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Western Romanticism - A Loop Around 10 Western States

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by foxton, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. DaveWave

    DaveWave Sometimes you win...sometimes you learn.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    153
    Location:
    Idaho Falls
    Always love a ride report with a DR650 in it...one of the most underrated bikes out there. Your photos are great.
    I'd say you're doing quite well to get low 40mpg. You've got to consider how much weight and wind resistance the ole DR is fighting with those huge saddlebags hanging out as far as they are.
    Kuddos to you for making the trip in the heat of the summer.
    #41
    foxton likes this.
  2. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    I made my way into Canyonlands and the sights and sites are out of this world. I forgot that I was on earth for a second and thought I had been transported to mars. Seriously, none of this looks real or possible. It's hard to imagine this was all once a shallow ocean...

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    #42
  3. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    Leaving the park I didn't want to just exit the way I came, I had heard about Shafer's Trail and saw a bunch of jeeps riding down the switchbacks without incident. Though scott had warned me about my tires, I arrived in Moab too late to get more aggressive tires. It didn't matter, I was still going to descend the trail.

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    The obligatory bike has fallen picture. Luckily I didn't drop a thousand feet to my death.

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    #43
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  4. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    at the bottom of the canyon I ran into a bunch of mountain bikers who were attempting to ride up the switchbacks. Much healthier and athletic folks than me.

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    Descending shafers was actually the easier of the journey out in hindsight. Potash road was very sandy but my newfound confidence in sand actually paid off. When it doubt, pin it! I realized that if I just clenched and give throttle it was actually super fun and easy to cross big stretches of loose sand, and even gravel to an extent.

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    The Potash Ponds

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    I made it out, and onto pavement without much incident. Overall it was a fun ride, albeit a little challenging at times when your rear tires wont push you forward.
    #44
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  5. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,293
    Canyonlands is a true gem of a park, glad you got there.
    #45
    foxton likes this.
  6. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    I left Moab and was headed to my campsite in Silverthorne. However, unbeknownst to me, i70 was on fire. Me and a bunch of bikers got to Rifle, Colorado and were being told the way is shut up ahead. A bunch of the bikers rolled out with their GPS when I noticed two old school harley riders whip out a paper map. They were contemplating routes to Sturgis but had no way of knowing what roads were opened or closed. I stepped in and offered to lead them on a detour, through Craig and into steamboat.

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    we made our way through 13, and riding in a caravan I had no real chances to take photos except for a minor delay of road construction.

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    these gentlemen were best friends and were complete opposite. Scott on the left was a woody harrelson character. loud, brash, funny, and a whole lot of fun. Byrd, was calmer and deliberate and was the head of the operation. We rolled into steamboat together, where they were nice enough to rent me a room for guiding them out of the fire.

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    #46
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  7. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    Since I didn't get a chance to really get any photography in, I figured today would be a good day to do so. I wandered around steamboat looking for interesting things to photograph.

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    fishing will become a theme.

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    I met another scott, scott smithers. He saw my bike parked and me wandering about a park and came by to chat. He told me he had a shop I could swing by and do maintenance on my bike, so naturally I accepted his offer.

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    after cleaning and lubing my chain, I thanked him and took off north. Hopefully making it to Wyoming.
    #47
  8. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    Lots of folks were fly fishing the rivers.
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    some cows and some horses.

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    what's the most impressive about colorado are huuuuuge mountain ranges that seem to go on forever and ever.

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    #48
    liv2day likes this.
  9. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    I made my way through medicine row national forest hoping to take the dirt road that lead all the way into Wyoming, however I ran into a biker going the opposite way saying there was nothing. I still was going to push one when he let me know there is a deep gravel section that was no fun to ride. Seeing him with full knobbies saying a road is no fun, I decided to turn around and take the long way to get to Rawlins.

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    knowing I was going to leave Colorado, I decided to grab a few more mountain photos.

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    #49
    liv2day and Andyota like this.
  10. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    The way to Rawlins was pretty windy and not very interesting. While I appreciated the sights, just struggling to not get blown away by the wind or the backwash of a truck was unbearable. I hopped on my GPS and decided to find some alternate roads. None of them lead me to Wyoming, instead they always took me to whatever these buildings were. It was fun and wasted about 3 hours of my day.

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    rolling into rawlins there was a visitor sitting right outside of my last minute bnb.

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    #50
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  11. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,841
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    Beautiful photos. Those buildings would be oil tanks - did you see oil pumps anywhere?

    That's the scruffiest deer ever. Looks unhealthy or very old maybe?
    #51
  12. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,466
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Really great report and photos. Ride safe and enjoy.
    #52
    foxton likes this.
  13. panchogarrancho

    panchogarrancho Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    221
    Location:
    Nicaragua,Miami
    Excelent storytelling and pics,keep it up!
    #53
  14. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,411
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Just caught up on your adventures making your way from Vegas onward. Damn man, you've covered a lot of ground since I checked out :lol2 :lol2 :lol2. 3 Step is a place I want to visit and base from at some point down the road. And props for getting off the tarmac and checking out the dirt and sand; imagine dropping your luggage made riding the trails way more fun.

    Look forward to following along as you make your way into/through Wyoming. Good on you for helping the Harley guys make their way to Steamboat...one hell of an adventure you're on @foxton!
    #54
  15. jeepmedic

    jeepmedic Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Cashton WI
    :lurk great thread so far!
    #55
    Thumpercrazee likes this.
  16. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    It's been a bit of time since I've posted, but I haven't had internet connection for a bit.

    I left Rawlins for Cody and had to brace myself for nearly 4 hours of relentless winds. Mother's nature sole goal to frustrate me was going as planned. There wasn't too much for me to stop to take a look at, nor did I want to when there were things to look at. All I could really do was grab onto the bars and hoped my sailboat of a bike wouldn't get lifted into the sky. Every truck passing in the opposite direction felt like a shotgun blast of air. Every sudden directional change of winds made me question everything I knew about weather.

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    Very idyllic, but insanely spooky winds.

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    You can fit a bunch of starbucks in all that land. Maybe an equinox here and there.

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    Not long after I grabbed myself a table at The Depot in Riverton for a quick lunch break, a stream of bikers flooded in. The purple frame really shines bright.

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    #56
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  17. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    Joining me in Cody were the hundreds of Sturgis motorcyclists, either returning from or heading to. It was definitely a no mask city and I did my best to avoid getting close to anyone. I was greeted by a cat perched inside my airbnb room, an ongoing theme it would seem. The views from my window wasn't too shabby...

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    I headed into town for a drink, and found myself stumbling into bar after bar. After a night full of drinks it was nice to unwind with a street performance. His rendition of Country Roads wasn't too bad either.

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    #57
  18. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    My stay in Cody was merely to refresh myself for the next few days in yellowstone. The views from first entering the park was drastically different than the nothingness I've been experiencing.

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    After checking in to my campsite (home for the next few days) I unloaded everything and took my bike to the general store to gather up supplies.

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    these Rockgator saddle bags work wonders. Being properly insulated and waterproof, I used them as a cooler (which surprisingly lasted 2 whole days before melting completely).

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    the goods are secured.

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    a whole lot of shit.

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    forgetting to charge the powerbank the night before, I let good ol' sun do some heavy lifting. 4 Bars of direct sunlight baby.

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    an "Into the Wild" -esque photo...
    #58
  19. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    I spent the next hour hiking around my campsite to familiarize myself with escape routes in case of a bear invasion. Trees and rocks make great photography subjects.

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    While the Mountain House products have been great I've been craving real food. A steak cut into chunks, a salad, and some beer sounds amazing.

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    Yeah I know it's a budlight, but it was either this or a coors lite...

    As night started to creep in, Joe and Shannon, two wonderful souls rolled up into their camp, which was adjacent mine. Their kind hearts invited me to their fire, where we drank and ate smores. Before bed we did a little star gazing, and they told me to look for satellites, something I've never done before... bein' a city slicker and all.

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    In the morning I bid the two farewell as I was off to explore the Yellowstone. It was a slow day of exploration, a lot of traffic. Both from Sturgis bikers, and folks visiting the park like me.

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    I had a hard time starting my bike, but managed to get it to the gas station by the campsite. After fueling up, my bike wouldn't start and I knew something fuel related was up. Turns out the fuel hose from the petcock was split and leaking gas all over the engine. The gas would quickly evaporate so I couldn't find the source a while. After shaking the bike I noticed a small drip coming from the petcock. Removed the old tubes and replaced them with new spare lines and she was 100% again. Well not 100%. Me and my bike are sea level creatures and we were 7200 ft high, both fighting for air.
    #59
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  20. foxton

    foxton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    San Jose
    I spent too much time stuck in traffic. There were literally a trillion people in the park. The wait time to get into the grand prismatic spring was well over 2 hours. I decided that it wasn't worth it to wait that long and just spent the time riding around the park. I forgot to take pictures really, until I finally stumbled upon old faithful. The wait here wasn't nearly as bad so I parked my bike and walked in. As luck would have it, immediately after finding a spot to stand, old faithful lived up to its name and erupted.

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    #60