Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Fraser BC
Day 17 Oct 3 405 kms Sheridan WY to Livingston MT
The weather man was right. It had cooled off considerably over night. I put on lots of clothes and my rain gear over that, and headed out. The temperature was below 40F when I left Livingston, my knees and fingers were feeling a bit cool, but with all my clothes and being behind that big windshield I was feeling almost uncomfortably warm. Not to worry, though, I knew there was rain in my future.
By the time I hit the Montana border, it was raining pretty good. As I climbed in elevation, it got colder, and wetter. I went through fog. The nice thing about fog is that while your visibility is down to almost nothing, your visor gets all misted up and won’t bead up and roll off. After about 90 miles, just out of Hardin, as I was thinking “ this is stupid!!”, it started to snow.
I pulled into a Micky D’s for breakfast , to warm up and to google U-hauls. I had had enough
There was nothing available in town. I checked out motels to hole up in until the weather warmed up. There were a few, but by the time I had warmed up and had a full belly, I was feeling a bit more positive. It had stopped snowing, and the rain was down to a light mist. It wasn’t very far to Billings, so I thought I would tough it out and ride there, check out u-hauls, and if nothing else, I could stay there for a day or two.
The ride there wasn’t bad. It was only lightly raining in places, then the rain would stop for a while. The road went up and up, to where the fields were all covered in snow, then down and down, and there would be no snow. At the lower, “no snow” elevations it felt downright balmy.
I pulled into Billings, had the biggest hot tea I could get, and checked the weather reports and hwy cams. I figured I would carry on, play it by ear, stop lots to warm up and call it a day when I was too cold to carry on.
I don’t believe the temperature got much above 40F anywhere along the road, but there was very little rain, and when the sun would occasionally poke through, it felt pretty good. I was hoping to get as far as Butte, as they were calling for around 20F in the morning, and there were two mountain passes (both around 6,000 ft) that I needed to go over before Butte. If I didn’t make them this afternoon, I would have to go over them later in the day tomorrow, which meant getting a late start.
As I pulled into Livingston at around 4:00 pm or so, I was figuring if things went well I might be able to make Butte by 6:00 or so, and I came around the corner and saw this.
I pulled into town, went into an Arby’s for a large hot tea, and I was cold. Damn cold. I checked the hwy cams for Bozeman Pass, and it was pretty cold and snowy looking.
Right then, Livingston it is.
I got a room, turned the heat up high, got out of my cold, wet clothes and into a hot bath.
When I looked outside, it had cleared up, and if I had waited it out, I could probably have gone a ways further. But I was pretty happy in my warm room. J
A while later I went back to Arby`s for a bite to eat, and met Sebastian, a young German fellow riding his KLR around the US for 6 months or so.
I told him I was riding an old Harley and had come from Wyoming today. He gave me a kind of funny look, then looked at my running shoes and jeans. I smiled and told him I had already packed it in for the day and had a room.
Turns out he had camped in a state park about 100 miles away, and when he woke up at 3:30 PM ( I didn`t ask why he slept to 3:30 PM) his tent, bike and the roads were covered in 3 inches of snow. He told me he was heading over to Bozeman (about 30 miles, over Boseman Pass). It wasn`t raining anymore, and he seemed to have really good cold weather gear ( he said he needed grip warmers J) I told him to be careful and ride safe and away he went.
If you are reading this Sebastian, it was nice to meet you and I hope you have a great (and warmer) journey.
BC Brian screwed with this post 10-04-2012 at 07:29 AM