Old 02-13-11, 08:29 AM
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valygrl
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
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Hi - that looks really great. I have ridden much (not all) of it, and don't think there are any road problems.

Your route over the Big Horns and from Cody to Cooke City are absolutely spectacular. I descended Shell Canyon to the town of Shell instead of through Lovell like you are planning, but I know tour companies use the Lovell route, and it's supposed to be one of the steepest sustained sections of road around - going down for you, as you are west-bound. If you wanted to route through Buffalo instead, the southern route through the Big Horns is also great (actually, there's no bad choice there - all good). From Cody to Cooke City via Chief Joseph is a route I would recommend (and have - to you elsewhere?) for everyone. Absolutely fantastic.

I'm linking a map of how I got through the Rushmore area, just for you to consider, because Spearfish Canyon (north of Spearfish) was a really lovely road, and it gets you to Devil's Tower w/o a side trip. The whole Rushmore park area had some difficult traveling - narrow twisty hilly roads with a little too much tourist traffic - but I wouldn't avoid it, just be aware.

The section between Gillette and Arvada is very remote, there may still be a bar at Spotted Horse (population 2, Gus & his wife). Carry plenty of water. When I was there that road had more traffic than one would expect, lots of work trucks, because of natural gas & coal mining, but the trucks were courteous. I've heard people ride I 90 instead, I liked the route you chose, but it is very empty and when I did it in late August it was very hot.

You can get a great bike map of the state here: http://www.wyoroad.info/ - I would go ahead and order the paper version rather than just downloading, I think it was free. It has traffic volumes on one side and grades on the other.

Finally, I would suggest trying your question over at the touring forum here http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/47-Touring and hope Jamawani responds (or PM him a link to your route) - if he has time to comment on your route, listen to every word he says - he lives in Buffalo and has ridden every inch of every possible route in your touring area, so he would be able to comment more specifically on road conditions where I haven't ridden.

Have a fantastic trip!
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