Yogi Bear Run

The Yogi Bear run was unofficially the first "By Way of Motorcycle" ride. It was a 1800 mile, seven day course that took us through four states.

2003-My wife Bridget, who is a huge fan of Jackson Hole, suggested we take a week long vacation.

I was happy to go to Jackson Hole. It's an awesome ski town in the winter. With Yellowstone less than a 100 miles away, it's a great summer stop too.

One minor problem, we lived in Omaha, Nebraska. We talked about flying or driving.

While perusing the internet, I came across a few motorcycle rental companies. I pitched the idea to the Mrs. and reservations were made. The bike was in Denver, Colorado. We still had to find a way to get to Denver. We decided to take a train. It was something that we had never done. I wouldn't suggest it, it's a pretty rough way to travel. Lucky for you, I hated it, or this site might've been named "By Way of Train." Doesn't quite the have same ring to it.

In Denver, we picked up a Honda Goldwing GL1800. I named her " Betsy" It was my first experience on a motorcycle of that size. I owned a Yamaha R1 and a Ducati monster at the time, and Betsy was a bit overbearing. Thirty miles to get used to her and everything was groovy.

Betsy and me at the Wyoming state line

Betsy and me at the Wyoming state line

We spent the week riding up and around Yellowstone. We got caught in a blizzard on the way up to Old Faithful, dodged buffalos and elks. We stopped at every state line and took a picture. I was using a crap 35mm at the time. I would run to the one hour photo lab and promptly mail pictures of our adventures to Trace.

IDAHO

After our time in Jackson was over, we headed the long way south to Denver. We made a point to go through Utah to get that state line picture. By doing so, we happened upon the Flaming Gorge, in northern Utah. A highly recommended ride if you have the time.

We came down through the Rockies, I was now so used to Betsy, that I spent the day dragging the footpegs on that 900 pound beast of a motorcycle.

The last night in Denver, less than 20 miles from getting Betsy safely back to her rightful owners... tragedy stuck. We had survived snowy mountain passes, trailing logging trucks, miles of washed out gravel roads, a horrendous downpour with ten feet of visibility, various animal crossings..only to get knocked over by the most dangerous thing to motorcyclists...A stupid person.

While riding at a leisurely five miles an hour in the parking lot of the hotel we were staying. A lady decided that the rear view mirror in her car was an option that she wouldn't utilize. After literally running over the front tire of the wing and slingshoting the two of us on to the tarmac, the lady got of her car and actually said "Didn't you see me backing up?'' "Hell yeah, I saw you" I thought,.."Stupid B*&ch!"

Car vs. Goldwing

Car vs. Goldwing

Luckily, no one was hurt and the bike was still able to be ridden. The guys at Blue Sky laughed at the story. Her insurance paid for the damage and I even got a new helmet out of the thing. =)