SgtMarty wandering around Earth

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SgtMarty, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thursday, July 15, 2010
    -----------------------

    Bacon... bacon... bacon... Bacon!

    We had told Terri that we usually set our alarm at 09:00, and it was about then that the aroma of breakfast wafted up from the kitchen below us.

    Everything on the breakfast menu was included with the room, and the food Terri served us was ample and excellent.

    [​IMG]

    When other guests left the dining room, we had a chance to talk more with Terri. We learned that she had attended the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for a few years before having a knee damaged too badly to continue. It wasn't until a couple of years later that knee-repair surgery improved enough to give her full use of her knee again. It had been the end of her military career, but she had prevailed. She did well at finding a new course to her life. Good for her.

    Myself, Terri, Laurie.

    [​IMG]

    There is a continental-style breakfast setup in the common area on the main floor, and all guests are welcome to it. (We had scarfed some muffins last night, since the kitchen had been closed and there was nothing else around.) All in all, I thought the place was very nice.

    Laurie and I got geared up and headed back toward St. Mary and the east entrance to Glacier National Park. The large tree-damaged area was due to a fire in 2006. The conifers still looked charred but the aspens and other deciduous trees had shed their bark and now looked bleached.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Laurie stopped in St. Mary to put on her rain jacket, thinking that it would get cold as we got into higher altitudes. Actually, it stayed pretty warm, and you aren't moving very fast once you are in the park, so light jackets proved good enough for most riders. The red buses were all over, taking tourists through the park and giving them a narrated tour.

    [​IMG]

    Despite several road-work areas, the ride was nice and scenic.

    Photo interlude:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We stopped (as did virtually everyone else) at Logan Pass to walk around a while. Lots of people hiked up onto the snow-covered ridges.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The descent to the west was long and I just let the bike coast for most of it. Since I was running quietly, I noticed that I was hearing some chain noise coming from Laurie's bike ahead of me. I'd have to check it later.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we dropped out of the mountains, a medium-sized black bear zipped across the road right in front of us. Having my camera in the handlebar bag allows me catch a shot like this quickly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After leaving the Park, we took U.S. Highway 2 back to the east. I had ridden this section two years ago, so it was familiar to me. An easy ride. When we got to the town of East Glacier Park, we took Highway 40 north through another section that I hadn't seen before. Very nice ride, and it ensured that we didn't miss seeing the World's Largest Purple Spoon.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back at the B&B, Laurie relaxed while I sewed up one of my side bags where a seam had torn apart a week ago and had now gotten to the point that it needed to be repaired. The sewing kit that I carry is equipped with heavy thread and a variety of straight and curved needles, so it got the job done. I took a look at Laurie's chain and it certainly needed adjustment. After that, I did photo management and some writing before it was dinner time.

    Terri's menu was surprisingly varied, and the food was good and reasonably priced. Afterward, I went out and played toss-the-ball, toss-the-rawhide, and toss-the-cow horn with Terri's dogs. Cosmo, with the blue ball, was very persistent. If you were on the deck, he would bring the ball to the edge of the deck and push it to you with his nose.

    [​IMG]


    .
  2. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Friday, July 16, 2010
    ---------------------

    Another good breakfast followed by good-byes started our ride south. The day was already hot, and it was again very windy.

    After leaving the Blackfeet Nation lands (I had taken a similar photo here two years ago), we stopped at Pierre's Hideaway for a break. There was another woman working there now, so I didn't get a bunch of local weather lies. Instead, Laurie and I talked for a while with some of the locals about our ride.

    [​IMG]

    From there, we took U.S. 287 south. I saw a lot of beetle-killed forests. Throughout the Rockies (and perhaps elsewhere), the scourge of the pine beetle is devestating.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Several mundane miles on Interstate 15 got us into Helena. Laurie had some points for Holiday Inn Express, so that's where we stopped.

    Laurie found a motorcycle shop and we took the bikes there. Laurie needed front and rear tires, I needed a front. We didn't get much of a choice, but we got tires that worked for us, and it was so hot that I was happy to pay them to mount the tires. In the showroom, there was a red 1994 Honda GoldWing in pristine condition, with about 50,000 miles on it. The price was only $5995. Ever felt tempted to buy something just because it was such a good deal? No, we didn't buy it, but it was close.

    The hotel desk clerk directed us to a local steak house, and after eating, we just stayed at the table and played cards for over an hour. The waitress finally asked us if we were waiting for something, and we told her that we just didn't want to hang out in the hotel room. We paid rent on the table by getting dessert, but the chocolate caramel cheesecake was too rich to finish.


    .
  3. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Saturday, July 17, 2010
    -----------------------

    I chose to sleep through breakfast since I had eaten so much and so late the night before. Laurie had snagged some yoghurt and a banana for me, so when we were ready to go, I was all set.

    Still hot and windy, the riding was getting monotonous to me.

    [​IMG]

    From Ennis, we detoured a short distance to Virginia City, a semi-preserved historical city. We parked the bikes and walked right up to the afternoon showing of a stage show. The first part of the show was a nicely-done performance of Voltaire's comic play, The Miser. The 18th-century Italian costumes were matched by fine performances by most of the players. After an intermission, another half-hour of Vaudeville skits and songs completed the show. It was worth the $18 each.

    We walked around a little, but after a snack, we were ready to move on. Being dressed in riding clothes and boots made it too hot and clunky to walk around much. Many buildings and businesses are preserved in their actual condition from long ago.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back to U.S. 287, we rode over Gallatin Pass and along Earthquake Lake, which was formed in 1959 when a large quake caused a landslide that covered the highway and blocked the river.

    [​IMG]

    A heavy rain briefly cooled us off as we rode from West Yellowstone to our Super 8 hotel, which was eight miles west of the town. There was nowhere to eat except back in the town or at the KOA campground nearby, so we had buffalo burgers there.

    We were going to be here for four nights, planning to ride in Yellowstone Park for two or three of those days.

    .
  4. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    654
    Location:
    Quesnel, B.C. Canada
    What a shame you had bad weather on your trip south from Jasper...the scenery along the Icefields Parkway is some of the most spectacular in all of BC. You'll have to come and see it again.

    Oh, a correction too....those fruits you saw alongside the road, are wild strawberries, not raspberries. They are everywhere, very sweet, but small.

    Riding to the front of the line at a construction zone is not usually seen as polite in Canada....we're just too nice to say anything..... :)

    Have a safe journey home, and I hope the weather is better!
  5. Ardyjay

    Ardyjay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    West Coast Canada
    Umm, not all of us Canadians think that! I feel it's fair game to casually idle up to the front of a long line along the curb side.
    :evil
  6. olebiker

    olebiker Old buzzard bait

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,986
    Location:
    Kingston ON Canada
    Don't do that in the large urban centers in On. someone will try and put you in the ditch. There is very little politeness here.
  7. LaurieD

    LaurieD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Larkspur, Colorado
    On the secondary roads we were riding, the construction crew usually motioned us to the front when we were facing gravel and a pilot car. And it wasn't just our intriguing bikes and pretty faces - they motioned multiple motorcycles up to the front of the line as they saw them.

    The drivers were typically very polite on the gravel, at least the ones behind me seemed to be - they didn't tailgate me, and when they did pass (gravel, non-pilot car two way stretches) they gave me a wide berth. I appreciate that :)
  8. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,055
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    ....I've ridden many thousands of miles across Canada and the pilot cars and flagmen very frequently wave motorcycles to the head of the line...I've always been told that it was help riders have less dust and thrown up gravel when the lines restart.
  9. olebiker

    olebiker Old buzzard bait

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,986
    Location:
    Kingston ON Canada
    If there is a pilot car then you would be ok otherwise I would stay where I am here. In 45 yrs I have never had a flag person wave me to the front of a line here.
  10. LaurieD

    LaurieD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    Larkspur, Colorado
    The only times we ever had a line where we went to the front, there was a flag person who waved us forward or who confirmed that we should be there. Sometimes there was a pilot car, sometimes not.

    If there was ever a non-manned situation, like when they put up a stoplight to show when you needed to stop or go, we stayed in our place in line and followed whomever was ahead of us. Cough, cough ... :1drink

    If we're ever in Ontario we'll take your advice and stay put.
  11. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Okay, before I forget...

    ...miniture wild strawberries...

    ...motorists will run me off the road in Ontario...

    ...some people get waved to the front of the line and some don't...

    Got it.
  12. olebiker

    olebiker Old buzzard bait

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,986
    Location:
    Kingston ON Canada
    Na they won't run you off the road here. Maybe get with their door though. :evil
  13. klx365

    klx365 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Hamilton MT.on off road riding
    My klr had a front end wobble above 70 mph and it turned out to be the steering bearings at the stem were to loose.
  14. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thanks for sharing. :rofl

    (My problem turned out to be a loose countersprocket nut)
  15. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Sunday, July 18, 2010
    ---------------------

    Didn't do much of anything. Another day lazing in the hotel. I had gotten the ride report updated online yesterday, so that was done for a while. We rode eight miles back into town for dinner and ate at a bar that had a nice buffet. An elderly couple sat a couple booths away from us and I heard them tell the waitress that they had been married for sixty years as they ordered a bottle of wine. Before we left, I had the waitress put the wine onto our tab (but she wasn't allowed to tell the couple who had treated them). A small, anonymous gesture, but what the heck.

    .
  16. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Monday, July 19, 2010
    ---------------------

    We did a 142-mile ride around the southern loop of Yellowstone Park in the afternoon and early evening. I knew the afternoon would be hot, but hoped that the evening would cool off. It didn't, really.

    The heavy traffic entering the park and throughout the ride was to be expected. As usual, if there was any animal in sight, traffic came to a complete stop as gawkers gawked and everybody piled out of every vehicle with cameras in hand. It just seemed silly when four or five people got out of the same vehicle, each person with their own camera (or camera phone) and taking the same photo of the same deer, or moose, or fox, or squirrel, or rock that kinda looked like it was maybe a bear or something...

    Photo interlude:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The recovery from huge wildfires years ago was going well, with incredible dense new forests growing back naturally.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We got to the Old Faithful site just twenty minutes before it erupted, so we didn't wait nearly as long as most people had waited.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we continued around the south loop, we saw the smoke plume from a large fire and watched a helicopter with a water bucket make a couple of runs to a lake.

    [​IMG]

    Many warnings to NOT approach the wildlife went ignored by many, many stupid people.

    [​IMG]

    Although it wasn't always possible to avoid the critters.

    [​IMG]

    We didn't do many of the hiking trails to see the sights. The hot riding clothes were part of the problem, the boots were the main hindrance. And since I have had a nagging plantar facitis irritation in my right heel for over a year, longs walks were not attractive to me. We did a few short walks, though. You can't see much from the road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There was an unavoidable zone of road work between Norris and Madison, but only a very short section was in really bad shape (photo of that section coming up later).

    [​IMG]

    The day had been dry and hot, with the south loop taking us about six hours to do. The restaurant we chose for dinner didn't have a liquor license, so I went beer-less. Rats.

    .
  17. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Tuesday, July 20, 2010
    ----------------------

    We again slept late before heading out to ride the north loop of the park. Another hot, dry day. Another day spent behind slow-moving, frequently-stopping traffic. Slow, stop-and-go riding like this is hell on two wheels. So be it; you can see more from the bike anyway.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We took one side route through some nice hills.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Near the Mammoth area, we did one final, short walk to see the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces. Much nicer to the eye than to the camera, especially in the afternoon sun.

    [​IMG]

    We did the short detour to the north entrance gateway arch, then back to the north loop.

    [​IMG]

    I wasn't taking as many photos today, and we didn't walk the trails as much as yesterday. When I had a chance to get past a half mile-long stretch of vehicles stopped in the road to photograph a bear in the distance, I took it. That got Laurie and I separated for an hour or so, but that's no matter. Part of this loop is alpine, and I enjoyed the mountain riding and the longer views.

    I waited for Laurie to catch up before we headed back through the construction zone. The one real bad section of road was right next to a hot spring, and the asphalt was melted and smooshed. You'd think they would build a surface bridge (steel, maybe) in this area, rather than constantly re-pave it. I'm sure there are issues involved that I don't understand.

    [​IMG]

    It was late again when we got back to West Yellowstone, and after a nice Italian dinner, we went across the street to the PlayMill Theatre, where lucky timing once again got us seated immediately for the 20:30 performance of The Foreigner. It's a familiar comic play, and the mostly-young cast did a fine job of it.

    We rode back to the hotel in the dark--the first night riding we've done in two months. Laurie's accessory lights might have a problem with the wiring or the switch, but we weren't able to re-create a possible intermittent fault. Not a major issues, since they were always intended to be back-up lights.

    .
  18. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Wednesday, July 21, 2010
    ------------------------

    We didn't make it out of the parking lot before Laurie tipped her bike over into the flowers in front of the hotel. As it turned out, it was her last tip-over for the trip.

    It was a cloudy, cooler day as we headed south-west on U.S. 20, then we skirted storms as we turned east.

    [​IMG]

    Once north on highway 93, we continued passing near grumpy weather, but it barely touched us. We decided to not go see what was on display at Beaver Dick Park.

    [​IMG]

    There is a large fault line that runs along the mountains here.

    [​IMG]

    We saw a lot of anti-meth billboards and signs all over the U.S., just as we had seen more of them on television.

    [​IMG]

    Another hour or so of this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Before getting to Challis (270 miles for the day), we passed through some more rocky areas.

    [​IMG]

    The Village Inn Motel seemed okay, but after checking in I found that their Internet access was no good. I wanted to get another update uploaded, and we had stopped here because they advertised Internet access. I spoke to the manager and he assured me that he would have someone come fix it. Laurie and I went to the restaurant and hung out for a couple hours, playing Uno after we had eaten.

    When I went back to the motel manager, he told me that he would notify the owners that the Internet was not working. I asked if he had called a technician as he said he would, he shrugged it off and told me that he hadn't. For some reason, that really irked me and I told him that we would check out, pay nothing, and move someplace else. He didn't care, so that's what we did.

    Fifteen minutes later, we were comfortable relocated in another hotel and I spent a couple hours getting photos and the ride report updated.

    .
  19. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thursday, July 22, 2010
    -----------------------

    It was a short day, riding back up to Darby, Montana--only 140 miles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After getting checked into our hotel, we ate with other riders at a pizza/burrito restaurant next door. The guy who (slowly) made the burritos was very testy. When it was my turn to tell him what I wanted, I just said I wanted everything in it. He froze and stared at me for a couple seconds, then said, "I need to ask you some questions, or don't you care?"

    I almost laughed, but I went through the Burrito Nazi's routine of clarifying each ingredient when he was ready to add it. Laurie learned from my experience, and she obediently side-stepped along the counter and said "yes" and "no" when each ingredient was offered to her.

    After a while, we rode to the campground to see what was going on there.

    [​IMG]

    Many riders had been there for a few days already. There had been a lumberjack competition in this same campground/event field the previous weekend, so there were a lot of logs and bits of wood laying around. Everyone had decided to call those scraps "firewood," so it worked out very well.

    The folks who were doing all the cooking for our gathering had brats and chicken on the grill, along with side dishes. Even a beer or two managed to land in my hands.

    The West Fest organizer for this year's event, Putts, got us checked in and I found out that I was again being drafted to officiate over the de-noobing ceremonies. (New attendees to West Fest, or "noobs," must go through a simple, quick routine.)

    I had done the de-noob ceremony two years ago in Lake City, Colorado, and I was happy to do it again. Just had to figure out what the activities would be...

    .
  20. SgtMarty

    SgtMarty Retired, baby!

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Colorado
    Friday, July 23, 2010
    ---------------------

    While most of the riders were out riding the roads and trails around Darby, Laurie and I were sleeping in late. After breakfast, we motored down to the campsite where we spent the remainder of the day. Most of the attendees were there, but a few stragglers were still pulling in.

    The large event tent was the main gathering place, food was provided all day, and in the early afternoon, the first of the beer kegs showed up. Yummy.

    Dave, a KLR rider, was trying to replace his steering stem bearings, but he couldn't get the bearing races out--even after having a local mechanic try to make a tool for him. Dave was also having a heck of a time getting a couple of tires mounted without pinching the inner tubes.

    [​IMG]

    Nathan had ridden to the gathering with Sadie in her usual position--on the seat behind him.

    [​IMG]

    Most attendees were in the campground, but many had found hotels and motels in Darby. The crowd kept growing. There were about two hundred people signed up to attend, and many were still showing up unannounced (with the humble registration fee in hand).

    [​IMG]

    Okay, this sometimes happens when you leave your camera unattended. At least it was his face and not another (less seldom-seen) body part.

    [​IMG]

    Paul (on the left with the sandals) was the only Ural rider there. During the next day's de-noobing warm-up, the axe that he had loaned me for an axe-throwing contest got broken. Sorry, Paul.

    [​IMG]

    As Friday night wore down, lots of campfires sprung up. All that wood laying around, remember? That makes it strange that someone would feel the need to burn a cheap chair that they had just bought at a thrift store.

    [​IMG]

    .