TWIN FALLS IDAHO TO HOME

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After the Bike breakdown we stayed overnight in Twin Falls Idaho instead of Idaho Falls which was our original destination. We left in the morning for home.The weather now was completely clear and warm. Stopped in Nevada at a Car Wash and unloaded the Bikes from the trailer to wash them and the Car. After getting everything clean we continued the journey home. We had a pleasant drive back to Graeagle CA and had a wonderful dinner cooked by Dan’s wife Kathleen. It was a great end to a terrific trip.  Don

After a long day of driving we make it back to my house in Graeagle, CA and meet up with an ecstatic dog, a relieved wife, a martini and a good home cooked meal with a bottle of red wine.  We told stories and laughed about the trip and all of our adventures.  in the back of my mind I’m logging destinations and planning our next adventure.  Hope you all enjoyed the blog.  It was a great trip for us and this was a good way to chronicle the adventure for future amusement.  Dan

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KEMMERER WY TO IDAHO FALLS (DAY 7)

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Last Day!  Looked like yet another wet day in the morning. Had some drizzles driving but started to clear some as i got further from Kemmerer. Was having a pleasant drive until i received a phone call when i was getting close to Idaho Falls. The call was from Dan saying that one of the Bikes had a Terminal failure and i was to return to Kemmerer Wy. The call could not have come at a worse time as i was on the only divided highway that i encountered on the trip. It had a gully between the roads that i could not cross. I traveled about 30 miles until i observed some road work where they filled in the gully but had a cement barricade. I was able to get around the barricade and  go back to Kemmerer which was 200 miles! Dan and Ryk (whose Bike failed) where waiting for me at Kemmerer. Dan had to tow Ryk for over 40 miles to get back to Kemmerer. Dave and Larry continued on to Idaho Falls. We had another problem now as i had Dave and Larry’s gear in the SUV. After much discussion it was decided that we would meet in the middle to exchange the gear. It was a tough day but it all worked out. You have to be prepared for something like this happening during a ride of this type. Overall it was a very good journey. I was glad to meet two new friends in Larry and Dave. Great guys. This was my second trip with Dan and Ryk who have been wonderful to me. Hope you have enjoyed the Blog. Everyone worked hard to put it together. They put in long hard days on the Bikes and then sat down to put entries in the Blog each night.  Don

Last day and a little melancholy thinking that all the fun is coming to an end.  it is once again cloudy, but no rain.  We leave town and travel about 45 miles when I stop for a look at a historic site of a rangers station.  The guys follow and that is when things get bad.  Ryk is unable to start his big XR.  I give a kick and it starts up, but won’t stay running.  We give it a tow and after several attempts  of start and fail we head him in the direction of last nights destination and say don’t stop until you get there.  Being safe and and a partner I follow Ryk.  About 2 miles down the road I find him by the side of the road and the bike is dead.  Larry and Dave finish the ride on the course, and I am resigned to tow ryk back to Kemmerer.  this is not as easy as it may sound.  We tie off to my axle on the right side and ryk is holding the strap.  As we make left hand turns, his bike gets behind mine and the tire eats the strap until it breaks and wraps around my axle.  It is slow and methodical.  Finally we make it to town.  knowing that it is a ticketable offense, we forge on anyway.  No cops and we make it to the motel to await Don and the sag wagon.  Ryk is nice enough to treat me to lunch and up pulls a cop.  how did we dodge that bullet?  Don arrives and we decide on the logistics of getting the other two guys there gear.  All and all we road about 1800 miles, give or take on dirt surfaces with about 50 miles per day getting into and out of town.  Dan

VERNAL UT TO KEMMERER WY (DAY 6)

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Another wet ride today. Rained all the way over the  Mountains and then subsided  once i reached the lower elevations. Again missed  a lot of good picture opportunities due to the inclement weather. I feel sorry for the guys on the bikes getting wet yet again. They are hardy guys and seem to just shrug it off. When they come in the bikes are covered in mud. I went thru Flaming Gorge today and got some pictures despite the bad weather. Tomorrow is our last day.  (DonS)

Left Vernal under very cloudy skies and we got a little spotty rain.  We went through Grouse Canyon in Diamond Mountain Wilderness.  Beautiful red rock walls and colorful yellow hardwoods near the creek along the road.  We cross a very cool suspension bridge and back on the gravel autobahn, bouncing back and forth along the boarders of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.  We stop at Dutch John for gas and snacks and go to the Flaming Gorge overlook for our nourishment. Rain chases up out and back on the road.  We leave the asphalt and get on a beautiful section of graded road which offers great traction and spectacular aspen color.  It is still early, but very good example of what a week or two will bring.  After an hour or two of this terrain the rain sets in with serious intent.  I am flagged down by a sopping wet girl, in bare feet and rags for clothing standing in the mud and holding a gas can.  We are in the middle of no where.  WTF??  Her three companions, look just as hopeless.  We are low on gas anyway and their rusted out P.O.S. International Scout looks like it is there to stay for the duration.  Tuff luck honey, though I was really worried they could have been Charlie Manson followers, Ms Piggy left her characteristic trench as I fled.  We are soaked and race to get out from under this cloud.  Thinking the end is near, our track takes into some great two track with big puddles and greasy conditions.  It’s a character building experience keeping Ms Piggy upright.  No traction and tire tread full of mud in sections.  They have had an incredible amount of rain.  After a couple hours we reach our destination, 257 miles today, Kemmerer.  Say that three times….  Dan

Day six,
America is beautiful! Today we rode through some of the most stunning scenery  I have ever seen. All day we captured naturally landscaped valleys and canyons. The ride was breathtaking, almost every turn showed us many beautiful shapes and views. I stopped many times to take pictures, which I usually do not do. I like to ride hard and rarely look up, but all this week, I have slowed down to soak up the natural beauty of our great country. Tomorrow is the last day of our 7 day riding tour chasing down the byways of the great north west. We are hoping for a clear day after dodging rain most of the week. Larry

Today we saw some of the most spectacular scenery: grouse canyon, aspens beginning to turn colors in the high country, flaming gorge.  It was also the day of mud.  Not usual the mud that we easily pass thru, but scary bottomless tire clogging, bike sucking clay mud.  I admit I am not a good mud rider.  My big red bike with the huge Sahara gas tank weighing it down finally met its match in the mud.  In all of my years of riding dirt bikes I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t get thru an obstacle but that is what happened today. The  course was laid out for dry weather and the 500 year deluge has been happening this week.  The very last section, when we were all a bit weary looked easy..you could have just run up the highway to the finish…a simple graveled road up a canyon paralleling the paved road…why not take that in to the finish?  As it turned out, that road which looked easy,  turned into a very different thing after a few miles…and I fell down in the mud, it stuck to the bike tenaciously in big globs, it stuck to my boots…inches thick under the soles, it was hard to stand up, let alone lift a heavy motorcycle which had many pounds of mud sticking to it and blocking the rotation of the front tire.  When a dirtbike gets clogged with this type of mud,  the back wheel will still turn because it is powered, but the front wheel won’t turn because the mud packs up between the fork and the tire so the bike  just wants to spin around and fall onto the ground.  That is what happened repeatedly.  Dan came over to help me get the thing upright and pointed in the right direction and with a lot of clutch slipping in second gear I got the mud encrusted pig and man to some more firm ground.  I reasoned that this was likely NOT the last of these mud pits and elected to return the way I had come and go up the highway.  What a good choice.  I worried about the guys getting stuck way out there where even a 4WD truck would be unable to retrieve a stuck bike…but when I pulled into the hotel parking lot there were some really muddy bikes there…Yay!  We all got in one way or another and  headed down to the car wash and put well over 5 bucks per bike to get the mud off the bikes and our boots and clothing.  I’m sorry I did not get photos of the bike in the mudfield, or Dan and I pressure washing each other at the “spray ’em off” carwash.  I put all the wet gear into the drier and we went out for Chinese food.  So ended day #6.  Ryk

Meeker Colorado to Vernal Utah (Day 5)

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Today i had a nostalgic ride from Meeker Colorado to Vernal Utah. This is the very road i traveled in the 1960’s when i hunted in this area. Today the weather was partly cloudy and threatened to rain but stayed dry and warm. This is Dinosaur land and i saw several coming into town. They must like to be around Humans. Again i suggest that you look at previous Posts as we sometimes put new pictures and dialog in a few days late. And remember that if you click on a picture it will go full screen and give a much better view.  (Don S)

Fri.

A long haul out of Meeker before we connect with our dirt byway.  No rain and good road get us to gas at 10AM and a break at the Kum and Go.  What a name for a gas stop, (brothel perhaps).  We head out into the desert and the real fun begins.  Good damp road makes for fast travel.  We are watching a big black cloud approaching.  We hope to go around it, but no dice.  As we enter Dinosaur National Monument we have to suit up in our rain gear again and the drops begin to fall.  Heavier rain by the mile until the thunder and lighting nail us.  Raining buckets, the road is submerged under 2” of water and the little gullies are a raging torrent.  We only guess at the depth.  Take a big breath, grab a handful of throttle, hoist the front wheel and hope you don’t bang a rock as we blast through these scary crossings.  30 minutes later, no rain the sun begins to appear, the roads dry out and dust appears under the roosted mud.  Very strange.  We go into Echo Park for lunch on the Green River.  Fantastic red rock canyon walls a 1000” high and no one around.  Beautiful petroglyphs and third generation settlements.  Back on the road and great traction as we see more of the Monument.  So beautiful.  Down the mountain to the visitors center to get an education on the Morrison formation and the multitude of dinosaur from the area 149 million yrs ago.  Very well done.  213 miles today. Dan

Dan has described the day well. For me this was the best day yet, but will be remembered as the day of terror AND fun.  When you go into the desert what are two things you are warned to avoid?  Lightning, and flash floods are at the top of the list.  Those were the things we had to survive to get to the fun…and we did.  After watching the TV images the previous night of autos getting washed off the roads by flash floods in Denver, it was quite frightening to be trapped  on a remote, rain soaked muddy, rocky, dirt road which was now a couple of inches deep in water and punctuated with overflowing gullies which looked like what we had just seen in Denver devouring cars.  I was the last of the group to get going after putting on the raingear, and by the time I arrived at the third and angriest flooded gully I had to question whether I should try to cross.  Were my companions lucky enough to get across before the water had risen to the alarming level I was now facing? Or are they crazy enough to just blast through the torrent?   I figure they are even crazier than I am and I just needed to keep up.  I braked at the last moment and studied the flooded gully and picked a spot… visibility was poor in the dumping rain.  I decided that I needed to commit to this and going thru slowly in first gear was suicide.  I spun around in the road and got a run at the flood in second gear… tried to loft the front end…hard to do with a big red pig of a motorcycle with no traction …kept the weight back, standing up on the pegs and crashed thru the flood and a small tree.  Success!  Hard to stop a quarter of a ton of man and pig if the technique is correct!  After 20 min. or so of incredible downpour I got out of it and into the sun…funny road alternating between dry and mud for the next 30 miles.  Once the terror had subsided, it got really fun and the canyon scenery in Dinosaur Nat. Monument was superb. Ryk

Riverside Wy to Meeker Colorado (DAY 4)

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Had a pleasant drive from Riverside Wy to Meeker Colorado. Had a wet drive over the mountains and thus missed some great photo opportunities. Met two Motorcycle riders who are riding thru several States. (see picture). Found a coffee shop in Meeker where i am able to do this post while waiting for the bike riders to get here. I hunted here in Meeker in the sixties as well as Pinedale Wy and posted a picture of the Mule deer i bagged here. Make sure to check previous day’s Blogs as we add to the Blog several days later at times due to our busy schedule. Also you can click on a picture to bring it up full screen for a much better view.  (Don S)

Thurs.

Out of Riverside early to beat the bad weather, but it starts to rain almost from the get go.  The gravel autobahn is a little greasy, but  as we climb into the mountains the damp gives us good traction.  We soon get to the west side of the continental Divide and the skies begin to clear.  Aspen forests are so beautiful.  Hunters camping at every available site, we always need to be aware of possible traffic.   We ride up huge valleys with colorful willows along the creeks filled with beaver dams.  Into Colorado and the mansions are eye opening.  Who would chose to build their castles in this remote area.  Lunch in Haden and back into the mountains.  Clouds gather and the rain starts to fall as we climb over the next range.  It a short burst and clears as we ride through huge aspen forests that are soon to turn to their autumn gold.  We descend into a beautiful agricultural valley leading to Meeker, our destination.  235 miles today and Don has a nice accommodation set for us.  A few beers and a hot tube soak makes for a great day.  Dan

Atlantic City WY TO RIVERSIDE WY (DAY 3)

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Had a long wet drive today. It rained on and off all day. The riders had a muddy wet ride also. Wyoming is a wide open place making it difficult driving with few signs and long distances between towns. You can get lost very easy and find yourself miles off course. I had that experience today. Had no WiFi so i am a day late posting this. Riverside Wyoming has a population of 52!   (Don S)

A lot of asphalt to get back to the track on the Oregon Trail.  That was a short joy of two track riding side by side with Dave until we get back on the graded road.  Then a long haul on graded road on the high desert.  It is desolate with no animals other than a few antelope and some cows for the bulk of the day.  It begins to rain and all we could do is ride through it and hope we can get out from under the heavy down pours.  Nothing eventful, no pictures this day because of the dark skies and heavy rain.  Fortunately we’re carrying a little fuel and needed it.  With a couple hours to our destination, we see our first tree, but the roads are getting greasy so our concentration is on the road.  As we forge through the aspen forests to the final pass it is flat pouring.  We get on the highway and as I look at a very foreboding black cloud, a bolt of lighting strikes.  Before I can say “holy s*#t” we hear the crash of the thunder.  We could barely see the car in front us, and stayed together down to Riverside, 274 miles today.  Lyn, our host at Spirit Lodge is very warm and inviting.  She hosts our first cocktail and gets our spirits back.  Dan

PINEDALE WY TO ATLANTIC CITY WY (DAY 2)

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ATLANTIC CITY WY

ATLANTIC CITY WY

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FAIRLY BORING DRIVE FROM PINEDALE TO ATLANTIC CITY. LAST 7 MILES WERE ON A DIRT ROAD THAT IS SEVERELY WASH BOARDED. I HAD TO DRIVE IN FIRST GEAR FOR SOME PORTIONS TO NOT SHAKE THINGS TO SEVERELY. FOUND WIFI AT THE LOCAL GATHERING PLACE. THEY HAVE SEVERAL COMPUTERS SET UP FOR PEOPLE TO  USE. THIS GIVES THEM SOME ACCESS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD I SUPPOSE. I JUST TALKED TO THE OWNER OF THIS STORE/GATHERING PLACE AND HE TELLS ME THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GAVE THEM A GRANT TO PURCHASE THE COMPUTERS THEY HAVE HERE. THEY LEAVE THE PLACE OPEN AT ALL TIMES SO PEOPLE CAN USE THE COMPUTERS AT ANY HOUR AND IF THEY TAKE ANYTHING FROM THE STORE (FOOD-DRINKS) THEY JUST LEAVE MONEY AT THE COUNTER. GREAT TO SEE THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS STILL EXISTS IN THIS COUNTRY.

WE ARE STAYING AT THE MINERS DELIGHT INN SHOWN IN THE PICTURES. IT IS THE ONLY PLACE TO STAY IN THE TOWN. THE PLACE WITH THE ANTIQUES SIGN IN FRONT IS WHERE I AM USING THE COMPUTER.  (Don S)

Rode the Oregon trail today (the real thing) for 20 miles or so, then into a ghost town and over the continental divide into Atlantic City, WY. also made a loop into the Wind River Mtns. Lots of fun. Only wild life has been bunnys and antelope, but we keep looking. Miners Delight B&B is really nice with great hosts. Waitress at the diner in town is from Sonora and we talked of friends we have in common. Small world.  (Dave)

Left Pinedale for a short scenic excursion to view the Wind River Mountains and returned for gas and off to find our track.  The Hwy drive was a drag, but finding the track, the Oregon Trail, brought smiles to all of our faces. Finally fast two track, winding through the prairie, with the Wind River range in front of us.  This was unfortunately too short and back on the graded road.  As we headed south we took off on the Oregon Trail again for several miles which was great.  Little wild life, but the stark beauty of the prairie makes you respect and appreciate the life it supports.  We cross the Continental Divide at South Pass City, (population about 7). This gold mining town has been completely restored to 1906.  We spent about and hour touring the shops and buildings, with all the period artifacts.  Then the last 4 miles to our final destination for the day, Atlantic City.  Miners Delight is just that and the proprietors are as well.  Nothing like a scotch whiskey tasting after a nice dinner to finish off a day.  Dan

Today was the best riding yet.  It was supposed to be the shortest day, but it was plenty of fun despite mostly being hi speed graded dirt roads.  We finally got routed onto some more challenging trails… not just roads you could drive the support vehicle on.  The first interesting  section was part  of the Oregon trail with some sandy two track , but the real fun was a section labeled “primitive road” which included a fun rocky uphill a fairly deep stream crossing and some rocky rutted two track.   The Miners Delight B&B is amazing.  Our hosts’ “hook” to get people from all over the country and all over the world to visit is single malt scotches.  I got a little education tasting a couple of their selection of 86 single malts.  The place is completely and beautifully renovated and is for sale.  Anyone looking for something different for retirement?   The price is less than what you would pay for a run down shack in Calif.  We have met quite few real characters out here including the guy who has a BMW motorcycle He made from the parts of 4 different  bikes, with a Russian sidecar which he has ridden all around the USA and Mexico.  He is a real field biologist who mostly studies mountain goats for the University, but also is studying Bigfoot….getting paid from private money for that.    He plays the piano beautifully and grows much of his own food in greenhouses rigged up on automatic watering. Looking at the guy you would never guess all the interesting things He is into…but here in Wyoming the pace of life is slowed down and people are happy to talk. Ryk