Day 28 Wednesday 31st July 2013 – Cooke City, MT to Buffalo, WY
My plan for the day had been to ride Beartooth Highway, one of the best roads from the last trip, to Red Lodge, and then loop back to Cody and then onto Buffalo for the night. This would leave me with less than a 200 mile blitz down the interstate to get to Sturgis. I wanted to get into Sturgis and the Buffalo Chip before the main events kicked off to give me a better chance of finding a good camping spot.
I set off down Beartooth, but near the top of the pass, I encountered more roadworks. After yesterday’s experience and inaccessible bits of mud still caked on the Trooper, I decided I really couldn’t be arsed with all that again.
Another recommendation I had had, was the Chief Joseph Highway, which started near the top of Beartooth and went down into Cody. I decided I’d try that instead and I wasn’t disappointed. Some spectacular views and some great curves. I’ll let the photos tell that story.
I got into Cody before lunch and seeing as the Trooper was almost due a service and needed new tyres, I decided to take a chance on getting it done before Sturgis. I figured the dealer in Rapid City, SD was going to be real busy over rally week.
I knew there was a Harley shop in Billings, MT – Beartooth HD – who had sorted out a problem with the Trooper, after a dealer in Frederick, CO had caused a problem with the rear light wiring after a tyre change, and another dealer in Vernal, UT had completely mis-diagnosed the problem, and charged me 60 bucks for the privilege. Beartooth HD was a shop I had some faith in.
I had no cell reception in Cody, so I thought I’d just take a punt on them being able to fit me in the next next day. When you’re traveling, most dealers are very amiable to fitting you in at the top of their list. After riding most of the way north to Billings, I got cell reception and gave them a call. They could just squeeze me in for an oil change or new tyres but probably not both until Friday. I needed both, and I wanted to have camp set up at the Chip before Friday, so I decided I’d just continue onto Sturgis and try my luck there instead.
I carried onto Billings and then took the I-90 down to Buffalo. I was tempted to just continue on to Sturgis, but the thought of one more night in a proper bed, with a hot shower, power and internet access swayed me.