Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Montana Trip 2014 - Part III

This is the continuation of a trip my dad, friend Jacob, and I took at the end of July.

Day 4

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After a good nights sleep we all headed east, down to Jackson Hole, WY.   I was in a bad mood.  Not sure why, but I needed food and coffee.  When I'm hungry I don't take many photos.  Trying to find a good place to eat, that will appeal to everyone, and has easy accessibility for the bikes, proves additionally hard when your hungry and in a bad mood.  Luckily Jacob spotted Bubba's Bar-B-Que and just pulled over.  It fit the bill.  They had coffee and egg biscuit sandwiches the size of your face.  I started to feel better.  And I started to take photos again.

The Teton Mountain Range.  Probably my favorite mountain range after seeing it as a kid.  Didn't quite know why until I read the Wiki page.  There aren't any foothills.  You go from flat plains to _boom!_ sharp mountain peaks.

Who is that young lady? And how does she keep getting into all my photos??

 I told Jacob he'd get free beer after the photo shoot.  He perked right up.

The ladies didn't want to hang with the tough motorcycle guys, so after visiting the Tetons they headed off into Yellowstone Park while we continued to enjoy the scenery.  I wanted some pictures near Jackson Lake.
 One of my favorite pictures of the trip.  Wish I'd been able to get me and my dad in it, standing behind our bikes.

While we were busy taking photos, my mom, sister and niece drove straight to Old Faithful where we said we'd meet up with them.  They saw this old bus in the parking lot.
 There is a small story here, where shortly after they arrived, they didn't have to wait very long before Old Faithful erupted.
 This is the "zoo" that is Old Faithful while it's doing it's thing.  My dad, Jacob and I arrived just as it was finishing.  Imagine trying to find parking, in a small parking lot, when everyone and their distant cousin has already parked to see the show.  I circled the parking lot so many times that eventually my dad and Jacob bailed on me to find their own space. 
 Since the ladies had already seen the show, they moved on because Kaitlyn wanted to see mud pots.  Which left us waiting a _full_ 90 minutes before the next eruption.  This ate a large portion of our travel time and limited our sights of Yellowstone.   
 But hey, I got my selfie.
 Short on time, and tired of the crowds, we headed northeast out of the park.

 If you ever have a chance to travel the Beartooth Highway, out of, or into Yellowstone, make sure you take it.  Amazing country!  The mosquitoes at this rest stop ate us alive though:)
 I assumed this was Bear's Tooth peak..but after an extensive two minute internet search these two appear to be Pilot and Index peak.
 We reached the summit of Beartooth Pass.
 We're above the tree line here and I ran off to take some pictures.  As I looked back I zoomed in and captured Jacob as he was walking among the clouds.
 We found a geological marker embedded in one of the nearby stones, giving our elevation.

 I ran off to go stand in the snow.  Little did I know that the Bear's Tooth is just around the bend back there.  For those of you who can't see through mountains here's a better internet picture of it:LINK.

Don't even think I saw it while I was there.  Just means that we have to go back now.
 A bit down the road we finally made it to Montana!  Woo Hoo!
 Blatant disrespect of National Forest signage!
 After descending some of the steepest switchbacks I've taken on two wheels, we arrived at Perry's RV Park outside of Red Lodge, MT.  When we arrived the owner of the park decided to lead us, on the bikes, down a pretty rough dirt road to a insect laden campsite next to a river.  The highlight of these campsites was a couple of teepees that appeared to have been setup in the 1960's.  When we asked about the bug free cabin, with three cots, near the showers, for only $15 more the owner replied..."or you could do that".  We did that.
 After unloading the gear we headed into town and decided to check out the Red Lodge Cafe.  Great place!
 Had a super friendly staff, who even helped us with a group photo. 
 More pictures to come.  Stay Tuned!

Bonus Photos:

Rush hour in Yellowstone.  Sometimes you just have to let the driver behind you pass.

Wyoming towns love their antler arches.
Sad to say these are the last photos of my niece on the trip.  She and my sister had to fly out of Billings the next morning so they could get back to Phoenix due to my sisters job.  My mom continued on and met us at the next stop which will be covered in the next post.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Montana Trip 2014 - Part II

This is the continuation of a trip my dad, friend Jacob, and I took at the end of July.

Day 3

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The next morning we headed northwest into the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.  I don't have any photos, but both Jacob and my dad mentioned this stretch of road was one of their favorites of the trip.  We finally felt like we were on vacation and the stress of getting ready for the adventure slowly slipped away.  We passed quite a few sheep, and their sheepherder, on curvy mountain roads.  One picture I wish I had taken was of a dog that was guarding the sheep.  He was huge, and as we passed by he gave us a look of "Keep movin' buddy..nothing to see here!"

We reached the small town of Kamas, UT and stopped for breakfast.  The theater, and movie it was playing, made it feel like we had gone back to the 1960's.
  This was supposed to be a simple picture of food porn.  I can't help but see it as a failure of navigation. You'll notice the stop light at the end of the road.  We had a great breakfast and sipped our lattes not realizing that we were supposed to turn left at that light to head out of town.  We finished up, and just continued down the road, _away_ from the light.  I didn't realize our mistake until we hit the next town of Oakley and my wee brain lit up a little red light and said..."umm this isn't right".  At which point we had to drive all the way back here and hang a left.  Moral of the story..don't fall in love with your breakfast to the point where you forget where you're headed.

Heading east, out of Kamas, we ascended back into the same mountains we had visited earlier that morning.  I decided it was finally time for some sight seeing and we made our first stop at a scenic area:  The Provo River Falls.
Always tough for me to pull over on a ride.  I want to make mileage, but at the same time you want to take in the sights and sounds from each state.
I can imagine when this area floods I'd be underwater where I was standing.
A rare sighting of Bigfoot wearing protective gear.
A few miles down the road we stopped again to check out Bald Mountain, and the view from it's pass.  If we had the time I would have liked to hike to the top.
The view from the lookout wasn't half bad though.
A little more to your a little more....
We continued north and crossed over into Wyoming, grabbed some gas in Evanston and broke a few rules.  That's right it takes more then a sign to get rid of us!
The road took us northwest, back into Utah.  Here I am on the shores of Bear Lake.  It's the second largest freshwater lake in Utah.  Someone has been reading Wikipedia.  Can you name the largest??  If you said Great Salt Lake you lose.
We stopped for lunch at a place called Cafe Sabor in Garden City.  By chance my mom, sister, and niece were passing through town at the same time!
While we took in some lunch they ran across the street for some raspberry shakes.
Kaitlyn hanging out with the local band.
From Garden City we headed north and finally split from my mom in Montpelier, ID.  They headed east to go visit Jackson Hole, while we headed north to go tackle a few more mountain passes.  Spotted this crew at a gas station in Soda Springs, ID.  There was an additional child inside with the parents but she rode in the back as well.  Once the kids saw us taking their picture they started waving.
Just west of the Caribou National Forest we spotted our first rain clouds.  I pulled over to throw on my rain gear which only took 5 minutes.  My dad had to dig his out of water proof bags which involved 32 straps to be untied.  By the time his gear was on, and bags strapped back down, the rain clouds had moved on.  No kidding!  From then on he was required to store his rain gear in a more accessible location.
A few hours later we rolled into the Teton Valley RV Park in Victor, ID.  After spotting the cabins Jacob thought it would be nice to a take a night off of setting up a tent and asked how much.  There was only one left. What can only be described as a eminent domain situation, somehow my dad snagged it.  You can see Jacob and my tents just off to the left.  My mom and sister arrived a bit later.
Home sweet home, for a night at least.
I think the beard is freaking them out!  Run! Run, while you still have a chance!
While we were setting up camp the owner of this bike pulled in.  I thought my dad was loaded down!  We asked him how much he thought his rig weighed.  He said it was somewhere around 1000lbs.
Later that night we drove into town and had dinner at the Timberline Bar & Grill.  Be careful of Belgian Ales named Lucifer. 
More to come...


My niece requested more pictures of her.  So here you go Kaitlyn.

Pictures on Navajo Bridge.

Only You....can pose with Smokey.

I believe this was at a Oregon or Mormon Trail museum.  Wagons Ho!

Channeling her inner bear!