The Stand: Breaking out of the outbreak

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AJxr, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Feb 6, 2011
    Blue Mountain, NY
    Day 6
    Pinedale to Ashton
    214 miles(ish)

    wake up.

    walk into town for some breakfast. Heart and Soul Bakery and Cafe. another recommendation from the cabin lady.

    order up some oatmeal pancakes. which were bangin. the woman who was running the joint was pretty grumpy so i didnt bother asking for the wifi code. i still left a generous tip because who knows whats got her ticked.


    back to the log cabin back room. start loading the bike. the location of my room requires me to walk through the laundry room. run into a woman that works there. really nice person. asks about my trip. tells me her and her family work odd jobs for 8 months out of the year and then spend 4 months in full adventure mode. she shows me some pictures. looks like national geographic. she gives me her contact info and tells me if i need anything on the trail dont hesistate to call because her and her husband are all about helping people on their adventures. wow!

    hit the gas station. fuel up and grab some gators.

    barely 2 miles out of town i get back on dirt. headed toward union pass.


    eventually make it into the teton national forest.


    really enjoying the 1up front sprocket. i didnt gain much top end but now i can cruise at 50 and not feel like the engine is taking a beating.

    somewhere around 100 miles in i pop out on tarmac. instantly notice way more traffic than ive seen since colorado. ah i am getting close to the national parks. this should be fun.

    stop at the lava mountain lodge for some fuel and a snack. have one of these cold brew coffees for the first time. could only stomach 2/3 of it and then felt like i was having a heart attack for the next 2 hours.


    climb back on the horse and head for Togwotee pass.

    ill let these pics speak for themselves.






    yeah i stopped a lot. :lol3

    the dirt part of the pass was short. back on the highway for a few miles.

    see this sign.


    hmph. better turn on the gopro. never saw any.

    day 6 continued in next post.
  2. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Feb 6, 2011
    Blue Mountain, NY
    fuel up again in jackson. there is a lodge here. their winter rental fleet looks fun.


    ride out of the lodge on dirt and back into the forest. headed in the direction of the tetons. prior to the trip i was eager to see the tetons for myself. they look so awesome.

    this trip ruined them.

    about 20 miles from teton national park i pop out on pavement. so many tourists. i come to the national park entrance. they charge me $30 to ride through. a few miles in i finally get a good view of the tetons.


    it was hard to take that picture without getting any other tourists in the shot. lame. the roads are packed with luxury RV and rental cars piloted by people that shouldnt even have a license. this place sucks. even covid hasnt slowed it down. seeing this makes me feel good about not visiting yellowstone. it had been bugging me that i would be so close to yellowstone and not being able to see it. now i am happy about my decision.


    i eventually head west on an EXTREMELY dusty dirt road. its quite dangerous. tons of yahoos driving their sedans where they shouldnt be. its a one lane road. no visibility for oncoming traffic. i am forced to stuff it in the weeds numerous times.

    one time stands out. about 30 miles in i come up on some pontiac with iowa plates. they are doing 30 or so which is impressive but they are dusting me out bad. its that fine silty dust. i cant see much and it doesnt taste that good. also i remember i didnt bring a spare air filter. they notice me but dont plan on letting me by. finally ive had enough. their corner speed isnt that good. i make my move. downshift to 3rd and back it in around the outside. use all of my 19 horsepower. eat my dust asshole. :ksteve

    getting close to the idaho border now. still see the occasional vehicle.

    up until this point i had stopped every time ive seen a cyclist and asked if they were good. have enough water. etc. ive done a few bicycle touring trips and i know how it goes. if something goes wrong in the boonies its a long way to get help. every one i encountered was all set.... until now.

    i come around a corner and see a cyclist waving me down. i think "sweet, now is my time to give back" haha.

    before i come to a stop hes already asking me if i have any weed. i chuckle and say no. then he asks if i have tobacco. i say "no but i have some water if you need it." he looks at me like i had 2 heads. he didnt have much gear so i assume he was only doing a day trip. guess he needs to better prepare or learn to ration his substances.


    anyways i hit a long straight stretch of road. notice a tiny sign that i was going too fast to read. my bike is slow but yeah.. the sign is that small.

    idaho border. another state down.

    i roll into ashton for supplies. i fuel up. refill my water. grabbed a steak dinner which was horrible.

    late in the day and i am pretty worn out. decide to call it a day. shack up in Ashton Idaho for the night.

    i will point out that this part of the trip was the least enjoyable. from tetons to the montana line. between the national park chaos earlier in the day and the trail to come tomorrow morning. ill get to that in the next post though. its still an incredible area and light years better than sitting home.

    day 6 DONE
  3. Desk_Jockey

    Desk_Jockey Adventurer Supporter

    Mar 12, 2020
    Northest Eastest FL
    Great RR; thanks for sharing!
    yakawars59 and AJxr like this.
  4. yakawars59

    yakawars59 Wearing pants is overrated

    Jul 1, 2014
    Yakima Wash.
    Really enjoying your adventure so far. Keep the reports coming!

    Stay safe.
    AJxr likes this.
  5. dondesmo

    dondesmo Senior Squid

    Apr 29, 2011
    Fed Way PNW
    You have a great RR going. Thanks for taking the time to post.
    AJxr likes this.
  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Jan 19, 2016
    Sherwood, Oregon

    F*ckin' fantastic @AJxr! Damn man - what a report and ride thus far. Too bad you're not heading further west, offer you a place to crash, shop to work on your bike, etc. Appreciate your approach to the ride and this report, what a cool find in the place you stayed in Pinedale, what a great experience. And to find a brewery with good beer & good food...score.

    Look forward to catching up on page 3.
    AJxr likes this.
  7. grogger

    grogger Been here awhile

    Mar 15, 2016
    Heckuva rr AJ. Some seriously crazy shit. Glad you made it out of that canyon. That would've been F'd big time.

    Thanks for sharing.
    AJxr likes this.
  8. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Feb 6, 2011
    Blue Mountain, NY
    Day 7
    Ashton to Butte
    301 miles

    slept like crap. was woken up many times during the night due to some harley riders. i never got up to look and see what was happening but it sounded like 2 guys looking for each other. one would ride by, use all of his rpm range per gear. stop. rev the bike. take off. another slightly different sounding one would come by and do the same thing. meanwhile this is like 1-3am. oi mates give it a fucking rest will ya.

    a week in now and i have my gear loading and unloading down. the bit of worry that i was forgetting something each morning has gotten less and less and now almost non-existant.

    no rest days thus far and its starting to catch up with me. slow starting the day. i think i hit the road around 9am.

    tired but eager to get out of here i saddle up. leaving town i decide to snap a pic of the grain silos. park my bike and as i am walking away to take a pic i hear a thud.

    me too buddy.... me too.

    guess i am not the only one who is tired.

    maybe 10 miles out of town or so i pick up some double track. scenery is awesome. i start to feel better.


    about 10 miles south of island park. trail gets super whooped out. normally i love whoops.. when im on my yz250... not so much on a loaded 1989 xr250r.

    5 miles south of island park now and i am seeing all kinds of people riding machines. kids on pitbikes. quads. families in side by sides. no one has helmets. riding all over the place in a zig zag. what have i gotten into.

    apologize to my xr in advance as i lay the hammer down. time to go.

    i know nothing about island park other than it has fuel. hopefully it has food because i am getting hangry and i need some coffee.

    make it through the carnage unscathed. roll into gas station in island park. fuel up. get 2 microwave green chili burritos and a stale but hot coffee. this will do.

    spirit was low at this point. at least i wasnt hungry anymore. before leaving the gas station i have to reload my gear. smashing the whoops has caused some minor relocations.

    happy to say things were quiet on the north side of Island Park. back on wide open dirt roads headed for Red Rock Pass.


    enter montana. texas of the north. ( <- joke) please dont shoot me. i love your state.

    ride through a picturesque valley for hours. its hot too. almost no signs of life now. i think i saw one pickup truck the whole time.


    lunch break

    just outside of Lima i get back on tarmac. head into town for some fuel. place seems a little dated. not many people around either.


    head north into beaverhead national forest. great scenery. i want to say its around 5pm now. i am shot. plan to stay at a campsite when i get to wise river.

    when i finally get into wise river i notice there isnt much there. when i get to the campsite i sit on my bike. let it idle. i look around and say... screw it. i am heading to butte tonight. i am tired and hungry but i can handle another 50 miles. the weather was nice. i am slightly ahead of schedule. the more miles i do today than the less i will have to do tomorrow. maybe i can catch up on some rest. i am here for fun after all right?

    somewhere between wise river and butte i picked up an awesome dirt road. great riding to finish the day off. covered some good ground on this day.


    when i roll into town i pass through the glitter gulch area. tons of hotels, restaurants, you name it. i pull over and look on my phone for an affordable accomodation. come up with a motel 6 for extremely cheap. reserve a room via start riding towards motel6 using my iphone gps. where the heck is it? ride a few miles outside of the "glitter gulch" area that is next to the interstate. start going uphill. ride through the center of Butte. big brick buildings. some looked closed down. feel like i went into the twilight zone. motel was in a weird spot. they give me a room way in the back corner where you have to walk down an alley to get in.



    notice signs saying this is the "evel knievel route" i have to research that.

    unload my gear and ride back into town. go to a jimmie johns for the first time in life. order the largest sandwich they make and a pickle. that pickle... :rayof make a second stop for other "supplies"

    back to the hotel to finally park the bike for the day. 301 miles. not bad. felt relieved.

    every single bit of this was consumed and thoroughly enjoyed :lol3

    my gps tells me i have done 1717 miles in the last 7 days. until this point the xr hasnt had any issues other than using a little bit of oil. the rear brake needs to be adjusted and i am due for another oil change. tomorrow projects.

    got a great nights rest which i definitely needed.

    day 7 concludes.
  9. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Jun 24, 2008
    FLAT Lander
    Fantastic stuff man!! :lurk
    AJxr likes this.
  10. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

    Jul 17, 2015
    Prince Edward Island. Canada
    AJ , I went into dmv in Alpine Texas few ago. Asked the lady at the window if a Canadian citizen could plate a bike in Texas? Her reply in the best ever Texas drawl was ( son do you have a few 20,s in your pocket). So Texas like Vermont I guess. Both states get things DONE. Waiting for more of this excellent report. Petepilot
  11. swamp

    swamp Shut up. Ride.

    Feb 14, 2007
    lower appalachia, Alabama

    friggin hell ya my man!

    so happy for you. glad you rode solo and got to be alone with your thoughts. being beat down by rain, hale and the unknown in a strange landscape then being rewarded with finding a part of yourself that you didn't know was there.. thats what its about buddy.
    yakawars59, Ginger Beard and AJxr like this.
  12. Franque

    Franque Been here awhile

    Apr 26, 2015
    Dallas, Tx -> Aubagne, France
    Yeah, I'm really enjoying this thread. I hope to do something like this with an old XR200R that I have, one day...
    AJxr likes this.
  13. tdvt

    tdvt Been here awhile

    Jul 19, 2012
    NEK Vermont
    I DO know about that....

    Thankfully, you still encounter common sense every once in a while.
    AJxr likes this.
  14. gameyogi

    gameyogi Been here awhile

    Jun 22, 2010
    Snohomish Washington
    I’m really enjoying your ride report and your positive attitude. Good vibes, an old(ish) bike and some punk rock thrown in for good measure, what’s not to like!
    AJxr likes this.
  15. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado Supporter

    Jul 13, 2015
    Coal Creek Canyon, CO, USA
    AJxr likes this.
  16. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Feb 6, 2011
    Blue Mountain, NY
    Day 8
    Butte to Lincoln
    148 miles

    up around 6am. load my gear. spend some time looking over my route and schedule. that extra push yesterday really put me ahead. unless some major issue happens i can slowly cruise to the finish point and still have a day or 2 to spare. i had known this was possible for a few days but now it is a reality and a relief.

    off to starbucks.

    hang around at the sbux enjoying some coffee and a snack waiting for autozone to open next door. gotta change some oil.

    arrived at the zone

    i had been carrying a half quart of oil with me since my last oil change just in case i needed a top off. i figure if i buy the oil here at autozone they will probably let me borrow some kind of container to transfer the used up dinosaur bones from my engine case to their waste oil tank. i figured right.


    doing the oil filter this time around. with the conventional oil i change it every 800-1000 miles and do a filter every other change.

    also needed to adjust the rear brake. its drum. hadnt been working well the last few days but all it took was 2 minutes of adjusting. everything else on the bike looking great. i had been worried about the kenda trackmaster 2s the last couple of days but it seems like they will easily hold up for the rest of the trip. they wore pretty fast up until a point and now its hard to notice a difference in tread depth at the end of a days ride. all things coming together to finish this adv.

    before leaving butte i fuel up and grab some tuna and gatorades. then head north into deerlodge national forest.

    great gravel roads for most of the morning.

    wind up on blacktop for only a few miles around the town of Basin. north of basin the trail gets GOOD. eventually it gets GREAT.


    a few minutes after this picture i came across of a group of 4 riders. The Lords of Mound. cool bunch of guys with cool bikes. they were from minnesota or was it missouri? had to be minnesota. one guy had a mishap with his machine the day before and wound up at a ktm dealership and would finish his ride aboard a brand new ktm 690. beautiful machine. they are headed south. they warn me of a road closure in glacier. *spoiler* i should have researched that a little more than i did (i didnt research it at all.) they also tell me that the trail gets legit in a few miles. they were right.


    as all riders know. pics and videos dont do justice. this wasnt erzberg or even a NETRA enduro but it was slightly technical on a loaded bike dating back to the Reagan Administration.

    rocky hillclimb

    probably 15-18 miles of dirt before i hit Helena.

    fuel and snack in Helena.

    pavement for a little bit. before getting back on dirt. really like how many dirt roads there are in montana. just a few miles outside every city it seems. i love the west. makes me glad to be born and raised in NY state because i can appreciate it that much more. maybe i will relocate someday.

    super fun, scenic riding from here to lincoln. only saw 2 other riders and they were heading south. ive seen a fair amount of cyclists at this point but not a lot of motorbike riders.


    should have spent the night here

    at this point of the day it was HOT and again i didnt feel like laying in a tent all afternoon so another hotel in lincoln it is.

    the place was cheap, clean, quiet..... but.. being another sportsmans town... the fucking fridge smelt like the wuhan fish market. holy fuck did it stink. fuck. luckily it was so hot so the air conditioner ran the whole time recirculating the fish fumes. that was sarcasm. :lol3

    ordered a steak dinner from a nearby restaraunt (which sucked, again) and walked to the gas station for some supplies.


    was pretty excited to find these. the real adventurers beer :imaposer

    spent the evening catching up on Races2Places before passing out in my fish-stank hotel room.

    uneventful day but a dang solid one. every day of this ride was a treat and proper escape from normal life of pandemic, economy sinking, riot and racism filled news, reality show political debates, and straight up civil unrest going on in our country at this time. being on the trail you wouldnt know any of that was going on.
  17. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Feb 6, 2011
    Blue Mountain, NY
    Day 9
    Lincoln to Kalispell
    204 miles

    awake at 6:30. havent used an alarm clock on this trip and i love it.

    make shitty coffee with the small brewer in the hotel room.

    load the bike. check the basics as always. tire psi, oil level, squirt some slick-juice on the chain.

    roll out of lincoln into Helena National Forest.

    on a dirt road for awhile. i come to a sign that says "road closed"

    i know what this means. ive worked in the excavation field most of my adult life and currently i am involved in heavy equipment transport. the last thing this crew wants is some asshat riding through their jobsite. ive been that guy to turn people around before. it sucks. i never wanted to be the guy to do it.

    this is how i go about these situations. ill ride close enough to see whats going on. if the work is done, the crew is gone, or there are no signs of danger i will blast through. this approach sort of worked this time around.

    i get up to the work area. looks like they had put in a new culvert. ditch was backfilled and easily passable. no signs of life anywhere. i think "they must have forgot to take the sign down." i can see the other side of the worksite and the other road closed sign for travelers coming from the other direction. i say ok no big deal ill just buzz through quick. right as i was about to cross the site i see the group of workers down off the side of the road having a coffee break. i could have just blasted through like an asshole but who knows what lies ahead. maybe i will have to backtrack through here. so i pull up to them and shut my bike off. first guy immediately says "isnt there a sign back there?" rightfully so, i deserved the questioning. my response was "yes but im not from around here and i was just wondering if you guys could give me directions around." foreman of the crew just waves me through the site. I say thanks and continue. mildly negative interaction but i figured honesty would be the best way to solve that problem.

    eventually roll through ovando


    shortly past ovando i come to another sign. "road closed 7 miles" i say fuck. as it is i would have to backtrack quite a bit to get to a different route. i decide to see what its about and ride the 7 miles. eventually come to the closure. they are replacing a bridge this time. old bridge is gone. one worker on site running an excavator. i can see the other side though. while i could have made it through the site i didnt want to put the guy on the spot. just didnt feel right. i thought about just riding around in a big loop through the woods but being in a national forest i didnt want to start any shit. the feeling was off.

    spent the next 2 hours riding every dirt road i came across in the area (all not on gps) and all of them came to a dead end. while they would be epic campsites they weren't helping the cause. i backtrack all the way to highway 200 and head west on that toward Clearwater. at the intersection of 200 and 83 i come across a gas station. fuel up. more microwave burritos and a hot coffee. around 11am at this point.

    from here i slab it to Seeley Lake. fuel up again. notice the tourist/RV gangs increasing again. grab more fuel in Seeley lake.

    didnt spend much time in town.

    spent the rest of the day riding north in the Lolo National Forest. perfect dirt roads. great scenery. no other vehicles aside from one log truck.


    didnt really see anyone until i got into Kalispell.

    got into town pretty early. i remember it being super windy. to the point where i was getting blown all over the road.

    rest of the day was pretty quiet. realized I am one day away from the canadian border. looked at the maps for awhile and was happy to see how far Ive traveled on the "old XR that could."

    i can smell the tim hortons

    grabbed a killer burrito at CASA Mexico.

    yes that is one burrito buried under all that awesomeness.

    another quiet, straight forward day.

    at this point of the trip i was getting psyched. tomorrow i will reach the canadian border. that wouldnt be the end of the ride but it is the most important part for me. i had been dreaming about this for years and preparing for months. well aware this is a small journey compared to most. also not even a hard one really. heck it isnt even the biggest or most remote adventure i have ever done myself. it is more the timing.

    the last big trip i had done was a solo trip to australia. i was big into cycling then and trained all winter in the catskill mountains. i flew down to melbourne in february and lived in a Ford Kuga (ford escape here in the states) for a few weeks as i rode the 7 peaks challenge (vertical gain equivalent of going from sea level to the top of mt everest) solo unsupported in the Victorian Alps. after i finished that (rumored to be the only american to try it, which seems impossible) i did a big road trip around the country including to Uluru in the center of the outback.

    i had done something like this almost every year during my 20s.

    kind of getting sidetracked here but...

    that was over 4 years ago. since then life has changed a bit. quite a bit more responsibilities have been taken on. moved to a new town. took on a mortgage. i semi-quit enduro racing. lost a good paying job i had worked at for 1/3 of my life. death of a few close friends. all normal life things we all go through. well aware that i have plenty of time for more adventures but at the same time noticing it is becoming harder and harder to make it happen. wondering if this is my life now, no more "long" term adventures? man i dont even have kids haha. if i did then what? 18 days isnt a grand adventure but it scratched the itch... for now. id like to think this trip is the start of the next chapter.

    had a hard time falling asleep. all i could think about was getting my body and bike to canada by using all of its air cooled 19 horsepowers. knowing when i would get there it wouldnt be anything there but a closed border and no welcoming party but thats not what i was looking forward to.

    eventually i konk out.

    good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight.
  18. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Aug 21, 2016
    CANADA-100 ft N of International Falls, MN
    Wow dude, what a great report/trip.
    After seeing the Jeep guys video, I think you were rather humble in describing what you rode through.
    That was pretty chaotic conditions as the video showed but you made in kinda, “oh ya, was a bit miserable “. You one tough hombre.
    Looking forward to the rest of your report.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Really appreciate and enjoying it.
    karter18 and AJxr like this.
  19. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

    Jul 17, 2015
    Prince Edward Island. Canada
    AJ I’m sure you know what the handle Petepilot means. You being a person who relocates large lumps of steel. I spent 25 years with NA as my office. The last 11 as an INDEPENDENT. Retired some years now and have done a bit of moto wandering. I say all that sir cause you are impressing me and I not easily impressed. You have put together an excellent RR and have shown all that have followed along that you be a skilled rider. Doing all that while on an old bike that processes ancient technology. In my stable I have a 2001 DRZ (440) that I will move with the toy wagon to north New Brunswick on the 14th to wander FSR for 4 days. You have my respect sir. You live a long ways from British Columbia, but find a way to spend a month wandering BC Forest Service Roads. There be nothing like it, with the north half the best. Take Care Petepilot
    AJxr likes this.
  20. AJxr

    AJxr #395

    Feb 6, 2011
    Blue Mountain, NY
    thanks for the kind words. im not sure what it is but my favorite riding is when the weather is its worst. those couple days were some of the most enjoyable times of the ride.

    Pete Pilot i sure do know what that means good buddy. i really appreciate the positive feedback. also big respect to someone that has run as an independent hauler. BC is high on my list of places to visit. i hope i can make it there sooner than later. thanks for reading my report!