The Tetons, Yellowstone and Colorado
By Franco Bertollini
“Whatsa behind me does not matter.”
One of the major benefits of living in Tucson is being “staged” for some great Western riding. So begins 3200 miles thru the Tetons, Yellowstone and Colorado…
Conclusions first: Colorado is da bomb for riding; National Parks, while sometimes visually interesting, are a never-ending series of low speed limits, high enforcement, and slow-moving RVs trundling along below the already low limit, a seeming impossibility. The Tetons are big, but just giant craggy rocks; Jackson, WY is crowded and over-rated; Yellowstone needs to be seen in the winter; and Wyoming is straight, flat, barren and boring.
Restaurant: Grand Teton Village, WY; Il Vilaggio Osteria, http://www.jhosteria.com/ great food, great view, great wine.
Resort: Gateway Canyons, Gateway, CO; the rooms, the view, the restaurant, the car museum and the surrounding roads, all to die for. http://www.gatewaycanyons.com/
Roads: Route 141, CO from just north of Dove Creek to Whitewater. Run it as many times as you want in either direction, you won’t be bored.
Route 70, WY from Encampment to Baggs. Perhaps the only decent road in Wyoming.
Route 191, UT around the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
Route 65, CO over the Grand Mesa.
Route 12, CO from Crested Butte to Route 133. A 10,000 foot packed dirt pass.
Gear: Shoei X-11 helmet: after 13 years of wearing Arais, I finally gave up on their always breaking shield if-you-can-call-it-a system. The new Shoei X-11 is as light, as comfortable, as plush as any Arai, and the shield goes on and off in a flash. A blind man can do it in the dark, 10 seconds flat, every time. It even vents better than the Corsair.
Etymotic 6i Isolator earphones: multi-all-day comfortable, virtually eliminate wind noise, great fidelity. http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6i.aspx and $75 from Amazon.
Frogg Toggs: the new motorcycle specific model has reflective piping, packs small and not only works as a rain suit but insulates perfectly over mesh gear when the temp drops below Tucson levels. http://www.froggtoggs.com/
Movie: Vicky Christina Barcelona. Classic Woody Allen.
Fire: actually, firefighters, who are trying to get control of the Gunbarrel Fire burning between Yellowstone and Cody. Camped on the side of the road, helicopters dropping water, smoke filling the air. http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/08/11/news/wyoming/18-gunbarrel.txt
So, go to Wyoming if you must; go to Colorado to ride. Or, perhaps, go to Wyoming in the winter and rent a snowmobile, THEN ride the bike to Colorado in the summer.
Yours in gasoline,