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2 Dirtbags do a Western Stomp - UT WY ID MT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Eastbay Dirtbag, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Thanks. We loved Idaho too. So much to ride and explore.
    Thanks. Yes, that route is terrific because it follows the ridgeline for so long providing those awesome views.
    It's not fun hiking in riding gear.
    #81
  2. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Day 9 Sheridan to Ten Sleep WY, 135 miles (~50% dirt)
    - Some rerouting and more wonderful backroads in The Big Wonderful.
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    The night before we watched a big storm hit the Big Horns. We had a great vantage point from our hotel of the black clouds and lightning. Our planned route through the mountains would have to change.

    We liked the little roads to Dayton so much we decided to re-run those back to Hwy 14.
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    We continued on Hwy 14, which swings south through scenic Shell Canyon. We could see muddy side roads and knew we made the right choice to take pavement over the mountains.

    Shell Creek squeezes through a gorge with several waterfalls. It was running fast after the rains.
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    At the community of Shell we tried taking Trapper Creek Road south. It started out paved through picturesque farmland.
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    Then became dirt skirting the foothills.
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    But it had some muddy gullies and steep, rutted clay hills that would be too risky until they dried. Back to the highway!
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    We re-routed onto Red Gulch Road. (The red dotted route). This was a fun Byway rolling through sage land with big vistas.
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    We checked out the Tracksite but couldn’t really see the tracks in the bright sun.
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    Love these empty roads!
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    Red Gulch Rd got rougher and rutted toward the end. I was zipping along and said to myself: "Self, now might be a good time to slow down." I was slowing and caught a deeper rut in a curve. I almost got stopped before impact. No harm done except to pride.

    The Byway connected to Alkali Road.
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    That took us through sleepy Hyattville.
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    The road is dirt until a couple miles from Ten Sleep.

    We went to the brewery just outside of town but they did not serve food other than microwaved pizza.

    We got a surprisingly good lunch at the cafe across from the market. Salmon. Yum.
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    We stayed at the Carter Motel which is one of two places in town. It was nice enough but a little pricey considering they do not provide breakfast.

    We had dinner at the Big Horn Bar and the place filled up. Get there early to get a table.
    #82
    Aikenrunner, td63, bomose and 4 others like this.
  3. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,571
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    Enjoying the ride report. Thanks for taking the time to go back through your records and photos to write it up. :clap

    Last year, I met some home builders from Big Sky and Bozeman,
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    and asked about Jack Creek Road. They said workers in Big Sky that live in Ennis can get permission to use that road. They also told me if I went to Moonlight Basin and applied for a permit, I could probably get a one time permit for $20 after showing insurance papers. But they said the road isn't that great - dusty as you mentioned. But I kind of want to do it once just to say I have.

    I have the hunting app called OnX which does a very good job of showing property boundaries. And it has just added (for $$$) MVUM's. I also follow a podcast Meateater and since they are now headquartered in Montana, land access laws for Montana receive some coverage and there are some oddities. But every state has them. As you found, lots of landowners try to intimidate you into not using legal roads with misleading signage.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write this up. I hope to head up there in May depending on how the Covid 19 closure rules morph.
    #83
    td63 likes this.
  4. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Closer than before
    The cars driving fast on Jack Crk Rd were probably the workers you mention. It was scenic from Ennis to the Jack Creek canyon but the gated section was really dusty and not that scenic or special. You would not be missing much.
    #84
  5. aDave

    aDave Lovin' Life!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    212
    Location:
    the Ozark suburbs
    Really enjoying your report. I don't know much about this area. I'd love to get your impression of your bikes and gear. You Appear to be traveling pretty light in some remote country.

    Thank you,
    Dave
    #85
  6. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Thanks. The first part -- bikes:
    From my "conversation" with the imaginary sheriff, we really do feel the DRZs are a good compromise between weight and power for adventure touring. We have had about 7 of them over 13 years. All have been mechanically reliable. My very first one in '07 had an electrical gremlin that ate batteries. The others have been fine. We have been all over the West and Southwest on them.

    We keep watching the new bikes that come out, but haven't seen anything that checks all the boxes. A big plus with the DRZ is it fits both of us -- with changes to bars, seats, and pegs -- which 1) we can move to a new bike each time and 2) carry fewer spare parts and tools.

    With bigger tanks they have the range we need. Our luggage works with the stock rack.

    Second part -- gear: This was my response a few weeks ago on another of my threads to a similar question.
    We do not carry camping gear. Preventative maintenance is really the key to not getting stuck. That and never ride alone!
    We rode 25,000 miles last year and our only mechanical issues were two failed headlight bulbs.

    The Hubby's system is the 4T's:
    - Tools: Enough to fix the problem or improvise.
    - Tow rope: If it can't be fixed.
    - Two-up: If it can't be towed.
    - Temporary shelter: Rain gear and warm layers. A motorcycle cover will also work if you carry one or consider an emergency bivy like this
    https://www.rei.com/product/891011/sol-escape-lite-bivy

    On that same thread, I provided our packing lists in Post #78:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/2-dirtbags-do-northern-az-southern-ut.1415168/page-4
    #86
  7. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Day 10 Ten Sleep to Lander WY, 165 miles (~40% dirt)
    - Great backroads through mountains and high plains.
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    We had originally planned a couple days exploring the mountains near Dubois and Pinedale. The weather forecast put the kibosh on that. We rerouted to Lander.

    We returned to the Big Horn Bar for breakfast before hitting scenic WY434 south. It's paved for 21 miles before becoming dirt Cr-82 through lovely remote ranch land.
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    Weird mud and slime in a puddle.
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    At the start of the dirt
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    Isolated ranches. We only saw one vehicle in 44 miles until the tiny community of Lysite.
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    This route was really nice. The photos don't do it justice. There was another green valley tucked in the mountains but I didn't get pics.
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    Lots of pronghorn in the sage
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    There were houses near Lysite right across the road from some of these signs.
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    Lysite cemetery a short way off the main road with a pronghorn in the background...
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    ...and a gas well
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    In the cemetery. Maybe it didn’t read the poison gas sign.
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    View of pond and the gas plant from the cemetery. This cemetery had it all!
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    We continued south on Castle Gardens Rd through badlands. There is a Petroglyph site with hoodoos out here but we did not visit it. https://www.blm.gov/visit/castle-gardens-petroglyph-site

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    We had lunch in Riverton at a Mexican restaurant then took a paved road through the Wind River Reservation. That road re-joined the highway at Hudson.

    In Lander we settled into the Rodeway Pronghorn Lodge. There was a Mountain Bike Festival in town and the place was hopping. We had dinner at the restaurant next door and soon there was a line out the door.

    Then it poured and hailed. An unplanned bike wash.
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    #87
  8. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Day 11 Lander WY to Vernal UT, 227 miles (0% dirt)
    - A paved yet pleasant end to the Western Stomp.

    Between yesterday's deluge and the rainy forecast, it was time to bail back to Vernal.
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    We didn't take many pics today so I'm going to borrow some from our GDR trip.
    The climb out of Lander is photo worthy.
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    It was chilly so the Hubby decided to try out his new rainsuit. Spot the Hi-Viz Dirtbag near the Oregon Trail marker.
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    There are two markers along Hwy 28. One of them was installed on the wrong trail but was left there anyway.

    The GDR crosses near here too.
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    We rolled through sage country and greener ranch land near Farson then picked up Hwy 191.

    We gassed up in Rock Springs. There are small gas stations entering town. The bigger (and quicker) ones are along the interstate.

    We continued on Hwy 191 and climbed into the hills east of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
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    There are a handful of dirt roads near the Gorge to explore. Next time!

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    We dropped into Dutch John for lunch at a sketchy looking place in the Phillips 66. There aren’t too many choices around here but next time I would go elsewhere or pack a lunch.

    The road crosses the dam then twists and climbs into the mountains. Near Red Canyon we intersected our route from the first day and backtracked into Vernal. Didn't see Carl this time.

    It was a very good trip even though the weather forced some changes. Almost all of it was new to us except a couple stretches in Idaho, which we enjoyed re-riding.

    Thanks for riding along, :wave
    EBDB
    #88
    Dusty, dano619, snglfin and 12 others like this.
  9. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,295
    Thank you for taking the time to write this up. Gave us all a break from what has become a mostly miserable time in our homes!
    #89
    td63 likes this.
  10. Critic

    Critic More or less!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,179
    Location:
    West of the Illinois, heart of the state!
    It is always a joy to follow your ride reports; makes me want to go there and ride your tracks!
    Cheers and stay healthy!
    #90
  11. LMSB

    LMSB Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Utah
    Thanks for refreshing my memories. I have ridden a lot of those roads and hope to get out and explore....Nature rules!
    #91
    RedDogAlberta likes this.
  12. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21,393
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Also thanks from here. Many memories. Many of your routes were not so far from southern Alberta.
    #92
  13. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    Your trip reports are always enjoyable.
    #93
  14. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Thanks to all for the kind words.

    If you're interested in those areas, check out some of my other RRs:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/2-di...e-with-sidetrips-plus-idaho-backroads.921532/

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/2-dirtbags-dualsport-idaho.542967/

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/2-dirtbags-on-the-continental-divide.181499/
    #94
    td63 likes this.
  15. Bill Dirt

    Bill Dirt Trooper

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Florida
    I am doing my research for my 2021 ride, thanks for the great report!
    #95
  16. TomR1

    TomR1 n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2017
    Oddometer:
    8
    Great report! I too have a DRZ! As far as Jack Creek goes, its been that way for the forty years that I've been going up there. The one good thing, keeps the traffic down from Bozeman.
    You can thank Ted Turner, Tom Brokaw and other rich ass clowns for screwing up land access in Montana.
    #96
    pratered likes this.
  17. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,596
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Great report and photos. Thank you to both of you.

    I love reading a trip report that I have done _part_ of. It is great fun to find new roads in beautiful areas.
    Thanks again.
    #97