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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DYNOBOB, Nov 5, 2014.
As always, I'll lure you in with some pics...
and some vids... (can't seem to embed in HD, you'll have to select what you want)
EDIT: All my vid links were broken when the ADV site upgraded, I'm working on fixing them.
Awesome Pictures. I would like to see more..
Thank you sir - more on the way...
Right out of the gate I have to say Thank You!! to Tony Huegel (byways) for cooking up this epic route back in 2010 and to Frank Reinbold (DockingPilot) for sharing it with the ADV community. In fact, DockingPilot's RR was a big factor in me getting off my butt and buying a dual sport in 2011, it really did capture my imagination. Over the last three years we've been blessed to take some great off-road trips, but Heart of the West rises to a whole different level. Covering six states and 2800 miles; the historical elements, variety of terrain, and sheer quantity of top notch backcountry travel are phenomenal. Couple this with the fact that Tony's trip pack makes it easy now, just follow the magic line on your gps - no straying onto private property or wasting hours on wrong turns. 500 waypoints for lodging/fuel/camping/POIs/etc - the quantity of info and guidance you get when you purchase the trip is an unbelievable value. I'd never met or talked to Tony before this trip, but he treated us like old friends and I can't imagine anyone taking more interest in your trip's outcome - just a great guy.
DockingPilot's original RR - http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=647968
Tony Huegel's H.o.W vendors thread - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=845500
I know there have been quite a few ride reports covering the route (which helped me immeasurably) but I'll try to pay it forward and help someone considering this trip with my usual picture heavy report.
Anyhoo... I decided early in 2014 that this was to be the year - departing mid-September - two weeks on the bikes - now to gather the team.
I dragged Jim (Liteman) into dual-sport a couple years ago, helped him set up a TE630 to match mine, and he did our SanJuans/Moab trip last Sept. He goes with the flow, is easy to travel with, and was itching for a reason to buy a new Big Agnes tent/sleeping bag and Montana gps - You know he was up for this!
Gary (gwis) I knew casually from our monthly Cinci dualsport dinners...knew he was an experienced big distance off-road rider (CDT/NezPerce/etc), takes trip prep seriously, knows how to use his GPS, and heard him mention at dinner that a planned trip had fallen thru. I put a bug in his ear, we kicked it around, and he was in! He'll be riding his well set up '13 DR650 and he also donated generously to BigAgnes.
Dad - Bob Sr - Has a nicely set up KLX250S and has ridden CO/UT twice, but at 71 (w/ a bad knee) we felt the daily miles required would not be enjoyable, so he'd follow us in the Jeep instead. Having a support vehicle is a nice luxury anyway - he carried tools, tire stuff, cooler, food, water, and our camping gear. I also installed on-board air shortly before we left which turned out to be very handy, allowing him to air up/down and run a pace that didn't hold us back. Even when we skinned it across the Great Basin at 65mph he was always right there. It's hard to describe how dirty the Jeep was at the end - but the biggest thing - He got to do the trip!
Me - Bob Jr - On my trusty TE630 again and this trip it earned the name (risking questionable karma?) Deerslayer - more on that in a bit... Yes, I spend too much time on ADVrider and love planning trips. My friends will tell you I'm a little OCD about being prepared and they've heard my motto many times regarding hobby/leisure time - If you're not having fun, why are you doing it? Insomuch as possible, I like a plan that keeps it fun.
Quick overview - Our plan is for 15 days on the bikes to cover the 2800 miles at a reasonable, enjoyable pace. There are a handful of places I know we want to camp (thanks to other RRs) so daily segments are fit together to accommodate. We have in mind to take a rest/maintenance/laundry day somewhere, but leave it loose to maybe accommodate bad weather. We'll start the loop in Rawlins, WY going clockwise.
Nothing says epic ride report quite like a dead mule deer on the first page!
or sends you underwear shopping...
So we had a few planning meetings, talked way too much about equipment, and before you knew it Sept 12th was upon us - Time to load up and roll west!
Had the room so we brought Dad's KLX and Gary's KLX as backups, one nice thing about this route is you're never more than a days drive from your trailer. I also made a hitch adapter so we could get a broken bike or rider out (set front tire in and strap bars to bumper).
We departed Fri at noon, drove straight thru, and arrived in Rawlins, WY around 4pm Sat.
This was a cool stop right on I-80 in Wyoming as you near Rawlins... luv that history.
On a tip from Tony, I had previously contacted the Rawlins Airport and made arrangements to park the truck/trailer, Mike and Bob (the managers) are super nice guys. After chit chatting with them we unloaded the bikes, packed the Jeep, and got a room a 1/4 mile down the street. Very convenient, and we'll be ready to get on the bikes and roll the next morning. If you're coming from the east coast Rawlins is a great place to jump off.
After settling in, we had dinner at the Diner around the corner, fueled the bikes, and turned in at a decent hour. After 28hrs on the road, sleep came pretty easy.
Tomorrow we head south to Colorado!
Bob, I see you have a new member in the posse for this ride. Met you and the other two hombres down near those high peaks in southwestern CO a year ago or so. Wasn't it the making of the one and only "four TE630" group photo?
I'm in for sure and thanks in advance for taking the time to put this report together.
BTW, I think I would have sat down and pulled the tenderloins out of that young buck and eaten them on the spot and then saved the back straps for dinner that night while celebrating how lucky I was that day.
We'll I was one of the four hombres on this trip and will vouch that I for one had one great time. I too want to think Tony, not only did he point us in the right direction, but gave us the way points to get us back safe and even showed up to have dinner with us while we were in Idaho. You don't get that kind of support from anyone these days. A special thanks to Dyno Bob, Gary and Bob,Sr also. Not often can you be gone with anyone for two weeks and not get someone in big trouble or even worse get someone hung in one of the ghost towns we visited. Great trip, we all had a super time and we are still great friends trying to figure where to go next year. I think you are going to enjoy this report and the pics to follow. Another great trip and no major problems to deal with. Can't wait to see how this develops and relive the memories. Big thanks to Bob helping us relive this special time again. Can't believe I waited until 60 to start this ADV riding stuff. Got a lot of places to see in the next few years before I get old. Bob has only one big problem that has now been greatly pointed out for the third time. This is my third big trip with him, that's six weeks being on the road with him and thousands of miles With more dam promises or threats of bears eating me in camp and we haven't even seen one. This bear stuff is over rated. I think next years trip will probably have to be to the Cincinnati zoo, Rummer has it they really do have bears there.
Another awesome RR Bob very cool.
Was glad to hear that you were alright with the deer accident....amazing...:eek1
Looking forward to more.
It never even occurred to me - we even had ziplocks and the cooler. Honestly, I was still in disbelief my trip hadn't just ended...
Good times 2013!
Rumor is they have them in Alaska too...
Thanks Fred, glad to have you on board!
This will make the winter go faster. Got to do this ride next year.
Sept 14 - Day One - Rawlins to Hayden, CO.
One benefit to living in the Eastern time zone...when traveling out west, it's easy to be an early riser. When our body clock told us it was 8am it was 6am local. As a result, we were up, fed, packed, and wheels turning by 8am most mornings.
One last stop at the trailer and finally... the magic moment when prep, planning, and anticipation changes to "We're actually doing this!". Maybe it's just me, but it's one of the few times that I'm ever conscious of putting the kickstand up - It's a great feeling.
Departing Rawlins, we do a few miles of slab and the good stuff starts pretty quick.
Love those long am shadows...
Time to air down...
Around lunchtime we roll thru Aspen Alley and then head for Encampment, WY to fuel up and eat at the Bear Trap Cafe.
After lunch, Wyoming starts to look like Colorado...
..and for good reason.
Even though it looks overcast at times, we didn't get any rain.
Seemingly in the middle of nowhere you come upon Three Forks Guest Ranch, and if you fly first class, this is your place. Three facilities like this one, rates from $10k-$36k a week.
We could have spent the night for $600/person...thought about it...but decided on the Midway Boardin' House in Hayden for $25/person.
...besides, we had a little more of this left.
Arrived in Hayden about 6pm with 250 miles in the book and a beautiful first day! Failed to get any pics, but the Midway Boardin' House is nice, inexpensive lodging. A shared living room and kitchen, private bedrooms, community bathrooms and showers down the hall. Nice little bar/restaurant across the street that was open till 9 on a Sunday.
Referencing that deer ... Dynobob was so fortunate to have emerged unscathed. Deer, pronghorn, moose, even man-eating cows appear often in the roads. Do be careful!
Welcome aboard guys. Zuber, you will not regret it, it truly does not disappoint.
I'm a big believer in Slow down to Speed up, but it's a fine line between running a pace to cover 200+ miles a day and leaving yourself outs. The deer story comes on Day Three...
Even after the deer incident, I think cows may be worse. Why, when they are on one side, do they think the other is better? We had one that didn't move from the middle of the road for any of us. At least you can see them a ways off though. In the first vid posted I went all the way down to first approaching the herd...does give you an excuse to run thru the gears again.
Ooops! Sorry for the spoiler, D'Bob!
You are so right about cows. And as for pronghorn ... What drives them to suddenly sprint across a mile of sagebrush the moment they see me, solely to cut across the road a few yards in front of me?