Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Northwest Ride Week 2 Report

After riding the twisting Highway 12 over to Missoula, Montana, I got a room, walked next door to Five Guys and just hung out the rest of the evening.  On Monday morning I got up, ate some breakfast and headed out southeast on I90 briefly before branching out on Highway 12 again.  This road is 2 lane blacktop for most of it and the speed limit is 70 mph, quite unlike Oregon.  While Montana is pretty scenic, it's a different, dryer landscape than Oregon.  After riding Highway 12, I jumped back on I90 for a while and then Hwy 78 down into Red Lodge for the night.  Red Lodge is a nice little town and I walked down to a local bar for a couple of glasses of locally brewed amber beer.  Good stuff!  There was also a stream flowing nicely right beside the motel I stayed at.  I'd like to spend more time there at some point in the future.

Tuesday morning I got up early, loaded up the bike and headed south for Beartooth Pass, one of my favorite motorcycle roads in America.  I had ridden there last year with Shannon on the back on our way to Yellowstone but wanted to ride it again by myself to hit the curves a little faster.  I had a great time riding it and saw some more great scenery along the way as you can see in this video.

Not quite as extreme as Beartooth Pass but still a great ride is the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway from the south end of Beartooth over to Cody, Wyoming.  I took one picture of my bike near a curve that had some lens flare that actually looks pretty cool.
I also used the GoPro Hero 2 to record some video.  I got a little too confident on some of the curves and a tar snake almost bit me, causing me to drift slightly over the yellow line.  Fortunately, no other vehicle was coming so I got away with it.
After Beartooth and Chief Joseph, I stopped in Cody for lunch at Irma's, an old restaurant and hotel.  This mirror on the bar serves as a reminder how great a country we live in.
After lunch, I left Cody and rode on down to Casper, WY where my daughter, son in law, and grandkids are living.  I spent a couple of nights there and hung out with them.  Walker is 6 and Raegan is 4, they are both growing up very fast.  Michelle is a great mom too.  She took me to Rotary Park in Casper where they have a cool little waterfall where the kids and I posed for a pic.
After staying with them a couple of days, I took off early Friday morning and headed on down to Paonia, Colorado for the Top Of The Rockies Rally.  My friend Ron has a cabin not too far from there and met me.  We spent most of the day Saturday riding highway 550 down to Durango and back.  It was the first time I've ridden in this area and it is some of the best roads I've ever ridden.  Unfortunately, I uploaded the video straight to facebook instead of my computer first so you'll have to check them out there if you want to watch them.
Ron and I left early Sunday morning, he headed to the cabin and I headed 780 miles back to Moore.  The first hour of our trip was pretty scary riding down Hwy 92 in the rain, fog, and local deer convention.  Maybe it was my new lights, but I saw more deer in that 1 hour trip down the mountain, than I've seen in all my other riding combined.  That, combined with rain, fog, and 20 mph curves, made for some tense riding.
Once we hit Highway 50 though things got easier, still some nice curves and scenery but no rain or fog.  Ron followed me over to I25 and left it to me to ride the rest of the way home.  It was nice riding weather until I got to flat, hot, windy Oklahoma.  I made the mistake of coming thru the panhandle and that has to be some of the most boring riding in all the land.
I got home around 9:30 Sunday night, about 14 1/2 hours of riding that day.  I was definitely ready for a cold beer and sleeping in a real bed.
I rode a total of 5605 miles on this little 2 week jaunt and saw some great scenery along the way.  I'd never been to Oregon, Washington, or Idaho before and all 3 states were great to ride in.  The bike ran great, I had no problems, and I'm ready to go again.  I washed the 10 states of dirt off my bike Monday and added 3 states to the little map on back of it to show the states I've ridden in.  The bike has just over 38,000 miles on it now, is out of warranty, and is resting up this week before she gets fresh oil next week.  I  hope you enjoyed reading about my little trip, I sure enjoyed taking it.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to fill up the map with more colors. I'd like to take Sash on Beartooth Pass and the Million Dollar Highway. There's just so many great roads out there!