Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wind River Canyon and Flaming Gorge

Kind of a quiet day today so thought I would do a little catching up. Great to see my whole family while I am down here in Ontario. We had dinner together at my nephew Ricky and Karens house and Paul and Bonnie and Suzanne and Bob and Dianne were all together for dinner with some of their families but back to Wind River Gorge in Wyoming to get me here. I left the Beartooth Inn and headed for Cody. Another beautiful day. I want to make Cody a destination one of these times because they have some wonderful museums I missed. Firearms and Buffalo Bill to name but a couple. As I traveled south I came across this wonderful Wind River Gorge.
So homey It was hard to leave.
Looking back towards the Beartooth Pass
Lots of hummingbirds at the feeders. One would wonder how such a fragile little creature could make it so far when it migrates.
Cody Wyoming when I stopped for fuel. Straight down this road is back to Yellowstone.
I did not know this beautiful canyon existed. Cannot remember the name of the Lake though.
Boysen Resevoir
More Wind River Canyon
Castle Rock in Green River
I stayed at the Super 8 in Green River and walked up to The Crazy Moose for dinner. Here I bumped into a 5 motorcyclists from out east. Ohio I think and 1 was on a BMW so I had dinner with them and I bumped into them at a tourist information place just outside Grand Junction Colorado. This is just outside The Flaming Gorge. Walt was going to get his million miles on a BMW when he got back. Buck, Keith and Butch. It is meetings like this I so enjoy. The camaderie is terrific.
Entering Flaming Gorge
These are two of the fellows I met in The Crazy Moose in Green River. What could be more appropriate than sitting on a Moose bench at the tourist information place in Dinosaur Utah.
We parted company here as I went south to Paonia.
That is Walt standing beside his motorcycle. So on this note I will close and another day will continue on my trip to Paonia.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Beartooth Pass

Well I tried to do a little writing before this but the internet connections were very poor or non existent. I am currently in a motel on Lake Michigan and tomorrow I do the Mackinac Bridge. My view out the window is Big Bay de Noc. Absolutely gorgeous but lets get back to the trip and the Beartooth Pass. I need to get a helmet cam or something I can take pictures with at those inopportune moments when one is busy riding and cannot stop to get a camera out. In Yellowstone there was this big buffalo coming directly towards me through the river. What a shot, what a painting but all I wanted to do was get those cars ahead of me moving and get out of there hence no picture. Anyway after the pictures that were in the last posting Here are the pictures of the pass and the fresh snow and my lodging at the end of a very invigorating day.

Amidst the clouds. Kind of scary on the switchbacks though.
Fresh snow
A small lake near the top. Fresh snow is not a big thing but this is July.
Lots of snow up high
My lovely bed and breakfast in Red Lodge. When I came down off the mountain it was framed with a rainbow. I took that as a sign and went in and met the delightful owners . The breakfast the next morning was superb and I had a great sleep. I should have a good sleep tonight after spending all week in a tent at 40 deg and high humidity. Next will be the wind River Canyon before Green River Wyoming.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Journey to the BMW National

Well I still have to do a blurb on the Alberta 500 and the Lunatic Fringe Rally but first I want to write about my incredible journey so far. On Saturday my tour guide from Eagle Rider (Steve Feather) asked me where in the world I was and seeing as how I was in Calgary and he was on the Canadian Rockies tour. I booked a room at the Ptarmigan Inn in Banff for Sunday night. I was waiting when the group arrived from Jasper. I got to visit while the riders got their luggage. Lala was also there . Then I made arrangements to take Steve for dinner at Wild Bill's. Lala joined us later but we had a great visit and the next morning I rode with them to Longview but had to duck out as I had a doctor's appointment in Calgary at 1. On the way to Banff Sunday I stopped at the bistro in Bragg Creek to meet with the Rocky Bow BMW club for breakfast. Here are some of the pictures I took while there.
Clarke Workman and Dave Laramour. Hey he has the same bike as me I did not see this color option.Nice.
This is Clarke's K1
The indomitable Roy Sidebottom and his beautiful K bike
Ekke Jr and Sr
Audrey and Ekke's world touring bikes.
Then off to Banff
I got there early so I decided to go to the Cave and Basin. I bought a Subway sandwich in Canmore and had a little picnic and took a few pictures around the area. There was some horrible road construction from the bridge to the cave but the GS handled it smoothly
New signpost
Some of the beautiful flowers including our gorgeous wild rose.

On to the ride over the Highwood Pass with Eagle Rider. We saw a beautiful sow grizzly bear and her little cub. Sorry no pictures.

Steve and I See we are matching.
So after the ride over the Highwood and my dr's appt for medications. I got a rather late start to my journey. I stopped in Lethbridge and went to MacDonalds for dinner and met a lovely couple from Sask on a Honda Gold Wing towing a trailer so of course I talked way too long. However I did make it to Conrad and the Super 8 Phyl and I stayed in in February. It is newly renovated and looks awesome. I even got the same room. After breakfast the next morning I left for Yellowstone and the Beartooth Pass. So many times I think of not following my plan and stopping early . So many times I perservere and push on. So many times it is exactly what I was supposed to do. I stopped at this rest area in Belt Montana. What a beautiful ride down Highway 89. It is going on one of my favorites list. I arrived in Gardiner about 4 and hesitated about going over The Beartooth so late but I went. I almost went down Chief Joseph instead of over the Beartooth but I didn't. It was the most incredible ride. I came down off the mountain into Red Lodge and the first place I saw was the Beartooth Inn Bed and Breakfast and met the an lovely couple who run the place and stayed overnight. Here are some of the photos of this great trip.
Moose is waiting patiently

Scenic viewpoint Sluice Boxes
Next stop Gardiner

Yellowstone looking back towards the gate
Looking ahead towards the Mammouth hot springs terraces. Wish I could have gotten a photo of the bison fording the river towards the road. It would have made a glorious picture but no stopping and he was coming directly towards me. I saw a few more bison near the road. Then I stopped and took these photos.
These thistles are fascinating.
This was at the Bridger Range. Well I am very tired so will have to save the Beartooth til I get back on the computer. Paonia tomorrow.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Homeward bound from Mariposa

Well as promised I need to catch up and get the story of the trip home up on my Blog. It was a lot of fun. There were 400 at the rally and camped quite near me was Fred who haled from Susanville, California. When I indicated I was leaving the next morning and heading over Tioga Pass and up 395 he asked if I would like company. I said I would be delighted and he was a great traveling companion. Here is a picture of the bikes waiting for the light. There was a landslide on the road and we had to cross 2 portable bridges to continue our journey.

Our timing was good as the lineup to get in was only a few cars. As the young man came to check passes etc. I asked if he would go in my pocket for me so I would not have to take off gloves etc. He said well whats in there I said my park pass as I was here yesterday and he said go ahead. Couldn't even get a quick feel. Damn. Anyway we turned and headed for Tioga Pass. Fred has a National Park passport book and he wanted to get it stamped so we had to stop at Tulomne Meadows. Not much there but we got the stamp. Then as we exited the park there was a long line up to get in. Shortly after Fred pulled off and said I think this is a Kodak moment . I think he was absolutely right.
This is where we just came from.
This is where we were going
A long way down.
We continued on and our next stop was Mono Lake visitor centre for another stamp.
What an interesting way to see the USA as I might never had stopped and missed this lovely museum and interesting feature.
This is Mono Lake and those are odd sediment formations.
This was painted on the side of the visitor center and these lovely rocks were out front with plaques of what each was.
We left and headed out to Topaz Lake where there was an RV Park and Super 8 and casino. We stopped and Fred said he was thinking of getting a motel room. I said that sounds like a good idea.So he said well one room with 2 beds? I replied Perfect! So when we got to the room Fred was a little disconcerted as to what I expected. I just clarified. This is your bed. This is my bed. This is your room. Be comfortable as if I was not even here. I sure he probably slept with one eye open for fear I may take advantage of him. But nothing happened. Just good company with good friends and that is what it is all about. This is the view from our room.
The complex had a great restaurant where we ate and it was very good. These chuckwagens were around all the walls.
The next morning as we were packing Fred said "I feel so blest. Do you ever feel that way?"
I replied,"Every day."
We traveled on to his home in Susanville and I carried on alone. That night I stayed in an 89.00 Best Western in Lakeside Oregon.
Beautiful place but it is not the same when one is all alone. The next morning I continued on my journey. I ran into a little rain but could not complain as it was very light and the are really needed it. I ran into 2 motorcyclists from Calgary on one of my stops and acted as tour guide. Sending them to John Day and the fossil beds on their journey to Bend. Shortly after that I made the acquaintance of Jim from Kalispell on a Harley  and he pointed out he was a member of BMWMOA and was riding the Harley to get it to Kalispell. Anyway we stopped at the Ace Hotel on Council Idaho and met with one of the locals Dwight. He was a nice guy and said we should stay there The rooms were only 25.00. Well I put out my 25.00 but should have continued on as my room had no linoleum on the floor and I had camouflage sheets. Not sure what they were camouflaging because I did not dig too deep. I slept in my clothes on top of the covers. The next morning I went over to this lovely cafĂ© across the street and after breakfast coerced a local fellow to help me get my bike out of the back yard of the hotel.
I walked around and took some pictures of this quaint little place.
This young man Joshua was explaining to me that these tractors were very old.
This is their old court house.
I liked the restaurant because it had this picture of Tom Selleck in it.
Dwight and Jim
The next morning I stopped for fuel on the outskirts of Kooskia and then stopped for breakfast.
This is the mirror in Kooskia. I left here and went up over Lolo Pass. Now I am in familiar territory and much more comfortable. That night I stayed with Art and Betty and the next morning and saw a deer, hummingbird, squirrels and robins outside my window in the back yard. A far cry from Council Idaho. I had breakfast with the gang at the hayloft and then headed north with Art riding as far as Poulsen with me. 1 more adventure under my belt. Next is the Alberta 500 8n Cardston and I just got back from Lunatic Fringe Rally at the Beaupre Community Hall Just west of Cochrane.