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Archive for the ‘Butte MT’ Category

group rest stopOn Sunday (August 12th) our last day of the “Sturgis Ride”, we were up very early and on the freeway at 6:30am. We had some major miles to make on this day. Plugged-in and doing the speed limit in Montana just seemed damn fast that early in the morning! We didn’t see any cars for miles.

Butte is on the Northwest of Yellowstone on I-90. Nicknamed “the richest hill on earth,” Butte has more than 2,000 miles of underground mines. Originally started as a gold mining town in 1864. The discovery of silver and copper kept people around there. Butte is known for its rich history in Copper Mining. The Berkley Pit was the world’s largest open pit mine, spanning from 5,600 feet wide and 1 mile deep. People from all over the world, Finland, China, and Ireland were attracted to the riches that Butte’s hills held. The mines they created are still there, and some of them are deeper than 3,500 feet.
welcome to or
But enough history…we had some major miles to cover!

We stopped in Spokane for lunch, but it was a quick gas-n-go with gourmet burgers at Wendy’s. At the H-395 South exchange outside Spokane we veered off toward the tri-cites. It was a gas-n-go day.

After 650+ miles and 13 hours in the Harley seat it was good to see the Welcome To Oregon sign.

And so every August for what seems like a hundred years,
Amid a great thunder, topless girls and crunching of gears,
We all rode ours to the South Dakota Black Hills!

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YellowstoneWe left Saturday (August 11th) early thinking it would be slow going thru Yellowstone and hoping to put some significant miles on the bikes before lunch. A couple of us were “plugged-in” due to the cold temperature. We took the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway. A 52-mile drive from Cody up the rugged canyon carved by the North Fork of the Shoshone River to Yellowstone National Park. The route climbs from the historic town of Cody past Buffalo Bill Reservoir and up the rugged volcanic canyon carved by the North Fork of the Shoshone River to the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
ridn in yellowstone
East Yellowstone is a very scenic approach to Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, we had to deal with forest fires and you couldn’t see much. The fire was near the West entrance of the park, but the smoke was making visibility poor. The fire activity on the Columbine Fire. We learned that the West Entrance was closed due to fire so, we decided to take the Gardiner/North Exit.

We made several stops along the way for photos and gas as we headed toward the North Entrance. We got to see geothermal wonders, historic sites and the great scenery of Paradise Valley. We had a bio break at Mammoth Hot Springs just before existing the part at Gardiner where The Roosevelt Arch is located.
mammoth hot springs
This was the first major entrance for Yellowstone at the north boundary. Before 1903, trains would bring visitors to Cinnabar, Montana, which was a few miles northwest of Gardiner, Montana, and people would climb onto horse-drawn coaches there to enter the park. In 1903, the railway finally came to Gardiner, and people entered through an enormous stone archway. Robert Reamer, a famous architect in Yellowstone, designed the immense stone arch for coaches to travel through on their way into the park. At the time of the arch’s construction, President Theodore Roosevelt was visiting the park. He consequently placed the cornerstone for the arch, which then took his name. The top of the Roosevelt Arch is inscribed with “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people,” which is from the Organic Act of 1872, the enabling legislation for Yellowstone National Park.
North Entrance
After a rather long day (not in number of miles) of riding we finally pulled off in Butte, MT for gas. The posse was beat and elected to call it a day. Stayed at the Motel 8 and had dinner at a Perkins. We ended up showing the bartender how to make Spanish Coffee’s and drank our fair share while musing about the long day we needed to the next day.

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