Tag Archives: Grand Teton National Park

Day 10 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Jackson to Gardiner 203 Miles)

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Day 10 Ride Map Jackson to Gardiner

Today is day 10 of my 5000+ mile, 17 day motorcycle ride…  Larry T., Larry A. and myself have ridden together for 9 days seeing some of the most scenic parts of the western US. On day 5 we turned onto US-89 just north of Prescott, AZ. Today we continue riding up US-89 to Gardiner, MT via “The Most Photographed Barn in America”, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

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Riding to Most Photographed Barn in America

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Most Photographed Barn in America

Yesterday we met up with Larry C., my old Air Force and riding buddy. Yes, another Larry. Larry wanted to come on this ride but it conflicted with other travel plans he had made. Larry and his wife, Jo, are traveling by car with another couple, Larry S. (yes, another Larry. That’s 4 if you counted correctly) and his wife Janet. It happened that our trips crossed paths here in Jackson. We will ride/drive to “The Most Photographed Barn in America” to visit more and take pictures before heading our separate ways.  We will continue riding north on US-89 and they will be driving south on their way home to Alabama.

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Larry, Larry, Larry, Larry and… me

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Most Photographed Barn in America Grand Teton’s

This morning is another beautiful riding day, a bit cooler than past days with partly cloudy skies. “The Most Photographed Barn in America” is located along with other popular photographed barns and other old buildings on Mormon Row. The barn with the Teton Mountain Range as the background has made it a symbol of the Jackson Hole Area.

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Log Cabin on Mormon Row

To get to the barn take US-89 north from the Jackson town square for 13.5 miles. Turn right onto Antelope Flats Rd and ride 1.7 miles to Mormon Row intersection. The barn is to the left down a dirt road. We parked at the intersection and walked, a short distance, to the barn. To get to the other barn turn right at the intersection and ride 0.3 miles to the barn on the right. Across the road is a parking area.

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Log Barn on Mormon Row

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Log cabin on Mormon Row

We spent time taking pictures and visiting. It was a bit overcast, I was hoping for more sunlight so the Teton Mountains would make a better background for our pictures. “The Most Photographed Barn in America” is all I have read and seen in pictures. If in the area it is a must stop even if you don’t take Photos…

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Motorcycle Touring Logs, long distance motorcycle touring, long distance motorcycle travel, Mormon Temple, motorcycle ride, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, Motorcycle Touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle trip

View from Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park

It was good seeing Larry C. and Jo again. We said our good-byes before heading our separate ways. Larry T, Larry A. and I rode on to the Grand Teton National Park visitor center. We got our entrance passes and checked out the park information and the displays. We rode up this way 2 years ago and now we are back. The scenery can’t be beat and is indescribable, pictures are worth a thousand words but seeing it from the seat of a motorcycle is worth a million words. We made just a few stops, while riding thru the Grand Teton’s, to stretch our legs, grab a snack and to re-hydrate. One of our stops was at Signal Mountain Lodge on Jackson Lake. There is a restaurant, gift shop, lodging with a beautiful panoramic view of the Teton Mountains across the mirror smooth Jackson Lake. Truly great photo opts… Before leaving the Grand Teton National park we made one more stop along side Jackson Lake to take more pictures of the mountains and lake. Leaving Grand Teton National park, we were back on US-89 headed north to Yellowstone National Park. Riding up US-89 we could still see Jackson Lake to our right for many miles. Leaving Jackson Lake we paralleled Snake River for several miles before we left it behind. Then we rode past Lewis Lake, another pristine mountain lake reflecting more beautiful scenery. Many years ago there were large forest fires in and around Yellowstone and today we can still see the damage caused so many years ago. The trees are making a slow comeback but they still have a way to go to reach their former grandeur…

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Rolling through Grand Teton National Park

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Jackson Lake at Signal Mountain Lodge

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Damage from forest fire years ago at Yellowstone

Entering Yellowstone we continued riding US-89 to Old Faithful, our first stop in Yellowstone. As usual, every time I have been to Yellowstone Old Faithful had just erupted before we got there so we had some time to kill to stretch our legs and grab a cup of coffee and a cookie in the Old Faithful Inn. From the moment we rode up to the Inn it was a totally impressive log multi-story sight! We sat out on the observation deck, drank our coffee, ate our cookie and waited for Old Faithful to erupt. It was worth the wait… We got some great pictures of Old Faithful from a good vantage point. Afterward we checked out the Inn. Once inside you just didn’t know where to look as there was so much to see. The lobby is massive in breath, width and height and all constructed from lodge-pole pine and rhyolite stone. In the lobby is a massive stone fireplace with an equally impressive pendulum clock on its face. If you are afraid of heights, exploring the upper floors may be a bit unnerving while peering over the low log railings.

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Jackson Lake

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Old Faithful Inn

We eventually made our way back to our bikes, only to find I had been robbed! Over the years, we have travelled far and wide and we have always been afraid someone may take advantage of all the stuff we store on our bikes that can’t always be locked away. Well, it finally happened. If you want to know the rest of the story click here.

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Old Faithful from Old Faithful Inn

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The thief at Yellowstone National Park

Leaving Old Faithful we back tracked to the southern entrance to ride up the eastern side of Yellowstone. We made several stops by Yellowstone Lake to take pictures before checking out the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. It was crowded and finding a parking spot was a bit of a chore. After leaving the Lower Falls the temperature was starting to rise as in days past but didn’t make it to triple digits. Traffic was getting heavier and it was moving slowly. I have never seen traffic like this in Yellowstone before and it did distract from what should have been a great ride. Traffic continued to be heavy as we made our way to our home away from home for the night, Gardiner, Montana. Two years ago we rode this route in July 2013.  Traffic wasn’t anything like what we have experienced today. Normally the ride from Mammoth Hot Springs is a nice ride following the Gardiner River into the town of Gardiner. As you ride you can hear the rushing water of the river as it tumbles down toward Gardiner but today it was hot with really slow-moving traffic and at times, stopped traffic.  We were ready to park the bikes and wide down for the day…

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Yellowstone Lake

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Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park

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Lower Falls Yellowstone National Park

Tomorrow we continue our ride up US-89 to Great Falls, MT. Come follow along and enjoy the ride over the next 7 days… I hope we see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…

If you liked this ride post, you may checkout the other post from this ride below…

Hera are other rides you may like too…

I hope we see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…

Favorite Photos from Our Motorcycle Travels

This is a collection of our favorite photos from our motorcycle travels. Over the years we have ridden many miles, to some of the most scenic places here in the U.S.. We have taken a lot of photo’s… Some of them , in my opinion, are good… But then it is hard not to take a few good ones when you have such scenic subject matter. Many of these pictures are found in post in this blog. Each picture caption has a link to the post for those of you who would like to read and see more… or you may want to ride or drive to see them. The post have many details to help with planning your trip.

For more photos of our rides, checkout “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. And don’t forget to give us a LIKE to see more of our future adventures and travels…

Below are some of the rides we have done over the years. There might be one for you. Check them out.

If you liked these rides there are more to come. Don’t miss any ride post. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom left column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

“Have Goldwing Will Travel”… Ride safe…

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

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013

 

National Park Motorcycle Ride Route Map

National Park Motorcycle Ride Route Map

WOW, I can’t believe we did it and it’s in the books. We just rode 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).

We had a great time and everything went pretty much according to plan. I thought I would be worn out physically and mentally but Larry and I felt really good for the whole ride. I got back July 29th around 4:00 PM and felt so good I mowed the lawn the next morning!

 

Me and Larry at Pikes Peak

Me and Larry at Pikes Peak

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but experiencing it is worth millions. There is no way pictures can capture the adventure nor can I describe it all with words. It can only be experienced… Traveling by car gets you there but is only a few notches above watching the scenery go by on TV.  Traveling by motorcycle is the ultimate way to experience travel. You are in the environment, feeling the wind, sun, cool, heat and rain. At several points along the ride we could hear the rushing water in the streams and rivers. The smells are incredible. The smell of crisp cool air in the morning, pine forest, flowers, rain in the distance, food cooking, fresh-cut grass, fields of corn, fresh-cut hay and many unidentifiable smells… and yes the occasional not so good smell of dead animals, feed lots etc… Many of the smells took me back to my boyhood when I lived on a cotton farm in Texas. Those were good memories.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Beside all the great national parks, monuments and historical sites on this ride there were many beautiful farms and ranches in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains and on the Great Plains of the U.S. and Canada. Having grown up on a farm I have a great appreciation for the land and the people who work it. Rural life is a great life but a vulnerable one. There are many perils from Mother Nature and the economy. I also enjoyed seeing the many old farm houses and barns. I can only imagine the  many lives and stories of love, laughter and tears could be told about each and every one…

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Lower Falls Yellowstone National Park

Another part of the ride I enjoyed was the many small towns and the people who lived there. I enjoyed the local businesses and the architecture of the many old buildings. Some buildings were still in use and some have seen better days. If walls could only talk… what a story they could tell.

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Glacier National Park

Larry and I met so many nice people on this ride. Our motorcycles and our tags from Georgia and Texas were always getting comments. Larry’s Victory Vision got most of the comments and questions. My mascot Kow A. Saky started many conversations too. We met people from all over the world. To name a few… a nice couple from England riding a rented Harley, a guy from Belgium riding with a motorcycle tour group, a group from Europe who shipped their antique cars over and were driving the Lincoln Highway, a couple from Ontario riding a Goldwing and many more. There were so many riders we met and riders traveling by car wishing they were on their bikes as well as many “want to be riders” and people just interested in where we were from and where we were headed. To those of you whom we met, who may be reading this, we would like to say thanks for making our ride that much more enjoyable. Please take the time to comment and say hi. We would love to hear from you again…

The other special part of this ride was stopping to see a couple of friends I had lost contact with over the years. I have just recently reconnected with them…

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

We stayed in Georgetown, Colorado on July 16th. Jimmie drove from Aurora and met us at the Super 8 where we were staying. I first met Jimmie when I went to work for Geophysical Service Inc. in June of 1965. I had just graduated from high school and was attending college part-time. He was about 10 years older but treated me as an equal from the start. We worked in Houston, Texas; Sydney, NSW, Australia; Dallas, Texas and Denver, Colorado. Over the years we worked together at different companies and I owe Jimmie a lot for my success in business. It was great seeing Jimmie and his lovely wife Diann, again, after so many years. We ate dinner at a little restaurant down the road from the motel. It was a great time but much too short. Now that we have reconnected I will have to get back up there to see him… Thanks Jimmie for all the great times and memories and a special thanks for all the support you gave me while working with and for you…

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My friends Ed and Avis and me

While I was in the Air Force, Ben, my roommate in tech school was always writing friends back home in Montana. One of those friends was a girl named Avis. I told him to say hi or something to Avis. She wrote back and we became pin-pals for four or five years and became good friends. I went to visit her, a couple of times, over that time. The last time was 41 years ago. Life got in the way and we eventually lost contact with each other. I have wondered many times what had become of Avis. I hoped that life had treated her well… About ten months ago, I tried to find her when I started planning this trip. I did find her and we have reconnected!  We stopped by and stayed with Avis and her husband Ed. Life has been good to her… Avis has a great husband and two great kids. Avis and Ed are very proud of their kids, as they should be…  They live outside Troy, MT on beautiful acreage. It is so beautiful and peaceful with views of mountains and a lake hidden across the road from them. I’m jealous… While there we caught up on what has been happening with us over the last 41 years. We still have more to catch up on. It was nice to finally meet Ed too. Avis and Ed are great hosts. Someday, I hope Janet and I can return the favor and show them part of our great state of Texas. Our time there was short but good. Thanks again to Ed and Avis for being such great host…

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Lake Louise in Banff National Park Canada

While on this ride we visited Pikes Peak, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff (in Canada), Little Bighorn, Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore as well as many other sites along the way. I will be posting about each day of our 16 day ride in the coming days… Please, follow along as we ride some of the most beautiful scenic country in the U.S. and Canada.

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Little Bighorn Historical Site

 

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Devil’s Tower National Historic Site

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Mt. Rushmore

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 left column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to 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…

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 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 15 & 16 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Heading Home

Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Little Bighorn and Mt Rushmore 41 Years Ago

Route Map 41 Years Ago

Route Map 41 Years Ago

Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Little Bighorn and Mt Rushmore 41 Years Ago

I had just finished my 4 year enlistment in the USAF and was to return to my former civilian job with Geophysical Service Incorporate. But before doing so I took a little break before returning to the real world of civilian life. That was 41 years ago, this August. I drove my AMC Gremlin to Montana to visit Avis my pen-pal for the last 4 years. Along the way I visited Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Little Bighorn and Mt. Rushmore.

I have many fond memories of the places I visited and my pen-pal Avis and her family. The scenery and summer climate is beyond description. With low temperatures in the 50’s and highs in the 80’s and smell of pine trees in the forest, you are transported to a heavenly place. I loved Montana. I have always wanted to get back up that way but life has gotten in the way. We had planned to ride there in 2011 but again life got in the way and we cancelled our plans.

Well… the trip is back on for this July and as the time draws near we are getting excited about hitting the road. Plans are finalized, reservations have been made and we are sitting on go.

I know many of you have ridden or driven that part of the country… There is much to see and do… So if you have any suggestions about any part of our trip, please share them here. We would love to hear about your favorite things there.

Below is my route map and itinerary.

Planned Ride Map

Planned Ride Map

From/To Day Total Miles For Day Running Total Mileage
Georgetown – Dalhart

1

561

561

Dalhart — Georgetown via Hwy 67

2

469

1030

Georgetown – Rock Springs, WY — Pinedale

3

429

1459

Pinedale — Gardiner, MT

4

229

1688

Gardiner — Yellowstone — Gardiner

5

174

1862

Gardiner — Kalispell

6

407

2269

Kalispell — Troy

7

306

2575

Troy — Golden

8

260

2835

Golden — Lethbridge

9

296

3131

Lethbridge — Billings

10

404

3535

Billings — Gillette

11

233

3768

Gillette — Rapid City via Hwy 385

12

199

3967

Rapid City — Alliance

13

215

4182

Alliance — Garden City

14

415

Garden City — Abilene

15

420

5017

Abilene — GTN

16

201

5218

 

Because of the length of this trip I am planning on doing something I have never done before… Post logs of the trip on the road. Space is always an issue when packing for a long trip. To conserve space I have a new Netbook. Wish me luck and stay tuned for on the road post…

One more thing… I lost contact with Avis many… many… years ago. When I see something about Montana I am drawn back to that trip long ago. When planning this trip, memories of that first trip flooded my mind. I again wondered what had become of Avis. I hoped that life has treated her well. This prompted me to see if I could find her using the internet. After searching and hitting many dead ends I did eventually find an address. We have reconnected and we plan on stopping by to see Avis, Ed her husband and her mom. We have a lot to catch up on. We both have good families with lots of history and many stories to share. Seeing this beautiful part of the country again is the cake but seeing Avis and her family after all these years will be the icing.

Ride safe…