Monday, June 1, 2009

day twenty-two: Hello Montana

Crossing into Montana- number 17!
Kootenai River
More Hwy 2 Vistas
Wild flowers
Coming out of the mountains

Mike and I woke ready to rock and roll after a great night’s sleep at the Bear Creek Inn in Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho.  We took Hwy 2 East and covered about 100+ miles heading toward Kalispell and Whitefish, Montana.  If you’re keeping count with us, this makes state number 17!  Yesterday at a rest stop a nice guy, named Vick, suggested we take another route with more twisting turns.  Hwy 2 to Whitefish caused my eyes no pain but after this small town, Hwy 2 turned absolutely beautiful.  I think I said this earlier, but my supply of superlatives has dwindled.  After you’ve described things you’ve seen as stunning, awe-inspiring, unique, pre-historic, etc. what else can be said.  I will say that this was my favorite road we’ve ridden.  Hwy 2 climbs its way across our most northern states all the way to the Great Lakes.  I won’t have the opportunity to see its many faces for that distance this trip but today’s portion was a treat.  We followed it past the Kootenai River, which, in itself was stunning in its power. I like to canoe and raft but I would think multiple times before voluntarily getting on this behemoth.  Our intention in following Hwy 2 was to enter Glacier Park and take the “Road that Leads to the Sun.”  (That’s actually its name!)  Or, as I like to call it, the “Road that Leads to the Avalanche.”  The locals told us that this road almost never opens before June 1st and our proposed trip was not to be owing to this fact.  This year there was an avalanche, which blocked the road with snow and rocks and other debris.  Something I’ve finally put into words is that when you are riding a motorcycle it’s not only what you see, but the ride itself.  And for me, that still doesn’t completely describe the feeling.  I freely admit to being a little OCD (OK, a lot!) and I have a goal to reach on the ride.  I can’t be troubled with small avalanches and free-range cattle and tsunamis preventing me from getting to my appointed destination!

It was really interesting to me today that when we left the mountains, we did so abruptly.  One minute we were in them, we passed through a small town called Browning and we were onto the plains.  The plains themselves almost immediately changed to draws and coulees and small canyons (which is probably what a “draw” is).  Mike and saw some either wild or free-range horses beside the road and got some great pictures.  For Michael, this was not enough and having a dual sport bike he decided to convert to off-rode mode and give chase.  The stallion of the small herd took offense and briefly stood his ground.  When he decided to flee with the rest we decided to stop the chase lest we herd them into the road.  I have not experienced the difference but suppose that there is a great one between hitting a free-range chicken and a free-range horse.  Mike and I had planned to camp in Choteau, Montana but pushed on another 50 or so miles and are staying at a ratty Super 8 for the night.  Our plans tomorrow are to rise early and cover around 400 miles.  This we have done before but tomorrow includes about 120 miles in Yellowstone.  We’ll see how that goes and give you the report tomorrow evening.  Until then . . . adios muchacha/chos!


  1. Gorgeous pictures. We've enjoyed keeping up with the blog. DP follows it religiously! :) Y'all can't post them fast enough for him. Dad & Mike, I realized that I forgot to give you a letter I had written you for the road back. (Dang!) I'll just mail it to y'all.

  2. Shoot Mere, we're sorry with you! Thanks for thinking about us and following so closely. We really had a great time with you guys and appreciate the hospitality and rest. I can just hear that fan now!
    Love, Papa