Sunday, August 13, 2017

Wyoming - The Drive

Here's what the Wyoming van-time consisted of.  I used I-90 in Minnesota and South Dakota, going and coming, my planned stops and riding in Wyoming saw me make a counter clockwise loop through that state.  2450 miles total in the van by the time I was back home.

The red circles are my camping, multi-day locations for daily riding loops (motel overnight in Riverton).

Anxious to get on the road....and to make my Friday reservation at the Rex Hale National Forest campground on the outskirts of Yellowstone, I was out the driveway around 5pm, my hoped for departure time.  With no real target for that evening's drive, playing it by ear was the plan since I'd be pulling over whenever convenient and sleeping in the van.

I-90 in southwestern MN, a needed shift in driving position....

Just before 11pm, I pulled into the Chamberlain, SD Lewis and Clark Memorial Rest Area/Visitor Center and there was Bob's outfit, parked for the night.  Disappointed that I couldn't say hello, I bedded down in the back of the van, woke up at 2 and Bob was still there.  At 4:30 when I got up, Bob was gone.

A few miles west of Chamberlain early Friday morning, a GPS reading of when I'd be leaving the Interstate at Ranchester.

First good view of the Bighorns out of Ranchester...

Intending to stop up at Burgess Junction at the Visitor Center for some lunch, the van was working hard making the climb.....soon I hear "BANG" and a minute later another couple of "BANGS".  All I can think of is that it's my water bottles, either the liter sized ones in the cooler or worse, the gallon jugs of drinking water that were not in the cooler.  Knowing about my planned trip to Wyoming for the past few months, much of my camping and traveling gear was still in the van (so I wouldn't forget to load it) from our Road America weekend.  Coffee maker, snacks that weren't consumed track-side (we're all on a health kick), chairs, popup, table, etc.  all were back there, my sleeping companions. 

In fact when Peg got a look inside the van as I was loading up (Travel Mode), she questioned, "Where is it again that you're going to be sleeping??"  I had to explain that once stopped, things would be shifted in to Camp Mode and that there was nothing to worry about, all was under control.

So, finally stopped at Burgess Junction, I discovered that the Doritos bag had split, the Fritos bag had split (both snacks that I eat when they're forced in front of me but not my favorites) but the true tragedy, my CHEETO'S had split CHEETO's!!?!!  All was not lost however, I had planned for real emergencies and dumped the contents into a sealable plastic bag allowing consumption at my leisure.


Notice the look of disappointment on my face....Fritos!....others in the parking lot were aware of my pain; frowns were shared.  The upside is that the guys at next June's Road America event will have fresh bags of their favorites to choose from.

I sat and waited in almost this same exact spot 10 years ago on the ST2....

Almost there...west of Cody at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

 My campsite at Rex Hale National Forest Campground.....for 5 nights.

Breakfast time in Cody on my way to my next location, ~240 driving miles, a mere 60 as the ospreys fly.....

It was really time for a shower, the warm days were taking their toll....I toyed with staying at a State Park south of Lander but didn't really want to setup for another night of camping only to tear down right away in the morning again  (an excuse, I convinced myself that the motel would feel really good and it did).  Checked in at a motel in Riverton, then drove down to Lander.

The Riverton Library....this photo shared with Peg since we've both covered all of these.  There's a new one that I haven't read yet.  As Peg texted back, "Home town boy"

Lander Library, drove down for the afternoon since I'd checked in to my Riverton motel at 9am and they weren't quite ready to hand me a key....

Excitement, planning and concern everywhere I went....

On the way to Dubois...pronounced DEW-boyz...I tried Dew-boy and got corrected.  At least I didn't try the French way.

 Deer and bad and as plentiful as back home.

 The "Pinnacles"...viewed from my campsite at the Falls National Forest Campground.

Wide spread frustration here and around the Tetons as well....too much Montana smoke for good views and photography.

 Dunkin' Donut brew as required......

South on 130, the Snowy's in the distance.

My campsite at Ryan Park, Medicine Bow National Forest.

I left the Snowy's early Thursday morning, back out to cross I-90 and head NE through some very wide open Wyoming, with various stops along the way.  These will be shared in upcoming Posts.

 I stopped here....


A few hours here.....

There will be a lot more to share from this place....

And finally another stop at the Chamberlain Visitor Center to refresh my Lewis and Clark knowledge.

Sacajawea and the mobile Vietnam Vets Memorial Wall.....

That covers where and what happened in the van.....soon the motorcycle and riding side of things.  Plus, a bit of history and some biology/flora and fauna; some very limited biology/flora and fauna...


  1. Looks like an excellent adventure. Silo D-9 is interesting too! I toured it and found it very cool. Scary that there are still 450 active ones still in the ground out west.

    1. Erik, I visited both D-9 and D-1, just on the off chance that someone had backed out of their tour. NEXT time, reservations so that I can climb down inside. D-1 photo soon.

      Agree with you; Minute Man I and II obsolete. Minute Man III active and ready though I was surprised none in South Dakota.

  2. Not the Cheetos!!!!

    Wow, you did a lot of miles in the van. Looking forward to your riding reports and photos.

    1. Brandy, you too?? :) Getting out there from the Midwest (and across from anywhere) is a big deal. I think I've done my last big mileage ride through the plains but that doesn't mean I won't be through there with a bike in tow.

  3. I love road trips and van life. Sounds like a great adventure even on four wheels.

    1. Sonja, you and me both! Van travel made this trip exquisite and I intended that to be so. If the bike had never even come off of the trailer, I'd have had a great time. The thrust wasn't riding, the trip was about being in and exploring Wyoming.

      Mission accomplished!!

  4. What a great adventure...I will look forward to the next installment. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Speedy, glad that I've got a way to share an area you obviously appreciate as much as I do.

  5. I wonder is there some ukrainian bikes in US? Like Dnipro MT and Ural?