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Discussion in 'Americas' started by Putts, Sep 7, 2009.
Dayum! Thanks MoonDog, great job!
Looks like some of you FF's with GPS will have to come to Helena for a weekend ride when the snow goes away. Catarack meadows is a good road and not open right now. Too much snow was up there on 4 wheeler 3 weeks ago. Tunnel is frozen, rode through it on atv, could not get out of it on boulder side, opening frozen pretty small, Ice columbs are big and cool this time of year.
Gas is at rock creek, but go check it out. few folks sound like they are trying rockcreek this weekend or sooner, ask them to verify this.
Any chance you could post a map or .gpx file showing the tunnel? I could take a shot at getting it on the Day 3 map but have no info.
I think this is the tunnel entrance, Ed.
yes that is the entrance on the jefferson city/ wicks side of it where we would be entering it. tunnel is over a mile long and if you pull up on that map it is easier to see it disapear from the boulder side, when i say disapear i am talking about the old railroad bed you can see on the map.
Would this be near Amazon?
Yup that's it.
Just wanted to mention that I did gas up at Rock Creek (Testy Fest site) yesterday.
Gas was WAY expensive, and you had to tell them how much you wanted EXACTLY before you pump.
But the bar was cool and seemed like a good place with lots of atmosphere for a burger before heading up to Garnet.
Best place for gas probably is Clinto, ten miles west, and then backtrack.
Had a lovely ride from BZN, Butte, Georgetown Lake, Rock Creek road and back on 90.
I had intentions of running into Chains45, and by golly we did!
Had a lovely lunch together shooting the breeze and eating our samiches.
Rock Creek road was a cake walk, couple puddles and a bit of gravel.
Worst bit was a short stretch of freshly graded road, fortunately
a big roller was pacing it down nicely and the remaining road was loverly.
Unfortunately, my charging system crapped out on the way back and I had to recharge my battery in 3 Forks and Belgrade.
Guess I'm getting that Mottorad Electric charging system I've been lusting after.
Wallet= -> me=
Welllllll..... At least you did not have problems with the gas itself which was my main worry considering the lack of upkeep of the pump itself. So that is an option for those that cannot make it to Clinton (which is exit 120, Rock Creek is 126). The gas at Clinton is a rather large Sinclair convenience store, so may be a good option to pick up the evenings vittles and a brew or two.
Looks like jjimyzrider and putts took care of 3 out of 4 questions !
That was easy.
Day 4 comments, Pipestone to Virginia City to Gravelly Range:
? is Virginia City a; like to see, must see, really have to see, or just a random place to pass through, kind of place?
It looks like the "sportsman's lodge" may be a good place to note.
Ennis also has public access to the madison river...
Virginia City is a pretty standard western middle of no-where tourist trap. About 4 block long main street lined with expensive gift shops, expensive restaurants, some gem stores (which may or may not be expensive), and maybe an art gallery or two (been a while since I have been there).
I would place it in the category of just a sort of random place to pass through.
Remember though that there really is not much else out in that part of the world, so we take what we can get in terms of fueling and food (even if it is expensive). Remember that things are real spread out around here, any ride I take I have to figure if the 180-200 mile range I have with the Uly (including two 1 liter MSR bottles) and the route I am considering into these mountains is going to get me to the next fuel stop. When I do the pre-rides I am going to do for these routes this spring I will probably be carrying an extra 2 gallons just in case.
..cool thanks for the reply, the reason for asking is; i saw the track jog west, and then highway back to ennis for gas, looking at the topo in that area, it looks like there are multiple "unimproved roads" east and south toward ennis, for gas and grub, that may provide a more interesting dirt/direct route to ennis for gas and grub..
but i didn't want to necessarily do the research if virginia city was a worthwhile destination.
[disclaimer*: i understand the concept, and the reasons for route mapping with the masses in mind, but there are occasions where i will be looking to avoid pavement and add a little difficulty, and maybe distance. so no need to get sidetracked here.]
now back to your regularly scheduled thread...
One of the key things that the planners have for this ride is that everyone has LOTS of time to do side trips and explore. Since each day is under 200 miles, we could for the most part be camped and drinking by 3pm if not a lot sooner. But there is a lot of space out here to explore, and this gives everyone a chance to ride their own pace and go their own way, including enough time to get some fishing in.
For example - the Rock Creek Road Tyll and I rode yesterday (him from the south and me from the north) is usually doable on a GoldWing (the soft spots we saw yesterday will be hard by July). But there may be other roads they have mapped that will not be nearly as big-bike friendly. One of the intents is to provide alternate routes for those that may not be as dirt-worthy as some so they too can make the ride.
On that note, he and I discussed a point that I will start making here - the first day of the ride is Sunday, and it includes the entire length of the Rock Creek Road. That is a busy road all summer long, it is a very winding single-lane through a very long narrow canyon (35 miles), beside one of the most premier fly-fishing streams in the US, with only occasional pull-outs for head-on passing. I have seen days where every single pull-out was full of cars and trucks parked for fishing. Towards the end of July - which may be nearing the end of the creek being fishable this summer - I expect it to be VERY crowded and possibly very very slow going. Plus, just in case you were getting complacent, there are multiple signs at both ends prohibiting motorhomes and trailers yet I have been backed up for hours several times in the last few years by idiots that just don't believe such things apply to them - and there is no place for them to turn around when they discover it DOES apply to them. So we need to be aware that for that route at least, we may have to give lots of time, or even give up and try another route.
Fire Danger. The last time I am aware of them closing these forests due to fire danger was 2003, so it is time for us to have a bad fire season, which so far it is shaping up to be. As time grows closer and fire season develops, we may need to alter routes to accommodate that aspect of life in the woods.
This will be a dynamic thing that is going to keep all of us on our toes right up till the last bike makes it back to Darby.
I can't wait either.
THANKS for your hard work. I know how hard it is to plan good routes on pavement. Doing in on dirt complicates it extensively. I'm looking forward to meeting you and the ADVRiders.
While Virginia City is standard fair, it's standard fair for amongst the best active ghost towns around. However, I'll basically agree with him in that it's missable given we'll be going through Bannack on the last day which is amongst the best preserved ghost towns in the US, and it's a State Park so there's no tourist trap crap. You can walk through about half the buildings, too.
BUT!! Nevada City 2 miles west of Virginia City is damn cool. Lots of railroad cars and weird old shit to look at. I think it's worth not missing the area around the two if you're from out of state.
BTW I think some of these issues are better talked about in the MT1000 thread to get people talking about all the options and cool thing, and leave this thread for stricter planning issues. Though as I think about it there's prolly a hellofalotta overlap.
Anyway, I'm gonna post some pix of Rock Creek tonight after work in the other thread.
tomorrow im gonna see if i can go over sweetwater and hit the upper ruby road just south of ruby reservoir, come out at either lima or dell. i dont know if i will get through big sheep on through medicine lodge and over to bannack. if i dont ill get that done on another day.
Days 1 and 3 have been updated.
The day 1 route shows the alternate gas stops suggested by Chains45 should the Rock Creek / I-90 not work. Clinton would make the first day around 140 miles to gas, but only 110 miles or so to Lincoln on Day 2.
Day 1 route is here:
The day 3 route now includes an alternate leg through the tunnel between Comet and Boulder suggested by jjmyzrider and putts.
Updated route is here:
Hats off to everyone who's been helping with this!
Nice work, mate.