50 Years Later, Another Ride Across The USA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bat7, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 8: Moscow Idaho to Missoula Montana. Another great day of riding over one of the best motorcycle routes in the country: US Highway 12, AKA the New Perce Trail and the Lewis and Clark Trail, over Lolo Pass. The weather was near perfect: 70's and sunny with some clouds until the final section in to Missoula, where temps were in the mid to upper 80's. Many twists and turns, with significant elevation changes.
    IMG_20210708_083615068.jpg
    I took US95 from Moscow to Lewiston Idaho, where I turned onto 12. This view is from the top of the hill overlooking Lewiston and Clarkston Washington. Lewiston is on the left side of the Snake River and Clarkston is on the right. The Clearwater River runs through Lewiston into the Snake.The road snaking down the hill is old 95, which is the route I used back in the mid 1970's, 10 miles of what you see here. The new 4 lane 95 is somewhat less twisty, but is still a 6 or 7 percent grade all the way down. The old road could get interesting in the winter when there could be compact snow and ice. Chains and good winter driving skills were highly advisable.
    IMG_20210708_121711638_HDR.jpg
    Here I am taking a break on the top of Lolo Pass before the easy going run into Missoula.
    Mick
    #81
    CaptUglyDan, DC950, motofshr and 10 others like this.
  2. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 9: Missoula to Great Falls Montana via Montana Highway 200. Another day of near perfect weather for a ride on a scenic mountain highway. There was very little traffic until I was fairly close to Great Falls. It seems to me that while US 50 through Nevada has been styled the loneliest highway, there are any number of highways in the mountain West that are every bit as lonely.
    IMG_20210709_113919904_HDR.jpg
    The view toward 5610 foot Rogers Pass from the Eastern side of the continental divide. Most of the ride to this point and somewhat beyond was through high mountain forest with very few population center. I did notice the small town of Lincoln Montana was preparing for the Lincoln Rally in the Valley, which would explain why much of the little traffic I saw was on Harley Davidsons. As the town seemed to consist largely of casinos, I was not tempted to stay. I may go to the ADV Fest in Sturgis next weekend though.
    A few miles past Rogers Pass I entered the rolling hills of the high plains. Mile after mile of grasslands, with far more cattle than people.
    Mick
    #82
    CaptUglyDan, NSFW, DaleE and 6 others like this.
  3. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Another small town I passed through yesterday was Ovando, which is near the location where the grizzly bear thought to have killed someone was itself killed. I didn't see any wildlife yesterday, just lots of cattle.
    Mick
    #83
    staticPort and wilddoktor like this.
  4. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,384
    Further to that theme of death and destruction, Lincoln was the home of the unabomber.
    #84
  5. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 10: today was a day of exploring Great Falls. I visited the C. M. Russell Museum and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
    IMG_20210710_114512211.jpg
    Prairie flowers and shrubs, with Missouri River in background.
    IMG_20210710_115217543.jpg
    Missouri River, as seen from Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
    IMG_20210710_120636213.jpg
    Black Eagle Falls and dam. This is the last of the five falls that were a major ordeal for the Lewis and Clark party. The portage around the falls plus the time recuperating and repairing equipment delayed them a month rather the half a day they had expected, based on information they had received from the Hidatsas and Mandate.
    Mick
    #85
    CaptUglyDan, bergy, NaMi and 10 others like this.
  6. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,288
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Awesome ride and photos, in another 20yrs I hope I'm doing what you are!
    #86
    NCJ likes this.
  7. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 11: another day exploring Great Falls, preparing for further riding, and resting.
    July 12: Great Falls to Billings Montana. Another day on the high plains, with many miles of straight, flat highway, punctuated by occasional turns and elevation changes. Very light traffic, I could sometimes go many miles without seeing another vehicle. Definitely an area where it helps to be self-reliant. Cool temps until I reached Billings, but there was considerable haze, which I suspect was caused by wildfires in the area.
    IMG_20210712_115051574_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20210712_115111364.jpg
    High plains scenery.
    Mick
    #87
    CaptUglyDan, NaMi, DaleE and 6 others like this.
  8. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 13: Billings to Sheridan Wyoming. Relatively short ride today. As weather forecast called for potential severe thunderstorm, with hail, I opted to make a high speed run on I90. As it turned out, the storm never materialized. However, there were strong, gusty cross winds that kept things somewhat challenging. I will stay in Sheridan until Thursday morning. Then, I plan to go to Sturgis for the 1st Annual ADV Fest.
    IMG_20210713_105508576.jpg
    IMG_20210713_105537993.jpg
    I stopped at the Little Bighorn National Memorial. The white markers indicate where members of Custer's command died. By following the trail of markers you can visualize how the battle unfolded. There is also a memorial for the Indians who fell protecting their way of life.
    IMG_20210713_110454127.jpg
    Old wagon and cabin.
    Mick
    #88
  9. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    I just saw on the news the North Cascades Highway I rode last week has now been closed through the coming weekend due to three wildfires West of Winthrop, which is where I stayed last Tuesday night.
    Mick
    #89
    lookatdirt likes this.
  10. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 14: Sheridan area. Visited the Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site, which was established to protect travelers on the Bozeman Trail.
    IMG_20210714_112124208_HDR.jpg
    The stockade shown here is a replica. The original fort was burned by Indians after the US abandoned all three of the Bozeman Trail in accordance with the terms of the treaty concluding Red Cloud's War.
    IMG_20210714_113708658.jpg
    Fetterman Massacre Monument. This where Captain Fetterman and all 80 men under his command were lured into a trap and died as a result of Captain Fetterman disobeying a direct order. The US Army did not suffer another defeat of this magnitude until 10 years later at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, when Colonel Custer and his immediate command met the same fate.
    Mick
    #90
    NaMi, Kyron, staticPort and 4 others like this.
  11. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 15: Sheridan to Sturgis, South Dakota. Another excellent day for a ride. I took US87 to Buffalo, Wyoming, where I had breakfast at the Main Street Diner, which is across the street from the historic Occidental Hotel. The diner is a classic small town place, with three booths, one small table and a row of counter stools. The sort of local place I prefer when traveling. Buffalo is the county seat of Johnson County, where the Johnson County War took place when large ranchers hired a group of Texas gunmen to rid the county of small ranchers and homesteaders. It took the intervention of the US cavalry to end the fighting.
    From Buffalo I took I90 to Sturgis where I checked in to the ADV Fest.
    IMG_20210715_142415994.jpg
    My campsite at the Buffalo Chip.
    Mick
    #91
    fastring, CaptUglyDan, bergy and 10 others like this.
  12. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    982
    Location:
    east tn
    Most excellent report! Fine riding and great writing; thank you for letting us tag along . . .
    #92
  13. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,383
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    Sir, thanks for keeping up with this report. You are having a wonderful trip.
    #93
  14. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 16: Devils Tower loop from ADV Fest. Another excellent day.
    IMG_20210716_094341597.jpg
    Before heading out I stopped at the Buffalo Chip's Field of Flags, 800 flags honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
    IMG_20210716_113806414.jpg
    IMG_20210716_113826022.jpg
    I arrived right about noon, so had a buffalo burger for lunch before heading back to the Buffalo Chip on yet another great route. As I approached Spear fish I saw some threatening weather to the South, so somewhat reluctantly jumped on I90 to beat the storm back to camp. I only encountered a few sprinkles, but some of the other riders got caught in the thunderstorm which dropped enough hail to cause at least one bike to take a nap.
    Then it was time for a couple of cold beers to celebrate a great day in the Black Hills.
    Mick
    #94
    CaptUglyDan, manx16, Kyron and 11 others like this.
  15. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,231
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Enjoying your pictures in particular. I like ride reports like this. About T500's and smaller Suzuki twins, I've had a few, back in the 60's and 70's and more recently as vintage.
    #95
  16. motofshr

    motofshr Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Coos Bay Oregon
    Mick, thanks for a great, inspiring report. I'm 'digging' your Easy Rider flag!
    Safe travels
    #96
  17. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 17: Deadwood, Mount Rushmore and Iron Mountain Road.
    I started my ride today with a visit to MT. Mariah Cemetery in Dead wood.

    IMG_20210717_095919067.jpg
    Bust of Wild Bill Hickok atop his grave. Fittingly, someone had left two single serving bottles of whisky on his grave.
    From there, I headed to Mount Rushmore.
    IMG_20210717_112204340.jpg
    The view approaching Mount Rushmore.
    IMG_20210717_121418523.jpg
    The mandatory selfie.
    Then, it was time for a run on Iron Mountain Road, which some consider to be one of the most dangerous roads in the country. 17 miles , 314 curves, 14 switchbacks, 3 pigtails (360 degree turns in which the road loops over itself) and 33 tunnels through a very scenic part of the Black Hills.
    IMG_20210717_124951536_HDR.jpg
    While the tunnels are very short, they are a single lane for two way traffic, so some caution is called for.
    IMG_20210717_125012301_HDR.jpg
    The tunnels are aligned so you can see Mount Rushmore in the distance.
    On the way back to the Buffalo Chip, I skirted an afternoon rain, which provided some relief from the afternoon heat.
    Another excellent day of riding ended with trading stories of the day's rides with other riders over a refreshing cold beer or two.
    Mick
    #97
  18. gasgas17

    gasgas17 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    73
    Going To The Sun Rd. is a great way to see Glacier National park if you head that way or even just do a day trip up that way. But I guess you're well past that now. Great report by the way. Enjoy and safe travels.
    #98
  19. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,396
    Location:
    Dixie
    #99
  20. Bat7

    Bat7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    July 18: final day of ADV Fest.
    IMG_20210718_084045730.jpg
    Four CB500X riders getting ready for the day: two in the middle on 2014's, one on a 2020 and one on a 2016. Those familiar with such things may notice that one of the 2014's has a fork and front wheel from a WR250R.
    Mick
    CaptUglyDan, DC950, WDG and 3 others like this.