Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Big Horn Mountain Airhead Beemer - 478 mile day ride.

Since we decided not to do anything over the Holiday weekend, I planned a solo ride into the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming. Preparing the 1971 R75/5  was simple: top off the engine oil & check the tires.
I've been riding it without the small faux "S" fairing and prefer the "naked" look.
I decided to ride old high way 212 across the Crow Reservation to Dayton Wyoming. The Wyoming 14 is a great ride and I've been over it more times than I can count.....but only a few times on a bike.
               ("click" on images to enlarge)

Pulled over for a quick break near Hardin MT, the town I grew up in....sat many times in this pullout as a kid drinking boot legged beer and smoking  the "ditch weed" of those days.


                         Crossed the Little Horn River a few times before entering Wyoming.


Parkman Bar - Parkman Wyoming....back in the early 70's this was the closest place to buy Coors beer....not that Coors beer is good, but since you couldn't purchase Coors in Montana, everyone wanted it. One dude would collect $2.00 - $2.50 per six pack from numerous buyers.....haul ass to Parkman...pay $1.25 per six pack, then return to Hardin and distribute his haul. This method bought his beer for free and lots of gas money, since gas was $.35 per gallon back then. A pretty good racket he had going. I refused to ever ride with the guy as he drove like a maniac....and totaled numerous cars in his younger years.


About 10 miles out you can see the "road cut" going up the Big Horn Mountains via WY. Highway 14


Another view after going up a few more miles.


Big pullout looking at "The Fallen City"....as it is named.


Looking up the mountain to the next pullout, I remember seeing guys with a pickup load of old tires. They would throw them over the cliff and watch them roll violently to the bottom....great fun back in the day.


Fallen City close up.


Looking back towards Dayton Wyoming.


Eventually the road leads to Burgess Junction where High way 14 & 14A split. My Cousins owned a cabin near Burgess Junction so we spent a lot of time up there when I was a kid. I decided to take WY. 14 to Shell WY. as it is a nice route. The photo above is looking down into Shell Canyon. The road follows the river down below. 


I stopped for a minute for a refreshment at this Cafe / Bar. Visited with some Manitoba Canadians for a bit. Told them to avoid picking up any stray Bison Calves in Yellowstone Park as they were heading there. Don't know if they appreciated my sarcastic humor much....


Next stop was in Greybull WY. for another refreshment. I was the only bike on the street when I parked. Came out 15 minutes later to a herd of Harleys surrounding me.


"Seats" 


Rode the next leg to Lovell WY. and stopped for fuel. About 20 miles down the road I ran into a huge storm. No way could I  avoid it and decided to back track over the Big Horns Via WY 14A. I was only 70 miles from Billings.....the re-route would add another 160+ miles.


Wall of water 


Stopped at the top of  "Oh My God Hill" (as the truckers used to call it)....looking back on the route I just came up. I was just ahead of the storm and staying dry.


Back in Dayton Wyoming and a few miles towards Montana my weather luck ran out. Rode into a huge storm....lightening strikes very close....got a bit wet and headed the 5 miles back to Dayton to sit the storm out. Storm was fast and furious and passed in 15 minutes or so.


storm passed...


Old grain elevator in Wyola Montana....I worked at a "sister" elevator in Hardin MT. when I was 15 years old...came up to this one once to work a day....now long abandoned.


The old "Camp Custer" Motel in Crow Agency MT. A good buddies family owned / operated it back in the 70's - 80's. Also abandoned and in sad condition.


Pay Phone?....most youngsters don't even know what that was....


Last photo before riding the final 65 miles home....total miles today: 478 miles in 12 hours. My back was pretty sore by the time I got home. Victim of the combination of the  "Euro Bars" and arthritis....I don't care....already looking forward to my next ride. The joy / exhilaration of riding overcomes most all pain...well almost anyway.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chief Joseph Highway - Beartooth Pass - June 4th. 2016

I planned a short ride (120 miles)over to Columbus MT...then to Red Lodge MT. and then home. The weather was so perfect that the short trip grew into a +350 mile ride. Just couldn't help myself as the days are long and sunset isn't until near 9:00 PM here.
          Yellowstone River near Columbus MT:

Good hamburgers at the "Dew Drop Inn" in Absorakee MT. 


Old "Hippy Bus".....I doubt that it was at Woodstock though.


The "Grizzly Bar" in Roscoe MT. A required stop when passing near.


Took a break in Red Lodge MT. Looked over and this guy just decided to take a break on the sidewalk. 


I left Red Lodge and headed over to Bear Creek. Thought about going over the Beartooth Pass but did not yet talk myself into it.


When I got to Belfry MT., the bike somehow decided to go to Cody WY. I passed the turn for the Chief Joseph Highway as I would not have enough gas to make the loop....on to Cody for a 2nd. lunch and a tank of gas. Then back to the Sunlight Basin highway. 

Coming up towards "Dead Indian Hill Summit".


In the back ground here is "Heart Mountain"....on the other side of that peak, an internment camp was constructed during WW2. The camp held US Citizens of Japanese decent. I once met a Govt. Inspector who was born there while his Family was interned. His Father enlisted in the US Army, fought in Europe, risking his life while his entire family was held prisoner by his own Government. A SAD part of our history!

"Heart Mountain"


A lot of great sections of road coming up. The /5 was a blast to ride through the twisties.


Clarks Fork Canyon


At least there was one more Airhead out and about today.


Pilot and Index Peaks in the back ground.



Heading up towards the Beartooth Pass. The road was opened last Friday.


Getting a bit cooler....


Beartooth Lake...still froze over....


Snow Drifts aren't near as big as previous years.




A great days ride....360 miles in 9 hours.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Spring Ride in Montana

Nice to be back "home" in the Big Sky Country. Luckily, most of my work missions have been near Billings. Had to travel a 1100 mile loop into northern MT a couple weeks ago and then spent last week in Miles City MT.
Been able to get a few rides in:


Took a short spin around Yellowstone County a couple weeks ago. Lot's of smoke in the area from Canadian Wildfires up north.


I enjoy shorter rides on the /5, but find the old Honda Goldwing much more comfortable for longer rides.



2 weeks ago I took a 300 mile loop to the East, then back through the Sarpy Creek Area, an old stomping ground of mine....actually my Grandfather Homesteaded out there around 1906. 

                               (click on image to enlarge)

The country side was starting to "green up" a bit.


These "Ranch Owner Signs" used to be quite prevalent.
 Don't see them being kept up as well any more.


This rock formation was a spot I used to frequent when I was a kid. One of our parents would drop us off there in the AM and then pick us up in the late afternoon. About 20 miles from the nearest civilization. We'd take along our "BB Guns", water and things to eat. Great adventures for us kids when we were 11 - 12 years old....


I remember carving my initials in the rocks, but time and erosion appears to have erased them.


I do remember carving these "foot holds" in the rocks with a buddy for easier access up the side.Probably back in about 1966.



Nice day for a ride. 


Lots of wide open spaces in MT. 


I rode another 150 miles after this photo but didn't document any of it. Great day for a ride and am looking forward to another ride next weekend. The BMW /5 needs exercise so will be riding it.