So I made a point to get up extra early the next morning and headed back into town. The goal at the moment was to get a good meal in, on a budget of course. I'd picked up a little trick while living out of cheap hotels for work and was eager to give it a shot on the road. So on to Howard Johnsons I went, pulling up into the rear lot and removed most of my gear. Entering through a rear door, I walked into the main lobby with my hair a mess, yawning and rubbing my eyes. Before I knew it I was sitting down, shooting the shit with other hotel patrons and enjoying myself a hell of a complimentary hot breakfast. Just the coffee would have been worth it, but this place had a goddamn waffle maker. Score! I vaguely recall stuffing my pockets with granola bars and fruit as well. Hehe. I'm on a KLR after all. It's probably worth noting that Billings is where I had my first road rage incident. Heading out to Wally World, the D-bag next to me at the stop light down the road peels out at the green and rockets down the road, only to brake hard in front of me to catch the next right hand turn. I juked left and skirted past him, leaving his ass to lay on his horn as he bumped the curb into the parking lot. I take the next right and pull into Wally World only to see him coming my way. From behind a partially closed window, I can see him throwing four letter words before actually spitting at me as I pass. I just waved. Parking my bike, I take my lid off and look up at the next aisle over, and there he was. Just... stopped in that piece of shit blazer, staring me down. I smirked and waved again, he cursed and peeled out. I relocated the bike and went on with my day. What a douche.
After this, I just wanted out of the city. I continued on west, eating up as many miles as I could. Man, Montana is HUGE. I eventually just hung a right into some random cattle pasture, following the dirt track as it wound through several different fields and dancing with the livestock as they fled the scene and awkwardly clambered up the rocky slope. After a washout intervening, I simply baja'd across the ditch and up the hillside, setting up camp amongst the trees I've quickly come to rely upon.
Got up the next morning and continued eating up miles. At one point I just got tired of the asphalt and took the next dirt road which turned out to be a fairly interesting logging trail switch-backing up some random mountain. The road gradually got narrower and narrower until I found myself on nothing more than a game trail. I bounced off of one fairly good sized rock only to go head long into another, nearly being bucked clear off the trail. I figured this was a good spot to stop and burn one before heading back down. What a great photo opportunity. Dropping back down in altitude, I hopped on what I believe was route 12. My journal says this was a pretty cool, windy road, but I don't recall. I'll just hafta trust what the crayola is telling me. I do remember at one point passing a sign that said simply “Ghost Town <---” If there is any way to get this guy sidetracked, it's with statements like this. An 11 mile dirt road spit me out in Garnet, apparently America's most well preserved ghost town. And that it was. Kind of odd. Located in a valley deep in the mountains, it seems like a lot of these shops were just closed up. Obviously there wasn't much as far as artifacts go, but the “town” was still there. I spoke with one of the caretakers for a bit and walked the trails. I didn't take any pics, however. I was having electrical issues that kept me from being able to charge my batteries, so this portion of the trip you'll just have to trust me on. I spent the night along side some ruined cabin I had passed coming into town.