Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wyoming - Riding west of Dubois

I was out of Riverton, WY early and still dark.  Only a few miles out of town, I suddenly in my headlights saw a Pronghorn, standing almost squarely in the road.  I didn't slam on the brakes but I did brake harder than I wanted to...all the way down to maybe 5-10mph.  Within a few yards of the creature, it sauntered over to the westbound shoulder (my direction) and proceeded to run alongside as I slowly sped up, so did the member of the deer family.  I wasn't watching to see how fast I was going before it finally bounded off into the darkness, but we were both going along at a decent clip.

Almost as if that had been the plan...a little morning exercise.  Along US Hwy 26.

My campsite at Falls Campground......

My rides from the campground over those next few days......

 As the previous Sunday was Yellowstone Day, Thursday was Grand Teton Day.

Wind River Lake at the Tugwotee Pass (pronounced toe'-ga-tee)

 and Two Ocean Mountain from the same place.


 On my way south to Jackson Hole....

Not too far from Teton Village...after lunch at Nora's Fish Creek Inn, Wilson.  Only after I was there did I realize how close I'd have been to go touch Idaho.

 Grand Teton National Park Visitor Center....

After riding through the park as opposed to trekking through Jackson Hole again (thanks Eric, that Really helped!) I crossed the highway and headed east up the Gros Ventre Valley.

 Past the lake there was a Single Track (Motorized less than 50" wide) so I thought I'd try it.

 Fun and for the most part, not hard riding.  If you remember, a couple of weeks previous on our Trans Wisconsin Adventure Ride, the fan on the KLR started acting up and running when it wanted to...on when I didn't need it and off when I did.  To protect my battery, I quickly snipped the wires, willing to compromise cooling for having a battery that would be there when I needed it.

Temps this day were in the 80's, this was all first gear running and actually getting steep.  As such, the KLR wasn't going to get along with very much more of this so we had to call this section quits and go back down.

Back down to Antelope Flats for some of my best Teton viewing yet...

Over to the main highway (191), up to Moran Junction and over to Hatchet Resort....for fuel, coffee and firewood.

Back to camp...

The beetles have played havoc with billions of trees in the National Forests and those that are dying or dead near the campsites get cut down.

 End of day Thursday/early Friday mileage reading....

Friday's ride(s)....

First of all on Friday, Forest Road 515 up to Brooks Lake....

Brooks Lake....I learned at the Wind River Cafe in Dubois that the film "Mountain Men" with Charlton Heston was filmed in part at Brooks Lake.

 The backroad out of Brooks Lake...definitely in the Top 3 of roads I was on those couple of weeks.

After getting back out to Hwy 26, I went back to camp for some peanut butter sandwiches and CHEETO's, then down into Dubois where I turned north to go up Horse Creek Canyon, Forest Road 285.

End of Road 285, Double Cabin Campground.


 You can see that Horse Creek has, in the past, carried a great deal more water.

 Headed back to Dubois.....

 This big boy was Keeper Of The Gate...there on my way up, still there on my way down.

Saturday, August 5th's ride....Union Pass Day.  The purple circle is my Falls Campground, the yellow circle is Union Pass.  The fat red line is the normal Union Pass Road....Forest Road 532 was the shortcut I took from my campsite.  When I returned in the afternoon, I avoided the 'real' Union Pass road and took the shortcut Forest Road 554 into downtown Dubois.  Lake of the Woods is in the yellow circle near the Union Pass and Continental Divide.

 The area was known for its railroad tie production; this memorial dedicated to the "Hacks" that squared off the ties.

Tie Hack Monument up on the ridge...

My first riding that morning was up Lava Mountain, the location of the Lava Mountain fire in 2016.

 Rancher's cabin....

 Typical Forest Road intersection....

 Close to Union Pass though not quite...

 Crossed a LOT of these....

 As you can see....Union Pass conquered.


 First I've seen this.....we always stapled the wire directly to the post.  This allows for movement.

 Lots of Side by Sides....

 Lake of the Woods....near the Union Pass / Continental Divide


Cabin up top.......

 Dropping (and I mean dropping) down into Dubois....


 Dinner at the Cowboy Cafe.....

 Wyoming Wild Platter....

I had pie ONCE....better than Cheetos.


End of day Saturday, August 5.

Sunday's ride....

To start Sunday.....Green circle is the Falls Campground, the Red oval is MT10, a trail designated at Motorcycle / Less than 50" Wide.  You can see that I came back to it, fully intending to continue deeper into the Bridger/Teton National Forest....but....

Forest Road MT10.  I told myself that if I came upon something I couldn't reverse course through, I'd quit and turn around.  You know how it get deep enough and then...."how bad can the rest of it be?"  There were a few times when I wished I'd have had something a little lighter, a bit lower.

It looked wasn't.  Once through it reminded me of the pudding mom used to make, a thin skin on top but gooey and deep beneath.  I got through no problem but once through, I had two big muddy doughnuts.  I may as well have been riding on marbles.  A bit of slope, the bike just disappeared beneath me.....there was no balance, no UP.

The first time I had a bike on its side since I came uncomfortably close to a guardrail.  I wasn't hurt, had to get the kill switch 'cause the throttle had twisted open.  Even adrenalined up, I had the presence of mind to do the proper lift procedure and without too much difficulty get it back up.  I shared this photo with family and friends immediately after and there was concern about my handlebars being bent.  The image looks worse than they are...there was an abnormal bend the day I brought it home.

This was a Used KLR afterall.....

Proud to say that I spent more time on this procedure than I've spent this year detailing the entire collection.

 It was Lava Mountain after all......

Back onto the Hwy 26, a late breakfast in Dubois and then on to the Whiskey Creek Valley area; blue circle.  On the way back to camp, I did Forest Road 513, the green circle.

Whiskey Creek Area....wintering place of preference for the Bighorn Sheep.

Back through Dubois, more fuel (tried to start every day with a full tank) and up Forest Road 513.  Definitely one of my favorite rides during my trip....for a couple of reasons.

Missing in this daily ration of Sugar Snap Peas.  Even with my tipover that day, my worst injury of the trip, cutting my finger opening my bag of Snap Peas.  The goal for the trip was, no cooking, no bear-dangerous food to worry about, no time spent prepping or cleaning up.  It worked out.  Normally one meal a day "out", otherwise, I fed myself.

Feeding myself well....(my cooler is awesome!)

A very good day, all the way around!!

Monday, August 8th ride....

 Up and over to Turpin Meadow...a pretty incredible "tourist" ranch.

My last trip back to the Falls campground, waiting here for the weather to blow through before I go over the pass.  I did and it did....wasn't like I didn't have the time.

Dinner at Lava Mountain Lodge.  Seared Tuna and some very tasty, tangy Wakame.  Then back to camp, load up the bike and a restful, relaxing evening around the fire.  In the morning I'll be up early to head towards Saratoga and the Snowy Mountains.


  1. Lots of riding off road and only one drop....kudos!

    I downloaded several of the pics where you had hazy views of the mountains beyond for practice. Don't you just hate it when haziness detracts from the views?

    1. Thanks Dom, that was really kind of a silly one though I'm not sure what I'd have done differently.

      Haze out there (and here at home) has gradual but consistent. I think I'm just getting used to it.

  2. You are quite the adventurer, Doug. Bummer that the bike decided to a nap whilst riding. Glad you got off unharmed.

    What a spectacular trip, and you brought back lots of pics to tell the story.

    1. Sonja, I had the perfect Doug-Blend of things enjoyed out there. I really only started the trip with a few soft goals and they were my 3 basecamps and seeing Union Pass. I saw more of both National Parks than I had thought I might...very pleased about both.

  3. I've had pronghorn antelope do that as well right before they decided that the other side of the road was a better place...

    Those are quite the trails you found. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    1. Richard, it seemed almost a game that morning. If, and that's a big IF, I ever go back, there are more than enough new places to ride that repetition won't be a concern.

      I bought the incredibly lush National Forest Maps, a couple of them a few years ago. They were as enjoyable to explore pre-trip as they will be to continue exploring into the future.

  4. Hello my friend! Been patiently waiting for this post. It is some awesome country. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Eric, thought about you every day while I was out there..."wonder if Eric has been here...." Thanks much for all of your riding and visiting suggestions. Together, our plans were bigger than my 2 weeks. As you've said, Next time!

      The next Posts are simmering, will appear soon.

  5. Wow, I am loving all these pictures Doug. Such great gravel roads and then views of the Tetons too! Glad you weren't hurt in your tip over.

    I must ask, did you put the Cheetos on the peanut butter sammich? Oh and that pie looked so yummy.

    1. Thanks Brandy, appreciate that. My horizontal placement happened at maybe 2mph, and just maybe, if the bike hadn't been so tall, I'd have saved it.

      I did not include my favorite crunchy snack with peanut butter but it will be tested. That pie was very good; the Cowboy Cafe was quite busy and I shared a table for 10-12 with 2 other couples. EVERYone had their eyes on my pie. Comments were made about my pie, the amount of ice cream...and the smile on my face.