Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Sturgis I love you :-)

Well I know its been a while since the last update. So I now find myself in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I spent a few days at Yellowstone, though Yellowstone West reminded me very much of Blackpool, full of tacky overpriced shops ! but the saving grace was the beauty of Yellowstone National Park

Lovely Buffalo comes to say hello to Louise.. my bike

stunning colours

Old Faithful blows for me :-)

The heat was stiff ling 
I had 2 days in the park and then headed east for Sturgis where I was hoping to catch up with the Cannonball 2012 race, these guys are riding East to West all on pre 1930 bikes ! They think nothing of stripping down an engine by the side of the road and replacing pistons and heads ! These are the hardcore riders of the world.
I decided I would try as best as I could and stay of the main highways... think Motorways ! so I was happy to spend my days winding down smaller roads. One road, was called the "Chief Joseph Highway" took me up a spiralling mountain, at the top I reached 9,430 feet. A new record for altitude height. 
On this road I saw, An Indian on horseback, a moose ! thought it was cattle till I saw the massive horns and lots of deer.

I was hoping to see Custers last stand at the Battle of Little Big Horn but realised that the cannonball riders ( here is the link )arrive at Sturgis on Thursday night ! Its so easy to loose total track of time when your on the road.
So I head 250 miles to Sturgis and managed to bump into Doug ( I stayed at his campsite in Bulgaria). He invited me to join the rest of the riders at a free dinner and drink do :-) There I met the owner of the campsite Fritz who invited me to stay as long as I liked.
So I had a lovely 4 day rest and caught up on all my laundry and serviced the bike.
Finally managed to meet up with Doug

Sturgis camp site, during bike week this is home to 9,000 campers

Leaving Sturgis I backtracked to Devils Monument, it is famous for the film "Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind but actually is about a bear chasing Indian children..... Google is your friend here lol

From there I headed home.... to Newcastle !

Sadly Newcastle Wyoming !
Now that really did make me feel homesick.
I headed up to Crazy Horse Memorial, it truely was a breathtaking event ! The monument is fantastic and I would love to see it finished in my lifetime.

The I headed for Mount Rushmore but they wanted $11 entry, its the same if you turn up with a car full of 5 people, so I decided just to look from a distance... to be honest, after Crazy Horse I was a bit let down at how small the presidents heads are.

I then followed the road to Custer Park, what a fantastic road it was, full of little twisty turns and 360 degree turns where you would climb up by the use of wooden bridges... I have never ridden anything like that!

I then ended up in Hot Springs and so a local talked to me about a campsite about 20 miles down the road. So off I went, 20 miles, 30, 40 still no campsite ! 50,60,70 still nothing, I was on a very straight road.... with fences either side !
To make matters worse the light was fading fast, I find a town ... great ... its a ghost town frown full of old buildings and abandoned cars..... Julian banjos started playing in my head ! get the hell out of there quick !
110 miles later... and nearly out of fuel .. I find a motel... but the bloke wants $55 ( I have set a $40 tops motel fund), so I move on 3 miles down the road... find a Fort with a camp area, 45 mins later in the pitch black I find the campsite and get set up... havent ate all day, so cook some sausages up and have a cold beer smile
being late, I decided just to cover the frying pan (with a plastic bag because I am having eggs in the morning) so I put the pan outside my inner tent and put it on top of my hard cases. around 4 in the morning, theres a big crash !!! I jump up... something is trying to steal the frying pan ... so I get my torch and open the zip about 1 inch and peer out ... nothing there... but the plastic bag is all ripped... so I brought inside the tent.... Lay there, thinking feck me.. what if it had been a bear !! Was I going to blind it with my torch light lol.. I think it was a raccoon or something like that.
I also heard Indians singing... and I think wolves crying.... the next day I asked the lady in the petrol station about the Indians... she said "Theres no Indians round here..... well not since a 100 years ago"..... Made my hairs stand up on my neck!
Needless to say, I struggled to get back to sleep and felt tired all day... so Im in a $35 motel enjoying a cold beer before hitting the sack and catching up with my sleep.

So thats it for now folks... please tune in again.... in the next few weeks to read about my exciting journey to California 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Back on the road ... but to where ?

Hi all

Well I have been really bad at updating this blog! Then again I am back to camping without the luxury of WiFi.

So I am now at West Yellowstone and about to enter the park tomorrow.

So, how did I get here ? Well I ended up staying another few nights at Tacoma. I just didnt feel too good. I put it down to Jet lag but I felt really drained and lethargic. Not to mention I felt like I had flu like symptoms.

So I finally left Tacoma a week later. I had contacted a guy called Tom from ADV riders site. He was offering tent space or spare room. However he was at a friends small farm for the weekend, he did email me saying I was welcome and that there were other oversea's guys so I would be the only "foreigner" I did laugh! I never thought of myself as a foreigner in the USA.
Well it was a short 140 mile ride to meet Tom and the rest of the guys n girls. I have to say, I was slightly nervous of meeting them all but within minutes I was made very welcome and just felt part of it all.

There was of course, lots of beer and tons of food to eat. We all sat round the fire as Sue (Tom's wife) handed around the "teapot".. however this wasnt tea ! it was full of all sorts of spirits!  However it did go down rather well !

Round the campfire

Shaun the host, Ray from Manchester and Beth the hostess

toasting buns for breakfast

the morning after banter around the fire

So, Tom and Sue invited me back to stay with them. Tom took me over an excellent route to his house, stopping to take pictures of local beauty spots.
Tom also took me out for a ride in his lovely old car ( I cant remember the age, it was all just to much to take in ),
Tom showing me the local sights

Tom and I about to go for a drive 

So 1 day turned into 2 and then 3, Then Sue says Pot roast night..... so it was 4 nights
Sue's pot roast, it was so delicious :-) 
So I finally left Tom and Sue's, Though I think I would have been quite happy to stay for months ! Infact the bed was so comfortable, I started to feel homesick !

Sue and Tom, wonderful host's

So I hit the road, well the wrong road. Tom said take route 26 but somehow I ended up on the 30 and came round the back of Mount Hood, where I ran out of fuel but luckily carrying spare fuel. I ended up camping on the shore of a lake. You cant beat waking up and opening up your tent to a fantastic view

So it was back on the road and I found route 20, which took me to a lovely little quaint village called "Dayville". It was early in the afternoon but the sun was scorching and I decided to stop for the night. Julie the woman who ran the local garage/store offered to make me a pizza. I didnt think it would be as big as it was ! There was so much I was still eating it for breakfast.

Julie, cooked me a huge delicious pizza

on the Oregon Trail

I havent managed to many miles because every 20 minutes I seem to see something and stop to look or take a picture. Of course I keep going ohhhhh as I ride past things.

So I am now at the edge of Yellowstone Park. I intend to spend a few days here, head East to Custers last stand and then down to Sturgis. Till then, Ride Safe :-)