Cathy & Skips Montana Ride

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by yzfcathy, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    The route Day 1 of 10
    (two maps)
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    We started out here at the bottom of these two maps in Tucson. We discussed how to best attack this 10 day trip and chose to slab it north the first day to get out of the heat ASAP and to maxamize our time in Montana. Our primary target area to ride and visit.

    Provo UT was our stop on day one. A lot of slab, but worth it in the end for sure as it gave us a great jump on the trip and some extra time to explore MT.

    Pix to come next...
    #1
  2. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    Day 1 was a slabber. It did start to get scenic once we got out of the heat past Flagstaff.
    This is as we're coming into Lee's Ferry, about to cross the Colorado River.
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    Crossing the Colorado.
    We cheated and used the bridge.....not very ADV'y is it?
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    The sun sets and we're around Spanish Fork UT. We'll stop in Provo and call it a day.
    The moon is just showing itself.
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    Goodnight day one.
    #2
  3. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    The map of day 2. Provo to Darby.

    Can you tell we're not in AZ anymore? We're in Idaho now. I bet some of you know where.
    I thought ID was all about giant Potato's not Pickles!
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    We enjoyed 93 so much, running up to Darby that I didn't get any pix that turned out.
    I can hardly believe it now looking back. That was some of the best road we hit along the trip.

    We stayed in Darby and celebrated my birthday while we were at it.
    Thank you honey for the brthday "Cake" and all the nice waterproof gear
    I would use tomorrow.

    Goodnight Day 2

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Map for day 3 coming soon...

    .....Day 3 map
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    Day 3, we were loading up in Darby and as I snapped my GPS
    onto the RAM it broke. Dang, these things are delicate.
    Although this was my backup RAM afterall, the one I had broke once before
    when it lived on my dirtbike that tipped over one time too many.

    We stopped in Missoula and found some JB Weld. I hope it works.
    We also posted up in the Rockies forum and asked for local places
    to look along our route for a replacement mount.

    We stopped for a late breakfast here at the "Biscuit". We didn't have the Biscuits though.

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    We stopped in at Polson to say hi to a fellow ADVer Shezonit.
    She gave us a good route into Glacier.
    We went up the East side of Flathead Lake into the park.
    Raingear was on order for this part of the ride.
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    We took this "Going To The Sun Hwy" but didn't find any Sun at all.
    I had to go on the www later to see what we rode through looked like in the clear.
    I hear it's very pretty! I thought it was spectacular even in the rain and clouds.
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    Fortunately at the summit it was still a balmy 41 F so we didn't need those studded tires,
    just good raingear.

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    As we dropped down the back side and towards St Mary's Lake we found a rainbow.
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    We were thinking of staying overnight in Hungry Horse (cool name and all) but we went into Columbia Falls instead. Good call since we were told by Shezonit about a great coffee place for breakfast.

    Goodnight Day 3.
    #3
  4. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    Day 4 map

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    We packed up this morning and I got to try the new and improved JB Welded RAM mount. Seems good. Yeaaa!



    We had a great little breakfast at Montana Coffee Traders. Shezonit was right on with this recommendation.


    I took all kinds of pix along the way. I also learned that all those pix taken on the fly aren't working very well.
    Next trip we'll build in time to stop and smell the roses so to speak.
    Here's what I got today.
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    We got fuel in Ellison, just outside of Helena. I liked the name of the bar next door.
    Lawdog's Saloon. (Biker's Welcome too).
    Too bad it wasn't 5 O'Clock yet. We could have stopped and had a shot.
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    We continued on through Helena and into Bozeman where we stayed with Skips friends,
    Nonnie and David. They have a nice little guest house out back.
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    David also has an R1200GS.........hmm, maybe we'll all go for a ride tomorrow.
    We're going to stay an extra day here and enjoy friends and a little rest from the road.

    Goodnight Day 4
    #4
  5. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    Today we would rest up, take it easy and do a little visiting with some of Skip's friends he went to school with. We took the advice of some local inmate suggestions and found a RAM mount at Wholesale Sports.

    Looks like the JB Weld will hold forever....at least now I'll have a backup.

    Map and pix next.........

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    Here's the loop we did on our "day off" ride. We went counter clockwise out of Bozeman. It was about 77 miles total. We had mentioned our little ride to one of Skip's friends Carol who told us it was a pretty rough area. We thought aww, how rough can it be and set out on our big heavy bikes...


    First part was a nice twisty bit up Bridger Canyon, David in the lead.
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    David and Skip on their big 1200's...........wait for me on my wee little F8.
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    The start of the "dirt" and it looks pretty tame so far.
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    Now we're looking down the hill here and wondering what the path looks like as we drop
    into that little valley over there on the left. That's where we're heading.
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    We start down and David there is asking us if these big bikes are made for this. We tell
    him oh of course they are....He only has 3500 miles on his GS so far and hasn't done much
    off road yet.
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    I say just follow me (I left out the part about "follow me on my light little F800" on your
    slightly overweight 1200) down this little grade here.
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    See, your'e doing great. Isn't this fun!
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    We stopped short of full commitment and all walked down about a mile to see if we
    thought this was do-able for everyone. We decided to jump in and that going down would
    be much better than turning around now. So far so good.
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    Ok, that was a little "sporty" but wow we made it. Let's take a breather and pat ourselves
    on the backs. It will probably get easier from here on out...right!
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    Ok, well maybe there is this one area here that is a bit challenging, but then it will
    get easier...right!
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    Ok, ok, hauling these big bikes down here is some work. Let's take another quick breather.
    Kind of a trick keeping them slowed while pointing down such steep loose terrain.
    Fun though, who would have thought the same bikes you rode across the country with can
    come and play here also.

    Good news David, it's flattening out. We must be about out of the tricky stuff.
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    Ya know how when you come across a big puddle sometimes, and you can't see the bottom,
    and you wonder what the bottom is like, and you want to watch someone else go through first
    so you can see if they sink to the airbox or keep going?

    Ya know...I went through first on my little F800, David and Skip were behind me too far to watch exactly,
    but I stopped on the other side and figured they would see my tracks on the left side of the puddle
    and see I came out safe and sound...

    Sometimes the line up the middle works great, sometimes not so much...David started
    straight up the middle and got on top of a slimey (look it up it's a word) bit of dirt and
    drifted off the little hump and into the deeper part and got stuck. Yuk, your boots are
    getting all wet boys.
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    Here we go, flat, smooth and dry. Easy peasy now.
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    There we are, home and with only some dirt to show for it...
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    Hey, wait a minute. What's that?
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    ...and that?
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    I had heard a rumor there was a recall on the F800 chain just before we left on this trip.
    Hmm, maybe I should have jumped on it. I guess something along our little ride today
    took it's toll on my chain.


    Oh well, all the shops are closed so let's have a beer and figure it out tomorrow.
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    Goodnight Day 5
    #5
  6. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    Day 6 Beartooth and more.
    The Maps...

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    We had ambitious riding plans for today. Our goal was to get to Steamboat and visit
    with Tellydoug and Whitewater18 whom we had met at the RMAR.
    But first I had a chain issue to fix...quick.

    Last night I had called my local dealer, Ironhorse in Tucson (they rock by the way) and
    got the info I needed to search for a chain. I had made a call at a shop (Bike Shack)
    last night with a message of my plight. Nathan there called me back (early) this morning with
    good news that he had a chain.

    Skip and David had already headed out hoping the rumors were true about Nathan
    being an early riser at the Bike Shack and he comes in early. As I was talking to Nathan
    on the phone the boys walked into his shop. Nice timing.

    I didn't have a chain tool either and Nathan "rented" us his. Thank you so much.
    Skip and David got a chain and grabbed the Motion Pro chain tool from Nathan and came home.

    In short order we had the chain on and would stop at the Bike Shack to give Nathan back
    his chain tool.

    Dirty bike, new chain. We're all set.
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    Goodbye Nonnie and David. Thank you for having us. Hey David, you have riding gear on.
    Are you going on a ride today too? What's that, you say Nonnie needs some alone time to
    finish writing her novel and you want to go with us up Beartooth. Great idea.

    No joke though, Nonnie has just finished a book and she has many stories published about their
    sailing adventures around the world. Looks like there are ways to explore the world other than on
    a motorbike.
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    We got packed and were on the road by around 10AM. Not too bad for starting out
    the morning still in search of a chain.



    Here we are at Nathan's returning the tool and getting back our "rental" deposit.
    Thanks again so much Nathan. It is great peace of mind knowing we didn't Micky Mouse
    the rivets on this chain for the next 1500 miles.
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    Bike Shack Bozeman MT
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    Headin' East
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    Let's ride
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    Let's eat! Red Lodge
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    Let's ride some more...
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    David enjoying the road
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    We waved goodbye to David at the junction of 212 and 296. David went into the park,
    exited out at Gardiner and headed for home in Bozeman. We continued toward Cody.



    A bridge we stopped at along the way to Cody.
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    That's a long way down ain't it!
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    Don't let go of that railing.
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    Our bikes take a rest as we take a few pix.
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    Back on the road.
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    We stopped into Cody at an auto parts store, to get more pieces for my bike of
    course. Just a headlamp bulb this time.
    There was this deer who came by to see what we were doing. We tried to
    shoe her away before she crossed the busy road.
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    I think she wanted to make fun of me and my parts collection along this trip.
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    Nothing to see here deer, move along now.
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    Back on the road
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    Me and my shadow...
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    Here we are chasing the sun as we arrive in Thermopolis
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    Goodnight Day 6
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Looks good!! That chain is worthless.. mine was recalled and I supplied them a masterlink chain.

    Thread title changed as per your request.
    #7
  8. Becktastic

    Becktastic Bonzai Becky

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Somewhere between CA and Ushuaia!
    Great pics and reports! LOVED BEARTOOTH PASS!!!

    Looks like it warmed up a bit since I was there though. :1drink

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    #8
  9. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    Day 7, the maps...

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    We left Thermopolis and high tailed it to Hayden to meet up with Tellydoug.
    Telly said we could take a little jaunt off road that would be nice.



    Getting out of Thermopolis
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    First thing we hit was construction, pretty area nonetheless.
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    300 miles later we met Telly in Hayden and he said to follow him, so we did...for about 125 miles!
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    ....more later



    ...the more later part
    Trying to keep Telly in sight so we don't get lost.
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    Ahh good, a few pony's in the road to slow Telly down.
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    Doh, there he goes again...
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    Excellent, some sheep to slow Telly down again
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    There he goes again....wait!
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    I'm pretty sure this is Slater CO. Population 3 with us here today!
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    The sun's getting low, lets keep ridin'. We got places to go, things to see, Furry cows to cook up.
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    Here's the little furry cows.
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    Doug waited for us to catch up in the shade...
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    ...next to this cool rock formation
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    None of these trees in Tucson
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    We got on pavement, a very nice twisty road. We caught up to Doug when he got
    behind a local constable escorting a tow truck. I thought Telly was going to zoom
    right by, but they must know Doug in these parts. The officer pulled over and let us
    all pass. I figured it was a setup and was cautious. Doug didn't...he was gone.
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    Fortunately we had one of those James Bond 007 beepers on Telly's bike, so he
    couldn't shake us and we followed him to his place in town.

    Tunred out Doug had a busy evening planned. Some big school kid campout
    at his ranch. So he set us up at his place, fired up the barbie, cooked up a
    fuzzy cute cow for us and took off for a night at the ranch with 150 kids

    I was amazed that with all that on his plate today he made time for us to ride and
    enjoy a great meal. Thanks so much for all your hospitality Doug.


    Goodnight Day 7
    #9
  10. zadok

    zadok Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Western Australia
    Great trip. Nice one.:clap:D
    #10
  11. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

    Joined:
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    Glad you enjoyed it. Come back and spend some more time smelling the flowers. Love the comments about Flathead pass.
    #11
  12. Romabuk

    Romabuk Hole in da pants

    Joined:
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    Squamish, BC
    nice pics. Montana is awesome!
    #12
  13. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    First, the map Day 8
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    Stories and pix to follow, after work...
    #13
  14. rpage11

    rpage11 Skip

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Seeing that Cathy is taking her time to finish this ride report, I thought I'd post a few pictures from my side of the road before I forget what happened. Day one was a 750 mile ride from Tucson to Salt Lake.

    Leaving town with Picacho Peak in the back ground.
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    We left late enough to miss rush hour traffic in Phoenix and had about 12 hours left so not a lot of pics on the first few days, just trying to get north out of the heat.

    Cathy relaxing through Phx.
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    Getting up toward Flagstaff the weather was already feeling better.
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    Southern Utah just north of the Grand Canyon.
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    Beautiful day for a ride
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    the end of day one, Skip
    #14
  15. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Great pictures and story. Can't believe BMW has put a junkie chain on that bike. How many mile did you get before it broke?

    Thanks for the work of sharing as journey in that beautiful country.
    #15
  16. rpage11

    rpage11 Skip

    Joined:
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    Day two was a lot like day one. The butt is either getting used to the seat or too numb to feel. It always seems to go that way on longer rides. You just tend to get used to things and just enjoy the ride.

    Here's Cathy enjoying the 800. Last year we did a Montana trip and she rode her R6. I think she enjoyed the comforts of home on her new bike. All she needs is a tv mounted to the handle bars and she'd be all set. Near Pocatello Idaho still on the interstate
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    We got on Rt 24 to Rt 93 and headed up through Challis and Salmon Idaho. Following the Lewis and Clark trail and the Salmon River into Montana and the Sawtooth Mountains. Now were talkin

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    Oh yea did I tell you it was Cathy's birthday?
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    End of day 2, Skip
    #16
  17. rpage11

    rpage11 Skip

    Joined:
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    Day three was north through Missoula and into Flathead Lake. Boy these places have changed. I haven't been up here since going to school in Bozeman in the 70's.

    They had the Hwy to the Sun road under construction and it was raining but we had good gear so no problem. The temp at 4000 ft was 40ยบ and I was thinking boy if this goes to 10,000 ft we might get into some snow. I've been over this a long time ago and didn't remember the pass at only 6800 ft. That was good to see.
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    St Mary's Lake
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    End of day 3, Skip
    #17
  18. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    I was at almost 14K when it let go.
    #18
  19. rpage11

    rpage11 Skip

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Day 4 Quite the leisurely day.

    Started with breakfast in Columbia Falls
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    Headed south down Rt 83 past Swan Lake and Seeley Lake. This is one of the prettiest valleys on the planet. The Bob Marshall Wilderness is to the east and the Mission Mountains to the west.

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    Stopped for gas in Ellison where bikers are welcomed.[​IMG]

    Nice to see that Helena hasn't changed as much as some of the other towns. I could still recognize some areas of town.

    We headed into Bozeman to stay with a college friend that I just saw for the first time in 30 years this Spring. Nonnie hasn't changed, always a big smile and great to do some more catching up. We have to be careful telling stories because someone might think we had too much fun.

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    Nonnie met and married David shortly after I left town in 1980 and they've been traveling the world too, only doing it on the water. I'm sure happy she was so lucky to find such a good mate.

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    Oh yea, David also has a 1200 gs and he wants to go for a ride with us tomorrow. It was going to be an off day so we'll just do an easy tour around the old stompin grounds

    End of day 4, Skip
    #19
  20. rpage11

    rpage11 Skip

    Joined:
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    Day 5 Bridger Canyon and Flathead Pass.

    Spent many days driving up Bridger Canyon to go skiing when I should have been in class. Boy it's amazing I ever made it through college. Bridger Bowl was great skiing, 400 inches of snow a year, 150 days of skiing and season passes cost $75.

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    I think David liked having someone to ride with.
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    This is the turn off to Flathead Pass. David was looking for another pass that I don't remember the name. It was suppose to be pretty nasty but we'll just do the easy one today.
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    I like how easy can always change.
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    I think this is David's first serious off road ride on the GS. We're over the pass and heading down the west side of the Bridger's.

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    About 1/2 mile down the back side things get a little steeper so we decide we might want to do some recon before total commitment.

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    We walk in about a mile and talk the entire way back to the bikes that once we proceed there will probably be no turning back.

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    David says, so this is what you guys do for fun? Yep you got it.

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    David's handling the grade and rocks like an old pro. No problems here.

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    Cathy working her way down.
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    Great little canyon to work through
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    Time for a break and catch your breath. That was work.
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    David, I think your bike got dirty.
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    Here's the pass from the west side heading back into Belgrade. I'm sure glad we did the easy pass.
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    End of day 5 Skip
    #20