Black Hills II
This trip was going to be another iteration of the Black Hills trip, but this time with brother Dan on slightly different roads and on our new (slightly used) Suzuki DL-1000s (V-Stroms, whatever that is). In summary, we went over the Sierras to Tonopah, Nv and then north thru Austin, Battle Mountain, Owyhee, Nv & then up to Mountain Home, Idaho. From there, we went up thru the Sawtooth Mountains to Challis & then back down to Idaho Falls. From there we worked our way east over into Wyoming thru the Grand Tetons and then up into Yellowstone, after which we headed east to Cody, Wy. From there, East thru Grey Bull, Buffalo, Gillete to a small town called Upton, Wy. and then to Hot Springs, N Dakota (Mammoths), Mt Rushmore, and Sturgis. Then back West thru Bell Forsche, by the Devils Tower, up into Montana, Ashland and then the Little Big Horn. Then over to Billings, up to Grass Range, Great Falls and over to Browning by Glacier. We went over Glacier and then down to Kallispell, Missoula & Lolo. From there across Idaho to Lewiston and then the corner of Washington thru Walla Walla and down into Oregon. We hit the old HQ of Hodaka Motorcycles at Athena, OR and then down to Burns, East thru Christmas Valley & worked our way over to Crater Lake. From there South thru Klamath, then over into the Modoc National Forest and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Then down into Chico and home on the freeways.
* After crossing the Sierras, heading into Nevada behind Dan.
* Great "Smokey" Valley (read that as dusty). Went to look at some real estate before the market crashed.
* Dan taking pics, many to follow.
* Mountain Home AKA Rattlesnake. This was after our great beetle experience as we crossed from Nevada into Idaho thru the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. We encountered a section of the road in a samll valley that was literally covered with these swarms of large bugs for miles. The locals referred to them as "Mormon" beetles & I guess they are a part of Mormon lore, however, they sure were a mess. I was following Dan at the time & belatedly realized I had to stay back quite a ways in order to not get covered with "bug parts" spray. He made this extra challenging by varying his speed thru this section. When we finally rode out of it I was quite a mess and spent some time cleaning bugs stuff off my bike & clothes. I notice some very fat, contented birds in the area tho.
* On the back roads out of Mountain Home, Id.
* Blacksmith in Bellvue, Id. Broke a bracket on my crash bar/highway peg mount due to vibration & a poor design. Got it welded up here by a couple of old motorcyclist/blacksmiths. We talked about BSAs & Triumphs after I was patched up & then headed up the road.
* Heading up into the SawTooths, Id.
* More SawTooth scenery.
* Historical Marker at a summit in the Sawtooths near Challis.
* Sawtooth road near Stanley, Id.
* Helicopter rides out of Stanley, Id.
* Gas Station in Stanley, scene of my tip over on slick pavement.
* White water rafters coming down out of the Sawtooths.
* You could hear them screaming for miles - not sure if it was terror or joy.
* Heading up out of Idaho Falls towards Wyoming.
* Really nice scenic rest stop which I bet we taxpayers spent a pretty penny on.
* At least we got old glory & a really nice restroom for our money.
* Dam & power plant on the way to the Tetons.
* Really nice man-made mountain lake from the dam.
* As the sign says the west enterance to the Grand Tetons.
* The Tetons were really somethings.
* Looking back on them on the way out.
* Yellowstone Caldera.
* We visited the caldera to kill time waiting for Old Faithful.
* They were probably more colorful than Old Faithful, especially when a couple of busloads of Japanese tourists showed up & mobbed the walkways.
* We got so tangled up with the Japanese, we almost missed old faithful. She started to go just as we arrived.
* "There she goes" - whoop-de-do".
* Big beautiful mountain lake up in the Yellowstone.
* Coming down out of the Yellowstone heading for Cody, WY. What a tourist trap that place is.
* Going up into the mountains of the South Big Horn.
* Really neat road which was marked every so often with the geologic age from which the rock strata originated, ie, Pre-Cambrian, Paleozoic, etc. Neat
* Oh Oh, looks like rain coming. Dan's initiation to the joys of riding in the rain, little did we know that there was plenty more on this rip to follow.
* Little town in eastern Wyoming with the same last name of one of our cousins.
* Black Hills Buffalo.
* Plenty of them and real close to the road. We took it real easy so as not to stampede them as it was clear they would really hurt to run into or be run into.
* I think these rock formations were called the Needles or some such thing.
* Getting close to Rushmore.
*Coming up the walkway thru the other tourists.
* A picture of the monument and all of the rock "shavings" below.
* A close up of the big guys.
* Devils tower in the distance.
* Getting closer.
* Almost there.
* The main gate, we decided that was close enough & saved our dough for something else.
* Little Big Horm cemetery - Custer's luck ran out.
* Major Reno's grave.
* WWII self-propelled Artillery at an armory in a small town in Montana which I have forgotten the name of.
* As a former artilleryman, I was pretty interested in it & crawled all over it. Didn't even know they had arty mounted on a Sherman chassis.
* Lewis & Clark National Forest in Montana.
* Looked like it would have been good fishing down there.
* Nice day in the Lewis & Clark woods.
* Glacier in the mirror.
* Getting close to Glacier, was a relief to get out of Browning alive. It was a mean looking town where it was clear us palefaces weren't appreciated. Blood on the sidewalks kind of stuff going on there.
* Lake at the east side of Glacier & the weather looked pretty grim.
* As we rode over the road to the sun, the clouds pulled back & we ended up having a beautiful ride.
* Snow capped mountains in Glacier.
* Huge avalanche area.
* River coming down out of Glacier.
* Met a couple of Aussies on Harley's they had rented touring US. Always interesting folks.
* As we rode down this river, it just got more colorful.
* And more scenic.
* Finally, these little rapids and "shyless" young lovers.
* Coming down to FlatHead Lake after a good rainstorm.
* Coming out of Lolo, Montana in the morning, shortly there after the rain closed in and we rode most of that day thru the rain. A couple of times we hit deluges but kept on trucking till we made it to Walla Walla, Wa. Didn't take any more pics of this rainy day. I strained my back trying to get into some dry socks at the end of the day. I was able to get a back brace & some heat pads at a local drug store & get thru the next day or two it took to loosen up my back. I have since bought a pair of waterproof boots. Never again.
* Oregon roads without rain.
* A scenic vista area in Oregon with a bunch of volcanic formations.
* More of the same.
* Crater lake from a distance.
* Island in Crater Lake.
* The color of this lake & drops along the rim road will definitely take your breath away.
* Big lava beds back in NorCal which had just had a huge grass fire pass thru which made it look like the lava had just been cooled off.
* Monolithic rock formation.
* Monolith up close.
* More petroglyphs.
* Modoc National Forest in NorCal.
* Mt Shasta from the east.
* Lassen Volcanic National Forest.
* Lake up in Lassen.
* Last interesting rock formation in Lassen.
We drove down out of the mountains that afternoon & hit some stifling heat in Chico. We stopped & had something cool to drink & tried to kill enough time that it would cool off a little. But we finally gave up & donned our cooling vests & headed home. Then we ran into a fatal accident road closure that re-routed us all over hell & begone, including dirt roads eating dust from all the car traffic. We weren't too happy with the politzi to say the least. Finally, we rolled on home just as the sun was going down, glad to be able to spend the nite in our own beds for a change.
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