Saturday, August 10, 2013

Billings Montana to Whitefish Montana

I woke up early for some reason or another having no clue where I was.  I looked around Kendal's spare bedroom and quickly felt like I was in a very strange dream. I was surrounded by deer and elk skulls and mounts or whatever these hunter types call these dead things on the wall.   I freaked out for a moment but after a few seconds it all started to come back to me.  He probably calls it a trophy room but I prefer to call it the room of death.  The funny part about waking up like this was it happened exactly the same way when I woke up at his families farm in Bozeman 12 years ago.  As far as we could figure out last night, that visit was the last time we actually saw each other.

I slowly got out of bed and had to stretch for a while before my limbs felt right.  The amount of fun my soul is having on this trip is in complete contrast to the amount of fun my body is having.  My neck and right shoulder haven't gotten used to the 8-10 hrs of throttle twisting yet and at this rate I'm not sure if they will.  Luckily I am absolutely stubborn and I refuse to let soreness and a twitchy neck stop me.  I think I'm about a quarter of the way through the trip at this point.  If I get half way done and it still hurts I'll turn around and head home.  HA.  

The little puppy Gene woke up right after I did.  He must have heard me snapping and popping my neck and back back into alignment because he immediately started yapping and whining.  I can't imagine what it's like to be crate trained but I bet I'd be awful at it.  Some of my newly wed buddies are being crate trained by their new wives, I think, because they haven't been the same since.  Poor Gene.

Little baby Gene is named after Kendall's father in law which is absolutely hilarious to me.  I think we should all name our pets after our in laws.  How hysterical would it be when they're both in the same room and you get to holler out "DAVE!! What did you eat of the trash can" and they both look guilty.  

Anyway, baby Gene and the other pup Duke wanted to go out so I happily obliged.  I hadn't spent this much time indoors since Atlanta and I wanted to feel the cool Montana morning air.  After we all peed in the bushes (not sorry Kendall) I went back inside to write some more for the blog.  I'm about 2 days behind real time because of the shenanigans down in Sturgis and as much as I've told myself while riding that I'll catch up I usually get distracted and just write about a days worth each night.  

I had a late start getting on the bike that morning because his wife  made an amazing pancake and eggs breakfast with tons of bacon cooked just the way I like it.  As appetizing as gas station food is sometimes, I was really glad not to have to eat yet another cold and mildly soggy sandwich shaped like a triangle for breakfast.  

The ride out of Billings wasn't shabby at all.  It was a quaint mid-sized town with lots of charm to it.  Luckily I was able to get right back onto country roads without getting stuck in traffic or having to deal with a freeway.  I wasn't ten minutes out from his garage and I was already seeing horses and giant farm equipment hard at work mowing the countryside.  Montana really is a beautiful state that has a little bit of everything to offer.  I saw tons of farms, prairies, mountain passes, mountain ranges and boulders that probably wouldn't fit into the Super dome.  The farmers in Montana don't really grow any crops as far as I could tell.  Most of the acreage was being used to make giant rolls of hay.  Some where around here there must be 5 million cows getting fattened up for my next Whopper Jr.   

I ran into a father and a daughter duo riding some sweet BMW's at a gas station in the middle of nowhere.  I think she was on a 650 and he was on an 800.  Their bikes were fully off road and cross country ready.  They were both coming from Maryland and heading towards Helena.  After chatting about bikes and cross country trippin we set out west as a pack and ultimately went and had lunch together.  We rode together for about 100 miles before we parted ways. 

I didn't see much for wildlife today other then domesticated farm animals but I didn't mind at all.  The geographical features of my ride were changing rapidly and I was enthusiastically anticipating the views around every corner.  The 450 miles I wanted to get done today would land me in a town called Whitefish.  I don't really know how I decided that I wanted to jump the border near Whitefish.  I think I liked the name when I saw it on google maps or something.  I spend half of my life working and living on the water so crossing at a town named after a fish seemed appropriate.  

There are a few lakes just south of Whitefish that I will never forget.  I think there were 3 of them in total but one of them is actually called Swan Lake.  I never saw the movie but you better believe I'm going to do some boating in that lake and her sister lakes at some point in my life.  The water was the most mesmerizing  shade of blue I've ever seen and the water was crystal clear.  I saw a sign for dive lessons a few miles later too.  I can only imagine what the visibility would be like.  I bet you can see from one bank to the other.  One of these days I'm going to head back over there and spend a week exploring the 3 lakes.  People were all over with boats and inner tubes having an amazing time enjoying the water.  I wanted to stop for the night along the water and go for a swim but every where I looked for a spot to set up my tent I saw people or private property signs.   I didn't mind sleeping on someone's property without asking while in the country but people with million dollar lake houses and wake boarding  boats don't take kindly to hobo biker trash.  I think the only thing that's been missing from this trip is a swim call.  I think I'm going to have to do something about that very soon.

I stopped just short of Whitefish at what seems to be my 50th gas stop of the trip.  I bought a sandwich at the deli, kicked back a double Jim Beam and coke at the corner bar and asked for directions to a cheap local campground or park.  The girls at the bar were pretty and friendly and we started talking about all sorts of interesting stuff.  The people outside of major cities and off of the interstates seem to be a lot friendlier then the rest but the conversation sort of waned after I invited myself over to sleep in the driveway of the girl who wasn't married.  She quickly said no and then I said "ok I'll sleep inside with you"  The married girl thought I was hysterical but the single girl quickly excused herself.   My luck has apparently come for a bike ride too.

I rolled into camp about an hour before sunset.  Just enough time to rinse off, set up my tent and write the blog.  I met up with a 21 year old dude named Phillip from Spokane, Washington who is also planning on riding north for a few days.  We'll set out tomorrow for the border and ride together until one of us decides to go another direction.  

Not a bad day at all.  Cooler weather, no rain finally which makes 2 days this whole time I didn't get wet at some point and meeting up with other riders who share an interest in roaming about.  I think I still might be wining in the crazy category for deciding to cross the continent alone the long way.

Good night friends.


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