a beautiful day, and we weren't the only ones enjoying it.

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    The roads sure were beautiful, some sections with barely a guardrail.

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    As we climbed and climbed the temperature got cooler and cooler.

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    At the top of the pass, there was still a bit of snow in places.

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    I took the chance to change the bandage / padding on my toe and keep on top of the blood blister that kept forming.

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    Then we three were off, headed back down towards Kalispell.

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    We stopped off at the bottom of the pass for a little dip in the river - glacial runoff, about as fresh as it gets. It was damn cold but I figured it would do my leg a bit of good since I didn't have any ice. That river felt so good I just sat there until I couldn't feel my feet anymore - and it sure did a world of good for my leg. Still hurt like hell but at least it wasn't so stiff.

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    Anyway, enough bitching about that. We saddled up and hit the grassland.

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    I was done with trail for the day. Just wasn't worth it at this point. We were all disappointed, I think Shawn most of all, but he understood. We made our way to a grocery store just North of Flathead Lake to pick up some food, then pounded pavement South - we'd look to camp at Holland Lake tonight.

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    This was beautiful country - for flatland :) - with the Rockies to the East, grassland and a smaller mountain range to the West.

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    I just like how this came out

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    We rode South at a good clip, watching the sun set over the fields.

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    I stopped to snap a photo of the sun finally setting.

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    And watch the Rockies turn pink.

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    Now dusk, the real trouble began.



  7. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    We were in deer alley, and it sure as hell earned that name. I couldn't take any more pictures because I was too busy scanning the sides of the road for deer. One after another I'd see em' pop out of the woods, walk up to the edge of the road and stare at me.

    Closer...
    Closer.......
    Closer...

    Bam!

    They'd run across right in front of me and I'd have to jam on the brakes 'cause half the time they would just stop right there in the road for a second. By the time we cautiously approached the turnoff for the campsite road I'd seen 23 deer cross in front of me, and more on the side of the road.

    We found a primitive campsite with a picnic table and set up for the night, storing all our food under the bear-proof trash bins since we didn't have our own bear bag.

    Tomorrow we'd head straight for Missoula since Bernie and Shawn both had leaky fork seals and I was way overdue for an oil change. Morning would come early, so off to bed we went without having much of a look around.
  8. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Day 15: Slab City

    I awoke feeling a lot better than the previous day. Advil and icy-hot worked their magic bringing the swelling in my leg and foot down to a manageable level. We had a long slab ride ahead of us to get to Missoula, and no real idea how long we'd have to stay there.

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    I always liked the Big Sky Country, not such a bad place to be pounding pavement. The temperature was comfortable at least, and the smooth roads were a welcome rest for my leg.

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    After a little bit we dropped out of the mountains and into Missoula, beginning to look for the Beemer shop. With any luck we'd find a Suzuki shop with a fork seal so Shawn could get that leak buttoned up.

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    Things got pretty flat for a while.

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    We found the dealership and split off from Shawn as he spotted a Suzuki place. After washing the mud off the bikes we dropped them off and headed for coffee down the street. Just as we left the dealer Shawn stopped by and said they didn't have the seal in stock. He would have to go to Helena to have it replaced. He thumped off and we went to relax for a bit.

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    Little bit of dust

    A short while later both bikes were done, and after we changed air filters in the alley we were off in pursuit of Shawn. He messaged us the location of the shop, and we had some more slab time to get there.

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    We made good time heading East on 90, but it was quite a haul to Helena. I watched storms roll by to the south of us the whole time, knowing we'd be headed that way tonight. I was hoping we wouldn't run into much rain, and figured we could pick a route based on what the storms were doing.

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    We met Shawn in Helena, and now the day was really getting on. We pulled out at 3:30 and headed South.

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    The weather didn't look too good.

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    I hoped for the best as we turned off 90 and made our way to Big Sky. I'd been here once before some years ago and knew we'd find some primitive campsites and a store just of 191.

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    A quick stop for fuel at Gallatin Gateway, then South into the mountains. We hadn't gone but a few miles and the skies opened up. I had to put the camera away for fear of damaging it. It was already 5:30 and we had quite a few miles still to go.










  9. SunnyJH

    SunnyJH iADV

    Joined:
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    Switzerland
    Yeehaa - the story continiues! :clap:clap

    Thank you so much for your effort in this RR, I'm enjoying each post!
  10. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Zipping along South at a good clip, it didn't take us long to run right into that storm I had been watching. By the time we got into the mountains it was getting pretty cold, though luckily the light was holding out for us. Thankfully I had put my gore-tex liner on, but quickly learned the liner does not transform anything into a rain suit. The road wound South following the swift West Fork Gallatin River. The ride would have been enjoyable but for the rain and the cold. I was thankful for my grip heaters and waterproof gloves.

    We stopped the town of Big Sky to pick up some food (beer) that I knew I was going to want later on. It was pouring pretty hard, which made all of us a little pissy after the long day on the road. With more miles to cover, we took off South and looked for a campsite.

    Full.

    Full.

    RV place?

    I saw some empty spots, and despite being an RV campground we pulled in to get out of the rain. Bernie went up to the "host" who gave him a hard time about just wanting a place to camp.

    Full .

    Not a mile down the road we spotted a little track through the grass leading to a few clearings - there was a car parked at one with a tarp strung between it and a tree. I signaled and pulled in, riding a few hundred yards back towards a river. This would do just fine for the night and fit our budget perfectly - free.

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    I cracked a beer and made camp, luckily able to find a bit of short grass in the field. Our luck seemed to have changed - the rain had stopped for the moment allowing us to set up without soaking everything.

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    A great spot by the river, out of earshot of the road and plenty of space to spread out.

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    I looked up from digging through my gear to see the man from the car ambling over. A younger guy with a scruffy dog and an equally scruffy beard, he looked as though this wasn't his first night on the road.

    "You're welcome to come on over and share my tarp, once you get all set up there."
    "Keep you out of the rain for a little while"

    I thanked him and we chatted for a bit about our trip and the motorcycles before I turned back to unpacking and making sure my dry bits would remain dry through the night.

    We spent a good part of the evening chatting and sipping a few beers. He had just moved out with his girlfriend and borrowed her car and her dog to go fishing in the Montana rivers for an undetermined amount of time. I wouldn't say one of us was at all jealous of the other - it's a great feeling to wake up and know the only thing you have to do is exactly what you want to. He gave us a few recommendations for the road ahead and we split off, falling asleep to the sound of water crashing over the riverbed.​
  11. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    655
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Day 16: Jellystone National Park

    I awoke fairly early to rays of sunlight streaming through the clouds, illuminating the inside of my tent. Peeking outside, I saw nobody else was up and noticed the rain was still coming down. I fell back asleep. Finally around 8:30 I wrested myself out of my sleeping bag and found that the rain had stopped and everything was starting to dry out.

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    We broke camp slowly so things could dry before being packed away for the day. I hate to put a tent away wet, as it can easily dampen the entire bag it's put in. We packed up our pickanick baskets and hit the road South, bound for Yellowstone.

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    It was nice easy riding country, and we enjoyed a break from the rain even if it was a bit chilly.

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    The chill was welcome after the heat of the previous week, but the humidity gave it a little more bite than the heat.

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    We spotted Yogi just before the entrance to the park.

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    Hot on the heels of some rain storm, we began a clockwise loop around Yellowstone.

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    A short hike to some of the scenery was a much welcomed break from riding. Our fist stop was the "Artist's Paint Pots" which is a cool little thermal area.

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    Things weren't terribly active today in this spot - but that's the amazing thing about Yosemite. The thermal features of the park are constantly changing!

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    Boiling mud - super exciting, right?

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    We finished the hike and rode on to the next interesting spot on the loop - Norris Geyser Basin.

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    Was it the gas that made everyone squint?

    Norris Geyser Basin is a massive active area, and the most dynamic in Yellowstone. Definitely a fascinating area.

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    We hiked around here for a bit admiring the sights but not particularly enjoying the smells.

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    Then, off again!
  12. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for your compliments! I'm glad you're enjoying it :freaky
  13. neo1piv014

    neo1piv014 ADV in training

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Just finished reading your RR. This looks like an absolute blast of a trip. I can't wait to see where you head next. Keep the pictures and stories coming!
  14. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Riding through spotty patches of rain for a little while kept me from warming up too much, but finally the sun broke through and looked like it would stick around for a while. We rode on, turning South and stopping off for another little hike to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

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    A little crowded, but not a bad view if I do say so myself.

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    There is a paved walkway down the edge of the canyon that we followed for a little while, until we tired of the crowds.

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    We rode on to another vista

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    Quite a spot, and quite a drop.

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    Soak in the view, and ride on for more!

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    Office with a view

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    We cruised across the open plains for a bit and watched some Buffalo in the distance.

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    I almost forgot I was in a National Park until...

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    Someone had to stop and take pictures of a Deer. I choked on diesel fumes from the trucks and RVs in front of us while we waited for traffic to clear up. No matter, there's plenty to look at!

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    I believe this is called the "Dragon's Mouth"

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    This reminds me of a book that's worth a look called "Death in Yellowstone". It's an account of all the foolish mistakes those in the shallow end of the gene pool made in Yellowstone and didn't live to tell about. Some are gruesome, but it's a fun read :p

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    We rode South along beautiful Yellowstone Lake

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    headed for Old Faithful. We were here, we had to go see it!

    Riding there, the temperature started to drop and clouds started to pick up. Just as we pull in the parking lot the drizzle began. I knew we were going to have a long night ahead of us...

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    We loafed around at Old Faithful, splitting up for a bit and taking a break indoors. I got a much needed cup of coffee while Bernie had some ice cream and we sat, watching the geyser burble in the distance. After the eruption it was time to get moving South and look for a place to camp. The weather had a biting chill now, the sun disappearing behind the trees as we rode towards the exit of the park. After stopping for fuel we rode South on 89 making fast tracks for Jackson Lake and the campground at it's shore. No sooner had we left the park than the clouds blew in and the skies opened up. *It was miserable riding and I cursed myself as I led on, the wind driving the rain and the chill right through my suit. The gore-tex liner provided a great wind barrier but did nothing to keep the rain from soaking every inch of me.

    50 or so miles later, it was over. We arrived at the Jackson Lake campground and luckily managed to find an open site. As if on cue, the rain began to let up just as we pulled in to our site for the night. I hated to be in an RV campground but we had to do laundry and at least here we'd get a shower and some hot food. Definitely a worthwhile stop.

  15. neo1piv014

    neo1piv014 ADV in training

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Are you just whipping out a point and shoot camera as you're riding along, or do you have something like a GoPro mounted on the bike?
  16. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    The first one. It's a cannon S100. Love that camera!
  17. JemezMtns

    JemezMtns Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Placitas, NM
    Thanks for continuing to report on this ride. I have an F800, too, and I ride the west. I am looking forward to going further north, from my home in NM, this summer. I see you are using the Garmin Montana GPS....how did it work out; are you happy with it?:ear
  18. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    Nov 2, 2011
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    The Montana is a great unit, I have a mount on the bike and in my truck for it. I wouldn't recommend anything else over that for an all around nav / mapping unit.
  19. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    655
    Location:
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    Day 17: Wide Wyoming

    Dried up, cleaned up, and fueled up we were ready to hit the road the next morning. We had reached the difficult decision to abandon the CDR at this point for a multitude of reasons, time being the most pressing one. After enjoying a cloudy but beautiful view of the Grand Tetons (who doesn't like Tetons in the morning) we set off Southeast looking to make Colorado by nightfall.

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    It was a beautiful day for a ride, just the right temperature with the sun shining brightly overhead as we put slab behind us.

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    Lush countryside flew by with the wind, the noise dulled by a set of earplugs. I had the feeling of a casual observer, ignorant to the machine below pushing me on at high speed.

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    I loved the ride, the open road, the exploration - and the time alone with my thoughts.

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    A bit of roadwork left a soft dirt stretch that livened things up for a bit.

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    But then, back to the open road.

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    We rode around mountains, over passes, and through vast open farmland. Terrain which varied greatly - but with a common theme.

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    Drier. Always getting drier.

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    I could feel it in the air and see it on the ground. Trees became shorter, then disappeared only to be found clumped in valleys and other sources of water.

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    The colors changed from green, to brown, to gray.

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    Then, to red. I couldn't help but think of a Road Runner cartoon.

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    Quite a contrast, becoming more clear as we left it all behind.

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    The land was a large mass of grey scrub and sage brush, interrupted by the iridescent green of irrigated fields.

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    Pick up the pace, make some miles. We've got a long way to go and nothing in sight.

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    Head down, twist the wrist.

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  20. rgp332

    rgp332 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Central Missouri
    Good RR, I'v been subscribed to it for awhile. I did a trip to Yellowstone last summer,sure has gotten commercialized in the last few years !!
    A question what brand? Model are those mirrors on your 800 ? They look pretty durable,do they fold into the handguards ?
    Thanks, Ride On !!