03-04-2010, 05:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
Heading up into Montana today. Woke up this morning to find that the outside of my tent was covered with earwigs; it must've been being that close to the water. Kind of gross but I brushed them off and packed up. Sometime during the night it hit me, wouldn't it be a better idea to NOT situate your campground next to a main highway? In addition to the droning of traffic all night a freight train came through sometime while it was still dark. To top if all off I came to the realization that I was in one of the worst smelling places I've ever visited; a quick shower proved that I wasn't just smelling myself.
A bit of a longer day today at 458 miles but still not that bad. Turns out it's a beautiful day, at least the skies are clear which is something new on this trip.
Even with the sky being clear and sunny the temperature really hadn't warmed up that much, I was still looking at mid 50's and low 60's for at least the first few hours. Even though I was heading to Montana tonight I forgot that I had to enter Idaho to do it, 2 states in 1 day!
The scenery didn't change much throughout the day and I just kept on plugging away. Around noontime I stopped for gas, it was lunchtime and there was a restaurant attached to the gas station that advertised home cooking so I decided to forgo my usual lunch of beef jerky and have something at the “Cowboy Up Cafe”. I carefully backed into a spot in the mostly empty lot so that I'd be able to get out easily. As I get situated some kid on a new Sportster pulls in right next to me; he must have left me about two feet of space. I just kind of looked at him; any fool could see that I need at least three feet to get off this overloaded pig. He just walks into the cafe; I managed to extricate myself without pulling anything but I think we were both lucky I didn't fall on his Sportie.
After a lunch consisting of a fair burger and really poor fries I got back on the road; should've stuck with the jerky. A couple of miles down the road my GPS gave me the a message that I'd lost power to it; no problem, I just pushed on the plug to reseat it into the receptacle. Too bad it didn't help. I pulled over and a few minutes later decided it was the fuse in the plug that had blown; I put in a new fuse but still no love. At least I have batteries I can use.
I didn't know this before I left for this trip but evidently I have an unreasonable fascination with bridges. This one was off the road but it's almost an impossibility for me to pass or cross a bridge without taking a picture. Honestly, you'll see.
The ride across Montana was pretty uneventful. Of course Montana is a wonderful ride, at least on the West half, so it wasn't really surprising. At one point I stopped at a state part right off the highway to use the bathroom; of course I had to take some pictures, not of the bathroom though.
Was this going to be my first dry day of the trip? Well I can count it as my first dry riding day but as I pulled into Chalet Bearmouth I could see the clouds were threatening and I didn't hold out much hope for a dry night.
It's surprising how different a place can be from what I was led to believe from the website. Chalet Bearmouth wasn't the worst offender in this manner but from their name I just expected more.
It started to rain as I set up camp; I pitched my tent under the only trees in the area, I only hoped it would keep the worst of the coming storm off me.
Somehow I chose another campground situated right on a major highway, I guess that's just the way it is.
I decided that I was going to continue my one day old tradition of taking a walk around the area before it got too dark. Since it was sprinkling rain I'd already decided I wasn't going to fire up the stove and cook dinner but rather see what the lodge had to offer so I could take my time a little. Good thing I'd packed my raincoat! Chalet Bearmouth was situated right on a pretty good size river, this makes for some decent picture opportunities. In addition it was at the base of a hill, some might even call it a mountain but maybe that's stretching it a little bit.
I walked down to the bridge where I'd come in, probably not more than a mile, and decided I could do better to get an overview of the area. I looked up the hillside and figured it couldn't be that difficult to climb up at least halfway and get a good picture. Sometimes I wonder how I come up with what constitutes a good idea. I got about halfway up to where I wanted to get and realized that this hill was not only a lot steeper than it looked from the ground but it was covered in a loose rock that was a bit slippery. I came to the conclusion that I was plenty high enough and snapped my picture.
I like the ability to shoot a panorama of this camera.
I stopped in at the lodge for dinner before heading back down to my tent. I sort of decided that I could do some sort of taste-test while on my trip comparing burgers at different locations. Since I'd already had a bad one today my prospects looked a little better for dinner. I decided to skip the fries and instead opted for the homemade chips they served, this proved to be a fortuitous decision as I can still picture and taste them as I write this, yummy!
I got back to my campsite and realized that my choice of location may not have been the best ever. I was under the trees which I still think was a good idea but evidently I was the only one in the campground that noticed that there were real bathrooms up under the lodge. When I pitched my tent I'd thought that the proximity of the porta-potties could only be a good thing since they were a lot closer than the real facilities at the lodge. How was I supposed to know that these delightfully convenient little toilets were also a kid magnet and would give the local children hours of fun as they played whatever games kids played in portable toilets? If they would've been quiet it might have been a little better, at least they drowned out the noise of the traffic. I don't know how late they stayed up playing reindeer games as I finally dropped off to sleep. When I awoke the next morning I seriously considered shouting and blowing my horn as I passed their sleeping camper but showed what I thought was admirable constraint by not doing so.