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 8, 2012

Montana Vacation

When my friend Dick said that he was thinking of taking a motorcycle trip to the Beartooth Rally in Montana, I thought that it sounded like a good time so I told him that I would like to join him. He has a beautiful "Toy Box" 5th wheel and we figured both his bike and my trike should fit. At first he had planned to visit family in northern California on his way so I figured that I'd ride up alone and we'd get together at the rally. Then we'd take the ride back home together.

Well, you know how it goes when you plan something. He decided to cancel the California route so the new plan was just getting the bikes loaded and hauling them up to the rally.

Monday, July 16th was spent packing and riding over to Dick's to get the camper ready and secure the bikes in the back. Everything fit fine and I made it an early night because we wanted to get on the road rather early to get some miles in on day #1.

We were on the road around 6:45 on Tuesday and after a breakfast stop in Searchlight,Nevada it was smooth sailing and the miles rolled by. The truck and trailer seemed to ride just fine and although I had told Dick that I'd share the driving, after watching what he was going through to handle all that weight I thought it best if I didn't ruin either the truck or the trailer. Highway 15 is a nice ride and the scenery was beautiful. We only missed one turnoff (my fault) when we tried to find a bar in Morgan, Utah where a friend used to live. After a couple of quick turnarounds we were once again headed in the right direction and the first photo shows our campsite at The Golden Spike R.V. Park in Brigham, Utah.
Day 2 was rather uneventful as we stayed mostly on the interstates. The scenery had definitely changed from the deserts of Arizona to a more lush and green landscape. The temps had also dropped nicely and the ride was both calm and beautiful.
The continental divide is crossed many times by many of the different routes we took during those two weeks. I would have to say that if we crossed it once, we crossed it about 8-10 times.
There was of course the obligatory stop at any Harley dealer that we might find along the way. This is Beartooth Harley Davidson in Belgrade Montana. A very nice break in our day and I was able to get most of my collectibles. Being around lunch time we asked about some good grub in the area. We were directed to  the Chalet Market for lunch.
The Chalet Market makes and cures all of their own meats and the sandwiches are absolutely delicious. Dick had a Reuben and I had a kind of beer wurst with cheese and the Chalet's dressing. With full belly it was back on the road to finish the first long leg of the trip.
We took a scenic back road into Red Lodge and although it was a pretty drive, Dick didn't enjoy it as much pulling that big rig as he did the next day when we rode it on the bikes. It was rather narrow in spots with some limited visibility and then you throw in some mountains, valleys, curves and the occasional deer and it becomes a very nerve racking drive.
But we made it to the KOA in Red Lodge around 7 that evening and although we were tired from the ride, it was time to offload the motorcycles and venture into town. There were very few campers around but then it was only Wednesday and we had heard that it gets pretty packed and by the weekend the whole site would be full and downtown would be bustling with activity.

And so ends part one of the adventure. We made it to Red Lodge and were settled in for 5 days of fun and riding.

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