South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.


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Solina Dave
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South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Solina Dave » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:38 pm



Hi everybody, it's going to be spring in about 2 hours. Hallelujah!
If my old bones will take it, I'm hoping to take a trip for between 3 and 5 weeks in late August, and into September. I'll leave home in Solina, go north up and over the lake head to International Falls, go south and west through Minnesota, and cut across somewhere just north of Fargo, and then I'll go southwest to Rapid City, across the northeasten corner of Wyoming, and Devil's Tower, and then northwest through Montana to the Upper Missouri River Breaks. Then I'll head back east across northern North Dakota, and back to International Falls. Then either re-trace my steps over the lake head, or ride to Sault Ste. Marie, and back home from there. I figure 6,000 to 7,000 kms. (3,700 to 4400 miles)
I was basically out around that area a little over 30 years ago, so I figure if I ever want to go back to some of the most spectacular country on earth, I'd better get at it. Some feedback from all you worldly travelers would be welcome. I'll give you a Google Maps link so you'll see a basic idea for a route, and I'd appreciate any ideas for interesting side trips along the way.
Just one other thing. I don't like cities. If I can possibly avoid them, by bi-passing them, I'll always do it. I'll leave it with you, and thank you, all of you, for allowing me to visit your beautiful country. It is truly a sight to behold.

Spring has almost sprung!.........................................Dave

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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Wilcoy02 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:27 pm

Dave

Looks like a good trip.
Hope it is as you remembered it.

Part of your trip is where we are going to be riding Early July and back middle of Aug.

Take lots of pics.

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Dusty Boots
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Dusty Boots » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:06 am

Will you be camping, or staying in motels?

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Solina Dave
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Solina Dave » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:10 am

Dusty Boots wrote:Will you be camping, or staying in motels?



I'm going to be staying at motels all the way, unless I get caught someplace without one, and then you might find me curled up under a bridge somewhere. It wouldn't be the first time.
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Dusty Boots » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:25 am

I have ridden those areas many times and here is the route (which includes many Bucket List items) that I would suggest.
I also detest riding through large cities and along Interstates, so I have kept them to a minimum. This is just a brief of what there is, so do your research of points along the way, as there is a lot to see/do and could easily take up all of your 5 weeks, if not in a big hurry!!!

Because there are so many way points, I had to make 3 maps


1st leg- Home to Cody, WY. - http://tinyurl.com/lxn94ef

Not sure why you want to go to International Falls twice ???

Anyways, leave home and head up 57 to 35 and follow that up to Dorset, where you take 117 over to Bracebridge and follow the route out past Santa's Village and over to Port Carling. Follow 7 up to Rosseau, then 141 over to Parry Sound before jumping on 69 and following that up into Sudbury.
With the new By pass around Sudbury, there are no gas stations available for some distance before and after, so I suggest to fill up at the little gas station at 69 and Shebeshekong Rd - http://goo.gl/maps/44Gvz

Hwy 17 has changed a fair amount in the 30 years you were last on it ... and not entirely for the better I'm afraid, as there are bypasses to many of the smaller towns now. Scenery is still great, but the charm of riding through quaint little towns/villages is now very diminished.
Check out Kakabeka Falls just outside of Thunder Bay and Mt McKay Scenic Look Out in Thunder Bay for a great vantage point overlooking Lake Superior - http://goo.gl/maps/RWtd6

Hwy 61 south of TB to Duluth is much more scenic than that to International Falls, IMHO
Head from Duluth up to IF if so desired and back down to Bemidji and continue south til you reach SR 200 and follow that unhurried gem of a road all the way over to Great Falls, MT.
Hwy 2 through western ND/eastern MT is chewed up/very busy, due to all the fracking up there and as a result, accommodations are very tough to find. Should be quite a few mom n Pop motels along 200. Also keep an eye on fuel levels, as there can be quite a distance between gas stations out west!!
Follow my route through Great Falls , up to Browning, MT, where the Rockies will be in full view, as you are getting close to Glacier NP. Follow 89 to where 49 cuts off and follow that south until it drops you out at US 2, which you follow around the southern edge of the park and on up to West Glacier for a room somewhere along the strip. next day, ride through the park, following the Going-To-The-Sun Rd to it's far end and back. (try and keep your eyes on the rd!!)
Once you have your fill there, head on over to ride down the twisty, eastern edge of beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene (reminds me of the Muskokas) and make your way down n over to Orofino, ID, (or Kamiah, as marked) for the evening. You are now at the western end of the famed Lolo Pass, full of fast sweepers and nothing but wilderness and rollicking rivers until the town of Lolo, MT.
Make sure you fill up in Kamiah, as the next readily available gas station is in Lolo, MT!! - http://goo.gl/maps/jf1dZ
Once you get to Lolo, head south along another great route, a lot of it following river valleys down into the town of Stanley, ID, gate way to the mighty Sawtooth Mountain Range and a few natural hot springs

Head south until you come to US 20 and follow that east, past Craters of The Moon NM and on through to Idaho Falls, where you pick up US 26 and make your way over Teton Pass into Jackson, WY, up through Grand Tetons and Yellowstone NP and follow US 14/16/20 over to Cody, WY (good base camp area to visit Yellowstone and the many tourist offerings in town! - http://www.yellowstonecountry.org/ )


Leg 2 - Cody, WY to Eagle Harbor, MI. - http://goo.gl/maps/PjQ19


Once you've had your fill of what to see in the Cody area, follow my route north and be prepared for some of the most scenic roads in the northern states, as you'll be riding the Chief Joseph, Beartooth and medicine Wheel (Bighorns) Scenic Byways before hitting Ranchester, WY for the night. From there, t's a fairly short/quick jaunt up I-90 to US 212 and check out the very interesting Little Bighorn Battlefield NM.
Continue down US 212 to Devils Tower NM and then ride Spearfish Canyon, down to Custer, SD, (central to everything) which makes another great base of adventure for the next few days as you check out all that the Black Hills region has to offer. (make sure you ride the Needles Hwy and Iron Mtn Rd) I'd suggest a minimum of 4 days!! - http://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/parks ... oCkZDw_wcB

From there, head south to Chadron, NE (watch your fuel levels) where you pick up US 20 again and head east. You'll notice how dry and arid this portion of the trip is, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids and Gatorade.
Once you get to Valentine, head north and pick up Hwy 12, AKA the Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway, where the riding isn't so bleak as it is along US 20. Follow that over the Missouri River, into Yankton, SD which is enough mileage for the day.
Next day, head south and pick up 12 again and follow it back down to US 20 again and just bypass Sioux City and follow 20 all the way over to a short distance before Dubuque, IA, where you pick up Hwy 136 and ride north, following the Mississippi River to where you cross over it to Prairie de Chien, where you then follow the Wisconsin River (hwy 60) over to US 12, where you head north through the vacation hot spots of Baraboo, Wisconsin Dells and on up to Wisconsin Rapids, where you start to swing NW, heading out on the point of land near Lake Superior's Apostle Islands and down to Ashland, WI.
From there, you ride the southern shores of Lake Superior over to Houghton, MI. which is a good base to explore the Keweenaw Peninsula the next day.


Final Leg - Houghton, MI to home - http://goo.gl/maps/os0YM

Explore the coast of Lake Superior, riding up to Eagle Harbor and check out the Lighthouse and small museum there. Continue riding along the coast up into Copper Harbor. On your way out, ride up Brockway Mountain Dr (a little rough/broken up so go easy) and then explore the other coastline on the south side of the peninsula on the way back..
Continue to enjoy the views of Lake Superior as you make your way over to Munising and pick up Michigan's famed M-58 (AKA Hurricane Rd) as it twists it's way through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, out to the quaint village of Grand Marais, where you can check out the vast sand dunes/beaches.
Head south on 77 to 28 and follow that over to 133 where you head north through Newberry, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, over to paradise, where you head north to Whitefish Point Lighthouse and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. - http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com/

Retrace your steps back to Paradise and continue south on 123. Continue following the shores of Superior by turning left onto Lake Superior Shoreline Rd - http://goo.gl/maps/RgMLf and following it around, past another lighthouse at Point Iroquois - http://goo.gl/maps/qzmy7 through the small town of Brimley and eventually I-75 and soon after at the Soo, MI.

From there, you know your way home!

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Solina Dave
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Solina Dave » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:18 pm

Well sir, I just cannot believe all the work you did to layout a possible route for my trip. Thank you so much indeed, I really appreciate it.
I've traveled many places, on my motorcycle over the past 38 years. I've been across Canada, coast to coast, and through the Rockies to California, and the southwest, and Colorado, and Utah, and the Appalachians, and Florida, and the Keys, and on, and on. Where does it end? But I know for sure, that I've never planned with detail at this level. It's going to be a lot of fun! I think that I just took more time to read it, than you took to prepare it. Again, thank you very much for all your work. I'll study it very closely. I might have to divide this venture up into a few parts, and spread it out over a couple of years.

Again thank you, and I will be sure to keep an eye on my gas gauge, and when you're out riding, ride far, and ride safely..........................Dave
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby redial » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:28 am

Well done, Dusty. Those directions are excellent, so that even this foreigner could undertake that journey - if only the traffic would ride on the correct side of the road :roll:
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby djoyner » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:21 pm

I'm not sure if you've been to Yellowstone NP. IMHO, it would be a shame to be so close to it and not visit. However, you would want to add at least two days to visit the park. Good trip routing Dusty!
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Solina Dave
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Solina Dave » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:54 pm

djoyner wrote:I'm not sure if you've been to Yellowstone NP. IMHO, it would be a shame to be so close to it and not visit. However, you would want to add at least two days to visit the park. Good trip routing Dusty!


Thanks for that djoyner. I have been to Yellowstone before. I was through there by myself, back in 1978 as a matter of fact, and later my wife and I rode there and camped out, on our honeymoon back in '83.
Dusty did an excellent job for sure. I've drafted a possible route, and applied probably 85% of his suggestions. I'll post it when it's final, and maybe others would find it useful.
Thanks again for your suggestion, you read my mind. Yellowstone Park is definitely a big part of my trip again this time.

Planning's half the fun. It sparks your imagination......................Dave
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby djoyner » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:00 pm

Solina Dave wrote:
djoyner wrote:I'm not sure if you've been to Yellowstone NP. IMHO, it would be a shame to be so close to it and not visit. However, you would want to add at least two days to visit the park. Good trip routing Dusty!


Thanks for that djoyner. I have been to Yellowstone before. I was through there by myself, back in 1978 as a matter of fact, and later my wife and I rode there and camped out, on our honeymoon back in '83.
Dusty did an excellent job for sure. I've drafted a possible route, and applied probably 85% of his suggestions. I'll post it when it's final, and maybe others would find it useful.
Thanks again for your suggestion, you read my mind. Yellowstone Park is definitely a big part of my trip again this time.

Planning's half the fun. It sparks your imagination......................Dave


For sure! Last year was my first visit to Yellowstone and I was like a kid marveling at all of the sights, sounds and smells. On that trip I also rode Utah 12 through the Staircase Escalante from Capitol Reef NP to Bryce Canyon and Zion. I never get enough of visiting our national parks and being in the great outdoors.

Have fun!
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Al Lenz » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:34 pm

If you go to Yellowstone be sure it's after labor day if you don't like cities you certainly won't like the summer crowds there, and for the record we drive on the RIGHT side of the road over here!!

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Solina Dave
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Solina Dave » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:25 am

Al Lenz wrote:If you go to Yellowstone be sure it's after labor day if you don't like cities you certainly won't like the summer crowds there, and for the record we drive on the RIGHT side of the road over here!!


Thanks for the heads-up Al, that's an excellent point. I would think Labour Day might be the busiest day at Yellowstone, what with all the families cramming in one last trip to the park before summer ends, and the kids go back to school. I used to do that, but now I'm old, and I don't have to.
I've got my proposed route about 90% final. It looks like pretty close to 8,500 kms./5,300 miles. To do it in 3 weeks I'd need to average 400 kms./250 miles per day, and 4 weeks would average out at 300 kms./190 miles per day. A 5th week would be alright, but I don't think I can afford it. Four weeks is going to tap me out.
I can make fairly good time across the prairies, and that'll allow me to relax a bit through the mountains. Ahhh, it feels real good just saying that!
Len, you just go right on driving on the other side of the road, and don't you let anyone tell you that you don't have the right to be wrong, my friend!

Snow's about 90% gone now. Come on spring!....................Dave
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby redial » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:34 am

Len, you just go right on driving on the other side of the road, and don't you let anyone tell you that you don't have the right to be wrong, my friend!


Can I help it if the rest of the world is out of step :?: When they exported us from the UK, they put some bad habits in to us. But that is ok, we have given them a bath at a couple of things, like cricket, rugby, swimming. This land of former convicts that now number about 23 million, is holding their own - nearly as good as New Zealand with their 4.5 million, but around 15% of NZers live in Oz. Some people ask how the NZers (often called Kiwis) play so well, it is because they use Oz as a training and coaching facility :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana etc.

Postby Dusty Boots » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:28 am

Last time I rode out to the west coast was back in 2011, leaving 'The Beav' early July 3 and arriving in Manchester State Park (just outside of Port Orchard, WA.) July 12, following this route

We camped the whole trip (actually I was on the road for 3 months +) and had enough time to leisurely set up camp and cook dinner/breakfast each day, as well as doing some exploring/riding locally.
We spent only 1 night at Glacier Nat Park on July 7th, due to the Going-To-The-Sun being closed due to the fact they were still trying to open up the road (still some 50 ft snow drifts) It turns out they didn't get that road open until July 17th that year. (higher than normal snowpack)
We spent 2 nights at our campsite in Banff, running up to Jasper and back on day 2.
By far our longest day was from Pointer D to E, as that turned out to be a 16 hr day, including detours due to flooding, construction delays, gas and meal breaks. :roll:

Although I was out in WY and the Black Hills this past summer, I can't wait to get back out to the coast again in 2016! 8-)




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