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Old 01-30-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!


Hi everyone!
This is a trip I did with my youngest daughter last September. This is my first RR so bear with me!
Every Fall I take off for a few days, usually by myself, but this time I brought Rachael with me.
We left on a Thursday afternoon after I got off work. I already had Jamie, my Bandit loaded, so all I had to do was grab Rachael and head down the highway.



The plan was to ride a short 160 miles to the Lewis and Clark Caverns and camp there for the night.
First gas stop in Drummond.

(Cue the theme music for The Beverly Hillbillies!)







Oh yeah- Rachael took almost all of the pictures!


Tobacco Root Mountains










We made camp with enough daylight left to pitch the tent easily. Rachael got her first shot at setting up a tent by herself!






In addition to many RV and tent sites at the Lewis and Clark Caverns, there are also a few small cabins and even a couple teepees to rent.



Beautiful full moon this night.



The next morning we crawled out of the tent, and ate a randomly random breakfast of oatmeal and cocoa and breakfast bars and coffee (who says I’m not a good dad?!) while packing Jamie.


It had been a beautiful, clear night, so therefore a very chilly morning.


Rach trying to get her balaclava figgered out!
We headed East a few miles then headed South on Hwy 287 which would skirt the Gravelly Range on our way to Yellowstone.








The Gravelly Range to our West.
















We stopped in Ennis and Rachael got to experience her first energy drink!













The temp gradually warmed up nicely. It was a sweet ride, just cruising along on a Friday morning, smooth asphalt, no traffic.

To be continued
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:56 PM   #2
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Day 2 continued-

We got to Yellowstone around 11 am. The ride was only 120 miles, but was only 40 deg all morning, lots of cloud cover wouldn't let the sun through. We were chilled to the bone. We got our maps at the entry booth then pulled off to the side to pick a campground. As we were quite cold still we headed to the nearest campground, which was Madison.


We got into the campground, set things up, and went exploring!

Yellowstone River




The Fall colors were ROCKIN’!
















My favorite pic Rachael took









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Old 01-30-2011, 10:32 PM   #3
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

FANTASTIC! Thanks for taking us along.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:02 PM   #4
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Beautiful. Looks like you're having a good time even with the cold. Last time I was in Yellowstone it snowed and they wouldn't let us leave the campground. That was in June, in the early '90s.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:31 PM   #5
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

I bet she remembers this trip for a longggg time! I look forward to my kids being old enough to do some trips with me.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:01 AM   #6
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Thanks for sharing the trip. You'll both remember this one for a long time. Any stories/pics from day 3??
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:01 AM   #7
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Great report, and great trip for a father and daughter. Beautiful country, too!

We were able to take our kids to Yellowstone back in the '90s. What was fun was when a buffalo tried to stick its head into the side door of our rental minivan.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:27 AM   #8
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

A tent, sleeping bags, ground mats, and two-up with luggage on a Bandit? I'm impressed I took my son to Wisconsin for the Oshkosh Fly-In when he was about your daughter's age. I towed a small cargo trailer behind a Concours for our stuff.

Great ride report, thanks for posting it. Montana is a beautiful state, I rode thru in 1998 for the BMW MOA Rally in Missoula. Need to make another trip out.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampFox View Post
Thanks for sharing the trip. You'll both remember this one for a long time. Any stories/pics from day 3??
Oh yeah!

I'll finish day 2 and start day 3 when I get home this evening

Thanks to all for your kind replies. Got another 6 inches of snow yesterday and it's making me CRAZY I can't get my bikes out of the garage!
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:57 PM   #10
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Day 2 continued-

Right here we had our first of three 'Moments' of the trip...


They were repaving the road between Madison and Norris, only one direction getting through at a time, 30 minute delays. We rode up to a line of 6 or 7 vehicles, shut off the bike and got off to stretch. Soon cars and trucks were stacked up behind us as far as we could see.
Most of the vehicles had shut their engines off as it was apparent we would be sitting for a while. In the ensuing quiet, Rachael and I could hear cow elk and their calves talking back and forth, little high-pitched squeals and mewling sounds. There were several elk below us in the trees along the river but we never saw them. What was really remarkable about this is as we were enjoying the animals below us, we looked at the cars ahead and behind us, and they all had their windows rolled up! Beautiful sunny Fall day, not chilly at all, and all these people had imprisoned themselves in their cages.
No matter how much Rachael and I pointed out sounds to each other, no matter how much we strained to see the elk below, not one person got out of their vehicle to join us.
It was truly a private special moment for us.



We finally got going and continued on to Yellowstone Lake. The lake is 7,732 feet (2,376 m) above sea level and covers 136 square miles with 110 miles of shoreline. While the average depth of the lake is only 139 feet, its deepest spot is at least 390 feet. Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America.
In winter, ice nearly 3 feet thick covers much of the lake, except where shallow water covers hot springs. The lake freezes over by early December and can remain frozen until late May or early June.









I don't remember where, but I read about a motorcycle traveler who had been around the world several times, and at each significant lake, ocean, desert, etc. he collected a small bottle of sand or dirt as a keepsake. I was enthralled when I read this and I have begun doing the same. My collection of filled bottles is quite modest, but I plan on it being rather extensive
Here I am looking for sand at Yellowstone lake.





It was getting near dusk as we left the lake so we scooted for camp which was 30 miles or so away.










[url=http://danceswithcages.smugmug.com/Other/Yellowstone2/13967181_fDPLj#1026697630_nPZGJ-A-LB]
So we got back to camp and had a wonderful dinner of poptarts, ramen noodles, stovetop, and some kind of rice/pasta thing, with hot cocoa for Rachael and coffee for me. Who says you can't eat well camping!!

Rachael is very good at making campfires using two rocks and a potato chip! I was a BSA Scoutmaster for a while a couple of lifetimes ago.



We crawled in to the tent and spent the night freezing our butts off. It got down to 27 deg, and even though our bags were rated to 20 deg, and we were wearing all the clothing we brought PLUS a light blanket I packed we were still cold. I like to set up the next morning's coffee and cocoa fixins' the night before so all we have to do is crawl out of bed and stagger to the JetBoil, which is exactly what we did the next morning. There was a nice coating of frost on our gear and the bike, but I was too lazy I mean COLD to get a photo...

Day3-

The plan for Saturday had been to ride over Bear Tooth Pass but we just couldn't get our butts in gear, so we rode into West Yellowstone and raided a not-very-good restaurant attached to some random hotel.

We changed our plan of attack to head down to Grand Teton National Park, about 60 miles south.
And we did!






















I don’t want to start any controversy here, but the Yellowstone elk herds have been decimated, mainly by the wolves that were introduced several years ago. The herd once numbered over 30,000 animals, now they’re down to 3500 +-.
You used to be able to go through Yellowstone and see elk all over everywhere, now it’s quite rare.






Lots more to come!
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:38 PM   #11
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Day 3 continued-



We went thru the visitor's center, looked at all the displays and maps and schtuff for sale, then we found a beautiful lakeside picnic area and had lunch. Grand Teton Peak itself is 13,777 feet above sea level while there are an additional 8 peaks over 12,000 feet.








The row of several peaks in a row across Jackson Lake just amazes me!





We wrapped up lunch and reluctantly left the Tetons and headed back to Yellowstone.

























































Rachael striking a pose!



More to come!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:35 PM   #12
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Still Saturday

We rolled back into Yellowstone, and I figured as it was our last night there we should have a better dinner than canned whatever so we headed to Old Faithful and raided the burger shop there.

No pics, too busy eating










Got into camp well after dark, made a fire, hung out a bit then crashed.





SundaySundaySunday!

We woke fairly early Sunday morning, having slept well as it hadn't been as cold. We had an alarmingly unusual breakfast consisting of Stove Top, noodles, PopTarts, coffee and cocoa. A repeat of Friday morning's culinary feast
Even Mr. Happy needs his morning cocoa!



After breakfast we broke down camp and packed everything on the Bandit. A older couple had set up camp next to us during the night and watched with bemused fascination as I somehow got everything repacked, even almost correctly
We piled on the poor bike and paddled our way around the corner and out to the main road. We exited Yellowstone via the West entrance and aimed for highway 20. We followed 20 and entered Idaho as we crossed the Continental Divide for like the 89th time on this trip. We were in some seriously beautiful country!


Henry’s Lake Idaho

It was while bombing along the above lake I had my second 'Moment'. We had been fairly cold for the entire trip. When it DID warm up it was only for a couple hours then it got chilly again. We were riding along this lake and the sun suddenly came out. This was some of the prettiest country I have ever seen, we were totally alone on the highway, the sun made us toasty, I was on a way cool trip with my daughter, one of my favorite songs came on my XM (Sunshower by Chris Cornell), and it all hit at once. I knew- I KNEW- that right here, right now, this was the absolute exact place that I needed to be at this time of my life. No, this wasn't the epiphany that told me that I would only be truly happy around motorcycles. I had that one when I was 15. This just told me that I am doing what is perfectly right for me right now.
I had to slow the bike down a little as the tears were streaming across my cheeks and into my ears. I just basked in the glow of this emotional high, my heart filled with love for all of my children and for my place in life. I turned off my XM as the song ended and I enjoyed listening to my baby singing her heart out to Flyleaf.

After a few more miles we entered Montana again and joined up to Northbound Hwy 287 and continued on to Ennis, turning West on 287 to Virginia City.

Virginia City is a National Historic Landmark, an original gold-rush town that still survives. Nearly 300 buildings with over half built before 1900.






We pulled most of our cold-weather layers off and spent some time wandering around. There was an ice cream shop, which was closed, but it had the coolest thing I've ever seen--A GAS ENGINED ICE CREAM MAKER!!!





We then found a cool little candy store













Got back on the road and headed to Dillon





I don't have pics for this, but in Dillon was Moment number 3. We rolled up to a favorite restaurant of ours called 'Grandma's' for lunch. As we were getting off the bike and removing our gear, I noticed a very elderly gentleman observing us from the sidewalk near the front door. I smiled as I approached and he had a big grin on his face. As I neared he said "Beautiful bike!" I thanked him sincerely and stood near to hear him clearly as he spoke softly. Jamie (my Bandit) though heard his compliment and turned even darker red
We chatted for a minute and he told me he bought his first bike, a Harley-Davidson, brand-new for $410.00. I said "that must have been some time ago." He said "1938"...Holy crap! I didn't know what to say so I waited for him to continue. He said he sold it before he went to the war, and has regretted never getting another one. I figured he's around 90 years old. You should have seen his eyes sparkle as he talked about his bike! His face turned thoughtful as he drifted back in time, and I think he momentarily lost about 60 years remembering his youth. We chatted a few minutes more then went our separate ways. The twinkle in his eyes and soft excitement in his voice will remain with us forever.

After lunch we fueled up and headed toward Jackson and Wisdom. Antelope all over everywhere. We had been battling a severe cross-wind since we left Dillon that had me almost dragging my left knee to stay upright. We turned West at Wisdom and stopped at the Big Hole Battlefield. We were tired and hot and wanted to take a break.

http://www.nps.gov/biho/index.htm



From the website:
On August 9, 1877 gun shots shattered a chilly dawn on a sleeping camp of Nez Perce. By the time the smoke cleared on August 10, almost 90 Nez Perce were dead along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. Big Hole National Battlefield was created to honor all who were there. The Nez Perce were ambushed by American soldiers as they slept in their teepees.

There is a private collection on beautiful Native clothing and jewelery on display











And then there’s Rachael…

We left the visitor's center emotionally drained. We were physically pooped too. As I backed Jamie out of the parking slot, I heard Rachael say 'Dad...' I looked where she was pointing and laying on the ground was a long bolt and big washer. Rachael asked if they fell off the bike and as she picked them up I realized where they belonged. I unpacked and got my tools out and half-assed it back together


We crossed Chief Joseph Pass (7264 feet) and and Lost Trail Pass (7014 feet)
and blasted up 93 to Missoula.



We rolled into the driveway with exactly 1000 miles on the trip odo.
Best fuel mileage was 63 mpg, bombing around Yellowstone. Worst was 54 mpg fighting the winds from Dillon to home.



Sunshower
When you're all in pain
And you feel the rain come down
Oh it's all right
When you find your way
Then you see it disappear
Oh it's all right
Though your garden's grey
I know all your graces
Someday will flower
Oh in the sweet sunshower
Oh in the sweet sunshower
In the sweet sunshower

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Old 01-31-2011, 10:17 PM   #13
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Awesome!!! A suggestion. Make her a photo album of 4 or 5 of the best pictures blown up to 8X10. She can take it to school and make all her classmates jealous.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:52 AM   #14
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

great report!


snagged some pictures, too.

loved the shadow one that was your favorite.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:31 AM   #15
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

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great report!


snagged some pictures, too.

loved the shadow one that was your favorite.

Thank you again for the 'Dads and Daughters' video you made
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:23 AM   #16
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Great story, thanks for posting it. Reminds me of a few trips with my daughter. You created some wonderful memories...
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:25 AM   #17
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Awesome report, thanks for posting! One of these days I'll go to that part of the country, it's beautiful!
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #18
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

AWESOME REPORT!!!! I'm mad at you for making me tear up though. My daughter is only 2 months old, but I CAN'T WAIT to take her on trips like this.

Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:04 PM   #19
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Awesome! Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:06 PM   #20
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Re: A Yellowstone weekend with my daughter!

Oh this was GREAT!!!! The Tetons and Yellowstone are my favorite part of the country. Thanks for taking me back there! Loved the "moments" you shared. There are always at least several on a trip that remind you how wonderful life really is.

The pictures were just fabulous! Thanks for sharing. I really needed this today!
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