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Old 12-25-2012, 10:30 AM   #136
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Apparently I had gotten a little too confident. My front tire got caught in a rut and headed a different direction than the rear. It hopped out and bounced back and forth a few times before hooking up and sending me flying superman style into the mud.



I was completely covered. Mud splashed up under the chin guard coating the inside of the shield. Luckily there was a river nearby to get cleaned up in.



After washing the mud out of my helmet I saddled up, still soaked and gritty. We pressed on, not far from the highway now.



Back on the tarmac, we made a beeline for Eureka, MT where Shawn was awaiting us.



Rt 3 brought us through Sparwood and Fernie, all big logging towns.



At the border I pull up to the line as usual with my passport ready. The guard is working at his computer, then stops and chuckles. He got up and came out of the guardhouse without saying a word, leaving me a little confused. After walking behind me he brushes off the license plate and says:

"Have a little fun up there in Canada?"

"Uh, yup little too much fun"

Laughing, he said "couldn't even read your plate with the camera"
"Have a good one"

We were on our way with no trouble. We found Shawn camping in a park by the Tobacco river in downtown Eureka. He had been in town for a night already and seemed to know everyone there and everything about the town.
It seemed like an odd place for a campsite, but apparently it was allowed and we gladly set up camp. I washed the grit out of myself and my gear in the freezing river and set everything out to dry. That river was damn cold and moving pretty quick - but it sure felt refreshing after the long day.



Eureka is a nice small town - we quickly found a deal we couldn't turn down for some food and a chance to catch up on the activities of the last few days.



Shawn had a new set of knobbies, an air filter and fresh oil. Ready and set to go for the morning.
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:39 PM   #137
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Day 14: Brappin' Across Big Sky Country

The next morning we got up at a reasonable hour and spread gear out to dry before walking back into town to get a hearty breakfast.



But instead of returning to dry gear...



The sprinkler system was turned on and completely soaked our gear and tents. I knew that grass looked too green. We ran around throwing stuff on top of the sprinklers to block the spray and started packing up. Everything was fine until the alternate sprinklers turned on and we did the dance all over again.



Finally, we got moving. A little bit of road time put us a good distance East and back into the dirt!




We were still off the actual continental divide by a good distance, though the mountains grew nearer every minute.



We blasted along gravel paths and forest roads enjoying spectacular views. Occasionally we'd pass a camp, or a small house out in the woods.



Bernie took the lead for a while, and I hung back avoiding the dust.



Which there was a considerable amount of. At this point I discovered I lost one of my hiking boots off the back. Crap.



Here, I realized I'd lost the other one.



I guess bad things come in threes.






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Old 12-25-2012, 05:21 PM   #138
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Ah, Trail Creek Road! One of my favorites! Did ya stop at The Merc?
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:10 AM   #139
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Ah, Trail Creek Road! One of my favorites! Did ya stop at The Merc?
Can't say I remember which one that is, so guessing we didn't stop there.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:18 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by epicxcrider View Post
Can't say I remember which one that is, so guessing we didn't stop there.
The Merc in Polebridge, MT. You had to ride past it. Baked goods to die for!

And Trail Creek Road? Both sides has some of the very best huckleberry picking in all of Montana. Bar none.

You have to chase grizzlies out of the best patchs tho,,,
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:08 PM   #141
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I fell behind a bit to take some photos and let the dust settle down. Trying to catch up, though, proved to be a problem. Nasty sections of loose gravel lined the road and good sized rocks were scattered all over. Not a problem on the straights were we were cruising over 70 at times, but it added some difficulty in the corners.

Judging by the massive cloud of dust, I had started to catch up to Bernie and Shawn. I had to slow down and back off just to be able to see what was coming. A mild right hand corner up ahead. I dropped a gear and started to turn - the loose gravel keeping me from cornering too hard. Through the dust I noticed the radius of the curve decrease and started to turn and cut the throttle a bit - trying to keep things steady. I glanced down - 35-40 mph. Things slowed down when I looked up and it became clear I wasn't making this corner. I stayed with it as long as possible as my path crossed into the left lane and I looked ahead. Dropoff...Trees...

**** it. I dumped it.

The loaded Beemer came down hard on my leg and foot and we slid in a huge cloud of dust with my leg under the bike to the edge of the road where the bike went over, miraculously stopping without going far down the banking. The thought of sliding over seemed much better than going head first.



I stood up and did a self check - all seemed fine except my leg was pretty sore and my right toe felt crushed. The jacket had saved my elbow and side and looked, surprisingly, no worse for the wear.

I took a look at the bike, thinking how the hell I was getting this back on the road myself when a truck full of forest service guys rolled up.

"Hey, man, you okay?!?"

"yup, I'm fine - don't know about the bike"

"Want a hand getting it out?"

"Uh, yeah!"

They hopped out and grabbed a few straps which we attached to the handlebars. They cut the sapling wrapped around the peg (which probably kept it from going further) and everyone heaved-ho, The big bike scraping back up onto the road.

Cracked fender, scraped fairing, bent hand guard. Not bad. I dug the gravel out of everywhere and made sure the radiator fan spun freely, then hopped on.

"Wait, you're just gonna ride that thing off now?"

(quizzically) "Yeah"

"What kind of motorcycle is that? I gotta know what kind of bike can take that kind of crash and you'll just hop on and ride it off"

"Beemer. F800GS"

I thanked them again for the help and started off down the road - a little more cautiously this time. By the time I caught up with Shawn and Bernie my leg was hurting pretty bad. Not broken bad, but probably a hematoma in my thigh. I caught them up on the details and after going over the bike one more time we continued on.



It was a nice section of road, but my head wasn't really in it. The crash shook me up a bit and standing to absorb every water bar was a challenge now. I was getting a little cranky but still enjoyed the view.





We kept on the shared divide trail now, passing cyclists here and there and admiring the views.







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Old 12-28-2012, 01:10 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siyeh View Post
The Merc in Polebridge, MT. You had to ride past it. Baked goods to die for!

And Trail Creek Road? Both sides has some of the very best huckleberry picking in all of Montana. Bar none.

You have to chase grizzlies out of the best patchs tho,,,
Crap! We missed it! Another thing to go back for now
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #143
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=angi1vwUkQc
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:18 PM   #144
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agreed with above, your about to go on the portion I did this last year and I'm very interested!
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:10 AM   #145
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No Internet at home except my phone - will have to stay late at work a few days soon to update :)
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:07 PM   #146
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The Divide route took us East, then South, then back West a good distance before spitting us out onto pavement just North of Kalispell. I found a general store and pulled in for a much needed rest since my leg and toe were really killing me now. Shawn helped me out and zip-stitched my fender back together while I took my boot off to see how bad my toe was and get some padding on it. It wasn't that painful, but was quite distracting and I didn't really need that.



A little rest, some limping around and cussing, and a good snack put us back on the pavement headed for Glacier National Park. I had driven right by it a few years ago on a road trip and always regretted not going. I turned up Rt. 2 and made for the park entrance.



The park was beautiful, though I found the traffic to be a bit much. As the terrain got steeper, evidence of past avalanches was clear.



Huge rocky peaks surrounded us, waterfalls flowing strong from the summer melt. It was a beautiful day, and we weren't the only ones enjoying it.



The roads sure were beautiful, some sections with barely a guardrail.





As we climbed and climbed the temperature got cooler and cooler.



At the top of the pass, there was still a bit of snow in places.



I took the chance to change the bandage / padding on my toe and keep on top of the blood blister that kept forming.



Then we three were off, headed back down towards Kalispell.



We stopped off at the bottom of the pass for a little dip in the river - glacial runoff, about as fresh as it gets. It was damn cold but I figured it would do my leg a bit of good since I didn't have any ice. That river felt so good I just sat there until I couldn't feel my feet anymore - and it sure did a world of good for my leg. Still hurt like hell but at least it wasn't so stiff.



Anyway, enough bitching about that. We saddled up and hit the grassland.



I was done with trail for the day. Just wasn't worth it at this point. We were all disappointed, I think Shawn most of all, but he understood. We made our way to a grocery store just North of Flathead Lake to pick up some food, then pounded pavement South - we'd look to camp at Holland Lake tonight.



This was beautiful country - for flatland :) - with the Rockies to the East, grassland and a smaller mountain range to the West.


I just like how this came out



We rode South at a good clip, watching the sun set over the fields.





I stopped to snap a photo of the sun finally setting.



And watch the Rockies turn pink.



Now dusk, the real trouble began.




epicxcrider screwed with this post 02-12-2013 at 03:59 PM
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:18 PM   #147
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We were in deer alley, and it sure as hell earned that name. I couldn't take any more pictures because I was too busy scanning the sides of the road for deer. One after another I'd see em' pop out of the woods, walk up to the edge of the road and stare at me.

Closer...
Closer.......
Closer...

Bam!

They'd run across right in front of me and I'd have to jam on the brakes 'cause half the time they would just stop right there in the road for a second. By the time we cautiously approached the turnoff for the campsite road I'd seen 23 deer cross in front of me, and more on the side of the road.

We found a primitive campsite with a picnic table and set up for the night, storing all our food under the bear-proof trash bins since we didn't have our own bear bag.

Tomorrow we'd head straight for Missoula since Bernie and Shawn both had leaky fork seals and I was way overdue for an oil change. Morning would come early, so off to bed we went without having much of a look around.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:08 PM   #148
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Day 15: Slab City

I awoke feeling a lot better than the previous day. Advil and icy-hot worked their magic bringing the swelling in my leg and foot down to a manageable level. We had a long slab ride ahead of us to get to Missoula, and no real idea how long we'd have to stay there.



I always liked the Big Sky Country, not such a bad place to be pounding pavement. The temperature was comfortable at least, and the smooth roads were a welcome rest for my leg.





After a little bit we dropped out of the mountains and into Missoula, beginning to look for the Beemer shop. With any luck we'd find a Suzuki shop with a fork seal so Shawn could get that leak buttoned up.



Things got pretty flat for a while.



We found the dealership and split off from Shawn as he spotted a Suzuki place. After washing the mud off the bikes we dropped them off and headed for coffee down the street. Just as we left the dealer Shawn stopped by and said they didn't have the seal in stock. He would have to go to Helena to have it replaced. He thumped off and we went to relax for a bit.


Little bit of dust

A short while later both bikes were done, and after we changed air filters in the alley we were off in pursuit of Shawn. He messaged us the location of the shop, and we had some more slab time to get there.



We made good time heading East on 90, but it was quite a haul to Helena. I watched storms roll by to the south of us the whole time, knowing we'd be headed that way tonight. I was hoping we wouldn't run into much rain, and figured we could pick a route based on what the storms were doing.



We met Shawn in Helena, and now the day was really getting on. We pulled out at 3:30 and headed South.



The weather didn't look too good.



I hoped for the best as we turned off 90 and made our way to Big Sky. I'd been here once before some years ago and knew we'd find some primitive campsites and a store just of 191.



A quick stop for fuel at Gallatin Gateway, then South into the mountains. We hadn't gone but a few miles and the skies opened up. I had to put the camera away for fear of damaging it. It was already 5:30 and we had quite a few miles still to go.










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Old 02-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #149
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Yeehaa - the story continiues!

Thank you so much for your effort in this RR, I'm enjoying each post!
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:46 PM   #150
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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.

Full.

Full.

RV place?

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.

Full .

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.
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