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Trippin’ Connies 10 – Craft Brew Cruise

Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
2,446
Location
Houston, TX
Day 10 – 6/27/2018 – Ten Sleep, WY to Cheyenne, WY – 404 Miles

Ten Sleep, WY to Cheyenne, WY – 404 Miles – MAP LINK

In the morning we walked across the street to the Conoco to get a bite to eat and some coffee. We packed up and hit the road. Most of the time I just trust my GPS, I’ve looked at the routes so many times before the trip I usually have a really good idea of where we’re going. Leaving in the morning, my GPS had me take a right on Lower Norwood Rd. I did, but about a mile into it something didn’t feel right. I told Dad I think we should have continued on US16 west. My intuition was right and we turned around, luckily not wasting a ton of time. I still have no idea why my GPS was trying to send us that way.

We took US16 into Warland, where we turned south. We didn’t get out of town before getting stuck waiting on a train to pass. We rode down through Thermopolis and through the Wind River Canyon. It’s always a good ride unless you are stuck behind a line of slow-moving cars. We stopped at our usual spot once we got to Boysen Reservoir and I had Dad do the ritual rock throw.
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TC10_Day 10_2018.06.27_14 by Kory, on Flickr


In Shoshoni we took US26 southwest and then out of Riverton we took WY135 south. This was one of those roads when you really feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere. I had us turn onto Sand Draw Road because there was a sign for an overlook, but as soon as we started down the road it was rough and it looked like it only got worse, so we turned around and passed on the overlook.
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At Sweetwater Station we turned onto US287 to head south. By this time we were starting to get low on gas and were getting terrible gas mileage due to strong winds. We limped the bikes into 3 Forks – Muddy Gap for some much needed fuel. The credit card services were down, one of the reasons I always carry some cash on a trip. While we were there we talked to a BMW GS rider who was on his way back from Alaska, heading home to Tulsa, OK.
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Continuing on from there we took US287 south to I-80. I could have made the day really easy by just taking I-80 to the hotel in Cheyenne, but that would have been too easy… and boring. Instead, I routed us for a detour on WY130, which eventually took us through the mountains in Medicine Bow National Forest. The detour was completely worth it once we got to the good part of WY130. Not only was it 20-30 degrees cooler, it was also an unexpected great road. We stopped for a little break and we shocked to see we there was still snow around.
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Not much further up the road we came upon Snowy Range and ended up stopping at Miner’s Cabin Trailhead to enjoy the view.
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TC10_Day 10_2018.06.27_39 by Kory, on Flickr


Around the corner we pulled into the Libby Flats Observation Area. The parking lot was really busy, so I just took a couple pictures and we moved on.
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When we finally came out of the mountains we entered a rolling hill area that seemed to contain a few guest ranches. There was one that had some great looking horses with a few ponies thrown in that were trotting around, and they were right by the fence. I still regret not stopping to take some pictures of them. In Laramie we stopped for gas, then got on I-80. But I only teased Dad with the interstate for a few miles because we turned off on WY210 and took that into Cheyenne instead. WY210 wasn’t amazing, but it was much nicer being off the beaten path and able to cruise into Cheyenne at a not so stressful pace. We rode into town and circled the block trying to find a place to park around The Historic Plains Hotel. This was my only concern with this hotel. We did find a spot about a block away from the hotel and we went to check in. When we came back out we noticed a spot opened up across the street from the entrance, so I went and waited there, while dad pulled his bike over, then I moved mine.

For dinner we walked through the Cheyenne Depot Plaza to get to Accomplice Beer Company. The setup was unlike any other place I’d been before. You basically get a prefilled card when you enter and you fill your own beer. Everything is tracked on the card, down to the ounce poured. This ended up being Dad’s favorite place of the trip.
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After enjoying few beers and dinner it was back to the hotel for a shower and some shut-eye.
 
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
742
Location
Clear Lake
ahh Wyoming, from an old Indian word meaning deargodthatsalotofwind! :-P
That brew pub looks really nice, I will put it on the list for my next visit up that way.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
2,446
Location
Houston, TX
Day 11 – 6/28/2018 – Cheyenne, WY to Salina, KS – 519 Miles

Cheyenne, WY to Salina, KS – 519 Miles – MAP LINK


At dinner the night before we debated on changing the route for Day 11 and just taking the quickest route to Salina, KS. After thinking about it for a while we decided to just stick with the original route. In the morning we waited around a bit to enjoy the provided breakfast at the hotel, which was pretty good.
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It felt nice and comfortable in the morning, but we knew it wouldn’t last long. After taking the wrong turn leaving the hotel (Doh!), we got moving in the right direction, I-180 to I-80 heading east. We hit a long construction zone right off the bat that slowed us down, and then another long slow construction zone as we got into Nebraska. So much for making time on the Interstate! I actually couldn’t wait to get off it at that point. At NE71 we turned south and back into Colorado, riding through the Pawnee National Grassland. In Stoneham we turned on CO14 and stopped for gas in Sterling.
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It was already getting hot, so I was dreading the rest of the day. Leaving there the road turned into US6 and we stayed on it all the way McCook. The theme of the day was construction… and heat. Here’s one of several construction stops.
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In McCook we turned south on US83 and rode down to Oberlin for gas and a break. Along with the heat, the wind started around here.
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Here’s a screenshot I sent my wife from the gas station in Oberlin to convey how my day was going.
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We stepped our way across Kansas taking US36 to US183 to KS9 to US281 to US24. While riding on KS9, a couple miles west of Gaylord, KS, we came upon the most bizarre scene either of us had ever seen. We crested a hill to find a couple of emergency vehicles ahead. We slowed down and approached the scene. I’ll spare everyone the in-depth details and just say there was an 18-wheeler on its side and there were pieces of cow scattered about. The sun was absolutely blazing and I felt bad for whoever had to clean the mess up.

We stopped for gas in Downs. It was a much-needed break. Extreme heat combined with strong winds we had to constantly fight, it just made for a torturous ride.
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Here was my updated “mood” screenshot I sent to my wife from there:
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There were no stops for the rest of the day; the goal was to get to the hotel in Salina as soon as possible. We took US24 to US89 south into Salina. After the day we had, we just wanted to get into the hotel. I had made reservations to stay at the Best Western, but when we arrived we were told that our room had a plumbing issue and that they made sure we had a room at the Comfort Inn & Suites across the street. We got into a room there and discussed dinner. The original plan was to go to Blue Skye Brewery & Eats. It was about 4 miles away, neither one of us really wanted to get back out in the heat, but we did anyway. Of course, there was construction all through town so it wasn’t easy getting there. The food and beer were ok, but it wasn’t a great experience. In the end, we should have just walked to somewhere by the hotel. At least now we know there’s no need to go back.
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We didn’t stay long, headed back to the hotel and tried to get a good night sleep.
 

jfink

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Location
Conroe, Tx
Day 7 – 6/24/2018 – Lolo, MT to Idaho Falls, ID – 358 Miles

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Excellent report!!! I enjoyed the commentary AND the photos.

It is indeed a small world. Grand Teton Brewing Company is owned by a former fellow co-worker here in Houston. The 208 Ale was formerly labeled an IPA by the previous owner. When Steve got there, he realized it wasn't really an IPA, relabled it 208 and called it an Amber. It became the best selling craft beer in Idaho (208 area code).

I'm sure you also know that Justin owns the Ten Sleep Brewery. Justin is a Texan living in Wyoming and still active on the TWTex site. When he knows, he will usually goes out of his way to make other TWTex'ns feel at home.

My buddy Chuck and I have been called beer snobs. It isn't true!. We are probably older than your Dad, and we usually travel like you planned on this trip. Set the route and the stops based on where the breweries are, then find a hotel near so that we can walk. There are some great (and not so great) craft breweries everywhere we have gone.

Chuck lives in the Heights, likely not far your dad. I live in Conroe. We have adopted a brewery up in Conroe called Copperhead. We have actually helped in startup and doing some insulation work. In exchange we get free beer (well not quite free).

It is great to see you and your Dad traveling together. Don't knock that Goldwing, it will surprise a lot of the crotch rocket set. :-)
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
742
Location
Clear Lake
Love the RR and the tips on places to visit, thanks.
I have found it useful to use UBER or similar services lately when heading out from the hotel for the evening, if it's not a walkable distance. Just because I find myself more relaxed when all I have to do is eat, drink, relax and tell someone else where to go!;-)
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
2,446
Location
Houston, TX
Excellent report!!! I enjoyed the commentary AND the photos.

It is indeed a small world. Grand Teton Brewing Company is owned by a former fellow co-worker here in Houston. The 208 Ale was formerly labeled an IPA by the previous owner. When Steve got there, he realized it wasn't really an IPA, relabled it 208 and called it an Amber. It became the best selling craft beer in Idaho (208 area code).

I'm sure you also know that Justin owns the Ten Sleep Brewery. Justin is a Texan living in Wyoming and still active on the TWTex site. When he knows, he will usually goes out of his way to make other TWTex'ns feel at home.

My buddy Chuck and I have been called beer snobs. It isn't true!. We are probably older than your Dad, and we usually travel like you planned on this trip. Set the route and the stops based on where the breweries are, then find a hotel near so that we can walk. There are some great (and not so great) craft breweries everywhere we have gone.

Chuck lives in the Heights, likely not far your dad. I live in Conroe. We have adopted a brewery up in Conroe called Copperhead. We have actually helped in startup and doing some insulation work. In exchange we get free beer (well not quite free).

It is great to see you and your Dad traveling together. Don't knock that Goldwing, it will surprise a lot of the crotch rocket set. :-)
Nice! That's interesting on the 208 Ale. I was looking at going to Grand Teton Brewing Co. when I was planning, but just couldn't make it work out with the routes.

I did know that Justin owned Ten Sleep Brewing. When my wife and I stopped in 2 years ago we met him and got to talk to him a bit. I just assumed he would be there when Dad and I visited. :doh: He wasn't... I definitely should have gave him some warning ahead of time.

I've never heard of Copperhead, but will definitely check it out. Thanks!

Love the RR and the tips on places to visit, thanks.
I have found it useful to use UBER or similar services lately when heading out from the hotel for the evening, if it's not a walkable distance. Just because I find myself more relaxed when all I have to do is eat, drink, relax and tell someone else where to go!;-)
You're right about Uber. When we were in Pocatello, I checked Uber and there was only 1 running around town. I didn't want to take a chance of getting stuck and not able to get back. I should have checked when we were in Salina, but I think my brain was already fried.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
2,446
Location
Houston, TX
Day 12 – 6/29/2018 – Salina, KS to Houston, TX – 700 Miles

Salina, KS to Houston, TX – 700 Miles – MAP LINK


As always, there’s only 1 goal for the final day, get home in one piece. Initially the only site we were going to see on the last day was the Original Carpenters Bluff Bridge on the OK/TX border. We scrapped that pretty quickly and just decided to head straight home. Looking back, I wish we would have got off the Interstate and completely avoided Dallas.

We were up super early and took off when there was a bit of light out, before the sun was up. Unfortunately the wind was still blowing hard in the morning, the only difference was the temperature, right off the bat, was a bit more bearable. We rode south on I-135 to I-35 out of Wichita and into Oklahoma. The first stop of the day was for gas in Tonkawa.
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Dad was trying to figure out how to get home using his new GPS. He had somehow made the Comfort Inn & Suites back in Salina, KS his “home.”
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The wind eased up mid-way through Oklahoma, but of course by that time the temperature had risen. The second stop of the day was for gas again in Marietta.
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Leaving there was the worst stretch of the entire trip. We crossed into Texas, and I swear Dallas now starts about 10 miles south of the border. Construction, slow-moving traffic, fender benders, cell phones, heat, humidity… it was a nightmare, and we were only in the Carrollton area. Mom called and said she was looking at the traffic through town and recommended we take I-635 around to US75 south into town instead of staying on I-35. I’ll never know if it was actually better, it was still slow that entire way until we were able to get on I-45 leaving town. Between all the chaos, Dad and I getting separated several times and not able to communicate via the headsets, and the heat, we were both in bad moods. We stopped to re-group on the south side of town in Wilmer.
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I told Dad that I had to make a mandatory stop at Buc-ee’s in Madisonville, to get some goodies for my girls. As we were approaching there, Mom called again and warned us of traffic just south of there. She came up with a route to get us from Buc-ee’s down to Huntsville in an effort to avoid the mess. After loading up at Buc-ee’s, which was an absolute zoo, we broke off the Interstate for our detour. I must say, it was a glorious 30 miles. It’s like the Interstate makes me hold my breath, and after a day of battle I could finally exhale. It was at least 10 miles before we even had to pass a car. With our batteries recharged we joined I-45 back on the south side of Huntsville and finished off the ride, splitting off, in traffic of course, where we had met 11 days prior in Spring. While Houston received heavy rains on almost a daily basis, we only had the little bit of rain leaving town on Day 1, we really lucked out in that aspect.

I made it home safely, and was greeted by my fan club. I told my wife with the reception I got, I may need to take more trips.
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Here are my totals for the trip… 12 days and 5,320 miles.
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It was a great ride overall, but the last day and a half left a sour taste in our mouths. For Dad, it was the most comfortable he’d ever been, thanks to the F6B. The only drawback of it is the front suspension on a bumpy road; it seems to translate directly to his hands. But with the heat, wind and traffic… it has us thinking we may just trailer smaller bikes somewhere next year. We shall see…

Thanks for following along.
 
Joined
May 10, 2011
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742
Location
Clear Lake
That's a great welcome home!
Thanks for sharing the trip with those of us who can't right now.

When's your next one? lol
 
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Houston, TX

Jeff S

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Austin
Is there one amazing google map showing all 10 TC's tracks gloriously overlaid?

Kory could teach a class on the art of the ride report...
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
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Location
Houston, TX
Great report! Thanks for posting.
Thanks for following along!


Is there one amazing google map showing all 10 TC's tracks gloriously overlaid?

Kory could teach a class on the art of the ride report...
I wish I could say yes, but Google doesn't allow for as many modifications to a route as would be needed, I'm barely able to make it work for some of the individual days.

And thank you! :-D
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
452
Location
FBG, TX
I really enjoy reading your annual trip reports. Thanks for taking the time to write them up. I expect it is quite a bit of work.

The most amazing thing to me is that you have a Zumo with the buttons intact. You just don’t see that anymore! :)
 

mlinkibikr

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Joined
Mar 31, 2003
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Fulshear, Tx
I'm hoping the future bullet train has freight cars we can ride our bikes on and just make the trip out of Houston go away. And don't get me started on riding through Dallas, Ft Worth not much better.

Thank you for the excellent report and I'm glad you and your Dad made it home safely and with some shared stories to tell.

Dave.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
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Far East DFW
Great stuff as always. I love what I learn from RR's about places to visit. I learned of the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari from a friends RR and we've stayed there half a dozen times now. It has become a predefined stop on our way out or back from family and motorcycle trips west. My wife loves the place with the restored neon lights and the amazing folks that run it. Make reservations, it books up early, and ask for a room with a garage. Yes, a garage! For breakfast, don't zip out of town too quickly. Breakfast at the Kix on 66 diner is a must. You will leave there with a very full and happy stomach.

Happy to say, I have a lot of new reviews in this RR on places to hit and those to avoid. Thanks again for sharing and love the photos.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
2,446
Location
Houston, TX
I really enjoy reading your annual trip reports. Thanks for taking the time to write them up. I expect it is quite a bit of work.

The most amazing thing to me is that you have a Zumo with the buttons intact. You just don’t see that anymore! :)
As you thought, it takes me a ton of time. Most of the time is spent on the pictures though. :headbang:

The Zumo has been around for 60k + miles and still kicking... and at times, driving me crazy. It hasn't been updated for a while.

I'm hoping the future bullet train has freight cars we can ride our bikes on and just make the trip out of Houston go away. And don't get me started on riding through Dallas, Ft Worth not much better.

Thank you for the excellent report and I'm glad you and your Dad made it home safely and with some shared stories to tell.

Dave.
Thanks for reading. Yes, that would be an excellent way to get out of here!


Great stuff as always. I love what I learn from RR's about places to visit. I learned of the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari from a friends RR and we've stayed there half a dozen times now. It has become a predefined stop on our way out or back from family and motorcycle trips west. My wife loves the place with the restored neon lights and the amazing folks that run it. Make reservations, it books up early, and ask for a room with a garage. Yes, a garage! For breakfast, don't zip out of town too quickly. Breakfast at the Kix on 66 diner is a must. You will leave there with a very full and happy stomach.

Happy to say, I have a lot of new reviews in this RR on places to hit and those to avoid. Thanks again for sharing and love the photos.
Thanks for checking it out. I'll definitely check out the Blue Swallow Motel if we stay in Tucumcari again. I see its basically right across the street from Motel Safari, but I didn't even notice it. :thumb:
 
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Oct 9, 2007
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Far East DFW
Thanks for checking it out. I'll definitely check out the Blue Swallow Motel if we stay in Tucumcari again. I see its basically right across the street from Motel Safari, but I didn't even notice it. :thumb:
Even if you don't stay there, it's worth it to swing by after sundown for the neon display. Definitely feels like stepping back in time. The first time I stayed there I didn't realize all the other guests were at a car show. When they came back there was all this noise in the parking lot and I stepped through a time portal as I came outside because the neon was lit and the parking lot was jam packed with antique cars. It was pretty amazing. Definitely a good place to set up the tripod after dark.
 

StromXTc

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George West
Even if you don't stay there, it's worth it to swing by after sundown for the neon display. Definitely feels like stepping back in time. The first time I stayed there I didn't realize all the other guests were at a car show. When they came back there was all this noise in the parking lot and I stepped through a time portal as I came outside because the neon was lit and the parking lot was jam packed with antique cars. It was pretty amazing. Definitely a good place to set up the tripod after dark.
Wow, that place has 100% refrigerated air too!
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
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Location
Arlington
Wow, that place has 100% refrigerated air too!
Part of the charm of Tucumcari is that they've retained a lot of the 50's Route 66 kitsch. Back in the day, that "refrigerated air" sign was a big draw. I looked at a picture of the Blue Swallow on Google. Another cool throwback they have is those creaky old metal rocking chairs. All western motels had them - and so did my grandmother's back yard - so that you could sit outside in the evening and enjoy the cool western air.
 

Liteitup

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Oct 21, 2010
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Waco TX
To continue the threadjack, from 2014. Highly recommend this hotel. The owners even took me to dinner in the Pontiac.
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Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
915
Location
Bella Vista Arkansas
I have always enjoyed your ride reports and those AMAZING pictures. I am envious that you and your father get to make these memories. Don't take it for granted!

We put 70K on an 08 C-14 before we got the Big Versys

When I lived in N Texas (Plano) the worst part of any part of our trips was getting in and out of Texas. We solved that by finally making the choice to trailer the bike to a location. This allowed us to enjoy the great riding, without having to battle the DFW / Texas grind. We never looked back or regretted that choice.

Now we actually solved the issue by moving to NW Arkansas. There is pretty good riding up here. haha

Keep up the great ride reports. Enjoy the trips with your dad and cherish your family. Life is so very good!

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Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
2,446
Location
Houston, TX
I have always enjoyed your ride reports and those AMAZING pictures. I am envious that you and your father get to make these memories. Don't take it for granted!

We put 70K on an 08 C-14 before we got the Big Versys

When I lived in N Texas (Plano) the worst part of any part of our trips was getting in and out of Texas. We solved that by finally making the choice to trailer the bike to a location. This allowed us to enjoy the great riding, without having to battle the DFW / Texas grind. We never looked back or regretted that choice.

Now we actually solved the issue by moving to NW Arkansas. There is pretty good riding up here. haha

Keep up the great ride reports. Enjoy the trips with your dad and cherish your family. Life is so very good!
Thank you! There are so many memories I'll never forget from these trips. I'm definitely not taking it for granted. :zen:

I didn't realize y'all had moved to Arkansas, congrats on that! :clap:

A trailer is definitely in the plans for next year (as soon as dad got comfy on his F6B :lol2:) and I'm planning on a little dirt as well. :trust:
 
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