Thursday, 8 August 2013

Riding in cowboy country

Days on road - 9
Miles so far - 2800 ish
No of breakdowns - 2 (bent wheel on GSXR and dodgy alt. on R1)
No of stops for speeding - about 10 (losing count)
No of tickets issued - 2 (although one was a warning ticket)

Not sure how many states we have gone through but we have now hit 3 time zones and we are currently 7 hours behind UK.

South Dakota and Wyoming are states I would highly recommend for riding your Iron Steed. Home of Buffalo Bill and Cody of course is the Rodeo capital of the world. These states have everything from wonderful twisties (like the 14 Alternative that goes up to 8000 feet) right through Indian country, great pit stops, amazing wildlife and biker friendly locals! What more could you ask for? If you are prepared to put in the miles, you will be generously rewarded. I wish I could tell you all that has happened in the last couple of days but I will avoid waffling too much and share the highlights. The rough and the smooth.

Custer (South Dakota) is a wonderful little town full of saloons, bikers and cowboys. I loved this place and the people were very friendly. This particular saloon literally had sawdust all over the floor! I had always wanted to make an entrance through doors like this and I finally got my wish!

In the morning I went for a run and was greeted by deer pottering around and beatiful red sky. What a great place.

From here the ride over the Dead Indian Pass to Cody is stunning!

 Dead Indian Pass is a stunning pass for bikes. The speed is severely restricted but the twisties are amazing and take you all the way up to 8000 feet. What a beautiful place and amazing roads. At the top you will find a load of greedy chipmunks who are clearly used to being fed by the visitors who pass through. One of them had so many nuts stuffed in his cheeks but it kept on coming back and grabbing more in the hope that it could squeeze just one more in there! It was twice the size of the others!!

Cody really is cowboy country and the capital of Rodeo. I went to watch the Rodeo that night with the guys but it really wasn't for me. I wanted to see it so I could be sure of my opinions and it has confirmed my initial thoughts. It really is not for me. I don't see how it can be entertaining to put an animal through so much obviouls distress where they are jumping out of the ring in fear. It is their way and who am I to tell them to stop. I do certainly have the right to an opinion though and I will never be one of the cheering crowd.

 Yellowstone Park is a wonderful reserve. It is so vast and is full of wildlife. I was expecting to see Bufallo and Elk but to be so lucky to see a Grizzly was just amazing. Even the locals are lucky to see one as they generally keep themselves to themselves but there he was. Pottering around in the woods. We hid behind a few branches (along with several other people who had spotted that something interesting was happening) and just watched him. This was the highlight of my day and believe me there were many great moments. We watched Old faithful erupt, sat patiently while a Buffalo took his time to get off the road, sampled Buffalo burgers in the wonderful little town of Cooke and road the

Beartooth Pass (considered the best biking road in the world). Sadly this is where Andy damaged his wheel and needed rescuing resulting in me having to give him a lift to Salt Lake City where he could get a new one. Unfortunaltly Dani broke down just half an hour later and so we had to squeeze two on the truck. This involved a lot of muscle and the usual amount of brute force and ignorance as we did not posses ramps!! All good fun.

Now leaving Salt Lake City after all the bikes have been sorted (apart from Dani's who broke down again 5 mins after leaving the garage) and heading for Boneville Salt Flats! Yehaaaaa!!!


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