WIW 07.20-26 Yellowstone motorcycle trip edition

My husband and I along with our 3 closest friends took a week long motorcycle trip out to Yellowstone at the end of July. Finally made it through all the photos and collaged up my favorites to share with you lovelies! I think I got a bit overexcited though, and realized AFTER finishing that I should've included fewer photos per collage. So my apologies that most of these are probably too small to make out the amazing scenery :( It was a fun trip! And since I wasn't the only one with a camera, we got some photos of us on the motorcycle (rare!) which I found highly entertaining :) I've got one scenery collage and one outfit collage for each day, except the day spent in the Park which has 3 scenery collages.

Sartorially, I decided to try riding wearing button-ups instead of tees, and in the evenings I'd simply swap out my riding pants/boots with skinnies and sandals/tennies; this small change to add a little structure was a HUGE help in combating feeling frumpy in all my gear (which is, of course, all too large now). I will absolutely be doing this on any long trip from now on. It was also great that both button-ups were tab sleeved and very thin cotton; I could cover up in the heat to avoid sunburn without overheating then later roll the sleeves up, and with a thin layering tank below I could remove the top layer if it got too too hot (and sometimes it did).

Quick trip info:

  • Photos #1/2, day 1: Everett, WA to Kamiah, ID ~400 miles
  • Photos #3/4, day 2: Kamiah, ID to Stanley, ID ~300 miles
  • Photos #5/6, day 3: Stanley, ID to West Yellowstone, MT ~320 miles
  • Photos #7/8, day 4: West Yellowstone, MT
  • Photos #9-12, day 5: Yellowstone Park, MT/WY
  • Photos #13/14, day 6: West Yellowstone, MT to Missoula, MT ~330 miles
  • Photos #15/16, day 7: Missoula, MT to Everett, WA ~500 miles

TOTAL: ~1850 miles
AVG TEMP: 80F (lo: 57, hi: 95, nighttime camping: 40)

Saddlebag packing list: 2 button-ups, 1 tee, 2 tanks (1 unused), 2 layering tanks, 1 sweatshirt, 1 shorts, 1 jeans, 1 tennis shoes, 1 sandals, socks/underwear/pjs.

Hope you all enjoy the photos! Some details in the next post, for those interested ^^

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36 Comments

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Photos #1, 2, day 1: Everett, WA to Kamiah, ID ~400 miles
    The bulk of what we drove through was agricultural (lots of wheat!), but we made a short side-trip to the Old Spiral Highway. It's a pretty crazy twisty road (you can see some neat videos on YouTube), part of which you can see behind me in photo #2 on the left side.

    Photos #3, 4, day 2: Kamiah, ID to Stanley, ID ~300 miles
    The owner of the breakfast place we ate at informed us of heavy construction on our intended route, so he gave us an alternate route to take. It followed a river and was gorgeous to drive along! Also fab for stopping to take breaks from the heat (#4 left, top middle). The inn we stayed at in Stanley was also right on a river, and had a huge community deck that enjoyed the warm evening on (#4 middle bottom, right bottom).

    Photos #5, 6, day 3: Stanley, ID to West Yellowstone, MT ~320 miles
    We detoured through Craters of the Moon, whose lava rocks looked completely out of place (#6 middle top) amongst all the desert scenery (#6 top left) we were driving through. We camped at a KOA, which I must say is the poshest campground I've been to; our campsite had a covered area and electricity (#6 right), and the camground had a shop that baked fresh fudge each night (yum!), fancy (free!) showers, and a laundromat :) Earlier this day, one of our friend's bike's unfortunately broke so he and his wife rode 2-up on her bike the rest of the trip.

    Photos #7, 8, day 4: West Yellowstone, MT
    Our friend with the broken bike hassled trying to find somewhere to tow it to, but eventually got something figured for a shop 80 miles from us; so while he spent all day dealing with that, the rest of us hung around the campgrounds, eating, drinking, and playing Uno :) We found the campground also had a playground, horeshoe pits, an indoor pool (!), and miniature golf. Ended the day with yummy campfire steaks and marshmallows!

    Photos #9-12, day 5: Yellowstone, MT/WY
    Spent this full day out at Yellowstone riding around the park. It was amazing to see on a bike, you really feel immersed in the beautiful landscape. We took the West Entrance, traveled south stopping several times in the geyser basins (#10 bottom right, #11 left) and at Old Faithful which was crazy busy (#11 top right), then stopped at Grant Village for lunch. After that we headed north following Yellowstone Lake (#11 bottom right) up to Canyon Village (#12 left) and then back west to the West Entrance. We'd expected to see twice as much of the park, but fully underestimated how much time it would take; no regrets though, it was wonderful to experience it at a slow pace and now we have more reason to go back again :)

    Photos #13, 14, day 6: West Yellowstone, MT to Missoula, MT ~330 miles
    The trip to Missoula was HOT. Being exposed to that type of heat (#13 bottom right) for many hours is tricky and can be dangerous on a motorcycle; we made lots of water stops and snacked a little at each stop. My husband and I also wear our full gear, even in the heat, so we had to be extra careful about not getting overheated; we have one of those water bags hikers use in our tank bag so we could drink on the road. Happily we all made it there without any problems. Missoula is a fun city with a lot of good food, and also a carossel! Which we of course had to ride (#14 right) :)

    Photos #15, 16, day 7: Missoula, MT to Everett, WA ~500 miles
    The last day was longer because it's a trip we've all taken before. Always pretty to drive over the Columbia River (#15 middle right) and across Snoqualmie Pass (#15 bottom left). And since this was a Wednesday, we decided to get off the freeway and take backroads home so we could avoid all the rush hour traffic (#15 bottom right).

  • cjh replied 8 years ago

    Aida, thank you so much for sharing your travel photos as well as fashion features! We went to Yellowstone last summer and it is FANTASTIC (isn't it???), in a truck pulling a trailer as we were moving someone as well, but have also taken great long motorcycle trips around Lake Superior and on the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA and NC, among others. It sure is a challenge packing in such a small space, having the right clothes for the weather and riding, and also looking like you "care" about your appearance when you get off the bike. YOU LOOKED WONDERFUL. I LOVE the yellow checked shirt - can you tell us where you got it, what brand?

    I have also had success layering with button shirts and when it was very cold, would wear a long sleeve t under a chambray shirt under a light cardi (color coordinated of course), under a windbreaker and add a scarf, under leathers. Whew. One routine we often followed was to shower and change into clean clothes/jeans at the end of a riding day and before going out to dinner, then just wear the clean clothes the next day for riding. As well as the weather being hard on you, so is the dirt, right?

    Again, thanks for the pictures and reminding me of our fun trips! I'm glad you had a good time, looking great.

  • Sona replied 8 years ago

    what fabulous scenery. also loved the way you packed light yet had enough options to look different/more dressed up in the evenings. amazing photography!!

  • cjh replied 8 years ago

    Your last day must have been exhausting. We could rarely plan to go more than 300-350 at the MOST due to just plain wearing out. Oh, but you're young. :-)

  • Sveta replied 8 years ago

    What a fun trip - thanks for sharing, Aida. Yellowstone is on my to-go list (as well as 100s other places I am afraid...)
    For any camping / backpacking trips a button-down over a tank is my go-to formula: it keeps me covered to prevent sunburn but I can unbutton it to keep cool.

  • annagybe replied 8 years ago

    You went right through the Palouse (the rolling wheat hills). That's my home stomping grounds.

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    cjh - We rode through a corner of Yellowstone last summer on our way home from Sturgis and just HAD to go back for a dedicated trip! I fully agree with you about how challenging it is to pack AND look good on a long trip; I'm still working on it :) The yellow gingham top is from Old Navy, this one here; I want to get the aqua, too! (On the Sturgis trip we had one day at 650 miles... it was brutal! Our long trips tend to be 350-500 a day, though 350ish is ideal for me; my husband, on the other hand, can ride ad infinitum).

    Sona - Thanks!

    Sveta - This was my first time trying the button-up for camping, I LOVED IT :D I highly recommend Yellowstone, especially if you like outdoors activities! Next time we go, we're totally making time for hikes because we didn't do any this time and some of them looked amazing.

    Anna - How fun! I love driving through there (we went across I-90), seeing all the wheat gently blowing in the wind is so pretty. Wheat is my favorite crop to drive through :D

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Wow! Amazing scenery...not to mention the sartorial splendour! You look completely put together and comfortable. Great packing! Love that yellow check shirt on you.

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Fantastic photos, Aida - it's like we're riding along with you! How big is a saddlebag? I'm always interesting in packing tips, and that sounds like a challenging size for having to bring warm clothes along.

    You look great and seem to be having so much fun!

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Una, each side saddlebag is ~27L (metric volume, sheesh) which equates to Not Very Big :) Here's a photo from the SF trip earlier this year. Happily it was hot for this trip so I didn't need to pack much in the way of bulky layers, those summer items are nice and thin! The stuff I listed above along with a toiletries bag was all that fit in my saddle bag, and it was snug! We had all the camping gear in the back case which is like 55L. As for actual packing, it's like playing Tetris and I had to repack it just the same way each morning. Long motorcycle trips are the hardest packing challenge I've had to face!

    EDIT: You can see them on the bike in photo #14, center center. Not Very Big.

  • Janet replied 8 years ago

    I love it! Thanks for sharing these, Aida. You had me hooked from the moment I saw those rolling hills of the Palouse -- I was out there last fall, after the harvest, and it looks very different then.

    Great scenery and action pics, and you look amazingly put-together for being on a motorcycle trip!

    If you're at all interested, here are some pics from my big coast-to-coast-to-coast road trip last year, although it was a Prius and a trailer, not a motorcycle. :-)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/j.....829089102/

  • Desmo April replied 8 years ago

    Great shoots! I have NEVER managed to look that put together on a long bike trip, I'm impressed. I'm also jealous of your seeming avoidance of massive helmet hair.

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    Oh!!! How Stunning! WOW! Thanks for sharing your beautiful collages with us, Aida. I really like you in that mustard yellow.

    Now lets see the other pics. The ones where you're riding the bike with hubby at the back.

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Janet - Ohhh Janet those photos are so stunning!! Thank you for the link. I'm especially enamored of all the rust shots, I did a similar series a few years ago when I first really got into photography. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your photography style, mine is similar but not nearly as pro as yours ^^ (My husband always lovingly mocks how all my photos are abstracts, hehe)

    DesmoApril - My solution to combat helmet hair was to ruffle it all up (it was braided), and if it was a longer stop put it in a high pony as soon as the helmet came off. On the down side, I had to learn to rebraid super duper quickly so I wasn't holding everyone up just so I could avoid helmet hair ;)

    Angie - I'm really getting into this yellow! I always thought it wouldn't work for me so I'm so happy it does. *giggle* No photos of me driving the bike, if I wanted to learn to ride my husband would probably buy me a bike so he could still drive ;)

  • Kari replied 8 years ago

    That trip looks like such a blast! I've never been to Yellowstone, but it is on my must-see list.

    You and your hubby are the *cutest.* And look at you all stylish even as you are on a long motorcycle trip! Wow. Way to go!

  • Janet replied 8 years ago

    Aida, I've also got to say this is making me want to take a long motorcycle trip with my husband. He got an Indian last year and absolutely adores it. He just recently got the backrest attached, so I can ride on the back more comfortably. It is so much fun, I try to put all my safety worries aside!

  • replied 8 years ago

    You are the coolest Easy Rider ever! Only you could look this polished on a motorcycle trip. I'm adding Yellowstone to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing all the pictures of the gorgeous scenery.

  • Queen Mum replied 8 years ago

    such great photos. I've really enjoyed looking through them. I haven't been to Yellowstone since I was a child... one of these years we're going to plan to go.

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    Oh, these pics are all so gorgeous!!! You look so happy and relaxed - and the button-fronts really look good, too. How did you keep them from wrinkling?? Amazing. You and the hubs are totally cute together. :D

  • morethanbeige replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Such beautiful scenery. And you look so happy and carefree. Love your fashion shots. Yes, great mustard shirt.

  • Heather replied 8 years ago

    Aida, these photos are breathtaking! And what a fun trip with your friends.

    I, too, love you in that gold gingham blouse.

    I'm buying a bike and coming to vacay with you and your posse. My bike will need a wagon because I am NOT a good packer. ;D

  • O replied 8 years ago

    Oh dear, where do I start?? Thank you for taking us on the amazing trip with you. And introducing us to your friends. And taking time to create these wonderful collages of spectacular scenery and fun times you've had. I read all your descriptions and then checked the photos, group by group, it was a good tactics to take it all in.

    Your ability to look that good on a bike is beyond admirable. And yellow shirt in Yellowstone... pure sartorial fun!

    I had to laugh at your comment about wheat being your favourite crop to drive through. I never thought of that! We have a lot of rapeseed fields around my area and I always feel so energized when we drive by them (shiny, bright, golden), but I never consciously formed a though about the experience.

    And then the comment about playing Tetris when repacking. By this point I was in tears (laughing!). I so know what you're talking about. My MIL thinks I'm a packing genius, but I myself never knew what the process was called. Well, guess what... next time my head is deep in the car boot, at least I’ll laugh thanks to you!

  • MsMary replied 8 years ago

    Wow, wow, wow!! 2 fab 4 words!!

    My Target chambray shirt is sulking because it never gets to go on cool trips like that! :)

  • yellowgirl replied 8 years ago

    Aida, you are one chic biker chick! Thanks so much for sharing your pictures with us - it looks like such a fun trip!

  • Lisa replied 8 years ago

    Gorgeous scenery! Thanks for sharing! And I really like your button down shirt idea, instantly more polished than a LS T-shirt would have been. Just super job here!

  • san replied 8 years ago

    Just beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing these pictures with us. It looks like so much fun to go on a motorcycle trip like this. You and hubby are so cute together. How in the world do you look so good while on trip like this? It would be easy to just give up and wear sweats all the way but you mastered it in a very stylish way! Good for you.

  • thunalata replied 8 years ago

    Amazing photos of a clearly wonderful trip!

    Perhaps we should have an 'Aida's motorcycle trip photos picture perfect challenge'! So much inspiration there!

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Yay I'm so glad you all enjoyed the photos :D Thank you for all the wonderful comments and thoughts, I really loved reading everything <3 For everyone who hasn't seen Yellowstone, do it! You won't regret it! ^^

    Janet - It is a lot of fun! If you haven't done any really long trips sitting on the back, I highly advise doing a few 120ish mile rides to get a feel for it and build up some muscle stamina (back and butt muscles can get pretty sore!). 350 miles a day is a good number; you can take time to see pretty things, eat normal meals, and still get a good distance away from your previous day :)

    Rae - Ohhh EVERYthing wrinkled, hehe! I tried to pack everything as flat as possible to try and combat it, which helped because everything was packed so tightly.

    Heather - You know, if you're the only one on your bike you get TWICE as much space so you can pack a lot more! Just saying 0:)

    Ornella - We've driven through a LOT of agriculture on the bike, and one of the most amazing things we discovered is that you can SMELL many of the crops! Scent-wise my favorite was onions, but those wheat fields are just breathtaking especially when it's ALL that you can see for miles around. As for packing, I'm the family packer as well :) Though my sister was always better at Tetris...

    Polly - *giggle* Well thank you, you know how to make a gal blush ^^

  • CocoLion replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing the details and photos of your trip. It makes me want to take a cross-country road trip with my bf, the Grand Canyon being one of my goals (went to Yellowstone 7 years ago). I love the way you look in the blue button down and bandana scarf!

  • RandomThoughts (Andrea) replied 8 years ago

    Wow, what a super fun trip! I am so jealous. And what's more, all day on a bike and you still manage to look fabulous!

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thank you Denise and Andrea! :D

    Denise, the Grand Canyon is beautiful! I have only been once and would love to go back, and especially to do one of the hikes/horse rides down into the canyon. I hope you're able to make that trip, I'm sure you'd have a blast!

    Andrea, thanks ^^ I will admit it gets harder to look good the longer the trip goes on, hehe!

  • Jonesy replied 8 years ago

    Such glorious pics, and you manage to look amazing! So well put together and stylish, given the serious constraints you are dealing with.

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thanks Jonesy :) I think this is another good example of how packing your closet with things that fit and flatter is so important! With less flattering items, I would look frumpy in a heartbeat.

  • qfbrenda replied 8 years ago

    Beautiful! It's fun seeing some of our stomping grounds, like Snoqualmie Pass that we just went across a few days ago, and the Palouse.... hubby and I both graduated from WSU in Pullman.

    The button down shirts look great, but how did you deal with wrinkles?

    And I can't believe no one else commented (that I saw) on your hubby's new hair! Or lack there of. ;) He looks great with short hair. Is it ok to say that?? LOL I just remember all of your pics with his longer hair and was having trouble finding him in some of the pics until I saw one with the both of you. :)

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    *giggle* I was surprised no one commented on my husband's hair either, Brenda! He cut it off a day or two before we left and went from having the longest hair to the shortest! For some reason, hair dressers always cut his bangs super short and blunt which I don't think flatter his face shape; this one did a fantastic job with the cut, it's probably the best short hair cut I've seen him in. Glad you like it too :D

    As for wrinkles, I made sure to fold carefully when packing so that the clothes could flatten out some of the wrinkles, but really... everything just got super wrinkly. So I just rolled with it, not much else I could do :)

  • katiwei replied 7 years ago

    I camp quite a bit from spring to fall and always felt frumpy and uncomfortable until I discovered button up shirts, preferably with the roll-up tabs. They keep me cool and protected even on hot days and can be worn multiple days without washing because they seem to stay fresher than knit shirts. Plus you can layer them so much easier. It's fun to hear and see someone else have the same discovery!

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