Looks like one hell of a time. Great pics and enjoyed the narrative. Thanks.
I am only 2/3 the way to being eligible to purchase the senior pass mentioned. I did bump into several senior riders while on my trip though. Two 75 year old friends that have been running through the country every summer for the past 15 years together. The one rider talked the other into joining him as he ran it on his own for several years prior to finding a reliable riding companion. One friend hailed from TN and the other from KY. Another guy I bumped into while in Glacier was 78 and told me a story about his first time on 'The Road to the Sun' back in 1967 on his way to Berkeley. There were seven of them jumping between two cars and two bikes. The story was starting to get good when someone in a cage pulled up and started BSing with us.Great trip.
Been there, done that, doing it again starting Monday morning.
Hoping Beartooth is still clear to travel when I get there.
I got snowed and hailed on going across it on the 4th of July a few years ago.
I love digital cameras.
Take lots of pictures, sort them out later.
I hope you got the "America the Beautiful" National Parks Senior lifetime Pass ($10) if you're 62 years old or older.
After returning, I was surprised to learn that the number one cause of death and injury from wild animals in Yellowstone is actual the Bison. I would have thought bears, but nope it's Bison. Knowing this you'll never catch this guy 2' from a small heard.+1 on the Parks Pass! Western WY, MT and central and north ID are my favorite riding areas. Be patient with the bison. Just sit and wait for them to cross when in front of you. Keep quiet, no sudden movements, sit at idle and be patient. Have had a small herd cross within 2 ft of my front wheel. Just be patient. Know of at least one instance when a rider got impatient and tried to ride around the animals. Both he and bike were thrown off the road! Bison are unbelievably strong and protective of their own. We are in their world on their terms. It is not Jellystone Park with Yogi Bear there to greet you. Be aware and give them their space. And stay away from the bears! Regards, Jim
I have done most of that, could not do the Road to the Sun..due to snow ! A truly beautiful part of our country!I suddenly found myself between contracts with about 3 weeks to burn. I had asked for a month, but found a new contract right away. Obviously employment is a good thing, so 3 weeks it is. I had to burn a week of my time banging out all of the preliminary requirements for the gig. Once that was set I decided to hop on my bike and go for a ride. Since I didn't want to be on the road too much during this holiday weekend I got back in town this past Wednesday. I did 4002 miles in a 10 day 9 night trip out West. If you haven't been, be sure to make it a priority. It's totally worth it! I took the advice of others by taking my time and several pictures.
Instead of posting all of the pictures here I'll just share the Google Drive link. I may eventually kill the link, but no time soon. I took all of these photos using my Samsung G5 smartphone, which has a 16 Mega Pixel camera. I'm sure I can find a good background for my PC somewhere in there.
2015 Westward Adventure Tour
Where I spent each night:
08/24/2015: Rapid City, SD
08/25/2015: Red Lodge, MT
08/26/2015: Big Sky, MT (heads up, lodging tax is a brutal 20% here)
08/27/2015: Big Sky, MT
08/28/2015: Coram, MT
08/29/2015: Coram, MT
08/30/2015: Idaho Falls, ID
08/31/2015: Cody, WY
09/01/2015: Rapid City, SD
Brief daily summary:
08/24/2015: Nothing special
08/25/2015: Devil's Tower, Eastern portion of Big Horn mountains
08/26/2015: Beartooth Pass, Northern loop of Yellowstone, great road (US-191) to Big Sky, MT
08/27/2015: Yellowstone Western loop, Grand Tetons, then back up the same roads to see things from both directions, US-191 back to Big Sky, MT, bumped into freak T-Storm with heavy rain, high winds, and a lightening strike (two horizontal sky bolts came together for a single huge powerful ground strike) about a half mile away - that was an amazing site with a bit of pucker factor all in one
08/28/2015: Long day again, fires had roads closed (what should have been one hour to go turned into 3) rode to St. Mary's entrance to Glacier National Park (very technical road), super quick first pass of 'Going to the Sun Road' from East to West (had to cut through park to get to hotel due to fires in area)
08/29/2015: 'Going to the Sun Road' from West to East then again East to West - very smoky outside - only out on bike for 7 or 8 hours but took lots of pics
08/30/2015: US-93 from Kalispell, MT to Salmon, ID was a VERY nice surprise (thank you Billy Bob the BBQ shack owner - it was actually an old/converted covered-wagon that sat in the parking lot of my hotel, which doubled as a General Store), traveled on West side of Flathead Lake due to rain on the East side, road spray this day, MT-28 is a windy bugger to say the least
08/31/2015: Southern entrance to Grand Tetons via Jackson, WY, rode Eastern loop of Yellowstone, rode 'Chief Joseph Scenic Highway' - AMAZING and not a bunch of traffic like the parks (beware of chipmunks at the top - they'll swarm you and attack unless you show them who the boss is by stomping your feet and making weird noises)
09/01/2015: Western portion of Big Horn mountains - far better than the Eastern portion
09/02/2015: Nothing special
Of course there were the usual adventures while on the road. Lane drifters, people not using blinkers, people using blinkers but turning the other way, people who were pulling a camper trailer for the first time, etc, etc... Like I said, the usual stuff you see when on two wheels.
However, there was one particularly scary incident while getting onto I-90 via US-191 in Bozeman, MT. Soon I would learn that the large F350 flatbed truck in front of me had failed to secure his load. Shortly after merging onto the interstate the truck hit a bump on I-90 and the long pole/contraption he was hauling bounced off the flatbed and onto the road about 3 car lengths in front of me. We were traveling about 65 and gaining speed when he hit the bump. (I am glad that I am not the tailgater I once was!) I was waiting for the left lane to clear so I could pass him when the load was lost. I'm not real sure what the load was, but attached to the huge/long pole on one end was what looked like a large chopping blade of some sort and attached to the other end was some sort of jig that looked as if it would bolt into a machine of some sort that would then push the pole to use the chopping blade. Again, no idea what it was...maybe something related to the oil industry?
Anyway, the damn thing broke into 3 parts when it hit the road and thankfully slid down the road between the truck and I staying in our lane (nice straight stretch of interstate). I braked, but not too hard because of the cars around me. I glanced at mirrors quickly then looked ahead again watching these 3 pieces of metal drifting apart and skidding down the road in front of me. All of the cars backed way off and gave me plenty of room to maneuver into the left lane as the load was now blocking the entire right lane skidding along but no longer drifting apart - probably 40mph now. The moron driving the truck noticed he lost his load and was slowly making his way to the shoulder of the road. This gave me the opportunity to get back into the right lane and yell at the VERY top of my lungs riding past at 20mph, while he continued to slow, "Are you Fing trying to kill me you Fing idiot?!?". I am glad I went that route versus stopping to confront him, as I'm certain it would not have ended well with my extremely high level of adrenaline. After less than 5 miles I chalked it up to another idiot on the road and put it out of my mind until I got back home.
Heads up, buffalo in Yellowstone seem to not care for the Vance and Hines slip-ons while in stop and go Yellowstone traffic. One of these HUGE beasts heard or saw me coming and decided to promptly position himself such that he was now standing in the oncoming lane the wide way with his tail hanging out into my lane and his head over the shoulder of the oncoming lane. There were two cars in front of me then the buffalo in the other lane. The two cars came to a stop and we all sat and stared at the buffalo. After about 30 seconds the first of the two cars started to slowly move closer to the buffalo as if they were planning to sneak past it. Around that time I looked in my mirror as the cars were stacking up behind me. Wouldn't you know it a few vehicles back I see an ambulance - I immediately thought to myself this doesn't feel right. Then the buffalo started snorting and took a nice long hard look in my direction while the first of the two cars in front of me continued to approach with extreme caution. I was very glad there was a pullout on my side of the road, which was packed with vehicles filled with people all staring at the several buffalo in the area. One more snort from the buffalo and another glance at the ambulance in my mirror and I made my decision. I maneuvered into the pullout area getting next to the car in front of me. I then weaved between camper trailers and more cars, then back onto the road - all while putting in 1st gear. I just couldn't muster up the guts to stay in my lane and ride past a buffalo so close I could have literally slapped him on the ass as I rode by - provided he stood still that is.
What an awesome trip! Again if you haven't had a chance to ride out that way I highly recommend you save up the time and money.
That's a bison not a bear.I have done most of that, could not do the Road to the Sun..due to snow ! A truly beautiful part of our country!
In pics 324 & 325 is that a bear drinking from the river ? Kinda close !! I saw the sheep, no bears though...& I'm good with that.
As has been said, Great pics & narrative , thank you for sharing.
BTW,,,,how did you keep your motorcycle so dang clean !?!