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A ride about the Central US La to Ia to Mt.

Joined
Feb 13, 2008
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4,626
Location
Jennings,La.
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Andy
Last Name
Chesley
I did this ride leaving the 15th of July and getting back home the 27th. Covered 5540 miles and had a scenery overload a few times along the way. The pictures were all taken with a Canon G12 on Auto. Many were taken while rolling with the left hand and a true point and shoot fashion. ;-) Also learned on this trip to check my lens for bugs more often as I found a little bug smear from the 1st day and a major one down the road. The risk of taking photos on the fly.
The ride is an 07 Suzuki Bandit 1250S with Givi Luggage and the rest stock for the most part. Corbin seat, 2" up and back risers on the bars, speedohealer to keep the speedo much more correct. A Yosh can due to dropping a piece of iron on the stock one and messing it up pretty good. Started this trip off with 56835 on the stock ometer ( really to correct it you need to add about an average of 7% due to settings on the Healer ) Fresh tires, chain , sprockets, oil and filter and get down the road.


Finally got away from the home front about 06:20 , filling up Suzy North of Jennings, La. Then heading out into a misty , cloudy morning North bound on LA 26 to Elton, La
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and US 190 East bound to Livonia, La.

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US 190 was a bit misty in places and traffic was still thin though the cities of Eunice and Opelousas , La. At Livonia we went North on LA 78 , joining LA 1 at one of the Oxbow Lakes formed when the Mississippi change courses during it's life.
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Followed LA One up though New Roads, La. And joining the new LA 10 with it's new bridge over the Mississippi River. Lot of smoke on the horizon from burning a cane field I guess as I never really got a good look at it.
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Then crossing the new bridge.

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And trying for that elusive , straight up shot while riding across at about 45 mph.

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US 61 into Saint Francisville, La. There, I decided to go through town to the old Ferry Road ( Former LA 10 ) and see what was to see.

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Here you can see the other side of the river where the LA 10 / Mississippi River Ferry docked in it's day. Also had an extra treat as a Push Boat came by with a load of barges, headed up river.
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A closer shot of the Push Boat.
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And Suzy the Bandit just looking on at that whole process.

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Then a couple of signs proclaiming the history of this area
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And a statue from the Civil War Era.
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After leaving St. Francisville, La we continued to follow US 61 which would be the main road for us for awhile. Crossing into Mississippi

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Also know at the Blues Highway. Most all of the early birth of the songs classified as old Blues came from places following this highway.
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More later.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
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Jennings,La.
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Andy
Last Name
Chesley
At this time in the trip, still on the first day, we're in the Natches , Ms area and into a Natches Indian area. It was pretty neat to walk all about the place reading the signs. Too bad , it was still Sunday and the Museum was not open. First thing you see is a dug out the Indians built back then. Simple looking but thinking a lot of work with the available tools back then.
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Different signs explaining the location of the village and life there.
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There was even a bit about the Conflict with the French back in the day.
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I didn't walk down to see the creek, but in this next picture , you can see the invasion of the dreaded vines in Mississippi.
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Could not see much of this abandon mound as the forest had reclaimed the area.
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A little display of the kind of huts the Indians built in this area. Neat construction.
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Not quite sure what the other objects were used for. Maybe a covered cook fire and a platform to burn their dead ? I have not really researched this yet.
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Entered the Natches Parkway for a bit leaving the Natches area. I've been on this road a number of times. Lots is a ribbon though the trees. Always on the watch for animals as I think they average a deer kill a day on this road.

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And I've heard you can get stopped for just 5 mph over. Never saw any law enforcement for the several miles I was on this road.
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I finally left the Trace at MS 552 making a loop towards the Ms River. Love stumbling on different things on these roads less traveled. I came upon this little church which was pretty neat.

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You can see the repair done to it after a tornado ripped the old steeple off and probably the roof with it.

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And, the front door was open so I did a quick pic of the inside.

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Then a little info on Port Gibson which was near by.

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On up the road, I came upon a sign for Winsdor Ruins. I've read about the place in other ride reports so ventured over for a look see.
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Unbelievable scroll work on these colums.
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The inside area was roped off and signs saying how unstable the structures were. Not had to believe at all.

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Leaving here, I rejoined US 61 , went though Vicksburg and up 61 to MS 1 , which followed the river closer. Getting under a half tank of gas left, I turned off on MS 436 Eastbound to get back to US 61 where the chance of finding gas was better. Just not a lot of stations or stores very close to the river. Finally found gas and headed into a major thunder storm. Really no place to pull over so just run through the hard rain and winds and lightning. Finally getting out of it a bit at the Junction of US 61 and US 82. Headed West on 82 to Greenville, MS and called it a night.

Upon unloading the bike, I found my 300 buck plus Activia Radar Detector which WAS suppose to be waterproof , to have lots of moisture on the screen but still working. So , I used the room hair dryer on it and relieved it of most of it's fluid content or so I thought. In the morning it was foggy again but not as much , plus, when I plugged it in to the bike, it didn't come on. Sigh! I don't really travel above the speed limit much more than about 5 mph plus , but, ,don't like surprises when you're looking around and not paying attention for law people.

This day , Monday , July 15th was fairly lack luster, Just following the Mississippi on North on MS 1.
Was crossing cotton fields just starting to bloom.

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This was the main theme for the day, Cotton fields, Cane fields and just choosing odd roads staying as close to the river as could. But, not really seeing the river due to levees and trees for the most part.
Then up near Tiptonville, MS, I started getting a bit sleepy , being right after noon and nothing really exciting as per scenery or roads. So, came upon this little park right next to the river. Took a good break

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And was treated to watch another work boat pushing a load of barges up river.

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So , after about an hour of laying out on a park bench and walking about , we continue up the roads to the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Crossing the Ohio River to continue up the Mississippi got a quick pic of a cotton field not looking very good.
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Then finally heading for Cape Girgadeau, MO , crossing over the Mississippi , for the night.
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Joined
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Andy
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Chesley
Day 3

Up and rolling at sunrise the next day. Back across the river into Illinois and up. Found some more Lewis /Clark stuff as they visited this area on their quest.
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Then I saw these guys hanging about

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Stayed on the Old River Road as much as could, passing though many corn fields

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And not really seeing the river except on the GPS screen. ;-( . Also passing small farms and this one with Soy Beans.

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Now , you are starting to see the results of photo on the fly and not checking your camera lens often. Like not at all during this whole day.
Took a little detour to check out the sight of an old fort and a mansion in the area.

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The section to the right in this next photo was full of plants. Not sure if it was considered a green house or ????

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This cool little rock building had water running out of it though that little hole on the left side. The water was pretty cold so must be from a spring and figure they used it as food storage.

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Next in the area was Fort Kaskaskia , where Lewis and Clark gather the recruits for the journey to come.

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And what they think the fort looked like

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And now , nothing but old mounds and brush overgrown so that you can't even see the river. I had taken a few pics of the mounds but sun angle and bug smear render them junk. ;-(
Then it was backtrack to ILL 3 and cutting off back towards the river on the Great River Road. Ran into interesting formation up the road.

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Mining going on into this shelf and very cool air coming out of these shafts blow plum across the road. I stayed in one draft for about 10 mins, takling a break and cooling off.

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As you see here, the shelf on one side of the road and flat land on the other just off the Mississippi R.

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Going up the road, passing though St. Louis, Ill. See the Arch across the river.

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And stop at a little Lewis/Clark museum North of St Louis. Pretty interesting stuff on their gear and the boats they built for the trip.

The tools they used in carpenter work

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A cut away of the Captains quarters with under neat storage

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This cut away showing storage and deck with planks for rowing seats.

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A head on shot with sail afloat.

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Had this little fort on the grounds and was starting to do a tour of it but due to the heat, and having see other forts, I declined.

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On up the road, If I remember right, this is the junction of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. I follow along the Illinois for a while then cut across at the next bridge back to the Mississippi.

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And , at some point, passed this neat little jet at a little airport.

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The rest of the day was pretty non eventful, continuing follow the Mississippi
To Fort Madison, Iowa and stopping for the night. The next day was all about getting to Cedar Falls, Iowa and visiting a few cousins for a few hours then on my way North. A bit of showers here and there and pretty major towards the end of the day keeping the camera in the tank back in a sandwich bag.. Also, the rains, having me change directions several times and ending up in Stewartville, Mn for the night. But, this time, I put the radar dectorer in my tank bag when hitting the hard rains. I had forgot to mention that after a full day in the sun, it dried out and started working again. And, still is. But, now we know it's now Water Proof. ;-)

More later.
 

Duke

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:popcorn:

Excellent so for. I really like that you are capturing some of the history to share with us. Thank you for stopping to take a lot of it in. To often I find even myself just blowing through to get to my destination.
 
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:popcorn:

Excellent so for. I really like that you are capturing some of the history to share with us. Thank you for stopping to take a lot of it in. To often I find even myself just blowing through to get to my destination.
I did that for many years. Now, I try to just stay on back roads unless homeward bound. Take more time to explore places and little towns. I still find I rush it a bit coming home. But, I've been across Eastern Co, N.M. and Texas so much, hard to get excited in the summer heat. ;-)
 
Joined
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Spent the night in Stewartville, Mn. My notes say “ WOW what weather to get here. “ Motel and Dry off. Ordered Pizza delivered. One of the things about running the back roads with very small towns involved is that when you do get hit by weather, no where to run to. Any how, got dried off from yesterday and packed up and on the road for 06;00. MN 63 then MN 30 then US 213 through the country are my roads of choice. Lots of fog at first but starting to thin out by 07: 13 in Owatonia, Mn where I gassed up and got a bit to eat. First time I ever saw a gas pump with 85% Ethanol .
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At this time , I was really not happy with the gloves I'd been wearing. Forget the brand but had picked up in a motorcycle dealership near home. So, I started asking people where a place might be that I could get a pair of leather work gloves. One guy tells me to go down this street then that street to a little hardware store and they might have some. Well,. I never saw the store but did stumble on this display hid away off the main road. Just love stuff like this and wish these little towns would have signs leading a person to them.

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This being the courthouse where all this was located. I never put in my notes which town this was in. Either Dawson or Clinton , Mn.

Ran along this field of Sunflowers. A first for me.
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Then , Sunflowers on one side and corn on the other taking place in Northern Minnesota.

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Long straight roads ruled the rest of Mn. Can you imagine all the things that run though your head, alone, no music inside the helmet, in fact , earplugs in so it's the sounds of silence , and, alone with your thoughts. Remember once, at a BMW rally many years back where this Doc said : “ You have to really be at peace with yourself to ride in total seclusion. With no input except your eyes and sense of feel.

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Finally cross into South Dakota for a bit. Best thing was getting out of Mn 55 mph speed limit into the Dakotas 65 mph . Oh how I love the west.

Just a quick jaunt across the Northeast coner of South Dakota

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Actually these next series of pictures are a bit about South and North Dakota. The backroad I entered S.D. On didn't even have a sign. So , got all this at the SD / ND border.

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Just loved the colors on this trailer which looked to be abandon.

Then into North Dakota, a state I had never rolled two wheels into. One more Bucket list done. ;-)

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Settling down and West bound on ND 11. More straight line roads. With water holes to watch for any animals that may be about.

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With little old time small houses. Wishing their walls could tell their stories.

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And, the large ones that probably had later stories to tell. And, still collecting memories.

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Was a great day for riding, even with the 94°F temps at Oakes, ND where I finally found some goat skin gloves in XL that were a perfect fit and , became my gloves of choice for the remainder of the trip. I did have a bit heavier gloves for the colder temps of the coming mountains which were put to use in the early morning mostly.
Finally calling it a day at Valley Place, ND. With a 480 mile day. '0)

More Later.
 
Joined
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Great pics. Evidently a fun ride. Thanks for sharing.

I'm curious about the Activa radar detector. A quick Google search didn't lead me to a company web site. Can any of y'all post one? TIA
 
Joined
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Chesley
http://www.advdesigns.com/adrade.html

Sorry, I had it misspelled in the article. My best love of the unit is being able to place the 3 led light where it flashes to your vision. I mounted mine just over the speedo/tach on my Bandit on velcro. At night, I turn it a bit so it's not blinding me. It's that bright.
 
Joined
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20 July 2012, Valley Place, ND. Up early but major storm to the West so hung out waiting on it to clear a little. Finally looked like it was moving North so took off on West I 94 and hoped I could clear it fast.


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Too bad I wasn't headed East.

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But headed this way and the skies starting too clear a little.

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Was in Steele, ND for 08:41 and temperature was already into the 80's. Went ahead and gassed up as had been running at 70 to 80 with pretty hard side winds , But, skies starting to really look good.

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With the sun starting to make it's presence felt.

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Finally getting into some hilly stuff after a few hours on the road.

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Ranch homes are really protected from the winds and I'm sure snow drifts in the winter.

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Finally connected back up with the Missouri River at Bismark, ND and started following it again. Hit a dead end and had to turn about and catch ND 25 and follow it to Fort Clark. Decide to go check it out and did't find too much.

This sign
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And some people digging about looking for history.

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Started seeking a lot of the Power Plants in this part of the state. Seems like one ever 10 or so miles for awhile.

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Stopped at an Indian Village site, or what use to be one. They sure did a lot of digging back then.

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Really thought this little bar had it down pat.

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Then the Missouri flowing away from the dam.

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And a very large reservoir . Lake Sakakawea.

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Came upon this field of beautiful blue flowers. Looked like it was planted.

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Then a yellow one.

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Head North on ND 82 to Minot then 9 for a bit then West US 2. Started getting into oil field stuff as they are having a boom out here. I really didn't know about it till I arrived or would of detoured for sure.

But , saw a new type of Pump in operation, which I found out it's run by compressed air after getting home and inquiring about them.

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After that, it was Hello Montana.

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Not long after crossing into Montana, still on US 2, I was in the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Figured I'd run though and get away from the oil stuff and figured prices.
But, Long construction wait , about 10 mins and no movement, then a sign advising motorcycles to find another way. I turn around and back tracked about 15 miles on US 2 then about 30 or so miles to Sidney,Mt.
Very busy city for a Friday Night. But found out that I was lucky it was the weekend or no motel rooms would have been available. Stopped at a couple before fining one that was down to about 100 bucks for the night. Oil boom had caught me anyway. LOL. The new Holiday Express wanted 150 before taxes and stuff. Any how, settle in and went out to eat and then back to the motel and called it a night.


Next day coming. Headed to Glacier.
 
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21 July 2012

Up in the morning early, so went though pictures till breakfast time. When I was walking though the parking lot, Lo and behold, A Honda Valadero in full dress. First one I ever saw in person. This guy, never saw him, had it really decked out.
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Then it was West on MT 200 to join MT13 to get back on US 2 after all the construction. Nice morning ride with cattle to keep me company.

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And, again, Long Straight Roads.

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Gassed up in Wold Point after getting back on US 2 Westbound. Just missing light showers.

Started seeing some weird animals on the hills on the side of the road.

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Then a long stretch of highway and big blue skies.

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Hard to imagine this place covered with ice the the mammals that once ruled out here.

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And the always precious water.

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This brings up to striking distance from Glacier Park so I can get there pretty early in the morning. So, Cut Bank, Montana was the motel stop for the night. Did the regular post day check of da Bandit and found out that I had lost my bike cover down the road. Sigh. I'd been having that cover for at least 10 years. Oh well, I'll just have to get another before my next trip. I like to cover my bike at night. Out of sight, out of mind. Course, I don't think a Suzuki Bandit 1250S is high on the thief list.
 
R

Red Brown

Great report.

I enjoyed especially the historical placards describing the scenery. I did a double take when I saw the images of the ornate Corinthian-like columns in Mississippi...I thought you were near Rome for a while.

:-P

RB
 
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Great report.

I enjoyed especially the historical placards describing the scenery. I did a double take when I saw the images of the ornate Corinthian-like columns in Mississippi...I thought you were near Rome for a while.

:-P

RB
Fred et al,

Windsor was one of many mansions built in the early 1800s by cotton growers and brokers. It is near the practically dead town of Rodney which was on a since abandoned Mississippi River channel. If you appreciate such architecture you owe it to yourself to visit Natchez.
 
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You can spend a few days roaming about Natchez. The old graveyard to the North is a hoot to go though. I do day trips up there a few times a year.
 
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Leaving out of Cut Bank at about 7ish headed to Glacier. Mountains start coming into the picture
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And, the road if fixing to get fun ;-)
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And where I'm at for this picture ;
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I went to Waterton on my first trip to Glacier in '97 on my '95 R11GS BMW. One day , hope to cross over and go to the Ice Fields Parkway.


See Bandit smiling ?

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Following we let the pictures do the talking. No pictures can do these places justtice. Just gotta see them with yur own eyeballs.

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This was water leaking down and forming ice in the ditch.

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This water seeping down on road construction really made for a nasty Bandit. Sigh!

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At a gas stop I was talking to an old motorcyclist about where I might be going next. Was thinking about heading to Washington State, visit a friend and keep coming down the coast into Central California. He ask me if I had ever been on Beartooth near Yellowstone or Chief Joesph. I had done Chief Joesph a few times in my travels but never Beartooth. Then he ask if I'd been down the Pacific Coast. I told him from Canada to Mexico. He said I needed to go where I having not been and save the Left Coast for next year. You just never know when your last travel day will be. So, in 5 minutes, I changed my mind on where I was going. The beauty of traveling alone and very loose plans. ;-) So, South Montana, here I come.

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Ended the day in White Sulphur Springs , MT.

More later.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Jennings,La.
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Andy
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This day is was headed South and East to connect with US 212 at Red Lodge, Mt. And, run Beartooth towards Yellowstone Park.

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A very nice day for riding and saw more bikes on the road today than probably all trip.

Came across a burned out section of forest. Must have been fair recent as no growth noticed yet.

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Bandit looking at the road ahead.

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Was delayed by a motorcycle accident on US 78. A group of crusier riders and one didn't make a corner. ;-( He was banged up and required a trip to the hospital.

Finally getting to US 212 or Beartooth Highway.

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Spectacular is all I can say. Glad I decided to come. It won't be my last time here.

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A stitch shot of 4 pics put together

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Taking a break at the Junction of Beartooth and Chief Joesph.

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I'm a happy guy at this point.

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Looking East on Chief highway.

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Bandit enjoying the day

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This very nice looking 57 chevy was at a gas stop. This thing was a cherry restoration and the engine sounded stepped on a bit. Talked to the owner and congratulated him on all the hard work. He said, “ Yes it is, Thank you “

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Saw that I was on an Overland Trail.

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And , into Wyoming

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Not many pictures after crossing into Wyoming. Just headed down to Worland to visit an old friend and stayed the night.
Heading out in the morning through Wind River Canyon and into Colorado to my next destination.

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Came upon this cattle drive , really neat watching them work the cattle with the dogs.

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I didn't get to take many pics as they went round me. Lots of the big bulls looked hard at the red Bandit. And , at the end of the drive , there were a lot of kids on horse back.

I continued on to Granby, Co where we shut is down for the night.

Next is Mt Evans.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Andy
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Left Granby, Co about 7AM with 50F temps and quickly getting down to the 40's in the foggy mountains.

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And this one looked like fires on the mountain sides.

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Then the journey to Mount Evans. The last two attempts here had ended in the summit being closed due to weather so the closest you could get was Summit Lake. One try was in May and another in September. I forget the years.

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Rock climbers doing it the hard way.

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And, the easy way.

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Looking out from the other side of Evans

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Then back down the mountain to a little park .

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Just love how these pines endure the altitude and harsh winters of these high places.

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After descending Evans , I was pretty much just heading back home. Taking pics of what interested me. But, having been over they roads dozens of times in the past 12 or so years, and taking dozens of pics of everything here already, I just took a few pics of things.

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One of the things I love about the openness of the West is watching storms develop and go away.

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Heading East on US 50. Love that road, all the way to California

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A bit of CO 26

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And then down I-25 to Colorado City for the night.

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In the morning, headed for Raton Pass and watched weather patterns on top of the mountain for a long time before getting close to them.

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The rest of the trip was cutting across New Mexico. Long straight roads. I counted passing about 2 dozen vehicles in over 100 miles. Was fixing to run into rain near Vernon, Tx so shut down for the night. Next day, up early and rolling . Gas stops along the way ; Witchita Falls, Sherman, Lone Oak, Waskon, All in Texas. Then the sign that always makes me smile when returning.

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One more gas stop at Alexandria, La and the final 100 miles to Jennings and home.

Total GPS miles for the trip was 5540 for the 12 days on the road. Average fuel mileage was about 46 or so mph. With the highest at 56 at Mt Evans and the lowest 39 running 80 into a 20 mph head wind. I really do love my Bandit. ;-)
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
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Location
Jennings,La.
First Name
Andy
Last Name
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First time I did Pike's was in '82 on an '82 XV920 RH Yamaha. It was raining at the start, then rain and sleet then sleet and snow ending in snow at the top. They almost did not let us go ( my cuz and I ) But I told him if it got bad enough we'd turn around. Last time I did Pike's was last year, Very boring after doing it in the dirt many years ago without the crowds. I had done Evan's before in a car in about 89 or 90 while visiting with our son whom was living near Denver at the time. What a hoot back then.
 
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