Friday, April 18, 2008

Big Sky, Dirt Roads, Imperial Entanglements

463 miles today. Not bad.

I started out in Bozeman, looking for Team Bozeman Motorsports. I couldn't find it. If the so-called biggest motorsports dealership in the area is that hard to find - not even so much as a sign where the GPS said the shop is supposed to be - maybe they weren't going to have what I needed. So, I made the call to skip it, and just get over the last of the mountains.

Stopped in Livingston for gas, shook my fist in a southerly direction at Yellowstone for being covered in snow, and kept going east. Made it to Billings around lunch time, stopped for a coffee and snack before getting back out there. Once over all the mountains and insanely gusty winds, I found it to be rather warm. Looks like I won't need the vest right now after all. I figure I can find the necessary wires in Chicago, where I'll have access to a garage and a couple of tools I don't have with me.

Got off of I90 and onto 212. Finally, a 2-lane road! THIS is the road trip I've been wanting to take. However, I traded the "look out for ice" signs for some "unpaved road - motorcycles consider alternate route" signs. Hell no, I am not turning around. Well, about 100 or so miles down that road I found that unpaved really meant unpaved. First there were grooves in the asphalt, like a road prepped for resurfacing. Ah well, 9 miles of this isn't great, but not too horrible. Then I got to the actual unpaved section. Like, mounds of dirt being engineered into road. I had passed another motorcyclist on my way to this little offroading adventure, and he had caught up with me at the unpaved section. We both decided to stop for gas when 212 makes a right hand turn, and chatted for a while. It turns out, his name is Denis, and he's spending his sabbatical from work riding all over the country too! He's even got a blog of his own. We chatted for a while, about our trips, and then headed back out. I turned south at 112, and headed into Wyoming.

About 10 miles down 112, I noticed I had picked up a tailgater. The kind with flashing lights. I pulled over, and a very nice member of the Wyoming Highway Patrol informed me that going 15mph over the posted limit was not advised, as there are lots of deer around and they tend to jump in front of motorcycles. And then he sent me on my way, at a much more conservative pace. Sure enough, 5 miles later a whitetail deer hopped across the road, to his 5 pals waiting at the side of the road. I saw a bunch more deer, and a couple of turkeys, on my way to Devils Tower. Saw the tower as the sun was going down, and backtracked to the hotel for the night. I made it in time to walk down the street to the local bar/diner here in Hulett, and had one of the tastiest cheeseburgers ever.

Tomorrow, Devils Tower pictures and into the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Route 212. Big Sky.


My ghetto-fix for the Zumo cradle that doesn't clamp down fully and causes static in the right ear. I'll be getting the cradle replaced under warranty when I get back.

The business end of the BugSlayer. There are A LOT of dead bugs on the bike.

And even more on the windscreen.

I honestly don't know how people ride without full-faced helmets.


Denis said...

Hey Brad, Denis from today here. Just wanted to check out your blog. Great talking with you today. I can't believe you were going to make this kind of trip on a KLR!?!?!? Anyways, enjoy Devil's Tower tomorrow and the whole Black Hills area of SD. I'll be checking in on your blog from time to time. Good luck and enjoy the ride, not the destination.

mommie dearest said...

Hi Brad,
Hope you enjoyed Devil's tower. Glad to hear that the weather is warming up for you. Drive safe and give me a ring on my cell. I don't care what time. Enjoy the ride!!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hey Brad, It sounds like you are having a blast. Reading your blog makes me want to pick up another bike. Did you manage to get out of that traffic stop without a ticket?

R6Chick said...

Hope you took pics of Denis and that you managed to convince the Wyoming Highway Patrol to let you off without any performance awards!