Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rally Day#3 Wisdom here I come...!

Ok, the pun is the fact that the third checkpoint was in Wisdom, Montana...

Got up at 0630 because I had ridden about an hour extra yesterday, I my thought was get up, ride for about an hour and have breakfast in some small town along the way...

If I thought yesterday was cold in the morning, I failed to factor in that we were traveling through the Teton's... Fog and freezing dew on the motorcycle windshield... Now here's the weird thing, apparently in the US vehicles are not equipped with Day time running lights... and the idiots down here seem adverse to using the headlights... one person ever suggested that they were saving gas by not having the lights on...Really!!!

Anyway, I driving along, stopping when my fingers are past the point of shear pain...warming them up, then continuing on... This happened about 3 times and I spy a small diner in the middle of nowhere. Excellent, a couple of other bikes there.. conversation and food... and warmth...

I go in and order, the waitress asks if I can move as there is a large group coming in, I join a couple of older guys also riding the TFC. We chat, they get their food, they finish their food... they get up and say good bye, they pay, I'm still waiting... 40 minutes... for 2 eggs over easy, with toast and bacon... come on...

I decide I don't need this breakfast that bad, get up, put my jacket on, walk up to the till, give the waitress $5 and say that should cover the tea. She looks at me and says, do you have your bill?, I say, I did not get a bill because the food I ordered never arrived at the table... there are 8 people seated for breakfast.... I walk out the door, she runs after me apologizing and wants to return the $5. Nope I said... I enjoyed the tea... Got on the bike and rode away...

It was cold and foggy for most of the morning, it cleared as I drove through Jackson, WY. Brother Mark and I were here on a Ski bus tour many years ago... I am pretty sure they don't remember us anymore!!!

I made the turn to ride up the Teton pass, wow... it's very beautiful, but lots of traffic (holiday weekend and too many granola crunchin, mountain bikin people) Took some photos and made my way down the other side to Driggs.

Small town, infact almost a 2 horse town :), Got fuel for Vanessa, and a water and Pop Tarts !!!! woo hooo

continued on into Idaho, just missing Yellowstone (good thing, traffic was insane) and then getting into Montana... lots of small towns, buys maps of each state to figure out if I am going the right way, now that Lola has decided to be somewhat of a ... (sounds like itch!!) (remember Lola is the GPS)

the sales clerks in these small towns must have quite the story when I leave... I assume it goes like this.. So there was this guy who came in in all this motorcycle gear (no helmets required in most of these states) and asks for a map, then he asks what state he is in... then what town... really!! how did he get here???

So armed with a map or two, and the trip notes I am off... trying to make time.... it is an elusive thing... and seems harder every town and every intersection. I am riding, thinking about which way to go, thinking about life (I like to do this) and looking at all the werid things people have in the farm yards... and livestock... I crest this hill and the road makes a sharp left, I look to the right and see something tha does not seem quite right.. it's a cow, but it's long like a stretched limo, but with six legs... back to looking at the road and not crashing, got to get one more look at the cow... ahhhh!!! now the angles have changed, it was 2 cows, standing a bit staggered... gave the illusion of a stretched, six legged cow.... still weird and kinda cool.

By now I am starving, with only a couple of Pop Tarts and some water... and it's now 4 in the afternoon... and there is about 80miles to the checkpoint it's time to get food... the Golden Arches.... Food goes in, fast and even had a ice cream cone... back on the road... thought this section was going to drag on forever, but perhaps it was the anticipation... got to check point #3 in Wisdom at approximately 5:00 pm. The sky was so smoke filled, must be the fires burning in Idaho... Passport Stamped... on the final leg.

Looked at a mmap to seem my options for where to sleep for the evening, 120 miles to Missoula, MT hmmm I can bee there in a couple of hours, they'll have lots of hotel rooms... Missoula it is.. Super 8 with a Pizza Hut accross the parking lot.. done...

Changed out of the riding gear, walked over and ordered, started typing this blog and a couple of fellow TFC riders come in, I invite them to join me (cause you all know I am so shy and not out going at all!!) We had a great conversation, both about the ride and other things in life... Sad thing is that they decided that this was as far as they were going. They had been on the road for 2 weeks prior and now were within 600 miles of being home... but hey, they made the decision, the decision was not made for them and that's cool in my book. Cool guys, lots of laughs, hope to cross paths again.

Tomorrow will be another early start for me, I hope it's warmer in the morning than it has been for the past few days... I will have to decide if I am going to chance taking the ferry on a long weekend, cause if the line up is long.. you still have to wait... and I want to make sure I finish. So I may just do the Creston-Salmo and then up to Nelson. I have ridden Highway #3A many times... If time permits I may even try to catch my old friend Wendell in Creston.

I am also really hoping another old friend and one of my fellow riders from the Three Flags Classic that we did in 1982 is going to be in Nelson at the finish. It would be really cool.

Well stalkers, it's almost midnight and I have to get up early tomorrow.... tune in tomorrow...same bat time, same bat channel.

Grand Tetons

Checkpoint #3 in Wisdom
Smokey and hazy

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