Cincinnati to Spokane and back
Around the 1st of October will head out on my newish R1200RT for Spokane, WA. My wife will meet me there and we will head down the Oregon and California coast till we head East to Shasta Lake, CA, where we will be fitted with a new Russell saddle. From there we will go to Chico and hopefully get the bike serviced at Ozzie's there. South to Grass Valley and CA 49 till it hits US 50. Then it is 50 across Nevada, Utah, through Gunnison, CO, get on the super slab and head home.
I would like to do a near-bun burner 1000 the first day and get to Hays, KS or a little further to Goodland. Next day up to Laramie, WY and the Snowy Range Road. Any idea what weather could be like at this juncture of time and place? I want to work my way to Missoula and ride US 12 over to Lewiston, ID. From there up to Pullman and on to Spokane.
I guess I am a little concerned what kind of weather I'll run into this far North and at higher altitudes. Cold and rain don't bother me, but snow bothers me a lot.
Weather Should be OK...but
You should be fine in early October. You can start getting snow in the higher passes in early October, it entirely depends on if a front moves through then. In the mountains, expect temperatures around freezing in the mornings. Fall is typically dry in the intermountain west, but again depends on the weather system. I would not hesitate to go, just watch the forecast and worst case you may have to deviate your route a bit or wait a day or two for things to dry out.
I took a trip with a buddy a couple of years ago the last week of September and we rode through Yellowstone and rode Beartooth pass (elevation10,947 ft) as well. We left West Yellowstone (elevation 6667 feet) with a temperature of 22 degrees but it warmed quickly as the sun rose higher. Beartooth pass was in fine shape, but they it already had a small bit of snow on the ground beside the road from an earlier snow shower. The trip was excellent. Just bring some warm riding clothes as the mornings will be brisk but the afternoons will be gorgeous.