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Thread: Trip report, PNW to CO and back

  1. #1

    Trip report, PNW to CO and back

    Got back to Poulsbo here in the Pacific NW about a week ago after a 2.5 week, 4,900 mile ride. Made it all the way down to southern CO to Silverton and Durango before heading home. Avoided super slabs except for the stretch from Grand Junction, CO to Pocatello, ID. There are backroads in some of that area, but we wanted to get that desolate wasteland of an area over with ASAP. Started with 4 friends and ended with 2. Had a falling out with one on a crazy night in Norris hot springs just east of Yellowstone and a fond farewell with another in Jackson Hole. Great weather the whole time except for some intense hail and some rain around Yellowstone. Discovered Yaak, MT. Did the Highway to the Sun in Glacier along with a 7+ mile day hike at the top (in my lower leathers and riding boots). Hot springed at Norris. Turns out the hot springs weren't open to the public the day we were ther, but we sweet talked the nice gal who worked there into letting us in after the private party left. She said "Well, I could use some gas money. $20?". Rode through Yellowstone with a brief hike at Artist's Paint Pots (mass crowds all over the park). Then camping and day-hiking at the Grand Tetons. Beautiful hike there after taking a ferry across Jenny Lake. Loved camping and a day hike at Flaming Gorge Recreational Area. Took a shuttle bus at Dinosaur National Monument to see fossils in place largely undisturbed. Saw my son who's at school in Boulder, CO and stayed with friends in Golden, CO. So many great roads in Colorado. I had many highlighted on my maps, but could only do so many. Will hopefully go back some day to do more. It's a hell of a long way to get there though.

    We camped the whole time except for one night in a Boulder, CO motel for me. Had bought a new 1-person tent and a new MSR whisperlite stove after my one I bought in the 1980s finally died. Cooked and had cocktail hour at the campsites. Bathed and did laundry mainly in creeks, rivers and lakes with trusty Ivory soap. Successfully negotiated certain states where you know what is still illegal. Amazingly my Shinko Trailmaster back tire lasted the whole trip with a bit of tread left, and I have half inch chicken strips. A friend helped me fabricate a rack for the top box from my Honda Helix scooter. So I had a tank bag, Hepco-Becker plastic saddle bags, and a top box. Originally intended to use my tail bag, but the top box really allowed me to fit camping gear better. All that crap never really stopped me from having my way with the twisties. My friend Austin who lasted the whole trip rode a Harley Sportster with the 1200 engine. He actually did really well on the curves until they got down to a 30 mph rating or less. We had a few mechanical hiccups. Blown fuel pump fuse and then some erratic fuel delivery issues for me starting in Utah on the way home. Broken ground wire on Austin's aftermarket ECM which required fixing the wire and terminal, then eventually taking the aftermarket part out of the loop. His back tire was kaput by the end. Last couple days were in cyclonic winds out of the east with dense smoke starting in Ukiah, OR. The winds blew down some trees on FS25 by Mt. St. Helens on the last day, but we were able to ride underneath them. Epic trip overall. Now planning a van camping trip to Ft. Stevens near Astoria, OR where we'll trailer our bikes down do day rides. I'll sleep in my converted Promaster van that has a bed, stove, fridge, etc. Will replace my fuel pump first.

    Best twisty road was Rte 92 from Maher, CO to Sapinero, CO
    Runner up twisties was Peak to Peak route from Estes Park, CO to Blackhawk, CO
    Best sweeper road was Rte 50 from Sapinero, CO to Montrose, CO.
    Best overall road with the best scenery of the trip and wonderful twisties that went on forever was Rtes 145 and 141 from Telluride, CO to Grand Junction, CO

    My bike:
    co05.jpg

    My pal Austin who finished the trip with me:
    co01.jpg

    Austin sleeps in a hammock:
    co02.jpg

    Me on Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park:
    co03.jpg

    Mountain goat on day hike in Glacier:
    co04.jpg

    More pics on next post (5's the limit).

  2. #2
    Me approaching the Grand Tetons:
    co06.jpg

    Friend John with a big bull moose on day hike in the Grand Tetons:
    co07.jpg

    Flaming Gorge Recreational Area:
    co08.jpg

    Favorite twisty road:
    co09.jpg

    Austin in Silverton, CO. We liked the Handlebar bar:
    co10.jpg

  3. #3
    Favorite overall road (scenery and twisties):
    co11.jpg

    Where my fuel pump fuse blew, inhospitable, desolate wasteland:
    co12.jpg

    Smoke in the Columbia River gorge:
    co13.jpg

    Downed trees east of Mt. St. Helens. At least we could rider under or around them:
    co14.jpg

  4. #4
    Senior Member Endopotential's Avatar
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    Wow, that looks like an epic road trip! Thanks for letting travel with you from the comforts of our living room beanbags.

    I know some of those areas well. I go through Flaming Gorges to get to rafting the Green River at Gates of Lodore (a beautiful miniature Grand Canyon). That Dinosaur Museum if def one of my favorites anywhere.
    A 7 mile hike in my motorcycle boots would leave me with bleeding blisters. Glad you survived a close encounter with a bull moose. Awesome stuff.

    You live in a beautiful corner of the world. I'll actually be up in the San Juans and Whidbey soon.

    And ditto to other comments about replacing the fuel pump. They're notoriously bad in our bikes. I had to replace mine a year after I got my '09 XB9SX

  5. #5
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Now thats a trip! NICE!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Great pics thanks for sharing! I thought Glacier was closed some bypassed it this time Did it in an M-2 in 2018 though.


  7. #7
    The back half of it on tribal land is closed. You can still get to the pass where that hike is.



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