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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ozarks Rider, Jun 26, 2018.
Good first post, Paula.
Where is he now?
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Hi Dave, This is Bharat from Cincinnati, I'm 61 and I dream off doing a similar trip next year, I plan to buy a brand new Suzuki DR650SE and practice with it off-road and then ship it out to Vancouver. Have a great trip and please post many pictures. Please diarize your experiences and share. Take Care!
Website: State of the Planet: EarthDanger.Wordpress.com
Last night he looked to be about to Yukon Teteritoy. He’s in AK on highway 2 well east of Tanacross at Tok Junction. Go Dave go.
Here’s the latest, if you can call it that. Dave asked me to apologize for the lack of content. He has had irregular internet and doesn’t want to make the ride about trying to get online. He is taking a lot of pictures and keeping an audio journal so that he can keep everything straight. I am with him at the moment in Anchorage and can tell you that it has been an incredible trip thus far just since I joined up! So we’re very sorry for the awkwardness of this and will make it all right in the end.
Oh heck yes!
Hi Bharat! Looks like since getting home I can get to my account again. I dropped the Tapatalk (which serves no purpose at the moment anyway) which might have done the trick. I couldn't even get in to post for awhile.
Anyway, I can now speak from experience when I too can say "Get after it and do it!" I will attempt to get this ride report on the road shortly.
Thanks to my wife for updating this while I was on the trip, and posting the pictures...and for that matter being so incredibly supportive throughout. She not only had to maintain the household in my absence but also oversee the business that we own together. It dumped a lot on her plate and for this and so much more I openly express my love and appreciation for her that falls well short of appropriate compensation.
Without giving away too much, I just returned this week after 54 days on the road. Great trip! I will get this up and running soon and my apologies for the wait. It became obvious pretty quickly that trying to keep up with this while camping would require ducking into coffee shops and fast food places and I just didn't feel that was what I was traveling for. However I did keep an audio diary so I could keep my days straight so hopefully this comes together without being a complete mishmash.
Starting this up again. There has been a lot to digest and I lost a bunch of pictures off my camera from the first week or so. Tried to transfer them to my laptop from the SD card and for the life of me I have no idea where they went. i have pieced a few back together from people who I met along the way and/or rode with. Thanks to them. And it looks like I got the ID thing worked out so here we go with remembrances from a daily audio diary that I kept because without it, the days all become one big collection of selective memory.
I made crude maps from my inReach and scaled them to the daily miles so it hopefully puts the recap in perspective. There is probably an easier way to do it but they're done so hopefully they get the job done.
I'll hammer this out as quickly as I can so please bear with me. I gained so much valuable knowledge from the RR's that I looked at that I want to do this as well as possible so hopefully it will be of help to others. As of this writing, Alaska has just experienced a 7.0 earthquake last week and this effected roads that we has been on as well as access to the airport in Anchorage. Hope they can get all that squared away so others can take in the incredible splendor that we enjoyed last year.
I am going to edit as I post so this will take a little bit to get all this down. Please be patient...or come back in a couple of months when I will likely be finished! As you will see I am fairly long winded so one post might just get you through the winter!
DAY 2 ----------Lincoln, NE to Badlands, SD_____435 Miles/700km
Relatively early start to the day headed for Badlands to camp for the night. Comfortable night’s lodging at an Airbnb hosted by a couple and their young child and their dog. I wasn’t as conversant as I think they wanted to be because I was pretty well wrung out from 100+ degrees and interstate most of the day. A shower and a phone call that was all I had the energy left for. Clouds on the horizon and forecasted to rain along the way but that was actually going to be a welcome relief compared to yesterday. Again, not a route with much to look at or that I didn’t take in last year when I was out that way.
One interesting transition though. When I left and for a good portion of this day, I was listening to music on my phone through a Sena 10C. Cruise control and just trying to get some miles behind me. With all of the preparation and discussions leading up to this trip, I really didn’t feel like I was on an epic ride to this point. I tend to get more involved with getting things ready than daydreaming about what the trip might hold in store. But then the transformation. I passed by an old car with a surfboard strapped to the top-which I have to believe isn’t a common site in Nebraska! Then a little bit later I was on a long stretch when I came upon a farm tractor going the opposite direction. The driver just about fell out of his cab making sure that I saw him wave as I went by. Alright! Now we’re on a road trip!
After one miscalculation for reasons escaping my recollection, I made my way closer to Badlands National Park. As I continued north, the weather started heading south. Not real big on road signs I was discovering so I stopped into a small convenience store to ask if I was headed the right way and have a brief chat with the owner. All good. Got into the campground close to dusk and found a place where it looked as grassy as possible without being a swamp. Still light rain as I set up but a distinct advantage to having a tent that has an integral rain fly along with a floor in the vestibule. Set up the tent, threw everything I needed from the bike inside, stripped out of the wet gear, and crawled into sleeping area.
DAY 3 ----------Badlands, SD to Wapiti, WY_____500 Miles/804km
What a difference a day makes as they say. Wok up to beautiful blue skies, slightly dryer conditions after the soaking the night before. Rolled up a damp tent and packed up gear, still trying to figure out how to get everything to fit properly so the task would take as little time in the future as possible. I knew that there would be a break-in period and there might be some things that would get sent back if they weren't being utilized. Having taken several trips up to this point though I had jettisoned several items prior to leaving so I hoped that there wasn't much I had that I didn't need or wouldn't use. The day was starting off as well as anyone could hope for as I wound through the park on my way to catch I80 W.
I had heard about Wall Drug and I was in the neighborhood so I figured I would head that way and see about breakfast. Not sure what I thought Wall Drug was going to be, but it was remarkably underwhelming. It has to be up there with the all time American tourist kitsch. Sorry if that offends anyone but I'm just calling balls and strikes. Against my better judgement I decided to have breakfast there because I knew if I didn't eat now, I would spend the next 200 miles saying "I need to stop and eat...I'll stop at the next place...or the next place..." etc. The waitress was interesting however. She was part of a foreign contingent who were seasonal workers for the summer. After her stint there, she had a month to high tail it out of the country being a tourist along the way. She had already visited 24 countries after doing this for several years and if I would have had any idea this was possible from this end I would have loved to do this when I was younger.
Later on down I80 I stopped at a Wyoming rest area and struck up a conversation with a gentleman from Georgia who was traveling in a camper with his wife and young daughter (Brad, Lori, and Piper respectively). We had a pleasant conversation and then went our separate ways, except they weren't that separate because we were all headed west, as I came to find out a little later. I was on cruise and making my way down the highway when I saw this big camper in the left lane without any traffic around. I kept on coming up to it wondering what they were doing out there but as long as it didn't interfere with my progress I wasn't bothered. As I passed I looked over and the people inside were waving-I waved back-and kept on going. I meant to stop at an exit for gas but was daydreaming and went past it so somewhat more desperately I stopped at the next exit that had fuel which turned out to be the exit I needed anyway! Shortly after I topped off, Brad walks up to me to say hello again, and there's the camper! Ah! Felt pretty stupid that I didn't connect those dots at the time. So we took the opportunity to get a picture or two with the family, and thankfully we exchanged information because if we hadn't I wouldn't have been able to get this shot and stay in touch with some very nice people as well! I will speak to Piper at some time in the future about ATGATT.
Piper gave me a bracelet for a very worthy cause that Brad and Lori are supporting. Our company made a donation when I returned and I will put the website here in case anyone else wants to participate: hunterman.org.
Hwy 16 off of I80 heading to Worland, WY is a great ride! Climbing to nearly 10,000 feet it is really a beautiful road. Passed by a deer just doing his thing along the road. The first of MANY animals spotted on this trip. Worland to Greybull and then on into Cody aren't much to mention but it was nice weather.
As I was stopped at a market in Cody making a call for my next night's stay, I saw Brad drive by in the camper. I had intended to give Piper one of my Parachuting Penguin stickers but forgot so I thought this would be a good chance to catch them again. If you have ever tried to find a particular camper in the sea of campers in Cody, it's a lot more difficult than it sounds! Several times I thought that I spied them going through the downtown only for it to be someone else. Just as we were about to leave the town behind I saw them ahead just as they were making a left turn so I had to dart across a lane to get to them. I was focused...and probably not too smart.
Last stop for the day was a campground in Wapiti just east of the entrance for Yellowstone. I've camped in Yellowstone before and didn't want to hassle with crowds so the little site I had would work well and I would be on my way in the morning to run through to the west exit.
Glad you’re getting back to this. Please keep it coming!
DAY 3 ----------Badlands, SD to Wapiti, WY (CONTINUED)
DAY 4 ----------Wapiti, WY to Hailey, ID__________360 Miles/580km
Up in the morning and ready to head through Yellowstone and then into Idaho. My original plan was to try and camp at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve but I wasn’t able to make a reservation several months in advance as they were already full. Next idea was the Tent Space site which my wife and I participate on. If you haven’t used it or heard of it, go to “Forums Home” at the top of the main page and then “Trip Planning”.
But I digress…get used to it. The ride through Yellowstone was beautiful as always. Traffic wasn’t too bad which usually means there aren’t many animals roaming around the roadside. I did come across one Anyone who has traveled through there knows what happens when they do! A few years ago, I was touring one of the smaller geysers and struck up a conversation with a young guy who was working in the park for the summer. He worked at the call center which handles emergencies and sat beside a woman who was married to a park police officer. He said whenever she was pissed off at him, she would get in her car and stop somewhere on one of the main roads and just point off into the wilderness because it was sure to cause a log jam of traffic and it irritated him to have to weed through the mess to get traffic moving again. I came across one such debacle on my ride and decided to use the opportunity to squeeze into a pullout and have a quick bite to eat. Cars everywhere, both sides and as far as you could see. I sat on a bank with my back to traffic and enjoyed some peace and quiet. About 15 minutes later everyone was gone. That’s pretty typical in the summer.
The ride from Idaho Falls to Craters of the Moon was very windy and pretty stark, especially after the ride through Yellowstone and the north section of Hwy 20 in Idaho. The crosswinds were pretty bad for a while so I hunkered down and just aimed straight ahead. Ran the speed up a bit to try and get through it and violated one of my cardinal rules in any vehicle which is NEVER exceed the speed limit in small towns. I was about 10mph over as I entered Arco, ID when a sheriff in a Suburban passed me going the other way and then immediately flipped around. As I practiced my speech to throw myself on the mercy of the court, he passed me at a higher rate of speed and turned on his lights which ended up being aimed at an Audi that had passed me like I was standing idle shortly before this. Whew!
Although I wasn’t staying at the Craters Monument, I still had a little time to run through and see it as well as some of the exhibits without holding up dinner too much in Hailey. It’s a bizarre scene. Surrounded by sagebrush and grasslands is this island of jet-black volcanic rock.
Originally, I had contacted Dennis who had a place listed in Hailey, ID on Tent Space. This was in a great spot because I was headed to Bergdorf Hot Springs from there and it was a good route. However, Dennis had moved so instead he was kind enough to put me in touch with Peter and Kim in Hailey who are friends of his. It was also quite generous of Peter and Kim to agree to host me and I am eternally grateful to both of them as well as Dennis and hope that we can return the favor someday should they make their way through the Ozarks.
Neither Peter nor Kim ride motorcycles yet were incredibly gracious to a biker passing through. Interesting people to say the least and adventures that made anything I have done, or am ever likely to do at this point, pale in comparison. Their home is beautiful and Hailey is a fascinating if not unsuspecting playground for the rich and famous. As I came up Hwy Hwy 75 beside the modest airport there were an astounding number of corporate jets parked which gave a clear indication that there were a lot of monied interests roaming about. That’s more of an aside than anything that has to do with the trip.
Peter and Kim insisted on cooking a marvelous dinner so I contributed some wine and we dined outside on a brilliant evening and then went inside and talked until nearly midnight. Fascinating stories of their exploits from all over the world. It’s amazing how much you can pack into a day!
CONGRATULATIONS AND HAPPY RETIREMENT TO KIM!
DAY 5&6 ---------- Hailey, ID to Bergdorf Hot Springs, ID__________282 Miles/453km
Up early the next morning and greeted with fresh muffins and fruit. Delicious. We sat in the living room and talked until about 11:30am and they even let me know I could stay and extra day. Very very nice of them, and I would have enjoyed that, but I needed to see what was going on in Bergdorf and I wasn’t sure what July 3rd traffic was going to look like. I had intentionally planned to spend the 4th of July off the highway to avoid traffic hassles. Spending those two days soaking in a hot spring seemed a reasonable compromise.
Some nice twisties up through Sun Valley and Sawtooth National Recreation area. I love how so many roads in Idaho seem to run along streams. Had great weather and cooler temperatures than seasonal from what I was told. Even got a little chilly at the higher altitudes. Didn’t seem that long ago that I was dealing with 100+ degrees all day. Looking back on some of this footage, it's going to be difficult to translate just how beautiful some of these rides were with video.
Stopped in McCall, ID at a grocery store and bought some food items and a bottle of wine. Wasn’t sure what I was going to find at Bergdorf so I figured that I had better have some groceries with me just in case. The road leading north from McCall wasn’t well marked but it had to be the right one as it runs alongside the west side of Payette Lake which seemed busy for the holiday. About 25 miles up you will see a sign for a dirt road that takes you to Bergdorf.
Bergdorf Hot Springs is a pretty cool place. I checked in at the general store/restaurant/rental shop. You can rent towels, get some limited items to eat, and all in all the people who work there are very friendly and accommodating. I was given the rules and regulations and pointed towards my cabin. To my knowledge, none of the cabins have running water or electricity. They have a faucet down by the main house and using a lantern works just fine for light. The cabin had a table and two chairs with a wood burning stove in the middle for heat. An outhouse is located around the back. Wood is provided with the cabin. Bergdorf is located on the IDBDR so I was surprised that there weren’t any motorcycle travelers staying there, and it didn’t seem like all of the cabins were rented either. It was very peaceful and clothing optional in the hot spring after 10pm! Hey hey! I didn’t avail myself of the latter but it wasn’t due to any reason other than by 10pm I was pretty tired.
Courtesy Bergdorf Hot Springs
Courtesy Maggie Grace Photography
On the 4th of July I decided to take a few items to eat and some water and headed out on a hike to Crystal Mountain. I had been lead to believe that this was a couple mile stroll that one could do fairly leisurely. At the trail head which is in a campground just north of the hot springs, I encountered a husband and wife with the man's Mother who had to be 80 or so who were coming back on the trail. So I'm thinking no worries, I've got this. It starts off that way, but then starts up a narrow trail surrounded by trees which is very scenic. Then the rest of the way you follow a fire road to the top, and if it's two miles, it feels like it is straight up! There weren't any indications as to how far it was to the top and I was stubborn enough to keep going until I figured out where it was. I came across the couple later that day in the hot spring and it turns out they had only gone about 50 feet on the flat part of the trail before turning around! I thought if this 80 year old woman made it to the top and back, I was either going to have to see what I was doing wrong in life or have whatever she was drinking! Spent the remainder of the day soaking, reading, eating pizza and drinking wine. No fireworks to be heard anywhere.
Excellent ride report so far! Great mix of the videos too.
I've never seen mirrors attached with a RAM arm before.
Subscribed! Looks like a great trip so far! Looking forward to your next installment.
Wall drug. What a ridiculous thing to even exist. A giant tourist attraction/small town in the middle of nowhere for no reason! That being said, I actually like visiting there. I accept it for what it is, a big tourist trap, but it always draws me in and I spend more time there than I mean to.
Thanks for that! Appreciate it. Slowly getting better and faster at it. The mirrors are handy not only because they are virtually indestructible, but also very easy to adjust to get around a bulky jacket etc.
Thanks for following! There is plenty to look at that's for sure! Between the road frontage and then it goes back off the street quite a ways.
DAY 7 ---------- Bergdorf Hot Springs, ID to Swan Lake, MT__________400 Miles/643km
Up the next morning around 8am and starting getting things together and packed. It just took one extra day of not having to pack and I was already a little hazy as to where everything was supposed to go. Because ‘quiet time’ was 10pm to 10am, I wanted to respect the peacefulness of the place so I loaded the bike and then aimed it downhill so that I didn’t have to start it until the office where the road leveled off.
It was a brilliant morning and although a little on the cool side, I was appreciating it because it was going to get much warmer soon enough. For the most part the winding road that will eventually take you to Riggins, ID is a well maintained and relaxing ride. A little rutted at times as you set out, it eventually turns into a ribbon of switchbacks that provide incredible views of the valley below as well as the road in a few places. You could ride a street bike over it without any real cause for concern. An obligatory stop is the green bus part way down. There were already a few people on ATV’s who were investigating so I spoke with them for a bit before heading on my way again.
It took longer than I thought to work my way to Riggins. It’s only about 45 miles from Burgdorf but I wasn’t in any hurry and you don’t want to rush through this area if you’re fortunate enough to see it on a nice day. You also pass over a cool little bridge as you cross over the Salmon River but you run alongside the river the entire time once you get into the valley.Hopefully the videos below get sorted out through YouTube because they look good until I upload them to the site. Sometimes they get better but my apologies for the low quality.
If you are interested in learning more about the area or are looking for bike rentals and touring assistance, I would recommend Lance Gines and his company Into the Horizon Adventure Motorcycle Tours and Rentals. You can find both Lance and his company on Facebook.
I had plugged in Lolo Pass as a preferred route because I had heard so much about it. After I got to the top at took a break at the rest area, I was wondering if I had gone through what everyone was talking about or if there was more. Not sure what I was expecting but it didn’t seem to me to be that big of a deal. Some average twisties and it’s a scenic ride, mixed with a fair amount of traffic that isn’t really easy to get around, but either I missed something (entirely possible) or I’m just not seeing what the fuss is about.
I had a campsite set up at Swan Lake which is southwest of the western entrance of Glacier National Park. I couldn’t get a reservation in Glacier until Saturday, and I was planning on heading into British Columbia through the port of entry at Roosville. I needed to drag my feet a bit so I decided that spending this night in Swan Lake and then having a short day to the eastern entrance of Glacier at St Mary’s would work out well.
Checked into my campsite at Swan Lake in the late afternoon. Got the tent up and had a quick bite to eat, and was brushing my teeth just as it was getting dark, when a guy on a 2009 BMW GS pulls up. After a brief conversation I asked him if he needed a place to camp for the night and offered some space in my spot. He readily agreed. As he was setting up the tent we chatted and he told me he was a retired chemical engineer from Ohio and did something with home remodeling; was considering buying a new GS but was $1000 apart with the dealer; and he had helped some guy fix his truck-in return was given a bag of salmon jerky in appreciation which with the assistance of some rope was presently throwing over a tree branch. It was 10pm or so at this point and I was tired so we both retired to our respective tents.