I don't think I can take anymore about the weather at home, it ain't got a patch on what I'm facing here now. In the last few days I've had snow laying around me, slept at 9,500ft in heaving rain, rode for hours in thunderstorms and smiled for most the way. I do need to get a move on, its getting close to risking being snowed in, which would mean swapping the bike for a skidoo; now there's an idea! Actually the thought of coming back into some of these areas for a quick trip in the snow is very tempting. I've always fancied a skidoo tour, not for too long though, a week would be enough. Meanwhile, I'd rather not use my bike as a means of combating snowy conditions.
Since leaving Yellowstone I've centred my route along highway 191, though enjoyed a number of side excursions. Between Daniel and Pinedale I took county route 352 up to Green River Lake, a return trip as it was a dead end. From Pinedale I went to Elkheart Park in the Bridger Wilderness Area, just to camp for the night, which was another return trip. And yesterday I took county route 353, through Big Sandy, out to the Continental Divide and onto route 28, about 20 miles Northeast of Farson. So I had to ride back to the 191 in torrential rain, very good timing though.
The first two pictures are of mountains I passed by, first from Yellowstone and the second from Dell fork Ranch, home of Barbara and Paul Elwin (could be Elwood), my kind hosts for a night of rest and bodily cleansing. Their ranch was amazing, they still do their haymaking by horse and the proximity and admiration of nature is wonderful. I stayed a night after being invited, it was absolute bliss. Woke early in the morning to horses grazing around the cabin, Pronghorn deer grazing up the track, with Harris's hawk and Bald Eagle flying past. All this with the magnificent backdrop of the wind river mountain range, talk about uplifting, WOW!
They advised me to go see the Elkheart Park, standing at about 9,500ft, "a spiritual experience," they said, as if their own ranch wasn't! But hey, the snow topped mountains were viewed from this park, after a night of heavy rain at my altitude, no wonder it was a bit nippy the next morning. As far as I recall this is the highest I've ever camped out at, higher than Turkey by at least 2,000ft. It was almost a shame to ride away and leave it all behind! Knowing there was much more to come made it bearable though, what I didn't know at the time was the more to come was thunder storms and very wet rides for a number of days.
Does wet and cold equal misery and gloom? Well bugger me, no it doesn't have to! OK, it would be nice to have glorious sunshine; and free fuel, as much beer as I wanted and cord en bleu cooking. However, the knack of life is to make what you can of what you've got, which is what I've been managing. The thought that came into my head whilst riding was, "I ain't running, I ain't scared, throw at me what you want." So, at present, I'm starting to feel pretty strong, at least bloody stubborn. For sure I've had torrents of tears streaming down my face, if I hadn't I'd be worried. But in my heart I hold more love for Cai than I could have imagined, and it isn't going away. Unlike this bloody Chipmunk, who wouldn't keep still!
Riding tracks and trails has been a delight, and a fright; generally both at the same time. To Green River Lake I had the most horrid washboard effect I've experienced so far, just when I thought I'd got it sorted. No problem at first, open the throttle and coast over it all; if you go fast enough it smooths out. So I got pretty confident and felt happy at 50+ mph; until I hit deeper, wider corrugations with deep, loose gravel strewn over it. It felt like I was on a bucking bronco set to vibrator mode, not nice at all. It was easier on the way back though, especially as I was expecting it.
The route through Big Sandy was aptly named, it was sandy mud for many miles. Heading straight for the mountains, over enormous open plains at very high altitude; pure joy, well almost. Being compacted earth was lovely to see after riding over so much gravel, and good speeds were kept. Having learnt my lesson I did take a more cautious approach to cornering, but even that got more confident and felt better leaning the bike over and accelerating through. Not quite the same when the earth isn't so compact and turns to mud! Again, I took it easy at first, while I got used to it. By the end, when seeing a muddy patch in front I didn't slow down at all, just gave it a handful. WRONG, the bike snaked horribly, scared the life out of me, and had me laughing manically. Scary, but really good fun! Although it will take me a bit longer before being quite so foolhardy with the throttle. My timing was perfect thjough, just as I reached the highway it starting pouring with rain, and hasn't stopped yet, 24 hrs later.Posted by Leslie Kay at September 24, 2007 07:40 PM GMT
HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!
Next HU Events
- UK Haggs Bank: Sep 19-21
- USA California: Sep 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!