Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5  All   Go Down
Print

Topic: Round the U.S.-Yellowstone and back in three weeks  (Read 24963 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Marcster
The (HiViz) Greenhorn
*

Reputation 1
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '09
Motorcycles: '00 Yamaha Diversion (Seca II) - WRECKED.
GPS: Let's go Phill-eees!
Miles Typed: 5140

My Photo Gallery


That's nice, but can it be made into jerky?




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2009, 09:20:58 AM »


Report reads good however the pics are not showing. Photobucket says bandwidth exceeded upgreade to pro Headscratch

Maybe my connection at work. Will need to check back when i get home Shrug


Nope, no more pics here either...
Logged

Everyone needs a Trunk Monkey in their topcase!

 
MK96xj
What if the "Hokey Pokey" is What its all about?
*

Reputation 15
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
GPS: Asheville NC
Miles Typed: 2860

My Photo Gallery


Ducati MTS 620




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2009, 09:22:37 AM »


marcster, it depends on what youre into, but i would say yes.  mt. rushmore, crazy horse, the badlands, and some fantastic roads like the needles highway.  lots of tourist type attractions in and around rapid city.  i would recommend it...especially on two wheels!


I would definitely agree with this. I was out there in 94 and rode through a dirt road in the Badlands. It took all day, there was a small family restaurant that opened just for me and my bro as we were the only ones and we rode with wild horses while knocking out prairie dogs with our front tires Lol. I also ran out of gas with the sun going down and coyote's howling. It was a trip I will never forget Thumbsup
Logged

tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2009, 05:09:50 PM »

sorry guys, im using my wifes photobucket and didnt know there was a limit.  she didnt think it was necessary to let me know they had emailed her saying i was close to the limit.  were all good now!
Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
MK96xj
What if the "Hokey Pokey" is What its all about?
*

Reputation 15
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
GPS: Asheville NC
Miles Typed: 2860

My Photo Gallery


Ducati MTS 620




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2009, 05:33:47 PM »


sorry guys, im using my wifes photobucket and didnt know there was a limit.  she didnt think it was necessary to let me know they had emailed her saying i was close to the limit.  were all good now!


Deleted the wifes pics huh I will need to finish reading before she finds out Lol
Logged

Smoker
*

Reputation 85
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '09, '10
Years Supported: '11
Motorcycles: Big Pig
GPS: SEPA
Miles Typed: 1566

My Photo Gallery


I feel more like I do now than when I got here




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2009, 08:20:58 PM »

Awesome, just awesome. Looks like a great time. Can't wait for the rest!!
Logged

Founding member, Keystone Contingent/Flying Pig Association
DosEquis00
*

Reputation 127
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 00 Blackbird, 08 C14
GPS: SEPA
Miles Typed: 2701

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2009, 09:07:11 PM »

Great Report and please keep it coming. I also rode Beartooth Highway this year and was amazed by the views and construction.
Logged
tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2009, 10:56:45 PM »

DAY 6 wednesday 8/26/09

morning comes and whoa, is it brisk outside!  i believe temps that morning were in the very low 40's.  we hurriedly get the days clothes on and try to warm up.  the bathrooms didnt have any hot water.  washing your hands and face were 'awakening' experiences to say the least!

we were able to cover alot of ground yesterday, so today we set out accomplish the south loop.  remember that part of the road is closed in the west-central portion of the park near gibbon falls (opposite side of the park from our campsite at canyon).    we set out and went clockwise all the way to the road closure, then came back counter clockwise and stopped at the sites that way.  the thought was, when we were done seeing stuff, we would already be at the campsite.  the plan worked wonderfully!

we stopped at 'tuff cliff', where the road was closed.  the cliff was an exposed sheer cliff that clearly showed layers of silica and volcanic ash.  it had been over an hour since we left camp, so the temps had picked up considerably.  it was there that we started shedding layers.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/445.jpg

i was laying on the ground taking that picture.  steve has this canning ability to take a picture when im not expecting it.  this is me right after taking the above picture
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090826113509.jpg

after warming up at tuff cliff we hit the road again and started stopping at the sites.  our next stop was firehole canyon.  its set back off of the main road and is a narrow curvy road. the canyon and its white water were amazing
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/450.jpg

further down the road was another group of geysers and other geological structures.  now here is where i need to make some corrections/additions.  steve, being as detail oriented as he is, informs me that yesterdays report may have potentially mislabeled some geological structures.  most of the sites pictured were geysers, which occaisionally release steam and water into the air.  there are also hot springs, which are a constant source of running hot water.  next are fumeroles, which vent mostly steam, as their water supply is low.  there are the mudpots, which are the gurgling mud baths which i think i labeled correctly.  the last kind are steam vents, which a crack in the ground that releases steam.  so all that to say this...i forget what this one is technically called, buts its cool nonetheless
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/447.jpg

again, spectacular color
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/451.jpg

this is one of the many wooden boardwalks that snake around the geysers (or whatever their called!)
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/452.jpg

one of the many thousands of angry geysers in the park.  the smell wasnt too bad, depending on the wind.  a warning sign stated that if you inhaled the fumes, you may become sick.  if that is the case, you are to exit the fumes quickly and find fresh air.    the sulphuric acid is toxic not good for you i guess!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/453.jpg

much of the runoff from the above geysers came here, and into the river
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/454.jpg

we continue to mosey on down towards old faithful.  were not sure what time the next eruption is but what we do know is that not only is it time for fuel, but also lunch.  now ill say that old faithful is probably the most popular attraction here at the park.  the area surrounding it is like a small city.  huge parking lots, lodges, shopping, etc... its almost confusing.  after getting some near 4$ gas, we find some decent parking in the shade (its pretty warm by now).  we find a small cafe and order up some grub.  it was very busy, and we offer to share our 4 top table with a couple.  they were just passing through the park and were from wisconson.  we had a good lunch with them and we got a kick out of thier accents!  after lunch, we checked the time on the geyser information board and realized we had about 15 minutes to get out there.  after a confusing walk through the parking lot, we find the circular seating/viewing area around old faithful.  there were people in all directions
looking left
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/456.jpg

looking right
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090826135928.jpg

old faithful was starting to vent and tease everyone with some very small spurts.  the crowd would 'ohh' thinking it was the 'big one', but then would 'aww' in disappointment.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/455.jpg

it wasnt long (right on time actually!) and the eruption reached full force
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/458.jpg

the eruption lasted for a few minutes and went as high as 50 or 60 feet.  it was pretty cool to see, but soon began to sputter out
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/461.jpg

old faithful was great to see, but i think there are far more beautiful and impressive things to see in the park.  far less croweded things too!  but, if youre there, you might as well go see it.  its kind of like going to san francisco and not seeing the golden gate bridge!

after the eruption, we went to the temporary visitors center to see what was for sale and to get some postcards for the wives.  before entering, we noticed the flag was at half mast.  we asked a park ranger inside and found out it was for the death of sen. ted kennedy, earlier that day.  the ranger then struck up a conversation with us and asked if we had already seen the the old faithful inn.  not really knowing what it was, we said no.  he implored us to go see it and promised we wouldnt be disappointed.  after a slightly confusing walk around some building construction (for the new visitor center) we found it...and immediately were awestruck.  the workmanship and labor put into this building is amazing.  the place is gigantic
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/464.jpg
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/466.jpg

the inside took our breath away.  this place was built by hand during the winter of 1903-04.  its even bigger on the inside
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/470.jpg

check out the size of that chimney. mounted to it is a giant mechanical clock
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/473.jpg

while upstairs, some rooms were being cleaned, so i snuck in and grabbed a shot.  the bathroom is down the hall, if you know what i mean
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/471.jpg

we see people walking around with ice cream.  hey, i want some ice cream...you steve?  yea!  we ordered the double scoop.  good thing i didnt get the triple!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/477.jpg

we sat in some very comfy chairs in the lobby while we finished our ice cream.  through the window, i could see another geyser erupting. we make our way outside and closer so we could see it better.  this thing went off for several minutes, and was taller than old faithful!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/479.jpg

after a couple hours in the old faithful area, we took off.  it felt like we had left a big city!  we get closer to yellowstone lake and find some more geysers and pools.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/484.jpg

these were the most beautiful ones yet! the camera doesnt capture the vibrance of the color like being there in person!  this one was 'abyss geyser'...cause its very deep.  if i remember correctly, it was 50 or 60 feet deep.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/485.jpg

closer on the deep end
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/487.jpg

this one was called black geyser (or black pool, i forget).  it actually used to be black, but an earthquake changed all that and provided it constant fresh water
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/488.jpg

another close up of its deeper end
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/489.jpg

runoff from the springs/geysers into lake yellowstone
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/490.jpg

note the temperature sign.  remember the clearer the water, the closer to 200 degrees it is.

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/492.jpg

we continued around lake yellowstone (which is quite large) and got closer to our campsite.  it was early evening at this point.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/496.jpg

we encountered one more area of geysers and other formations.  this group was reported to be the most acidic of all in the park...just under battery acid!  this one was 'dragons mouth'.  it was like a cave, but the steam and water spewed out sideways, just like a dragon.  it sounded evil too!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/503.jpg

we made it back to camp and decided today would be a good day for a shower.  the hot water was a nice change and the shower facilities were very clean.  we ate more mre's and enjoyed the coolness of the evening.  before long, we were beat, and hit the sack in anticipation of our last full day in the park.  tomorrow will be the canyon area.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 05:50:32 PM by tjhess74 » Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2009, 08:21:14 PM »

Day 7  thurdsay 8/27/09

what a beautiful morning!  what low temps!  it was 39 degrees this morning.  
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/510.jpg

steve and i accomplished alot in just two days in the park so far.  because of this, we now plan on spending a good portion of the day in the canyon area, which by all accounts is the  most beautiful area of the park. we shall see...

because we werent in a hurry, we decided to go to the canyon area shopping/visitors center.  the visitors center was very nice. of course it was full of displays explaining the parks history and geology.  we continued onto another store, which turned out to be a full fledged grocery store!  we were very impressed.  we were also shocked that the prices werent really that bad...about 10-15% above normal prices. you name it, they had it!  as we kept walking around the area, we stumbled across a cafeteria that had menus posted for all meals.  after reading the breakfast menu, we decided to have a go at it.  the food was really good!  after breakfast, we mailed postcards to our wives at the post office next door.

with full stomachs and plenty of motivation, we headed for the south rim drive.  we stopped at the first parking lot and walked over to the hiking trial to see lower falls. it wasnt too long til we came across this sign
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/515.jpg

a little further down the trail and you could hear the waterfall and see the spray and its resulting rainbow
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/519.jpg

check out the vegetation growing as a result of the spray
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/523.jpg

not too long after, the canyon started to come into view. like much from this park, the pictures just dont do it justice. note the stairs near the bottom of the picture.  now, i finally realize why the park is called 'yellowstone'!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/520.jpg
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/514.jpg

now, im not a big fan of heights.  remember the sign you just read?  it said nothing of the stairs being transparent!  you could see all the way down.  stair after of stair started making my head spin.  its hard to tell, but we were at least 40 or so feet above the ground.  the stairs were just bolted into the rock
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/524.jpg

when we went to the north rim (later in the post) we had a great view of the magnitude of the set of stairs...stand by for that picture!  at the bottom of the stairs is a viewing platform, from which you can see the lower falls
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/527.jpg

the skies were just as beautiful as the canyon, not a cloud in sight
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/531.jpg

we start making our way back up the stairs.  about halfway (and ready to rest!) we run across an older couple who was also resting.  we struck up a conversation and they began giving us some advice for locations along our future path.  we continued back to the top.  steve doesnt like uphills...
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/530.jpg

at the top, steve discovered he had a little hitchhiking friend!  strange bugs here...
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/532.jpg

we jump back on the bikes and head further down the south rim to artist's point.  huh, i wonder why they call it that?
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/537.jpg

it almost doesnt look real
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/544.jpg

me, very thirsty!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090827130711.jpg


this area was magnificent! the colors and topography of the canyon were very apparent here
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/533.jpg

some geological strata (again, yellowstone!)
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/542.jpg

its now time to jump across the canyon to the north rim.  this side is slightly higher than the south rim and offers a different perspective
we come across this sign, which gives some idea to the size of this place
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/561.jpg

a small road between the south and north rim roads offered a good view of upper falls and the main road (bridge)
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/512.jpg

at one of the lookouts, we ran across these people.  they were from great britain and were touring the world!  what a gig that is!  they had already toured europe and parts of africa.  they had shipped the camper to south america and, over the course of three months, worked thier way up to yellowstone.  when asked how long they planned to be out touring the world, the reply was simply 'til we see it all!'  wow, now thats adventure!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/554.jpg

now, remember i said we were able to see the stairs from uncle toms trail from the north rim?  well here they are...at the very bottom you can see the colored dots.  those are people on the lower viewing platform.  the stairs go all the way up into the woods
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090827140033.jpg

the views on this side of the park were equally amazing.  this place has certainly exceeded our expectations.  the canyon area is by far the most beautiful part of the park.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/560.jpg

steve, losing his balance at upper falls...bye steve!!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/550.jpg

along the north rim road is the glacial boulder.  as the name suggests, a glacier rolled this sucker down the hill!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/566.jpg

after spending a few hours, and walking countless steps and trails, we were getting very hungry.  we went back to the canyon area shops and grabbed some sandwiches at the canyon deli (next door to the cafeteria from this morning).  once that was accomplished, we were very tired.  all the hiking at altitude, riding, and being in the sun was taking its toll. we headed across the road back to camp and decided a nap was in order.  i believe that was around 2:30 pm.  a couple hours later, we arose ready to finish what we had started.  the only area left that we havent seen was tower falls.  this was north of our campground on the north loop.

after arriving at the tower falls parking lot, we took a short, and downhill, hike towards the bottom and was afforded this view.  it suddenly became obvious why they named it 'tower falls'.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/570.jpg

of course there was some construction on the trail!  the very bottom was closed so we couldnt get to the base of the falls. instead, we took a detour off the beaten path.  we decided to walk east along the yellowstone river and see what was in the area.  the water was chilly and the views were nice of the bluffs. the tower falls trail ended on the bluff at the left of the picture
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/575.jpg

we kept smelling sulphur, which we thought was unusual because most of the thermal activity was on the western and central sides of the park.  after snooping around, we located a few small thremal springs which hosted the bacteria giving the river its 'gold' colored riverbanks.  also along the river were extremely small vents, just giving out enough steam to create tiny bubbles
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/577.jpg

we hiked a good mile or so down on the river, and i found a nice seat, provided by mother nature!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090827183148.jpg

for the past two nights, we had intended to go to a presentation given by one of the park rangers.  we either returned to camp too late, or were just too tired to attend.  tonight however, we were gonna make it!  we left tower falls with plenty of daylight left to eat dinner, snag some souvienirs, and see the presentation.

for dinner, we returned to the shops in the canyon area. in one of the gift shops was the canyon cafe, a 50's style retro diner.  we looked at the menu and agreed this was our place!  brats with sauerkraut...YUM!  we grabbed the obligitory tshirts for family and went to see the ranger presentation.

we arrived at the small amphitheater a few minutes early. the ranger was talking about listening to the soft music and 'visualizing' it.  we knew this was strange!  i think this lady had spend too much time in the park.  her presentation was like a childs story, in which she had a conversation with herself with alice (from alice in wonderland).  it was really strange.  honestly, if you go there, skip it cause youre not missing anything.

we returned to camp afterwards and enjoyed a nice, warm campfire.  once again, the skies over our last night in the camp gave us a great view of the stars and beyond.  it wasnt too long afterwards and we retired for the night.  i was looking forward to finally getting my picture of the 'yellowstone' sign we had missed on the way in.  our destination tomorrow...grand teton national park.
Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
servicerifle
Junior Post-Ho
*

Reputation -25
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '09
Miles Typed: 2868

My Photo Gallery

I DO MY OWN STUNTS!




Ignore
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2009, 05:13:49 AM »

Well, despite your dissing of Tennesseans, this is still quite an enjoyable ride report.  Looking forward to your next installment!
Logged
tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2009, 09:05:39 AM »

Day 8 8/28/09

another beautiful morning in yellowstone!  another cold morning in yellowstone!  this mornings temp was 37 degrees.  each morning has become progressively colder...hmmm, maybe its a good thing today is our last day in the park!

actually, we were ready to move on.  the multitudes of people we have talked to about our journey, and them sharing their input on what we have yet to see has us excited to continue on.  we take our time getting up (i mean, getting warm!) and taking down camp.

once we get started, we head south out of the park.  'hey, steve, look for the yellowstone sign!'  he's on it before i even had to say it.  
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/584.jpg

while stopped, we checked out an information post regarding grand teton national park.  we figured out where to get some gas and a good idea of where to find some food.

it wasnt long, after we passed a few slow moving rv's and left yellowstone that we encounted this
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/586.jpg

our motto for the trip remains: construction for all!

soon traffic comes to a halt; waiting for another escort vehicle to guide us along.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/588.jpg

we have spent hours at this point waiting in construction traffic. at this point, all you can do is laugh about it and enjoy the scenery.  'steve, say chee...uh, im mean construction!'
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/587.jpg

ah ha! i finally caught one of those warning signs for bikes.  sometimes they really werent kidding!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/589.jpg

this trip really embodied why we love motorcycling and the community in which we place ourselves.  not only was seeing america on a motorcycle a spiritually awakening, destressing experience, but we also had the chance to interact with dozens of like minded folks willing to help and share.  in this case, as fellow motorcyclists were passing us as they were escorted through the construction, they would yell out to us the remaining distance we had left to go in the mess.  it really did help and we returned the favor, of course.

soon, we reached untattered pavement and we were able to continue along.  we came around a bend, and thats when we saw it.  for the next several miles, i was awestruck
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/590.jpg

they kept getting bigger as we got closer.  steve and i both were guilty of looking at them more than the road sometimes
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/592.jpg

we arrived a colter bay and stopped for gas.  the attendant directed us a short distance down the side road for some good food.  heres the view from the parking lot at colter bay
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/594.jpg

after our big buffalo burger and chili lunch (which was pretty good!) we moved on to snag a good camping spot.  our goal was to camp at jenny lake, but its first come, first serve...on a friday.  as we rode, i started getting the idea to take pics of people that had gotten pulled over
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/595.jpg

it bacame a past time, and there are dozens of pictures of people caught in the act!  we pressed on and the mountains continued to grow
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/598.jpg

upon finding the jenny lake campground, we saw that it was packed!  not a campsite to be had anywhere.  ok, plan b.  we confired and decided to back north a few miles to the signal mountain campground.  we circled around there and found a decent spot.  we set up camp and prepared to go out for a ride around grand teton national park.

steve had walked away from the campsite a short distance to the bathrooms.  i was just sitting on the picnic table minding my own business when i heard steve yell over to me, 'hey tom, come here. bring the camera!'.  i asked him what it was and he replied 'just come here, bring the camera'.  i told him this better be good...and it better not be a bear!  so i go trouncing throught the heavily wooded path and i hear 'stop!  in front of you!'.  i look up and 'holy crap!'  not more than just a few feet in front of me was this deer, chowing down on the vegetation.  she didnt care about me one bit!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/622.jpg

yep, glad it wasnt a bear.  thanks steve. so anyway, off we go to see the park.  our first stop was at the top of signal mountain.  the road was freshly paved (glad we missed that work!) and was a nice curvy road.  nice views ahead:
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/600.jpg

mt. moran
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/603.jpg

grand teton herself
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/604.jpg

we continued on.  on the map the green park boundary led us to believe that the entry posts were much further away than they were.  suddenly and unexpectedly, we came to the park entry/exit. we havent even gotten to the visitor center at moose (southside of the park) yet!  we pull into the visitors center after 'leaving the park' and i realized that my reciept to reenter was still back at camp!  the entrance fee for yellowstone also includes grand teton.  looks like i may have to pay again!  after sightseeing at the visitors center, we hit the main highway back north and attempt to reenter the park at the northern entrance near moran junction.  i explained to the ranger at the gate my situation and even showed her my reciept for lunch at colter bay.  she gave me that 'im not supposed to do this, but ok this time' look and off we went!  woohoo!

on the way back to camp, we stopped at jackson lake dam
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/610.jpg

view from the dam
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/612.jpg

down on the riverbank there was a japanese couple fishing.  we struck up a conversation about whats for dinner, and all of the sudden his wife starts yelling.  'I GA FEESH, I GA FEESH!' what was so funny was that, instead of reeling the line in, she just started running backwards up the river bank to pull the fish in!  all of us were getting a kick out of this and the husband explained this was her first time fishing.

once we made it back to camp, i enjoyed a nice snack!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/619.jpg

we broke out our mre dinner and began chowing down.  it was then that i finally was able to get steve back for all of those 'surprise' pictures he took of me!  it was, of course, in the name of getting a picture of the deer behind him!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090828202000.jpg

two fawns came within a few feet of us and we were as quiet as church mice.  then, right behind them came the two moms.  unfortunately, a barking dog scared them off after i took this picture
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090828202014.jpg

after dinner, we diligently cleaned up our mess.  these signs have been prominant since we entered both parks
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/625.jpg

at last, the sun was beginning to set over the tetons
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090828204354.jpg

steve and i walked to the bar in the nearby lodge at signal mountain and enjoyed a couple frosty local brews, then headed back ready for a good nights sleep.  its much warmer in the park here and the temp tonight isnt supposed to get near as cold as yellowstone.

grand teton national park is beautiful, but after one day we saw most of it and were ready to move on.  we were itching to be IN the mountains, not just LOOK at them!
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 11:37:41 AM by tjhess74 » Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
MK96xj
What if the "Hokey Pokey" is What its all about?
*

Reputation 15
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
GPS: Asheville NC
Miles Typed: 2860

My Photo Gallery


Ducati MTS 620




Ignore
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2009, 11:30:17 AM »

 Thumbsup on the report. Make me want to go now.

The Pork Crakklin's though Crazy Does not sound appetising. And is that a sell by date of Sept 29th, 1992?
Logged

tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2009, 11:55:31 AM »


 Thumbsup on the report. Make me want to go now.

The Pork Crakklin's though Crazy Does not sound appetising. And is that a sell by date of Sept 29th, 1992?


lol! no its 092909. not sure what that last '2' is!  i love some fried pig skin...good stuff!
Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2009, 09:35:27 PM »

Day 9 8/29/09

if you remember from previous days, i stated im a news junkie.  since we entered the park, i have really lost track of time.  in fact, ive lost all reference of time.  i have no idea what day it is, what is going on in the world, and no idea of what weather patterns are in our future.  gotta be honest with ya, i kinda like it...feels wierd, but i like it.  each hour, each day, is just another hour and day of a great vacation.

morning arrives in grand teton national park.  our final destination for today is just outside of salt lake city.  if were feeling up to it upon arrival, we may head out to the bonneville salt flats and peek into nevada.  the temperature this morning is very pleasant, its in the low 50's.  once again, we pack up camp and load the bikes.

we hit hwy 191 heading south just before jackson, wy and guess what we hit...yep, construction.  we sit waiting for our escort vehicle for several minutes.  while waiting, i decide to hop off and grab some sage that is plentifully growing along the road side.  i rub it on my gloves and enjoy the fresh scent.  traffic starts to move and were on our way to jackson.  a place that many people said we had to go to was the silver dollar bar.  being fairly early in the morning, we werent sure if it would be open.  upon arrival we find that the door is open, but there is not a soul anywhere to be found.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/633.jpg

we walk around and inspect the bar...inlaid with silver dollars.  a rough estimation by steve guesses that there are approximately $4000 worth of silver dollars in the bar itself.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/630.jpg

moving on, we were just about to make our way into alpine, wy when i saw something very strange.  is that...a crane...with a car?  what the...?
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/634.jpg

once we got closer, we see a banner hanging on the other side of the car...CAR SHOW.  uh, yea, were stopping!  it was the 'top of the rockies' annual car show.  it was a small turn out but there were some very nice vehicles entered.  the kind of pristine vehicles you find in the mountain states (the ones that dont use salt!)
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/635.jpg
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/637.jpg


after about an hour at the car show, we hit the road again and make a right onto hwy 34 and shortly thereafter find ourselves in idaho.  the landscape here is beautiful. gentle sweeping curves and mild hills.  combined with the good road conditions and cool weather and this is one great road!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/642.jpg


as we advanced through idaho, we begin to feel pains...hunger pains!  we though about stopping in soda springs, id, but decided to press on to montpelier.  unbenounced to us, this was going to be a great decision.  arriving in montpelier found us looking for a good place to eat.  both steve and i are very indecisive about food, well eat just about anything (especially steve!).  we passed a couple fast food chains, and a couple local places that werent hitting any buttons for us.  a turn down main street(hwy 89) yielded even fewer choices.  
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/650.jpg

i saw a small place and thought we would peek our heads in to see what they had.  if nothing, we would go back to the places we had passed.  the place was aho's espresso deli, owned by the aho's-a couple of self proclaimed hippies.  when i walked up to the door, i thought to myself, 'this is stupid, it looks like they just have espresso...whatever.'  i lean in the door and find some people sitting around talking (small town style).
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/648.jpg

i ask if they have any food, and the lady says 'yes, good sandwiches!'.  i said that was 'good enough for us' and we place our order.  we find the hospitality very gracious.  the lady asks us the usual 'where are you from/going' questions then asks us to sign her book (brown book on the counter).  im thinking that seems kind of rediculous because the place is like 8 feet wide, who really comes here?!  upon opening the book, i flip through page after page of peoples listing from all over the world!  the lady then explains that the hundreds of postcards on the wall come from people who visit, then send a postcard from where they are from!(notice the postcards all over the one wall).  we get our sandwiches and are amazed at the size
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/644.jpg

son, let me tell you right now, that was one of the best sandwiches steve or i have ever had.  mine was the reuben and steves was 'the monster' club.  frikken delicious!  during our meal, a local guy (overalls and white beard sitting in picture below) has a seat outside with us and begins a funny and random conversation.  guys like that are always full of entertaining stories! what a hoot this place is!!!  if you are EVER in or near montpelier, id, you MUST go to aho's espresso deli; tell them tom and steve from charleston sent you. you will not be disappointed and yes, i am advertising for them!  oh, and yes, i did send them a postcard from charleston, sc when we got home.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/646.jpg

while sitting outside eating, we noticed a sign in the window of the building next to us (brown building to the left of aho's).  this was the old bank that butch cassidy and his gang robbed back in 1896.  a sign across the street tells the story...alot of history in this town!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/651.jpg

with full stomachs and happy hearts we press on towards utah.  first, we come across bear lake.  it seemed that every square inch of water front on the idaho side was private property-no beach access (and heavily touted as such on signs!).  after passing into the utah side of the lake, we find a public marina.  the gate operator let us in for free so we could get some pictures.  the aho's described the lake as a small lake tahoe.  they were right, it was beautiful.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/655.jpg

check out the color and clarity of the water
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/660.jpg

this lake and the beaches were packed with people!  beach goers, waterskiers, boaters, jetskiers, tubes, floats, etc  were everywhere.  i personally tested the water...ah no, its freezing.  whats wrong with these people??!!

riding up hwy 89 away from the lake and up the pass offers this view
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/663.jpg

hwy 89 was fantastic!  the road was in great shape and the curves were tight and plentiful.  there was a bit of traffic though, but we were able to pass most of it.  coming out of the mountains we enter logan, ut.  its a very scenic town and we decided to stop for gas and a few minutes rest.  the temps are starting to rise. in fact, its quite warm now.  we noticed something strange since we entered civilization in utah...the street names.  they are all four digit numbers, ie, 3100, 2200, etc. until we figured out, its was sort of confusing.  

another leo we dont need to worry about!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/669.jpg

around brigham city, we jump on interstate 15 to head to our hotel in lake point, ut.  the interstate parallels the mountains and offer great views as we super-slab it
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/676.jpg

we moved along for a while until the interstate came to a halt. well, a creep actually.  for a few miles we just edged forward a few feet at a time.  great, seems to be more construction.  nope, not this time
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/677.jpg

before long, we were on the far west side of salt lake city and at our hotel, the oquirrh inn; exit 99 off i-80.  a nice place for a decent price. its on the recommend list.

were feeling good and decide that yes, we will go onto the salt flats, just over 100 miles to the west.
we ride alongside the great salt lake for quite awhile at first.  you can tell that this is one massive body of water when you cant see the far side!  there were huge mountainous islands sporadically placed throughout the lake
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/680.jpg

 i-80 going towards nevada is one of the flattest and straightest roads we have ever seen, ever!  almost too straight.  every few miles there are huge yellow 'drowsy driver' signs alerting you to stay awake or pull over.  we spotted this contraption, which seems to have lost a piece.  we have no clue what it is.  doesnt seem like a water tower or an antenna, but also seems randomly placed and too large to be a sculpture
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/686.jpg

riding on the interstate, the terrain becomes a tannish white.  the salt is starting to take over!  you can see numerous places where people have pulled off of the road and onto the salt itself.  rock, bottles, and various items have been arranged by people into words, phrases, and symbols along the road side.  sort of a scenic graffiti/litter.  i guess there are some soft spots, cause this guy is stuck!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/688.jpg

we get to the exit for the bonneville salt flats speedway.  on the narrow road leading to the entrance, a woman was getting her wedding pictures taken.  i thought it was a cool, surreal landscape for this purpose
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/694.jpg

here, we have arrived!  this place is so cool!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/695.jpg

its hot outside (87 degrees) and your body tells you that, but your eyes are fooled by the salt.  your brain keeps thinking 'snow, it should be cold!'  it looks like snow
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/707.jpg

crunches like snow
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/703.jpg

packs like snow (would you want this car in a few years?)
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/711.jpg

and tastes like...uh, doesnt taste like snow!  yep, we tasted it.  its like table salt times ten.
this guy was having fun!  would you want this bike in a few years?
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/712.jpg

we hung out for awhile and talked to some of the people camped out for the BUB speed trials (motorcycle speed week).  there was an old guy arguing with one of the event staff about why his bike was disqualified for safety reasons earlier that morning.  there wasnt much reasoning with that guy!

once again, we were hungry and we wanted to gamble.  we headed over the border into nevada in west wendover
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/718.jpg

this towns industry is casinos. probably wouldnt be much here without them
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/717.jpg

this guy greets you when you get off the interstate. howdy partner!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/716.jpg

we hit the montego bay casino to eat and try our luck.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/720.jpg


we squeezed our $20 worth from the food line...this was plate 1 of ??!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/719.jpg

i lost my initial $20 in the slots fairly quickly (i know, big spender!).  steve however, was able to play on his money for quite some time! it was his first time in a casino...beginners luck!  he ended up $.25 behind.  you read that right...only a quarter in the red!

it was that time of the night, to head back and get some shut eye.  the ride back was very peaceful and dark...very dark except for the occasional oncoming headlight
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/722.jpg

as we got closer to lake point, we noticed a smell.  as with most road side smells, you hold your breathe as long as you can, and when youre ready to breathe again, the smell is long behind you.  not this time.  each time we held our breathe, then took a 'test breath', the smell got worse.  before long it was so foul even i could hardly stand it (i have an iron stomach).  i can only describe it as the stench of a thousand rotting corpses soaked in fermented urine.  hows that for a visual?!  yea, it was that bad.

we made it back to the hotel (and fresh air), did some much needed laundry, and dozed off.  ill tell ya, the hot shower was godsend.  i believe ill take another in the morning just because i can!  tomorrow is an exciting day for me, COLORADO, my favorite state!


Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
bluepoof
supergirl powers of dewm and stuff.
*

Reputation 110
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08, '10
Years Supported: '11
Motorcycles: '07 Ninja 250, '02 XT225, '08 CRF80F
GPS: San Carlos, CA
Miles Typed: 4208

My Photo Gallery


Blueberry Stiglet Coho MotoGuzziBatmanGilligan III


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2009, 11:30:19 PM »

Your sculpture in UT along I-80 is Metaphor: The Tree of Utah.

http://www.utah.com/amusement/metaphor_tree.htm

Smile

Logged

Hockey season starts April 18!  Riding season starts as soon as I get a babysitter. Any takers?
07 Kawasaki Ninja 250 * 02 Yamaha XT225 * 08 Honda CRF80F
www.bluepoof.com
Guy
Scattered, smothered, and covered
*

Reputation 18
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '07, '09
Motorcycles: 4th gen VFR, 1st gen FZ1
GPS: Outside the pattern
Miles Typed: 2366

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2009, 11:37:53 AM »


Day 9 8/29/09


as we got closer to lake point, we noticed a smell.  as with most road side smells, you hold your breathe as long as you can, and when youre ready to breathe again, the smell is long behind you.  not this time.  each time we held our breathe, then took a 'test breath', the smell got worse.  before long it was so foul even i could hardly stand it (i have an iron stomach).  i can only describe it as the stench of a thousand rotting corpses soaked in fermented urine.  hows that for a visual?!  yea, it was that bad.



May have been following a collection truck for dead animals (roadkill, not-so-live-stock) on the interstate. I once started smelling human s**t that got slowly stronger over 5 miles, then passed the septic truck, and no more smell.
Logged
XbbX
*

Reputation 0
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 98XX
GPS: Littleton Colorado
Miles Typed: 353

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2009, 03:26:09 PM »

enjoying the ride report


 Thumbsup
Logged

twisty mountain hop
tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2009, 05:36:00 PM »

thanks blue!  

guy, we were the only vehicles on the highway that time of night, although i cant rule that out.  if thats what it was, i feel sorry for the driver!
Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
mustang28027
Junior Member
*

Reputation 10
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 2002 FZ1, 1987 Honda SuperMagna, 2001 KTM 125
GPS: Concord,NC
Miles Typed: 368

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2009, 06:59:04 PM »

I'm really enjoying the report, especially since  we are relatively close( the Carolinas)... when you get finnished I'd like a report of your gear and equipment used and your costs... in  the meantime, ENJOY!
Logged
tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2009, 09:17:18 PM »

Day 10  8/30/09

morning arrives in salt lake city.  we are really enjoying being in the mountain time zone.  the extra two hours has been great for my sleeping in requirements!  we step outside to wrap up some the laundry from last night.  it wasnt quite dry, but by the time we get showered and eat breakfast its ready to go.  one thing we noticed immediatly this morning is the temperature. today is gonna be warm!  we eventually get packed up and hit the road.  we plan on cutting through the middle of the city to see downtown then work our way to hwy 40 east.  now, today is sunday.  we of course do not know this because yet we are lost in time, but it will mean something to us later on.

one last look at the great salt lake
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/725.jpg

we approach downtown.  its very scenic pressed against the mountains and overlooking the great salt lake
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/727.jpg

nice wide roads.  we wondered why it was so quiet...we didnt realize then it was the weekend.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/729.jpg

leaving the city, we jump on the interstate to cut over to hwy 40.  hmm, now which way should we go?!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/730.jpg

in very short order, the city
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/731.jpg

turns into the country!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/732.jpg

we pass through park city, home of the 2002 winter olympics.  from the hwy, you could see the giant downhill slopes for the ski jumps from the olympic games.  the olympic symbols for the 02 games was visible on the middle of the slopes.  by the time i realized what they were, it was too late for a pic.  although its getting warmer with each passing minute, this is an ominous reminder that winters here are very real
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/733.jpg

after a couple hours of being on hwy 40, a very noticable difference in landscape has occured.  the more lush and green mountains have turned into a stark and more barren high painted plateau
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/736.jpg

at this point we have a fantastic tailwind...as my gas mileage shows! i also pass the 30k mark on the concours14
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/737.jpg

the change of landscape is nice, but the heat is starting to get turned up. now remember, for the most part, we have been in temps of 70 or below up to this point.  today marks the first real 'hot' day weve had so far.  on the plus side though, the roads are fantastic as well.  plenty of passing opportunities and fresh, smooth tarmac
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/738.jpg

as lunchtime nears, we enter vernal, ut. the city is much bigger than i expected for being out in the 'high desert'.
 http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/740.jpg

this is the home of the utah natural history museum.  this area of the country is very rich in dinosaur fossils, and thats what weve come to see.  first however, it is lunchtime.  i havent eaten at an a&w in quite awhile, so when i see, i know thats what i want!  the place isnt busy, and it doesnt take long before the employees become very curious about us and our loaded motorcycles.  the usual barrage of questions ensue: where ya been, where ya going, where ya from, how long ya been on the road, are ya gettin' sore, are ya havin fun????????  i love talking about  our trip, but serioulsy, were trying to eat!!!

well, lunch is down the hatch and we head off to the museum to see some dinosaurs...and perhaps pay homage to their remains that have so selflessly given themselves so i could put them in my gas tank.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090830141745.jpg

ive had a wierd vibe all day.  nothing is as busy as i think it should be...including the parking lot of the museum.  then, its hits us...ITS SUNDAY!  crap, ill bet the museum is closed.  steve checks the door and confirms our suspicions.  well, we succumb to defeat reluctantly, but manage to get some pics of the outside dinosaur sculptures
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/741.jpg

well, its really-i mean really-hot out here, so its time to get outta town.  looks like vernal pd is making the best of a slow sunday. i really like those chargers!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/742.jpg

a little while down the road, we notice a strange 'break' from the normal mountain scenery.  there is a lighter colored area with a large gap running through it
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/743.jpg

we turn down the road that leads to the dinosaur national monument fossil quarry. as we get near, we realize that the unusual break in the mountians is the location of the quarry itself...very cool!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/744.jpg

unfortunately, the dinosaur gods are against us.  the quarry, we learn is closed and has been for quite some time.  something is wrong with the building and must be repaired.  dashed once again, we turn back around and jump on the highway to continue east into northwestern colorado.  but not before we see another strange rock formation. these vertical formations actually lean. its times like this i wish i knew more about geology
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/745.jpg

after passing into colorado, it seems the temperature actually jumped!  we stop at the east entrance to the dinosaur national monument and go into the visitor center.  the air conditioning was nice for a change and we had a good educational conversation with some park rangers.  after a few minutes of rest in the shade and some warm water from our camelbacks, we chug into craig, co.  at the gas station, we notice a rain storm ahead.  if you are familiar with a typical colorado thunderstorm with lightning, then you understand whats ahead of us.  fortunately for us, i am familiar with them since im from colorado.  i know that these storms come and go quickly and the rain can be very sporadic. im banking on this when i make the decision to not put on the rain gear and move on.  it is the frequent lightning that i have my eye on.  we have only hit some very light sprinkles in our 10 days on the road...well see how our luck holds out!

the road seems to meander between the storms, with the occasional few drops here and there and lots of wet roads.  the added benefit to this is much lower temps!  we make it to steamboat springs, co and the showers forming around us become heavier and darker. the lightning becomes more frequent.  knowing now that its sunday, i use this to our advantage and keep my eyes peeled for a bank.  not because i need money, but because the drive throughs are covered!  we find one and pull in.  about ten seconds later, it starts to rain pretty heavily.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/749.jpg

that shower passes, and i make the call to head out.  again, the road seems to dance between the showers.  we climb the pass out of steamboat springs and the temps fall like a rock!  we went from the 90's to the 50's in a matter of an hour.  raindrops here and there continue.  on the other side of the pass the dark clouds subside somewhat and we enter kremmling, co.  looking up towards grand lake (our camping destination) however, it appears very dark.  as we approach grand lake, the showers return and the temps continue to drop.  this time, we couldnt avoid the rain, fortunately it wasnt too heavy, but it was cold!!!  

the rain made taking pictures while riding impossible.  we arrive at the campground before sundown, but the office was closed.  a nearby gas station attendant gave us some ideas for camping and some nearby motels.  as the forcast called for more rain through out the night, we made the call to get a motel.  we back tracked and stopped at the first place we came to, the blue bird motel.  our criteria: $60 or less.  the lady says $55 plus tax=SOLD!  this place was definately a mom and pop operation.  quality and cleanliness was my concern.

to our surprise, the rooms were very nice and plenty big.  the shower had great water pressure and the water was as warm as you could stand it!  this place turned out to be a very pleasant surprise!  grand lake was literally across the street. these pictures were from the next morning, which you can see, has great weather! put this place on the recommend list
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/752.jpg
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/753.jpg

its after dark, and we gather up the courage to get back on the wet bikes to head into town for dinner.  we ate at the sagebrush bbq & grill, which offered some good hot food.  upon returning to the hotel, the local news (yea, the world is still intact!!) says the weather should be good for the next few days.

the beds were very comfortable and the base board heaters did their job!  tomorrow is rocky mountain national park and onward to my parents house in cascade, where we will stay for a few days and take a couple day trips.
Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
tjhess74
Burning old dinosaurs is what I do
*

Reputation -17
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14, 2007 Honda VFR800 RWB
GPS: North Charleston, SC
Miles Typed: 2135

My Photo Gallery


two of my favorite things...


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2009, 10:39:52 AM »

Day 11  8/31/09

What a beautiful (chilly) monring!!!  after last nights cold, rainy monsoon, we are really excited to see the sun.  if today had crummy weather, that would have made rocky mountain national park miserable...and perhaps impassable.  the blue bird motel was a great find and offered a great night's sleep.

our first stop, which didnt take long, is the entrance sign.  the ranger at the entrance booth gave us good news...clear weather, no construction, fresh pavement, and everything is open...YES!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/754.jpg

we planned on spending quite a bit of time in the park today, so that means lots of on's and off's.  after  a few minutes we come across the continental divide.  a ranger took our picture for us
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/756.jpg

otherwise known as milner pass
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/757.jpg

we stopped at one of the first major overlooks.  a guy runs over to us and starts talking to steve about his pacific coast.  he had one too and was thrilled to see another one.  we actually saw quite a few over the course of the trip
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/759.jpg

soon, we were greeted by some friendly warning signs.  one bad step and its a long way down...
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/762.jpg

at this point the wind is kicking up considerably and the temperature (which was chilly to start with) is dropping with every foot we climb.  its down right cold now!  we arrive at the alpine visitors center and the temps are in the 30's with a bitter wind.  we decide to hike up the trail to the mountain top a short distance away.  its even windier here!  at this point, we cannot feel our faces and our ears are burning.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/767.jpg
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090831104046.jpg

the view from the INSIDE of the alpine center was fantastic.  it over looks a huge glacial valley with headwaters at the bottom.  its a great spot to watch the herds of elk grazing on the vegetation
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/764.jpg

after warming up in the visitors center we turn the corner to the highest spot on the trail ridge road.  there used to be a sign marking the spot, but the ranger told us people kept stealing it so they just gave up.  now i know the park service, they like to make stuff out of thick steal, paint it brown, and bolt it down. so i know they could make a sign that would stay put!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/768.jpg

at this altitude, both bikes are doing exceptionally well.  steve was concerned about his, having carbs.  i was pretty sure mine, being injected, would be fine...but you never know til you start climbing!

from this point on, the road faces more toward the traditional 'rockies' and the views are spectacular. from here you can see longs peak
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/777.jpg

lots of switchbacks and slow curves
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/769.jpg

big horn sheep guarded the road
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/770.jpg

the wildlife in the national parks is a double edged sword.  its spectacular to see the animals in their natural habitat, but the downside is that people see a four legged creature and they lose all sense of rationality and common sense.  something as simple as a deer, and traffic comes to a halt, people abandon their cars on the road to get a picture, or they only pull off partially.  they stand in the road or they get too close to the creatures.  some of those people just need to have some sense knocked into them.  ok, rants over...

long grade downhill with great scenery
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/779.jpg

steve really wanted to ride old fall river road.  ive never been on it either (or at least i dont remember it) so i figure 'what the heck'. parts of this road were in horrible shape and i really had to fight to keep the connie upright on some of the washed out, washboard, switchbacks.  some of the turns were very narrow due to people parking on the road side
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/780.jpg

again, though we were rewarded with great views
 http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/781.jpg

old fall river road comes back out at the alpine visitors center (top of the road in the pic), so we basically just made a huge loop.  i should have mentioned, it was very warm at the bottom of the estes park side of the park.  cold, here we go again!
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/783.jpg

upon completing the full loop and approaching the exit into estes park, we saw some prescribed burns taking place.  
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/784.jpg

we reach normal temps and settle into estes park.  were hungry, you know what that means...LUNCHTIME!  there was a place steve wanted to eat at that he had been to a few years back, so we found it and stuffed our faces.  our plan was to walk around town for awhile, so we had a delicious cold beer with lunch at ed's cantina
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/20090831134053.jpg

after lunch we walked up and down the main drag and went into many of the stores.  we bought the required stuff for the people back home then headed over to see the stanley hotel...where the film 'the shining' starring jack nicholson, was filmed.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/796.jpg
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/791.jpg

the hotel was celebrating its 100th anniversary.  its the typical ornate building for its era and has lots of dark wood and rich appointments.  notice the stanley steamer tucked back in the corner
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/794.jpg

the hotel is built on the side of the surrounding mountain ridge and over looks the city of estes park, co
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/790.jpg

upon leaving estes park, we headed straight south on hwy 7 and worked our way on a direct path to cascade, co near colorado springs.  we passed through the gambling towns of central city and blackhawk.  lots of new casinos since the last time i was here
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/797.jpg

there arent as many tunnels as i remember.  one of them had been blocked off, as i imagine it was taking too much work to keep it open.  the same thing happened in cripple creek, the road now goes around the old tunnels.
http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg47/rehess79/798.jpg

we were on hwy 67 now, and as we neared my old stomping grounds i was getting very excited.  its nice to be 'home' again!.  i was grinning from ear to ear when i saw pikes peak on the horizon!    i remember my parents telling me about a couple large wild fires (in the vicinity of deckers and below) from a few years back.  the forest was scorched for miles in every direction.  you could see the occasional new house.

we make it to my parents house in cascade.  we had a nice big dinner and start unpacking our stuff.  we plan on staying here for a few days, doing some basic maintanence, and taking day trips to and from here.  after checking the weather, it looks like first thing tomorrow morning we will take on riding up pike's peak.  a hot shower and a bed await...
Logged

i ride.  to work, to home, to the store, to kill time.  doesn't matter when, what the weather, or with who.  i ride.

Iron Butt Association #30337
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5  All   Go Up
Print
Jump to:  



ST.N

Copyright © 2001 - 2013 Sport-Touring.Net.
All rights reserved.

SimplePortal 2.3.1 © 2008-2009, SimplePortal