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Offline NEARMISSES

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Our first long trip on an SE to Yellowstone.
« on: August 11, 2019, 01:28:18 AM »
Well...we have finally gone on a decent trip on the SE of some distance for us both.  I mounted the lower Knight's footpegs before the journey and i did enjoy the room I gained and the position better than stock.  Anyways we will share what we learned and the mishaps we had.  Firstly, we have no pictures but the events are all true! We left at noon, Wed. July 31st,  94 degree weather, bound from home, Laclede, Id. To Butte, Mt. where we had a motel 6 booked for the night . We were going to Yellowstone Park for a 2 day camping and sightseeing trip.  From there, if we made it, on to Cody, Wy. For the Buffalo Bill museum and Winchester Firearms display.  We had planned to go from there over to Devil's Tower, Wy. Over to Sturgis to meet Sharon's brother at the rally. Well, we made it to Butte after 320 mile ride and 5 & 1/2 hr.s. An hour and a half into the trip and just past Thompson Falls, Mt. On Hwy 200 Sharon almost heat stroked out waiting for a 2 mile stretch of one way road to allow the one way traffic to go.  We made it the 27 remaining miles to Plains, Mt. and stopped for gas and to get her cooled down. Remember to hydrate often when riding, duh!  We rested up and went out to have a nice dinner at a place they recommended close by and once there I was pretty tired.

We were in the old Historic town of Butte way up the hill, on top of the mountain.  I put the kick stand down shutting off the motor. Still talking to Sharon about the trip I forgot to turn off the key and failing to remove it from the bike went in to have a very nice meal at the restaurant called "Metal". Exiting I couldn't find my key in my pocket and the panic began. We got out to the bike parked only 30' away and there it was in the ignition. Oh crap went thru my mind. A dead battery in a far away town  miles from home at 8:30pm at night.  I tried turning the bike off then on again after a short spell and hit the starter button, nothing!  A sinking in the pit of my well fed stomach erupted. Well, I said to myself, we were on a hill!, echoing what a passerby was saying to me.  We pushed the bike a short distance to the intersection and I pointed it straight down this Yuge hill & snicked it up a few gears and off I went alone down the biggest damn hill I have seen since I was I in San Francisco years before.  First try locked up, snick it up, it's reading 5th gear and let the clutch out again and this time Bluey comes to life.  A sense of dread leaves my body.  I drive back up the hill and around the block to pick up Sharon waiting for me. We go off for about a 3 mile ride in second gear at some where around 4000 rpm I sort of remember, u turn before I get too lost and back up the mountain and Motel 6 for a good night rest and to pray to God that Bluey would start again in the morning.

 This has to be the quietest Motel 6 I have ever been in and it was still further up the hill so I could get a bump start in the morning should I need to, ha!   We left at 7:10am our time, they were and hour ahead in Butte. It was only 57 degrees.  Down the hill we go making for a Walmart so we could get some of the items I forgot to pack. While Sharon went in to get them I drove around the parking lot further charging the battery that did start for us first push of the button. We needed to gas up before leaving I knew I'd have to start again. Luckily it all went well and we were off at 62 degrees/ 7:38am making our way up the pass in butte and on to Yellowstone ahead. The further we went the warmer it got, a good sing as I had forgotten a pair of gloves too. Put that on the lost list!  Thank god for heated grips! We had a great ride down to Yellowstone via  rt.2 off I-90 past Lewis and Clark caverns to 287. This is a very nice ride about 12 miles. Rt.359, the other road had chip sealing going on so we avoided it. Rt.2 is prettier anyways & by a river and some nice antelope to see occasionally. There is however falling rock sometimes in the road, sometimes... Well you get the picture. Keep a sharp eye out where necessary.  We got to the West Yellowstone entrance and gassed up again as gas in the park is quite expensive as is everything in the park as it has to be trucked in. It was a nightmare at about noon there time and several hundred vehicles going in at once. We managed to catch up to a gal we met at the motel that was on her way to Sturgis via Yellowstone and a short stop at old faithful she had planned. We did find however that old farts with the free America card pass can get in the right lane and get in faster than left bound lanes so... Scurry up the right and pass the cages bikers. I like the Madison river entrance, it's quite nice seeing the river and such on the way in. The first 6 miles were stop and go since everyone looks at everyone else when the stop to see what's going on or not. Anyways after that we came to broken yellow lines and we made our way rather quickly past the gawking cagers and on to the junction. We went north she went south and so it goes meeting fellow biker.

We got over to Canyon campground area and stopped to have some coffee and a doughnut before setting up the campsite.  Once we got the tent set up, air mattress installed and sleeping bags in place we decided it was time to go see some of the park.  As we drive down the hill from the campground Sharon says to me I think I hear thunder and once in the open from the canopy of lodge pole pine at the big intersection we see a black sky in front of us to the west, south and north. We decided to go back up the hill to the tent and sit it out. Now the tent isn't much but it always served me well in Florida where we used to live when we went to Daytona Bikeweek. It rains there too so, I figure we'll be okay. Needless to say, not the case. Well, I have a bum left leg with a lot of damage and some metal implants in my left femur. Anyways I get too cold start to cramp up and the water is coming thru the tent like by osmosis! At least 2 inches and the sleeping bags are wet too. Once the onslaught stops 2 1/2 hr.S later we're cold and hungry and we need to get somewhere warm. Sky is still black but we try going back to the restaurant lodge for a meal.. It was nice there were fires in the fireplaces ac had been turned off and heat was pouring out. We got in line for a good meal and then tried to warm our butts soaked by the Corbin seat near the fire. I figured it would get down to around 40 degrees that night and being 68 years old,  not in that great a shape and everything we owned soaking wet I figured we'd get exposure and dye. The better part of valor would be to see if there was any room at the hotel left, now 7pm their time. We go inside the main lodge with about 4 customers in front of us. Finally we get to the desk and the gal said they had one room left. I asked how much, not really caring what the answer was at the moment, she cawmly says it's 261.00 plus tax. I say okay. The total was 299.97. We get .03 cents back from our dollars. Ha! Just like Mac Donald's!  Off we go in search of our room and glad we'll be warm for the night.

Now I myself have spent a fair amount of time in Yellowstone as it was only 487 miles away from where I lived in Idaho previously. Too many trips to count from 1985 on wards. Sharon on the other hand has been only once before in 2013 and that trip was cut short by every light on our dashboard turning on at once but the car running fine. We had our dog boomer with us and we decided to just go home instead after she did get to see some of the geothermal pools in the lower park. Funny thing is it too happened over near canyon campground where we were now staying. I don't think Yellowstone want us here! Ha! I decided to go and rescue all our gear from the tent and we both decided to leave the next morning for home. The rain has come back and I wait a while for it to end before going back up the hill to retrieve our wet gear and cancel further camping reservations. It takes 2 trips with the tent & air mattress still there wet as all get out. We lay everything out in the YUGE handicap bathroom and turn on the heat lamp to dry it all. I even went out and took the Corbin seat back in to dry it too! Whose gonna steal a motorcycle without a seat, ha!

 Next morning I'm up at 5am and you can see across the parking lot a hundred yards but a fog is setting up. By 7:30 am you can't see the sign in front of the building we were in!  This isn't shaping up to be a good day I think to myself. As soon as I can see across the lot again about 8:15 I take off to get the tent and air mattress. We decided we'll never need them again so give away or toss them. I found some campers willing to take them so down the hill I go and we pack up and leave at 9:13am bound for home. It's 61 degrees and not warming up to quickly. Off we go across the park and down the west side to go out West Yellowstone again. By the time we're out it has warmed up to 62, as we're heading north on 287 it gets to a whopping 64. Once we turn up towards earthquake lake it's starting to get warmer still and we get to 68 degrees as we're coming to the end. Further on towards Ennis, Wy we stop for lunch and it's up to 74.  Gonna maybe be a hot one after all. Nice lunch there and we head back up 287 at a slightly brisker pace and speed. We were in butte again with some dark clouds but nothing that looked like it was going to hurt us. A quick pit stop for gas and water and we're out there again hauling butt. This bike gets incredible mileage. On my Beemer LT I had maybe a 200 mile range before reserve light came on. This bike 250 plus sometimes. We made up our minds to go home hyy 200 despite the 2 mile slow spot. It's 50 miles shorter but the same amount of time practically. I can drive almost as fast and we won't be I Coeur d'Alenes traffic around 5pm with the temp again at 94-97 degrees in the shade. Besides hwy 200 is one of the most beautiful river roads I have ever been on. I love it! We manage to almost perfectly time when we get to the 2 mile stretch the west side of Thompson Falls and wait only 5 minutes for our side to go and we have plenty of water and iced tea to drink.  After Thompson Falls everyone decides they have to make up all the time that lost and drive like maniacs. Well not to be out done. I'm in a hurry too. Well, there's one thing you need to know about hwy 200 if you're gonna drive it much. The area between Thompson fall and Trout Creek is affectionately called by locals "Blood Alley" for a reason. Suicide deer!  I have seen up to 12 deer dead on the side of the road in a 25 mile ride. Well, right after passing a 4 horse trailer pulled by a big diesel pick up nearing Trout Creek city limits it dawns on me it 6pm their time.

 What occurs next is I slow down to 65 and a doe comes up the steep embankment on my right and is right beside the bike looking me eye to eye and trying to get in front of the bike. I crack the throttle wide open, Sharon screams and I feel her coming out of her seat but then she's back, I can't see the doe in my rear view and I couldn't tell if the truck and trailer hit it or not but what I do know is we are alive and well... Still driving down the road. I thank God and we drive thought the town a short distance ahead and another ten miles to the Cenex station I like and a much deserved gas stop, change of shorts and a good dose of water in my helmet and on my head. We talk about it a bit more and then on board for the final hour & a half or so drive home. We managed 1036 miles for the 2 1/2 day trip and that day Sharon went the furthest she'd ever ridden, 506 miles in one day as well as the furthest trip by motorcycle. Furthest I'd gone on Bluey too! As a real treat we stopped at the Klondyke restaurant in Laclede for their prime rib dinner on Friday night, it was 6:16pm. 2 Corona's with dinner to celebrate the 2 milestone event for Sharon and a half mile later we we're home safe and sound. No pictures! We did see some Bison and a decent herd of Elk but we cans see them up County rd. here in Laclede too! ha!.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 01:30:23 AM by NEARMISSES »

Offline HACKLE

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Re: Our first long trip on an SE to Yellowstone.
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2019, 02:59:48 AM »
Nearmisses and good wife Sharon. If it had all gone to plan we wouldn't have a great story to read. The trials and tribulations of camping. Like you said the OLD tent worked well in the summer weather, just not as effective in the HUGE onslaught. Think about the "browny" points you won by taking the room, not the money it cost.
   I haven't been to Yellowstone only Yosemite. But can certainly understand how everyone [cars] stop to look at what those in front stopped to look at.
    Regarding hydration for both of you, maybe it's time to look at a Camel Back form of hydration backpack. I use one only when my wife is on the back. 1.5 litres is enough for both of us, and can be easily topped up through a ride. I only use this on shorter rides as I find I get a bit of shoulder pain from wearing it. On longer rides I put the bladder under the lower section of the Trophy tank bag with the drink tube coming out a hole in the left side. A very good series of photos is in another section of the forum. I do have a longer drink tube fitted to the bladder that reaches to my wife on the rear. You have to take the mouth bite piece of the tube to get it through the tank bag hole, but that's no big deal. When I'm by myself doing IBA length rides I fit a 2.5 litre drink jug to my right pillion foot peg with the drink tube going along the right side and up to the tank bag. I can easily access it to remain hydrated.
     For your rides that are a bit longer than normal get into the habit of doing some exercising whilst on the bike, both of you. Upper body, arms, neck, back etc. also stretching the legs. I regularly stand whilst going through lower speed sections to prevent clotting in the legs.
      You have already warmed to the big benefit of the Trophy, which is great mileage. Now all you have to do is build up your "stamina" to take better advantage of it.
       All the very best in your two up touring. You are certainly miles ahead of those readers that can't get their wives on the back. That's got to be a bonus. Cheers.  :821: :062: :062:
HACKLE     I'm too young to be this old.

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Offline NEARMISSES

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Re: Our first long trip on an SE to Yellowstone.
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 05:56:33 PM »
Thanks for the read and info. It was so much easier on the Beemer LT. Had a cup holder and insulated cup, ha! We did discover the tank bag is the key to hydration on the SE and have a plan in place we now use.