In the summer of 2001 we (my owner Marty, his girlfriend Patti and I) left
our home in Northern California and headed for The Rocky Mountains. Our first destination
was Pole Bridge Montana and the Rocky Mountain National Primitive Rendezvous. To get to
Montana we followed much of the old immigrant trail across The Sierras and the wastes of
Nevada now known as Interstate 80. At Wells Nevada we turned north toward Twin Falls Idaho where we crossed the Snake
River. We continued north through Sun Valley and I trudge over the 8701ft. high Galena
Pass. We had a beautiful view of the Saw Tooth Mountains from
the other side of the pass. We then dropped into the valley of the east fork of the Salmon
River which we followed north seeing herds of elk grazing in the
meadows along its banks. We spent the night in Salmon Idaho and the next day drove passed
Pole Bridge Montana to the Rendezvous. Marty and Patti camped for
the week at the rendezvous along the banks of the Flat Head River.
Of course I had to stay in the parking area because vehicles are not welcome in a
After sitting around in the parking area for a week, I was happy to see Marty and Patti
arrive with their camping stuff so we could continue our trip.
We left the Rendezvous and headed for Glacier
National park. It is a long hard clime from the entrance of the park to the summit of
the "Going To The Sun Highway" but the scenery is spectacular.
The next day we headed south through beautiful Montana. Marty and Patti
decided to stop at a camp ground near the town of Seely Lake. I was having problems with
the new electric fuel pump that Marty had installed just before the trip so he bought a
new mechanical fuel pump for me in town. The next morning Marty installed the new fuel
pump. Now, running much better, we headed south again crossing Idaho and arriving at Salt
Lake City Utah late in the afternoon.
Boy was I tired.
The plan was to take Patti to the Air Port the next day, put her on a plane for San
Francisco and pick up Tom, (Marty's Brother-in-law) who would be arriving from San
Francisco. Tom would accompany us for the remainder of the trip.
I got lucky and didn't have to take them to the airport because there was a free shuttle
available. My old 250cu.in. engine was getting tired and it was starting to burn oil which
is something that it had never done before so I welcomed the rest. I don't like driving in
Finally Tom and Marty showed up and we were off on another adventure.
Our first destination was the area around Cokeville Wyoming. Tom and Marty have a friend
named Woodrow who is a cowboy on a large ranch near Cokeville and
they planned to spend some time with him. We arrived at Woodrow's
camp in the evening. The camp is on the Smith fork of the
Bear River. We spent about a week at Woody's checking out the many old abandoned cabins, doing some exploring of the local area. Of course Marty
had to do some fishing and a little horse riding.
I don't know what he sees in those horses. Smelly things. They don't look very comfortable
to ride. Ok, so maybe they can go places that I can't but they are awful slow.
After a week at Woodrows it was time to move on.
The plan was to try and stay mostly on back roads from Woody's to the town of Cody
Wyoming. Unfortunately there is a large section of wilderness area between the two places
so we eventually had to travel on blacktop from Dubois to Cody.
From Woody's camp we headed North and East along the Smith Fork to some where near it's source then across the mountains to the Grays
River. We camped two nights on the Grays River.
The deer in in the area were very tame and in the evenings they came
quite close to our camp. Several times during the day we saw Moos
in the bushes or crossing the road. The fishing was good so
we didn't get far during the day because Marty had to stop at every
hole to try his angling "luck". I enjoyed it though because I was on dirt
roads and didn't have to work very hard. I love the crunch of gravel under my tires and
the fresh smell of pine in my air intake as I slowly put-put along an old dirt road.
Eventually we turned east away from the Grays River on a road that followed a small creek
that I think was called "BB Creek". Of course, not to far up the road Marty had to stop and try his luck again. He caught a couple of nice cut throat trout and decided that they would be enough for
supper. We continued along this road for many miles crossing McDoogle
Pass where we saw some of the largest beaver ponds that
we had seen so far.
Eventually we came to the paved road just south of the town of Daniel
Wyoming. We then turned north to Daniel where we stopped to check out an old historic
From Daniel we went to Pinedale where Tom and Marty toured "the Museum of the
After leaving Pinedale we took the road that goes North through the town of Cora and over
Union Pas to Dubois. The road is a very rough washboard from just past Cora to the turn
off That takes you to union pass. I was very happy to get on this road because washboard
roads make me crazy with all that shaking. It feels like it's going to shake all my nuts
The union pass road is very old and not well maintained so we had to go slow and in 4
wheel drive. "I loved it." It took a long time to climb up this mountain
to the pass. We stopped to camp for the night a few miles short of the pass but crossed
over the next day. The view from Union Pass is very nice. You
can see the mountains in Yellow Stone Park from here. It is a short drive from the top of
Union Pass to Dubois and the highway.
From Dubois we drove Southeast to Riverton then north through Thermopolis
then Northwest to Cody Wyoming the home of the famous Buffalo Bill
Museum. We spent 2 nights in Cody resting up after the exertions of the past couple of
days. Tom and Marty spent all of one day in the museum while I sat out in the parking lot
I was getting anxious to be on the road again when we finally left Cody and headed East
toward the Big Horn Mountains.
The Big Horn Mountains jut up from a dry barren
broken country. The grade was so steep that Marty had to put me in first gear to
climb it I wasn't sure if I was going to make it or not. The views
were breath taking and so was the climb. I was glad for any brake I could get.
We stopped at an ancient native spiritual sight called the "Medicine Wheel". I
rested in the parking lot while Marty and Tom walked the couple of miles to the wheel.
They didn't take any pictures of the wheel it self but took some nice
shots from a ridge near by.
It was getting on toward late afternoon when we left the Medicine Wheel so it was decided
that we would look for a camp spot for the night. We took a dirt road off the highway and
after driving for a while found a suitable spot to spend the night. All after noon the
weather was threatening to dump water on us but the storm never
The next day we headed east again and after several hours of traveling on a dirt road
through beautiful country we came to the eastern face of the Big Horn Mountains. The Road
became very steep and was covered with loose rock. It was a slow winding low range 4 wheel
drive trip down to the prairie below. We were all glad to get to the bottom.
After leaving the Big Horn's we drove north east to the Powder River. The Powder River irrigates a
narrow strip of land as it runs through some very hot arid country complete with
prairie dog towns. We drove along the Powder heading
south until we came to Interstate 90 where we turned east again.
We continued along I-90 to the town of Moorcroft and then turned north toward the Devils Tower. We spent the night in a camp ground
near the tower and Marty took some pictures.
The next morning we headed east again The plan was to go to Chadron
Nebraska and visit the Museum of the Fur Trade and then head south to Sidney Nebraska to
visit the Cabella's Store there.
When we got to Chadrun the weather was extremely hot. We stopped at the museum and I
waited out in the hot sun while Tom and Marty went inside to check out the museum.
Finally they came out and we headed south to Sidney. It was a long hot drive to Sidney.
The temperature was well above 100 degrees and I was not running as good as I would like
in this heat. We spent the night in Sidney and the next day Tom and Marty visited the
Around noon we left Sidney and headed West to Colorado.
We had to drive through Greeley, and Loveland. It was very hot and there was ton's of
traffic. My air cleaner had become so clogged with dust from the back roads that I was
running rich and the weather was so hot that I thought for sure I would over heat. It was
Finally we cleared the city's and started to climb toward the Rocky Mountain's again. Once
we started climbing the air temperature began dropping and I began to feel a little better
but I was still having trouble breathing. I'm glad I didn't know how high we were going to
climb that day or I might have choked out right there.
Before long we came to the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park.
The weather here was far different from that on the prairies. The clear blue sky and
oppressive heat was replaced by dark clouds and cold wind. Even higher in the mountains it
was raining and in some places the rain was mixed with sleet. The road through the park
climbs by a series of long switch backs to an altitude of
over 10,000 feet.
About Half way up the mountain Marty finally figured out what my problem was. He pulled
into a turn out and while Tom enjoyed the view Marty removed my
Boy, did I feel better! I could breath again! I climbed the mountain with renewed vigor as rain fell from the dark clouds.
We continued on out of the park and after searching for quite a while found a camp spot
for the night in the National Forrest.
Marty had come down with an illness that would haunt him for over a month
after we got home. His coughing during that night kept my suspension working over time.
The next day we headed south to connect with interstate I-70. We turned west and in two
days we were safely back home again.
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