This trip was largely unexpected. DarkRider and I had long planned a trip down the middle bits of the Continental Divide Trail. I'm not sure whose idea it was originally, but I know it was my idea to extend a trip that was intended to start at the north end of Grand Teton Nat'l Park, to begin instead in Helena, Montana. Big mistake. I'll spare you all another telling of our sadly short-lived tour down the CDT. DarkRider tells the tale with appropriate pics here. So, to back up a bit and start from the beginning. I live in the Frozen North of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I had been anticipating this ride for months, even more so when I bought a new (to me) 1200GS from azabeemerboy. My old F650GS has been deteriorating with a surge/stall issue that the dealer can't seem to remedy, so I was ready for something new. I thought it would be one of the new 800GSs, but azabeemerboy's bike caught my eye. Thanks, Barry, it's been a hell of a ride so far! So, getting to the interesting bits of the American West requires a journey through the Great Plains. Not all bad though, as I have a soft spot for dusty, dried up towns and wide open spaces. Places like Marmath, North Dakota... Had a great burger and iced tea in a great road house just down that dusty road to the right. You also run across little surprises, like a rodeo in a little Montana town called Ingomar. Barely more than a ghost town most of the year, but not on the day I happened to pass by. The town had an historic little bar. A cold beer would have been nice, but I still had miles to make to Roundup, MT; so another iced tea had to suffice. This history of these plains towns is ever-present. Like this old Montana hotel (in Levina or Harlowtown, I think), clearly once a ritzy place, but today an abandoned shell. So, I arrive in Helena after three days of riding, and DarkRider and I have our little misadventure... A day later DarkRider was on a plane home for surgery, his bike safely parked at a friendly local dealer who'll hold it till he's recovered enough to ride it back to Texas. What to do now?