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Feb 12th 2016, 08:19 PM   #1
 emuhlee's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bellingham, WA

  Honda CB500F
Inspired by FeralRdr, I went to the Badlands last summer

This is not going to be as thorough or as exciting as FeralRdr's post but here is a quick jog through my trip from Bellingham, Washington to Badlands National Park in South Dakota. #badlandsorbust



The first and last legs of my trip were god awful so just a few quick snaps and notes on that.

Day one: Bellingham --> Seattle --> Othello, Washington (260 mi)

I started the day at 6:00am trying to ride down to my company's Seattle office in Northgate without running into a gaggle of traffic. HAH.

Instead I froze my butt off and put every layer I had on to survive the 48 temps. I worked until about 2:00pm then headed out, again to miss traffic. HAH. I hit all the traffic. I crawled through Seattle. Then it started raining. Like, really raining. I'd never ridden in the rain so that was a nice learning experience cruising through Snoqualmie furiously wiping my face-shield with my thumb. I will say, the $17 Frog Togg's I bought to use as rain gear worked super well.

It took multiple hours to get anywhere near the Gorge and as they were working on the bridge over the river it took another several hours to get to Othello (to pick up my aunt). My aunt lives on a golf course in Othello and I got turned around in the dark and found a great place to reorient myself that was a sand trap. I'm not a seasoned rider but I immediately knew I was in trouble. It turns out, if you can hit the bottom of deep (6"+) sand with a boot you can probably right yourself and burst out.

Day two: Othello --> Spokane, WA (120 mi)

Boring ride, lots of rain. But beer. There was a lot of beer on this trip. I should note I rode this leg of the trip with my aunt, who rides a Can Am Spyder, and we picked up my parents who ride a Yamaha FJR in Spokane otherwise I would not have been making such weird detours through middle of nowhere Washington.

Day three: Spokane, WA --> Bozeman, Montana (400 mi)

Day three broke my butt. Compared to the FJR, with cruise control, and my parents with their heated vests and my aunt on her Can Am I was dying.

Here's our renegade crew at a rest stop somewhere in Montana.



More beer. I promise I'll get to cool riding photos in a second.



Day four: Bozeman, MT --> Cody, Wyoming (204 mi)

This was when the ride got increasingly more exciting. We blasted through Montana and enjoyed some cool roads between the end of Montana and beginning of Wyoming.

This was a lovely stretch of road called Beartooth Highway.





They really don't call it the Big Sky State for nothing



Day five: Cody, WY --> Custer, South Dakota (360 mi)

The ride from Cody to Custer was cool, to be honest I have no idea what this place is called but it was clearly stunning.



And at the end there was pie at the Purple Pie Place



Day six: BADLANDS

Riding into the Badlands was the culmination of all the work I'd done over the last five days/two years to get there.







As a sidenote the Can Am was a big hit with Swedish tourists



Day seven: Needles Highway & Mount Rushmore

The Needles Highway is a great way to get to Mount Rushmore (when in Rome) and is filled with single-lane rock tunnels and pigtail bridges. A Harley rider tipped us to honking before entering/as we went through since it's super hard to see around the corners and harder to spot bikes coming through.





Not my picture, but the pigtail bridges, which I did not take a picture of as I was avoiding peeing my pants with joy/sheer terror



Mount Rushmore wassss pretty cool, despite being kind of a giant spectacle



At some point we went to Wall Drug which was also a big time spectacle but worth wandering around for a bit. Do not eat there. So bad.



Day eight: Custer, SD to Billings or something, I don't really remember

This is when the trip started to kind of blur into the abyss... The highlight was hitting Devil's Tower on the way out of town.



Sidenote: there were dudes trad climbing it. UH WUT. They're sitting on the ledge in the center column.



Days nine, ten, eleven: Don't remember. There was a lot of rain though.

I rolled 5,000 miles on my bike (womp womp) on the way home, a nice end cap to the trip and a reminder of how much time I put in the saddle.



Highlights: Needles Highway, Beartooth Highway, Badlands National Park
Lowlights: Most of Montana and Wyoming (sorry!).

We're planning a trip to the Grand Canyon this summer. Same crew, new playlists.

That was something I also wanted to share. I bought these speakers for $40 and this bluetooth hands-free thing for $20 and paired it with my phone. I paid for a Spotify premium subscription and "Saved" a ton of playlists so even in the middle of nowhere South Dakota I could listen to Wu Tang and go about my business. Did it work flawlessly, no. Did my dad's $500 system, no.

I wore GoGo Gear kevlar leggings which were super comfortable and did a surprisingly good job keeping me warm.

I pieced together a 68 liter DrySpec dry bag system two 20L saddlebags, 1 28L tailbag from Revzilla (DrySpec - RevZilla) for $250 which DID keep everything super dry but was a huge pain. I took my bags off every night because we stayed in some kind of sketch places which was sucked. They were heavy and awkward and it takes a year to tighten all the straps when you put them back on. For the money they would be worth it for camping or if you weren't concerned about having someone come cut the straps and walk off with them.

I hope you enjoyed! Look out for #grandcanyonorbust this summer!
Feb 12th 2016, 10:26 PM   #2
 FeralRdr's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Adjacent to the Hobbit Garage

MUwahahahahahahahah! My cunning plan has come to fruition.

Great ride report emuhlee.

Your report has surpassed mine by two important factors: Picts of Beer and Pie (w/ice cream? ). I admittedly dropped the ball in that regard. Kudo's to you for picking up the slack.
Feb 13th 2016, 04:40 AM   #3
 galenernest's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Beijing

  Honda CBF190R
Wow, there's some stunning scenery to behold, and I love the idea of these "pigtail bridges."

Thanks for sharing, I'm looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon through your lens!
Feb 13th 2016, 05:10 AM   #4
 emuhlee's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bellingham, WA

  Honda CB500F
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeralRdr
MUwahahahahahahahah! My cunning plan has come to fruition.

Great ride report emuhlee.

Your report has surpassed mine by two important factors: Picts of Beer and Pie (w/ice cream? ). I admittedly dropped the ball in that regard. Kudo's to you for picking up the slack.
So glad you liked it! And yes, we ate a lot of pie as that part of the world isn't exactly known for their cuisine.
Feb 13th 2016, 05:16 AM   #5
 emuhlee's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bellingham, WA

  Honda CB500F
Quote:
Originally Posted by galenernest
Wow, there's some stunning scenery to behold, and I love the idea of these "pigtail bridges."

Thanks for sharing, I'm looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon through your lens!
Thank you! The pigtail bridges were I think 10MPH and as there are huge trucks and RVs everywhere so we actually probably did that. The Needles Highway, which they are part of, had some great turns that we took very slow and it would be fun to whip through there without worrying about a huge trailer coming the other way or a horse/mountain goat/deer/wild turkey in the road.

And I forgot to mention that, my "lens" was just my iPhone 6, nothing special. I packed a little lens kit I that includes a macro lens and a fisheye lens that clip on which I used a bit.

My mom took the photos of me riding and a few others seen above with a point & shoot digital camera or her phone. She has the great advantage of riding on back so she can take photos literally no one else can through areas because she has such an unobstructed view you'd never get in a car (unless in a convertible).
Feb 13th 2016, 06:11 AM   #6
 Candiya's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bremerton

  BMW F800R, Honda CBR250R
Great report, emuhlee! So inspiring! I love that you can take these trips with your family.
Arnbo likes this.
Feb 13th 2016, 07:39 AM   #7
 Arnbo's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Ferndale Washington

  ZX10-R GSXR 600 Track Bike
Thanks for sharing your awesome adventure!!!! And with family=Priceless Memories!
Feb 13th 2016, 10:19 AM   #8
 uhoh's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Tri-Cities, dry side of Washington

  Kawasaki C-14
Wonderful report, read it all of it even the comments that you 'couldn't remember what happened that day.'
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