Wednesday, September 30, 2015

AMG Silberpfeil - A road test for the ages Day 4

DAY 4: 9/26/15

After this series of pictures, I won't have any more as middle west states are pathetically boring along 90. No AMG pictures on this stretch either - I hardly stopped and didn't care enough to take pics of the car lol.

This day started early at the hotel in Gardiner, MT - I was making it a point to go down the Tetons and from there take some sketchy backroads to the Big Horns. Off the big horns I'd be staying in a hotel in Sheridan, WY then ultimately trying to make a run to Sioux Falls, SD for a night, then to Chicago the following morning. I covered nearly 3000 miles in the 5 day stretch - while making multiple (about 25) stops for fuel. The AMG is a thirsty SOB.

I'm skipping ahead a few pictures - with this sign being a welcome victory.

I wish I could clean the windshield, or I wish I made the attempt at letting my camera dangle outside the car for a bit to take this pic. It doesn't do it the justice it deserves for the colors. Nice breeze throwing the yellow leaves off the trees - it was like I took a scene out of a car commercial..only I was driving it.

My first sighting of the Tetons off the main road.

I stopped at some sort of scenic spot and I walked down to the water and was checking everything out. It's definitely been a dry year, water levels were SUPER low everywhere.

Had the road all to myself! I felt like I was going to drive straight into the mountain.

Leaving Teton park, I think I went through Shoshone National Forest.

This is some sort of Indian reservation. I was driving along the Wind River (I think). I didn't have a map on me, nor were there any signs saying what the river was that I was following. It was crystal clear though, I really wish I had a fishing pole......

This damn antelope, deer wanna-be bastard sprinted down a hill, JUST to jump out in front of me going 80mph. Thankfully AMG has some fairly decent brakes and this is how far I ended up stopping from the prick. Close call.

Long twisty road into the Bighorns.

This scared me a for a quick second. I wasn't paying attention and it looked like I was driving into the mountain.

Inside the belly of the Bighorns. Tons of ram I was spotting on the cliff sides.

This is the last picture I took on the trip to share. About a mile from this spot the AMG cut out on me and left me dead in the water. Luckily at that point I was going downhill and managed to coast to one of the scenic outlook pullouts. I let the car cool off for a half hour before I tried doing anything to it. For some reason I ended up opening the fuel filler cap and had at least a gallon of fuel shoot out at me. That fuel tank was so pressurized, I'm surprised no fuel was leaking.

After venting off all pressure and letting the car cool sufficiently, I gave her a spin. Damn thing fired up and ran perfectly down to my hotel in Sheridan, WY. Quite the scare, considering by the time all said and done, it was pitch black outside - the only tools I had were a small set of sockets and a ratchet I got from Walmart for $10 and a wire brush.

If you asked me if I'd do it again?


With the top off.

it won't be continued.....definitely.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

AMG Silberpfeil - A road test for the ages Day 3

DAY 3: 9/25/15
Left my hotel somewhere around Idaho or Montana the next day - I booked it last second on the drive back from Glacier and just found whatever was 4 hours away, which was Butte, Montana. The closer I could get to I-90 from Glacier, the better for my run down to Yellowstone. From Butte, it would be like a 2 hour drive to Yellowstone.

While I was filling up in Butte, I saw this thing. Not only did I see just one, there were dozens of them. I have no idea what they were, but they were damn cool. Has anyone tried the smokehouse brisket sandwich from Arby's? From butte I shot over to Livingston, MT and from there I'd be heading down to the Northwest entrance of Yellowstone. Exciting.

I'd be staying in Gardiner, MT that night, which is just outside of Yellowstone. Literally the most expensive hotel stay ever, but worth it, considering I could bum around in Yellowstone all day and head back to my hotel right on the outskirts.

The entire road snaked along the Yellowstone River, which made for some interesting scenery with the ranches and valleys carving through.

Naturally I had to stop for AMG picture time - a car outside of it's natural habitat. Usually they're enclosed in garages, never to be driven....

I finally got into Gardiner and checked into the hotel. This was my view.

Okay, worth it.

About 10 minutes into the drive from the entrance, you get into the Mammoth springs. They really were a huge structure. One of the spring towers that's been dead or dormant for a while had an elk just hanging out in the shade. Most people didn't even notice he was there until they figured out what I was trying to get a picture of from my ever so slight trespass....

From Mammoth I shot down to the Old Faithful area. When I got there, the faithful just so happen to blow up. So I took the opportunity to grab an ice cream cone and walk around the entire grounds to look at all the other springs that were there.

When I was done with putzing around the grounds, the damn thing went up again! Saw it pop up twice, I'll call that a good day.

From there I decided to take a ring road around and headed towards the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake. I'd be making my way back to the hotel at this point. When I got to the thumb, I stopped to let YE OLDE AMG cool down as it was running a bit cranky.

While YE OLDE AMG was cooling down, I cooled down myself. I piled up a few rocks at the shoreline to sit on and just hung out by the lake. I ended up wading knee deep into the thing...water is ice cold by the way - usually the lake is much higher but with the drought and overall dry conditions, it's down a few feet.

Road back to the hotel.

Stumbled upon these hairy f**kers.

One of the calfs got too close to the AMG and I had to rev it to scare it off a bit. The nature folks didn't like that too much and were giving me looks like they were about to murder me.

To the bald guy with a soul patch, if you're reading this - the bison is 15 feet away from you. Under no circumstances is it necessary to have a 200-400mm lens on your camera. Screw off.

It was getting dark quick, so I made a quick jaunt back to the main road.

Before ending the night, I had to get another AMG shot in. It's not the best road trip car, but it's cool.

to be continued.....probably.

AMG Silberpfeil - A road test for the ages Day 2

I had a huge delay in posting, rather than doing it on the day, I've got a bit of delay on when to post. I'm back home already, but I'll date the posts to make it easier.

9/24/15 Day 2

Started the day out of Lake Moses, WA and made it a point to head to Yellowstone. Though, that quickly turned around when I realized I would be 2 hours south of Glacier National Park....naturally I made the detour for an additional 4 hours worth of driving for the day. The car was a little "cranky" when starting up in the morning, so be it, it still ran well enough to stay at speed. 70-90 MPH is where it was happy.

Leaving Washington, I ended up driving by Coeur D'Alene Lake. I shot off the highway and took a bypass route that ended up being ridiculously scenic. I stopped off for 30 minutes for a photo op.

Even the mighty AMG needs a break, right?

Stopped up at the highest point. I don't think I was allowed to stop in this spot, but who cares? 

From there I took a beeline route to Glacier, skipping off I-90E and taking some weird backroads to get to Kalispell, Montana and from there Glacier Park. I'm glad I did, because the entire road, without a single pothole, ended up following a river the whole way. I wish I stopped in at a Walmart to pick up a cheap fly rod to fish. I'm also glad I didn't, because I would have been sitting in the same spot for many, many days.

Like I said, I'd be in this spot fishing all day....

After finally convincing myself to go, about 85 miles down the road I had to pull in to fill up for the run up to Logan's Pass in Glacier. For time constraints, I couldn't go any further. That and I'm driving a car I don't know and the further you go into Glacier, the more desolate it becomes. Logan's is as far as I was willing to go.

Imagine my laughter when this lady pulled up on her motorcycle with this little guy behind her. Full riding gear and everything, he seemed like he was enjoying the hell out of the ride.

About 20 miles outside of Kalispell, the road got REALLY wide. There seemed to be a fire in the area as well, as most of the road there was smokey. Smelled nice though. This time of year I know Fish and Game with the local DNR will to prescribed controlled burns. As counter intuitive as it seems, this helps these forests regenerate to a healthier status. After long droughts and die offs, the area is usually left barren of life anyway, so burning it will put all that otherwise wasted nutrient energy back into the ground. 10 - 15 years and you have a full forest again. 

About 30 more minutes of driving after this and I found myself going through these gates.

10 minutes in and I'm greeted with this.......where's my damn fly rod.

I had my GoPro with me and I stuck it to the inside of the windshield to record a short run up the mountain to Logan's Pass. Here's the vid:

This is where I ended up stopping - how's that for a potential "for sale" ad picture?

So after stopping for a bit I finally made it up to the pass - which is basically a road that crests a series of mountains. There were a lot of these guys around.

After looking at massive balls.....rams. I started my descent.

This is Lake McDonald at sunset. The smoke from the fires down south slowly started moving in so I wasn't able to get any spectacular sunset pics, but it's still an epic view.

This is the last pic of the day - I had to focus on the road as there were literally dozens of antelope, elk and I'm guessing foxes jumping in front of me. I wasn't about to wreck a super rare AMG....

to be continued.....probably