Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fifty - Day 3 and 4

From ND to Cody, Wyoming, my gps takes me to the end of a dead end road. No problem, I'll just turn around and return the 16 miles to this road and get back on track.
Mural somewhere in Montana.
Different magazines, forums, etc have generated a lot of lists of top 10 USA motorcycle roads. I've never seen US-14A in Wyoming, on any of the lists. Usually when I see one of those lists I've ridden at least 8 and sometimes all ten of the roads, and the 14A between Sheridan and Lovell belongs on any list I've seen.
And here is Lovell. My grandparents moved from Utah to Lovell at the behest of the Mormon Church  in November of 1900, they were newly weds at the time having been married the August before.
The journey from Mt. Carmel, Utah to Lovell, Wyoming was quite arduous (being winter), and they endured many hardships. They arrived at Lovell on Thanksgiving day; the ice on the river was so thick they drove the teams and wagons right across the river on the ice.
The Mormon Church had arranged for the pioneers to work on the Cincinnati Canal Proposition, the labor in exchange for each person getting some land upon the successful completion, and had urged pioneers to move here for that purpose.
This is a plaque on the west end of Lovell honoring those pioneers.

My grandfather and the others in his group worked on this canal with horse drawn scrapers. The canal was 37 miles long and had to be big enough to water up to 15,000 acres. 
After completion of the canal each worker drew a number from a hat which determined which piece of land they got. 
The history of this movement hints at a failure. The ages of the pioneers was younger than the norm. Also, there was not enough experience at the type of farming they had to do in this area to succeed. So within a relatively short period of time most of the mormons were moving again to another location. Interestingly, most moved to locations other than where they had left to move to Wyoming.

Grandfather worked in Lovell for a few years, then moved to Idaho, near Burley to homestead for a few years,  then back to Lovell. Then circa 1929 he moved his family to Salt Lake City where he died in 1930. My dad was 15 during the time of the move and drove the family car the entire distance from Lovell to Salt Lake City.

So back to my "arduous" trip, I stay in Cody at this hotel. Good price and very clean, Highly recommended!

Went around the corner and got a burger for dinner here, I recommend this place too.
The next morning I'm on the road at 7:35, one hundred miles later it starts to rain....HARD....finally in Preston, Idaho I'm able to take off my rain gear, I snap this photo on Logan, Utah.
I had to stop a couple of times because the rain was so intense I could not see the road clearly, also on the pass between Jackson, Wyoming, and Victor, Idaho, the fog had the visibility down to 10 - 20 feet, according to my estimation - finally 13 hours, and 530 miles after I leave Cody, I arrive home.

This wasn't my best trip... lots of miles in few days. That's ok, any day on the bike is a good day!
1,930 miles total.
I've been getting killer gas mileage lately so I kept track on this trip, I averaged 51 mpg, My best was 58, worst 41.

So, even though it wasn't my best trip ever, I'm very glad I went. I got my 50th state, and more important I was able to learn a little about my family heritage.

Now then;
I've been everywhere in Utah.
50 States.....
What could be next?


Trobairitz said...

50 states down, time to hit the provinces and territories that you haven't done.

Thanks for the Lovell history too. Blogs are always a change to learn something new.

Sure glad it waited until your last day to rain. Thanks for sharing the pics.

bob skoot said...


I am but a mere novice when it comes to long distance riding but I have covered nearly all the northern states EXCEPT ND and VT, which will be rectified during 2015, I hope.

Torrential rain isn't good. We also got rained out in PEI and had flash flood warnings in ME. We had to huddle under an overpass for a bit on our way to Montreal

You'll have to ship your bike over to Europe and start counting off the countries . . .

Riding the Wet Coast

Ken said...

Trobairitz and bob - Hmmmm BC or Europe... I'm not certain which idea I like the most! Actually I'd take either one and be happy. I was talking to my daughter just today about her and I motoring across Germany, etc.
Thanks to you both for dropping in!

Erik said...

Congratulations on all 50! What a great way to spend a long weekend. I was in WY and MT this summer. We took 16 over the Bighorns. It was nice, but 14 has more curves and switchbacks. We wanted to hit Beartooth and Chief Joseph, but the weather was not looking good at the top. We ended up going around instead of over. Maybe another year..
Again, congratulations on all 50!

Ken said...

Erik - Thanks! 16, 14, and 14A are all very scenic...well worth riding.
Keep Beartooth and Chief Joseph on your list, also very worth it.
Thanks for reading!

bob skoot said...


I thought of you as I passed Green River, UT and saw that white block structure you posted about but I didn't have time to stop.

+1 on the Bighorn NP Hwy 14s, it was great, esp the Shell waterfall at the top in the slot canyon

I was lucky to ride Beartooth pass and Chief Joseph Scenic Byway this year but it was very hot. There was also a bit of hail at the top ob Beartooth and it got chilly

If I am free I could show you some of BC. Make sure you include Hwy 6 from Vernon to Nakusp and then over to Kootenay lake and south to Creston

Riding the Wet Coast

Ken said...

bob - I'd love to see more of BC. Maybe next summer the stars will line up..

Jules Pearce said...

Congratulations on the 50th. The pictures look terrific - man those beasts at Yellowstone look big. Always nice to hear of family history, I know virtually nothing of my paternal side.

Cheers Jules

Ken said...

Jules - As I understand it the North American Bison can reach 1500 lbs. I had a bison/bacon burger for dinner a couple hours after I made that video. It's a good thing bison didn't know I was going to eat some bison meat, they might have been a little more aggressive! Haha..

Old Surf Dog said...

Very nice Ken. I think I would have been a little nervous having those buffalo so close! You know that I was in Wyoming on my Vstrom that weekend too? visiting my brother in Casper. Is your bike a 650 or 1000? Guessing by your mileage it's a 650? You can see my RR on Pashnit or on my blog. Maybe some day we will cross paths!

Ken said...

John - I WAS more than a little nervous... I was very relieved when I could go on down the road.
My strom is a 1000. It has always gotten good mileage, but I guess now that it is getting broken in the mileage is improving. I've got just under 80,000 miles on it.
I hope we can ride together some day...next time to Wyoming eh?

Scootard said...

Excellent report Ken. Looks like a good ride on roads that were new to you. You make ND sound appealing. Maybe Scooterchick and I will have to check it out. Thanks.