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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rebelpacket, Jul 27, 2013.
Definitely subscribed on this one. Love the way you're telling the story (and the ride sounds great too).
The man certainly does some stylish writing. Looking forward to more.
Brilliant thread - I have a Dnepr, a husky and . . . a broken ankle, so your story is going to make my summer pass soooo much better
How does Lola like the "doggles" ? Was it difficult to get her to use them? Love'n the story, thanks for sharing. In !
Awesome! Keep it coming. I'm following zina's report as well. You are both great writers.
Love your style mate ... I'm in
This is an awesome report. Man + dog + motorcycle + travel. That is almost everything I want out of life.
Awesome, great report! Keep it coming...
Totally want one someday.... Want a Yamal though and this one's sick:
Everything about this is awesome
Awesome! Would love to take a trip with my dog but the fiancé would probably be a bit put off. LOL. SUB.... scribed!!
Folks, let me tell you what some might consider a lesser known fact about cows. During the day, they make all sorts of noises to one another. After they are all bedded in for the night? THEY NEVER STOP. I was sleeping in the middle of a herd, and the symphony of mooing and braying never ended. For all I could tell, I must have wandered into a secret bovine nightclub. The only thing missing was some gold chains and dance music.
The early morning sunrise made up for any trouble I had falling asleep next to the cheeseburger dance party last night. Every color of pink and orange was streaming over the horizon in a beautiful show of lights and colors. A slowly spreading pink and orange glow cast over every reflective surface. Rather than rush to pack up camp and get on the road, I made a cup of coffee, sat down and spent 20 minutes watching the world wake up.
Like most other popular mountain towns, Jackson was in full swing with the 4th of July right around the earths rotation. I stopped at a small gas station/market just outside of the main town to gas up and munch on a breakfast burrito. Eggs and sausage the label said, though none of either could be found anywhere in what I was eating. “Must be mislabeled” I told myself with a slight wince. I’d probably regret this immensely in a couple hours.
We crawled slowly up the Teton pass highway out of Jackson, on our way into Idaho. Steep grades and winding roads meant 2nd gear was the only option for efficient forward movement. More RV’s and vacationers with scowls on their face stacked up behind me, as the weird sidecar slowly chugs up over the pass.
I stopped at the top of the pass to let the Ural cool down, and the train of scowling motorists to go on by. Lola jumped out of the sidecar (doggles still on) and starting trying to inch down the rocky slope, ears and nose at defcon 2.
Thankfully, her desire not to topple down a rocky cliff was greater than that of a furry marmot snack, and she hopped back into the sidecar.
The Ural cruised happily at 45 mph through the valleys and foothills. The Tetons providing a beautiful backdrop to the scenery on the right, with the comparatively tame peaks of Squirrel, Henderson and Manning mountains balancing out the left.
I developed a bit of a “homing beacon” action after crossing into Montana, and just beelined for Bozeman. There are plenty of beautiful picture opportunities along 191 that I could have stopped for, but I’ve driven that road so many times that the images are etched into my head permanently.
I stopped by my buddy L-Train’s metal shop and caught up with him. He usually has his dog at the shop with him, but had it with a friend when I stopped by. Lola made sure to pee on all the usual places. Dish is gonna need to come into work tomorrow with a fully loaded bladder.
I finally pulled into my buddy Mac’s house (pictured next to his KLR above) around 4 pm and unloaded the Ural. Tired, smelling of a unique blend of body odor, bugs and gear oil, I had to get cleaned up. Lola laid down immediately and caught up with her nap times.
I ran into my friends Bean & Summer while unloading the Ural at Mac's. Bean (being the fine gentleman he is) immediately offered me a cold beer and some water for Lola. When he asked if I could move the rig so he could run some errands, I just told him to take it. Summer was a bit hesitant to be in the “monkey” position, but you’d never know it by the huge smile on her face when they returned.
Later that night? Ping-pong.
In the circle of friends in Bozeman, there is a not-so-secret legion of ping-pong players. Every Wednesday night, pongee’s of all ages, backgrounds and political orientations, collect at a specific venue (which is decided over pints at the Bozeman Brewing Company) and play pong.
Sometimes the games go until 9 or 10pm, while other nights go until the hour of regret (named so for the impulsive Taco Bell food you usually purchase around this time). The attendance fluctuates from 5-25 people, depending on the season. Its serious business; as serious as anything you do while holding 16 ounces of fermented barley is. House rules vary with location, and are only available verbally from several old masters that frequent every night.
There are laughs, loud exclamations of incredible shots or returns, and general merriment as friends (old and new) get together to catch up and enjoy trading lies and kicking tires. Over the years Lola has gotten pretty good about finding the errant balls around each venue and returning them to the server (as long as you don’t mind some slobber).
I have yet to find anyone with a ping-pong table and a regular schedule of play in Colorado Springs, so riding into town on the most holy of days is pretty special.
We stumbled back to the house around 2:00am and I passed out almost immediately.
Total mileage: 233. Total pong games: 5.
She likes them (a relative term) while we are moving. If we are stopped however, I need to take them off right away. Any delay in the hasty removal of the doggles, and she'll roll around trying to get them off.
Thanks! That one is a little bling'ed out though. You can get by without half of that stuff (which only makes a heavy bike heavier). You'd probably do well to find a 2007 and later model used.
Whoopa - this should be good. Thoughts of my Montana days but I was too poor then for a bike. I do however, recall racing a dualsport for best lap times inside a friends home in Motown one late winter evening long ago. :eek1
Pong is like bocce' ball. There are definate local hotbeds.
Say hello to the Buttians - "A mile high, a mile deep and the only place wher the people are on the level."
That is exactly how my Lola is with the Doggles. Fine when moving, trying to get them off as soon as the engine is off.
No miles today. Waking up in a fog after a banner pong night, only confirmed that I was out of drinking shape. Mac got busy making some coffee and a breakfast scramble which did wonderful things to make me feel like a human being again.
I took a coffee to go, and we made the long 20 yard commute across the alley, to my buddy Ians garage where the Ural was parked. Spent the afternoon changing the oils, checking valves, air filters and testing just about every bolt to ensure it wasnt planning on departing during the rest of the ride.
A great dinner with Kaits parents Joel and Gail, followed up by watching fireworks and drinking beer on Ians roof. While not the safest way to enjoy airborne explosions, it certainly gave us the best view.
Tomorrow, the road awaits.
Dawn came abruptly with the sound of distant thunder, and the light plopping of gentle showers. Im all for getting an early start on a long ride, but I prefer my showers to be heated when possible, so I went back to sleep for a few hours, hoping it would pass.
By 9:00am, the troubling skies had pushed south east, and the sun was doing its level best to shine through the clouds. I loaded up the Ural and we bid goodbye to all friends who were among the living. By the time we made it past Three Forks, the sun was shining in abundance, drying up the small puddles from the mornings thunder-shower.
The Wheat Montana store at the intersection of 287 and I-90 is a must-stop for those who have never been there. Great pastries, burritos, sandwiches, and you can look upon the wheat fields where your meal was grown.
As I pulled into the parking lot a short, stocky, barrel of a man got out of his car and immediately started fast-walking towards me. A large bushy mustache covered half of the big grin he was wearing as he walked, so I didnt think he wanted to beat me up and steal the rig.
Is Russian motor-sickle? Ural?
the barrel-man asked in a thick eastern accent.
Sure is, a 2011 Gear Up!, I replied while removing my riding gloves.
I have sa-same motor-sickle in Vladivostok!
the moustache exclaimed proudly while circling the rig, poking and prodding at several things.
Is very good. Kahneshna!
said the ex-russian, seemingly to himself. He then peered around me at the speedometer, noting the mileage.
Ahh! Is not broken in yet! laughing heartily to himself (and probably at me).
He ended the conversation and walked away just as quickly as it had begun. As he drove away, he shouted from the window Du-sudanya! which I think means Good luck.
287 into Helena is a straight, flat long ordeal. Stacked up semi-trucks, RVs, and hoss-trucks towing large boats meant I was getting passed like Rosie O'donnell at a marathon. When a double-long trailer whips by you at 80mph on a 2-lane road, its a little unnerving.
When we gassed up in Helena, some off-leash kids wandered over (about 5 and 6) and immediately ran over to start petting Lola. Half a minute later, a very angry and distraught mother rounded the corner, yelled at the kids, and gave my own mother a run for the worst death glare ever. The whole interaction left Lola and I both a little confused.
Out of Helena, US 12 narrows down, and starts to wind up McDonald pass in long, obtuse curves. The trees grow a little smaller and the views near the top are pretty impressive. I pulled over to take some photos of the view, when I spotted a silver crown vic pull sharply into the turnout from the road. The turn and stop was so violent, I was sure the law had caught up to me. Did I do something wrong officer? I -know- I wasnt speeding.
Nope. No impeding traffic tickets. Just a bunch of elderly ladies and a guy on their way through Montana for summer vacation. They saw Lola in the sidecar and had to stop for some pets. In a span of 45 minutes, we'd experienced diametric views on dogs. The world is a pretty cool place.
Over the pass with a slight tailwind, the Ural glided effortlessly through lush green valleys and rolling hills. Since it was all pretty interesting, Lola sat and sniffed as the world went by, rather than nap in her usual fashion.
On RT 200, some nice sweeping bends and cool air made the ride as enjoyable as it has ever been. Hard to quantify into words, there is an ethereal sensation that overcomes some motorcyclists when the joy of scenery, road and mechanical confidence intersect. Its not easy to reproduce or explain to others, but riders know when they feel it.
As we neared Seeley lake, Lola gave me the look. Hey dude. Im tired. Lets find somewhere to camp and poop. I couldnt argue with that.
Seeley lake is a pretty popular destination for Montanans and out-of-staters alike. All of the official are campgrounds booked solid, and rolling through them only reinforced the instinct that I should get as far away as I could. I found this first spot on a forest service road about 5 miles out.
After Lola rolled in some bear scat, and I had swatted about 30 mosquitos, we decided we should find a better site. Maybe something a little closer to the campers, and a little further away from the large animals with no known natural predators.
The second choice was much better. Though the access road was a little more popular (I saw three cars, instead of none), the mosquitos didnt hang around much. Old filled-in campfire rings made it clear that other relatively responsible people had camped here before.
Almost as soon as I had the tent up, Lola hopped in and went to sleep. I clipped the bear-bells on her just in case she decided to explore later.
This was tonights dinner. Hot tang, freeze-dried Lasagna and a granola bar. I think people give Tang a bad rap. Its got lots of Vitamin C, is good hot or cold, and you can make a pretty good camp-screwdriver if you spill some vodka in your mug. Then again, maybe I never got over that whole Its space orange-juice! hype from my formative years.
Swollen clouds started to roll in, so I called it an early night around 8pm.
Todays Mileage: 224 miles
Two key pictures triggered these comments:
1. How natural that Ural sits on the forest road.
2. Dogs invented motorcycles and their riders. Odors and fragrances...
Way to go