Fido Goes Northeast

About two weeks ago I embarked on a three-month trip from Salt Lake to Newfoundland Canada. My wife is in the final stages of her PHD and I thought this would be a great way to get out of her hair for a while. The first leg was ten days and a thousand miles from Salt Lake to Sturgis all on dirt roads.

My friend Tillman joined me in his sprinter for the first couple hundred miles through the Bridger Teton Range. A good time was had by all!

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We parted ways and I continued northwards. I found a lovely spot at Mosquito lake which humorously had the fewest mosquitoes of any spot thus far. I took a nice bike ride around the lake in the evening. The wind river range in the distance was lovely.

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I continued north on a dirt road that skirted between the show Shoney range and the wind rivers range and ended up in Dubois. After a brief stop to take advantage of rare cell phone signal and call my sweetie I continued north to three cabins. It was a little disappointing to drive 25 miles One way on a dirt road all need to find 100 head of cattle in the small confluence of two rivers where there was camping. I camped in a large field and after settling in for the night the cows came and literally bumped into Fido trying to get the choicest pieces of grass. I just squinted and pretended they were buffalo. The view in the morning made it all worthwhile!

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The map doesn’t lie, and it was clear that the next day was going to be a pavement day. We pointed Fido east on the road from Dubois to Shoshoni. At Moneta Our route turned to the north and reverted to dirt. When I began planning this trip I expected that Wyoming was going to be nothing but gas fields. This stretch was the only one which met those expectations. There were large air raid siren looking towers that warned of potential poisonous gas. Yikes! Luckily we moved on without incident. As we approached Tensleep the country got remarkably beautiful. It was red rock, in fact It felt like I hadn’t left Utah.

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I gassed up in Tensleep and it was ridiculously hot so I headed up Tensleep Canyon in search of higher ground to camp for the night. At the top of the canyon I turned north on a dirt road that skirted the west side of the big horn range. Almost immediately I found a small dirt trail that looked like it headed up towards the cloud peak wilderness. I
turned off to a lovely little camp spot all alone at 9000 feet.

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The next morning I awoke to a pleasant surprise!
I decided to have a down day and stay there for two nights. The trailhead to Helen Lake in the Cloud Peak wilderness looked doable so I hopped on my mountain bike and rode 6 miles to the trail head. Thunderstorms were brewing and It was threatening all day. I hiked the 3 miles into Helen Lake. Really beautiful country!

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When I got back to my bike it started hailing! I put my bike helmet on to keep from getting brained .l and headed down the road. It didn’t last long and I was back to Fido before I knew it. The best part about riding a mountain bike, the down hills are so much fun!

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The next morning I packed up and headed north west along the base of the Big Horn Mountain Range. At this point I was really getting into the groove of the trip day after day of 100+ miles of dirt roads is my idea of heaven. The road turned to pavement for about three blocks through Hyattville and then continued north along the Alkali Road. Here was more scenic red dirt, did I take a wrong turn in Albuquerque?

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It looked like there was a four-wheel-drive trail up over a 10,000 foot pass that seems like it would be a good place to camp that night. I filled my water at Ranger Creek Campground and took a look. It looked rugged but doable but there were people parking there and hiking the road. I felt guilty taking my land yacht up there and so I went on to highway 14 for a few miles to see if I could approach it from the other side. The wood rock road was really nice although there was a rolled over Chevy avalanche along the way. Maybe they should’ve named it after a natural disaster! I turned off on Forest Road 226 and entered the land of ATVs. Everyone was pretty startled to see me up at the top of Woodrock pass as the road was really rough with lots of deep mud and 2 foot boulders. I love that I can always find a camp spot with no one else around in Fido!

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I headed east passed Sheridan and hit the dirt again on Buffalo Creek Road. It’s really gorgeous out there I didn’t expect the Rollinghills to be so beautiful. I went on up the lower powder river road and found some camping in Montana just south of Custer National Park. Elevation was low and it was over 100. I was having a hard time acclimating. I laid around like a sloth in the shade until nightfall and then had a good nights rest.

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I headed back South east along better Creek Road and then went and explored Barlow canyon after meandering through a bunch of rural dirt roads. I came upon Devils Tower from the dirt and it’s really stunning from the north. I don’t know why they always show it from the south which is its widest point. You get an idea of why they named it a tower when you look at it from the north.

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I splurged and spent $11 at the restaurant just outside the monument. It was the first money other than fuel that I’ve spent since leaving town nine days before. From there I headed east into the Black Hills on Little Creek Road and found a camp spot at 6000 feet. It was absolutely stunning and I ended up staying staying there for two nights.
I took the opportunity to do a little roadside maintenance. I hadn’t hooked up the passenger window switch when I did the Dinamap a month ago.

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It was time to get on the Sturgis where my friends were waiting for me so I headed down through the Grand Canyon of the Black Hills which wasn’t quite so grand. I came across an area where all the trees were broken off 20 feet up. They were logging operations in the area and I was grumbling at their messiness. I circled around through spearfish Canyon and there were a bunch more trees down it turned out there had been a huge tornado recently. My friend matt owns a small hotel in Spearfish and his parents put me up at a vacant lot in the middle of downtown in joining a Stream and it was heavily forested. I couldn’t even tell I was in the city! The best part was there was a family of five deer meandering around the camp spot all the time.

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