Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lonely Airhead at the Iron Horse Rodeo

Took a short ride last weekend over to the Red Lodge MT. area to meet up with a buddy of mine, Bob Clement. Bob owns "Bobs Motorwerks", a local, nationally known, Airhead BMW Specialist.
Bob has a wrecked BMW R100RT sitting in his shop which is looking for a new home. I'm thinking it might be a good parts bike for my parts stash. The bike has a bent frame / front end. I'm mainly interested in the drive train. I'm thinking having a spare 1000 cc engine / transmission for the side car rig might be a good idea.

I took a "round about" route over towards Red Lodge, going through Belfry MT / Bear Creek MT. Upon entering Belfry, I saw a couple dozen Harley riders in front of the local bar....then met another dozen or so on the road towards Bear Creek.

The clouds were hanging low over the Beartooth Mtns. off in the distance. Red Lodge is at the base of the mountains in the back ground.

Stopping in Bear Creek for a minute, many more riders were at the local watering hole.

                               Must have been the local hardware  / general store in the past.

                                              Stopped on the hill above Red Lodge

Entering town I quickly realized that a Bike Rally was going on....ended up the the annual "Iron Horse Rodeo" was this weekend. A few thousand more bikes in town than usual.

Bob had mentioned that he would be parked downtown....of course I didn't know that 2000 other bikes would be parked downtown

Quite an assortment of machines about. 99% of them were of the Harley variety. Maybe one out of 50 had something resembling a muffler attached.

Finally met Bob C. on his Gold Wing / sidecar rig going the other direction about 8 miles out of town....I turned around and tried to catch up with him, but to no avail. He turned on a side road and I lost sight of him.
I'll maybe try to get together with him later in the Summer if the wrecked bike is still available.

Decided to head home as the weather was looking dark. Decided to take a "long cut" home through Columbus MT. Saw this Memorial to a fallen couple along the road....coincidentally they lost their lives on July 16th, 2004....this happened to be July 16th, 2016.
I vaguely recall the occurrence. They owned / operated the Napa Auto Parts store in Columbus MT. If I remember correctly, they hit a deer on the road, resulting in the crash.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Big Horn Mountain Airhead Beemer - 478 mile day ride.

Since we decided not to do anything over the Holiday weekend, I planned a solo ride into the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming. Preparing the 1971 R75/5  was simple: top off the engine oil & check the tires.
I've been riding it without the small faux "S" fairing and prefer the "naked" look.
I decided to ride old high way 212 across the Crow Reservation to Dayton Wyoming. The Wyoming 14 is a great ride and I've been over it more times than I can count.....but only a few times on a bike.
               ("click" on images to enlarge)

Pulled over for a quick break near Hardin MT, the town I grew up in....sat many times in this pullout as a kid drinking boot legged beer and smoking  the "ditch weed" of those days.

                         Crossed the Little Horn River a few times before entering Wyoming.

Parkman Bar - Parkman Wyoming....back in the early 70's this was the closest place to buy Coors beer....not that Coors beer is good, but since you couldn't purchase Coors in Montana, everyone wanted it. One dude would collect $2.00 - $2.50 per six pack from numerous buyers.....haul ass to $1.25 per six pack, then return to Hardin and distribute his haul. This method bought his beer for free and lots of gas money, since gas was $.35 per gallon back then. A pretty good racket he had going. I refused to ever ride with the guy as he drove like a maniac....and totaled numerous cars in his younger years.

About 10 miles out you can see the "road cut" going up the Big Horn Mountains via WY. Highway 14

Another view after going up a few more miles.

Big pullout looking at "The Fallen City" it is named.

Looking up the mountain to the next pullout, I remember seeing guys with a pickup load of old tires. They would throw them over the cliff and watch them roll violently to the bottom....great fun back in the day.

Fallen City close up.

Looking back towards Dayton Wyoming.

Eventually the road leads to Burgess Junction where High way 14 & 14A split. My Cousins owned a cabin near Burgess Junction so we spent a lot of time up there when I was a kid. I decided to take WY. 14 to Shell WY. as it is a nice route. The photo above is looking down into Shell Canyon. The road follows the river down below. 

I stopped for a minute for a refreshment at this Cafe / Bar. Visited with some Manitoba Canadians for a bit. Told them to avoid picking up any stray Bison Calves in Yellowstone Park as they were heading there. Don't know if they appreciated my sarcastic humor much....

Next stop was in Greybull WY. for another refreshment. I was the only bike on the street when I parked. Came out 15 minutes later to a herd of Harleys surrounding me.


Rode the next leg to Lovell WY. and stopped for fuel. About 20 miles down the road I ran into a huge storm. No way could I  avoid it and decided to back track over the Big Horns Via WY 14A. I was only 70 miles from Billings.....the re-route would add another 160+ miles.

Wall of water 

Stopped at the top of  "Oh My God Hill" (as the truckers used to call it)....looking back on the route I just came up. I was just ahead of the storm and staying dry.

Back in Dayton Wyoming and a few miles towards Montana my weather luck ran out. Rode into a huge storm....lightening strikes very a bit wet and headed the 5 miles back to Dayton to sit the storm out. Storm was fast and furious and passed in 15 minutes or so.

storm passed...

Old grain elevator in Wyola Montana....I worked at a "sister" elevator in Hardin MT. when I was 15 years old...came up to this one once to work a long abandoned.

The old "Camp Custer" Motel in Crow Agency MT. A good buddies family owned / operated it back in the 70's - 80's. Also abandoned and in sad condition.

Pay Phone?....most youngsters don't even know what that was....

Last photo before riding the final 65 miles miles today: 478 miles in 12 hours. My back was pretty sore by the time I got home. Victim of the combination of the  "Euro Bars" and arthritis....I don't care....already looking forward to my next ride. The joy / exhilaration of riding overcomes most all pain...well almost anyway.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.