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First Ride of the Season in Wyoming.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Garwood, May 18, 2020.

  1. Garwood

    Garwood Maintaining a Low Profile! GT Contributor

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    Yesterday, May 17, a Harley friend (that's about all there is here) and I went out for a short ride from Buffalo to Kaycee (47 miles) for lunch. We left Buffalo at 11:30 and got to Kaycee at 12:15. We stopped at the Invasion Bar for a couple of their 1/2 pound cheese burgers. The bar is named after the group of hired gunmen who "invaded" Johnson County in 1892 during the Johnson County Range War. The "invaders", hired by the big cattle barons, were in the area to eliminate the perceived cattle rustlers threatening the barons' interests. Their first target was a fellow named Nate Champion. Nate was staying at the KC Ranch just a city block from the current Invasion Bar when the ranch was surrounded and he was killed. A few days later a posse of Johnson County residents and lawmen surrounded the Invaders at another ranch a few miles away and held them under siege until they were rescued by the US Cavalry. Sitting in the bar yesterday, munching my Cowboy Burger, I could almost hear the bullets flying.

    After KC we decided it was too nice a day to turn right around and head home. It was 70 degrees, lightly breezy and mostly sunny. Things are just starting to green up for the year and the countryside was beautiful. So instead of going back north, we went east. The road took us into the Powder River country through Sussex and Linch, near historic Fort Reno, across the historic Bozeman Trail, through Savageton and on to the current city of Gillete. We call it a city. There are 17,000 people there!

    We arrived in Gillette at 4PM. It's light here now until near 9PM so we decided to take old route back to Buffalo on Highway 14 and 16. We could have taken Interstate 90 and saved 40 miles but there wouldn't be much fun in that. The old route took us on good, winding, two lane roads through places (and former places) with names like Arvada, Wildcat, Spotted Horse, Clearmont, and Ucross. Some of those names commemorate former ranches and events from Wyoming's cattle days in the late 1800s. For a state with a population of only about 600,000, there is a lot of history here, left over from people who passed through here on their way to fame and fortune somewhere else.

    At Clearmont, the little gas station and mini mart had their "OPEN" sign lit so we decided to stop for a soda. Silly us. This is rural Wyoming. Just because the sign says they are open doesn't mean they are. So after a brief walk around the parking lot to admire the train tracks across the street, we got back on the road. We arrived back in Buffalo at 5:30. We topped up our gas tanks for the next adventure and went home.

    Our little 90 mile lunch ride had turned into 248. Since the ride was his idea, I was following my riding partner the whole way. Our population is low and most of the time our roads are pretty empty. Yesterday there must have been some Coronavirus effect because we hardly saw anyone. He likes to zip right along so we were stretching the 70MPH speed limit the whole way. Despite that, my GTM-Fueled (Edit - Todd) 2016 Eldorado averaged 41MPG and was smooth as glass. I can't say my friend on the Harley did as well but he didn't break down and he had stereophonic music to listen to the whole way. A good day.
    Garwood.
     
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  2. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Fun. Thanks for the post Gar! I edited your post slightly above. ;)
    Love hearing about people out riding their (GTM-fueled) Guzzis.
     
  3. Chris Jessop

    Chris Jessop Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks for sharing. I love reading about travel in the USA. You have lots of space in Wyoming! Your state is bigger than the UK and we have a population of 56 million.
     
  4. Garwood

    Garwood Maintaining a Low Profile! GT Contributor

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    I moved from California (millions and millions) to Wyoming when I retired 15 years ago. One of Wyoming's big appeals was there were less than 500,000 people in the whole state. Out biggest cities have only a bit over 50,000 people and there are only two of them. There are only about 4,000 people in our town (Buffalo) and less than 10,000 in our county (Johnson). Wyoming's population fluctuates with the state of the energy industry. It was on an upward trend when we moved here but it has since headed back the other way. If you can put up with the lack of convenience a small population brings, it's a great way to go.
     
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  5. Chris Jessop

    Chris Jessop Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    We've done a few tours of the mid-west but we always hired a car. One thing we couldn't get used to was the distance between towns. Fuel range in a car wasn't a problem of course but I imagine when touring by motorcycle you have to be careful not to run out of fuel in the more remote parts.
     
  6. Garwood

    Garwood Maintaining a Low Profile! GT Contributor

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    We used to travel a couple of times a year between Western Nevada and Buffalo, Wyoming. One stretch on US Highway 6 in Nevada between Tonopah and Ely is 167 miles between gas stations (between anything for that matter). Not a problem on lots of motorcycles but on my '75 Norton Commando, which only holds 3.2 gallons of fuel, it's dicey. I have done it once but I had to keep my speed down to 60 mph to get enough mileage to make it. When I filled up the bike in Ely it got 58 MPG. Not much wiggle room! Big parts of the western US are pretty empty.
     

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