We left for the Curve Cowboy Reunion August 19. This year’s event was to be in Bend, Oregon. The host hotel was the Riverhouse Resort along the beautiful Deschutes River. This years Children’s charity was the Sparrow Clubs for Bend. We raised $20,000 and had a great time.
Our trip began early August 19 on the way to Columbus. Black Beauty, our 2003 LT, was over loaded with gear. The weather was cold and gray. Usually it’s raining in Ohio when we leave on trip ensuring the rest of the trip will be good weather. Ohio said goodbye and didn’t disappoint us and we had a little rain. Once we left Ohio we had good weather into Bloomington, Illinois.
Anxious to get out west we departed early on a bright clear morning August 20. You could tell it was going to be a good riding day. It was just about perfect Sunny and in the 70s and by noon it was 80 degrees when we stopped for lunch at a Loves gas stop. We stopped at Sioux City for the night.
Onward to Spearfish SD August 21. Dark skies this morning as we raced north to Souix Falls. We beat the storm front there and turned west across SD. We had a 1 minute shower 10 miles east of our gas stop in Mitchell where we met other friendly bikers heading to Deadwood. Weather turned nice for our sprint to Murdo. I even managed to miss Tom the turtle running for his life across the highway. We had lunch at the diner in Murdo. Thank you Lord for the good weather. There is a great car and old stuff museum in Murdo. Go there!
Next stop Red Lodge Montana, August 22. We were going to ride the Bear Tooth pass from Cody, one of the favorite roads we like, but the wild fires had closed down the road. Instead we took I90 through Billings and Laurel MT and came down to Red Lodge from the North. The hotel greeted us with a sign in the lobby that the pass just reopened. I let John and Jean know, as they were now only a half day behind us and catching up, they could ride it in the morning. We did get to see the fire fighting helicopters with the buckets hanging below as they going to and from the fire. They were using the Red Lodge airport. The hotel let us use the garden hose and rags to clean the dust off Black Beauty and we then walked downtown for a bison burger and beer.
The next day, August 23, we planned to meet up with John and Jean in Missoula and ride Lolo Pass with the next morning. We had a great ride in the morning on Route 78 out of Red Lodge then I90 west into Butte. Great roads beautiful weather awesome scenery- Could not ask for better. Mike and Gretchen Nahus “CCN” BMWMOC’s Quarterly Newsletter Page 10 We meet up with them for breakfast August 24 but the web site said Lolo was closed. Unknown to us was while we had breakfast and made alternate plans the pass reopened. We road with them to Spokane Valley and had lunch with them and they went on to Spokane and we went south to Kennewick.
August 25 on the way to the Oregon coast we turned west on WA14 head across Washington. We were low on gas but certainly there had to be a gas station along the way some where. I saw a sign that said nest services 83 miles. What do you mean next services, I don’t see any services around here. I consulted the GPS for the closest gas. There was a Shell station South and East 10 miles as the crow files. So back 10 miles and south 14 miles put us in Oregon. Filled up and being that far off course Betty says best path is now OR-30 along John Day’s river. That was a better choice for scenery anyway. We did encounter rain for about 45 minuets but our gear and the bike kept us dry. We stopped at the Evergreen Aviation museum home of the Spruce Goose. It is a pretty cool place if you’re into aviation. We arrived at Lincoln City on the coast and our Hotel was right across the street from the Ocean. We treated ourselves to dinner at an ocean side restaurant with a great view of the sunset.
Riding south along the cost on highway 101 August 26 we spied some beautiful beaches and huge rocks sticking up out of the Ocean. We stopped at the Hatfield Marine Science center for a visit but we were too early and it wasn’t open yet so we couldn’t go inside but they had some cool stuff outdoors. RT 242 was open on the way inland to Bend so we finally get to take one of our planned routes. McKenzie Pass didn’t disappoint with its curves, giant tree, hills and scenery. We met up with another couple of friends head into Bend at the McKenzie observatory and road the rest of the way with them and checked in at the River House our home base for a few days.
One of the really cool rides we took with John and Jean was to Crater Lake. We found some real non ethanol gas and got 55 mpg on that trip. It was a nice day but was cold and windy at the crater rim but it was a good ride.
We had a great time in Bend but time to say goodbye on August 31. We had great weather as we took US 20 east from Bend. Cool sunny blue skies. Then this afternoon going to twin falls it got up to 95 degrees. We took in the view of Snake River Canyon.
September 1 on to Cody where we spent the night. That town is pricey. Lots of stuff to do with the museum and shops and shows. We cut though Yellowstone and had lunch at Old Faithfull Inn on the way. I think I saw a Moose ducking behind some cover. It was huge and it was close to the road and I’m glad it moved away from the road instead of towards it.
Cody is a nice cowboy town. I wish we would have stayed an extra night so we could have spend the next day at the museum and shops. September 2 we took 14/20 west to east through Greybull. The scenery was fabulous. Remember the scene where Gene Hackman tells Denzel Washington in Crimson tide “right here right now.. this is my favorite part”. Wyoming 2 lane highway heading east into the sun in the morning. ” Right here right” now I said to Gretchen Nahas over the intercom. We spent the night in Rapid City SD.
A little too anxious to get home traveling East on I90 September 3, we got stopped by the Highway patrol. Note to self… Never pass a SD state trooper when they are doing the speed limit. That is proof that you were speeding. Lucky I got just a warning. We endured his safety lecture and we stopped in Mitchell for an ice cream break. This Fall’s CCR will be in Chattanooga, Tennessee home of the Chattanooga Choo Choo. It’s within spitting distance of Cleveland and I would recommend going. Search google for curve cowboy reunion for more information if interested. It would be cool if we could get good Ohio representation this year.