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RBMann 09-12-2017 11:29 AM

Forth and Back-TOR '17
Welcome to my annual pilgrimage to the Top of the Rockies Rally(TOR). This year I would meet Ralf AKA Beekeeper at the rally then we would travel NW back to Seattle. Of course I had to get there first.

Day 1-Seattle to Lincoln Rock SP, WA 139 miles

I had eight days for the journey to CO so left late, 3:30PM. This first day set a theme for the trip. First campground was closed, second cg was no tents, third cg was full and the fourth only had three sites left at $35, ouch!

Driving along Tyee River going towards Stevens Pass on a nice warm day-

Let us pretend we are in Bavaria(Leavenworth, WA)-

Met this Germany girl that knew Ralf. Although she kind of looks like a dude in a dress with a fox on her head-

Finally made it to camp on the Columbia River near Wenatchee-

RBMann 09-12-2017 11:47 AM

Day 2-Lincoln Rock to St. Joe River, ID 243 miles-

Old repair shop in Waterville, WA-

I always think Kansas as I get up on the plateau in central WA-

Then a couple miles later in Moses Coulee it is obviously not Kansas-

Imagine going cross country in the old days-

It appears Bubba is alive and moved out west-

The road along the St. Joe River toward Avery, ID is a joy, but again the campgrounds were full-

Finally found a table on the river near a bridge and settled in for the night. A nice lady came by and told me the only other campground up the dead end road was full and most sites had doubled occupants-

buzzerbee 09-12-2017 12:06 PM

I just rode much of the same route, taking Hwy. 2 from Seattle over Stevens Pass through Wanatchee and then camping in Coulee City. Then onto Spokane and points south. I camped in RV parks with the exception being Coulee, City whare I spent the night in a state park. I find RV parks to be around $15.00 - $20.00 and have showers!

ckcarr 09-12-2017 01:31 PM

I was just thinking about this last night, whether you would begin building your annual report...

Good to see Bubba's doing what he loves!

RBMann 09-12-2017 07:47 PM

Mr. b. bee-

I stay in all kinds of places, it just depends on what is best at the time. The highlight of the trip was a campsite but that will have to wait for later in the story.


I've been busy.

wswartzwel 09-12-2017 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by RBMann (Post 9735447)
Day 2
Imagine going cross country in the old days-

You had to know how to do roadside repairs along the way back then.


RBMann 09-12-2017 11:09 PM

Day 3-Devil's Elbow SP, MT 290 miles

Everything was covered by dew in the morning but still fairly warm-

As I started packing I heard a visitor near my camp-

Bullwinkle is that you? I followed along but at a safe distance. Not the greatest camp site but cool to see a moose-

I had to backtrack along the river to get my turnoff toward Missoula. Nice drive to start the day-

Saw some vintage iron as I came out of the forest, beep, beep-

This is more to my taste these days-

Drove by a huge ranch NE of Missoula that must be some kind of high end hunting camp-

Finally made it to the same campground as last year just outside Helena, MT. Had a cool swim in the afternoon at 98F.-

Really nice people in the next camp loop brought over dinner-

wswartzwel 09-13-2017 05:43 AM

No Hunting at Paws Up... but they do have fishing and a spa...

Montana Ranch and Luxury Montana Resort - The Resort at Paws Up

RBMann 09-13-2017 09:18 AM

Thanks Bill, I didn't think to look it up. The only thing I saw was riding stables.

RBMann 09-13-2017 10:16 PM

Day 4-Devil's Elbow to Lewistown, MT 223 miles

It was a nice morning so I went for a little walk. Saw some big fish jumping around but later I was told they are the kind nobody wants-

Since it was Saturday, I had planned to just stay put and not compete for another camp site. Checked the weather and it was supposed to be near 100F. Decided I didn't want to sitting around and sweat all day so I started packing. Thumper said, "hop to it"-

Token Pelican pictures-

As I headed toward Great Falls there were a few cyclists and check points on the road. I asked and found out they were doing a 90 miles fun ride but it was near 100F. That would not be fun for me-

Out on the plains as the temperature went over 104F.-

I decide to pass on todays lunch menu-

Made it to Lewistown and while driving around looking for an RV park someone had told me about I saw a really nice old church-

RBMann 09-13-2017 10:52 PM

Day 5-Lewistown to Neihart, MT 258 mile-

Big shade tree, grass and a shower in the morning at my RV camp site-

Started the day with my usual riding partner although he will only come along in the daytime-

Stopped to take a picture, scared this little guy out of his burrow and he took off at full throttle-

Beautiful morning to be riding in the cool air-

Now I know where to go if I want an old farm truck. The red Chevy would be my pick-

As I started down a dirt road I came across an old log cabin-

At last I descended into the Missouri Breaks, the whole reason I was in this part of Montana-

Break time near the Judith Landing bridge-

RBMann 09-13-2017 11:14 PM

Day 5 continued-

If only I could fly. I found out that the White Cliffs of the Missouri Breaks can only be seen by air or boat. Poor research on my part-

This was the best I could do-

Coal Banks Landing resident-

To let them know I was thinking of them, I sent my daughter a horse picture and my wife a shot in the Virgelle Mercantile/Antique shop-

Kind of expensive for nut and bolt storage-

RBMann 09-13-2017 11:31 PM

Day 5 continued-

After using the Virgelle Ferry to cross the Missouri, I got a text while I was taking photos. My wife had seen the pic I sent and checked my SPOT device for current location. Since I was still near the antique shop she wanted to know if I had bought her a silver spoon. I had to recross the river and check, no spoons-

Just south of Fort Benton-

The Carter ferry was #2 for the day. After crossing the river I questioned why I had done it. 30 miles on a small dirt road-

darkonaut 09-14-2017 12:00 AM

ckcarr 09-14-2017 06:02 AM

You have a good eye for funny stuff.

sgoodwin 09-14-2017 06:36 AM

Impressive as always.

signit98 09-14-2017 07:42 AM


Originally Posted by ckcarr (Post 9737178)
You have a good eye for funny stuff.

That's probably the one eye that also looks funny...

RBMann 09-14-2017 08:30 AM


Originally Posted by signit98 (Post 9737303)
That's probably the one eye that also looks funny...

He who lives in a mesh tent should not throw cactus.


Thanks, I just wish I had your patience and technical ability.

RBMann 09-14-2017 10:18 AM

Before I start Day 6 I woke up in the Aspen campground of the Lewis and Clark Forest, MT. I spent the previous evening chatting with my neighbor and solving world problems. Turns out they are just starting their teaching career in Seattle and using the summer vacation to see the west, small world-

With most of my trip pics I am trying to tell some sort of story but this morning I was struck by the great variety of wildflowers in the campground. Pardon me for a moment while I try to be artistic-

This one reminded me of fireworks in the sky-

I love having the time to be sidetracked by things that appear randomly. Enjoyable morning, now on to the trip.

RBMann 09-14-2017 10:34 AM

Day 6-Neihart to Cody, WY 366 miles

Just started the day and hit a milestone. I should thank my wife for buying the F650GS then letting me start using it-

Feels like home near White Sulfur Springs, MT-

Here is the reason I try to stay off freeways, I get bored and start trying to capture my reflection on the back of semis. The phone lens really doesn't show how close I was to the trailer-

Must be lunch time-

During my stop in Red Lodge, Dino agreed that it looks like rain on Bear Tooth Pass today. This will be my fourth time over the Pass and the third in the rain, damn I bet it is nice on a sunny day-

As predicted rain-

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