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Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by oldmanb777, Jul 26, 2011.
2Tall2 and myself indulged in a morning cup before hitting this legendary highway.
next door is this neat little General store.
Great weather for a ride too.
the Beartooth nice!
That coffee store used to house the Bike Shack, which had bicycle rentals, Yurt rentals in the winter, and snowmobile shuttles for backcountry skiing. Kinda sad to see it just serving up coffee. http://outsidebozeman.com/magazine.php?action=fullArticle&articleID=319
Last time I was there, maybe 6 or so years ago, it was a coffee place with good coffee. Seems like they had some other stuff going on, like rentals, can't remember. But great place anyway.
Some great slabs, with great views.
There was some great camping spots too.
I can't believe this was over so quick! What a great few days, just way too short. I have been back at work over a week, and havn't had time to do a ride report. I gotta retire, so I can have enough time for me. But even retirement won't do that. Anyway, a somewhat ride report. 2tall2 (Bruce) and i decided we needed to head out for a few days. If you don't know Bruce, you are missing out on one of the best ridin' buddies you can have. Only problem is he can flat foot anything he rides, so thats not fair. But seemed like Yellowstone country was in order. No specific plans, just wherever the front tire found it's self pointed, is where we went. So sleeping bags packed, kitchen pass in hand, we headed out Wednesday afternoon. Up I-70, over Berthoud, and the twistys of Willow creek pass. Since we hadn't had lunch, we decided to stop on the N,West side of Willow Creek Pass for a sandwitch. Let me tell you, the skitters were waiting there for us.
Then off to Walden, and to find camping for the first night. We stopped in @ the Ranger station in Waldon to inquire about the road closure. There had been a washout someplace north of Encampment, and I wasn't sure where it was. As it turned out the Ranger wasn't sure either, but her research was worse than bad info. So looked like heading for Laramie was the only option. She said we coun't get to I-80 from Encampment. That was false. She also said the roads in the southern end of the Snowy's would all be muddy and mostly impassable, but that was false too. So we go in some great twistys, and turned off into the Snowys for a dirt ride to Rob Roy Res. Very nice place to camp. Had she given us correct info, we never would have gone to this great place to camp.
We picked a great place to camp, and Bruce made a great fire for us to enjoy. In the morning we decided to head out a different way. Out through Centennial,Wy. this is a very beautiful ride throught the mountains, and valleys. I was hoping to find the road open over to Saratoga, but it wasn't. Although we did see her..................... and her calf on the way.
One more of cow and calf
In Centennial the "healthy" youg lady, working in the general store
( how could you bee anything but healthy, living so close to heaven) informed us as to how missinformed the ranger had been, and we needed to backtrack to Encampment. We actually decided the couple hours it had cost us was worth it, since we had seen country that was so spectacular. So off on our detour. We had lunch @ a Bar-B-Que place in Saratoga, that was very acceptable, and then on to fight I-80. Let me tell you, I-80 is miserable in the wind, with the trucks etc. But we only had to get to Rawlin's, where we would turn off for Lander. It got to be afternoon and the afternoon winds in the Wyoming Desert can be treacherous, and they were. So a welcome break for some road work was relaxing.
In Wyoming, they bring the bikes up to the head of the line of stopped cars when there is lane closures. Just one of the things that make perfect sence and makes the Cowboy state, one of my favorite places on the planet. Then we headed on to Lander. A little Dirks Bently on the MP-3 player made this leg a little more pleasant. Bruce had never been to Sinks Canyon, so we had to check it out. Another great wonder of the west. We thought about caming there for the night, but we still had a lot fo daylight left, so on toward Dubois.
I gotta stop here, and say that at this point, i think we both knew, that "IT DON'T GET NO BETTER THAN THIS"! We were on a great ride, and it would only get better. So up toward Dubois we went. We had no plan, we didn't know where we would stop for the night, or even if it would be a good place, or less that good, but we knew it was ALL good. We found a road up through a ranch the suggested a camp spot might be had, 7+ miles up a dirt road, in the Wind River Range. Well since we were on Adventure bikes, and Bruce had just shod his GS with new Shinko's, off we went. We found a great spot to camp, but agin the skitters were waiting for us. But there was no prejudice here, we both had our own personal swarm. The scenery was fantastic, and the nieghbors invited us over to share thier smoky fire. Nice family too. Bruce had been smart enough to score us a couple of Fosters at the last town, so all was good.
While enjoying the fire and smoke to keep the biting skitters at bay, our hosts for the eve informed us he was making Gin and Tonics, and it would be very unpolite to refuse, So we enjoyed those imensely, although neither of us could ever find the promised tonic in those glasses.
........................The morning dawned perfectly as it does so often here in the Rockies.
Then off to Dubois, and over the pass to Moran Junction, and Yellowstone. This is an epec pass, lots of history, beautiful scenery, and great mountain twistys. Again we had no idea where we were headed, or where we would lay our heads that night. But I lived in Cody for a while, so I had some idea of possibilites. They proved to be, shall we say out dated possibilities. But that was ok. It's always better to be lucky, that good. And on this trip, our luck couldn't have been better. Hitting Yellowstone, in the high season, and expecting to find a camp spot can be a problem. When we entered the parks, the sign said there were some spots available. When we got to fishing bridge and enquired, we were told EVERYTHING in the park was already full for the day, and we should prceed to Gardner, or 3 mile. I knew 3 mile,(near Pahaska Tepee) I have camped there before. It's on the way to Cody. But we wanted to go north in th park. So we took our chances and headed north. I figured that at worse we could find some dispursed camping the the Absorokas on the other side of Cook City. So on we went. Bruce wasn't sure what exactly what he want to do most, Yellowstone, or the Beartooths. Since I had done both, I wanted him to do what he wanted more. I think, I missed the point here when asked for advice. But he decided,(and rightly so) that this trip HAD to include the Beartooth highway. So with all the camps sopts taken, we headed north.
As our luck would have it, when we got to Pebble Creek camp ground, up in the Lamar Valley, there were still several camp spots open. We snagged one, and it filled up right after. There were some othere watching wildlife from out camp spot. The Mrs. suggested that she "hoped we would mind if they watched the bears from here". We said no problem, and as we had not scored any beverages for the evening, that it might have a price. Now Bruce being a good negotiator, returned with a couple cool brewskys within a few minutes. I, on the other hand being busy setting up my tent, and talking to the ranger, suggested that we had enough tent space for another bike, should someone be in need. One of my many flaws, too generous. So within a few minutes a Gold Wing, TENT TRAILER, and all is camped with us. Lets just say,"Bob" was an interesting guy, and kept his end up with aome burgers, and cigars. Now I don't smoke, but, well, anyway. I was told it keeps the bears away????????????????
The scratches on the bear proof bin to store your food, were proof enough of 4 legged conivoures in the area.