North up the CDR, G650 Xchallenge and DRZ 400

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AZ-Twin, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. snooker

    snooker AttitudeIsEverything

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    Nice report. I especially like the short video clips of just one section, because they are short and because you can identify what each route is like. Nice job on the fender - if that is all you snookered on this trip you are easy on equipment! that was a long ride....

    Update when you can... the rest of us are just shiver with

    an

    tici



    pation... (frankNfurter)
    #61
  2. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

    Joined:
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    Up early pack the bikes, gas up and head out. Our goal is to tackle the remaining dirt in NM. It is a beautiful morning, the rains are gone and the air is cool.

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    So we start on full stomachs we stop by the Cuban Café.

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    The waitress said they had the best Biscuits and Gravy she has ever had, so I tried it. It was good, but not the best I have had. I asked her about it and she admitted she didn’t get out that much. LOL But, it was still pretty good. So if you spend the night in Cuba, this is a good breakfast place.

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    So we head for the next leg of the ride, a few miles out of town we see signs saying the road is closed, but we don’t stop, go till they won’t let you go any farther is how we feel. Then we get to the real road block, and signs that the forest is closed. So we are not just dealing with a road issue, but a forest issue.

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    So, we head back to Cuba and stop at the Cuba Visitor’s Center. We talk to the rangers, and they point out what the big ass sign says, the forest is closed south of HWY 96.

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    Okay, a quick look at the map and we plot a course up to HWY 96 and east to Abiquiu. Then the plan is to hit 554 North to El Rito where we can jump back onto dirt again. It was a lot of pavement, but it was a pretty ride along Abiquiu Lake.

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    We make it to El Rito and we pull off where we believe the dirt starts, discuss fuel, drink some water, and I completely overlook the closed sign.

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    A couple rangers in a truck roll up and we start talking to them about the road, and terrain, how far to this that yadda yadda yadda, and they answer all our questions. Then at the end of the conversation one of them said none of that really mattered, because the road was closed, and he pointed at the sign. Now, had I seen the sign we would have been up in the woods when there were no rangers around. I told them I didn’t plan on smoking or starting any fires, but they still said no. We were a little pissed as the guys in Cuba said the forests north of HWY 96 were open (remember the big ass sign?)

    So, we decide to head over to 285 and go north to CO.


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    In Antonito we head west on 17 to Horca where the plan is to get back on the CDR track. We stop at the Fox Creek Store, and they confirm what we had hoped, all the forests in CO are open. Sweet!


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    Just up the road to Horca and we are back on dirt, for the first time today, man, were we missing this. Colorado has sweet dirt roads.

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    Which lead to mountain passes with sweet views.

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    Just north of Platoro going through some nice twisty rough mountain road, we come across these guys. They work for the forest service, and they had to give their truck to some other guys. In return they got stuck with this car, shod with worn out passenger car tires. No spare, just a pump and a can of goo they hoped would plug the hole. It wasn&#8217;t working so I offered to fix it for them.

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    Nice guys, we chatted for a while till we were sure they were good to go, then we hit the road again.

    We make it to Del Norte and to 112 North. The GPS track takes us to a road that appears to be closed for plowing.

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    In CO we saw a few places where it looked like there used to be a dirt road, but the landscape had been restored, that is what I think was going on here. We found a way around and got onto the track at LaGarita.

    By now it is getting into the afternoon and we are thinking about a place to camp. We check the map and decide Storm King is about where we will be at the end of the day.

    We make it there and guess what, it is freaking closed. Today is the day that everything is closed.

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    Upon closer examination we discover that while the chain has two locks on it, the gate is not actually secured.

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    Dude, we are in.

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    A few sites were done, and some were under construction still, but we would not damage anything, and be long gone before any workmen arrived in the morning, hopefully.

    Check out this virgin fire pit, yeah, we wanted a fire, but no way were we lighting this baby up.

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    So we made camp, had dinner, and called it a day.

    No fee box to leave cash for camping, but after fixing the tire on a forest service car, I figure we are even.:deal
    #62
  3. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    Haha, good call! Great read, keep it coming!
    #63
  4. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    We wake up bright and early, eat breakfast, pack up, and un-ass the area before the workmen show up.

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    This day is different than any other day because we actually have a destination in mind when we start out. I have a good friend who lives in Conifer CO, which is about 30 miles off the CDR track up US 285. So our plan is to follow the track north to 285, and head for my friend’s house where we can do a bit of work on the bikes, remember my fender?


    It is still back there. :D

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    So we head out being sure to close the gate behind us, we want to be sure we secure the camp site and keep out any undesirables. :lol3:lol3:lol3

    We didn’t take a lot of pics this day as the riding was so nice, and when I am having fun, I often forget to take pictures.

    The day’s terrain can be summed up in two short videos.

    Riding through nice mountain roads with lots of trees.

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    Or riding in the planes on graded gravel.

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    On with the report.

    From the camp site we continue north through Carnero Pass.

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    We get to HWY 114, we go west on pavement for a bit, then dirt west and north to Doyleville.

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    Just so you know I call anything paved a highway (HWY). I have noticed in other reports some guys only use the term Highway for a big road, or interstate/autobahn type road. If it is paved to me it is a highway, I grew up in a small town.

    This was all good riding, here is a longer video of the road right out of the camp heading up to the pass.


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    After we get up to US 50 we head east to Sargents for gas.

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    I am not sure if the CDR GPS tracks go pavement through Monarch pass to Salida, but that is the way we went.

    I have had the pleasure of riding my Street bike with sticky tires through Monarch pass, and man is that fun. Here is a longer video of me on the G650 going east on 50 up Monarch pass. It is fun, but don’t dog me for going slow, I am on a loaded down dual sport far from home. So I tend to take it easy as I can bust myself up close to home any time.

    This is a 7 minute video.

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    Out of Salida we head north east through the San Isabel national Forest towards hartsel. We met fellow ADV inmate Hipster on the track, and stopped and talked with him for a few minutes.

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    He is a real nice guy on a KTM 640 Enduro. We stopped and chatted for a while, swapping some info about what we could all expect as we made it farther up/down the track, then took off. Nice to meet you Hipster!

    North of Salida you can expect more of this beauty.

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    And north of Hartsel it looks a lot like this.

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    Once to HWY 285 we head east to Conifer, get rained on (I really need a front fender), find my friend’s house, and relax.

    My friend John has a pretty nice shop, and a lot of hobbies to go with it.

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    He is converting the rear suspension on his scout from leaf spring to coil spring. Needless to say, he didn’t have a lot of positive comments about my fender bracket, so we just drilled some holes, used the KTM bushings, and bolted it to the bottom of the lower triple clamp. I also tossed the fender bag in the pannier as I think that played a role in stressing the fender.

    Kevin cranked some preload onto his rear shock, which helped his bike's handling a lot.

    I had noticed my fan was running a lot, so we use a hole saw to make some air holes in the back of my fender, that did help.


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    Note that without the fender, my fan rarely came one.

    After the issues with the bikes were sorted, we went out for Mexican food and Margaritas, and that night beers around the fire pit. Sorry no pics, I always forget to take pics.

    Another great day comes to a close.
    #64
  5. Trailace

    Trailace Long timer

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    That was the GDR trail and an Airport we came that way. It was a fun trail to ride.
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    Here are our tracks on the map. I though it might be jail time for us. LOL
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    Keep the report coming I will post up mine soon.
    #65
  6. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    I like the Airport Runway mark on the GPS tracks, freaking cool!

    We discussed going up the plowed road, but we didn't know if it was some farmer's land now or what the deal was, so we went around. Thanks for letting us know what the deal is.

    Looking forward to seeing your report Trailace!
    #66
  7. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

    Joined:
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    Man was it nice to sleep in a good bed, my sleep number is 35, not sure if that matters or not but I slept well. Kevin was in the next room on a futon, It is good to know which room to pick.:1drink

    We had some eggs, coffee, and packed up and got ready to hit the road.

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    She looks a lot better with her fender back on, don&#8217;t she.:D

    Back down 285 and north towards Breckenridge.

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    We stopped at Boreas Pass to take a couple pics and look at the map.

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    I wonder how they got this thing up here

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    While we are looking at the map Kevin said since we are going close to Dillon he wanted to stop for a bit, as that is where he got married.

    Then Kevin proceeded to tell me his first wedding anniversary was next week, so it was pretty cool that he would be this close to where he got married on his first anniversary.

    Now, if you didn&#8217;t pick, that up, on Kevin&#8217;s first wedding anniversary, he is not at home eating the cake top out of the freezer, exchanging gifts made out of paper, or any of that other stuff, he is riding the CDR, his wife Linda is pretty cool, huh!

    So we stopped in Dillon at the exact place where he got married, here is a reenactment.

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    I think they drank some post ceremony champagne here, at least that is all he told me they did.:lol3

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    It is a beautiful place.

    Back on the track north to Parshall, west to Radium, and north to Steamboat Springs. Lots of good riding through here and beautiful scenery.


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    We got to a good section and my gopro was full, so we stopped and I deleted a couple huge files where I inadvertently left it on. The view was nice.

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    I love Aspen trees.

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    A bit farther north is where the water crossing is.

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    It does not look like much here, but it was pretty deep, I came around a corner and it surprised me, put on the binders and waited a bit for Kevin. He had never done a water crossing like this before, and this is about the deepest I have been in. He volunteered to go first, after we scoped it out he went to the left, but got pushed a bit downstream, so I went in and lifted his front wheel over and he headed out.


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    I wish I would have put the camera closer to the river.

    I pulled off my jacket and tank bag to protect my electronics, and took my turn.

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    All the walking through the water had filled my boots.

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    #67
  8. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    We stopped in Steamboat Springs at Staples to pick up an external USB drive to store videos on, and headed north to Steamboat Lake for camping.

    Kevin picked up firewood for five bucks, a Lincoln gets a lot more firewood in CO than it does in AZ.

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    I charged two cameras, two phones, and a laptop.


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    We ate MREs, drank beer, transferred videos, and celebrated another wonderful day on the road.
    #68
  9. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    We are well into the trip now, I am sleeping better at night (might be the beer), and getting used to Kevin waking me up at sunrise so we can get on the road. The goal is to hit the trail as early as possible and make good time. Oatmeal and instant coffee, load up the bike, hit the start button and click click click………………… awwww crap.

    Let’s look back to last night’s activities. I distinctly remember Kevin telling me “you are going to kill your battery charging all that stuff” to which I responded, “no way, you can’t kill a bike battery charging a couple cameras.” Well, it turns out you can kill a bike battery by charging two cameras, two phones, and a laptop. Honestly, I think the laptop is what put me over the edge.

    So we discuss various methods of starting the bike. After several failed bump start attempts I ask Kevin to ride around and find a steep hill, I remember riding up a steep hill coming into the campground. He returns, I have my tow strap ready and he pulls me to the hill (which is not that steep) so I pop the clutch while he is towing me and we successfully start the bike. I hate being towed on a bike.

    So much for an early start, as we killed close to an hour. However, now we have tow start experience, a skill which we will utilize again.

    The worst part of the whole deal is I did not have film rolling during the tow start.

    So on with the story.

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    The remaining bit of CO is beautiful. CO is a very pretty state, with nice dirt roads!

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    And Colorado needs a leash law. This gang jumped out in front of me and I herded them all the way to the bottom of the hill. Seriously, the farmer must ride a thumper, as when they saw me coming they rolled down hill like they knew what they were doing.


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    As soon as we cross into Wyoming the road goes to shit.

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    I had been warned by a friend of a big sink hole in Wyoming, not sure if this is that one or not, but it was worth stopping to take a pic of.

    We get off 70 onto a dirt road that will take us north to Rawlins. It is marked closed for logging.

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    After a brief chat and look at the map we say piss on it and go on, we get to a barrier and ride around it. A bit farther north we come to the loggers who aren’t doing much. I talk to one of the guys and in some native dialect, or perhaps a unique language known only to loggers, I believe he tells me that their operation is only a going on for a couple hundred feet. No shit, I could hardly understand a word he said, but sure enough, just a bit up the path and we ride around the other barricade stopping south bound traffic, not that there is much traffic out here.

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    We head north on nice dirt towards Rawlins. We get into the planes and see lots of wildlife


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    In Rawlins we get fuel, take a quick break for a snack and top off the water supply.

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    These Wyoming folks have some pretty strict rules.
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    Without spitting my chew in the urinal we head north on 287, then leave the paved road and head off into the Great Divide Basin. This was a pretty cool area, we rode for a long time without seeing another person, almost as desolate as NM. It was windy and dry, and about four hours of this.

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    They got lots of juice out here for the oil fields, but this would be a better place for a wind farm.


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    #69
  10. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    We roll into Atlantic City Hungry and hot.


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    We see this little place and we stop to see if they have food.

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    I walk in and two guys at the bar turn around and look at me like I fell out of space. They look at my boots and pants, then look me in the eye. I said, “yeah, I know, I’m dressed kind of funny, does this place sell food” One guy said “yeah, what are you doing?” I told him we are on dual sport bikes riding the CDR, to which he replied “dual sport bikes, that is my passion” and he darted out the door to check out the bikes.

    This was a pretty cool place that served good burgers and cold drinks, and the lady that ran the place was real nice.

    There was a kid running around, he was about 5 years old. Of all the people on the trip who asked what that thing on my helmet was (the go pro) this little dude walks up to me and says “you got a camera on your helmet, that’s cool” just as we were about to leave.

    If you stop in Atlantic City, I recommend it as a lunch stop.

    A bit of pavement going south and we are back on dirt heading north to Boulder and Pinedale. More great Wyoming dirt.

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    We gas up in boulder and start thinking about a place to camp. Kevin points out The Narrows near New Fork Lake, just off 352 north of Pinedale and we decide to shoot for there. It was a nice place with lots of skeeters.

    After a long day on the Wyoming prairie a few cold beers and a fire hit the spot.

    This is some good shit!

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    Another amazing day.
    #70
  11. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Bout time you got going on this report. Thanks. Did yopu need extra gas between Rawlins and Boulder? I'll be rolling through there the other direction next Tuesday.

    The water crossing was entertaining. It looks like you want to cross upstream of the path.
    #71
  12. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    Sorry, been dragging my feet on this ride report, been real busy around the house, I need to get my priorities straight. :lol3

    Between Rawlins and Boulder was around 220 miles if I remember correctly. I dumped both my gas cans in along the trip, and I can't remember if my light was on or not. Kevin has a 4Gal Clark Tank, he was on reserve but had not dumped his spare fuel in.

    As for the water crossing, I am glad it was entertaining, that is nice to hear, as that is really the point of the video and ride report. Thanks!

    I believe the rule for that one is stay to the left when going north, but Kevin went a bit too far to the left. I walked around it it, and parts were mid thigh deep. I didn't look around up stream, but it did look like there was another loop on the GPS farther north, perhaps it is not so deep there.
    #72
  13. Trailace

    Trailace Long timer

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    I was there a week after AZ and the main crossing was still the way to go.
    #73
  14. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    We have camped three different times at the Narrows. Love that place.
    I know you didn't have time, but if you fish New Fork River, where it comes into the lake, it's full of Brookies and Brown trout. Great hiking, and Mt biking.
    There used to be a tree house made completely out of twine down on campsite #10, I think. (on the left at the bottom of the hill.) all three of my kids spent the night up in that tree house. Someone must have spent days, and miles of twine weaving it into the four trees that held it up. The humming birds always woke the kids in the morning.. Sorry to ramble, but we really had a blast at that campground, no one else I've ever heard has stayed there.. Moose often visited the campground also..
    I also remember a lot of washboard on the gravel roads going in and out of that place.. Miles of it..

    Great RR, by the way. Thanks for posting.

    Jeff
    #74
  15. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    That was a cool place to camp, lots of skeeters but that comes with water. I missed the tree house, would liked to have seen that.

    Thanks
    #75
  16. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    Got a good night’s sleep thanks to the Bitch Creek brew, man that was good stuff.

    Packed up and headed down to the lake for a pic, then hit the road.

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    We headed north through Union Pass to 287, and took it Northwest towards Yellowstone.


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    Saw some more wildlife


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    And some snow.

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    Looking at the map headed for Jackson Lodge, but in reality we missed the turn and went to Jackson, way south of where we wanted to turn. We wasted some time but got a nice view of the Grand Tetons.

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    It was obvious we went the wrong way when following the signs out of Jackson, we were on the same road going north that we took into Jackson going south, but we got to look at the Tetons again.

    We entered the Yellowstone/Teton national park and went north along Jackson Lake, this is beautiful country.

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    We get on the dirt path which goes west through the woods out of the park to Marysville Idaho. This is really a great piece of the CDR path, rough rocky rutted dirt road, so good we didn’t stop to take one pic. I did get some video, unfortunately my lens was filthy, so it didn’t come out that good but I will show some of it anyway so you know what to expect. It was great.

    Video of west Yellowstone.

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    Heading north out of Marysville we did the obligatory ride of the old RR path.

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    I have a deal with heights, meaning I am freaking terrified of standing, walking, or riding near a cliff, so a bit of this made me uneasy, but I have found I am more comfortable riding by a cliff than just walking by one, probably because I am focused on riding and not a fall to certain death. :lol3




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    It is getting late in the day and we start thinking about a place to stay for the night. It has been pretty hot, and we have camped for the last two nights. I have been riding faster so I am not overcome by the smell of my ass. Seriously, by this time I smell like a dumpster behind a slaughter house, buzzards are starting to circle when we stop.

    We see a sign that says “Cabins, Café, Bar” We decide to check it out. The nice big place by the road is full, but they tell us of another place slightly off the road, so we go there.

    Kevin goes in to check it out while I wait with the bikes. He comes out and says “they have one cabin but we have to look at it first, they insist”, that should have been the first sign of trouble.

    We check it out and it is bad, real bad, showers are full of black mold, the place is run down, nasty. I ask Kevin how much and he says $100.00. I thought that might be what they were gonna pay us to burn it down but no, they wanted us to pay that. I laughed and said no way, let’s camp. He went back in and talked to the folks, turns out they had another cabin that just was not prepared for guests, I couldn’t wait to see that one. From the outside, it didn’t look too good, and it didn’t look that good on the inside either, but it had what looked like clean functioning showers, and the girl that put towels in the room did say the sheets were clean. We agreed at significantly less than the stated $100 a night.

    So Showers and a walk up the road to the other place and we were eating good food and drinking cold beer.

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    As we walked back after dinner and drinks, Kevin and I discussed how good beer buzz makes it much easier to sleep in a shithole of a cabin.

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    #76
  17. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,331
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    This place was bad.




    First, we had Mr. and Mrs. Elk watching over us, these two were pretty freaky.

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    Taxidermy gone bad sometime in the 1950s is my best guess. The pics don&#8217;t show it, but these two had bits of metal hanging out of their faces, like the terminator after a bomb blast.

    The showers barely worked, but at least they were not the science experiment of the first cabin.

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    Little water pressure was frustrating as I looked out of the shower directly at the 80 gallon (300L) water heater. All that hot water and no way to get it to the shower, I could piss a better stream.

    No locks on the front door, makes it easier for Big Foot or perhaps an axe murder to get in, little glory for him though, as we would most likely die of electrocution flipping on the light.


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    I should not complain, the bed was comfy, but I did wonder if I would wake up in the morning.

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    I would like to say the pics don&#8217;t do it justice, but really, they make it look quite cozy.


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    I like rustic, but this was a bit over the top.

    Regardless of all that I go to sleep full of chicken fried steak and Pacifico, another great day away from my cubicle.
    #77
  18. wswartzwel

    wswartzwel Unsafe at any speed

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,055
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Nice post. The ride along the cliff would be hard for me too.
    #78
  19. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,331
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
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    I awake to a knock at my room door, Kevin letting me know it is morning. Much to my delight I am still alive, Mr. and Mrs. Elk stayed up on the wall where they belong, no axe murders, nothing.

    I walk out to load up the bike and see this.

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    WTF, there is frost on my seat. I expected it to be chilly at night way up here, but frost, in July.

    We pack up and head off for an early start.

    We have been fighting a clock which is really taking away from the ride, I want to be back down in CO on Thursday to see my brother and nephew, and it is Sunday morning and we are not in Montana yet.

    Focused on navigation and staying on track, we head up the road a bit and follow the track off onto a nice dirt road that begins to go up a steep gravel road with lots of switchbacks. I neglect to look at the GPS for 20 minutes enjoying this road. As I approach the summit I glance down at the GPS to see the track is nowhere near where we are at. WTF, we are on top of a mountain, not even close to where we want to be.

    The view.

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    The reason the road is here.

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    Now I have not done alignments or calibrations on telecommunications equipment in almost 15 years. So basically there is no reason for me to be up here, we turn around and head back down the hill and see where we failed to turn. It was easy to miss so we head down the trail and we come to a closed gate and a road closed sign.

    This is the road through Red Rock Pass.

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    Obviously an ADVer has been here.

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    Now we have to make a decision, go around the closed gate, and see how far we can make it, possibly going 30 miles into it and getting to a place that is washed out.

    The decision is made, piss on it, let&#8217;s go have breakfast.

    So we head up 87, then get on 287.

    We were just up there.

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    I don&#8217;t remember exactly where the place was we stopped, but here is the place.

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    And here is their sign.

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    Good food.

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    #79
  20. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,331
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    The lady that was working at the restaurant said the road through Red Rock Pass had been closed since winter, but didn&#8217;t know why.

    At this point in the game we are way east of the CDR route. We decide to take pavement northwest and try to find a good path back over to the CDR.

    After breakfast we continue north. A Montana Trooper stops us and tells us we looked overloaded, these Montana guys are strict. We stop at the next set of scales.


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    No problems with weight, so we are good.

    Oh yeah, Kevin was having an intermittent electrical issue too. His instruments were blinking on and off, so since we stopped to get weighed, we looked for a lose wire or something obvious.

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    We could not find any issues so we pressed on.

    We pulled off in Harrison Montana to check the map.

    After a few minutes we go to leave and Kevin&#8217;s bike was dead, won&#8217;t crank, no power.

    A few basic checks revealed that all the cables to/from the battery were attached at both ends but we didn&#8217;t have enough power to light the LED on a phone charger. I put some tools across the battery terminals and didn&#8217;t even get a spark. This is easy, the battery broke internally.

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    We get out the trusty tow strap (after a couple failed push start attempts) and get the bike fired up.



    This video sucks but here it is, don't worry, it is short.


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    We head north and stop by I-90. We need to find a battery on Sunday so I google Batteries Plus and see there is one in Helena, we call that store, and yes, they have a battery for the DRZ. Got to love the smart phone.

    We head to Helena and while Kevin swaps out his battery, I have some coffee and relax.

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    After buttoning everything up, Kevin hits the magic button and she fires right up like a good little Suzuki.

    A few miles west out of Helena and we are back on the CDR, and dirt, a welcomed site.

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    North through Mullan Pass and Stemple Pass is nice riding.

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    We make it to Lincoln MT and it is late in the day. A brief ride into the national forest reveals it is more of a logging operation than a nice place to camp, so we head back into Lincoln and get a room at the Sportsman&#8217;s Lodge.

    There is a watering hole and restaurant next door and we just make closing time.

    Today was a frustrating day with a wrong turn, closed trails, and a broken battery, but still, a great day on the CDR.
    #80