I am a member of several messaging boards that deal with motorcycles in general, and the Goldwing in particular. On one board - www.gl1800riders.com I saw an announcement for an upcoming gathering that caught my eye. There was to be about 250 folks showing up on 160 Goldwings in Montorse, Colorado for the first (of what most of us hope will be an aanual event) Rockies-Gold. I normally look for rides that Lynda and I can do together, and this seemed like the perfect one, but she couldn't really take the time off so i decided to do it solo and revisit some of my favorite spots along the way. The gathering was from the 25th of July trhough the 29th. I took the whole week off but left early in order to get home on Suday to return to work on Monday.
My boss let me off early on the 20th so I could try and get a few miles under my belt. This was the frst trip I'd made where I had reservations each of the nights, so I had goals to make everyday. The first official day of the ride I was to ride into Elko, Nv. from San Ramon. The second day into Bozeman. Mt., the third day into Jackson, Wy. The fourth day into Moab, Ut., the fifth, sixth and seventh in Montrose, Co. and then home via Las Vegas. The whole ride was a little over 3,400 miles.
Friday I rode from San Ramon up to Jackson, Ca, at the base of Kit Carson Pass - CA-88. I spent the night at the Best Western and was on the road early heading east over the pass. The carson pass is one of three highways leading into the Lake Tahoe region that is maintained all year long (I-80, US-50, and CA-88), so it is quite heavily traveled. It also boasts three lakes along the way.
Here's a shot of Capels Lake.
And here is a shot of Red Lake.
After dropping down into the desert on the Eastern side of the Sierra I turned left off of 88 onto US-395 into Carson City where I picked up US-50 and continued east into Fallon where I Picked up US-95 to I-80.
I pulled into Elko at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was 105. Grabbed a quick bite to eat and got checked into the motel where I remained under air conditioning until the next morning.
Sunday moring I was ready to go at 7:30. I had another 525 miles to ride. I hopped back on I-80 East for about 40 minutes to the town of Wells, Nv. where US-93 intersects. The Northerly ride up US-93 to Twin Falls, Id. was un-eventful.
Here's a little sampling of US-93
After spending the night in Bozeman I got up early on Monday for the 142 mile run down I-90 to Billings where I would pick up US-212 for my first run accross the Beartooth pass on my Goldwing. Before we get to the pictures of this spectaular area a little topography and history of this highway are in order. First, imagine spending the night in Billings at an average elevation of 3124', with the knowledge that the next day you would be crossing a mountain pass that was nearly 11,000' above sea level, or, some 7000 feet in elevation gain. That's impressive. From Wikidpedia -->The pass was crossed by Civil War General Phillip Sheridan and 120 men on an inspection tour of Yellowstone, which had just been made a national park, in August 1882. Rather than take the long detour down the Clarks Fork River to return to Billings, Sheridan took the advice of an old hunter named Greer, who claimed intimate knowledge of the Beartooth Mountains. Fifty years later, the road over the pass was opened in 1936. It essentially follows Sheridan's route. In recent history the Pass suffered makpr damage during the winter of 2005, so it remained closed till it was re-opened in the Spring of 2006.
Here's some shots The first few miles were flat and un-eventful, until of course the dreaded "Road Work next 17 Miles" sign ---
Then we started doing some snakes.
Followed by more snakes
Then I began to climb.
To the top! Notice the highway snaking along the valley floor. There is an elevation gain to this spot of about 4,000 feet, with another 3,000 to go.
Notice the switchback's here.
Yours truly at the Rock Creek Vista Point.
About as close as you can get to the actual pass.
Next Stop Yellowstone!
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