Wandering from my meandering (Latest: NE WA/NWP)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ScotsFire, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    Chipmunks! v20.3: Sections 4, 5, & 6 of the IDBDR
    July 21, 2020: North through Avery to Wallace

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    There were a lot of really nice aspects of our third night's camp spot. A lack of mosquitos.

    A shrine had been placed there.
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    And a very serene potty.
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    It would've been a bit more environmentally aware a bit further from the stream...

    But sweet views and sounds.
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    The roads heading out were in pretty good shape, but got narrower and more interesting as we went north.
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    Tim was riding his 790 really well. He'd gotten a lot more confident on it since the first day on Burnt Knob.
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    Stopped at the Blue Cabin.
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    Neat free cabin in the forest.

    Brett however did some poor choices of lines.
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    Only deep rut in the whole (smallish) muddy spot.
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    No blood, no foul.
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    It'll take some work to get her back to pristine.

    The drop down to the St Joe River at Avery was pretty.
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    North from Avery over Moon Pass is interesting, especially the first little bit. Several tunnels to pass through, or a fun narrow ATV trail on the other side of the canyon. I'd done the tunnels a couple times already so rode the trail. Brett and Tim took the main route.

    Not a lot of pictures today, but a fair amount of video. It was four days of fun with perfect weather and great trails (even Burnt Knob)!

    (Video 4:35 - with music)
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  2. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    Nice write-up on the Salmon area. Seems like most folks blow through on 93. Good for you to get back into the good stuff.

    We are shut down for the winter...
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  3. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    I worked on a BLM fire crew out of Salmon a long time ago (1987?). Salmon is one of my favorite areas in the US. I would love to do a lot more exploring down that way.

    We just got six inches in Kellogg yesterday, so we’re there too.
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  4. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    No snow in Salmon just wind tantrums.

    I am hoping it warms up a bit next week, as forecast. I just got a new bike that I have not ridden. I just want a little run to see what it is all about.
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  5. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    July 24, 2020: Big Horn Mountains, south end

    @WYO George had been on us to rid the Big Horns with him for years, so we finally caved in and met in Sheridan. Yeah, it really put us out.

    The first day of riding was in the southern "half", south of US14 anyway. George and CigarDave ride this area pretty often and had a great route through the backcountry all the way through the mountains. We had six riders on the first day, including @simbaboy, @crownhorse, and @NotaYinzer. While most of us had ridden together in Moab before, this was Vicki's first group ride.

    After the first climb south of Sheridan.
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    Just the first "step" took us to over 6000'.

    George showing off on his DR650.
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    One thing I found was that the elevation gain was actually pretty subtle.
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    Lots of terrain features, and it gets freakin' high up. But it's mostly not the sheer faces like in parts of the Rockies and Cascades.

    Gathered at the first rally point.
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    George and Dave had us stop pretty frequently to allow some acclimatization to the elevations. We always had great views so no one complained.

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    One of the things that struck me about the Big Horns was the alpine meadows.
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    It was very green as even though it was late July, spring had just begun.

    There were several reservoirs around.
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    With all the moisture about, water crossings were also abundant.
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    Despite the general gradualness of it, we pretty much were always climbing.
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    Water, seclusion, and lots to graze on is a recipe for moose.
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    What some were calling "Vicki's last picture..."
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    Even the moose-less wetlands were beautiful.
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    Getting closer to the peaks.
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    Another break.
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    These became more and more essential. Some of us had a hard time catching our breath after some of the rougher sections.

    There were some pretty rugged areas.
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    Our highest elevations were in these alpine meadows, above 10000 ft.
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    As always, pictures and video belie the actual steepness.
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    Another rally point for lunch.
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    The view there didn't suck.
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    Imu took a little stroll.
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    Some of the steep climbs and rocky stream crossings were quite challenging.
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    Especially when combined with increased spaces between oxygen molecules.

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    Dave stopped to simply take in the view.
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    Something we all did often.

    After some debate between up and down, down asserted it's dominance.
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    This is steep enough I wasn't sure the engine compression was going to hold the bike on the hill.

    After some slow going down the loose rocky road, we settled into the last stretches.
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    Almost to US14.
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    Which meant that we now had to go back up to around 10000 ft, just on pavement.
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    The Big Horns certainly held up Dave and George's hype. This was a spectacular route, and some of the most fun riding I've done in quite a while. I'd happily do this same route again in the future. The best part, it was only the first day of riding.

    (Video 6:40 - with music)
  6. Cletus Frade

    Cletus Frade Been here awhile Supporter

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    Fantastic video and pictures. Looks like it was ride to remember. One of the few nice things to remember about 2020. Great job everyone!!
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  7. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Brilliant Rob :clap
    THE EL LOCO.
    @ScotsFire THAT WAS very nice.
    Tom's tip over is the funniest 5 seconds ever as you don't see it coming.

    Imu
    I will link the video to a couple of different threads if its OK.
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  8. wobbly one

    wobbly one Been here awhile

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    Outstanding ScotsFire! Well done.
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  9. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    July 25, 2020: Sheridan/Lovell Loop

    The second day of riding was planned to be nearly all pavement, and a lot of highway at that. So there was a lot of bike swapping. I took the 800GSA as opposed to the WR450, and Vicki rode two up with me. Imu only upsized a little, from his WR250 to his Bergman 400. But Tom went real big. Parked his 701 in favor of his Gold Wing, though his wife Gwen came with us as his pillion.
    We also met Thom on the road. He teaches motorcycle safety with Dave and George, living a bit west of Lovell, was a great guide for the area.

    After meeting up on the north side of Sheridan, we headed "west" on US14 up into the Big Horns.
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    It's a little curvey.
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    Both directions as it turns out.
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    I really wanted to open it up myself, but don't do a lot of miles two up, so didn't hit it too hard.

    This sign explains the rest of the day's route perfectly.
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    We rode west on the US14 Alternate towards Lovell. We wandered a bit north of Lovell, before heading south to Greybull and then back up into and over the mountains on US14.

    The highpoint of 14A has a view point amongst some alpine meadows.
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    There was a nice view of some equipment too.
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    Thankfully, it wasn't in use. No construction on our route.

    Down happens pretty quickly.
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    After fueling in Lovell, we went to the Kane Cemetery.
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    Kane was a town that was flooded by a reservoir in the early 20th century. The cemetery is pretty much all that remains from the town.

    I'm always interested in history, so it was a neat stop.
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    Thom knew a lot about Kane and the area.
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    Some of the graves.
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    There are a fair number of graves from after the destruction of Kane.
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    Apparently if you are a descendant of a Kane resident, you can still be interred here.

    Looking across Big Horn Lake, towards the mountains.
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    Thom leading the pack back to pavement.
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    His little Versys 300 kept up just fine with this group, even on the federal highways.

    Imu swears by the Burgmans, but it is still a little odd to see him "standing on the pegs."
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    Tom took it pretty easy with the Goldwing on the gravel roads.
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    Dave and his DR650 were right at home.

    The next stop on the agenda was a hike in the desert. No, really.
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    I have to admit I was pretty skeptical as we headed out, following Thom into the small washes.
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    But it became obvious that we were actually on a treasure hunt.
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    This area is rife with fossils.

    Many of them are tiny, and the best way to find them is to sort through these ant piles.
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    The ants carry items obstructing their tunnels to the surface.

    As it turns out, pretty much all they bring up is fossils of some sort.
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    Of particular interest are the star shaped segments of a certain plant that fossilized. These are very small, but there is one along the bottom of this picture. The bad part of this methodology is that the ants don't like their piles being disturbed. And they bite.

    There's plenty of area to check out.
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    Vicki and Gwen had a ball digging in the dirt.
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    A sample of the finds.
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    Even George and Dave, who have seen this several times before, got into it.
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    Or at least enjoyed a little hiking.
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    I got a little frustrated as I hadn't brought my reading glasses, so seeing exactly what I was digging up was difficult.
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    But I saw the geology and views just fine.

    The next stop was actually in Montana.
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    The Devil's Canyon overlook.

    The Big Horn River/Lake runs through these canyons. The dam created reservoir makes it easily navigable.
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    I did see at least one water skier down there.

    Imu launched his drone.
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    But it became unresponsive once launched.

    The drone is the black speck WAY out over the canyon.
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    Things were tense at mission control.
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    But after some finagling and cursing, it landed safely. Apparently, there is a no-fly zone here and the drone got flustered once it figured out where it was by the GPS.

    A little further north yet are remains of tee pee rings, where indigenous tribes stayed seasonably.
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    A wild horse greeted us at the interpretive site.

    Tom went to say hi.
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    We had some concerns with him approaching the horse like this, but Gwen commented that he's been around horses his whole life. I pointed out that he kept his helmet on.

    He got pretty close (though not as close, nor directly behind like this picture looks).
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    But they both seemed to get bored with each other pretty quick.

    I was not getting bored with the scenery.
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    Here is an example of one of the large tee pee rings.
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    The small circle in the center was a fire ring. This big tee pee was probably used for socializing.

    These smaller ones were for residential shelters.
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    The road continuing north looked pretty nice.
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    But we headed back south from here.

    No group ride would be complete without a breakdown of some sort.
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    It was Imu's turn on the Burgman. Thankfully minor electrical and back on the road shortly.

    After lunch in Lovell (not recommended as part of a culinary tour) we headed south to complete the loop. Thom went home, but would join us the next day. The weather started to become a little threatening too, and we dodged a couple of thundercells dropping a deluge.
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    The road heading back into the Big Horn Mountains looked pretty fun though.

    We probably should have kept going to avoid the rain, but it was impossible to not stop at Shell Falls.
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    Earthquakes and slides have altered the flow of Shell Creek through these rocks several times.
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    We walked around the park area for a bit, before we noticed...

    Storm a coming!
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    Let's just say it ended up being a bad day to wear the mesh jackets. Vicki and I both got soaked, all the worse as again we don't ride two up much, so I was uncomfortable carrying too much speed. The wind blown hail didn't help.

    But despite the wet end of the day, it was a great ride. As much as we enjoyed all we did, and would like to do more exploring and looking for fossils, we were both struck by how many interesting things to us are in this area. I nearly stopped at the Fire Bomber Museum even though we were trying to beat the rain. We both like the terrain and various earthen layers (Vicki's undergrad degree is in geology). And oh yes, there's a lot of epic riding around. It's pretty safe to say that we'll be back to this area to see more. And that is before the final day!
  10. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    :clap SPECTACULAR PICTURES. @ScotsFire
    YOU BROUGHT SOME GREAT MEMORIES BACK!

    Thank you for taking the time to post.

    Imu
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  11. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    I got home from spending three monthes in Shell this summer two weeks ago , big horn canyon is on my list next year , almost went there this year but I was in my truck and decided I would save it for a bike trip . I put over a thousand miles on my little dirty bike this year up and down the western BinHorns and on fr 17 up on top and a lot of the blm land along the bottom of the mountians , love that area . Looks like the east side roads are much more big bike friendly then some of the stuff I got into on the west side , all of it is awsome riding and I’m already planning on being back next summer . The Shell campground and Shell Store were my home this summer and will be next summer too .

    One of the stones in Shell cemetery , across the river from town 97674D75-DDB2-4979-9FB5-83B03B2B0AC4.jpeg

    One of the rough trails I got into south of 14 20 miles or so , fr 433 , cloud peak is in the distance across the valley

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    Really enjoy my time I spend up there . If you find yourself in Cody with time to explore the muesem there is awsome too , all of it so plan for a day . Can’t wait for next summer .
  12. chardog1971

    chardog1971 Adventurer

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    I drove our van thru that area this summer. I live fairly close so, we'll have to take a ride down that way next season. Did the tour @ the dam. It was empty. Everyone scared of covid. We had a good time in the area.
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  13. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    What a post Robert!

    I'm still kicking myself I couldn't make it. Living vicariously through your pics helps but doesn't completely do it.

    Looks like a good time with some good friends.

    Nice job fellows!! :beer
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  14. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    July 26, 2020 (Part I): Big Horn Mountains Hike*

    (* Hike is a synonym for scouting ride areas.)

    Vicki decided to take the day off of motorcycles and take a day hike in the mountains. She drove south of Sheridan a ways, using the AllTrails app to find an acceptable track.

    She did find an area I'd love to ride.
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    She had a great time.
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    She really wished there had been someone else to take pictures too.
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    She really wanted to climb the phallus pile.

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    Still trying to understand why drag a motorcycle a thousand miles to park it in this kind of terrain.
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    I mean, this seems like a waste for foot travel.
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    As always, steeper than it looks in pictures (or so I'm told).

    THIS is an acceptable non-motorized trail.
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    I do actually enjoy hiking too, and this would have been a fun one.
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    Very scenic.
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    She enjoyed herself, and after seeing some of the raw video from the riding we did that day, said she was glad she didn't ride. She felt it would have been too challenging for her and she'd have just slowed us down. Not sure I agree with her on that account.

    I was a bit jealous myself after seeing these pictures. It would've been a great hike. But I didn't feel too left out...

    (all pictures by @NotaYinzer )
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  15. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    July 26, 2020 (Part II): Big Horn Mountains - North End

    @WYO George, @crownhorse, @simbaboy, Cigar Dave, Thom, and I explored the Big Horns north of US14. George and Dave hadn't been in this end of the range as much, so it was a lot more of an exploration day for all of us.

    I waffled about which bike to ride, but ended up taking my F800GSA.
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    Having been on US14 the two prior days, I really wanted to run up the hill from Dayton without the restrictions of the 450 or having a pillion. While not even the best twisties I've done in Wyoming (the south aspects of Beartooth Pass are better) it was a hoot and a half.

    I too found some interesting hiking trails.
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    The first bit north of Burgess Junction was wide gravel forest roads.
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    But quite picturesque.
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    Increasing number of interesting two tracks appeared.

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    We got off the "main" roads before too long. Some steep and loose climbs up to our first stop of the day.
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    We didn't worry quite as much about altitude sickness given it was our third day up here, and we really didn't get much over 8500' compared to the greater than 10000 the couple days before.

    The sweeping views were still around.
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    My WR450 would have been better suited to most of these roads.
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    But I gotta admit, I really enjoy riding the piss out that GS.

    Imu is a much more sensible rider than I am.
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    This was his first season with his WR250 and he really likes it.

    I haven't decided if this bike loves or hates me for where I take it.
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    Some very cool rock formations.
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    We rallied at this overlook.
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    Turns out the rocks are climbable.
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    (Picture by George)

    Nice views from up there.
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    So I can't say that I didn't take a little time off the bike...

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    The rest of the guys were patiently waiting for me.
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    Well, Tom wanted to get going.

    Shortly later, I found this group of similar rocks that created an enclosed camp site.
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    Almost a natural corral.
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    Start of the road to Freeze Out Point.
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    Freeze Out Point has a wide panoramic view.
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    Made a great lunch and bullshitting stop.
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    For as rolling and gradual appearing these ridge tops look, there's a lot of steep climbs.
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    We did hit some narrow, rough two track a time or several, but only got pictures of the easier stuff of course.
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    We made a last stop at a streamside day use area.
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    Some couldn't stay out of trouble.
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    I have a history of such...
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    And really wanted to keep Imu out of the strainers downstream if he fell in...
    (Last two pictures by George)

    We had a bbq at a park in Sheridan, and watched as Vicki and Imu had a contest in who could have more challenges with their drone.
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    I think Imu won.

    It was a perfect cap to three great days of riding. The Big Horns really surprised me. While absolutely fitting the profile of western US mountains, it was quite a bit different than what I'm more used to in the PNW and western Montana. I will gladly spend a day driving each way to get some more time in NE Wyoming. A big thank you to @WYO George for pushing for this trip over the last couple years.

    (Video 4:00 - with music)
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  16. WYO George

    WYO George I have no idea

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    It was a fun time and I was honored to share it with you guys. The hard part for me was deciding where to go as there are a ton of good riding areas in the Bighorns. With the riding season being a bit short at those elevations I only get to ride up there a few times each summer, but I always get in new roads and trails that I haven't ridden before.

    Thanks for sharing all your pics and videos, most of my video was useless as I'm still new to the GoPro thing and took a lot of footage that will make you puke trying to watch it because of the poor camera angles!
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  17. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    We really appreciate you (and Smokey and Score) having taken the time.
    Imu
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  18. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    If you don’t mind a hanger-on, please let me know when you all will be going to the Big Horns next summer. I’d totally run down there for a weekend.
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  19. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    Three days is not near enough , I went up the Duggway trail one day then ran north on the western edge till I got on fr 10 , miles of loose rock climbs and fairly difficult riding till I got up on top , I managed it fine on my Beta but I can’t imagin trying to do that on a road worthy bike .

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    More of those intresting rocks on the west side . I would love to have gotten up on top on a clear beautiful day , there were a few really clear days this year but it seems I would get off on the bike on a nice day but never ended up with any really good pictures . And only saw the western basin peaks one time from where I was staying .
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  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Just catching up on your Big Horns trip @ScotsFire...damn man; what a fantastic area to explore and experience. Seriously cool scenery, geology, and views; I'm envious.

    Did the WR have any issues tackling the terrain at elevation? That's one of my concerns when thinking about going anywhere like that. My little mule struggled when I was in the Steens.

    Assume there's lots of BLM to explore and route though? How about places to get fuel and then wild camp?

    Appreciate the pics and story that goes along with it! So much to explore...need more time :D
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