Day 1 minus 1 - July 2013 　 This trip started as a ride through some of my past roads and places of a younger year, on motorcycles and 4 wheels.　 Ever since relocating BACK to Montana after a 9 year stint in Florida and getting back to a motorcycle which would handle the MT back roads, I have contemplated a review of roads long past.　 It would probably be a solo trip of fairly epic proportion -, there were a lot of roads in my past. 　 However, I had been in contact with a previous co-worker (and adventure buddy) from my stint in Florida with whom I had shared Florida adventures such as scuba diving in the Keys, kayak/canoe camping in the Everglades and swimming/diving with the Manatees at Crystal River. 　We even dove in the Living Seas at EPCOT (his father was the EPCOT dive master). Tim had not ridden motorcycles much since his younger years on smaller dirt bikes in California, but he expressed an interest in my adventure riding forays of late, so I invited him for an adventure Montana style.　 Since my original plans included a couple of Montana ghost towns along the route, this adventure expanded to become the "Montana Ghost own Tour 2013". Our Track 　 Did I mention my buddy, Tim, had never been to Montana before?　 Any lack of experience in adventure riding on a larger loaded motorcycle was replaced with extreme enthusiasm. 　But that is why we started on Day 1 minus 1 an orientation ride. 　 I picked Tim up at the Missoula airport on Day 1 minus 2.　 On Day 1 minus 1, we took off on the orientation ride.　 　 Home is based 30 miles south of Missoula just outside of Stevensville - a great center for adventure riding in Montana. 　Our orientation ride started with pavement up towards Lolo then West on US 12.　 A route well known to anyone touring this part of the country.　 Rather than slab it west all the way to Lolo Pass, we turned south on the Elk Meadow Road which connects and exits just behind the Visitor Center atop Lolo Pass. 　 From there it was down the east side twisties on US 12 back to home about 65 miles total a good introduction.　 He survived and I was satisfied with his abilities which would be well tested before the next week was finished. 　 A little on the hardware.　 I ride a 2000 KLR which has seen much more than its fair share of upgrades.　 A year ago I picked up a second KLR, a 2002, as a backup and bike for my son to ride on occasion.　 Pretty much stock other than an upgraded wind screen/fairing.　 Both bikes equipped with racks to handle soft side and top bags. 　 Tim did a great job, and had no problems keeping up on the dirt or pavement of course the bikes were not loaded for camping yet either. 　 Day 1 Departure My route planning took us from home just a few miles to Florence where we turned off pavement toward the east up the 8 Mile Road.　 Now, the maps dont show a connection, but I had my own tracks and we proceeded into the Sapphire Mountains and down Swartz Ck to Interstate 90. 　 We had been running ahead of an obvious rain storm since leaving home.　 Once down to Swartz Creek it was time to don the rain gear.　 Or next goal was the Ghost Town of Garnet which required a little jaunt down the Interstate then heading north back into the Garnet Range up Cramer Ck.　 The sun was back out so the rain gear disappeared for the rest of the trip. 　 Now my route mapping was a little fuzzy here.　 We ended up pretty much winging it towards Garnet.　 The route ended up covering what could only be called at best a JEEP trail.　 Tims first real test.　 　 One of my "way point wanna sees" was a lookout on Union Peak.　 This was a location I had worked at before in a previous life doing radio work 25 years ago.　 As luck would have it, we traversed some rough country and ended up just below the lookout on the north side and struck the road up to the summit. 　 The last few hundred yards were blocked by a gate so we shed our gear and proceeded to hike up to the top.　 As it turned out, there was a resident at the lookout with whom we talked for some time.　 Now it turns out that this guy played string instruments in a band in Eastern Europe during the winters and played lookout during the summers.　 Now Tim is into guitars and it turned out this guy had written a song book Tim had seen which was a big deal for Tim.　 You never know who or where you will run into such associations! 　 From Union Peak, it was a quick ride down to the ghost town of Garnet.　 Garnet is a "maintained" ghost town with controlled access and resident guides. 　 After playing tourist at Garnet, we had to make some time. It was a long way to where I had planned a camp in another mountain range.　 　So off we go back towards I 90 where Drummond was our next stop.　 Time to gas up and hydrate.　 　 As luck would have it, there were a couple of other motorcycle adventurers at the truck stop.　 Their adventure was of a different variety.　 The one gentleman was riding an old Vincent a very OLD Vincent.　 He as on the return leg of a cross country trip for a cause starting on the east coast.　 Judging from the POOL of oil under the bike, he was having a real adventure.　 There was a second Vincent also which was owned by someone for local that was riding along for a stretch.　 Pretty bikes. 　 Just beyond Drummond we took Route 271 the Helmville Road. This is a very scenic back road.　 Although paved, it is great motorcycle road.　 We connected to State 141 past Nevada Lake Reservoir and took off up into the mountains on the Nevada Ck Road. Never saw one of these in Florida!　 Again, sketchy route planning and a poor memory on my part took us back up into the mountains where there was no connection across to my intended destination for the night.　 We contemplated camping at the end of the road, but opted to go back whence we came and take the right road.　 We still had plenty of daylight, but this was turning into a 225 mile day pretty good test for the new adventure riding rookie. 　 The road up Nevada Creek was well worth the side trip.　 The scenery and road were great.　 Once back to 141 we ran down to the Three Mile Rd.　 Here is where another one of my ghost towns existed Blackfoot City, but this one has totally disappeared. Continuing on we ended up taking a breather at Black Mountain.　 This was a good stop where Tim could really contemplate the far distances and remoteness of our trip. 　 What? No cell coverage! We're on top of the world! Finally toping the grade, we proceeded on towards Hope Ck and Dog Ck places which stand clear in my memory of camping and fishing trips with my Dad over 50 years ago.　 Boy has time and land ownership changed what was in my memory!　 But on to our planned camping area another memory disappointment. 　 Where what was once a beautiful meadow with a pond, trees, old buildings to explore had recently gone through a super fund cleanup No access, No pond, No trees, No camping.　 It had been the site of an old mill for the surrounding gold mines which is why the cleanup. 　 On down the road with an eye towards stealth camping we spotted a small side road and after a quick look see, we found a small meadow close to a creek and not far from the main road.　 A great place for the first night very close to the top of the Continental Divide. Tomorrow, our first goal would be the ghost town of Marysville.