Thursday, June 24, 2010

So how do you talley success...

We started off about six thirty, into Yellowstone and adventure. Sure we had to wait for the construction area, but we talked to other visitors, checked the bikes and looked at great cliff. There were large herds of bison in the morning mist, and not enough parking areas for the gawkers. Zooming on, I catch an elk, they spot a black bear - monitored by a Park Ranger and lots of folks looking and snapping pictures.

We headed for Tower Falls, and again were impressed with the raw power and the quick video is filled with the roar of the falling water. It is good to get off the motorcycles to walk around and see the sights. Although when riding behind my nephew, and he was following a work truck, suddenly the truck went into the oncoming left lane, and my nephew followed, and I looked but couldn't see any reason for the move, the shadows hid the rightside of the highway. Then I saw two large black shaggy shadows moving on delicate hoofs across the asphalt - I moved left, never having been so close to those heavy heads with horns. Can't buy that kind of ride, nope you have to go and share the road with the wild bunch.

We fueled up a last time before leaving the park, on to the Northeast Gateway and the Bear's Tooth mountain (which one it is I never did figure out - saw a couple that could have that name). But a late breakfast break before tackling the climb to the roof of this world. We had been talking to strangers along the ride through the park, they admired our rides (or were envious of the adventure). One man asked about the age of my Triumph, and we talked, he thought it might have trouble with the altitude. This only added to the stress of the ride, my nephew had mentioned maybe having ice on the road, my brother that we were going above the treeline and it would be cold (they have heated gloves - they do live in Colorado). So back on the road and up the mountains. Light car traffic, lots of motorcycles coming down and going up. Higher and higher and higher - I started to think we were going to be on level with all the surrounding mountain ridges, and I was right.

There we were on top, and the questioner about my motorcycle caught up to us with his party in his van. He told me that three years earlier he had motorcycled over the pass, but it was cold, raining and foggy, and not one ride he wanted to repeat. I was thankful that we were blessed with perfect weather. My nephew got a picture of him and Triumph Sprint by the sign, his club has a fifty pass pin for those that collect those experiences. The tight loops on the switchbacks as we climbed seemed to be cut into snow piles - six to eight feet tall - future clean cold water. I was having thoughts of crashing into them, but then realized they would be crusty frozen, not fluffy frozen. There were lots of those winding loops going up, very cool leaning, and since the snow was high you couldn't always catch what was coming in the other direction. Across the roof of the world, even or above the surrounding mountains, no ice on roadway but for sure it was cool. We stop at an overlook and watch chipmunks trained to beg from tourists, talked to the Canadian riders, two groups - one of which we would run into in Red Lodge and I would ride with later on I-90.

More tight loops on the descending highway, and the lean is fun, needs more practice - one doesn't lean that far often on open highways, but I do remember those tight turns in the mountains of West Virginia, back roads rule! It was a great ride, as we stopped at Red Lodge to part our ways we talked about how we got to do this ride, when it was mentioned that I was going to ride, and my brother emailed his interest back, and then my nephew chimed in. It was a great time to be together and riding like we like to, and the weather cooperated so brilliantly. I went on after the picture taking, towards Billings, then Sheridan (has a free internet station in the Welcome Center) and finally to Gillette to find a place to rest. Then I lost the first write up - which was magnificent (I know, but maybe I was too tired to do it justice), so I wrote the following brief message because my mother would want to know if none of the other faithful readers would. Washing clothes and planning next ride. Every day is Saturday, except Sunday, when you have no job.

Well you go to bed after a great day motorcycling, instead of typing a couple of pages of the adventure then hitting the wrong key and making it all disappear. Bear's Tooth mountains are worth the time and trouble, one of the best rides. My brother and nephew and I parted at Red Lodge after having ice cream (his diet starts tomorrow he says) and talking with some Canadian bikers, that I would meet later on I-90 and ride with them a bit. Yeah, post the picture, save the tale for after a solid night's rest... okay.


threecollie said...

Ice cream is always a good thing and the calories are frozen and thus don't count.

Old NFO said...

Great post Earl! Glad they were able to join you!

Triumph Sprint ST said...

I had a great time on the Ride. Dad & I are now safely home in Colorado.

For clarification, we both use Heated Handgrips and ScalaRider Q2 bluetooth headsets.