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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by motomacs, Sep 22, 2013.
Ooh, missed the Pony. Wish I had known. I doubt I'd have had as good a story though.
Left Top of the World this morning and continued west on Hwy 212 through Yellowstone.
I stopped for coffee and breakfast in Cooke City.
I encountered a herd of buffalo in the road.
And this guy who wanted to race.
I was still off schedule for Old Faithful so I took another pass on it. I did stop at a couple of hot springs.
I exited the park at West Yellowstone and took Hwy 87 to 287 north to Ennis.
I got my first look at the Gravely Range, my reason for coming here.
When I got to Ennis I cruised the main street and settled on the Riverside Motel. It was clean quiet and a quarter mile from main street bars and restaurants.
It was right next to a nice city park with some walking/running paths along the river. I tried to go for a run at dusk but had to go back for my camera.
I must have seen 50 mule deer
...and this was going on behind the motel.
August 27, 2013
I went to the Ennis Pharmacy for their $4.95 breakfast special- fruit, eggs, toast and coffee.
I backed off the preload on my shock and dropped 4# out of the tires front and back- still road pressures but not fully loaded road pressures.
Headed off to Gravely Range Rd. equipped with Forest Service maps of the roads closed due to fire. I had stopped at the Forest Service office the previous afternoon to find out about the road closures.
I passed a few antelope in the lower fields on my way up. Stunning area; great riding.
Gravely Range Road
When I came to the barricade for the fire closure I went down 347(Eureka Basin Rd) which went out to Hwy 287 then Hwy 87 to Red Rock Lakes Rd.
I turned right onto Stibal Ln. then turned north when I reached Continental Divide Rd where I came upon several bunches of cattle. Click photo for video.
I stopped to put my Go-pro away as the battery had run out. There was a herd of horses about 300 yards from where I pulled over.
I was thinking I might get some still photos of them after putting the Go-pro away. They got very curious while I was busy. I took this video of them with my Sony Cybershot. Click the photo for video. Just call me the horse whisperer.
Ruby Creek Rd brought me out onto Hwy 287 in Alder, west of Virginia City. I had a long day of beautiful riding and I was getting worried about my gas situation so I was glad to reach a town. Unfortunately the only gas station had only 85 octane gas. I still had a gallon in my rotopax so I pressed on. I got all the way back to Ennis. 216 miles on 3.45 gallons so I didn't have to get into my spare can. It averaged 62.6 miles to the gallon. I love this bike.
I had a really nice dinner at Banditos- southwestern cuisine. The food was all fresh, prepared with great care, elegantly presented and the service was outstanding. Since I was dining alone I grabbed a book from the bookshelf on my way in. Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone by Thomas Turiano- amazing book. The owner noticed me reading it and came over to comment on it. Apparently it has out of print for a while..I checked when I got home. Copies are selling for between $350 and $1000. Facinating read very well researched.
Afterward I went across to the Sports Bar which also sells locally made ice cream. While I was waiting for the waitress I overheard two Montana State Troopers talking BMW GS's. I was sitting outside eating my ice cream when they walked out.
One trooper says" Are you going to eat all that" "I'm going to try" I said. That gave me the opening to ask about the GS talk which led to a conversation about them, traveling on bikes,my trip, etc. He left but then returned from his cruiser with 2 " Watch for Motorcycles" stickers from the Montana State Police. Very cool souvenir. Packs small, free, you can't buy one. Wished I had asked to take his picture. Nice guy.
August 28, 2013
Breakfast special at Ennis Pharmacy again. It got me through 216 miles and 9 hours yesterday. Now that is a good deal.
Off to Missoula today for an overdue oil change.
Looking back at Ennis Montana.
I decided to just follow the GPS direct route so I could get to Missoula in time to get the service done this afternoon.
I did have to ride a little stretch of Rte 41 outside of Butte 3 times just for fun.
I got settled into the motel (Val U Inn) at 3:30. All the gear off the bike and took off for the dealer.
Best dealer experience ever. I wasn't sure if they would be willing to do the service that late in the afternoon but they had it in and out in an hour while I had a great enchilada with excellent refried beans and rice next door.
The bike really needed a bath after 2 hours of rain on the dirt roads yesterday afternoon and an hour of rain on the highway today.I found a car wash, sprayed the bike off and was back at the hotel by 5:15.
The hotel has a big plate of fresh baked cookies at the front desk for guests.
August 29, 2013
The GoPro battery I bought yesterday was the wrong one so off to return it. I took 14 pounds worth of stuff I was tired of carrying to the UPS store and shipped it home. That makes a total of 25 pounds I have sent home.
I found the right batteries at Wallmart and bought two.
I was overheated and irritated at my late start, hungry because the continental breakfast was awful. Nescafe coffee machine- yuck.
I had forgotten to enter the address where I was staying and couldn't see the screen in the hot sun. All I wanted was to get out of Missoula with it's city traffic and heat. I couldn't get the GPS to recognize the street so just picked any street in the town I had entered and left following the directions.
Nine miles east of Missoula I realized I had entered West Yellowstone as the city instead of West Glacier which was why it didn't recognize the street. I took the next exit which had a travel plaza and a fantastic Espesso kiosk in the parking lot. I bought a mocha and set about correcting my GPS entry.
I finally started toward my destination at 12 noon.
In a much better frame of mind after the mocha the day finally sorted itself.
I stopped here on Hwy 93 to get rid of the mocha. I'll never think of "pit vipers" the same way again.
The Mission Range
I arrived the KOA in West Glacier at 2:30. I unpacked , stripped the bike and headed out to see what there was to see nearby and score a piece of huckleberry pie. I got the pie (very good) and headed out to Hungry Horse reservoir.
South Lion Head Lake -The light was very strange as there was a huge thunderstorm coming up behind me.
I didn't get very far before the building thunder and lightening turned me for home.
I got back to camp with just enough time to get my gear inside before it really cut loose. High winds and heavy rain and soon the power was out.
I waited until it blew over and went back into town for dinner. There was a long wait at the restaurant as everyone else without power was there, too.
Afterwards I took a short drive to charge my phone in case the power was not restored.
I took some sunset pictures
and returned to the campground to find the power back on.
Going To The Sun Road tomorrow.
Glad to see some more posts on your trip, Mary. Cool.
Keep it up Mary, I am having serious Montana withdrawals and your report is helping a lot.
Happy to oblige, Siyeh. Here ya' go.
August 30, 2013
Grey overcast morning. Forecast says it will burn off and be 80 degrees. I had breakfast at the campground. Watery coffee, cold eggs and bacon.
Headed to Going To The Sun Road.
I got a half hour in and it was obviously not going to clear enough to get any photos or video so I went back to camp for my passport. I decided to go to Cardston Alberta to the Remington Carriage Museum and maybe Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. No idea what that is about but with a name like that it is worth investigating.
By the time I got to the to the interesting part of GTTSR it was raining.
Clouds obscured the summits.
I took some photos and video anyway. Click the photo for embedded video.
It was breathtakingly beautiful.
I got to the Canadian border and there was the sun!
The Carriage Museum was awesome. I used to have a team of roan Belgian draft horses so it was really great to see such a large number of preserved carriages, wagons and task specific equipment. Huge well maintained collection with lots of exhibits explaining the uses of the vehicles and way of life in the periods they represented.
This is a Concord Coach made by the Abbott-Downing Company in Concord , N.H. The Abbott- Downing factory building is now a dry cleaners.
They just don't make stuff like this anymore.
Very well done.
It turns out that Cardston is the birthplace of George Wolfe, Seabiscuit's jockey. The museum had a room devoted to him and a bronze statue of him riding Seabicuit in the stable yard.
They give carriage rides and keep the stable and grounds immaculate.Not to be missed.
I left for Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump.
Not much happening here.
The wind in Alberta had been trying to tear my head off to the right for an hour and I now got another hour and a half of this. Just torture. By the time I got to the site I had no time to go in. It required remote parking and taking a shuttle in. They lost me there. My bike goes or I don't go. So I turned for home and 2 hours of having my head ripped off to the left.
These guys were waiting at the border of the Blackfeet Nation.
Back over Going To The Sun Road under somewhat improved conditions.
I got back to West Glacier just before dusk. I ate at the same grill as last night and went back to the KOA.
Something happened while I was gone. My peaceful little loop was overrun with screaming children and screaming parents and barking dogs.
I have completely lost track of time. Not only do I not know the day or date but somehow the fact that I was going to Glacier National Park on Labor Day weekend escaped me. Hazard of not having a plan I guess.
Oh well , I'm leaving in the morning.
I hope to return here to hike when I have more time. Glacier is the most beautiful place I have been.
Great pictures that really make me miss one of my favorite areas of the US. Plus, brings back so many memories of my travels through that beautiful country. Thanks for taking the time and the work of letting us follow your journey.
achesley- Thanks for following. It is always nice to know someone is enjoying the report. I have seen some beautiful places on this trip but Glacier really exceeded my expectations.
Great pics Mary. Thanks for doing this. I have been rambling around those mountains of Glacier for about 45 years. Have climbed most of the ones you posted pics of.(and about 80 others) Nice shot of Red Eagle Mtn. You were so close to my cousin's cabin you could have spit on it. Here it is down on the cove on Lower St Mary Lake:
Tis my second home. If you ever want to climb some of those piles of rocks let me know.
Amazing photo. What a spot for a cabin!
Glacier is definitely a place that needs more attention than I had time to give it. Gotta go back.
Great ride report! Thank you for taking the time and effort.
Glacier has it's hooks in me real deep. I can't find a better place on this Earth. We always stay at the cabin when we are not in the backcountry. If you think the views from the Going To Sun Highway are great, just wait til you wander away from it. Incredible.
Am eager to view your next installment
doing a great job girl!
Awesome trip and pics.
Most excellent !
Thanks for the encouragement. UPS is keeping me pretty busy right now.
Here is a little more Going to the Sun Road. click photo for video.[/url][/IMG]
August 31 -Where did a month go?
Packed and set up the Go Pro for a Labor Day video of GTTSR. Slow but beautiful. Camera worked great.
It was a beautiful sunny morning on Lake MacDonald.
I had checked the trail ride schedule and thought if I got to the 12:30 2 hour ride I could still make my hotel in Helena before dark. I made it on time and spent 2 hours or so plodding along on Beauford a 1/2 draft 1/2 quarter horse up behind St Mary's Lake.
It was 4 when I left Many Glaciers. Rode hard straight through to get off the road by dark.
The shadows were getting long before I got to Helena.
My reservation was at Jorgenson's Motel. It was perfect for me. Park outside the room door. Room was clean,wifi worked great, good bed. The restaurant served until 10. Complimentary full breakfast in the morning. Carpet in the dining room had seen better days and the building it was in was a bit musty smelling. My room was fine though. Price was right.
just read your report from the beginning. It's been a while since I was out that way but I'm eager to go back. Maybe riding in the trees and forests of the east so much is why the west is my favorite place...
I'm really enjoying your photos and commentary - thanks for posting!
Thanks for following. I'm glad you enjoyed it!