Friday, June 5, 2009

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

People often look perplexed when asking how I get from Utah to eastern South Dakota, and back home on a ATV. The answer is simple - Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Understandably, they assume that my route must consist of back roads, unpaved trails, and four wheeling adventure spots that will all but destroy both machine and me. Reviewing the previous posting you will see the ATV has been modified: It has 14" rims and 205/75 R14 tires, making it hard surface road worthy.

Also, the machine is licensed for highway use (all the safety features a motorcycle has) which is the predominant surface that will be traveled upon. Utah has hundreds of miles of unimproved, rocky, mountainous trails that aren't fit for my hard surface tires, and conversely, hard surface roads are not conducive to standard knobby ATV tires. I decided that 4 rims / tires was much less an expense than perhaps 2 or 3 sets of standard ATV tires.

But the tire swap payoff is even greater. Hard surface tires are smooth, and can be balanced making for an extremely efficient and stable ride. Even better, they produce very little road noise unlike standard ATV tires. Also, gas mileage is greatly improved.

What is the route? Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota! Sure you want more information than that. Here is the condensed version - round trip and is listed in Legs.

  1. Park City UT to Kemmerer WY
  2. Kemmerer WY to Lander WY
  3. Lander WY to Newcastle WY
  4. Newcastle WY to Martin SD
  5. Martin SD to Watertown SD
  6. Watertown SD to Coleman SD
  7. Coleman SD to Pierre SD
  8. Pierre SD to Devils Tower WY
  9. Devils Tower WY to Shoshoni WY
  10. Shoshoni WY to Farson WY
  11. Farson WY to Vernal UT
  12. Vernal UT to Park City UT
What is the longest Leg of the trip? Based on the above outline, the longest is Leg number 8, which is 288.78 miles, and the shortest is Leg number 6 consisting of 52 miles. Legs, as outlined above, are simply a means of breaking the trip down into manageable components. They are more specifically used to help determine my location at specific times in the event that I don't communicate with home each day.

Want to understand the communications plan? Review Two Tin Cans and a String.

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