Kim and Mike's Most Excellent 2014 Western Wandering Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ride2ADV, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. TheYeti

    TheYeti Hard to be Humble

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    ME Too!!!!:clap

    I'm from Colorado,Haven't lived there in years,but go back when ever I can Beatiful state. I always love reading RR about Co.
    #21
  2. Off Road USA

    Off Road USA Been here awhile

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    Great report ! Being from southwest Montana I really like all the pics you took. Glad you had a safe and enjoyable ride. July is most certainly the best time of year to ride that part of the country. Thanks again for the great report ! :clap
    #22
  3. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    The wide open spaces continued.

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    #23
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  4. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    We found some old homesteads dotting the plains.

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    But when the day ended, we found ourselves in Rawlings, WY at a B&B called the Ferris Mansion. When we arrived, it was not yet open, so we just hung out on the front porch until the owners arrived. It was a memento of a time gone by brought to the front by our view of the local hardware across the street. [​IMG]

    As you can see, Kim thought the place was pretty cool.

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    It was an amazing home built by a mine owner that had fallen into ruin, but was lovingly restored by hand by a pair of sisters and one son. It was not small effort.

    Once inside the fruits of their labor were obvious.

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    Our room didn't suck either.

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    With digs like this, we enjoyed a great night's sleep and a nice breakfast. But we were raring to get back onto the gravel, so when the morning came, we were soon underway. Upon arriving in town, we saw the water tower for the Wyoming Frontier Prison.

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    We wondered what it was like, but we decided the gravel had higher priority. We'd have to catch it the next time.

    Soon we were back on the gravel and riding some winding gravel roads around and up some small mountains. We crossed on corner and found...

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    There probably wasn't a house within 25 miles, so it was sort of strange to come across a stop light. We'd find out that there was road construction around this corner. Once we got to the construction site, it looked as there had been a washout. They were rebuilding the road and at this point they had constructed a single lane perched on the edge of the mountain. We were both paying close attention to our riding at this time, so sorry, there are no pictures. Sorry.

    It was only a short section, and soon we had descended the other side of the mountain and were back on rolling plains.
    on a very wide, newly repaired and constructed gravel roads.

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    #24
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  5. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

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    She looks comfy mike... I liked the old homesteads... were any occupied?? I am surprised they were as well preserved..

    Pat in GA
    #25
  6. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Pat,

    I agree that the homesteads look to be in great condition. But of the several we saw, none appeared to be occupied. I am going to guess they are used part time when the livestock are in the area. But that is only a guess.
    #26
  7. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    Very nice. :clap
    #27
  8. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for taking us along... :clap
    #28
  9. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    It didn't take long and we were soon back on the gravel. Cattle grazed all along the route but didn't pay much attention to us so we rolled by as we watched each other pass.

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    Kim was having a pretty good time and so was I.

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    Unfortunately, the skies quickly started to change and we decided we'd best get off the gravel before it turned to mud. We hightailed it back to the pavement and headed for cover.

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    We ended up in Thayne, Wyoming at the Wolf's Den. A nice little single room cabin with just what we needed for nourishment and good nights sleep.

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    They even had a little outside taste of the west... :evil

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    The following day was overcast and brooding as well so we decided that we'd head into Idaho.

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    As a matter of fact, it began to rain fairly heavily so we just bee lined it to our stop for the day. We out ran the rain and found ourselves at another B&B called the Blue Heron Inn in Rigby, ID. It was really nice as you can see.

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    We ended up in the bunkhouse room. A nice place to hang our hats for the day.
    Just what a cowboy needs. His favorite filly...

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    #29
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  10. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Some firewood...

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    A ranch with good libations...

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    And a view of the range...

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    #30
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  11. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    While we were there, some other patrons dropped by for a drink.

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    #31
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  12. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    As the evening drew to a close, the skies began to darken and we knew that tomorrow's riding would be a wet cold one. Oh well, that's part of the adventure isn't it? There was little left to do but settle down in the bunk room and expand my mind with a good book supplied by the proprietors.

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    Hmmm.....
    #32
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  13. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Not to be disappointed, the morning dawned cold and misty.

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    They day would continue with on and off rain showers as we made our way towards Yellowstone National Park.

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    Soon Yellowstone made itself known with rolling hills, trees and lakes.

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    Not to be disappointed, some of the locals with their children were out and about having a nice leisurely breakfast.

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    As we rolled through the area where buffalo grazed, suddenly we were stopped in traffic. The line was long enough that we couldn't see the source of the delay. As we crept along with the traffic over the course of half an hour, we finally came across the source of the slow down. A single large male buffalo stood on the road grazing on grass at the edge of the pavement. Unashamed, people in their cars stopped and stared in the middle of the road blocking travel. But it did give us some nice up close and personal close contact. So close in fact, that there are no pictures of this encounter.
    #33
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  14. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    The showers came and went randomly. We'd be riding in full rain, then the sun would come out for a few minutes.

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    We thought it was time to do some of the "touristy" things while in Yellowstone and decided we'd sneak a peak at some of these guys. Yah, you see them, behind the treeline.

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    Still not clear on where we were headed? How about these pics; do they help?

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    Then we decided to check these things out...

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    The geysers were steaming and the hot pots boiling. It was pretty awesome to think that just under the thin crust of earth we were standing on, super heated water lurked just below. We would have stayed longer, but once again the rain started in earnest including tiny pieces of hail. We didn't want to wait for bigger stuff so we decided to get underway.

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    #34
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  15. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    We continued wandering through Yellowstone as the rain increased and the temps dropped. By the end of the day we had exited Yellowstone and made our way to Gardiner, Montana. Chilled to the bone, we parked the bikes, took hot showers and turned in for the night. The following morning dawned chilly and partly cloudy, but it was an excellent way to start the day. We immediately left Gardiner and headed for the Yellowstone North gate.

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    Notice what it says at the top of the gate. If you can't read it, it says, "FOR THE BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE". Please don't forget that Washington, DC, this is the people's country and not yours. As the fees continue to rise to enjoy the land that is ours, I fear that bureaucracy may make enjoying this land too expensive for some people.

    Once again we hit on and off rain as we headed south back into Wyoming. We had decided to try out the Chief Joseph Highway as we had heard that it was gorgeous and had some excellent twisties. Well that advice was spot on as we took the first set and stopped to view what we had just ridden over.

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    It was indeed gorgeous.

    Even when the road wasn't curvy, we had this to take in.

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    #35
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  16. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    If you don't know much about Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, it is an amazing story with triumphs, tragedies and mistakes on both sides. I heartily recommend the book Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce. It's an absolutely amazing story. You can buy it at Amazon.

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    We wound our way across the Chief Joseph Highway and were treated to additional scenery such as this

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    As we headed toward Cody, Wyoming the landscape started to change drastically.

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    Gone were the tall rocky mountains, trees and verdant fields. They had been replaced with prairies, buttes and scrubby vegetation. We got off the pavement and got onto some excellent gravel.

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    We stopped at a small restaurant for lunch which was full of pictures of yesteryear. My favorite was this one.

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    (Sorry about the reflection, it was the best that I could do.)

    After lunch, we decided to head over to Thermopolis, Wyoming. I had never heard of the place, but as I was to find out, it is know for its hot springs. We checked the map and decided to stay off the major roads and instead made a beeline over gravel through some apparent gas company land.

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    We were just having too much fun not to stop for a few minutes and clown around.

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    Even in the sand and brush, there was still plenty of opportunity for life to pop up and make its own beauty.

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    As the day waned, we got back onto the pavement and rode the final few miles to Thermopolis.

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    And before we knew it, we were back to civilization with its corresponding "amenities".

    Telephone poles

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    speed limit signs

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    and a place to lay our heads inside for the night.

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    Tomorrow, we planned to wander some more through gas company owned land (with public access road of course). More on that later.
    #36
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  17. Snowlover

    Snowlover Been here awhile

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    A few posts late, but awesome to see Dixon and Savery. Mom was born in Dixon. Grew up on the little snake river running cows and growing hay. Grandpa was warden of the Rawlins prison in the mid 60's. I have not been to Baggs....... since my grandparents died.
    #37
  18. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Snowlover, you're not too late. Stay tuned. We just might show up in some of those places again on this ride! :lurk:happay

    BTW, thanks for the little family history. It makes our travels so much more realistic and fulfilling to gain an understanding about who lived/lives in the area we pass though and learn a little about their lives. THANKS!!!!
    #38
  19. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Once at the motel, we grabbed dinner and a couple of drinks at a nearby restaurant. The food and drink was OK, but the most interesting thing were the number of stuffed animals and fish that lined all the walls in the entire place. US, Africa, South America and likely all of the oceans were represented with the animals mounted to the walls AND ceilings. Sorry, I messed up and didn't take any pics for you all, but it was quite the sight.

    The following morning dawned bright and sunny and we were looking forward to getting off the pavement once again on our way back to Colorado. I checked our map and the GPS and found some nice looking twisty gravel roads. There was no need to look further, so we mounted up for the day and headed for the gravel.

    It wasn't long before we were back on gravel and entering some beautiful country. It was like we were being invited to enter through a verdant tree gate as we made our way to the first part of a long gravel section.

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    Once again, multicolored buttes rose to meet us and surround us. At the beginning, fences enclosed grazing land

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    But it wasn't long until the fences disappeared and we and the animals were free to wander the wide open range.
    #39
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  20. Ride2ADV

    Ride2ADV World Shrinkers Super Supporter

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    Soon we were wandering free with nothing but the land to guide us.

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    We did notice that were were not alone however. Soon we saw single prong horn antelopes standing in the grass watching us as intently as we were watching them.

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    Not much later, the antelope became more plentiful

    I must say that this was some of the best riding of the trip. We had been riding for about 2 1/2 hours and we did not see a single vehicle or person. True epic peacefulness. No cars, no people, no fences and perhaps the occasional barn for storing animals and food in the winter.

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    It wasn't long after we passed this spot that we saw our first car (pick up truck).

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    In it were man and woman. As it drew slowly nearer, it stopped in front of us and partially blocked the road. The driver motioned for us to come to the truck. Were were trespassing? I hadn't seen any signs but out here, I didn't really know what was public or private. All I knew was that we were heading in the general direction of a tiny town listed on the map as Lysite. I got off my bike and walked over.

    I know that this is going to sound like it came from a movie, but when I approached the truck, the man who was driving tipped his hat and said, "There's a lot of mud ahead, you folks might want to turn around." $h7t, I thought to myself, this was so much fun so far, now we are going to have to slog through mud? I asked him how long the stretch of mud was and he said it was about a mile ahead and 3 miles long. I thanked him and told him that we would check it out and turn around if we thought it was too bad. He gave me a bit of a crooked smile and tipped his hat again. His significant other then added, you both be careful! That said, he put the truck in gear and went on his way.

    I told Kim about the conversation and let her know what I said. She was OK with checking out the mud so once again we were off.

    About a mile later we came upon the first section of mud. It was not really bad at all. The road changed to a powdery sand and where there was water, that sand had turned into mud. We made it past the first section easily, although you could see tracks where others had passed and slid around.

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    Kim whipped right on through...

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    I was pretty proud of here since she was on a rented BMW F800GS that was too tall for her and much heavier than her day to day DR650 ride.

    For the most part, the mud was a non event although there were a couple of sections that took some concentration, and even at that, were not ridiculously difficult.

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    Meanwhile more antelope watched in amusement.

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    This day was turning out to be excellent and we were having a blast. But it couldn't last forever and we started seeing signs of civilization again.

    Power poles

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    and fences

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    But neither of the signs was as interesting as this one...

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    Til later!
    #40
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