Three old guys to Alaska - goldwings and a 300 versys

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Fuzzy74, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. fasteddiecopeman

    fasteddiecopeman Been here awhile

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    I wear Heavy Duty rubber gloves from H-F that are for working w/ sewage, and bought them BIG enough to fit over top of a pair of MX gloves. They pack small, and certainly kept my hands warm and dry on several day-long rains when I rode across-Canada-and-back in '17.
    #41
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  2. Rapturee2

    Rapturee2 Una Stamus/Thin Blue Line Supporter

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    Oh man, i'm only 3.5 hours away from Kalispell and could have ridden over and met up with you guys for a quick visit. Oh well, i'll try and catch up with you guys on your way back! :{)
    #42
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  3. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    No go. Don’t sell controller without jacket.

    No internet last night. Will update later including my Cyclops headlight coming apart and fixing at campground.
    I'll be at Honda dealer in morning getting my tires.
    Don't know date but will be visiting a friend in Coeur d'Alene on way back then heading south and east back to Yellowstone.
    #43
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  4. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    Juneau Alaska
    Order a controller and have it shipped fedx to your friends house
    #44
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  5. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee
    Amazon wouldn’t deliver in time. No one else open to order till Monday and leaving friends before 7:00 am today.
    Did get a couple pig tails with connections and on / off switches from Harley dealer. Need to splice to make a “y” with only one lead from bike. May be able to find something to regulate voltage and not have to be full on.
    #45
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  6. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

    Joined:
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    Harley Davidson
    https://www.harley-davidson.com/store/portable-thermostat

    Gerbings
    https://www.thewarmingstore.com/gerbing-gyde-single-portable-temperature-controller.html

    Firstgear
    https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/firstgear-single-portable-heat-troller

    Warn and Safe
    https://www.thewarmingstore.com/warm-n-safe-single-portable-heat-troller-coax.html

    They look the same to me, they look the same as every heated gear controller from any brand.

    Can't you call a HD dealer ahead of where you are and order one to be picked up when you get there?
    Can't Revzilla, Warn and Safe, Gerbings or about a hundred other venders ship one to a motel ahead of where you are? Revzilla will next day it. I've done that with a tire once.

    But anyway good luck with your ride!
    #46
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  7. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee
    Stopped at HD dealer in Missoula and they don't stock the controller separate from jacket. In shop with Tourmaster today and same thing.

    I have two pigtails with on/off switch and modifying them to connect to one outlet from bike. I'll just have to switch on and off to control heat level. Only 1 day so far I would have used it. Next week looks warm. Cross into British Columbia this afternoon.
    #47
  8. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day - 8
    Glad we got stopped in Billings so we got to meet this guy.
    Ride for Dad.jpg
    He is walking from Naples, FL pulling this wagon headed for west coast to raise money for veterans suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer's, or depression. My veteran brother died from rapid onset dementia a few years ago. He has worn out five sets of tires on the wagon so far. He is paying his own expenses so all donations go direct to the veterans.

    Check out his facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/search/top...ntia alzheimers and depression&epa=SEARCH_BOX

    From Billings we headed west on Highway 3. Pretty ride and with speed limits faster than we wanted to go and with light traffic made good time. On my lighter bike I dictated the speed due to heavy cross winds and we kept it under 60 mph.

    Overlooking Billings we saw the snow on the mountains to the south we decided to avoid the previous day.
    Day 8 1.JPG
    A few more pics on the way.
    Day 8 2.JPG
    Day 8 3.JPG
    Day 8 4.JPG

    Stopped as Salmon Lake State Park to camp for the night. Nice place. I realized something wasn't right with my headlight and found my Cyclops coming apart. Left if for morning.
    #48
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  9. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    Juneau Alaska
    Congrads on retiring, it's the best thing I have ever done :jack

    I was going to suggest you get some wire and connectors with a basic switch, looks like you got it handled. I never leave town with out two cords for my liners.
    Have a great trip
    #49
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  10. fasteddiecopeman

    fasteddiecopeman Been here awhile

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    Forecast for Kelowna is 28C today, 31 tomorrow, and 30C Thursday (82F, 88F, 86F), so you WON'T NEED heat...!:clap
    #50
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  11. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

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    Day 9
    Got up in the morning had some coffee and went to work tearing down my bike to get at the headlight. I had bought the bike from a dealer who used it as a personal ride a few months and put a Cyclops LED in it. It came apart. Cyclops failure but it may have been helped by install that cable tied some wiring on steering so it pulled a bit turning the bike. Of course to get at the headlight one starts at the side panels by the seat working forward. Here it is torn down.
    Repair light 1.jpg

    The light has a ring with tabs to hold it in place same as a standard light. The light itself came loose from the ring and was coming out. It could also rotate in the ring. Luckily there was a tinny bit of the key still on the light so I could determine correct orientation with the keyway on the ring. I wrapped the base of the light with a little duct tape and forced it back in the ring to hold it. It was very tight to get on so should last. Will buy a standard bulb in case it fails but not looking forward to tearing down on the road again. My riding partners were patient with the 3 hour delay and lent a hand when I needed it. Here is the bulb and ring put back together. Worst case if it fails again, I don't expect to be doing any night riding and have Denali running lights for plenty of visibility.
    Repair light 2.jpg

    Finally got on the road at 11:00 am. Stopped in Missoula to check for a controller at the Harley dealer. No go on controller but did score some free switched pigtails that I can make do with. Dealership was awesome for 3 guys who spent nothing. Gave me the parts out of a parts bin, free water and a place to eat our sandwiches. I'll have to slow down my badmouthing Harleys.

    After lunch we headed southwest towards Lolo Pass. Beautiful ride into Idaho. I turned around right after the pass to head up to Columbi Falls for the night and close to my tires in morning. Nuke and 670 rode more then went back to campground. They will ride as far as they can up going to the sun highway while I go for my tires. Road is not open for season yet at top. We will meet for lunch around Columbia Falls or Whitefish then head together to B.C.

    Some picks on Montana side of Lolo Pass.
    d 15-1.JPG
    d-9-2.JPG

    Some more headed to Columbia Falls and up east side of Flat Head Lake. d9-3.JPG

    d 9-4.JPG

    d 9-5.JPG
    Spent the night at a friend's place in Columbia falls. He doesn't have much luck with flowers surviving the deer that are pretty tame on the golf course out his back door.
    columbi falls deer.jpg
    #51
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  12. Dfrnt

    Dfrnt Just pluggin' along Supporter

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    Looks like an older version of their light. I just installed 10.0 and got it installed from below without taking all the plastic off. I have the bruises to prove it, but did get it done separating the bulb from the base then locking the spring clip on the base, then re-installing the LED part in the base. No way to install without taking it apart. Hopefully yours will last for you.
    #52
  13. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile Supporter

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    I also tore the whole thing apart when going LED. It is annoying the first time, would be much easier the second time. Once those little push pin connectors are mastered, you are good.
    #53
  14. Rapturee2

    Rapturee2 Una Stamus/Thin Blue Line Supporter

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    That is a beautiful road/river to ride, Lolo pass road-Hwy12. Very scenic, i went down to Post Falls, over to Cd'A and south on US95 to Lewiston, picked up 12 there and headed east up and over Lolo Pass(i should've stopped at the hot springs), then up to Missoula and back west on US95 home. It was a beautiful 500 mile ride that day.

    According to a website i saw, the "Going to the Sun" road should be open June 22nd... we'll see.

    That entire Flathead valley is so beautiful to ride. By mid-summer the Cherries are out and man are they plump/huge and delicious! Always a great ride, grab some to snack on and bring some home to(if they make it)! :{)
    #54
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  15. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    Georgia
    I have been remiss in posting my take on the ride. My posts have been going to facebook for friends and family. Many of my photos are 360 degree photos/videos and I haven’t figured out how to post them on this site. So photos and videos will come later.

    Atlanta to Alaska (A2A) Part 1

    A2A - It’s always the little things that count ...


    Early start today leaving from Oak Ridge to Lenoir City to pick up the motorcycle and head out. The morning started out about 70 degrees making the first run comfortable. If only I could remember how I loaded things on the motorcycle. First it was sunscreen. I know I put that travel size somewhere. Not that I needed much because I’m covered head to toe in motorcycle gear. Even so, that pesky sun always seems to find the opening between my gear to leave me a oddly shaped, temporary red tattoo. So I wanted to find the sunscreen and apply it much like caulk around the edge of a bathtub. Never did find the travel size. I’m sure I stuck it in a crevasse where it will only be found when it starts leaking over my hot exhaust pipes. I had to resort to the “regular” size tube in my duffle bag and I’m glad to report that there are no new tattoos.


    Arrived in Nashville to dead stop traffic. On Sunday. Really??? Turns out there was a minor wreck that gummed up the works. The good news is that I kept looking in my side mirrors to change lanes and noticed that my tent, supposedly strapped to the rack, was about to drop off the cliff of doom in front what I am sure was a Transformer shaped like a Mack truck. It would have probably been crushed, then pop into the air expanding like an inverted umbrella to cover the top of a Smart Car blinding the driver. So the traffic jam allowed me to see my predicament and pull over to fix the problem and prevented Nashville traffic from coming to a second halt. By the way, those dollar straps from Walmart don’t hold well. The rest of the trip had me glancing over my shoulder like I was paranoid.


    I connected with Rick (aka Fuzzy) west of Nashville. I know that Fuzzy is the most popular name for wooly worms that are entered into the races at the annual Wooly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, NC, but that is not why Rick is called Fuzzy. It’s because he has even less hair than I do. He’s also taller. But I’m better looking so it all balances out in the end. Rick doesn’t have a facebook account so he can’t refute my claims. Just say’n. I’ve been riding a few times a year with Fuzzy over the past decade. Not long after we met, we found out we entered the Navy at the same time, had the same job, though on different ships, and our dads went to the Naval Academy together. The lesson from this is you can’t be ugly to anyone. It will come back and haunt you generations later.


    Today was a 400 mile ride. We went through the “Land Between the Lakes”, though I have no idea which lakes because we only saw land. Eventually, we crossed the Ohio River and the Mississippi River. The water was still rising from recent rains and we could see a lot of flooding. Many of the back roads we were on had water only feet away. We saw too many flooded homes and businesses.


    We spend tonight in Cape Girardeau, MO. Next stop, just east of Kansas City.
    #55
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  16. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    A2A - Part 2

    As flat as a ...


    Over the last two days we went from Cape Girardeau, IL to Colby, KS via Missouri. We left Illinois and rode through the Mark Twain National Forest, which surprisingly is very long. Over one-hundred miles on a two-lane road with virtually no traffic. There was only one minor slow down due to road work. Otherwise, it was a very pretty ride. The latter part of the ride up to Kansas City turned into a four-lane divided highway. Not much excitement on that part of the trip.


    Today we left early to avoid traffic as we drove through Kansas City. I was surprised that we breezed right through at 6:30 AM. If we were in Atlanta, we would still be waiting to get through the city. This portion of the trip was all interstate. We just wanted to get through as much of Kansas as we could before the heat hit. Four hundred miles later, we ended up in Colby, KS.


    The ride wasn’t spectacular. Kansas is essentially flat. Not Amarillo flat mind you, and it is green rather than brown, but it is flat. With very straight roads. I’m pretty sure I could have put my hands behind my head and taken a nap without deviating from the road. Well, except for the toll road. Toll roads these days are essentially electronic. No more attempting to time your ride through the toll gate with a perfect throw of the quarters such that they get processed to turn the light green just as you exit the gate. There is a real art to throwing those quarters just right. Mess it up, and they roll around like in one of those coin tornados used to collect money for charity. Now, you get a paper ticket and when you exit, you then pay the toll. Preferably in cash. I can’t tell you how tempted I was to take the time to fish out the correct change from my pockets. I’m old enough to be one of “those” people who count out every coin to get to the exact amount, only to find they’re three pennies short. Then they have to start opening up change compartment in the car, or secret pockets in purses. Yep. Wanted to do that in the toll booth just to see how many cars I could get in a line. Didn’t do it though because the toll keepers were already peeved at the other lane where the driver kept dropping the ticket and cash only to blow around in the wind. Now that was a real pro.


    The drive was pretty monotonous. Yet it gave me much time to ponder many of life’s pressing questions.


    If the windmills turn clockwise in Kansas, do they turn counter-clockwise below the equator?


    With all the roads dead straight, how do they teach student drivers how to drive in curves? I hated to tell some people that if you have to use a turn signal, it isn’t a curve. Even the interstate on-ramps are straight.


    Do people in Kansas not need to get their nails done? The distance between exits must be at least 20 miles. When you do exit, there doesn’t seem to be any strip malls and everyone knows that in order to be a bonafide strip mall you must have at least one nail salon and one cell phone store. By the way, I think Kansas only has one cell tower that is a mile high that covers the entire state.


    Do people in Kansas only drive farm vehicles? We stopped at three gas stations covering 300 miles and each station only sold diesel fuel and regular gas. Well, there was ethanol and pure regular gas. No mid-grade or premium gas.


    I would have asked Fuzzy these questions over our bluetooth intercom, but I have lost my voice as the crud has entered my system. Good thing I have a modular helmet that allows the face piece to lift up. I had to use my dazzling quick reflexes several times to lift that face piece up just as I sneezed or coughed. We riders call failing to act quick enough as being blindsided.


    Oh, and we met up with Greg, the third in our party. I’ll introduce Greg in my next post.


    Tomorrow, we attempt another 400 mile day as we try to get past Kansas, into Western Nebraska to end up in Custer, SD.


    Take care.
    #56
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  17. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    A2A - Part 3


    This portion of the journey took me from Colby, KS to Custer, SD. Always wanting to be a learning individual, I thought I would pass on some would be words of wisdom should any of you decide to ride a motorcycle for a distance longer than a city block. Be it known that no real motorcyclist passes on these pearls. They keep this knowledge to themselves and only accept you into their fold when you have learned by doing it the hard way.


    It turns out that motorcycle riding has a comfort index. The comfort index comprises suspension, seat type, and angle of sitting. For example, you may have noticed riders on what is commonly referred to as crotch rockets on the highway riding with one hand behind their back. That’s because they can’t lean down with both hands on the handlebars for any length of time without the adrenaline rush of exceeding the speed of sound on hairpin turns over cliffs that drop into shark infested waters.


    The aforementioned factors are rather obvious. What is not disclosed is the human factor, that I have now quantified in terms of miles/butt, or MPB as engineers would like to refer to it. This is the maximum quantity of miles that you can ride until your butt can’t stand it anymore. The point at which you start twerking in your seat is the Squirm Miles Per Butt Limit or SMPBL. The point at which you would rather fall off the motorcycle than continue to ride it is the Upper Miles Per Butt Limit or UMPBL. Riders, if they are sane, will get off the motorcycle somewhere between the SMPBL and the UMPBL.


    It turns out my UMPBL is about 400 miles. Many of my motorcycle “brethren” will now chide me for my inability to ride 1,000 miles a day and then go out to party. (By the way, the reason they go out to party is to dull the intense pain with adult beverages.) The trip from Colby to Custer exceeded the UMPBL. My condition was frazzled enough that I forgot to put the cross pole in my tent. Slept in it and didn’t notice it until after breakfast.


    I promised in my last post that I would introduce Greg. Greg is the wizened rider amongst us, with nearly a half century of motorcycle riding. He takes an easy pace, always arriving refreshed. Hmmm. Maybe there is a correlation there. Why he decided to join us, I haven’t figured out yet. I may not want to know.


    The transition from Kansas to Western Nebraska, to South Dakota was from flat as a windless lake cove to moderate hills like meatballs in spaghetti. Hey, I haven’t had dinner and that came to mind.


    Erin Jay recommended we stop by and see Carhenge. So we did. This is the rival attraction to Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch. Instead of cadillacs buried into the ground at an odd, but patterned angle, these are cars mounted like, yes, stone henge. Thank you Erin, for a nice and fun diversion.


    Then we spend a day touring the Black Hills of SD. Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Wind Cave National Park all made the list. Much appreciation to Erin for warning me to not mess with the buffalo. We had several encounters with bison and had I not been warned, I would have been tempted to smack on on the rump as I rode by. You should be proud of me because I also applied that lesson to the mules blocking the road. I didn’t, however, need that reminder for prairie dogs. They’re too fast to even consider it.


    We’re off to Wyoming next. Something about a Devils Tower.
    #57
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  18. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    A2A - Part 4 Snow Day (sort of)


    Some of the pictures in this post are a brief trip into the past. One picture is of Carhenge. In the south, this may seem as a rich good ol’ boy’s front yard. But it is apparently a big thing in Alliance, WY.


    Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota was an interesting stop. We spent the better part of an hour descending down 300 steps into a cave with so many passageways, that it would rank as the number one corn maze in the world if you could grow corn in there. The only difference is that you wouldn’t be able to understand the map to get out. About 150 miles of cave passages have been explored, and they haven’t begun to reach the end. All these passages crammed into about 50 square miles. Think of it like that box of Christmas tree lights in your attic. One unique feature of the cave is the boxwork. The cave is made of limestone and gypsum and anhydride. The last two minerals formed calcite that filled in the cracks of the limestone. Over time, the limestone weathered away leaving the calcite. Sort of looks like an upside down empty ice cube tray. Only dirtier. I hear that when President Roosevelt declared this a national monument, the craze for popcorn ceilings in homes erupted.


    We were leaving South Dakota when we realized a slight detour would take us to Sturgis. One of the most common questions asked of motorcyclists is “Have you been to Sturgis?” So we went. Just so we could say we had been there. Never-mind that the real question is “Have you been to the Sturgis motorcycle rally?” That’s where 700,000 people descend on this little town to compare notes on motorcycles. Or something. I wouldn’t know because I went to Sturgis, but I didn’t go to Sturgis. If you know what I mean.


    Continuing north into Wyoming we went to Devils Tower National Monument. Remember Boxwork? Well this is the opposite, only with one box. Well, really a cylinder. Actually a near quarter mile protrusion out of the earth. Sometime way back when, magma forced its way through the earth’s crust. Apparently a mile and a half of earth eroded away and left this butte. Did you know Devils Tower was not its original name? Nope, the Native Americans had named it along the lines of Bear’s House or Bear’s Lodge. Then along came a representative of the government and somehow got the name mixed up and called it Devils Tower. Seems like a straightforward mistake to me. I believe the historians didn’t get it quite right. I think the government representative just wanted to give it a nickname and it stuck. Sort of like your proud parents calling you William, but your middle school friends called you dimple head and you were forever known as dimple. Many people proudly present their nicknames as a moniker of their life story. In this case, the Native Americans aren’t amused.


    Then we turned west. Several hundred miles of wide open space on a two lane road with no one on it. The gradual up and down elevation changes with big sweeping curves and endless long straight sections underscored the fact that if you broke down, no one would notice. We watched as the skies to the North turned Wind Cave black. This scene was presented to us for hours, prompting us to continually turn to the light. Good thing. We barely squeaked through an opening in the high wind and thunderstorm that tried to swallow us. We gave up the day’s travel in a small town called Dayton, Wyoming.


    The next day we set out early. Our plans called for us to ride west to traverse the Big Horn National Forest. Except it snowed the night before and the top of the mountain was covered in fog. After much debate (because guys always debate how to do stupid things), we elected to go to Montana. By the time we got to Billings, Fuzzy’s gloves were frozen from the winds, cold and rain we were riding in. So we debated again, and decided to call it a short day. That’s when I discovered that my waterproof rain gear and covers weren’t exactly a true description.

    Attached Files:

    #58
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  19. nuke65

    nuke65 Adventurer

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    A2A - Part 5 It’s Not Always About The Scenery


    One of the things I like about traveling is the people I get to meet. Everyone has a story and their story always reveals something about them that sticks out like the Devils Tower in the middle of nowhere.


    Meet Rich Harrison. He wouldn’t mind me using his real name because he’s off promoting a worthy cause. Veterans for DAD (Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Depression). He has a public facebook page for his cause. I met Rich in the lobby of the hotel we had to hold up in due to weather. He has this big cart or wagon on large wheels. That’s it. It holds all the possessions he needs for his awareness campaign. Rich is from Florida and we are now in Montana. Did I say that the wagon was all he had with him? See, he walked from Florida. Pulling this big wagon. If you do the math, he has walked over 2500 miles. His mileage is three pairs of shoes plus significant wear on the fourth. His current challenge was that the exits on the interstate were often 60 miles apart and he had to walk on the interstate because that’s the road. Now he is allowed to walk on the interstate, but he is not allowed to pitch a tent on the interstate. So he called the state police and explained his dilemma. He can’t walk 60 miles in one day. The Montana State Police heard his need, and instead of holding the hard line made provisions for him to continue his journey. Good for them. Sometimes a rule doesn’t have to be a rule. My prayer goes to Rich for his continued health and safety walking across America. His next challenge is walking over the mountains. I hope it isn’t snowing.


    Billings to Missoula. That was our journey. Keeping with our plan we stayed away from the interstate. I don’t know why one needs an interstate in Montana because the side roads have speed limits of 70 mph. Oh, there is one need for the interstate. Exits. If you go the side roads, don’t expect to find anyplace to stop. Especially if you need a bathroom. Just say’n. And some of those roads do not have shoulder to pull off on. So plan carefully. And drink responsibly.


    We camped in bear country for the first time. As we entered the State Park, there were signs to be “Bear Aware”. The camp host said they hadn’t seen any bears YET this season. So be sure to put all food and aromatic articles in the bear locker. In went our dinners, toothpaste, deodorant, and monkey butt powder. Presumably my clothes don’t need to go into the locker. Fuzzy asked what was the best thing to have for bears, and the camp host responded by telling us to make noise as we move about and to have bear spray. Fuzzy didn’t have bear spray. I do. Greg does. Fuzzy has been kind to us this day. I don’t know why he didn’t see the volume display of multi-packs of bear spray in Costco the other day. Yes, that’s true.


    That night, I woke up in the early morning hours hearing grunts and snorts outside the tent. This is the moment when you are supposed to ask someone if you are about to do something dumb. There was no other person in my tent, so I decided to look at the bear. I quietly opened the zippers to my tent so as not to alert the bear. Remember the camp host’s first advice? Me neither. With the tent open, flashlight in one hand and bear spray in the other, I crawled out of the tent slowly looking around. I found it. Fuzzy. Snoring inside his tent. By this time my bladder had woken up and I was off to the camp restroom.


    Fuzzy had some emergent repair work to his headlight to do in the morning. This gave us an opportunity to change campsites as our existing site was reserved for the next day. Fuzzy is headed off ahead of us because he has an appointment to get his tires changed in the early morning. So Greg and I will head off tomorrow to see if we can ride into Glacier Park and then meet up with him later.


    I crossed the 3,000 mile mark today. On two wheels made of rubber. Rick Harrison crossed 2,500 miles on shoes with soles of rubber product. So to all my followers I offer you the motorcyclists prayer: keep the rubber side down.


    Enjoy the photos of the journey. All hints of heaven. And perhaps there will be someone else to meet. Perhaps even an opportunity to share some Good News.
    #59
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  20. Fuzzy74

    Fuzzy74 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    New jacket and glove control.
    C5B5F8FB-28FF-425A-9A6D-1B9F05115C74.jpeg
    #60
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