We did everything right. We set up the trailer just right for hauling 4 motorcycles. I built some cabinets to hold helmets and miscellaneous stuff so we wouldn’t have to carry it in the truck. We installed tie-downs for all the bikes. Then we proceeded to drag us and the bikes all the way to Montana to put some quality miles on the two-wheelers. Unfortunately we can’t control the weather. It looks like today may be the only rain-free day before we have to turn the nose of the truck back to the east.
We originally planned for a “down day” today. A day to recharge from pushing all the miles to get here. The plan changed with the forecast. We tried every conceivable idea to not have to drag the trailer up and down the 2 miles of torture to get the bikes to pavement. I’ve been riding for 51 years now and I have never seen a gravel road like the one we have to navigate. The only answer was to trailer the bikes down the side of the mountain and find a place to stash the big box so we could ride.
Hooking back up to the trailer is not as simple as it should be. It took us the better part of an hour to double check the bike tie downs, put the sway control arms back in position and all the other small tasks getting ready to go. We fired up, put the truck in gear and crawled down the mountain at a whopping 12 MPH. That means it took us nearly almost 15 minutes to get to pavement. We cruised through town trying to decide where to put the trailer. The answer turned out to be a truck stop. Perfect!
We no sooner got the bikes unloaded than here came a state police cruiser. He parked next to us and approached our maniacal looking band of outlaws. (Maybe I should have combed my hair this morning.) Well, we didn’t get a ticket. Instead we got to meet two really nice / professional officers of the Montana State Police. They were at the truck stop to escort a charity ride for local motorcyclists and thought we were waiting on that event. I should have picked up their names.
Since we were not under arrest, it was time to get rolling. The plan was to get lunch at a small town due north of Livingston called White Sulfur Springs. It was about 70 miles away right up US 89, a road I’m very familiar with. About 20 miles north of Livingston we stopped to take a few pictures at a “historic point”. The history was that Lewis and Clark had been through here and named the river and surrounding valley for one of their group, John Shields. It has been known as Shields’ River and Shields’ Valley ever since. I really appreciate the challenges overcome by the expedition but shouldn’t they have checked to see if the valley / river already had names? If old John’s statue is a true-to-life image, he must have been quite a character. These really are the only pictures I took today.
Ok, I had to take some pictures of our bikes.
The total ride turned out to be about 150 miles and we all really enjoyed it. I have some video that I took with my front and rear facing dual camera DVR set up but I didn’t think anyone would want to see my home movies.
We reloaded the bikes back on the trailer for an assault on the mountain. Tomorrow, I’m not sure we’re going to do much. I could spend some time cleaning bikes of the 10 million bugs that we managed to smash today. Dragging the trailer up and down the hill is a chore but the great ride we had today made it worth the effort.
Maybe the weather forecasters are wrong and we can roll on 2 again.