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Archive for the ‘Montana’ Category

The date is August 26th.  The reason I know that is because I just looked it up. Being away from home for so long Chris and I quite often ask each other what the date is or what day of the week it is.  And when we closed the b&b I stopped wearing a watch.  Yes folks that’s retirement !!

We spent another day enjoying the spectacular scenery in Montana.  Mountains & trains were the theme today.  It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a wildlife crossing over the highway.  Would have been even better if a herd of bison was crossing !!

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It was much warmer today so I didn’t have to worry about frostbite when taking my gloves off to manage the camera. Obviously I was back to cloud gazing – one of my favourite pastimes.  And before you give us a hard time about the snake sign please know we exercised due diligence.  We didn’t hear rattling noises in the grass and we watched other people take pictures before we did.  And no Mom I would not jump off a cliff if everyone else did.

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Montana is definitely on the list of places to visit again and if we ever win the lottery I know Chris would be happy to have a big acreage here !!

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We met Catfish and Angel Face at the Harley dealer in Kalispell this afternoon. Catfish is a member of a motorcycle club called Sons of God – New Jerusalem. They have chapters in 50 states and they minister to OMG’s (outlaw motorcycle gangs).  A down to earth couple who love to ride and are spreading God’s word.

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Tomorrow we’ll be crossing the border back into BC.  We’ve gathered all our receipts together and realize we’ve spent as much on bike repairs as Harley clothing & souvenirs.  It will take us a few days to travel back to the island.  Geezer Tour 2016 is coming to an end.

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Love & hugs from Kalispell

 

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Oh my the air was brisk this morning. It’s the first time on this trip that Chris had to add heated vest, leather jacket and winter gloves to his biking gear.  I added an extra neck covering and pulled it up over my ears for some extra warmth.

One of our stops this morning was the gas station in Reed Point, Montana. Seemingly one of the only business that’s open.  The cashier told us the population of the tiny town is 199 but only 100 of those are year round residents.  Sadly the businesses on the tiny Main Street have all shut down giving downtown the deserted look.  The only thing missing was a tumbleweed blowing down the street. It made me happy to see they still have a library.

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Our breakfast stop this morning was Livingston.  We drove up and down the main street until the retro sign at Northern Pacific Beanery caught my eye.  We lucked out again finding an awesome diner in a converted train station alongside an active railway line.  There was train memorabilia on the walls and they even sell conductor hats.  I had the daily special of eggs, bacon, hash browns and biscuits with gravy. OH MY GOSH how have I lived for 56 years without having eaten this fantastic food.  Flaky homemade biscuits smothered in sausage gravy.  Seriously there was not one single crumb left on my plate.

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Same as yesterday it was too cold to take many pictures from the back of the motorcycle but from this shot you can tell we’re heading into the American Rockies.  Breathtaking vistas and ranches that go on for miles.

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Tonight we’re in Butte Montana once known as “the richest hill on earth.”  Coming into the city we could tell that there’s been serious mining activity from the visible scars to the land. Gold & quartz have all been mined here and driving through the “uptown” it’s apparent the city was much bigger at one time.  Once a population of over 100,000 Butte now is home to 30,000 people.  It’s encouraging to see some of the beautiful old brick buildings being preserved and rejuvenated.

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We toured both”uptown” and “downtown” Butte trying to find a mom and pop motel but the motels we did find looked a bit sketchy.  Back to our dependable Best Western.

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Tomorrow we’re aiming for Kalispell Montana which will be our last night in this huge state.

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Love & hugs from Butte…

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A very weak internet connection at our hotel prevented me from posting on our blog last night.  Here’s a bit of info to go with the pictures I shared on Facebook.

  1. We enjoyed one more night at our hotel in Deadwood — it’s such a treat to stay somewhere for 2 nights and not have to pack everything up in the morning.
  2. Needles Highway — in the Black Hills of Custer State Park.  14 miles of sharp turns, low tunnels and impressive stone spires
  3. Iron Mountain Road — another big WOW on the motorcycle.  This road has 3 one lane tunnels, 3 pigtail bridges, 22 switchbacks, 400 bends & curves over 17 miles and two counties
  4. Mount Rushmore — as imposing and impressive as I imagined it would be.  I learned it was built by 400 workers over 14 years.
  5. Sturgis — arriving a week after the motorcycle rally is like arriving at a wedding venue after everyone’s gone.  The downtown was basically deserted and all the bits and pieces haven’t been cleaned up yet after the 76th annual rally.  We had a beer at the famous Iron Horse Saloon just to say we did.

This morning after passing Elvis in the lobby of our hotel we walked outside to feel the cold South Dakota morning.  Yikes !! It’s still August and we had to wear all our layers.  For so many weeks I whined about how HOT it was but we’ve turned a corner into much cooler temperatures.  I didn’t take nearly as many pictures today because it was just takes too long to take off gloves and carefully ease the camera out of my pocket.

I’m not sure how many minutes we were in Wyoming 😀 Looking at today’s route we just skimmed the north east corner before entering Montana.

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We saw more wildlife today than our whole 2 months travel put together.  We saw about 100 antelope and some deer as well as long-horned cattle, horses and thousands of sheep & cows.  And why did the chicken cross the road?  To show the raccoon it could be done.  We have seen hundreds of dead raccoons on this trip.  Absolute raccoon carnage.

Traveling most of today on a secondary highway was great with stunning scenery and very little traffic.  Unfortunately it means very little in the way of services.  We finally found a cafe for breakfast and it was perfect.  Small little cafe full of local farmers and our server chatted us up wanting to know if we were frozen yet.  It wasn’t just cold.  It was cold and very windy.  Windy to the point of Chris having to ride on a tilt we were being buffeted so hard.

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We weren’t sure how far we’d get today so didn’t book ahead.  Here we are in the lobby at Best Western Kelly Inn in Billings Montana.  The decor just oozes “western” and the staff here are lovely.  There’s a bike washing station outside so our ride is absolutely gleaming !!  I’ve done some laundry, sorted through receipts getting read to cross the border and we’re watching a bit of TV before we rest our weary but happy selves.

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Tomorrow is another day of riding until we’re tired but I know we’ll still be in Montana.

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Love & hugs from Billings…

 

 

 

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