Monday, April 12, 2010


Setting up new phone
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Day Sixteen

Well, we made it home. 5295 miles door to door. It was a great trip. We needed more time. We saw a lot and missed a lot. There is nothing better than riding this great country on a bike and seeing it up close.

Not too many pictures from the last three days as we were just trying to get home.

I will post a recap later with some additional pictures.....right now I have to catch up on work.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day Fifteen

Made it to Marian IL. Rode the last 15 min in heavy rain.
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Day Fourteen

Today we rode to St Joe MO. It was a warmer day wirth lots of sunshine. More later
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Day Thirteen

Today we rode to Mitchell as planned making stops at Deadwood and Sturgis. The weather was much better today. Early morning blue cloudless skies gave way to white fluffy clouds as the day progressed. The temp was cool in the morning and much warmer during the day. The high was about 70...still very cool for riding and oddly cool for the end of July. We ended up riding until after dark (11:00 pm) and by the time we pulled into the parking lot at the hotel we were frozen.

Deadwood was really neat. Deadwood is a town built in the late 1800's. It was the place to to for saloons, gambling and prostitution in its day. It is most famous as the place where Wild Bill Hickock was shot and killed while playing poker in the No.10 Saloon. He was holding a pair of 8's (clubs and spades) and aces (clubs and spades) and a 9 of diamonds. This has forever since been known as "dead man's hand". We explored the town and gift shops and had lunch at the Deadwood Social Club (a former brothel) above the No.10 Saloon.

From Deadwood we rode up to Sturgis. Sturgis is the site of the largest bike ralley in the country. Hundreds of thousands of bikes will descend on the city next week. The actual event starts on Aug 3, but there were already thousands of bikes in town and several hundred vendors were already present. We just rode around town a little and then hit the highway for Mitchell, which was another six hours away,

All total we rode about 520 miles today, putting us over 4000 for the trip so far. At this point we are basically retracing our path. Tomorrow we should ride from here to somewhere around Kansas City, MO


Streets of Deadwood
Sturgis hillside

On the street in Sturgis

Days end (in our rearview mirror)

Day Twelve - Pictures

Buffalo in Yellowstone

At Yellowstone

River in Yellowstone

Upper Falls - Yellowstone

Mountains in Big Horn NF

Headed down the road

Rock Formations - Big Horn NF

Snow on the mountains

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day Twelve

Our plan to reach Spearfish came up a little short, but it was a very good day. We left West Yellowstone around 10am local time and drove thru the park (its the only way to go) headed for Spearfish. S;peed limits in through the park are 30 and 45 mph, so it took a little while to drive the 100 miles to the other side. Add to that a gas stop and a stop at one of the beautiful waterfalls and it was about 3.5 houors just to go that 100 miles.

Once thru the park, we took US14/16/20 thru Wyoming towards I-90. We drove thru Cody, WY where we stopped for a quick lunch.Again, we were slowed down by speed limits and scenery. The road winds...and I mean winds....thru Big Horn National Forest. At the highest point we reach a little over 9000 feetl The day was overcast (but thankfully no rain). At the highest point the temperature was only in the low forties. We had on everything we had to stay warm. With no sun coming thru the clouds it just never wamed up. Even when we got back down to lower elevations it was very cool. The views in the forest were spectacular. It wasn't mountains like before, but huge rock formations and rolling mountains. There was a lot of deer along the way. To top it all off they are doing a lot of construction and thru a large section we could only drive about 30mph (on gravel roads). Even on the "good" section of the roads we were slowed because of the twists and turns.

After coming down out of the mountains, we jumped on I-90 and made it to Buffalo, WY before it became dark and the temps started to fall. With the number of deer in the area and the cold temps we decided to call it a night. After grabbing a sub at Subway for dinner, it was 11 pm locally and we hit the beds. So once again I am short on time to post pictures.

Tomorrow we plan to make it back to Mitchell, SD where we stopped on the way out. We will stop by Sturgis and get a T-shirt and maybe go to Deadwood for lunch before getting back on I-90 and making our way to Mitchell. It is all interstate, so hopefully we will meet our goal. If so, we will be back on schedule and will have made up the day we lost with the tire.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day Eleven


Thermal Pool

Old Faithful

Small Geyser
Firts of all....I am way behind on editing pictures, so I still dont have anything for yesterday and only a few for today.
We spent the day touring Yellowstone. We only saw a small portion of what was there and still spent the entire day doing so. The morning was beautiful with blue cloudless slikes. As the day progressed, the clouds accumulated and by late afternoon we had out typical afternoon showers. Yellowstone is great. The area is amazing geographically, and there are tons of animals to see. We caught glimpses of bald eagles, bison, elk, several kinds of squirrels and more.
The day ended way too soon and left us wanting more. However, tomorrow will have to be a day back on the road. We are 2100 miles from home and have five days to make the trip back. So, tourism is now very limited and we once again become travellers. We will go through Yellowstone on Wednesday on our way out. Travel thru Cody, WY with Spearfish, SD as our target.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day Ten

Not much time to post right now. Will update tonight.

Basically got the tire on the bike. Rode to West Yellowstone. Stopped at Virginia City for several hours and stopped by Earthquade Lake. Riding was good. It was cloudy all day, hit a few rain patches. The temps stayed in the low sixties and high fifties which is pretty cool on a bike. We had on jackets and chaps and raingear.

We will visit Yellowstone on Tuesday. We are running a day behind now, so something will have to give along the way for us o get home on time. Anything unexpected now could delay our return home.

We have just passed the 3000 mile mark. I have tons of pictures from Virginia City and Earthquake lake. I will try to get at least a few posted on Tuesday night, plus a few from Yellowstone.


Got back on the road around 11 with a new tire. Now in Yellowstone. A little chilly here. Low tonight of about 40.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Day Nine

Breakfast View

Highway scenery

End of the day - delay in trip

It is about midnight local time as write this. I have very mixed emotions about today.

It started out great. We had a late breakfast at the hotel resort in Polson. The view during breakfast was great. The resort sits on Lake Flathead and has a small marina. The sky was a little cloudy but it was still beautiful. Lake Flathead is a huge lake. This is the lake we road along last night for about 35 miles.

After breakfast we got on the bikes and headed out of town towards Yellowstone. Our route took us south down US93 to I-90 where we headed back towards the east. We have been as far north and as far west as we were going to get to go. The ride down US93 was a challenge. They were doing road construction, which in and of itself is not a big deal. But, this was unlike any road construction on a US highway I have ever seen. There were numerous stretches of a mile or more where the road was nothing more than a two lane gravel road. This was between Polson and Missioula. The same stretch of road we would have ridden in the dark and possibly in the rain the night before had we decided to try and make it to Missoula. We make a good decision the night before. This would have been a nightmare in the dark. After reaching I-90 we rode until we needed gas (and could find gas), which happened to be in a town called Deer Lodge.

After filling up with gas I was looking over the bike and just happened to notice that my rear tire was separating and had one large chuck out of it. This is not something you want to see on a trip on a bike. I have no idea when this happened or how far I had ridden with it like that. The problem is that a tire like that is not safe to ride on. A blow out at 65 miles an hour on the interstate on a motorcycle could be disastorous and even fatal. The fact that it was Sunday put us in a hole as far as repairs go. We managed to find a bike shop that had been open, but was closing. The person that answered the phone was as helpful as he could be. He did not work on Yamaha bikes, but gave us the name of someone who did in Butte, which was 35 miles down the road. Since the bike was unsafe to ride he gave me the name of someone to call to come and pick it up and take it and us to the shop for repair in the morning. It is actually a little humerous to me that the wrecker driver was named Moose. About an hour after calling him, Moose showed up, loaded up the bike. We hopped in the cab and Doug and Teresa followed us into Butte, where we got a room near the bike shop.

We will be at the shop at 9am in the morning . Hopefully he will have or can get a tire that fits and get it on the bike early and we can get on down the road.

When all this occurred I was pretty upset. It had us way off our schedule. It is going to cost me towing, a tire, a forfeited room deposit at the hotel we had booked and a lot of time. But after reflecting on it for a while I have decided that it is not such a bad thing. Had I not seen the problem we would have continued on and possibly have had a catastrophic event. A little money and time is nothing compared to what could have happened. Instead of sitting in hotel room, some or all of us could be spending in a hospital or worse. I am blessed to be sitting here typing this. I am blessed to have friends along with me who love me and understand that things happen. I make sure I am prayed up before we start out each day. I firmly believe that God has watched over us. He kept us out of bad roads at dark last night and He pointed out the tire to me today.

We ended up only making about 100 miles today. We are about three hours away from Yellowstone and may not get to see everything we want tomorrow, but we get to wake up and see tomorrow. Beat the alternative !!

Day Eight

don't know to begin to describe this day. The only word that comes to mind is AWESOME !!! This day alone was worth the entire trip so far.

We left Cut Bank mid morning and headed towards Glacier National Park. We had decided to tide two different roads. First we went north to ride into Glacier and visit Many Glacier. The road in is about 12 miles long, then ends in a turn around and you come back out. The scenery here was just beautiful. We spent about an hour and a half to make the ride in and out. Besides the beautiful scenery we say a moose, a grizzly cub and some cows....yes cows.

Coming out of Many Glacier we headed to the Road to the Sun. This is a road about 40 miles in length that goes from the east side of Glacier to the West side. Before heading up the road we stopped in St Mary's for some lunch and to grab a few souvenirs. The ride in and up to Logans Pass (which is about 18 miles in) presented some magnificent views. The mountains are huge and absolutely beautiful. There was still plenty of snow on the mountains. We wound our way to Logan's Pass where there is a visitors center and some hiking trails. We left the bikes and ventured on foot. The visitors center is at 6500 feet. We took a "walk" to Hidden Lake. The walk ended up being about six mile in length round trip and took us up another 600 feet to about 7100 feet. I cannot put into works the views we had. Along the way we say Columbian Ground Squirrels, Mountain Goats, Mule Deer, and Hoary Marmots. It ended up taking us about four hours to do our walk. It was worth every step.

Leaving Logan's pass we continued through the mountains on a two lane road that twisted and turned its way through the cut rock. At points there were waterfalls that sprayed the road. Sheer drop offs switched from one side of the road to the other and to top it off a large section of the road was unpaved (semi-packed gravel). It was exciting.

After a several picture stops we made it through the mountains to West Glacier. Having spent more time than we had intended, the sun was already going down. We continued down US2 stopping in Hungry Horse for gas. Locals there, seeing we were on bikes strongly advised us not to continue due to the large number of deer on the roads at dusk. We tried to find a hotel, but everything in the town and all nearby towns was booked up. We had no choice but to continue. So, we headed on down US2 to Montana 82 and then Montana 3 which ran south on the west shore of Flathead lake. We kept our eyes open for deer, seeing close to a dozen along the way before it became too dark to see. At the same time we had to keep our eyes on a dark rain cloud that was between us and our planned destination of Missoula. About an hour after leaving Hungry Horse we arrived in Poulson where we lucked up and got the last two rooms at a resort there. We were about 60 miles short of our destination but the lightning in the sky ahead told us it would be wiser to stop.

The mileage for the day was only 240 miles bringing the total to 2640. But, this was not meant to be a day of many miles. It was meant to be a sightseeing day.

Plans for tomorrow are to ride to West Yellowstone in anticipation of the following day in Yellowstone National Park.

The pictures above are just a sample of what was taken. These were all taken with the pocket point and shoot. I have about 300 additional shots on my digital SLR that I will post to a shared site when we return.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day Seven

We left Billings this morning around 10am, made a quick stop at the local Star dealer and then headed towards Glacier National Park. It was more of a travel day than a sightseeing day. The only sightseeing we did was to see the beautiful scenery riding through Montana. There was a lot of scenery changes from flat plains of golden grain to the foothills of the Rockies with cliffs, rocks, streams and old aba ndoned mines. We saw a few deer, some buffalo, geese, ducks, and a lot of farm animals (cattle, longhorns, horses and sheep). The weather turned out to be beautiful despite a cloudy morning and forecast of thunder showers. Somehow we missed any rain by either splitting the clouds or staying a footstep ahead of the storms. Much of the day was spent under sunny very warm skies.

Our route today took us out of Billings on state route 3 to route 12 to US 89 to US 87 through Great Falls where we hopped on I15 to Shelby where we switched to state route 2 into Cut Bank, where we are spending the night.

We traveled about 350 mile, bringing our total to the 2400 range.

Tomorrow we will spend the morning travelling through Glacier NP. I anticipate a lot of beautiful scenery and some encounters with some wild animals. Hopefully some moose, elk, mountain goats and mabye a bear or two. Guess we will see.

Some of the shots for the day.

Rockies in the distance (note the snow still on the mountains)

Mountain lake (blue water)

Wind power generators where everywhere

Montana view


The crew

Down in the valley

View of river running through gorge

Roadside river (again...note the blueness of the water)

Snowless ski slopes

Mid-day in Montana

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Day Six

Today we spent the day at the Star Days event. We didn't even get on the bikes until about 10pm when we ran up to the local Wally World to get some bottled water and a couple other items. We spent the day visiting the vendors at the event (and spending money). We visited with other members we know from accross the country. The day was finished off with a dinner, awards and a charity auction.

I was honored (and very surprised) to be presented the Order of the Star by Doug, at the awards ceremonies. There were over 1000 members in attendance. I don't know that I really deserve it, but I accept it with gratitude. It is a real honor to receive the award. It is a pleasure working with Doug and Teresa and the other members of our chapter. I am very thankful to Doug for his leadership, guidance and mainly for his friendship.

There are no pictures for today.

Tomorrow we will head towards Glacier National Park. We have planned the route carefully as gas stations are few and far between along the way. We plan to stay in Cut Bank, MT which is about 350 miles from Billings.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day Five

It is easier to post the pictures at the top of the post, so from now on you will see the pictures first. Also, I have a lot more pictures. I will try to post some more tonight.

Teresa and Maria at Devils Tower

Approaching Devils Tower

Devils Tower
Doug & Teresa at Indian Memoria at Little Big Horn
Battlefield at Little Big Horn. Markers are where soldiers fell

Sunset at National Cemetery at Little Big Horn

Mountain scenery

The road goes on forever

Another fantastic day. This was the kind of day we made the trip for. The weather was perfect sunny and warm and the scenery was unbelievable. We left out late morning headed for Billings, MT. We rode about 4 miles on the interstate before dropping off onto some state highways as me slipped into Wyoming and headed over to Devils Tower. What a spectacular thing that is to see. It is a basically a huge rock sticking up out of the earth in the middle of nowhere. I don't really know how to describe it, so see the pictures below. After spending some time there, we headed north and jumped onto US212 and headed west towards Billings. US212 is a two lane highway that winds its way through the vast open lands of Montanta. You may go straight for miles and miles, then it will twist and turn as it rises and falls over the open prairie land or through some hills. It was a beautiful ride and in 200 miles we say very few cars, a lot of deer and prairie dogs. About 65 miles from Billings, we stopped at Little Big Horn, the battlefield better known as Custer's last stand, where the Sioux and Lakota fought for their land and won. It is so peaceful there. We hung out as long as we could, but with the sun setting to the west, we hit the road. There was a beautiful bright orange sunset as we rode out. This was at about 9:30. By the time we reached Billings at 11:00 there was still light in the sky. Montana is called big sky country for a reason. No trees, no polution and a vast sky. This somehow causes the light to just stay in the sky forever. We checked into the hotel and went to grab a quick meal before returning to the hotel and crashing.

Total miles today was about 300 bringing the total on arrival at the hotel to 2017.

Thursday will probably be sent at STAR Days. We will visit the vendors and attend the evening banquet. We may venture out and check out a few local sites. Then again we may just take it easy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day Four

Today we finally became tourists. After a ride of about three hours across I-90 we arrived at Badlands National Park. The route there took us across the vast grasslands of South Dakota under blue cloudless skies. When clouds finally showed up they were beautiful putts of white cotton. Temperatures were in the low eighties. It was just beautiful.

Before entering the park we stopped at a gas station/gift shop/eatery for a quick snack. We had a couple bison hot dogs, and soft drinks, fueled up the bikes and head to the park. Riding into the park the scenery immediately changed. The golden grassy plains became a canyon of color. As soon as we entered we saw deer and mountain goats. About 5 miles in we stopped at the visitors center, learned about the area and got a couple souvenirs. The route through the park is about 40 miles. We rode slow and stopped often. Sometimes we stopped to take pictures and other times we stopped just to take it all in. Every turn revealed a new vista or some critters to watch. We ended up spending a lot more time in the park than intended, but it was worth it.

Finally leaving the park we headed to Wall, SD and Wall Drugs. Wall Drugs is a drug store dating back to the 1800's. It now takes up an entire block in downtown Wall. It is basically about half of the town. The store has everything, from OTC drugs to boots, jewelry and clothing. It even has a soda fountain. Again, we stayed a little longer than intended.

By the time we left Wall the sun was setting in the west. We hopped on the bikes and followed the sun. We still had about 100 miles to get to the hotel in Spearfish. There was a bright orange sunset AT 10:00. At 11:00 it still was not completely dark. I guess the clear skies and our location on the edge of the Moutain Time Zone all contributed to the late sunset.

We stopped in Rapid City for a very late dinner. Finally about 12:30 am we arrived at the hotel in Spearfish. It was late we were happily tired and we all headed for bed.

Today was about 400 miles and put us right at 1700 miles so far.

Tomorow we will sleep in a little and head to Billings, MT for a day at STAR Days. We plan on getting off the interstates today and riding some local roads and enjoying the countryside.

Riding down the road in SD

Praire Dog in Badlands

Badlands NP

The crew in Badlands NP

Wall. SD and Wall Drugs

Sunset west of Wall, SD at 10PM