I started this blog because I love to take motorcycle trips both local and around the country. And I love finding that roadside attraction or quaint town and of course the best places to eat. So I'd like to share my adventures with friends old and new. And I would like to hear about yours. Feel free to share. What's the nicest ride you've ever taken? The most scenic ride? The longest ride? Rallies you've been to with thousands or a solo ride? The town you fell in love with? The food that you'd go back for? Talk about the motorcycle shops along the way. We all love a warm friendly face. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so use them to help others share your experience.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rainy Friday

 Friday was an iffy day as far as the weather went. Our first couple of days here in Butte we found that the clouds would roll in almost every evening and you might get some rain and then it clears out. But Friday started out looking bleak. We did venture into town and rode around looking for something that was open for breakfast. Quite a few cars at Annie's Cafe so that's where we had a very good homemade breakfast.

 When the clouds seem to break and it cleared a bit we took a ride out to Copper Canyon again to check the events and see what was happening. Definitely not the best state rally that I've been to but all in all we stayed for a while and watched some of the biker games. We  figured that we'd come back tomorrow to see if the crowd was any better and on our way back to camp the clouds were back and it started to look a little threatening.
 Nice trailer, huh ?? We got back and worked on leveling the tariler better and putting things back where they belong. The skies got darker and you could smell the rain coming. I think that I had just barely got the cover on my trike when the sky opened up !
 It's good that we got he bikes covered because we not only got rain but some good sized hail for a while. Again, it was one of those storms that you can see coming, they hit hard, and the you can see the clear skies behind them.
So after an interesting day we waited until we thought it was afe and dry enough to venture out for a bite. Back to one of the places that we like and again had a great meal, a couple of cold ones and back to camp.

Wednesday / Thursday

 Wednesday was kind of a do nothing lazy sort of day. We thought that we'd run out to Copper Canyon Harley. This is where the rally festivities would take place over the weekend but we wanted to check out the place and the merchandise before the crowds.
 Then a nice breakfast at a place recommended by the staff at Copper Canyon. They were right on. Good breakfast at reasonable prices is what we're always looking for.

Then we just rode aimlessly around the town of Butte. It's an old town steeped in history of copper mines and fortunes made.
 Near the outskirts of town we came across this field filled with flags. Right near an old mining derrick. I know that Faith loves to photograph American flags so I had to stop to get a few shots for her. We didn't see any signs about what was going on but there was a stage set up in the background so something was probably scheduled for later in the day. It was just an awesome sight !

Dinner later that day at Fred's Mesquite Grill. I still gotta say, we've been very lucky with the places we found for meals. Fred didn't let us down.

Then it was back to camp because we had to start getting the trailer ready to trade on Thursday. It was just a matter of getting the cabinets emptied and we moved everything to the toy box section hoping that the change would be smooth and fast.

So on Thursday it was up and on the road. We parked the bikes near the campground office so they could watch them for us and headed for Missoula again. Got to Bretz around 11 for our 11:30 appointment and they pulled the trailer in and went to work. Some of the things coming off the old to be installed on the new took a little time and we found that we were there most of the day. Not a problem, though, because we did a little shopping and eating to kill the time. So with a brand new trailer that included an extra bathroom in the back, we got back to camp in time for a bite and some relax time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Out of Red Lodge

So on Monday we weren't in much of a hurry to leave because we only had about 230 miles to get to our next destination. I brought the trike down to Bone Daddy's to get the wire spliced better than we had done and then we had a nice breakfast, got my dealer picture and went back to the camp to load up.
With everything tied down and cleaned up we headed out for Butte, Montana where the Harley State Rally was being held over the weekend. We also learned that the same weekend hosted Evel Kneivel Days. This is a yearly event in Butte and we were kind of excited about the whole experience. We stopped at Beartooth HD in Billings and then we were on our way.
The ride in the truck is much different than on a motorcycle but Montana is such a beautiful place to ride that method of transportation is not a huge factor in viewing the scenery.
Made it to Butte and got settled in at
The 2 Bar Lazy H RV Park.

It was only Monday and the festivities weren't scheduled until the weekend so the place was fairly empty but we were told that by Thursday we'd see plenty of bikers. Monday evening was just a quick run into town for a bite and a beer and then back to camp.We found a great restaurant in town called Hangin5 and we did go back later in the week because the food was good and the beer was cold!
On Tuesday we decided to ride out to Missoula to check out the Harley shop and we also made a stop at Bretz RV and Marine. Dick had bought from this place before so he wanted to stop in. Little did he know that he'd leave with an upgraded fifth wheel. So we spent some time at Bretz and made plan to come back on Thursday to swap out rides. Then out to Grizzly HD.

Grizzly is a very nice and very large dealership and we got our goodies and were back on the road heading for Butte.
Someone suggested a more scenic route for the ride home and we sure weren't disappointed.
As we got off the exit for the scenic highway, we found a cool little place for a burger and I gotta tell ya, some of these little gems in theses little towns have some of the best burgers you'll find along your travels.
The hard part was reading the menu and deciding from 91 toppings for your burger!

More beautiful scenery along Highway 1 and after the day that we just had, we ran to McDonalds for take out and sat in the camper with some beers and a movie. 

Looking forward to the weekend !!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

 Sunday was another day that we were looking forward to. It was the day of the Biker Rodeo. Now I've been to many rallies and biker get-togethers where they have games and biker activities but I've never been to and actual biker rodeo held at a fairgrounds.

So we started the day with coffee and doughnuts downtown and then took a quick ride up the hill just outside of town for a view of Red Lodge from above.
Then on our way back through town we checked out the bike wash. Remember, a clean bike is a happy bike !!

After figuring that we'd killed enough time, it was out to the fairgrounds for the rodeo.
The Red Lodge/Beartooth Rally is sponsored by Bone Daddy's Custom Cycles so of course Bone Daddy made an appearance. It was a beautiful day and the temps were great.
 From the women's slow race to
 riding the bike down the lane, stopping, getting off the bike to chug a beer (non-alcoholic) of course then being the first back to the other end to
 riding an obstacle course with your passenger picking up golf balls from the cones then replacing them on the return trip to
 racing down the field and having your passenger jump off to search for potatoes that are hidden in the hay then get back to the starting line

it was an absolutely great time and what a hoot we had !!
Luckily, the clouds held off until the rodeo was over and we headed back to camp.
We had met the people in the camper next to ours the day before but got to talking a little more today. That's Paul, Kim and Taz. Paul was going out to one of the bars a few miles down the road because he wanted to enter his bike in the show. So we decided that we'd meet them there and grab some dinner.

Unfortunately, when I got to the bar I had a little electrical problem with the trike but we quickly found a wire that had burnt on the engine so I thought it best to just get back to camp and not be out riding around. Paul and Kim decided not to eat at the bar because they wanted to meet with us for dinner so we planned to get together at Pisano's Pizza a little later. That, my friends, is a story in itself. we were joined by Pam and Will, who are friends of Paul and Kim. We did have a good old time and then again back to camp for some nice conversation and a couple of adult beverages before calling it a night. We told our new friends about our plans to go to Butte for the state rally and they told us that perhaps they'd work something out to get out there too.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Riding The Beartooth Highway !!!

Saturday was a very exciting day for us. It was the day that we would ride the Beartooth Highway. It was probably the main reason that we came here. The rally itself was great and the people were awesome but
with everything that I've read and heard about the highway, this is what I was here for and I couldn't wait to get started.

After gassing up we headed out of town following a group who were doing the Beartooth Poker Run. We decided not to do the Poker thing because I thought that we'd spend some time just enjoying the ride and the scenery.

The route we took brought us around the southern way rather than the shortest route to the highway. After a stop at one of the poker run bars, the folks that we had met and rode to this point with felt that the skies looked a little threatening and decided not to take the chance. The clouds were rolling in around the mountains and you could tell that it was raining in spots. But I came to ride the highway and I wasn't about to let a little rain spoil it !
The way that we came in brought us to the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and we did put our leathers on because we knew we'd be climbing and the cloud cover made it a little cool.
The Chief Joseph is a beautiful ride with many winding roads climbing up and down and around the mountains. The only problem we had was that we thought that we were riding the Beartooth so as much as we loved the views and the curves and the scenery, when we arrived at "The Top Of The World", I must say that I was kind of disappointed and thought that if that's what all the hubbub is about, then I felt it wasn't worth the trip.

BUT !!!!! While taking a break at "The Top" we got to talking and some people had asked which way we came and they told us not to worry...there's plenty more and the best was yet to come !!!
Years ago as a roving correspondent for CBS, Charles Kuralt criss-crossed the United States in an RV looking for stories about extraordinary people and places.
On a stint out West he drove the Beartooth Highway, a 64-mile ribbon of pavement that cuts across the mountain wilderness of northwest Wyoming.It impressed him so much he called it America's most scenic drive. He expressed no doubts. No question marks. No equivocation.

This is the reason that I came to drive the Beartooth. I've been on many beautiful roads all over the country and some are long straight runs through miles of nothing while others are tight switchbacks through mountains. They are all breathtaking in their own right but at this point I have to agree with Mr. Kuralt. The pictures that follow cannot do this road justice in even the smallest way. At some of the highest elevations you're close to 11,000 feet and at times you can see all the way down to where you were at the bottom. It's definitely not a road for the large campers or if you're afraid of high winding roads without guard rails along most of it.

So after thinking that i had done the ride and was left a little diappointed, I found that the ride had only begun and this has definitely become my favorite ride. I will be back to do it again and maybe even again !!!

Many many lakes and lots of snow covered ground.. The skies cleared somewhat and the rain in the area stopped and soon we were back to shirt sleeves and riding in perfect conditions with perfect weather.

You can get an idea of how high you climb and looking down you can see the winding road that you took to get to this point. Totally awesome ride !!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday and Friday in and around Red Lodge

Thursday we went downtown to see what was going on. A good breakfast at The Red Lodge Cafe in town and then we walked the streets a little bit. Since it was early in the rally and nothing was scheduled yet, we decided to get some riding in. After a loop or two up and down the strip, we headed out to the fairgrounds where the rodeo would be taking place on Sunday. It's also where many people would be camping over the weekend.
Not a lot going on out at the campgrounds so we we took a nice scenic 120 mile cruise and made a our way back to the KOA. The pool looked very inviting and it had gotten a little warm so I took a quick dip before we went back into town for a very good dinner at Pollard's Pub. Back to camp for a couple of cold ones and we were looking forward to the poker run on Friday.

Friday's poker run was a little different than what I'm used to. Usually there are 5 stops with a card at each and best hand wins.
This run had 11 stops (each being a bar) and you took your best 5 cards. We had a great day and some of the bars that we stopped at were so very old and small and in areas that make you wonder if we were the only people that they saw in weeks.
It was another warm day so the stops became a nice break and we had some very interesting conversation with fellow bikers and a few of the locals.

Some of the bars were a bit larger and situated in some of the bigger towns but some were sitting out along a stretch of road with nothing around for miles.

Montana Jack's was one of the nicer and larger bar/restaurants along the way.
This is out in the back of Montana Jack's. Nothing to be seen for miles but it looks like a great place to dine outside at sunset with some good music in the bandstand and a sky full of stars.

Back into town again to walk the strip and think about dinner.

The motorcycles were starting to fill the streets more and the town was getting into party mode.

There are quite a few bars along Red Lodge's main drag and they were all hopping. Add to that some live entertainment on two of the side streets and Red Lodge was now officially "ON" !!!
Tomorrow we ride the Beartooth !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!