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Rides:

Tuesday, July 16 – Sheridan, Story, and Fetterman Battlefield Ride (90 miles)

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Departing Buffalo the route travels east on US Highway 16. It follows Clear Creek along the path of the old Wyoming Railroad, past Healy reservoir and through historic ranch lands. The route then goes north through the hill country east of the Bighorn Mountains along US Highway 14 to the City of Sheridan. At Sheridan there was a rest stop and opportunities to get fuel. From Sheridan the route travels on old US Highway 87 to the town of Story where arrangements were made for a private lunch at the Wagon Box Inn.

After lunch the route continued on old Highway 87 to the historic site of Fort Phil Kearney, a military fort that played a prominent role in the hostilities between the encroaching white civilization and the plains Indians in the 1860’s. In proximity to Fort Phil Kearney are the sites of the Fetterman Massacre (1866) and the Wagon Box Fight (1867), two significant battles between the Indians and the Army in the mid 1860’s. There was a stop at the Fetterman site.

The route returned to Buffalo via old 87 and a short section of Interstate 90.

Wednesday, July 17 – Bighorn Mountains to Ten Sleep Ride (131 miles round trip)

This was the main group ride. Departing Buffalo the route traveled up and over the Bighorn Mountains to Ten Sleep, Wyoming on US Highway 16. Highway 16 skirts the edge of the Cloud Peak Wilderness and traverses the 9600 foot Powder River Pass. From the top of the pass it descends down scenic Ten Sleep Canyon, and into the town of Ten Sleep. There was a stop in the outbound (westbound) direction at the top of the pass to rest and take pictures.

In Ten Sleep there are two restaurants and an ice cream parlor for those who wished to seek refreshments, and a fuel station to top up bikes. There is also a small museum.

For those who wanted to leave early (07:00 AM) and go farther, the nearby State Archeological area at Hyattville (about 50 more miles round trip) offers petroglyphs and a shady picnic area, OR the Hot Springs in Thermopolis (about 118 more miles round trip) offer a state-run public pool fed by the hot springs.

The ride returned to Buffalo by the same route.

Thursday, July 18 – Custer Battlefield and Crow Agency Ride (230 miles)

This ride departed Deer Park for a short run on Interstate 90 to Piney Creek Road, then through Storey, Wyoming, on old Highway 87 to Sheridan. There was a short break in Sheridan for people to top up their fuel tanks. After leaving Sheridan the route crossed into Montana through the Rosebud Valley and past the site of the Rosebud Battlefield. The Battle of the Rosebud occurred a few days before the Little Bighorn Battle and figured into Custer’s defeat there. There was a rest stop at Kirby, Montana with drinks and restrooms available. The route continued on up the Rosebud Valley to the Custer Battlefield, arriving about 11:00AM.

Arrangements were made for lunch (Indian Tacos) across the highway from the entrance to the Little Bighorn Battlefield. There was a three hour layover to eat lunch, see the battlefield, and get fuel.

Departing the Battlefield at 2:00PM, the route followed old Highway 87 to Parkman, Wyoming for a rest stop, then Sheridan for fuel, and then continued back to Buffalo.

This was an all day ride broken up by rest stops no more than an hour apart, and a three hour layover at the battlefield itself. The Rosebud Valley is quite scenic and, for those interested in the history of the Indian War period, a quick side trip to the Rosebud Battlefield was well worth it. The Little Bighorn Battlefield is a poignant place, very unchanged from June 25-26th, 1876, when the most famous of battles between the US Army and the Plains Indians took place.

Thursday, July 18 – (Alternative) Kaycee Ride (96 miles round trip)

This was an alternative ride for those not wishing to ride all the way to the Little Bighorn Battlefield. The route followed old Highway 87 south to the town of Kaycee. Old Highway 87 follows the general route of the “Invaders” of Johnson County in 1892. The Invaders were a group of approximately 50 stock detectives and hired guns working for the big cattle interests headquartered in Cheyenne. The invaders were tasked with eliminating what the big cattle interests viewed as “rustlers” who they believed were trying to take control of Johnson County. There were two significant gun battles along the invaders route before the US Army took control of the situation. The first was at Kaycee and the second at the TA ranch about halfway from Kaycee to Buffalo. The route went past both locations. In Kaycee there are two restaurants for lunch and nice local museum. From Kaycee one could take side trips to the Mayoworth/Barnum area, otherwise know as “The Hole in the Wall” country. The “Hole in the Wall” area was made famous at the turn of the 20th century as the hideout for Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and the Wild Bunch.

The route returned to Buffalo and Deer Park via old Highway 87.

Optional Rides:

Local Ride – French Creek Loop (16 miles)

This was a short, self guided loop ride that could be worked into one’s free time. It skirted around the town of Buffalo and goes North-West of town on French Creek Road. The route went through the county residential area of small ranches and provided great views of the Bighorn mountains to the west and lots of deer and antelope grazing in the fields. It returned to Deer Park via Rock Creek Road. Under one hour. This was also a good option for non-riding rally goers to get out in the car and see some of the area.

Dual Sport Ride – Crazy Woman Canyon  (Approximately 54 miles)

This was an optional, self-guided ride for dual sport bikes (or street bikes that don’t mind getting dirty). The route was on US Highway 16 west from Buffalo for about 27 miles and then returned via unpaved Crazy Woman Canyon. Crazy Woman Canyon is a narrow road that follows Crazy Woman Creek through very scenic country with much greenery, steep cliffs and lots of flowing water. The ride was about 2-3 hours round trip and suitable for non-riding family members with sturdy cars looking for something to do while their biker was out on the road.

Mid-Length Ride – Deer Park to Clearmont, Wyoming (54 miles)

A self guided ride that follows Clear Creek east from Deer Park. The route follows the former Wyoming Railroad all the way to Clearmont, Wyoming, where the Wyoming Railroad met up with the main line. Return by the same route. The ride went through the hill country east of Buffalo with brown hills occasionally contrasted with red buttes. The creek bottom is prime ranch land that is irrigated and green with crops and cottonwood trees throughout the summer. The return trip offered great views of the Bighorn Mountains contrasted by the hills and ranch land in the foreground. About 1.5 hours round trip. There is fuel in Clearmont.

Long Distance – Alpine Ride  (250 miles)

This route leaves Deer Park and travels up Interstate 90 to Ranchester, Wyoming. It goes over the Bighorn Mountains on US Highway 14 to the town of Greybull. From Greybull it follows US 16 to Manderson, Wyoming and then, via county roads, to Ten Sleep. From Ten Sleep, the route returns over the Bighorn Mountains to Buffalo via US Highway 16. It then returns to Buffalo.

This was an 8 hour all-day ride. Lunch in Greybull is a good option. However, if high mountain vistas are your thing, this ride was for you. It covered all the same ground as the Ten Sleep Ride, plus the equally scenic Highway 14 over the BigHorns. This is a very popular “day loop” for local riders.

Events:

Tuesday July 16 – Field Trials

Field Trials were organized by Norton Colorado and held at the Rally Site (Deer Park).

Wednesday July 17 – Concours

This year’s Concours was organized by the Northwest Norton Owners and held in conjunction with a vintage car show at a public park in downtown Buffalo. It was held in the late afternoon hours and allowed both contestants and non-contestants to walk around and explore downtown Buffalo. It was a great opportunity to visit the historic Occidental Hotel.

Prozinski Park, where the combined show was held, is a fenced ball park with controlled access. It is approximately two miles from the rally site. Security and access was controlled by a combination of rally staff and the Buffalo Kiwanis Club. A small admittance donation was requested of non-rally attendees with the proceeds going to a Kiwanis charity. There was advanced publicity in the Buffalo/Sheridan area and it was a great opportunity to get your motorcycle seen by more than just other Norton owners while also contributing to a local charity.

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