Zipping along South at a good clip, it didn't take us long to run right into that storm I had been watching. By the time we got into the mountains it was getting pretty cold, though luckily the light was holding out for us. Thankfully I had put my gore-tex liner on, but quickly learned the liner does not transform anything into a rain suit. The road wound South following the swift West Fork Gallatin River. The ride would have been enjoyable but for the rain and the cold. I was thankful for my grip heaters and waterproof gloves.
We stopped the town of Big Sky to pick up some food (beer) that I knew I was going to want later on. It was pouring pretty hard, which made all of us a little pissy after the long day on the road. With more miles to cover, we took off South and looked for a campsite.
I saw some empty spots, and despite being an RV campground we pulled in to get out of the rain. Bernie went up to the "host" who gave him a hard time about just wanting a place to camp.
Not a mile down the road we spotted a little track through the grass leading to a few clearings - there was a car parked at one with a tarp strung between it and a tree. I signaled and pulled in, riding a few hundred yards back towards a river. This would do just fine for the night and fit our budget perfectly - free.
I cracked a beer and made camp, luckily able to find a bit of short grass in the field. Our luck seemed to have changed - the rain had stopped for the moment allowing us to set up without soaking everything.
A great spot by the river, out of earshot of the road and plenty of space to spread out.
I looked up from digging through my gear to see the man from the car ambling over. A younger guy with a scruffy dog and an equally scruffy beard, he looked as though this wasn't his first night on the road.
"You're welcome to come on over and share my tarp, once you get all set up there."
"Keep you out of the rain for a little while"
I thanked him and we chatted for a bit about our trip and the motorcycles before I turned back to unpacking and making sure my dry bits would remain dry through the night.
We spent a good part of the evening chatting and sipping a few beers. He had just moved out with his girlfriend and borrowed her car and her dog to go fishing in the Montana rivers for an undetermined amount of time. I wouldn't say one of us was at all jealous of the other - it's a great feeling to wake up and know the only thing you have to do is exactly what you want to. He gave us a few recommendations for the road ahead and we split off, falling asleep to the sound of water crashing over the riverbed.