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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PDX Alamo, Jul 22, 2012.
Pics of how you got the Trophy home...please.
I had a good laugh at that, especially with the attention your story got before Jimmy announced the winner. The guy that won the Klim Latitude jacket and pants also had shredded gear that was flapping in the wind... good karma for you guys. I love it. Enjoying your report.
Now THAT is an Adventure!!!!! After all your mishaps, crashes, reroutes, bruises, tweaked wr2 and you still come through with an A++ attitude and a fine sense of humor. You deserve a reward more like a years supply of free beer, than a butt seat. Fantastic RR, and thanks a million for sharing it. Just put the first 'ouches' on my WR last month too on Black Bear Pass.
Repair bill was $14.00 for a new HDB plastic hand guard and 13 cents in zip ties. I'm telling you HDB heavy duty hanguards are worth the money. I just moved them back and retightened the bolts and wa la.
I cant thank you enough for the packing video you posted, I packed light and it saved me from having the lessons I am sure you learned the hard way over the years of riding. I even have my own Dingweeds tarp and big burrito chair and the Wolfman packs were great, especially when they land on your leg in a crash. Thanks again for taking the time for all your post and videos; They gave a newbie the confidence to tackle such a trip.
Thanks man, Somebody on ADVRider said it best "Your attitude is the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure"
That was so great!
It was awesome that you got the Jimmy Lewis coupons - make sure you do a report when you go take those classes.
We all want to see you tearing it up on the single track next year!
That reminds me, I have a photo of you and Jimmy!
I second that!
So after being showered with awards and wearing my motorcycle as a hat it was time to head out from the Klim rally and off to Yellowstone. Several of the folks there awoke in tents that apparently had indoor swimming pools from the hard rain but my REI Half Dome 2 plus was dry as a bone. After an awesome breakfast thanks to the Happy Trail folks it was time to hang my stuff up and hope the sun would dry it up.
lost alaskan who I had met there said he didn't need to be any where until Wednesday and joined the adventure. He showed me a few picks of the Bear tooth pass and decided I had to do that and once you see the pics you will as well. So now I had a riding partner and off to Yellowstone. Alaskan was vastly more experienced than me and was on a KTM 990, he had lots of amazing pics from his rides in Alaska and New Zeland, man I had some catching up to do. Several folks at the Klim rally had ridden a dirt rode that was an old railroad track into yellowstone that they said was awesome. Its a bit tricky to find as we passed it and went down the least scenic half first. Anyway from Rigby take HWY 20 to Ashton and then 47 toward Mesa Falls for 12 miles.
Make sure you don't miss Mesa Falls see them first then turn around and go to the parking lot on the west side of the road, its huge an open; go to north end of the parking lot and then drive left through a culvert and your there you are. The old tunnel is closed off but awesome.
Finally we find the Railroad route which will take you all the way to Yellowstone,
Alaskan had warned me that Yellowstone was going to be packed as Disneyland but I thought he was exaggerating and really wanted to go anyhow. Being a sport he agreed to follow. Finding a hotel was not easy or cheap , after seeing it I wouldn't stay in West Yellowstone anyway. Luckily since your reading this you will learn of the best place to stay in the area and I think it was $110 or something. Anglers lodge in Island park Idaho, beautiful place, our porch was right on the river! I bought some beer ( Alaskan Amber, what else) and me and Alaskan talked about life, motorcycles, and old girlfriends.
I tried desperately to find a place to wash my overly ripe clothes. Since I was on the big dog plan I had only one shirt and one pair of socks( I cheated and had two shirts and two pair of socks) , yea it was bad. I had to resort to the sink which made them less likely to give me a rash but I wouldn't call them “clean”. Bring an empty nylon drysack to trap the stink or it will attack everything.
While parking at the hotel a lady and guy come over to check out Alaskans KTM 990 and ooo and ahh over it, hey it is a cool bike. The lady dismisses the WR250R and say’s “ You need to get a bigger bike” Whatever lady I wish I had a bigger bike once or twice so far and was glad I had the WR250R hundreds of times. A lady carrying an oxygen tank shouldn't talk shit about my ride. Why do people say stuff like that, obviously I like it why else would I own it. Just be nice,I don't particularly like Harley’s but if someone is so proud of there bike I don't feel the need to say “To much chrome on that thing, hardly any ground clearance on that” Anyhow ...Tomorrow its Yellowstone
147 Miles on the Odometer and riding in the shadow of the Great Pumpkin KTM 990
Sorry to disappoint but Klim guys were nice enough to ship it to my house
Get going and jump back on the railroad route into west Yellowstone. We cross into Montana from Idaho on the dirt track, I really get a kick out of crossing State lines on dirt tracks.
As we enter the gate I am happy to learn I get a discount for having two less wheels than everyone else . It is a beautiful amazing day and I stop at the entrance to shed my jacket liner and open all the vents. Wow its getting warm and I am so lucky to have a gorgeous sunny day. About 5 miles in off to north east I spy a giant wall of ominous dark clouds, hummm that was a quick turn maybe we will outrun it or it will blow pass . Lost Alaskan was right there are a ton of people here and they all drive like crap. I assume the conversation goes like this in the cars ahead STOP!!! Its a mule deer babe lets lock it up in the middle of the road and hold up a line of traffic so we can get the perfect pic. Yea its been 5 minutes I dont care I am on vacation and the road is my own personal parking lot. I think because I have been enjoying the best scenery all to myself for a week I perhaps need to become acclimated again.
The rain clouds start looking a bit worse and I hold off as long as I can but have to make a stop. On goes the Klim latitude pants which never ever got a drop of water through them I might add . I wish I had waterproof gloves o well nothing I can do now. The rain starts and doest stop, I am on the quick rainy tour of Yellowstone but I am being positive about the rain....maybe the crowds will disappear because of the rain. Nope that didn't slow em down, I am driving by awesome scenery and bubbling springs and mud pits, amazing!! I will have to return in the offish season when its dry.
There it is Old Faithful, always wanted to see this and judging be the parking lot the size of that at the Staples center I will be sharing. Wow I knew there would be crowds but it is massive crowds and Lost Alaskan wasn't exaggerating about it being Disney Land. This did help reenforce my passion in the Adventure world since seeing so much amazing country on my own or with just a few people there. I really appreciate the ability to really truly get away even more.
We continue back into the rain and I explain to Lost Alaskan I wish I had waterproof gloves since I cant feel my fingers anymore as my gloves are soaked. He pulls his gloves out of the engine and says , Old indian trick, they will dry em out while your stopped and at least make them warm Humm I didn't know old west Indians had motorcycles but I like it. Alaskan offers up his waterproofish gloves as he has an extra pair. Thank you sir they worked for a while but eventually gave in and it was freezing fingers again. Slow and cold that is the tempo
A day of cold rain riding at slow speeds through the park has us both wiped, Alaskan suggest eating at the Roosevelt Lodge in the park, Sounds good to me and for kicks I ask if any rooms available. Humm sir let me check .....nope and nothing for the next 3 months. What I figured. This place is pretty cool and worth a stop even if your not eating. I ordered the full rack of ribs and man o man they were tasty falling off the bone . I hung my jacket and gear on the back off the chair and created a nice pool of water as it continued to drip the hours of rain it collected.
The drive out of the park to Cook City was incredible and dry, amazing scenery everywhere you look.
Roll into cook city and luckily find a very reasonable room at the Soda Butte lodge. Considering everyone else was full a its Nice enough place, you wont find fuzzy robes but clean and not full. The parking lots full of Harley guys so I say hello fellow motorcycle afficianado and get the stink eye from several; whatever dude a hello back wouldn't crack your billy bad ass facade now go rub your bike with a diaper. Nice little bar in there as well, have one or two beers and we are done. I take out my phone and the bartender says No service here, Cook City is stuck in 1974 Long day so off to bed. Alaskan hangs all the gloves on the curtain rods explaining heat rises and they will dry quicker that way, Old Indian trick he says. Well they were dry in the morning so must work.
174 Miles with an average speed of 16 mph and learn its not the milage that counts but the time in the saddle. Tomorrow the Bear tooth and the pumpkin takes a nap.
Let it flow, let yourself go...
We get up earlyish and have a great breakfast at the hotel and Lost Alaskan is to head off home afterwards. As we are packing up he ask if I am up for a little dirt action. Shit ya man, just down to road he finds Miller Rd that tuns into Lulu pass rd. Off we go and I am following. The 990 is eating up the rough stuff and I am impressed, great little short trip with amazing views. This was the last bit of real dirt I would see for my trip.
As the great pumpkin 990 takes a rocky turn it decides to take a nap and blows up the windscreen. Luckily Lost Alaskan used to be a Russian power lifter in his previous life and is able to push the thing up as I am pulling from the other side. Upright he packs up the busted windscreen to the back ; I was thankful he didn't leave it on the trail and trash it up and hope everyone else out there would do the same. At the end of the trail we part ways. Great guy and really knows his stuff adios Lost Alaskan it was good times.
Now off to the Beartooth pass, no reason to muck it up with words I will let the Beartooth picture bomb do the talking. Pure badassness and every turn I would stop for more pics.
Now for the very long haul to Great Falls; nothing much to report except a near collision with a deer for the pirate riding a few hundred yards in front of me. So close even billy bad ass had to pull over to catch his breath. Ok now I am the deer hunter watching ever so close to the edges of the woods. Some pretty scenery along the way, love Montana.
Stop in White Sulfur Springs after this handy restaurant reminds me to Eat, big day there as the parking lot fills up.
I get into Great Falls late so have to grab a hotel want to be in town to get a new tire in the morning. Grab a 24 Oz big beer can (my friends call these Horse Coc$s) at the store down the road. I guess quads are street legal here as they are cruising down main street, kind of weird.
No true mile total for the day but I assume a lot, my gps ran tracks together for some reason.
Well after the very long day I woke up in my Hotel room and for the first time almost dreaded getting back on the bike. I walked outside and wanted to move the WR closer to my room. As soon as I started up and backed her out a smile went across my face, alright it was going to be another great day I suppose.
The night before I had researched the tires for my bike as my rear tire was almost bald at this point. I was going to walk into the Yamaha dealer and tell the proprietor Please sir I would like the Dunlop 606 please and he would remove them from his vast collection of tires. The reality was more to the effect of hummm what do we have that will fit your bike in stock ahhh the Trail wings, here you go.
I found Steves sports Center in Great Falls and these guys were great! Super friendly and everyone there seemed happy to be there, this is what I envisioned a bike shop to be. I asked for a favor if I could get squeezed in as quick as possible and they told me they treat travelers first. Boom right in for a new tire and oil change. They even let me watch them do the work in the shop in hopes I could learn something. I really like watching people who know what they are doing. Jake was the mechanic on bike and he was big into backcountry riding and camping as well. Nice guy and I cant recommend this place enough truly a pleasure to visit.
With a new shoe on the WR I was off to Glacier national park to ride the famous Highway to the sun. I told the guys in the shop and they said it was closed because of a mud slide. WTF? Really? a little check of the internet and sure enough a large section was closed but some was open, o well. I am headed there anyhow. Some long stretches of road with crazy wind blowing me around and the 75MPH speed limit is not fun on the WR in head winds.
When entering Blackfeet Indian reservation there was a pretty cool sculpture made out of old car parts, you can also see how bad the wind was as well. Maybe not an issue on a bike bike but brutal on the WR.
When I get to Glacier I go to several camping spots and everyplace is full, I even went to the primitive out of the way ones only to find them full as well. I eventually went to a KOA which are usually the worst and this one was crazy full. Even the gal working there said she had never seen it that full commenting it looked like a refugee camp. Much to my surprise the tent camping spot #13 was very secluded and felt much like any other State Park. Here are a few teaser pics of the park. No real milage for today as the GPS again ran tracks together .
Great report.... you had me chuckling at the Yellowstone "conversation". I was in Yellowstone the last week of July and the traffic/drivers was just plain stupid.
Well up early for me and I try to get into the park before it gets Yellowstone style. The mudslide is still blocking the Going to the sun road and wasn't expected to be cleared until 1 or 2 PM so I drive as far as I can turn around then make a giant loop around to the other side of the park and grab the other half up to where its blocked. Picture bombing commencing...
I used a Butler map of Montana to send me on a tad longer route but well worth it around Orthop Lake. I pulled into Eureka Montana on my way there for gas not knowing I was so close to Canada. I wanted to swing up to Canada and get International Adventure Rider status but no Passport on me, I would be a lowly domestic Adventure rider for now.
I had started to think I was somewhat hardcore since numerous people thought I was crazy to do this trip on basically a 250 dirt bike. I saw a guy on a road bicycle getting something to drink wearing a Lucky Labrador riding jersey from Portland Oregon. I asked if he was from there and he said he was actually from Seattle. Wow I said you rode that all the way from Seattle. Nope he replied, from Virginia. WTF!! He flew out there and has been riding back for about 4 months now. He was just doing it to do it and loving every minute of it.
You hear that .......pshhhhhh that was my ego being deflated and a reality check. This guy has peddled his ass all the way from Virginia on a seat way smaller than my Wolfman fender bag and as hard as my tire. That guy was hardcore like a diamond and I was hardcore like ummm an old bagel. Here I am thinking I am special doing this on a 250, stop whining about your seat and get rolling on your MOTOR cycle.
Rode around Orthop lake on the NF road on the west side of the lake which was all to myself and very scenic. The road was in rough shape and had more tar snakes than the Well of Soules ( get it?)
The folks at Black Dog Cycle works told me Sandpoint Idaho was the place to be so I was on my way. Beautiful drive and glad I chose the route. After grabbing something to eat I am surprised to find the campground full,
Mother trucker it was almost dark. Time to ride the bike like a crotch rocket and get to a hotel in Couer d’Alene. I stay in the first hotel I find, Super 8. I like to call it Super 8 ball since its full of meth tweekers. Long Long day and although the carpet is moist in the room its off to sleep. :stoned
:eek1 Holy crap I went 454 miles that day, didn't realize that until now. One more day to go until this ride report is put to sleep.
Up and Atom to the Super 8 Ball breakfast of powdered eggs. I see a few outlaw biker guys there, I avoid eye contact but I am dressed in my Klim jersey so they ask me about my bike. Nice enough folks to me but hoping they didn't shiv me with a toothbrush for riding a metric bike. I see them again later and they have a chopper in the back of a truck with Buddhist religious symbols or perhaps more likely Nazi Swastikas. Ahhh Super 8 ball where the cultures come together.
Time for a ride so I pick out some random route to avoid the freeways and go through beautiful farmland and cool small towns.
I land in Walla Walla and learn that a massive storm with hail is coming through, think I will stay here for a while.
Storm passes and its early I cant hang around in Walla Walla so F it Ill push on home to Portland.
Brilliant idea... I will take HWY 14 on the Washington side through the Columbia River Gorge home( those who know about the wind here know I am not exaggerating) . Hello wind, nice to meet you I am new to riding I haven't experienced what its like to ride in a hurricane yet so can you assist me with my continuing motorcycle education.
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I believe it was 75 MPH gust but I am no meteorologist could have been less. You know those Motorcycle use extreme caution signs, well they were blown all the way flat on the ground. Wanted a picture but I was scared to stop.
This was really scary bad with a few times feeling like I was going to be put on the ground having to pull over to catch my breath riding sideways. I felt my helmet shifting sideways on my head. This was stupid I was going to be blown into the other lane at some point not to mention I could barely maintain 55 much less the suggested 75 MPH I should have been lower down in the gorge on I -84 but no way to get off HWY 14.
I eventually stop in a cafe and there were several workers there who had been sent home because the wind was to bad at the job sites. Back on the bike and cross the bridge to Biggs Junction. I fill up my 3 gallon tank with yup 3.076 Gallons! Lucky I didn't run out of gas on the bridge coming across! I had been getting 200 miles a tank the whole trip and I was at 140 miles, Head wind = massive fuel economy drop, the education continues.
I push to Hood River and the wind stops, smooth sailing back to Portland where I get home safe and sound.
Never will I go ride the Gorge without first checking wind reports.
428 miles, another long day
So to recap, about 3500 miles and amazing amazing trip. Awaiting me at home is my toilet seat sent to me from Klim. No real issues and to answer the big bike question I was asked by several folks. I was glad I had my bike hundreds of times and wish I had a bigger bike a few times. I am no BigWan or Radek or other legends of the 990 so until I hone my skills the 250 will do me just fine. On a side note one month later inspired by LittleWan amazing ride reports I flew to Utah and bought an 09 Weestrom so me and my lady can go 2up, but on pavement and fire roads for now...baby steps folks. Thanks for watching, stay tuned as I just finished the WBCDR; Holy cow that was bad ace. Been riding since May and have over 7000 miles on the WR and another 2000 on the Strom. Thats it , I hope somebody pulls something useful from this or was mildly entertained. I have been super grateful for all the post on ADVrider as I learn my way around bikes. I never realized how much work people put into posting these things; they take forever to do.
Great ride report. I liked the Harley riders stink eye comment. Son and I pulled in to Lowell, Idaho this summer and got that look from a guy on a 1200 GS. He had every farkle imaginable on that bike and yet not one ounce of dust or dirt. He saw our filthy bikes and just sort of turned around and ignored us.
You're not wasting any time, are ya?
Riding since May and already 9K miles!
Getting ready for some 2up action...
The Washington Backcountry...
That's awesome, PDX A (that's your Beastie Boy name)!
looking forward to your next ride report.
Maybe you can make the photos just a tiny bit larger for the next one. Not huge, but a little bigger.
You take really nice pics!
Thanks ; not sure what's up with the some Harley guys and not waving either. I figure they are so new to riding perhaps they don't have the skills to ride with one hand.
O I usually run by the monikor DJ five ohhhh but PDX A, I like it ! Bigger pictures, done. Thanks. You Ms Wan take amazing pictures and my lady loves your reports! We are planning Alaska in June next year thanks to you guy! Yea 9k I have to make up for lost time and the only way to get better is time on the saddle
For those you find the bovine collision amusing, just watch this PSA and for those who don't believe me just ask this scientition. Given the chance a cow would kill you and everyone you care about!!
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