Three Amigos Invade Beartooth Pass, July-2020

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

  1. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    I'm in.
    #21
  2. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    That Forest-Road up to the top of the Plateau would not be suitable for a "Street-Bike". I would not attempt it.
    The first section (From the Campground, up to the Bridge) was extremely rocky, with large "Baby-Head" type rocks and even some larger boulders embedded in the road. There is one small section where 4WD and high-clearance are definitely required.
    The GSA would probably be OK if you were skilled on rocks. It would be challenging on a big-bike for sure.
    The upper part of the road (after the Bridge) was easier.

    Early in the week while we were there, I considered taking my Super Tenere up there................After driving my Jeep up it, I changed my mind.

    A smaller bike would be just fine.

    There are plenty of dirt roads in the area that are better suited for big-bikes.
    You'll see some of them in my additional posts.
    #22
  3. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    I'll post up some details about the Camper, and some more pictures of it after I get home from work.
    The Camper itself is a 2007 Starcraft 34-RT. It came from the factory with the front "Toy-Hauler" Deck.
    #23
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  4. wellcraft

    wellcraft Long timer

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    Thanks I'm not skilled enough to even attempt the ride up to the plateau so I'll cross it off my list. Looking forward to reading the rest of your RR.
    #24
  5. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    As far as the Camper goes,

    My wife and I had been looking for one, and we wanted one with the front storage-deck.
    We could not find any for sale here in Colorado so we started looking further away.
    It seemed like most of them were for sale in Arizona, so I arranged for a good friend of mine to look at a couple for me.
    We ended up with this Starcraft.

    Here are some pictures when I made the trip down to Phoenix to get it.

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    For a "Popup Camper" it is pretty well equipped.
    It's a "High-Wall" so everything inside is already at Counter-height.

    It has A/C, a larger 3-way Fridge, Microwave, Propane Stove and Oven, Double-sink, Propane Furnace and 6-gallon water-heater, Shower/Toilet combo, and a built-in Stereo.
    It has a 35-gallon fresh water tank under the floor, and an Awning on the door-side.
    The end bunks are both King-size. The dinette is mounted on a slide-out, and also converts into a full-size bed.
    It's pretty roomy for a Popup when it's all opened up.

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    #25
  6. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    One of the things I changed this past year is the addition of "Grey-Water" storage.
    From the factory it was just plumbed out the side with removable caps.

    I re-plumbed the drains under the Camper and added 32-gallons of grey-water capacity.
    I wanted to be a bit more self-contained for longer duration camping.

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    The next project I completed this year addressed two issues.

    The first one was the Hitch-weight of this Camper, and the second one was additional Battery capacity.

    From the factory, with the single RV-battery (around 80-AH) mounted on the tongue, and both Propane tanks full, the hitch-weight was a hair over 500-lbs!
    This was already at the limit of towing capacity for the Hitch on my Jeep (weight-carrying), and that was without any water or anything loaded on/in the Camper.

    I built two custom Battery-boxes that would each hold two 6-volt golf-cart batteries, for a total of 450-AH of battery capacity.
    I welded them to the rear frame at the back of the Camper, and re-wired all the main power circuits under the Camper.
    Removing the battery off the tongue, and adding the 4 batteries at the back reduced the hitch-weight to just a hair under 300-lbs..............This was perfect!
    With the Super-Tenere loaded on the Deck, as close to the rear as I can get it, the hitch-weight is 613-lbs.
    Using a "weight-distributing" Hitch, my hitch-capacity is now 750-lbs..............I'm well under that......plus when I load the Camper I put most of the stuff inside, way at the back.
    With the battery storage capacity I now have, and the 100-watt solar panel, I could camp for a long time without running out of power.

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    #26
  7. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    I have the batteries split into two separate 12-volt banks.
    I can solar-charge either of them separately, or both.
    I can also draw power from either bank, or both.

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    I added a Marine 20-amp Onboard 2-bank battery charger, with its own external port.
    I also added a 500-watt power-inverter.

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    Solar-Panel and 110-volt onboard charger both plug in at the rear of the Camper.

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    #27
  8. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all the info and pics.
    #28
  9. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    I forgot to mention...............For loading the Super Tenere I use 2 Ramps.
    They both have a carriage-bolt in the end of them, and hook onto the side of the Camper Deck.
    I walk up one of them while I power the bike up the other one in 1st gear. It works really well.

    I don't think my FJ1200 would clear the breakover-angle without hitting the under-fairing, unless I loaded it from a berm or side-hill to lessen the ramp angle. The Tenere clears with ease.

    To unload I just put the ramps on the other side and use the brakes while walking next to the bike, forward down the ramps.
    #29
    Dessert Storm likes this.
  10. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Day-6
    154 miles of riding today.

    Leon and his Wife had made plans to head over to Yellowstone NP for some sightseeing for the day, so that left Cap'n Ron and I to explore on our own again.
    We figured we'd have a "Dirt-Day" and check out some of the dirt-roads in the area.
    The morning started a bit grey and gloomy. Some leftover weather from the rainy-day that we had yesterday.
    We drove in to Red lodge and had breakfast at one of the local Cafe's, and then popped into Napa to get a new Horn for the Jeep (it stopped working somewhere along the drive up from Denver)
    Once we got back to Camp, the weather had cleared up enough for some riding.
    We geared-up and headed out on forest-road 421, which heads west along Rock Creek past some other camping areas to a trail-head on the Wyoming Border.

    The road was easy, with some small rocks embedded in the dirt and a few small sections of loose gravel.
    It was still cloudy, but there were some patches of blue-sky opening up.

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    #30
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  11. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    After back-tracking through Camp, we headed towards Red Lodge and detoured slightly along "East Side Road"
    It follows the Creek past another Campground, and then past some forest properties as you get closer to town.

    We rode up to Red Lodge Mountain to check out the Ski-Area at Grizzly Peak.
    Then we rode another dirt-road out to the end of forest-road 71, along West Fork Rock Creek to another hiking trail-head.
    This road goes through a partially burned out area from a forest-fire of some unknown time ago.
    I did not get any pictures of this section.

    After riding back through town, we headed out Hwy-78 and then onto Upper Luther Road for some more dirt-riding.



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    We passed a bunch of Ranches along the way, and made our way to Upper Red Lodge Creek Rd for a little dirt-loop through the forest.

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    It was quiet and peaceful, and pretty enjoyable!
    The only other person we saw was a woman who showed up to go hiking with her dog in the forest..

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    #31
  12. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    We mad our way over to the little village of Roscoe, and had planned to eat lunch at the "Grizzly Bar", but when we arrived the sign on the door said they are only open Thursday thru Sunday"
    This being Wednesday, we were out of luck!
    We both grabbed a seat at one of the tables out on their open-deck, and took a break with some snacks we brought.
    While we were there a few random people stopped by thinking the place was open for business, only to be denied by the same sign on the door that we had been.......

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    After our break we headed down East Rosebud Road for some more dirt-riding.
    This road takes you back into the mountains, along East Rosebud Creek to a Lake at the very end, aptly named East Rosebud Lake.

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    There is a private, gated community on the lake (Alpine), but there is a public boat-launch/swim-area at the north end of the lake, and a Campground and hiking trails on the east side.

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    #32
  13. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    We hung out for a bit near the boat-launch, where there is a pretty cool wooden bridge over the outlet of the lake.

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    We made our way back out to Roscoe, and then back through Red Lodge and back to Camp.

    Leon and his Wife returned later in the evening, and we all had some dinner and some drinks around the campfire.

    Here was our riding-route for the day.
    All of the dirt-roads were super easy, just cruising past Ranches and Campgrounds and Mountain-views.

    #33
  14. Vandergraf

    Vandergraf --------------------

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    Love those Relive videos and will look into that app. Was the DL650 also going 120+ MPH or just the Sten?
    #34
  15. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism! It's a bad drug!

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    Not too common to see a 5.9 Grand Cherokee with a lift. Nice........... In fact 5.9 Grand Cherokee's are pretty rare. I think only about 10K total production.
    #35
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  16. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    I may have dropped back a bit, and then "Gassed it" a few times.
    I only have data from a GPS tracker app that was in my tank-bag.
    #36
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  17. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    I see one every once in awhile, but not very often.
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  18. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Day-7
    239 miles of riding today.

    Leon and his Wife wanted to head down to explore the Tetons and Jackson Wyoming area. They left pretty early, and once again Cap'n Ron and I would be riding on our own.

    We slept-in a bit, and then had some breakfast at camp.
    I took some time to install the new horn on my Jeep, and confirmed it worked.
    We hung out at camp for awhile, and discussed where we would ride that day.
    Then we geared up to ride.

    We headed up and over Beartooth Pass.
    At the approach on the west side, there is a short construction zone that is traffic-controlled with a one-lane section.
    Some days we got lucky with the traffic. Other days we had to wait a bit.

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    We then rode west to Cooke-City again, and ate lunch at "Buns N Beds" again. We got our usual table out front.
    During conversation, the Woman who attended to us asked "Where's Iowa?"
    She remembered us from the other day, and since Leon wasn't with us she wondered if he had left.
    She also said she had thought we "Worked for Yamaha" with our matching Jackets...........
    After another amazing Smoked Prime Rib Sandwich, we rode towards Silver Gate, and the north-east entrance to Yellowstone NP.
    We had tried to find a dirt route through the forest between the two little towns, but ran into some private property signs so we turned around and used the highway.

    Next we rode up to Lily Lake Campground to check it out, and see what was there.

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    The Campground was busy with people fishing and such, but hardly anyone on the Lake.
    We headed back to the highway.

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    #38
  19. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    Next we rode up and over Chief Joseph Hwy, and then backtracked to Sunlight Road.
    It's dirt all the way, and follows Sunlight Creek west into the Mountains, past a bunch of picturesque Ranch properties.

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    We rode as far back as we could.
    There are a couple spots where landslides have buried the road.
    We were able to ride over one of them, but the second one we came to required you to ride down into the Creek-bed and through the creek a ways to get around.
    Wrestling a 600lb bike in a creek-bed is not my idea of fun, plus we were 20-miles from the main road-way back in there.
    We chose to turn around at this point.
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    We made a bunch of stops for pictures and such on our way back out.

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    #39
  20. Skunk-Works

    Skunk-Works Been here awhile

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    We continued to make our way back out, past a couple of small water-crossings and some magnificent views.

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    After returning to the Highway, we rode back over Beartooth Pass, and back to Camp for the evening.
    Since we did not have cell-phone service at Camp, we hopped in the Jeep and drove towards Red Lodge and parked at the Ranger Station so I could call my Wife and Kids to talk to them for a bit.

    Here was our Ride Route for the day.

    #40