American Skid Marks
Setting out on a great American motorcycle roadtrip.

The Plains of Montana

I awoke in the Blackfoot Indian Reservation within sight of the Rocky mountain peaks that had battered me with cold and rain the afternoon before.

View of Glacier National Park From the East

Looking Back

My gear was still wet; strangely, 40 degree nights do nothing to dry out wool and neoprene socks. My boots were still wet as were my riding jacket and pants. Desperate to ride warm today I made my way to the campground bathrooms where I wadded up paper towels and stuffed them into my socks and boots, trying to soak up as much of the moisture as I could. It worked well enough that I got my waterproof socks dry enough to wear in my damp boots.

Quick note, waterproof socks are not actually waterproof, more like “water resistant”. On this trip I brought a pair of waterproof socks and a pair of windproof socks; if you are ever trying to decide which type of sock to buy for a motorcycling road trip, go with waterproof. Waterproof socks do a pretty decent job of being windproof, however windproof socks do an absolutely miserable job of being waterproof. On my bitterly cold ride over the pass in Glacier, I made the mistake of wearing the windproof socks. This led to my puddle-boot tragedy.

Anyhoo, I started the day riding damp. As you can imagine, riding damp means riding cold. Thankfully, the day gradually warmed as I rode through the the endless plains of Montana

Blackfeet Sculptures

Blackfeet Sculptures

I was finally pointed South. The closer I came to Great Falls, the greener the expanse around me became. In Great Falls I crossed the Missouri River of history textbook fame. I also searched for waterproof gaiters for my boots … in vain. I finally settled on a pair of over-sized plastic shopping bags that will serve as a water barrier between wet boots and dry socks should I ever get stuck in another downpour like I did yesterday. Onward and Southward I rode, nearly running out of gas about 20 miles outside Great Falls and barely making it back on fumes. Seriously, 4.0 gallon tank and 3.8 gallon fill up. Not a big deal if you’re in Seattle, but getting down to 0.2 gallons in the middle of Montana is cutting it seriously close.

Green Montana Plains

Greening Up Past Great Falls

As I neared Lewis and Clarke National Forest the terrain changed. Pine trees and mountain rivers started showing up beside the road. I love the smell of pine trees in the warm air, reminds me of childhood family vacations.

The Road to Lewis and Clarke

The Road to Lewis and Clarke NF

I settled in for a chilly night among the pines. Hopefully, I’ll be at the gates of Yellowstone by tomorrow night.

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One Response to “The Plains of Montana”

  1. Great posts/pictures. I’d love to hear your impressions of traveling alone right now. I know you’ve only been out for a few days, but are you fining the solitary camping relaxing? Exhilarating? Hard? I love that you were laughing through the pain.


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