Madison to Montana
Just some quick notes to let you know what I have been up to. I can't get my pictures to upload from my sister in law's Mac, so I'll have to try that some where else.
6-18-06 start 46,034 end 46,642
Left Madison, 7:15, in a light rain. In line at the ferry on 113 a guy told me the usual story about his brother in law, who had a motorcycle wreck, hit by a drunk driver, and now can't support his family. Rain quit about 11 am. WI 33 through Wildcat Mtn. Went to Grandad Bluff. Stopped at MN rest stop for picnic lunch. MN towns often have camping at city parks, paved bike trails.MN 16 followed Root River and bike trail. Night at private campground in Chamberlien SD.
6-19-06 start 46,642 end 46,976
Did the black hillls tour, badlands, rushmore, custer state park, crazy horse. Didn't pay the $8 to get into Mt. Rushmore, been there before and can see the monument fine from the road. Did pay &10 toget into badlands, $5 for custer and $5 for crazy horse. Crazy Horse is still an inspiration. I was last there in '92. At that time they were getting down to detail work on the face. The face is now done, and they are roughing out the horses head. For those of you that don't know, the Crazy Horse monument was started in 1948 by Korcak Ziolkowski (sounds like he should be from Wisconsin). He worked on it till his death in '82, his wife and 7 of their 10 children are still at it. The main reason I am such a fan is it is being done entirely without government money. Ziolkowski was asked by one of the Indians who survived the massacre at Wounded Knee to build a monument to the Indian leader, and I'd say he is getting more than he bargained for. Weather was great all day, but I am typing in the tent now, as it is raining out. Lots of lightning, but the rain is light so far. Want to bet it changes? Ok, I took alittle brake, and now it's coming down haed. Guess we'll see if my 13 year old Kelty can still keep the rain out.
6-20-06 start 46,976 end 47,474
Took the long way to Cody Wy. Took 385 north from Custer SD. Went to Devil's tower, then wussed out and took I-80 to Sheridan Wy, took US14 from there through Shell Canyon. All spectacular scenery, but I'm getting a bit jaded already. you know, ho-hum, another magnificent vista. Got to Cody near dark, and it was threatening rain, so I got a motel for the first time this trip. Did manage to find an excelent bar though. I f you are in Cody check out the Silver Dollar Bar, great food, friendly staff, locally brewed beer. Got to watch the Heat beat the Mavericks for the NBA title. Serves the Mavs right for knocking the Spurs out of the playoffs, even though I could give a flip about basketball.
6-21-06 start 47,474 end 47,787
Got a late start out of Cody, as I waited for the library to open so I could check email. I might have to think about carrying a laptop in the future. Lots of wi-fi hot spots advertised, but very hard to find public computers. Most libraries have them, but you often have to wait for one to open up. I know, they are free, but I still complain. Went over the Beartooth highway, in a light rain. Still 4 feet of snow in places on the side of the road. The road itself was all clear though. I did this road 20 some years ago on my CB750, but I forgot how awesome it realy is. The temperature can vary about 30 dergrees in a few road miles because of the elevation change around here. Tried to take a dirt road short cut to I-90, but the road kept getting more rutted and it started to rain again, so I wimped out and backtracked on the paved highway to I-90 and took that to friend's Dan and Jacque's place in Belgrade MT. Even made it in time for supper.
6-22-06 start 47,474 end 47,474
Gave the bike the day off and went to Yellowstone with Dan in his truck. walked around the geyser's and gawked at elk and buffalo, the whole tourist thing. Dan and I have known each other since we were 12, so we got to catch up on a lot of old times.
6-23-06 Start 47,474 end 48,154
Started out west on I-90, then south on I-15 at Butte. Butte is an interesting town. You can buy propery there dirt cheap, but there are so many environmetl and other issues left from the mining boom, that I would be afraid to own anything there. There is a toxic lake in the bottom of an old strip mine, and every once in a while a house falls into an old mine shaft, but other than that it would be a great place to live, as there are a lot of really cool old buildings from the turn of the century, just waitng to to be restored. I digress. Turned west on hwy 43, which is another really neat rockie mountain road in a river valley with mountains towering overhead. Along this road is the Big Hole Battlefield monument, which I had been meaning to visit for a long time. This is where the Nez Perce war stared in 1877. Another sad chapter in American Indian history, you can google "Chief Joseph" and "Nez Perce" if you want to know more. Chief Joseph's surrender speech is the only Indian speech I can quote a line from by memory, "from where the sun now stands, I will fight no more, forever". Yet this most famous of all Indian speeches was not featured in the movie at the memorial. Strange. I walked around the 4 or 5 miles of trails there to all the critical places in the battle. They have put up the poles of teepees in the original locations, and people have tied strips of cloth to them. I have seen this at other Indian memorials, I'm not sure what the symbolism is. One of the women survivors of this battle went on to marry Andew Garcia, who lived until 1940. After his death his family found old diaries from this period, which eventually got published as "Tough Trip Through Paradise", so check that out too. There is a bar in Alberton, MT that Garcia hung out at till shortly before his death, that has a bunch of pictures of him on the walls, which is how I got interested in this in the first place. I did not get to visit it this trip, I assume it is still there. Funny how bars usually fit in somewhere. But I digress even further. Anyway, I ended up at a forest service campgroung near Stanley ID.
Posted by Andy Tiegs at 05:54 PM
The Beginning of a Great Adventure
So I got tired of working and thought, hmm, I think I'll quit my job and ride my motorcycle around Latin America for 6 or 8 months. Naturally there was some planning and saving involved, but basically that is what happpened. The general plan is to leave my home in Seguin Texas (near San Antonio) about the 1st of August 2006 and ride south all the wayto the southern tip of South America. I left my job on the 9th of June and am currently doing a little tune up ride on my Kawasaki Concours to visit family and friends in Wisconsin, Montana, Oregon, and if the planets line up right, make it to the Horizons Unilimited meet in Leadville Colorado on the way back to Texas. There, I will switch bikes to my Kawasaki KLR 650, do some final prep, and head south.
So as long as you found my blog, I hope to keep you entertained and informed on my progress. I hope some aspiring travelers get something useful, since I have got so much out of this site over the years. I'm going to try to give some general info on what it costs to do a trip like this, but I'm not going to list every bottle of beer and bag of chips I buy.
The bike I'm taking is a lightly modified 2000 KLR 650 that I have owned since new. It has 29,000 miles on it and is a veteran of three trips to Mexico, Moab, Big Bend, and several of the 4WD passes in central Colorado. I still wonder if I should have got a newer bike for this trip, but I know this bike so well and it has been so reliable that I figured why not take it. Besides I am taking a few wrenches and some duct tape, so no worries. Hopefully an older bike attract less attention from thieves, and people in general, it also gives me the option of selling the bike at the end of the trip if I decide it's not worth shipping back.
So check back when you get a chance, or sign up on this page for email notification when I post a new entry. Let's go for a ride.
In the meantime, I'll work on my packing technique...
Posted by Andy Tiegs at 08:10 PM