Sunday, July 6, 2008


We had been planning a three day Yellowstone trip with the sidehack for the last couple of months. We loaded up Friday morning and were on the road by 9:30am. I have the majority of our camping gear packed up full time so it's a matter of just loading the bike and packing clothes. We ran over to Twin Bridges and then through Virginia City to Ennis. We just missed the Ennis Parade which effectively closes down the highway for about two hours. I am a patriotic guy but didn't really want to be forced to watch the parade. Luckily we passed through town minutes before it began. Between Ennis and Hebgan Lake we encountered head winds of aroud thirty to forty miles per hour. The BMw struggled to keep up speed on the hills and could only make 50-55 mph on the hills. As we reached the Madison River the terrain was such that the wind lessened up. As we rounded Hebgan Lake I decided to pull over for a break and as I pulled over I saw my side car tail light fall off. I had fashoned a bracket out of some old chromed steel I had and figured that the thing would break at the bend due to vibration. Sure enough I was correct. (as pictured above). The light was dangling by the wire loom and didn't quite reach the pavement. I had the foresight to use a like piece of steel on the back side of the fender for a stiffener. I forgot about the other piece until I removed the broken bracket and then remembered that I had a spare piece. Fifteen minutes later we were back in business. We set up a tent at a campground in West Yellowstone which was like camping in a city park due to loud kids, other motorcycles and every sound known to man. We did have a great fireworks display on Friday night. We didn't mind the "Urban" camping as that gave us plenty of options in the food department in West Yellowstone.
We hit the road Saturday AM and ran into Yellowstone and over to the Canyon area first. The North Rim Drive road was closed so we headed on over towards the Lake area. Had a great time riding as the traffic wasn't too bad and the speeds were moderate. The posted limit in the park is 45mph. Most cars were running 60-65. We took a lot of the little side roads which branch off tho different attractions along the highway. We parked near the Lake Hospital for a break early in the afternoon. (Above) I visited the Lake Hospital Emergency Room about 38 years ago to the week. I was fishing near Cooke City when I fell off a log (which was part of a trail) and fell head first. I hit my right arm on some rocks and managed to break it in two places. The ride from Cooke City to the hospital was one of the longest rides of my life as every bump in the road nearly put me through the roof. A very painful memory.
We stopped again near West Thumb and visited with some other BMW riders. two from Utah and one from Louisiana. This K-Bike sported a "P-51 Flying Tiger" Motif. We headed over towards Old Faithful and witnessed the eruption from a couple miles out through the trees. We always miss the event by a few minutes and never want to hang around and wait to see it later. Oh well, it still looks like it did the last time we saw it. We got back to camp in time for a couple hour nap and then to a nice dinner at a nice place. Over priced but great food and service.

We awoke to overcast skies this am but had a great ride back to Dillon. Above is a shot of yours truly next to Hebgen Lake this morning. Today brought little or no wind. The bike was running excellant and made it all the way home without going into the reserve tanks. Darian sightseed and read the entire weekend and was a great co-pilot. It's nice to ask for a drink (of whatever) when under way and have it handed over without stopping. All in all a nice ride and would have liked to go on for another couple of days. We will plan some trips for the winter when we can take a bit more time.
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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.