Three Amigos Invade Beartooth Pass, July-2020

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Skunk-Works, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Me- "Alan-Steve", Leon- "Magic-Marker", and Ron- "Cap'n-Ron"

    This trip had been in the works since Fall-2019. The reservations for the Campground were booked at the end of January of this year.
    There were times during the Covid lockdowns that we were all uncertain if the trip was going to happen at all? There originally was supposed to be a couple of good friends of ours (Husband and Wife) from Canada joining us on his birthday, but with the closed northern border this summer they sadly were not able to make the trip................

    I had spent the early part of the summer getting the Camper ready for the trip, and for the 9-nights we would spend in it. Increased the battery storage capacity as well as lowered the tongue-weight to allow me to haul the motorcycle on the front-deck.

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    The date finally arrived! I loaded up the bike and all my gear the night before.
    I set off for Red lodge Montana early Friday morning, long before the sun was up.
    I knew hauling this load was going to be a slow and steady trip, and I had a lot of miles to cover in one day.

    The journey on this day was fairly uneventful, and aside from the constant head-wind throughout Wyoming, was a pretty easy drive.

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    I rolled into Camp 578-miles later around early-afternoon.

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    I got the Camper parked, and as I was setting up "Cap'n Ron" rolled in on his Vstrom-650.
    He had been moto-camping on his way from California to meet-up in Montana.

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    #1
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  2. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    After we finished setting up the campsite, we enjoyed a "Steak and Potato" dinner, some adult-beverages, and a nice campfire.....................then called it a night.

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    Day-2

    No riding today.
    We slept-in late, and just sorta had a relaxing day around Camp.
    We took the Jeep into town to check out the grocery-store situation, but we didn't want to stray too far from camp.
    Leon and his Wife would be arriving today, and we were unsure of their time-frame. We wanted to be around when they showed-up.
    They were traveling from Iowa, and had spent the night somewhere in the Black-Hills in SD.

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    They arrived some time in the afternoon.
    After getting their stuff unpacked, and Leon's bike unloaded, and vehicle and trailer parked, it was relaxation time...............
    The rest of the evening was spent cooking, eating, drinking, and hanging out by the campfire.

    I had received a "Care-Package" from our Canadian friends a bit before the trip, once they knew they would not be able to join us.
    I waited to open it until we were all present.
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    It consisted of some wonderful home-made gifts, a very touching an beautiful letter, and of course "Hawkins-Cheezies"!

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    #2
  3. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Day-3
    215 miles of riding today.

    We started the day with breakfast at Camp, then a quick discussion of some basic ride-plans. (Leon's Wife stayed at Camp to relax, read, and hang out for the day)
    After getting the bikes ready and gearing up, we grabbed a bag of trash that we had been collecting over the past couple days and proceeded to take it to the Dumpster. (there is a sign posted at our Campground with instructions to bring it to the neighboring Campground, where the Dumpsters are located)
    Funny story of the morning:
    We rolled up on our three bikes..........Leon on his FJ1200, Ron on his Vstrom, and myself on the Super Tenere. I was carrying the bag of trash.
    Our first encounter was with an older woman, who was sitting in a lawn-chair in the dirt-lot near the dumpsters....... As I neared, she get's up and yells to me "You are NOT allowed to dump your trash here!".......................I was slightly taken-back by this, and thought this is odd? I had no idea who this woman was?.................I stood there for a few seconds, looking at the row of 4 or 5 Dumpsters lined up. I replied back to her "Says Who?!?"
    She then says "These dumpsters are only for guests of this Campground!".....................I thought to myself "OK, this should be an easy fix"
    I replied back to her, and explained about the sign at our Campground down the road, and how it instructed me to bring our trash there..........................She sits back down in her lawn-chair, and doesn't offer a word.
    At this point, my riding mates are probably wondering what is going on, as they are hearing a one-sided conversation through the comms..........................I was relieved that they both kept silent.
    I still did not know who this woman was? But at this point I figured I was good-to-go with dumping the bag of trash.........
    I walked up to the closest dumpster to me. (it was locked) I walked over to the next dumpster. (it was also locked) Before walking over to another one, I turn and look at the woman in the lawn-chair (she was watching me the whole time) She yells over to me......."Can't you read?!?"
    I start looking around for some sort of sign with instructions on it....................Anything?.................I looked all around, but all I could see on the dumpsters was the name of the trash-pickup company.
    I figured that this woman was obviously not there to offer any help whatsoever, and I was most likely providing her with her morning amusement (or annoyance at this point) so there was no way I was going to ask her for any more guidance.............
    I actually had to hunt for it, but eventually I did find a small handwritten sign attached to a post out by the road, with instructions to use the farthest dumpster on the left and to fill it from the back!
    Relieved, I disposed of the bag of trash, gave the woman a wave, and we all rode off.
    At this point I still had no idea who this woman was? But the rest of the trip we referred to her as the "Trash Nazi"

    The three of us rode into Red Lodge to get fuel, and then we set off up Hwy-78.
    Cap'n Ron and I had both been there two years prior on our FJ1200s, where Ron had struck a Deer (bounding full-speed across the road) in the middle of the day and totalled his FJ.
    We stopped again on this day at the exact spot, to take a look and for Ron to get some closure of the incident two years later.
    We were surprised to see his skid-marks were just still barely visible, and the long weeds were still trampled where we had pulled his bike up out of the ditch.

    These two pictures are from 2 years ago, on the day.
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    We moved on.
    Hwy-78 is a fast road with undulating hills, and wide sweepers...................We had a blast riding out to the little village of Roscoe.
    We turned around at "The Grizzly Bar" and headed back towards Red Lodge.
    It was a bit early for Lunch, and it was closed anyway.

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    After riding back into town the way we came, we rode out the east side towards Belfry and then south towards Chief Joseph Hwy.
    The weather was absolutely perfect!

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    The road was in fantastic condition as we made our way up the twisty incline....
    We stopped at the overlook near the summit to enjoy the views.

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    #3
  4. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Next it was down the other twisty side, having more fun than we should have!

    We made another stop at the Bridge over Sunlight Creek Gorge.

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    After getting our fill of the scenery, we motored-on........
    Some ways down the road we were stopped at a one-lane construction zone, when Leon voiced a concern that he's unsure if he would make it all the way to Cooke-City on fuel.
    There happened to be a small outpost just over our right shoulder that had a gas-pump, however it was closed and no chance of getting fuel there.
    We decide to just continue on and see what happens.

    We made it into Cooke-City easily, and Both Leon and Ron topped up with fuel.
    (I had a 6-gallon gas can back at Camp, so I did not take fuel there)
    We searched town for a place to eat lunch..........We were hoping to find a place that had outdoor seating, and was open..
    We stumbled upon a place that we would end up re-visiting a couple more times during the week we were in Montana.
    It was called "Buns-n-Beds". They had an open table-right out front, a smoker smoking-away on the front porch, and one of the best "Smoked Prime Rib" Sandwiches I have ever had!
    As the three of us settled into our lunch, we made plenty of conversation with the friendly woman who tended to us.
    We discussed all matter of things such as "How tourist business has been during these Covid times?", "Where we were all from?", and "What our trip plans might be?" as we enjoyed the sandwiches and fine milkshakes.

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    #4
  5. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    After our lunch we made our way east toward Beartooth Pass.
    There was a slight delay for construction just as we started the climb, but after that it was passing-cars and blasting the curves!
    The weather remained perfect the whole way over the Pass.

    A few stops for pictures along the way.

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    Our Campsite was far below us, down in the valley.
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    We arrived back at Camp, and spent the rest of the evening relaxing around the campfire with beverages in-hand!

    Our 215-mile ride for the day.
    #5
  6. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem Supporter

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    awesome we rode beartooth twice this summer

    keep it coming
    #6
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  7. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

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    Location:
    CANADA-100 ft N of International Falls, MN
    I only rode it once...
    Back in 1985... on a 750 Interceptor & wife on her Shadow 500...
    Had it all planned for June this year to go back and show my brother the amazing route...
    Fnn COVID slammed the border shut...

    Maybe in 2021.
    ————————-

    Gotta say Skunk Works— lovin the report and that mapping animation is very cool.
    Really shows the route and terrain of your day clearly.
    Thanks
    #7
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  8. PoorSSJ

    PoorSSJ n00b

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    That is a great video. How did you make it?
    #8
  9. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    It's actually pretty easy.
    I use an app on my iphone called "Relive"
    I import a GPX file from a tracker-app and it searches your photos for location, date, and time that match up with the GPX file. The App creates the videos for you.
    You can edit the video however you want also, and add other things.
    It's a pay-subscription, but they give you a free trial to test it out.
    #9
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  10. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    #10
  11. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    Loving that moving trip animation! With elevations included no less! brilliant!
    #11
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  12. jeepmedic

    jeepmedic Adventurer

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    Looks like a great trip!
    #12
  13. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Day-4
    224 miles of riding today.

    We Drove into town early for some supplies.
    Decided to stop and "High-Five" this guy.

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    Once back at Camp Leon and his Wife decided to split off on their own to do some sightseeing.
    They departed in the car.
    Cap'n Ron and I were left to ride on our own.

    We decided on which direction to go for the day, and then set off towards Cody Wyoming. (Taking Beartooth Pass of course!)

    Once in Town we stopped for lunch while we waited for a quick rain-shower to move out of the area.
    We ate at the "IRMA"

    A couple of pictures off of Google Images.
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    After Lunch we made our way over to Buffalo Bill Reservoir. There was a dirt-road running around the south end that we wanted to check out.

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    #13
  14. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    As we made our way around the edge of the Reservoir, we took a side-spur that led right down to a beach.

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    Some rain storms were moving through the area, but we seemed to be able to avoid them all afternoon as we continued on around the Reservoir.

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    While on our trek, we got word from Leon that they were heading over to Buffalo Bill Dam.
    It was on our list, so we would meetup with them there.
    #14
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  15. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    There is a bit of a "Log-Jam" behind the Dam.

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    We did a quick tour of the Visitor Center, but it was late in the afternoon so we had to make our way out or risk being locked inside the gate.

    We headed through the Tunnel and back out the other end of Town to head towards Camp.

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    We stopped to get Fuel in Red lodge, and couldn't resist a Dinosaur ride!

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    Here is the Highlights of our route today.

    #15
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  16. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Day-5

    "Rain Day"

    We woke up to a cloudy day, with mostly on-and-off rain throughout most of the morning.
    I can't remember exactly, but we may have driven in to town at some point for groceries and various things?
    There was a bunch of just "Hanging out" at Camp, various things being cooked/eaten, and some discussions about sightseeing-plans or rides for the next couple days ahead.

    At one point in the afternoon Cap'n Ron and I hopped in my Jeep and headed up the rocky-dirt road out of the back of the Campground.
    This road leads up the mountain to "Hellroaring Plateau", and we wanted to see what was up there........

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    It was raining steady when we started up the forest road, and by the time we reached the bridge over Hellroaring Creek we could see and hear a thunderstorm moving towards us from across the valley up on beartooth Pass.

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    #16
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  17. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    We continued up the trail, stopping to check out a small alpine pond in the trees.

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    We passed some old mining ruins and made our way all the way to the top.
    By the time we did so, the wind was blowing like crazy and there was lightning all around us.
    After an extremely short stop and a few more pictures, we made our way back down the mountain and back to Camp for the evening.

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    Beartooth Highway on the other side of the Valley.

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    #17
  18. BigStu

    BigStu Been here awhile

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    I'm in, enjoying the RR. Enjoying the pics of the beautiful scenery also
    #18
  19. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    I really like your camper/bike hauler set up. Would you provide more details? Is that a custom set up?

    Thanks.
    #19
  20. wellcraft

    wellcraft Long timer

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    Great pictures...would you attempt the ride to the top of the plateau on your motorcycles? I'm planning another trip out to Montana in July and this might be a nice ride in addition to riding Beartooth Pass. I'm riding a 2020 GSA but don't have any off road riding experience and if anyone tags along they'll be riding street bikes i.e., Honda CB 1100 and a Harley.
    #20