Favorite Rides & Destinations

Fall 2017

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www.FavoriteRidesAndDestinations.com | ridermagazine.com PAGE 72 FALL 2017 ISSUE 02 / VOL. 02 Not everyone is intimidated. Emi grant Peak, looming over the valley at 10,921 feet, is a popular hike with lodgers at Chico wanting to work off some of the calories they consumed in the acclaimed gourmet restaurant. After a hike, a soak in the lodge's hot pool or a swim in its Olympic-sized warm pool is de rigueur. With its horseback rides, day spa and winter sled-dog rides, Chico caters to a fairly upscale crowd, as does the Paradise Valley as a whole, where dude ranches and movie stars have lent a "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" atmosphere to the area. Fly-fishing shops, art galleries and western boutiques adorned with cowboy silhouettes dot the highway all the way into Livingston, not too long ago a windy little cow-town full of hard-drinking working-class characters but now a windy little arts community full of latte-sipping literati. Not too far down the highway, cowboys come in all three dimensions under a jumble of jagged peaks so haphazard they could only be called "crazy." The Crazy Mountains tear into the sky a thousand ways as you ride through the Shields River Valley, a lush farming and ranching area fed by a plentitude of creeks and streams, sprinkled with tiny towns and framed by the Crazies to the east and the rugged Bridger Range on the west. While in the Shields, look for posters advertising a concert by the Ringling Five (a.k.a. The Norwegian Studs of Rhythm), a popular country band made up of seven (not five) local area ranchers singing original songs with silly lyrics such as, "I wear my pantyhose when I'm ridin'." The mystery of what real cowboys wear under their chaps is thusly solved in a single song. The highway continues straight north about 75 miles through open farm and rangeland, with the mountain ranges changing as you near the town of White Sulphur Springs. The Big Belts to the west and the Castle Mountains on the east are older ranges, less feisty but still full of character. Eons' worth of hot, mineral- laden water have created these delicate terraces of multicolored limestone at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone.

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