Sunday, August 15, 2010

Six go North

My brother-in-law, Bruce, invited me on a ride through Yellowstone NP and some of the roads around there with him and some of his buddies. Cool, I'm in!

I leave Thursday the 12th of Aug to ride to Idaho Falls where I'll get a hotel and then meet Bruce and his friends Friday morning. I take one of my favorite routes north, over Monte Cristo. But first I go past the Trappist Monestary. The Trappists Order are dying out because the ardous life and vows of celebacy can make it unattractive to potential members. The Monks at the Huntsville monestary are all quite aged. It seems like everytime I visit I'm told of another monk that has died.

On the way there I see this broken sprinkler spraying up in the air in the middle of a hayfield. It reminds me of "Old Faithful" in Yellowstone park, then I muse that I'm seeing an "old faithful" on my way to see the old faithful.

Back on the road, some sights along highways 39, 16, and 30.
Bear Lake.

Now on highway 89, Paris Idaho....I think.

After Montpelier Id on highway 30 I see this mule skinner and his team.
The bike scares the mules and they get tangled up a bit. So I stop and untangle them while the skinner keeps a hold of the reins.

It's all good, we go on our way. Until I hit some construction.
At Soda Springs I get on the absolutely beautiful SR 34. It goes from Soda Springs Id, to Freedom Wy. If you ever get the chance take it! And don't be in a hurry... :)
I see these sandhill cranes, not a good pic but it was exciting to see them.
At Freedom Wy, I get back on highway 89. I hang a left at Alpine Wy and go into Idaho on highway 26 past Palisades Reservior.
It's late and the sun is getting low, so I start playing with the sun and my camera.

An old building in Swan Valley.

The next morning I stop in to say "hello" to Beverly's dad, then go over to Bruce's house to meet the riders. We are five, and head north to pick up one more in....... a town north of Idaho Falls, I can't remember which one.

Usually I like Idaho, but sometimes it bugs me....

Ominous clouds..

A side trip to see Mesa Falls is in order. The group discusses, and agrees to only go to the lower falls so we don't have to pay the fee to see the upper falls. I'm gonna like this group!

Bruce and the lower Mesa falls.

And we're off again.
Reed on a sweet Harley "Rocker"
Reed's dad Wayne, on another HD.

Tobin aka "Squirt" on his rare Honda Shadow 750

Brad aka "Mountain man" on his Yamaha.
We stop for lunch at Island Park, while we are eating the rain starts.

It rains on us all the way through Yellowstone, which serves to make the colors in the park even more incredible! But with the rain, I kept the camera put away.
We stopped here for gas.
Out of the park, we arrive at Cody Wy around 7:30 That night we have dinner in Cody at Irma's.
If you click on the above pic you will see numerous trophies mounted around the dining area. Much like the one below. When our server came to our table I (innocently) asked if they had any vegan dishes? "No" was the answer. Well then, what about a Strawberry Daiquiri? "We don't have those either, came her response. She had a cute personality, and tried to look stern, but her smile was obvious! Later when she questioned Mountain Man's manhood we howled with laughter! You gotta love a spunky town and people like Cody!
Our spacious lodging at Cody. It was great to dry out.
Next morning we are on our way up the Chief Joseph highway. We stop at Dead Indian Pass.
While there I see this beauty! It's a 1977 Moto Guzzi California police bike. The owner has had this bike since it was two years old. He has done a marvelous job of keeping it in top shape. He and his S.O. are retired and wander around the country finding ways to serve others. It was a treat to meet two such wonderful people.
The group. L to R, Brad, Bruce, Tobin, Reed, Wayne, and yours truly.

Tombstone, who is wearing three coats, has some zipper issues....the grey coat is zipped to the black one...
After Dead Indian pass Wayne and Reed decide to "wick it up" a bit. I go with them and the three of us have a ball. The souped up Rocker has a lot more power, and much better cornering clearence than our two touring machines, and is GONE in a matter of seconds!
The love and respect this father and son duo showed for each other was amazing! The weekend was made far more worthwhile for me by witnessing that bond.

At the bottom of Chief Joseph we turn right and go up Beartooth pass. A few years ago one of the motorcycle magazines rated the best roads in America for motorcycling. The spectacular Beartooth pass was in the top 50. It was also called "The most beautiful drive in America" by the late Charles Kuralt.
The Bears tooth.

Wayne and Reed.
Road construction.
As we go higher the weather worsens. The Pass is usually open from May to September, rain, snow, and highwinds can happen any time.
Rest stop.

I don't know what this guy's story is, but I saw him several times over the day.

Beartooth pass reaches an elevation of 10947 feet. It is 69 miles from Red Lodge to Cooke City Montana and takes about two hours to drive it.

Here comes the clouds and snow.
Double your pleasure, double your fun!
The fog sets in.
Once off the pass we stop for lunch in Cooke City. It's not very often you see a Moto Guzzi, but now I've seen two in one day. This Norge was two up, also very nice folks who live nearby, and ride the pass as often as they can.
Our lunch stop, where I have the "world famous" funk burger.
It's a pretty good burger, I turn it upside down so you can see the nice buns.
Speaking of nice buns....
Cooke City, main street.
Off we go, back to Yellowstone NP.

Some Amish folk brought the family camper to Yellowstone.
I'm kidding!

Brown bear.
Yes, the pic is blurry...I jumped everytime he moved.
Still playing with the sun.
And shadows..

Up close and personnel.


And we're off...heading for West Yellowstone where we have another cabin waiting for us.

More road construction...tis the season. Note the lady standing by her ford SUV.
She is taking this pic. After she snaps it I invite her to sit on the bikes if she would want to..."YES"!!, she says and now it's our turn to snap the pics!
A very nice lady!

And a great sense of humor!
More sun pics.

Out of the park now, looking for our KOAAfter a long dusty road we finally get there, but the on-site food stand is only open for ten more minutes....desperate times call for desperate measures...these guys are still in line and I'm already eating...
Wayne waiting for his meal.
I got up early Sunday morning (5:15) and head for home. It was foggy when I left but it soon burned off.
Thanks to Bruce for setting up this ride, and thanks to Bruce, Tobin, Brad, Wayne, and Reed for a great riding weekend!
Homeward bound.
1160 miles, Yellowstone NP, Chief Joseph Highway, Beartooth Pass, Yellowstone again and home.


Teri said...

Wow what great Pic's!! Looks like a Blast!! Glad you all are safe and sound!! Teri :)

rideonXX said...

Thanks for sharing the ride. Great pictures of beautiful country and adventuring on motorcycles with friends. Excellent!!

Wishing you many more happy trails, kel