Late June, Denver, CO. Summers here are always hot and dry, and I can’t wait to get out of the big city. I’ve got the last of my Mosko Moto bags packed. I throw the kickstand up, kick it into first gear, and I’m off.
I won’t be back to Denver for the next 28 days as I’m off to scout and film the 12th route for the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route (ORBDR) series. As I plan for these extensive filming expeditions, there’s always the opportunity to ship my bike and fly in. After all, three weeks in the saddle is a long time.
Then again, what difference does a few more days make? Let’s ride.
When I decided to take my Yamaha Ténéré 700 from Denver to the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon, I decided that I wouldn’t be in a hurry. Long days on the interstate are stressful and those mindless pathways are for big rig truckers, so my three long days on the road to get to the start would be just for me to enjoy myself before the real work started.
The goal? Ride scenic roads, see epic views, avoid the crowds, and stay in some really great places.
Although I had all my camping gear on board, this solo trek would be spent in bed-and-breakfasts. I’ve got three more weeks of rugged riding and camping on the ORBDR ahead of me so I’ll do this one in style.
With my collection of maps in hand, I’d be seeking out G1 roads, remote areas, and visiting some old friends and familiar places along the way.
Heading west out of Denver, I hop on the I-70 for just a few miles where I exit in Empire and head north on US 40. Those 45 minutes would be some of the only interstate I’d see on this entire ride. These agonizing miles, crawling my way out of Denver, would only make the rest of this journey that much sweeter.
The ride over Berthoud Pass is always stellar. This road brings non-stop smiles as I feel the temperature drop 20 degrees at 11,000 feet. I roll into Fraser and grab a quick cup of coffee with a friend at Simple Coffee Co., and then it’s back on the road.
Passing through Granby, I wave to Rocky Mountain National Park then hit SR 125, one of my favorite stretches in the state. This road isn’t the twistiest or the most scenic, but man does it flow.
Motorcycle & Gear
Helmet: Touratech Aventuro 2 Carbon
Jacket: Mosko Moto Basilisk and Mosko Moto Rak Jacket
Pants: Mosko Woodsman Enduro
Gloves: Klim Badlands Aero Pro
Boots: Gaerne SG+12Luggage
Luggage: Mosko Reckless 80L Revolver, Mosko Moto Hood tank bag
Comm System: Sena 50S
Unfortunately, this area was pummeled by the East Troublesome Wildfire in late 2020 and the black hillsides are just seeing some grass to hide the scars. Nature always finds a way, though—we all do.
I let my trusty steed sip some premium in Walden and truck along. Passing into Wyoming, I stop in Riverside for a quick bite.
I see a handful of ADV bikes here and, by the looks of them, it’s obvious they’re riding the Wyoming BDR, our 11th route we released just the year before. It offers validation in the flesh that what we’re doing at BDR truly works and our efforts help fuel these small towns.
I cruise through Sinclair, WY, and pound the US 287 toward Lander. It’s warm out and the famous Wyoming wind is really tossing me around. My 700cc twin is giving it all she’s got, fully loaded with all my camping and camera gear, but doesn’t skip a beat.