The ride to Buffalo, Wyoming 8-4-16

The four of us had breakfast at Tally’s across from the Alex Johnson at 8:00 and as with our previous visits it was great.

We filled up with gas and went West on SR 44 to US385 and then North to US 83 and over to Leads then West to alt. US 14 and the ride through Spearfish Canyon, a beautiful ride.

When we got to Spearfish we rode North on US 85 to Belle Fourche then West on SR 34 and a stop at the Stonehouse Tavern for a Bloody Mary.

The Stonehouse Bar West of. Belle Fourche on SR 14
The Stonehouse Bar West of. Belle Fourche on SR 14
Bill at the Stonehouse.
Bill at the Stonehouse.

From the Stonehouse we continued West to the Wyoming and our next stop at the Devil’s Tower.

The state line in SR 34
The state line in SR 34
Devils tower.
Devils tower.

After Devil’s Tower we continued on US 24 to US 14 and the town of Moorcroft for fuel.  We took SR 51 to Gillette where we continued in US14 North out of town and past the huge open pit coal mines.

We drove into Buffalo and checked into the old Occidental Hotel which as it turns out was having a local scholarship fundraiser in the bar with local talent that performed well for the packed house.20160804_201023

On our visit here last year we happened to be here for an auction of baked goods with the locals paying over $200.00 for some of the goods.  There was also an array of good local talent playing and riders coming from Sturgis that included a group from Sweden.


The front desk at the Occidental.
The front desk at the O


A sign at the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming
A sign at the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming

The group at the bar tonight was as diverse as last year and included riders going to Sturgis from Italy and Germany.

German rider at the Occidental Bar.
German rider at the Occidental Bar.

Tomorrow morning it over the mountain to Cody Wyoming before a trip up the Chief Joseph Highway and over Beartooth on our way to Red Lodge for the night.

Our ride into Surgis 8-3-16

Our morning was 70 deg. and clear for our 200 mile ride into Sturgis.  We crossed the Missouri river and headed West on US212 a national senic road.  This road goes through rolling prairie with little population few trees and a different lifestyle the we see in Michigan.

We arrived in Sturgis at 11am and it was a different experience to enter the town on the week prior to the official cstart of bike week.  We stopped at the remains of the Full Throttle saloon and took pictues of the remains.The remains of the Full Throttle August 2016

We visited some shops in Sturgis and meet Alice and Jeff our good friends from Michigan and had a beer then left for Rapid City and our accommodation a for The night at the Alex Johnson, our favorite place to stay in the area.

Jeff Alice and Bill in Sturgis 2016
Jeff Alice and Bill in Sturgis 2016I

We had dinner at Delmonico’s then went to the Roof of the Vertex bar on the Roof of the Alex Johnson for night caps.20160803_195617 20160803_194020_HDR

Tomorrow it’s off to Buffalo Wyoming and a night at the Occidental.

Day 2 the start of the plains 8-2-16

We left Red Wing at 8:30 and took State Road 19 West through some beautiful wooded hills with all the valley’s being farmed, a scenic ride. We worked our way North after crossing the Minnesota River to US 212 and took that West through much flatter land.  The trucks hauling 40 yard loads of sweet corn to the cannery were everywhere.

The day started out cloudy and soon changed to sunny and HOT.  It was 91 deg. When we stopped at Bobs Resort overlooking the Missouri river on US212. 20160802_191056

427 miles under our belts today, 198 miles to Sturgis tomorrow morning where we will meet Alice and Jeff Van Hassel

The first day on the road, 8-1-16

Bill met me at my house at 5:45 and we were on our way to Ludington to catch the ferry across Lake Michigan called the Badger. We arrived at 7:45 and were soon loading our cycles for the voyage.

After having breakfast in the Badger grill we went on deck to see if any lounge chairs were available but they were all full so we grabed some kregular chairs and waited for the boat to start moving. There were a number of people in t-shirts and I knew there would soon by people leaving to get out of the wind, and it worked, we soon had lounge chairs.

The Badger deck.
The Badger deck.

We arrived in Manitowoc at 11:45 Central time after a calm and clear passage.  We followed US 10 to the Mississippi and Red Wing, Minnesota where we are staying the night.

Tomorrow it’s off to Gettysburg South Dekota where we will stay at a fishing camp with a motel & restaurant  The weather looks good for tomorrow, cooler and clear.

Getting ready.

Tomorrow we leave on our trip to Alaska and the west coast, the beginning of a 6 or 7 week adventure. With Bill and I both being retired an open ended return from our trip is not a problem. Preparation has turned into a much more time consuming process the I had anticipated with repairs and maintenance, the purchase of warm gloves and protective gear like boot covers etc. took some thought a preparation.

My ride.
My ride.

My cycle radio was acting up and it took 6 trips to the dealership to deal with a difficult to diagnose problem due to the fact that the intermittent nature of the problem. The 6 trips amounted to more then 800 miles of driving for me. Things finally got moving when I made a video of the problem with sound so that the Tec could hear that there was a problem. Additionally a call to Harley Davidson Corporate that included a promise by me that if the problem was not addressed Harley Davidson would loose any future business from me. After seeing that I have purchased a number of bikes over the years this threat did have some weight to it and the problem was taken care of.

Packing for the trip with an eye towards attempting to cover all my needs took some thought. We will be traveling in weather conditions that we anticipate will be from hot and dry to cold and wet. With the space available on the cycle much thought was put into clothing, rain gear tools and other gear for this trip.

With our plans for a a trip the artic circle that includes traveling hundreds of mile on the haul road to Prudhoe Bay that is on a gravel road made of sharp crushed granite that is slick if it rains and dusty when dry but always tire cutting sharp. Good tires, proper inflation and holding down our speed to lessen the impact of the sharp stone edges with the tires seems to be the best option. Changing the tires on this road, especially on a Harley Ultra, or any road for that matter would not be fun. Calling the HOG road service may to be an option with an anticipated lack of cell service and the distance from a participating HOG service rep. will limit our options for tire repair or any repair for that matter.

Anyway, I am as prepared as I’m going to be and am looking forward to what I believe, for me, will be the trip of a lifetime.

My first blog attempt 7-2-16

This is my 2nd attempt at posting to my new blog attesting to my great blogging skills.  This blog is being  built to be able to post a log of our motorcycle journeys with pictures and descriptions of our days travels.

The people that will be in our next motorcycle adventure are Bill and myself.  Bill rides a BMW 1600GTL and I am on a 2014 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited CVO.  We have ridden together on a number of trips and have been friends since before high school.

Our next travel adventure will start on 8-1-16  leaving my home in Belding, Michigan and traveling West to Rapid City, South Dakota taking 3 days to get there to meet up with our friends Jeff and Alice.  They will arrive 2 day before we do and will tour the Black Hills prior to our arrival.  This will be my 10th time to the area but it is Alice’s first.  We will get together and head West to Buffalo, Wyoming where we will stay at the Occidental Hotel, a great old western hotel.  Our next day we will go over the Beartooth Pass and into Red Lodge, Montana and stay the night at the Pollard Hotel, another great place to stay. (this will be my 3rd time there).    This will be my 5th time Bills 4th time over Beartooth Pass and it is always a wonderful experience, one of the best rides in the US.

At Red Lodge we will split from Alice and Jeff.  They will travel through Yellowstone Park to see all the sites there and lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana.  Eating at Bullwinkles Saloon & Eatery, a great stopping place for food and drink.

Bill and I are on our way to Alaska with our next night in the Glacier National Park area.  From there it’s North into Canada to Banff and Lake Louise.

The balance of our trip to Alaska has not been firmed up but our plans include trips Homer, Denali, and a trip on the road to Prudhoe Bay stopping at the artic circle and heading back south from there.  After 5 or 6 days in Alaska we will start traveling back with our destination of Vancouver, British Columbia.

From Vancouver we will ferry across the sound to Vancouver Island and take another ferry to the Olympic Peninsula for a visit with a couple of bills old school friend and then down the Pacific coast through Astoria, Oregon and on to Portland, Oregon to visit with my daughter Erin and meet up with our wives who are flying in to meet us for some touring in the Portland area and will include a trip  with a driver to the Willamette Valley to visit some of the many great vineyards and do some wine tasting.

From here our trip is not firmed up yet but we will head into California and visit the Tahoe area before going South on US395 to Mammoth Lakes, California.

From there we will head East and towards home with the route yet to be determined.  Which ever way we take I know it will be a great trip with much to discuss on this new blog.