Snow place for two wheels

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
1
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Trip End Sep 19, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Left Rock Springs under a bright blue sky, rode 76 miles across the Mesa (more country that has Rocket referring to northern South Australia as a side show to what is a truly vast landscape) and ran straight into rain, 50mph cross winds, sleet and finally mountains of snow.

But as tough as it was riding at 80 mph on a bike leaning 15 degrees into driving rain and cross winds, nothing made it more real than watching the outside temperature gauge on the dashboard plummet in just 10 minutes, from 66 degrees in Pinedale (76 miles each way between Rock Springs and Jackson Hole) to just 39 degrees! That's not far above freezing at 32 degrees F.

Coldest I have ever ridden in and enough to make Leigh pull over to put every piece of clothing he had in his panniers. But it was just a fantastic experience, the wide open vastness of the Mesa opening onto the awe inspiring Rocky Mountain peaks covered in fresh snow.  

Still raining steadily, the road believe it or not then dropped a thousand feet through incredible mountain valleys into Jackson Hole. Downhill, winding, slippery and interrupted by road works which would run for up to three miles though mud, made Ross on his big BMW GS1200 Adventure smile as he demonstrated how off road riding should be done.

But just as Ross was beginning to feel he had the adventure thing won, two American Harley riders came by without helmets or goggles. Nothing seems to stop this frightening passion so many riders in Colorado and Wyoming have for riding without a helmet. We can’t imagine how cold they must have been, not to mention the pain of all that rain and sleet hitting their faces and skulls at 70mph.

As a footnote to this, we spoke to one of these guys in the bar at the Rock Springs Hotel and he showed us a gap in his front teeth. A stone from a truck had knocked one of them clean out. OUCH!

Welcome to Jackson, or how does the lyric go? 'I’m goin to Jackson...’

Very cool ski town with the famous ‘Million Dollar Cowboy’ saloon. To find out why it’s so famous we’re looking forward to asking Ross for his opinion, as there is a suspicion that Ross (as we were going to bed) was on his way there to do some research.

Earlier, Leigh’s sister Liz and her husband Brian McGuire dropped by to take us to the ski village and up the 32 million dollar aerial tram.  From the village the tram rises to 10,000ft where it was a white out and snowing. Hard to believe this is still summer.  

If Mark Buckley is reading this, Brian and Liz send their regards. Apparently it’s difficult to spend time at Mt Buller without getting to know the ‘Mayor’. Although we’re not sure if Liz’s sister (who Mark used to date) is also sending her regards:)

And finally to the Stagecoach saloon down the road from the Village for a game of pool, pint glasses of Margarita and Mexican food.  Good, but I can still understand why this cuisine has never taken off in Australia (check the feature plate in the pics below).

Tomorrow we are not sure what’s in store.  Snow is forecast although clearing in the pm, great for two wheels? Stay tuned.
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Comments

Greg K on

Glad to see you made the trip PC... I was worried for a moment.

A good and interesting description of some of what you are doing and seeing but could you pls take a close up photo of each one of you individually and collectively sitting on your bikes, - for those of us who have no idea of the differences in your bikes.

Pls don't try to emulate Keith with the descriptions of the food. You can't win that race to the bottom..!!

Has Rocket achieved his three goals?

Water and air temp here were 12C this morning, water clear but has subsequently rained on and off during the day. I found it cold after Noosa.

Melbourne dam levels now north of 44.4% and Eildon is 55% and Eppaloch 60%. I know this is boring but not many people around at present. Take care..!!

Bluey on

Sounds amazing - what a trip,despite the little hiccups. All part of the experience.Looking forward to the next instalment.

Mark B on

Say hello to Liz and Maggie for me. Great to hear all is well and safe travels.

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