Flew Idaho to Mt Rushmore in record high temps with 40kt tailwind. 12,500 ft was still 60degree F.
Climbed over all the ranges in my way.
On the way back a week later climbed over the Bridger Wilderness Area near Casper, WY. A little bumpy both ways. Headwind slowed me down to better enjoy the view I guess.
On my return flew a straight line from Valentine, NB to Pocatello, ID. Windy Mountains were in the way. Gave them a 3,000 ft buffer, Afton, WY was just to the South of my flight path. Really liked the high altitude lakes going over this range. Most were still frozen with ice on them. Awesome photos taken.
Not as bumpy as it was below 9,500ft msl, over flat ground, on the really hot days that I was flying in.
I do understand Williwaw in Alaska. When I do my Denali flights, do pay attention to leeward side.
Iniskin Bay taught me about Williwaws. Cold air dropping like a rock to waters below off of Glaciers above. Not something you want to experience!!!
If you fly down in the passes that's where you get the mountain wave. Learned years ago better to go over the top. Why not use the capability of our RV's? Have an issue: you have more time to sort it out. When flying down the valley's you're committed to what that valley has to offer, high enough the valley over might have some roads, or logging trails.
As far as wilderness goes, in the lower 48, plenty of places to land if troubles, not so some of the places I fly here in Alaska and down the British Columbia Coastal Mountains. Idaho Primitive area has a few well placed spots if needed in an emergency.
Lots of farm roads after Yellowstone, plenty of main roads in Yellowstone that can be reached from 12,500.
The Badlands did cause me to fly a little south of planned route, they for sure don't have many available landing spots. Pretty sure these photos below are the Badlands, not positive though. There are roads you can see, probably put a RV on it's top. In the zoomed photo, you can see several gravel roads.
On my trip was thinking, don't want any trouble, but look at all the places to land. Used to fly Hueys, as such always looking where to land in case of trouble.
I've never smoked, carry an oxygen finger monitor, and I do have oxygen available. When going to flight school for the Hueys, altitude chamber was part of course. I was one of the last that had to put my mask back on at 25,000', 6minutes 33seconds. One of my friends did 6:45.
On this flight, could go to 14,500ft before my O2 was at 91%. At 16,500 was down to 86%, added some oxygen at that point. Currently live at 89' above sea level, so had to watch my oxygen when going up high.