Monthly Archives: August 2013

Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO

Dalhart to Pikes Peak to Georgetown, CO

Dalhart to Pikes Peak to Georgetown, CO

Today is day 3 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list. Today we are headed to Pikes Peak.

We were up early and on the road. Today’s ride was 469 miles from Dalhart, Texas to Georgetown, Colorado via Pikes Peak.

From Dalhart we rode Highway 87/64 to Raton, New Mexico. It was a pleasant 62 degrees with cloud cover that looked as though it could rain at times. It was a scenic ride through the great plains of Northern New Mexico. Miles and miles of ranch land with rolling grass-covered hills and Prairie. Everything is “few and far between” with the occasional barn, home, windmill, cattle and pronghorn antelope.

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Rest stop heading to Raton, NM

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Capulin Volcano in the distance through the misty rain

100 miles out of Dalhart we rode past Capulin Volcano National Monument. Because of the number of miles we are riding today, and since we stopped here 5 years ago on another ride, we elected to ride on. If you are in the area I would suggest you  and stop. Capulin Volcano began over a million years ago. Recently,  Capulin has been a hub of activity as native people  traversed across the Great Plains. The ride to the top of Capulin spirals around the volcanic cone and has spectacular views.  It’s not for the fain of heart as the road is narrow and fairly steep with a shear drop off on your right going up. The panoramic views from the top are incredible.  There are views of other extinct volcanoes,  snow-capped mountains, and views of  New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado. All around Capulin are large volcanic fields with over a hundred recognizable extinct volcanoes. At the top you will gain insights into 10 million years of the geological history. So take some time to see this unique site.

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Riding over Raton Pass

The ride over Raton Pass is always a highlight on this route. My first time  to ride Raton Pass was  36 years ago. Raton Pass’ elevation is 7834 feet/2388 meters and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

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Riding I-25 heading to Colorado Springs & Pikes Peak

We have finally made it to the mountains and cooler temperatures. On Pikes Peak the temperature was 37 degrees and the hottest it got on our ride was 85 degrees. For most of the trip it stayed in the 60’s. Hopefully, we can enjoy the cooler (not cold) temperatures for the rest of our time in the mountains. I know we will have to eventually return to the hot temperature of Texas but for now we will just enjoy…

From Raton Pass we ride up I-25 to Colorado Springs and  to the top of Pikes Peak. The Pikes Peak Highway is a breathtaking scenic 19 mile ride  to the summit. The terrain and scenery varies along the ride. The road is a tollway. When you pay the toll you receive a map and brochure. You need to take a look at the map to see where there are pullouts for photo opts.

Me and Larry at Pikes Peak

Me and Larry at Pikes Peak

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View off Pikes Peak… Noting to see due to cloud cover

The last time I was  at Pikes Peak was also in July, many years ago. As soon as we reached the summit it started snowing so hard we were unable to see anything beyond a few feet. Today it was cloud cover that spoiled our view. Part of the ride to the top was difficult in spots for 2 reasons… 1) The clouds made it difficult to see very far ahead. It was nice to see the hair-pin-curves on the GPS ahead of time. 2) We were following a car that slowed almost to a stop in the hair-pin-curves. After the first one I put a lot of distance between us to give them plenty of time to get through the curve.

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Heading to Georgetown, Colorado for the night

From Pikes Peak we headed to Georgetown. Yes, Georgetown is a popular town name. It seems that just about every state has a town named  Georgetown.  When Janet and I lived in Colorado Georgetown was a favorite day trip for us. This is why I picked it as the destination for today. We took Highway 67 to I-70 to Georgetown. This is a very scenic route which took us through Evergreen another favorite day trip destination for Janet and me.

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Our home for the night in Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown, Colorado has many attractions that include the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Hamill House, and Hotel de Paris Museum. Georgetown is a quiet little town, just off busy I-70 an hour west of Denver.

My old friend Jimmie and his wife Diann with Larry and me in Georgetown, Colorado

My old friend Jimmie and his wife Diann with Larry and me in Georgetown, Colorado

In Georgetown, I met Jimmie and Dianne . Jimmie and I have been close friends ever since we worked together beginning in June of 1965.  We lost contact years ago and I just reconnected with him recently through Facebook. We had a lot to catch up on…

 Today was a great ride through some beautiful scenic country and I got to finish the day catching up with and old friend. Tomorrow we ride on to Pinedale, Wyoming through more beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery.

More post coming so check back…

Ride safe…

 

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell

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Day 6 Route Map

Today is day  7 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Today we head toward Glacier National Park. 407 miles from Gardiner to Kalispell, Montana. Much of the ride was on I-90 so we made good time. Our ride took us through Bozeman, Butte and Missoula, Montana. There was beautiful scenic views all along the way. Rolling hills, prairie grassland with mountains in the distance. The highlight was riding by the west side of Flathead Lake. Flathead is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. It is clean and clear. The water is the clearest I have ever seen. You won’t believe how far you can see below the water’s surface.

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Car Museum in Deer Lodge, Montana

Rolling down I-90, we kept seeing signs for a car museum in Deer Lodge, Montana. Do billboards work? These did. We decided to have a look and we were glad we did. Deer Lodge is the home to the Old Montana Prison,  Frontier MuseumPowell County MuseumMontana Auto Museum and Yesterday’s PlaythingsCottonwood City displays the Snowshoe Creek School, Blood Cabin and other buildings. Many of the museums were housed in the old prison.

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I found Janet’s dream car…

The main reason we stopped was the Car museum. The admission (less than $10) was for all the museums. The car museum had an interesting collection starting from the early 1900’s to present. It is amazing how old cars can transport you to a different place and time. Memories… good memories…

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Studebaker Avanti Car Museum Deer, Lodge, Montana

We had a little time to spare so we did a quick tour of the old prison… When touring the prison, I thought of a friend serving time in the Texas prison system. Seeing the area with 3 levels of cells that seemed to go on forever, I imagined what the sights and sounds would have been like when the automatic cell doors opened. The clanking of the metal doors… the chatter of the prisoners… all being amplified by the metal bars, concrete floor and walls. The sounds would  have been deafening and depressing. There were no good feelings here. If walls could talk, I’m not sure we would want to hear what they had to say…

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Prison museum in Deer Lodge, Montana

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Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana

While in Deer Lodge we had a good lunch and I called my good friend Avis, who lives in Troy. Montana, to let her know we were on schedule and would be rolling into her place about 5:30 or 6:00 pm tomorrow.

Deer Lodge was a good stop and I would recommend you stop there. There is much more to see and do there… I wish we could have stayed longer…

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Heading north on Hwy 93 to Kalispell, Montana

From Deer Lodge it was on to Missoula down I-90. We turned onto Hwy. 93 and ended our day of riding at Kalispell.

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Flathead Lake in Montana

The adventure continues… Come follow along tomorrow as we ride through Glacier National Park via”Going to the Sun Highway“… Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new post by email. Also please take some time and leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

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Early morning north-east side on Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone National Parl

Today is day  6 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Today we are spending the day riding Yellowstone National Park. There is much to see and do. The park roads form a figure 8 through the park. We rode the entire figure 8 and saw as much as possible.

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Picnic area where we had lunch in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park.  The park’s name is derived from the Yellowstone River, which runs through the park. Yellowstone  has 60% of the world’s geysers as well as many hot springs and several mud pots.  The most famous feature of the park is the geyser Old Faithful. There is also mountains, rivers, lakes and  a diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk.

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Boiling hot spring fed pools in Yellowstone National Park

These are some of my favorite places in the park…

  1. The Lower Falls: The Lower Falls is 308 ft. high and is  more than twice the height of Niagara Falls. The volume of water flowing over the falls can vary from 63,500 gal/sec at peak runoff to 5,000 gal/sec in the fall. To me it is the most spectacular sight in the park. We stopped at Artist Point to get a good view of the falls and Yellowstone Canyon. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is a sight worth seeing also. The falls and canyon are very scenic and offer the artist and non-artist goodsubject matter. It’s hard not to take a good picture…

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    Lower Falls Yellowstone National Park

  2. Old Faithful: The most famous of the many geysers in Yellowstone, mainly because it is so predictable when it erupts. You know you will always see a good show when you visit Old Faithful… There are other geysers on walking trails at the old Faithful stop. They are short walks so you may want to visit Castle Geyser, Grand Geyser and Geyser Hill. motorcycle, ride, travel, adventure, touring
  3. Mammoth Hot Springs:  The features of these springs are quite different from thermal areas elsewhere in the park. Formations grow much more rapidly  due to the softer limestone. As hot water rises through limestone, large quantities of rockare dissolved by the hot water, and a white chalky mineralis deposited on the surface.The location of springs and the rate of flow changes daily. What you see todaymay be different tomorrow.

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    Mammoth Hot Springs Yellowstone National Park

  4. Yellowstone Lake: The lake is large and beautiful with the surrounding mountains. Today the lake was calm and like a blue mirror. Very little boat activity kept the waters calm. The lake is the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park and is 7,732 feet (2,376 m) above sea level and covers 136 square miles (350 km2) with 110 miles (177 km) of shoreline. The average depth of the lake is 139 feet (42 m). Its deepest spot is at least 390 feet (118 m). Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet (2,133 m) in North America
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Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park

There are so many stops and pullouts with geysers, mud pots, rivers, lakes and if you keep an eye out there is wild life to be seen. These spots are beautiful and scenic in their own right and must be experienced to be appreciated. Words… my words can’t do them justice.

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Yellowstone River flowing out from Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park

We rode only 174 miles today… but we saw a lot of beautiful and interesting sites. I believe there is no better way to see Yellowstone than from the seat of a motorcycle. The low was 54 degrees when we left Gardiner and reached 87 degrees while riding the park making for a very nice ride. The maximum speed in Yellowstone is 45 mile per hour and slower in a few places. This made for a slow and leisurely ride. There was some construction on the north-east part on Grand Loop Road. It wasn’t too bad but it did get the bikes a bit dirtier. If you are riding Yellowstone I would suggest getting an early start and head to the more popular sights in the park. It seems a lot of late sleepers and traffic and tourist are much lighter in the morning than in the afternoons. This is a great park and a great ride… We will be back… hopefully soon.

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The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park from Artist Pint.

It was another good ride back to Gardiner for our last night there. When walking to dinner we met a nice couple from Illinois. They were riding a Goldwing trike and I wanted to know how they liked it. They had some stories to tell. I didn’t write down their names and had forgotten them(I’m sorry) by the time I got to the motel. We enjoyed visiting with them very much. The woman mentioned she writes stories for their local news paper about their rides. I told her she needs to start a blog and share all their stories. I hope they read this and leave us a comment. I would like to know how the blog is going…

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The sign says it all… Leaving Yellowstone National Park at Gardiner, Montana

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new post by email. Also please take some time and leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Tomorrow we will be riding 407 miles to Kalispell, Montana. We don’t have any planned stops except when we see something interesting…  I hope we see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…

Here is a slide show of the days ride…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park

Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks

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Heading to Grand Teton National Park from Pinedale, WY

Today is day 5 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Today we are headed to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national Parks. We rode from Pinedale, WY to Gardiner, MT via Grand Teton and the west side of Yellowstone National Parks. Todays ride is a leisurely 230 miles so we can take in all the majesty of these two grand national parks. Its been 41 years since I’ve been here. It seems like yesterday. I wish I had gotten back sooner.

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Riding into the clouds heading to Grand Teton National Park

We rode Hwy 89 north to Teton Park Road. The ride through Grand Teton was nice with views of pristine lakes, and alpine terrain on our left and to the right are grass-covered rolling plains land. In Grand Teton National Park you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or just enjoy the serenity as you ride or drive through this remarkable place. We only had time to take pictures and memories as we rode through Grand Teton National Park.

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Grand Teton National Park

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Signal Mountain Lodge on Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park

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Grand Teton National Park

We rode the west side of Yellowstone National Park to our destination for today. Tomorrow we will spend the day in Yellowstone. There are so many places to stop and see in Yellowstone you need as much time as possible. Today we stopped at “Old Faithful” Geyser. I told Larry we would probably get there just after the last eruption… You guessed it. We had to walk through hundreds of onlookers leaving the last eruption. We just missed it… So we took our time exploring the grounds until the next eruption. The average interval in 1939 between eruptions was 66.5 minutes. The average interval today is 90 minutes. Eruptions can shoot 3,700 to 8,400 US gallons (14,000 to 32,000 Liters ) of boiling water to a height of 106 to 185 feet (32 to 56 meters) that last from 1.5 to 5 minutes. As you would expect “Old Faithful” did put on a good show . I hope it is not another 41 years before I get back to see the next one.

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Entering west side of Yellowstone National Park

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Riding west side of Yellowstone National Park

It was getting late in the evening so we rode on to Gardiner, Montana for the night. As we rode I was making mental notes about what we should stop and have a closer look at when we returned tomorrow. Tomorrow we will spend the day riding the figure eight in Yellowstone, stopping to see as many sights as we can.

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Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

Traffic was a bit heavy riding to Gardiner. There were a lot of slower moving RV’s traveling through the park that didn’t take advantage of the “pullovers” to allow faster moving traffic by. I guess I should have expected the traffic since it is July and probably the peak season  for visitors.

The ride into Gardiner was very scenic where Highway 89 parallels the river. The water in the river was running so fast we could hear the rapids as we were riding by! Beautiful scenery and sounds.

Gardiner was a small western town with quaint storefronts surrounded by snow-capped mountains, green valleys, and abundant wildlife. The local folks were very friendly. We enjoyed our two night stay here.

There were Elk walking the streets of Gardiner! They were everywhere. Not only did you have to watch for pedestrians in the cross-walks but Elk that would step-out from anywhere into the street! I was wondering why many of the houses there had very high fences… but after seeing all the Elk I didn’t wonder any more…

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Elk in Gardiner Montana

Today was another great riding day. My only regret is not having our other riding buddies along. I really miss Janet and that she is missing all the beautiful sights…  especially the Elk roaming around town. I will be back with Janet for sure. Until then Janet will have to be content with pictures and my stories…

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page.

Update: June 28, 2013 Here is a video of the day…

See you tomorrow when we ride more of Yellowstone.  I hope we see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY

Pinedale to Grand Teton to Yellowstone to Gardiner, WY

Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY

Today is day 4 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

We have another  long (429 miles) ride today from Georgetown to Pinedale, Wyoming so we got another early start. We didn’t plan any stops except for the occasional photo stop as we rode through  many scenic areas.

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Day 4 Silverthorne Colorado pit stop

From Georgetown we headed west down I-70 to hwy 9 where we headed north to Steamboat Springs.

In winter Steamboat Springs offers excellent skiing and snow boarding opportunities. In summer the Yampa river is a popular conduit for water sports like fishing, rafting, tubing, and kayaking. In 2011, Steamboat Spring’s was recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

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Day 4 Farm: Heading to Pinedale, Wyoming

From Steamboat Springs we rode west on Hwy 40 to Craig where we stopped for gas. From Craig we headed north on hwy 13 to I-80. We rode I-80 to Rock Springs, WY and another stop for gas. Turning north again on Hwy 191, we rode to Pinedale our destination for today.

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Green Mountain Reservoir, Hwy 9

We rode past many scenic farms and ranches in the Rocky Mountain valleys. I did not know there would be so many farms and ranches on this leg of our trip. Many of them had beautiful lakes or streams which caused my imagination to wander to a different place and time. Such a beautiful,  rugged, rural life it must be living here.

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Kaw A. Saky with Larry following

Today was another good riding day with beautiful weather and scenery. I love riding in the Rockies and was glad to be able to ride places today I have never rode before.

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One of the many farms and ranches on our route today.

Tomorrow we will be riding through Grand Teton and the west side of Yellowstone National Park… See y’all Tomorrow… Ride safe…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore