Ride About for 1,800 miles in Wyoming

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by surferbum, Aug 14, 2018.

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  1. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    This report is more like a diary for me to enjoy in the future. I’m using the same format as my NMBDR trip. I hope you find it entertaining and informative.

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    Who Went
    Two of us went and had a good harmony in both stopping for points of interest, riding pace, riding ability and start/stop times during the day. Here’s a Google Photos (nearly 400 pics) link for the trip. Tim and I like to take photos with our iPhone (7 & 8 Plus)’s and point-and-shoot cameras (Canon PowerShot ELPH 350HS and CoolPix S9900). I’ll insert some of the pics throughout this trip report. We traveled with various communication devices. I used a DeLorme InReach SE and it continues to work great. Tim had a couple of Spots and a sat phone. We camped off the bike for 5 of 6 nights and spent one night in a motel at the mid-point of the trip right across the Montana border in Red Lodge. We camped in National Forest/BLM campgrounds which were selected by me if they had water, picnic table, bear boxes, fire pits and toilets. We typically ate at least one meal in a restaurant every day but carried cooking gear/meals too.

    Time-frame and Route
    I live in Scottsdale, AZ and drove to/from Edwards which is 700 miles and takes about 11 hours.

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    The idea of the trip was to spend a week riding as much off-road in Wyoming by going up the center of the state and loop around counter-clockwise to the western part of the state. We started and ended the trip at Tim’s place in Edwards, CO (~100 miles south of WY border). The entire trip was 1,750 miles taking 7 days/6 nights.

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    Here’s a pic of the setup.

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    Tim rode a KTM 1190 with Mosko bags. The ride started on Sunday and ended on Saturday (late!!!). I arrived on Friday and enjoyed Tim and Sharon’s hospitality until we shoved off on Sunday. I planned the entire route out using suggestions from inmates, tracks from other rides I found on AdvRider, a couple of books (8,000 Miles of Dirt/Dan Lewis and Wyoming Road Trip By The Mile Marker/Brook Besser) and my internet research. It was fun planning and putting it all together. I used Garmin BaseCamp to put my tracks together. We chose the dates (Aug. 5-11) with the hope of good weather and had a hard stop date at the end. Only got lightly rained on the first day and no rain for the rest of the trip with the temps being cool at night and moderate during the days.

    Here's the itinerary:

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    There were some minor adjustments which I’ll detail later in trip report.

    My gear is pretty much unchanged from last year’s NMBDR except for the incredible fire starting aid (InstaFire Granulated Fire Starter). We had fires 3 of the 5 nights and InstaFire made starting the fires like falling off a log.

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    My sleeping gear is a 1-person 3-season tent (Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1), inflatable mattress (Exped SynMat 7 Air Pad with Pump & Schnozzel Pumpbag), sleeping bag (Kelty Coromell 25 Degree Long) and pillow (SHO Self Inflating). I pack everything in a 35L Sea to Summit dry bag. Have a butt pad for the picnic tables.

    Riding gear is sunglasses, Klim Adventure Rally 2 Jacket (1.5L water bladder)/pants, gloves, Alpinestars Tech 1 Boots and Shoei Hornet X2 Helmet with Sena SMH-10 Bluetooth Headset.

    Camping gear is Jet Boil, 3 1-liter stainless steel water bottles, 7” folding camping saw, collapsible glass/bowl/spork, plastic hammer, lighter/matches, survival blanket, TP and wipes, nylon rope, insect repellent wipes, Tylenol/Advil, external power bank battery, various flashlight & lantern, misc. charging cables, spare reading glasses, misc. toiletries, misc. Band-Aids/tape, protein bars, various Mountain House meals, flask of favorite libation (currently)

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    coffee and hard candy. Camping shoes, spare socks, shirt/shorts, sweat pants/long sleeve shirt, water-proof jacket and hat.

    Bike gear includes Garmin Oregon 600, 1 gallon Rotopax gas container, shaker siphon, misc. tools, spare 21” tube, compressor, Al wire, 6 22” Spare Cuff Disposable Restraints, tire repair kit, spare oil, spare ROK straps, SAE/alligator jumper cable, Enduro Star Trail stand and Adventure-Spec Magadan Panniers MK2. Here’s a link to my bike setup.

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    Day logs will follow as comments while I get the time.
    #1
  2. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    Day One - Sunday (August 5)
    6:33 hours & 225 miles

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    We ate a great farewell breakfast cooked by Sharon and hit the road about 10:30AM. This entire trip had a leisurely starting time. Sometimes we paid the price for not having a 7AM start by arriving into our campsite later than I expected especially if the route was gnarlier than expected. The route was > 50% dirt county/forest service roads. Got sprinkled on during the ride and as is typical, some of these roads had evidence of treachery if much water had fallen.

    Gassed up in Hayden (my bikes range is 130 miles + 30 miles). I carry a 1 gallon Rotopax tank which allows me another 40 miles which gives me 200+ miles range. I also carry a shaker siphon for double emergencies and would use Tim’s bike as a gas source. He gets about the same gas mileage and the 1190 tank is 6.1 gallon versus my 3.2 gallon.

    During the route we came across the signage that the road was closed 3 miles further but the distance was short enough that we ignored the sign. Well the bridge was washed out and impassible. We started keeping a running count on these occurrences because they happened a few times.

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    We found a work-around and continued on. This is when we were captivated by the resort in the middle of nowhere. Check out the link to the Three Forks Ranch and if you have $1,000/night/person then you can stay and party.

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    Saw a strange creature along the way.

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    We arrived at the Bottle Creek Campground around 6ish and pitched out tents.

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    Headed into Encampment for gas and an evening meal. A local sipping whiskey on the porch of the restaurant was eyeing us and recommended that we don’t leave our helmets on the bikes otherwise they might go missing. Nice town! We heeded his advice and thank goodness because the sky opened up while we were eating and stuff would’ve been soaked. A local is getting ready to dig into a meal. Food hit the spot then went back to a wet campsite. No fire tonight.

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    There was an electronic darts game in the restaurant which Tim had a good view of. He thought a hustler was tossing darts (throwing poorly) and hoping we’d challenge him for money. He could barely hit the board for 15 minutes but after it became apparent that we weren’t going to challenge him, bullseye started being thrown.
    #2
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  3. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    Day Two - Monday (August 6)
    10 hours & 258 miles (original plan 252 miles and 4:10 hours driving time) But who’s counting.

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    Soggy breakup of camp after the previous evening’s rain storm. Headed out of camp around 9AM and hit the road. I am the “maintainer” for the Thomas A. Edison historical marker (HM214V) so of course we had to stop.


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    We planned also to visit the Rudefeha Mine & Ferris Haggarty Tramway but these are now clearly marked as on “private property. Do not Traspass” so we continued down WY70. The tramway’s history as “longest in the world” at that time shows the boom of copper especially since this area is pretty remote.

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    Make a right on Deep Creek Road (FS 801) and you’re in Aspen Alley in the Sierra Madres. We saw very similar groves of Aspen trees the previous day but this is neat though the aspens looked worse for wear.

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    You cross the Continental Divide many times but in this section we saw no bicyclists or hikers. The forests in Medicine Bow NF which we were traveling through are were classified as “subalpine forests”

    Passed by the Jack Creek Guard Station which is on the National Registry and from a bygone era. Read the info from the below pic about Evy Williams’ service!

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    Some great expansive scenery and a neat “Post your pics of Long Lonely Highways”.

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    Strange section of paved roads in the middle of nowhere on WY70 which was actively being paved then went back to gravel road for miles before Rawlins. Had lunch in Rawlins at Buck’s Sport Grill which was recommended by a local who I asked. Traveled to Sinclair (yes the town named after the oil company) and up the “Seminoe to Alcova National Backcountry Byway” which takes you by the Seminoe Sand Dunes (didn’t ride them) and a couple of dams/reservoirs: Seminoe (uppermost dam on the North Platte River) and Pathfinder Reservior/Dam (1,016,000 acre feet). Great pic of the Pathfinder Dam on my Garmin Birdseye GPS.

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    Gassed up in Alcova and treated ourselves to an ice cream and hit the slab for a few miles going towards Muddy Gap. This section of the road is very historic from the mid-1800’s with it being the confluence of many historic Emigrant Trails (Mormon, California, Oregon), Pony Express route and wagon train land marks. Adventure motorcycling doesn’t hold a candle to what these pioneers did at 2 MPH for 2000 miles in the 1840’s. The count was that 500,000 men, women and children traveled these trails.

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    First you come across Independence Rock (National Historic Landmark). Look closely at the pics and you can see beautifully carved names from the travelers back then. Apparently several stonecarvers set up shop on the rock and charged a small fee to carve names. There were all types of these capitalist ventures along these trails even some guys selling bogus “short-cut” maps which killed a few people.

    We ignored the road closed sign for the side road and travel close by Devil’s Gate (now we’re 1 for 2 in closed roads). It was formed by the Sweetwater River over the centuries and is both an Indians legends as well as 370’ landmark along the trails.

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    By the way, next to cows, pronghorns are everywhere.

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    Plus some sheep.

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    We started riding some rarely used two-track roads after Muddy Gap, following my GPS tracks religiously.

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    Well they said to take a turn off the lightly traveled two-track to a two-track which looked like it hadn’t been used in years. Well … we found out why – a bridge was no longer crossing a river. The sign for the ranch says it all. Quick renavigate and head to our campgrounds.

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    Saw plenty of cows and nasty riding conditions. Usually you scoot by the cows but one calf (oblivious to us) was attached to the tit of its mother that it required patience. You see maybe 1,000 cows over the course of 7 days riding. Here the obligatory cow pic.

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    Arrived at a great campground (Bottle Creek NF campground) all amenities and cut wood plus only one other site occupied.

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    This was our first use of InstaFire Fire Starter.
    #3
  4. JoToPe

    JoToPe JoToPe

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    235
    Location:
    Burleson, Texas
    Instafire works great for beach campfires too. Great RR so far. Following.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #4
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  5. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    803
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Great ride report! Wyoming has some wild back country when you look for it. Thanks for taking the time to let us ride along!
    #5
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  6. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    Day Three - Tuesday (August 7)
    10 hours & 258 miles (original plan 230 miles and 6:07 hours driving time)

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    Got a late start this day due to Tim’s battery misbehaving. His bike’s battery was nearly dead and was so low voltage that the electronic starter didn’t even begin. Luckily I had a SAE-jumper clips cable and after a replaced fuse and a couple of tries got his bike running so we rolled out at 10:15AM. Short ride to Jeffery City and brunch at the Split Rock Café. Three businesses in Jeffery City: Split Rock Café, a questionable motel and what else (a flower shop). The café is also the gas station. Jeffery City is a modern ghost town (uranium bust in the 80’s) but we didn’t have time to tour the city. There were 3 people in the café: husband and wife owner plus a waiter/cook. The waiter/cook looked very worse for wear and from time-to-order to delivery of eggs/bacon was 30 minutes. We were the only customers too. The waiter/cook moved realllll slow. Tim asked the owner what goes on around Jeffery City and his answer was “You’re looking at it”. The slow service gave Tim time to trying to source a new battery. My battery died last year on the NMBDR at a similar night temp/altitude 8000’.

    Advice to readers: Replace your battery every 3 years if you do a lot of off-road riding and will hit 30-40* nights.

    We found a Napa store in the town where we were spending our fourth night (Red Lodge) who’s owner said that he would get one for Tim. No credit card. No Name. No Phone number. We were skeptical. He (Les) said he would be open late too while he did inventory.

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    Gassed up and finally hit the road at noon on Ore Road with the next stop being Castle Gardens petroglyphs. After a short wrong turn, we arrived. The site was fenced off and had a very nice crushed rock path through the area. Unfortunately there was no description provided so you were on your own to differentiate the Indian work from modern Bobby-loves-Mary carvings.

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    Well it was hot and we spent too much time here so off we went to an intermediate gas at Shoshoni. We made a management decision and decided to slab it to Ten Sleep and try to get to camp before 7PM. The route north of Shoshoni is very scenic along the water but soon it is just “nose down – ass up” and get to the campsite.

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    We camped east of Ten Sleep a couple of miles at Leigh Campground right next to Tensleep Creek. We went to the Ten Sleep Brewery (1 mile west of town) for dinner but they don’t really have a kitchen so it’s back to town. Had a good Fish ‘N Chips meal at the Saloon Restaurant. Nice.

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    Nice place and had another great fire.

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    #6
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  7. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    Day Four - Wednesday (August 8)
    14:39 hours & 227 miles (original plan 252 miles and 7:04 hours driving time)

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    Well the day started off bad with Tim’s bike not starting again. This time the campground manager had real jumper cables and within 15 minutes we were now ready to get going. Ten Sleep is a mountain climbing mecca and the drive-away from the camp went by several groups of climbers.

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    We made a detour to go visit a fire fighters memorial and paid tribute by pouring alittle water on the monument. This was at the time (1937) the highest death toll (12 dead & 32 severely burned) for fighting forest fires. This Shoshone Forest fire tragedy was studied and became a transition on how modern day fires are approached (including small teams airdropped into hot spots).

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    I had inserted inmate's (Proud Highway) suggested tracks into my Day 4 route which looked fun on paper. And he said there were no locked gates. Well this turned out to be the most fun, most challenging and most scary section up to now. There were trails that vanished. There was significant deep sand. There were a few respectable water crossings. There was a dead cow in the road. There were “NO TRASPASSING” signs in the middle of the strenuous sections which we refused to obey. There were very rocky ascents and descents. There was being greeted by the rancher at the very end (thank goodness) who inquired of me “Where did you come from?”. I wouldn’t recommend this track unless you want to be challenged and then get permission before you go. On the tracks.

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    Opening and closing gates …

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    Another “Post your pics of Long Lonely Highways” pic

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    We then traveled some of the worst forest service roads I’ve ever been on. Off-camber; Steep up hill, rutted (sometimes 12" ruts) and downhill; Roccccckkkkky; And of course side-by-sides. These routes took better than 3 times longer than I expected. Ultimately we made it to US14 and the standard road construction one-way traffic delays. We gassed up at Burgess Junction and headed west down US14A. This is spectacular.

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    We skipped the planned forest service road to the north of US14A since we had had our fill for the day of forest service roads. We also decided to skip Custer National Forest for the same reason. We want to reach Red Lodge before dark and get Tim’s new battery (we hope). Well we’re slabbing towards Red Lodge and 25 miles away to the east when BOOOOM my front tire tube went completely flat while I was doing 70 MPH. Tim said my bike was looking like it’s going in the ditch. I somehow was able to come to a stop without a crash. But now I have to fix a flat tire with the sun going done inside of 90 minutes. I have never had a flat or fixed a tire on my bike. I had a spare tube so we proceeded to use (for the first time) my Enduro Star Trail stand. It worked like a charm.

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    The tube likely got a puncture during the day and slowly leaked until it had < 5 lbs pressure and there was no support for the tire. Had a few nice folk stop and offer help but Tim and I had it under control (or at least we thought we did). Installed my spare tube; inflated the tube; Reinstalled the front wheel; Packed up all the stuff again and was off. Except Tim’s bike wouldn’t start again – dead battery. @#$%&!. Well after 15 minutes Tim flagged down a motorist who was carrying jumper cables. Thank-you Bob.

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    Now both bikes are running again and we finish the last ½ hour riding for the day. Tim called Les at Napa Auto Parts to confirm he’s there at this time of night and it’s a go. Well we made it to Red Lodge at 8PM and drove to Napa Auto Parts. Les is waiting; Has the right battery and lends Tim the appropriate tools to swap batteries. I ask Les for a dinner recommendation and he unhesitantly recommends the Ox Pasture. I call to see if they’re still open (it’s 8:45PM now) and whether our motorcycle riding gear is black-tie enough. They said come-on-down. Tim went first and I picked up our motel key to make certain we had a place to stay (they were completely booked) even though I reserved with a credit card. I sprint back to the Ox Pasture and we were in for a treat. It turns out that as we were starting our meal, the last customers departed which left us and 6 employees (plus chef/cooks). Never did we feel rushed. A little background. The restaurant is owned by David Leuschen who is from the area and by the way has a net worth of $5.5 BILLION. Well he brings in 5-Star restaurant talent (different cuisine each year) to operate the restaurant. The prices just cover the expenses. He just wants a 1st class restaurant in his town. Here's some prose from the restaurant's website;

    "celebrating our third season at Ox Pasture with a summer pop-up by acclaimed Sicilian Chef Philip Guardione of Piccola Cucina, New York City. Favorite Sicilian summer recipes are prepared with locally grown ingredients and served in our convivial and fresh-faced dining room on Red Lodge’s main street."

    I ordered the lasagna for the main course and jokingly told to manager that I write a lasagna blog. Well him (and the rest) being from Sicily took me seriously and provided the best I’ve ever had. He then brought over a pin/paper and asked me to write my blog's name for him. I was embarrassed and told him I would email it to him. Fantasic salad – main course – desert – and of course red wine. Went to the motel and took a shower and hit the bed. Zzzzzzzz

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    #7
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  8. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    Day Five - Thursday (August 9)
    10:30 hours & 238 miles (original plan 258 miles and 5:17 hours driving time)

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    I called around trying to locate a spare front tube replacement which we could pick up along the route. Found a couple of places which weren’t quite along the route but had the right tube. Strangely when I checked the inflation and the front showed only 15 lbs. rather than the 30 lbs. which I originally inflated it to. Was worried about missing the original puncture origin☹️; Inflated to 30 lbs. again; Tested ever 100 miles and no problem for the rest of the trip!

    Took it easy going up and down the Beartooth Highway (National Scenic Byways All-American Road). What a great ride with plenty of pics. snow, lakes, panoramic views. 68 miles which originally opened in 1937 which passes over the Beartooth Pass (10,947’) and was called “the beautiful drive in the US” by the late Charles Kuralt. The pass is closed from mid-October to mid-May.

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    At the end of the Beartooth Highway, right before Cooke City, we took a great rocky accent/decent up to the Lulu Pass Trail.

    The start was unusually tame (still waters run deep).

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    It is one of the highest tracks in Montana with Lulu Pass being at 9,846’. Eleven miles of the usual rocky, off-camber, steep up/down riding. Tim lost his front brakes on the descent and struggled to keep from going off the face.

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    We ate a forgettable lunch in Cooke City. Needed to get a pair of finger nail clippers. Pass on the precious gem stone inlay-ed pair in a general store for $29 and opted for the $3 pair. I went to work.

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    The next part of the day was traveling through Yellowstone. We were ready for a slow go but it turned ridiculously slow due to gawkers who just parked their cars in the middle of the highway and got out to take pictures of mainly buffalo. Sometimes the line of cars would be 30+ long. Finally we just started driving around the parked cars.

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    The delays through Yellowstone made us skip a couple of minor forest road side trips off of US26 while going to our night’s campsite at the Falls Campground. This is Grizzly Bear country and used the supplied bear boxes. Another great fire – Thank you InstaFire!

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    #8
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  9. Hollywood D

    Hollywood D Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Oddometer:
    236
    Location:
    Colorado
    I lived in Wyoming for about 4 years. There’s some cool places if you know where to go. Looks like you found a lot of them. Nice thing about that state is people rely on each other to survive. A lot more friendly and people are willing to help out.

    I’m surprised they let you have campfires given how dry it’s been this year.

    My folks like up in Montana. Some day when I get the balls I should take your guys route up through Wyoming and to their place.
    #9
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  10. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    Day Six - Friday (August 10)
    9:16 hours & 220 miles (original plan 232 miles and 6:21 hours driving time)

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    No bears and a good night’s sleep. Returned back to where we ate dinner last night (Wilderness Boundary Restaurant) and gassed up. Immediately passed the Tie Hack Monument where beefy woodsmen (mostly Scandinavian and Irish immigrants) to chop, slice and dice the timber -- called "tie hacking."

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    We turned off onto a great section of road and beautiful rolling hills and plenty of Pronghorn, deer, elk and of course cows.

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    And a bear which we saw getting a drink from inside a corral. Saw the squiggly tracks of bicycles off and on during this WY ride due to the proximity to the Continental Divide Trail but this day we came across both singles and a group of nearly ten bicyclists. The roads which we’re travelling on are hard to conceive that bikes travel it with the hills and sand.

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    Ate lunch at “The Place” restaurant which had many taxidermied animals (some you wouldn’t want to meet) in the rafters. Play fetch with a dog after lunch. Who ever heard of a dog which would play and fetch rocks? During lunch we heard about Chris Cline (net worth $2 Billion) who owns most of the area’s property; West Virginian coal baron and BTW dated Tiger Woods ex-wife Elin Nordegren. No sign of Elin around though.

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    Continued on after lunch and started traveling the historic area for Lander Cutoff section (also California National Historic Trail) of the Oregon Trail designed and constructed by accomplished railroad engineer and explorer Frederick William Lander. This was the United States’ first road construction project and started in 1858. See the history about where Lander and the original, drunken project superintendent (William Miller Finney Magraw) where the “two met in Washington, D.C. in 1860, Magraw assaulted Lander with a blackjack, splitting open Lander’s head. Although severely injured, Lander beat Magraw nearly to death before being pulled away by several waiters”. The Sweetwater River was particularly nasty and unpredictable for crossing.

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    Out of Pindale we went where few travel. Pipeline being dug and another lightly traveled sandy, rocky section. We were dodging the pipeline digging equipment then made a sharp left onto another rarely used two-track going into the horizon. More sand, hills, rocks and ruts. These got your attention but made the day’s travel.

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    Osprey nest
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    Swung by Boulder to gas up in anticipation of the extreme off-road 7th day track of 378 miles with nearly 190 miles between gas stops. Needless to say the extra gallon Rotopax was filled .Took some time then we travelled 60 miles along the path of the continental divide. No bicycles but you really experience what pioneers experienced 170 years ago. Very humbling and great views.

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    Alittle south of Atlantic City is a tourista nearly ghost town of South Pass City (former station on the Oregon Trail). The entire city (?) is on the National Register of Historic Places. Little known fact was that Wyoming first granted women the right to vote in 1869 (full 51 years before the 19th amendment). Also South Pass city was first city to have a woman was Justice of the Peace (1870). Gold was discovered near in 1866 then decline … then tourist trap.

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    Quickly go to Atlantic City and setup camp.

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    Once again firewood available and last of the three InstaFire pouches worked like a charm after a memorable dinner at the Miner’s Grubstake. Note there are two restaurants in the Atlantic City and the other one didn’t pass the parking lot test. First thing that hits you when you enter the restaurant is that this is not a “No Smoking” facility. We noted the “Wait to be seated” sign but nothing was happening. I inquired at the bar and was greeted with “What do you want?” then directed to sit anywhere. Our waiter (seemed like a nice guy) with a mullet and a dragging-foot limp came over and I asked about dinner. Note it’s 7PM. He said the kitchen might be closed but he’d ask. Well they’re open so we order their specialty which is a steak. BTW it tasted great and must have been cooked over a wood barbeque.

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    We were there a total of maybe 1 hour and the whole time this guy was giving me/us the stink-eye. He and a few others at the bar where drinking whiskey (AND were wearing open-carry guns). Tim and I nicknamed him the “Sheriff”.

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    We left went to our campsite a couple miles out of town and met up/chatted with a husband/wife pair of motorcyclists in a camp near us. Good fire and chat.

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    #10
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  11. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Relocated to Scottsdale, AZ from SF Bay area
    Day Seven - Saturday (August 11)
    14:56 hours & 378 miles (original plan 384 miles & 10:51 hours driving)

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    Breakfast was a Mountain House breakfast of Skillet something. Sustaining but won’t be making this at home anytime soon. Packed up the camping gear for the last time this trip and loaded the bike. Front tire still holding the appropriate air. This is going to be a loooonnnng day. We quickly head to the first off pavement section. Today’s route will be comprised of three distinct sections: first 1/3 traveling through the rarely traveled region of the Red Desert (9,000+ sq. miles). This includes the Killpecker Sand Dunes which is the second-largest active sand dune field in the world (stretches 55 miles with dunes that reach 100 feet high). You don’t want any bike problems in this stretch. This area also had hundreds of wild (feral) horses. Beautiful animals and fun to stop the bike and which them run (a bunch run to the left, another bunch gallops to the right). Tim thinks he recognized a pair of distinctive horses during this portion of the ride which reappeared a couple of hours later. And of course more Pronghorns.

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    Once again we had to do some dynamic mapping due to sections of the road washed away. It would have required an Evel Knievel jump for one section (if we were bigger idiots than we are). As an aside, did I tell you that my daughter lives next to Evel’s daughter? Her husband is an ortho doc (go figure how they met). The roads were poor quality. Here’s a pic of the better one. I don’t blame this WY county for not spending any money of these roads. We never saw a soul.

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    Killpecker Dunes is the second largest active sand dune field in the world. (north of Point of Rocks). A prominent feature in this section is Spring Butte. It rises to almost 7,600’.

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    We also rode nearly right through the Jim Bridger Power Plant (coal fired) which was named after the renowned explorer and mountain man, John “Jim” Bridger. Here’s some awesome stats: chimney 500 feet high; Four boilers with each consumes 275 tons of coal per hour; boilers are 240 feet tall; Four turbine-generators has a nameplate rating of 555,100 kilowatts (net > 2.3 MW); each unit is 131 feet long and weigh approximately 1 million pounds each. Ouch.

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    This first section ends at Point of Rocks on I80. We ate a sandwich+ for lunch and gassed up at the only thing in PofR. I was getting on my bike and a man speaking a Russian-sounding language approached me and tried selling me jewelry from his car. Go figure, I’m throwing my leg over the KTM. At first I thought he was complementing us on our rides. Couldn’t understand anything he was saying except that he was broke and needed money. Does this guy drive up and down I80? There was only one other car in the area. Now off to the middle 1/3 of our adventure.

    This portion started by going through (I think) a section of land which provided the power plant with its coal. Then the fun started. We rode for the next few hours on desert mountain sections which few people have traveled in the last few years. More than once the road would end in washed out sections. I would travel up and down the washout hoping to rediscover the faint 2-track on the other side. It was rutted and sandy (and very warm/hot). My KTM started flashing warnings that the it was too hot. Never seen this before. Tim’s bike was doing the same. We turned them off for 15 minutes and restarted. This time going 20 MPH+ even though the 2-track was very rough. We would go by buildings which have collapsed who knows how many years ago.
    NOTE to Garmin BaseCamp – Just because a road was used by a gas line 30 years earlier, please don’t show it as a viable route now. This area looked like the “little” Grand Canyon.

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    Tim and I were nearing exhaustion, had refilled my 1.5 liter camelback and then we hit another 15 miles of bad roads, sand and fairly steep hill terrain. Finally we reach the end of this section and the start of the final one, beautiful Baggs, WY. I had to admit to Tim that this last section was NOT sent to me or recommended by others. It was just me and Garmin, baby.

    Gassed up at Baggs around 7ish and in the process, we talked to an older guy eating some pizza. Now you can guess how old this guy was cause we're old farts. He said that there really wasn’t any good food to eat in Baggs but offered us some of his pizza pie. Nice gesture but we passed. He asked where we were heading and answered - Tim’s house (3 hours+ and 170 miles away). He warned us about deer being everywhere this time of day/night on the roads and recommended we stop for the night. Well the horses were "smelling the oats in the barn” and we pushed on. Needless to say we saw deer everywhere and slowed down to 50 MPH during the majority of this ride back in the dark. We knew a hot shower, delicious pizza and a nice bed were awaiting us at the end. We made it. Next day I packed up and drove the 11 hours home to Scottsdale. Hope you enjoyed the ride with us.
    #11
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  12. hockeylife

    hockeylife Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Wow, great write up, great trip! Wish I could have been there....maybe next time.
    #12
    surferbum likes this.
  13. GerrNP

    GerrNP Mr. President we must not allow a mine shaft gap

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    sw ndakota
    About 20 years ago wife, I, and two early teen children passed though South Pass and Atlantic City. Stopped in the same saloon/eating place, first though was; did I just take a step back to the 19th century. Second thought, are the kids gonna be safe, hopping no gun fights break out like you see in the western movies. Wyoming and Montana have been an extended weekend change of scenery “get away’s” for me over the decades. Appreciate the tour.
    #13
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  14. nwemerys

    nwemerys Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    203
    Location:
    Scottsdale AZ
    Matt/Tim, did the Ox Pasture restaurant serve any “Ho-Made Pie”? Great report, really looking forward to riding again soon.
    #14
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  15. typeamark

    typeamark Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    336
    Awesome report Matt. Bought some instafire and a bike stand while I read the report. Inspiring.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #15
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  16. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,435
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Looks like you had a nice trip!
    Thanks for sharing.
    #16
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  17. DSchmidt7of7

    DSchmidt7of7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    234
    Location:
    SoCal - OC and San Berdo Mtns
    Just stumbled across this trip report. Even though it took place a year ago, I'm gonna save it as a key reference for a future trip to WY.

    Thanks for taking the time to post the photo and notes.
    #17
    surferbum likes this.