View Full Version : Two wheeled Texan goes to Wyoming
06-13-2005, 05:06 PM
I went up to Wyoming last Wednesday, and rode the weekend in the medicine bow mountains. What a fantastic place.
I'll get a trip report up, as usual I didn't take good pics and not too many of the good riding. Some pretty gnarly mountain woods single track and tons of jeep trails and fire roads.
It does snow up there in June as I found out, so here's a couple of pics so we can at least think cool thoughts down here in the hot box. I'll get a little better ride report soon, probably borrow some other folks pics.
Me out putting around alone at 9100 ft.
The gang that got the farthest Friday as I played chase vehicle roaming the fire roads to make sure everyone made it back ok.
Saturday the sun was out without a cloud in the sky, and we rode all day and had the lodge do a BBQ for us afterwards.
I never think about pics during Kodak moments, like the the first hour Thursday when I buried my new bike almost to seat in squishy mud, taking three guys and long log to pry with to lift the font end out. I was standing there with my camera in my jacket and never took a pic. :)
very cool. :-D I rode in about 3" of snow in the Gunnison NF between Crested Butte and Taylor Park, it was a blast. But I waited until it stopped coming down to go ride in it!
06-13-2005, 06:42 PM
Wow! Making me really look forward to the Colorado trip :dude:
06-13-2005, 10:17 PM
I miss Wyoming. :-( I remember driving my Jeep up Rattlesnake mtn and the way the wife squealed when we were sliding down the road over the top of the snow. People down here look funny at you when you talk about jogging in shorts and a T-shirt when it's snowing and the temps are in the 20's. Yes, it's a dry cold. ;-)
06-14-2005, 01:51 PM
Ok here's a stab at a report...
A few folks over at the KTM Talk site organized a dual sport ride. One of the members lives in Laramie Wyoming and is moving soon and invited us all up to his backyard to play.
I packed up my new KTM 625sxc after getting it road legal and tagged and adding 18 liter (4.7 gallon) tank and a KTM "comfort" seat. It's taking a little of a mad max look.
I left Dallas at about 10:35 intending to grab a hotel somewhere on the way, but with an ice chest full of red bull and driving straight through I made it to Laramie in 13 hrs, just before midnight.
I got up in the morning and drove the 18 miles out to the lodge, here's a pic on the way out. Antelope were out on both sides of the road grazing with the cattle but didn't even give a concerned look at me...
I arrived at the Albany lodge in Albany WY. and found the Oklahoma firefighters there, grabbed a room and unloaded the bike. We weren't supposed to have a ride Thursday but we did anyway.
The lodge sits literally right at the end of the pavement, and along with a small firehouse IS Albany WY. :) They have rooms with 3 beds and several cabins for rent, and bar and restaurant built in with great food and service, I highly recommend them.
We went about a mile up a fire road and the guys took a trail that went straight up the mountainside at 45 degrees up, loose baby head sized rocks and logs, muddy snow melt ruts, real stand up and bounce your back end around stuff. I hadn't even ridden this new bike 10 miles yet. :)
We got to the top of this gnarly trail and they decided up ahead it was a bit much for a couple of the riders and we decided to go take a less extreme trail. We stopped going back down as a couple guys were timid about a muddy spot with some ruts, after they tiptoed through the ATV ruts I decided to plow right through the middle, big mistake.
As soon as I went in the front tire sunk past the axle, and looking like thin mud I gassed it to push on through and promptly sunk the back.
Here's a pic of a guy that dropped his front tire into the same hole the next day. Imagine his back tire in the same rut and that's where I was.
It took three of us to drag the front end out and I was huffin and puffin at 9000 feet. :)
We rode around up to 9500ft + and explored some forest roads.
Then we went on some narrow two track with a few rocky water crossings of snow melt creeks, great rocky climbs and woods trails with only a few downed trees to jump. Here's one of the guys exploring a hill off the trailside where it crosses a forest service road.
We went back to the lodge and our leader had finally arrived, he blew the engine up in his KTM and had just bought a new Yamaha to ride, for shame.... He'll never live it down.
Here's a shot of the lodge by then. A very biker friendly place.
We went back out, mostly smaller 450 bikes with a 525 as well followed by three of us on LC4 bikes. We did some great narrow two track jeep climbs, and then we went off into some serious single track, and it started raining. The rain turned it into about the most serious single track I've ridden.
Log jumps, 1 foot mud ledges with 100 foot drop to the side with logs and boulders to navigate, wet log water crossings, vertical mud climbs, several creeks to plow through, it was seriously fun. Well except the guy in front of me dropped his 640 about 7 times, and was seriously having no fun at all. He dropped it once over a log and dented his case, bent his shifter and broke off his clutch perch and I jumped off to help him pick it up, he was having a bad day. We got it fixed up with a spare perch off of a long forgotten bike from someone's parts box back at the lodge. He was good to go again by Friday morning.
I was getting used to my first hydraulic clutch with two fingers, sliding right up on the tank and picking my way through the single track and just standing and gassing the front end over the obstacles and getting familiar with my new bike, and wishing I had used the 2.8 gallon tank instead of the 4.7 gallon one ;-) .
The guy who broke the clutch perch had a spare 14 tooth countersprocket he sold me, good thing too as I would have been in **** with the 16 tooth I came with.
So we got back to the lodge, a little dinner and whiskey and met the other riders who were coming in, most of which seemed to be ex motocross racers and ex racers of other sorts.
Friday morning it was looking pretty bad for rain. I decided to go out with a slower group and watched groups 1 to 3 head out. The fast guys first, Ohio crew second, and a group of old timer racing pals third. By the time we were ready to leave several folks came back in coated with ice and snow and the third group decided not to ride at all!
I was having none of that, so I donned a rain jacket and goretex pants and gloves and rode on up the mountains by myself for a couple hours, riding around forest roads around lake Owen. The forest roads are great and are VERY plentiful up there.
I didn't know where to go to follow the lead group so I went back to the lodge after a while, and our leader was on the phone asking about everyong making it back. I was planning on driving the 4-runner around anyway so I said I'd run the trails to where they were holed up and check for stragglers, so off I went.
I ran across these guys who ran down the road a ways and then shot up the mountainside, stopping to give me a dirty look. I had seen many out on my snow ride, elk deer and antelope but they ran away from my loud bike like the wind.
So I got to the wyco lodge with no drama, and decided to follow the lead pack back home.
They had holed up at the wyco lodge, it was closed but the lady there opened up for them, I think she would have got a couple of kisses had she let em.We promised to bring the group by for lunch and gas ($2.70/gallon) the next day.
So I follow em back up over the mountains in the snow, snapping shots through the windshield..
So we all holed up at the lodge, pulled out the bottles and sat around swappin stories for the evening, hoping for better weather the next day.
And we got it, clear skies with not a cloud around.
We headed out south to go see the giant sand dunes down in Colorado, and the trails were just awesome!! A little snow in places, a little mud in places, a few trees down, just what a dual sport ride needs. :)
So after many miles of this my face is starting to hurt from the grin, when all the sudden we opened out on this!
Those are giant sand dunes probably 1000 feet down from us, that drop off I'm looking down from has tight long very rocky switchbacks and descents all the way down. It was one of the most cool things I've ever ridden on.
I was riding back with the sweeper, so I stopped about every third or fourth switchback to let the group get ahead as some of the riders were not liking this 1000ft descent at all, I would scream up to them, let em get a few runs ahead, catch up etc. etc. so I could go faster and maximize the grin factor.
When we hit bottom we we had to cross a stream and the other side was sand sand sand and more sand....
Here you can see the creek, and a casualty riding up the steep sand hill on the dune side to get up to the dune park.
Mike showing off the traction of his teraflex, what a tire..
Teraflex tire roosting
I took a few loops around and finally ended up highsiding in a turn and doing a couple tumbles off the bike, I kinda rolled to my feet though and came up laughing so hard I lost my breath and took a while to get it back up there. I was done with the sand though.
So we headed back by going back up that 1000 foot descent, a whole group wasn't into it and took an alternate road back to the wyco lodge for lunch, the climb was totaly awesome as was the trail back.
A shot after the climb out..
A little break on the trail back..
An old mine we stopped to poke around at..
So we stopped for lunch at wycolo, and the group that did the climb back up decided to go do some harsh jeep trails, we didn't get much pictures of it. We had one flat tire that was changed in 10 minutes, a broken shift lever on an RXC400 that fell.
We passed a stuck jeep cherokee in a creek bed and an equally stuck looking dually 4x4 trying to pull him out, they may still be there today. :)
The 400 RXC got some pants rolled up in the brake disk...
But they belonged to the guy that roosted his headlight out so it was all good. We lost 4 headlights to rocks I think (I know better that to get that close in rocky terrain).
We went through a giant bog created by the jeeps and 4x4's trying to go around the mud and making a 100ft wide mess.
I stopped at the same place I took the pics of my bike in the snow the day before for a contrast.
We arrived back at the lodge and had a big BBQ planned. We ate, We drank, we swapped more lies and generally had a good time retelling the days tales of the many snow banks, hills, holes, logs etc. One of the guys apparently made a promise to the barmaid he didn't keep and experienced the consequences...
In the morning I packed up and left as several guys were still going out riding. I went up through Centennial and over Libby flats, it was cold and snowy up there but very sweet roads if the snow was melted. Saw a few hardy BMW and HD types riding through up up there.
Beautiful creeks full of snow melt.
I wanted my FZ-1 about this time, no cars just open twisties... I think this is just over into Colorado, but it could still be Wyoming.
Last but not least, on the way back I discovered this volcano, complete with state park status and hiking trail to summit, just west of the panhandle in N.M., I had never heard of anything like it. Pretty pictures though. :)
I'm really looking forward to the colorado trip.
06-14-2005, 02:36 PM
Wow John, what a great trip! Sounds like it was truly the adventure you set out for. And I think this is the first time I've seen a ride report from you.... must be the desire to share all those grins! :mrgreen:
06-14-2005, 02:40 PM
GREAT report!! I'm jealous, like a little kid without candy :evil:
Colorado is going to ROCK!! :dude: IS IT TIME TO GO YET?? :headbang:
06-14-2005, 02:53 PM
Good story and photos. The bike looks good with the black tank. Can you still see the fuel level with that color?
06-14-2005, 04:02 PM
Squeaky, I've done a ride report before, I just usually leave it to others if there's a bunch of board members along.
The black tank, it was obscenely costly from KTM and you can't see the fuel level, it wouldn't be so bad if it didn't require a $70 locking gas cap.
I've got all the rest of the plastics in black and they will probably be on it for Colorado, but the motard front fender is no good for offroad when it's wet, at a range of speed from about 45 to 55 the mud gets slung up in front and back on me and everything else on the bike. :oops:
I was also giving the arapaho forest a good look on the way home, from the looks of it I could spend a good week poking around that place too.
06-24-2005, 03:45 PM
I was just thinking Squeaky, how could ya forget my very first real trip report? I bet the guys haven't. :)
and ya know that's the bike tha's for sale now too.. :tears:
06-25-2005, 08:44 AM
Sorry guys, I'm going to Wyoming instead of AZ next summer... :-P
06-25-2005, 11:57 AM
:rofl , that was from my first real trip report, taken in Harrisburg, PA. on my harley, with Doc along on the triumph he just bought up by Niagra Falls and we took the scenic east coast tour back to Texas.
I kept a running log on our internet game's community forum, so we had parties like these at almost every days stop. Not conducive to getting up early and making good miles though. :)
It was fun, but after 3-4 500 miles days and partying till the bars close every night I dunno if I want to try that again, getting too old I guess.
Got a guy looking at the harley later today, I'll miss it if it sells.
06-25-2005, 07:46 PM
...Last but not least, on the way back I discovered this volcano, complete with state park status and hiking trail to summit, just west of the panhandle in N.M., I had never heard of anything like it. Pretty pictures though. :)
That's Capulin Mountain on Hwy 64 about 1 hr west of the Texas state line. Wonderful view from the trail around the rim of the caldera. One of my favorite places in NM. 8-)
Looks like you had a fun time up there. That snow looks so... refreshing this time of year. ;-)
06-25-2005, 08:43 PM
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