Ride report: Butt Lite Grand Tour 2021

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Well-known member
May 6, 2007
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Auburn, WA
Ride Report – Butt Lite Grand Tour X

We registered for the rally as a 2up couple.  This will be our first LD event since we did the How the West Was One rally in Big Sky, MT in 2013.

Since the Butt Lite Grand Tour was open to anyone, we decided to treat it just like the rally would have.  We set the start at our home in Auburn, WA on June 26th at 0600 ending 5.5 days later in Provo, UT on July 1st at 1800. 

I wanted to run out route as much as we could if the rally were really being run.  We had three goals:

1.       Arrive in Provo safely

2.       Finish on time

3.       Have fun!

The side benefit allowed us to test ourselves, the bike, and bonus gathering under the stress of the clock.  On May 25th our rally flag showed up and I started planning our route.  Below is the final route.  Now to wait for our start. 


We had 131 hours on the clock, we planned 6 hour rest periods each day, 10 minutes on average for bonus gathering, and 20 minutes each gas stop to fuel up, grab snacks, bathroom breaks, etc.  We kept our sleep pattern about normal, we tried to be in bed by 10 PM and out the door by 4 AM each day.  Some days we got to bed at 8 PM and were out the door at 2 PM. 

The route was planned with 49 stops in 11 states.  A few folks on the IBR forum have shared their rally spreadsheets for prepping the bonus details to enter into the Garmin and also their route planning spreadsheets aid in determining if the route was viable and to account for all the bonus stops, rest stops, and gas/food stops.   

Day 1, June 26th Saturday 0600:

Weather was warm already, sunny and clear.  Grabbed our first receipt to document our start time and away we go!

1.       242 miles to Wallula, WA.  Arrived at 0930


2.       52 miles to Waitsburg, WA.  Arrived at 1025.  Starting to get warm, temps approaching 90 degrees already.


3.       79 miles to Lewiston, ID.  Arrived at 1240.  100 degrees and climbing.



4.       84 miles to White Bird, ID.  Arrived at 1405. It’s hot, 104.



5.       70 miles to New Meadows, ID.  Arrived at 1620, still hot.


6.       37 miles to Cascade, ID.  Arrived at 1907.  Still over 100 degrees.


7.       127 miles to Stanley, ID.  Arrived at 1956.  Finally cooling down some.


8.       64 miles to Sun Valley, ID.  Arrived at 2101.  Down under 100 finally.



That was the last scheduled bonus for the first day.  Now the thing was to find a room.  Too early to stop, and Ketchum, ID was way too expensive, so we headed out for Arco, ID to get closer to the next bonus which was 144 miles away. 

We head out 408 Trail Creek Road (which is closed in winter).  Starts out a nice road, then turns to gravel.  Yeehaw.  A little dusty, but actually well maintained.  20 miles later, we are back on pavement.

We get to Arco, and no hotel rooms available.  On to Blackfoot, ID.  Pull into the Supper 8, no rooms available for at least 100 miles. 

9.       We decide to get the next bonus and head to Blackfoot, ID.  Arrived at 0009 on Sunday.

Not sure if “yourself” means both of us, we took two photos just in case.



We call ahead to Idaho Falls, and “no room at the inn” to be found for at least 100 miles.  I needed to get off the bike and get some rest.  We ended up in the good ole Iron Butt Motel at a rest area a few miles north of Blackfoot on I-15.  Got a little rest, but really could not get much.  Gave up after 3 hours and moved on to the next bonus stop.  Maybe got about an hour of sleep.

10.   Next bonus was in Rexburg, ID.  About 59 miles, arrived at 0444 Sunday.


11.   72 miles to Wilson, WY arriving 0616.


12.   68 miles to the next bonus in Moran, WY at 0755.


13.   This was a really cool bonus location with a very good statue.  92 miles to the next bonus in Fort Washakie, WY arriving at 1047.


14.   81 miles to Thermopolis, WY arriving at 1343.  Was getting hot out mid 90s already.  Easy in and out on a roadside monument.


15.   88 miles to Ten Sleep, WY, I very nice mountain ride up to a lake arriving at 1555 and a lot cooler. Sign was next to the boat launch, road in was sketchy dirt that was pretty soft.


16.   44 miles to Buffalo, WA.  Rode through a massive thunder shower complete with hail and heavy rain for about 10 miles.  Car tire on the rear and Dunlop Elite 4 front worked way better than expected.  Arrived in Buffalo at 1654.

This took a little while to find the marker as it was on the fence outside.  Notice the bike is in the background.


At this point I had to get some rest.  So we called it an early night and got a room at the Super 8 in Buffalo.  Got a solid 6 hours sleep. 

We left at 3 AM.  This was to be the start of the most epic day of riding ever for us.  Today was June 28th, our 24th anniversary.  Our first date was to the Cycle World Motorcycle Show in Seattle on January 4th, 1997.  Today we are celebrating by riding in the Butt Lite Rally going over US 14 (Dayton to Greybull), Chief Joseph, and Bear Tooth.  Of the three passes, US 14 was by far the best along with an amazing daybreak. All the passes were in great shape, the rain the night before and cleaned off the roads and the pavement was in great shape, no wind to speak of on any of the passes. 

On US 14, we saw at least 500 elk, lots of deer, and 3 moose.  It was really amazing and cool all at the same time. 

Also, I had scheduled a bonus that was day time only in Story, WY.  I forgot to scratch it from the Garmin route.  We ended up visiting it.  Along the way we discovered, that we really liked riding early morning, no traffic, weather was usually calm, and temps were very comfortable.  The Clearwaters and Goldwing lights really lit up everything down range, so no surprises from critters.

We could not claim this but still spent a little time after riding 2 miles of gravel road to get to it.  The site was really amazing as was the story.

Along the way as we were climbing up the first pass, daybreak started.  We pulled into a overlook and took these:



17.   This bonus is on US 14 was in a very beautiful location as was the ride into it.  After slowing for all the elk and moose, we arrived at 0518 Monday morning.



18.   113 miles to Cody WY (top of Chief Joseph Pass) at 0745 (after trying to get a meal at McDonalds which had a closed lobby and drive through not really an option on a motorcycle).



We lost our day pack with our snacks on Chief Joseph because I thought Marissa had lashed it down, and she thought I had.  We discovered it when we stop for gas after bagging the bonus at the pass.  It was only 18 miles back to the bonus, so we decided to see if we could find it.  No luck, 1 hour wasted. 

Rode onto the next bonus, I had to put extra waypoints into the route to force it to let us go over Bear Tooth.  This was the third time we were in the area, and the first time we actually got to go over the pass.  We were not disappointed.  We did have to wait about 10 minutes for Road construction, but that was a small price to pay to go over the pass.  No wind, and sunny.  All the traffic was going south.  The forest fire near Red Lodge didn’t affect us at all.  No smoke to be seen.  I think the thunder showers the night before helped knock it down significantly.

We had to skip the next scheduled bonus as we were falling behind schedule and it was of low value.  And was a bit too far off the route.

19.   144 miles to Molt, MT arriving at 1127.



20.   272 miles to the next bonus at Rhame, ND arriving at 1544.  This marks the 50th and final state that I have been to.  The site here was at the end of a 4 mile gravel road that was difficult due to all the 1” size loose gravel on top of the hard packed dirt underneath.  This was another site with amazing history, that we spent a little extra time reading and learning about.



21.   164 miles to Savoy, SD in Spearfish Canyon.  The last mile was a really bad wet dirt road, that was pulling the bike all over the place.  But we made it arriving at 1918.  Definitely glad for all the miles of gravel in Alaska and riding the Burr Trail, as it helped me deal with this one.  The worst of all of them on this trip.



Headed out and got stopped for construction paving operation.  Was really getting tired.  Probably one more for the day and then get a room and some sleep.

22.   43 miles to the next bonus in Hill City, SD arriving at 2034.




Got a room at the Super 8 in Keystone, SD (at highway robbery prices, but that’s what you get 2 miles from Mt. Rushmore during peak tourist season).  We were on the road by 0230 after a solid 4 hours of sleep.

23.   Skipped the next one due to it being daytime limited from 8-6 and were not going to wait.  165 miles to Fort Robinson, NE arriving at 0610

The picture doesn’t do this place justice.


24.   Now for the most unique bonus location we did.  Never heard of this before.  But really cool.

64 miles to Alliance, NE arriving at 0724.


25.   45 miles to the next bonus at Bridgeport, NE arriving at 0821.


26.   62 miles to Kimball, NE arriving at 0934.


27.   60 miles to Cheyenne, WA arriving at 1035.  A really cool statue.



28.   80 miles along a very nice twisty road following the Poudre River to Rustic, CO.  Arrived at 1238.


29.   Weather was getting really hot, upper 90’s.  Was making me tired.  57 miles to Walden, CO arriving at 1338. 



Was getting really tired and needed to get a short nap.  We pulled into the Safeway at Steamboat Springs and found a spot with shade.  Temp was high 90’s, but there was a breeze and with the shade, it allowed us to get a meal, and me to sleep for about 20 minutes.  Just enough to be refreshed and not tired.  I will say this is the location of the worst drivers, rudest people along the whole rally.  Hopefully they all stay there, just plain asshole people looking down on each other, in a hurry and cutting people off.  Good place to get behind you and not look back.

30.   154 miles to Meeker, CO arriving at 1804. 


Did I mention, CO had some really shitty roads in this part of the state.  Maintenance was long overdue on all of the roads in this part of the state.

31.   112 miles to Baggs, WY arriving at 2024.  The road was rough, but glad it was open, since we were passing fire crews leaving the area as they were finished mopping up a wildfire.  Pretty sure the quick response was due to an oil pipeline paralleling the road down through here.  The suspension got a work out big time trying to maintain the speed limit on this road.  Kind of like the FS90 road going to Windy Ridge behind Mt. St. Helens.



At this location, the park was really cool, and behind us was a was memorial that was really neat.  And our hotel for the night another Super 8.


32.   Got some rest and was out the door at 0230.  Next bonus was Uravan, CO through a mountain pass.  Encountered only the second deer that tried to run out in front of us.  A fawn or course.  But we were able to see it and slow long before it was an issue.  93 miles arriving at 0539.  Beautiful setting.



33.   70 miles to Telluride, CO arriving at 0717.



The weather was cold and rainy at times.  Very beautiful area, and much nicer people than in Steamboat.  More like the blue collar crowd here. 

34.   108 miles to Durango, CO arriving at 1000.


35.   108 miles to Chama, NM arriving at 1203.  The location was really nice, the owner came out and was very cool.  Chatted for a few minutes.  The rail facility was built by all volunteer hobbyists and their passion really showed.


36.   59 miles to Abiquiu, NM.  The Garmin takes you up a paved county and then says take the second left.  It looks like a washed out logging road.  No way the Wing is going down that road.  Went up turned around, reread the bonus location.  A nice lady who lived next door to the road asked us what we were looking for.  We said Santo Tomas El Apostol Church.  She laughed and said, go back out the to the main road and turn just past the post office and go up behind it.  With the correct directions, arrived at 1332.  Somehow, I think the rallymaster knew this anomaly occurred with Garmin and was chuckling.

After taking photos of nothing but road side monuments, we almost got caught on this one, as the directions wanted a picture of the CHURCH.  We got the Church, sign and bike all in one – so there!


Right across the highway, we took a short break, filled up with gas and Marissa discovered the store had hot food.  She brought out the best beef, bean and green chili burrito that I have had in a very long time.  They had picnic tables and shades trees too.  It was a great rest break for about 30 minutes, hen the rain showers started, so it was time to move on.

37.   107 miles to Albuquerque, MN arriving 1603 after riding through about 30 minutes of a fairly decent shower.



Now came the decision time.  We had 317 miles to the next bonus, we need to get rest somewhere along the way.  So decided to ride to Gallup, NM and get part way there.  Left about 200 miles for the next morning.

38.   Left about 0230 headed for the Forest Gump run turn around sign in Monument Valley, UT.  Arriving in Mexican Hat, UT at 0621 Thursday morning.

We got here at sunrise.  What a spectacular view.


Here is where things get silly with Garmin, I made a wrong turn, and instead of telling us to make a U-turn, it took us all the way back to Kayenta (a 1 hour diversion).  After we got this straight, we headed on to the next bonus, Which took us up to UT 276 which has a ferry crossing at Halls Crossing on Lake Powell.  As soon as we turn off US 95 onto UT 276, there was a reader sign saying that the ferry was closed.  Damn!  The detour was at least 2 hours, one we have taken coming the other way a few years back on another trip. 

That meant no way we could gather the other 8 bonuses that we had planned and make it to Provo by our check in time of 1800.  We set a direct route to Provo, and head to the barn.  Nothing more we could do at this point.  We got into Provo at 1532.

All-in-all, was a great ride, accomplished several things:

·         Ride to the point of fatigue and see how we would respond.  Accomplished several times and made the right decision each time.

·         Go over Bear Tooth, wasn’t sure this would happen with the forest fire near Red Lodge

·         See the Forest Gump Monument Valley – to do it at sunrise was a bigtime bonus.

·         Verify the bike systems all worked – they did.  Found so some new things to fine tune based on the 2up bikes we saw at the finish of the IBR.

·         Determine if we wanted to do more multi-day rallies.  Resounding YES for this.

·         Get into a routine for bonus collection, gas stops, and rest periods.  We found one that works for us. 

Really had a lot of fun and was a great time together seeing things we never would have planned to go see if not for a rally.  Learned a bit of history, and met some really great people along the way.

To answer the question would we do it again.  The Answer is a resounding YES!

Here is the route from Spotwalla:


Wow, you two are Amazing. Good read and lessons learned!

Hopefully we get tp catch up this summer and hear a little more.


You are officially booted out of the Candy Butt Association. 🤣

Were your averages 'rally ready'?

Could you have upped the daily miles and done it for 11 days? 


You are officially booted out of the Candy Butt Association. 🤣

Were your averages 'rally ready'?

Could you have upped the daily miles and done it for 11 days? 
Pretty sure that the number of bonuses per day had something to do with the miles.  We think we can do it.  We'll be applying for the 2023 IBR and see if we get drawn.

Nice job Auburn!!  My wife and I were registered 2-up for BLX, it would have been her first multi-day rally.   She hinted about 2023 IBR after I returned from it this year.  We have retirement on the horizon, so not so sure we'll be writing any large rally checks anytime soon.  We also rally on a Wing, might have to pick your brain on that hydration setup you are using.

This two-up is ready for an IBR. Nice report. Thanks for the great pictures, which refreshed memories of places from past rides.

It was very nice meeting you two in Provo.

LoveLoveLove your bike setup
Great to meet you too.  Thank you, I have since copied the way you did the RTIC jugs.  Haven't done the washer pump yet.  Want to test like this first.  Added a GPS holder for Marissa and revised here heated gear control.  Your bike set up was really good too.  Great ideas all around.






Nice job Auburn!!  My wife and I were registered 2-up for BLX, it would have been her first multi-day rally.   She hinted about 2023 IBR after I returned from it this year.  We have retirement on the horizon, so not so sure we'll be writing any large rally checks anytime soon.  We also rally on a Wing, might have to pick your brain on that hydration setup you are using.
Thank you.  It is a lot of fun traveling together.  We are doing the NNW rally in Bend, OR in September.

See below on the revised hydration system


Nice! Real nice. What ct are you using? RF?
Running a Blizzak 195/55R16 RF.  Really great tire.  Amazing traction wet or dry.  Rails through the canyons.  The Dunlop Elite 4 on the front is surprisingly good too.

Running a Blizzak 195/55R16 RF.  Really great tire.  Amazing traction wet or dry.  Rails through the canyons.  The Dunlop Elite 4 on the front is surprisingly good too.
Stout tire, I went with a Prielli P1 on my 18. Really like it so far but not many miles on it yet. Always been a fan of the Stones 709 (10-12k) on the front but I'm hearing of more miles out of the E4.

Bryan, I can't believe I somehow managed to miss this post.  What an awesome adventure!  Glad the bike is all you hoped it would be.  Marissa is such a trooper, too!  Looking forward to the September ride report.

Great report for a great ride.  I'm always impressed because I've been down most of these roads but it's taken me many trips over many years to do it.