We left Dryden Ontario on September 18th 2011.
I am driving a 2010 BMW F800GS and she is riding a 2010 BMW F650GS.
This was to be Denise’s first big motorcycle trip. The plan was to head west and try to get into Montana and Wyoming. It was a cloudy day when we left but rain was threatened so we suited up as we said goodbye to her mom and dad.. A cold wet shivery stop at Clearwater bay just west of Kenora had us wondering what the rest of the trip would be like. The forecast was for clear skies so all we could do is put our faith in the forecasters and keep heading on.
By the time we made it to Steinbach MB the sun had come out and we were rewarded with it’s warmth and headed down Hwy 59 to the border. A pleasant (need sarcasm tag) crossing of the border and we continued down hwy 59 to finish the day at Warren MN. Spent the night at a nice little motel “The Elm Crest” and with a plan to head a bit further south and then travel Hwy 2 due west we watched the weather forecast that night.
There was some talk of some rain in northern Montana and western NDakota but morning found us waking up to a brilliant blue sky.
Day 1 map
Day 2 September 19th, 2011
We left Warren in the morning after a pleasant breakfast at Melody’s cafe.
The weather was cool but the sun warm. The wind was reasonable but would increase as the day presented itself.
One of the goals of this trip was to travel secondary highways, eat and stay at non franchise mom and pop type restaurants and motels. Motels are great for bikes because you can carry your gear in and the bikes are right outside your door for peace of mind in security. We quickly developed the mantra of our trip and it was to be NO INTERSTATES and NO WALMARTS . On just our second day we were forced to eventually travel our first 25 miles of interstate (29) to get down to hwy 2.
As we left Grand Forks ND on a 4 lane highway I felt some disappointment as the road continued to be a very flat windy high speed 4 lane. This class of road was certainly not in the plan but when it comes down to it there are few other ways to get across the plains of the mid west. A couple highlights was the geographic center of North America and Rugby, ND
and then a 50’s style diner named Krolls at Minot.
As we left Minot we could see high clouds approaching from the west. Not threatening at all but still I took note as the forecast was for some rain by tonight. We would have to make sure we stopped early enough, but as we headed west the clouds actually started to lighten.
We stopped for gas at Ray ND where a trucker said “You are going to get wet” . I was thinking he was a bit out of it and we decided we would find a place to stay at Williston, ND which was about 40 minutes away. By the time we got to Williston I could see what the trucker had meant. The western sky was going black. It was find shelter and do it soon or run. We did both but I will let Denise’s stories from the road carry it from here.
Day 2 Map