Today I got my first taste of riding into the Rocky Mountains. It's like loading up a roller coaster. Every turn produced a more and more elevated view looking east. Spectacular!
I got to thinking about the first poor bastards trying to make their way to the Pacific and they come around to a clearing and see this awesome mountain range looming in the distance. They must have been heartbroken.
Some really pretty roads, the kind that Ol' Blue is at home carving up. Nice sweeping 50mph +/- curves where the excess baggage doesn't hinder her handling.
Speaking of baggage, I wanted to let everyone in on how I'm packed.
BMW Tank Bag: Wallet, GPS case, Canon 5D Mk III with 24-70 zoom, Microfiber Cloth.
BMW 50L Trunk: Laptop, First Aid Kit, Grooming Kit, Pouch with Cords, Headphones, Passport, Etc. Another Pouch with Tire Repair Kit, Flashlights, Manuals, Swiss Army Knife. A 70-200 Canon Zoom with a 1.4 Teleconverter. Various Clothes, Long Underwear.
BMW Waterproof Seat Bag: Touring Pants and Jacket, Extra Set of Gloves, Various Long Pants, (My Leather Jacket if I'm Wearing the Touring Garb), Bottled Water, Casual Shoes, Extra Socks and Underwear.
Left Side Bag: Two 1.5 Liter Full Gas Cans, Two Quarts BMW 20-50 Oil, Pouch with Various Tools, Roll-up Tool Kit with Practically Every Tool I Need to Pull Ol' Blue Apart, Rags.
Right Side Bag: My Dads Ashes, Bike Cover, Heavy Duty Rain Gear.
On my head is the sweetest Arai Corsair V, Fiction Red Helmet.
Back to the ride.
I took route 14 west out of Sheridan, heading for Cody. The ride was beautiful but the temperature couldn't make up it's mind. 78˚, 42˚, 80˚, 55˚. How do you gear up for stuff like that? I erred on the side of being too warm rather than too cold.
Out of Cody it was into Yellowstone. I love our nations parks and this one did not disappoint. Just a nice leisurely ride through some tremendous landscapes. Thought of my dad a lot. He would have liked it here, but only to visit. Not to stay. So I decided against leaving a little of him behind.
After about a 2 1/2 hour ride through the park, which included waiting for Old Faithful to do its thing, I picked up hwy 191 that runs along a shallow river (the name escapes me) where I saw several fly fisherman doing their thing. Then north to Bozeman and I-90, into Montana.
I decided to let the Beemer role. I set the cruise to 80, set back and enjoyed the scenery for the next 250 miles, arriving in Missoula, Montana.
So far the BMW has handled everything splendidly that I've thrown at her.
One complaint. The instrumentation sucks. The center info screen in particular. In the daylight, it's nearly impossible to read. It's recessed so I can only read it clearly with the sun directly over my shoulders. Add to this that the screen protector reflects terribly. The tank bag has a white/silver reflector material on its handle. Most of the daylight time that reflects right onto the screen. And the speedometer numbers, why didn't BMW just put a number for every single mph? Jeez. 10, 20, 30, 40, and so on makes the numbers too small to read at a glance. Make the mph numbers bigger, and just do the even tens; 20, 40, 60 and so on.
Hope the old girl doesn't get wind of her faults because when everything is said and done, she's one sweet ride.