On Sunday, I decided to take a ride over Northern Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains (since my Denver Broncos have been giving me LITTLE reason to sit around and watch them play on Sundays this year). I've been up there late in the season before on my Ninja and though there was snow, there was none on the road and only lots of sand down in the Shell Canyon from a previous snow. This time, I headed out of Billings, MT (where I live) with the wind blowing... maddeningly beating me up most of the way to Lovell, WY. The good thing about the wind was that temps were warm... in the 45-55 degree range. I generally hate the wind and wind chill, but on this trip I really came to appreciate the warmth that wind brings. As I got nearer to Lovell, I started to feel a chill. Was wearing several layers top and bottom, with my Klim Adventure Rally pants and Badlands jacket. So I wasn't wanting for clothing, but I was still feeling pretty chilled, and when I stopped to top on in Lovell, I had concerns that heading up over the 9,500' pass would cause hypothermic feelings. But I figured that I could always stop, warm-up, and turn around if need be. The wind was dead calm in Lovell, but I was colder than in windy Billings. As I got closer to the western flank of the Bighorns, I started to feel the wind again. And I noticed the ambient temperature on my Tiger's display shoot up from 43 degrees F to 62 within a ten mile stretch of road. I was probably at the 8,000' level on the switchbacks before I noticed that temp peak out and start to fall again. As I got up on top, there was more and more snow, and I passed many snowmobile trailers up there (it's always popular up there for "sledding"). I eventually went from patches of dry road with wet snowmelt, to more drifts across the right lane, to solid melted-and-refrozen ice. Lots of snow up there. I learned just how smooth I could be on the throttle/brakes/steering through a 10-mile stretch of snow drifts, and frozen meltwater on the road. One section of the latter was about a mile long. I was tightly puckered the entire section… SURE that I was going down. The other 9 miles I rode down the very left side of the road (sometimes on a very narrow left shoulder) because the drifts and icy sections were less there. When I’d see a car coming from the other direction (LOTS of visibility up there thankfully), I’d ease over into the right lane, and then ease back over to the left once I’d passed them. They were all looking at me like I was crazy (I assume). Would have been nice to have studded tires up there! Here is the lookout point, near the high point of the pass on the western edge. I wish that I could have taken a pic in the stretch of snow drifts and ice that came before this point (I REALLY wanted to), but I was so puckered while riding that stretch that I was afraid that any stoppage would increase my chances of dumping the bike. Plus, I doubt I would have been able to get it back up, because I wouldn't have been able to get enough traction from my boots on the ice to do so. I was really sticking my neck out on that section! I eventually made it over the high point on the western side, and then road east towards Bear Lodge at Burgess Junction on the eastern side. While the temps had cooled a bit on top, they slowly raised up again as I rode east. Once past Burgess Junction, and dropping over the east side of the mountains, they peaked in the mid-high 60s down towards Dayton, WY at the bottom. I stopped at Steamboat Point to take a picture of the bike in front of it because it was beautiful and warm on this side of the mountains. So the opposite of 20 miles west of here. After I bottomed-out at Dayton, I headed north towards Billings again and was happily home in time to see the donkeys... errrrr, the Broncos finish up losing their seventh straight game this year (worst record in my 50 year lifetime). So... it's a good thing that I had an adventure that day!