BACKGROUND This ride report is dedicated to my friend, Ron Haraseth, architect of the most recent Best of Montana 1000 (BOM1000) rides. Ron left us all too early this spring, 2018 but his ride legacy lives on. Last year after completion of the BOM1000, Ron announced that he would not be planning a 2018 ride. As the originator of the BOM1000 series, I agreed to step up and plan a 2018 ride. Little did I know it would be a ride that would honor Ron. Last summer (2017), I was on another camping trip and we passed through Stevensville, Montana where it turned out that we had a last meal together at a favorite BBQ joint of mine located in Stevensville. Over the winter, I decided that we would repeat the 2017 route that Ron created, but with a twist: I'd reverse the route and shave 3 days off of it so we could complete the ride within a 7 day span to help those who were still working be able to get minimal time off. So the ride would start in Stevensville and have the following route plan: Route Summary: Day 1 - Sat 7/28 - Stevensville to Whitehouse Campground - 144 miles Day 2 - Sun 7/29 - Whitehouse Campground to Big Timber - 188 miles Day 3 - Mon 7/30 - Big Timber to Cody - 198 Miles (lots of pavement & over Beartooth Pass & Chief Joseph Highway) Day 4 - Tue 7/31 - Cody to Big Springs Campground - 215 miles (through Yellowstone) Day 5 - Wed 8/1 - Big Springs Campground to Elkhorn Hot Springs - 220 Miles Day 6 - Thu 8/2 - Elkhorn Hot Springs to Stevensville - 178 miles Blackboots, a previous BOM1000 rider, created a memorial ride sticker for us and I affixed mine to my bike. I'm riding a WR250R and since the start point is some 600 miles from my home in the Puget Sound basin, I broke the ride into 2 days of riding. So let's get started. Day 1 - July 26, 2018 - Seattle to Colfax, WA Normally I don't like to get up early, but because of the projected heat in Eastern Washington, I got up early (for me since I'm retired) and left my house around 7am. I debated with myself about whether to take the Snoqualmie Pass Highway (I-90) or go over Chinook Pass and Yakima. As I headed north on I-405, traffic signage indicated a major blockage north of me, and by the time I reached the Maple Valley Highway exit, traffic was severely congested. So I exited and took the Maple Valley Highway to WA18 thinking I would escape the traffic. Once I was on WA18 headed for I-90, traffic came to a total halt and inched along for 6 more miles. Additionally, the Issaquah exit was closed by the county sheriff forcing all the traffic to stay on WA18. Those 6 miles took over an hour! Once I was on I-90, traffic moved right along and the breeze kept me cool. The WR hums right along at 60-65 and soon I was cruising by Lake Keechelus. I grabbed a quick breakfast meal in Ellensburg. With the recent fires along I-90, I elected to ride down the old highway to Vantage via the Ginkgo Petrified Forest. It's a nice 50mph putt and the ride across the Vantage Bridge over the Columbia River was pretty smooth. It was, however, getting a bit warm. I re-fueled in Othello (I have a 4.1 gallon tank) and rode on to outside of Colfax where my relatives live on a farm. They weren't home, but I pitched my hammock and waited for them to return home. It was a tad bit warm in the shade. Soon they returned and I took them out for a nice Mexican dinner and retired to my hammock for a nice slumber that was interrupted around midnight by the coyotes howling not far away. Fortunately, there were no bears nearby! Stay tuned for more . . .