Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From the mountains to the prairie...

Day 5 - Cut Bank to Bozeman

Several bikers had spent the night at the same motel and we chatted at length after breakfast and coffee. One had been at Sturgis and was taking the long way back to his home in Minot. Three others were traveling together from Missouri. Yesterday they had stopped for free-range cows on the way down the Going-to-the-(filtered)-Sun Road when a fourth biker came up fast behind them and hit one of them. No serious damage to the guys standing still, but the speeder from CO was airlifted to Kalispell. A good reminder about being hypnotized by the scenery and the ride.

I got rolling by the usual time but didn’t expect to see much but freeway today. As I proceeded south, the air got smokier and smokier and soon I thought I must be back home in the San Joaquin Valley. I could see faint silhouettes of mountains on both sides, but they seemed only like ghosts.

Before it got too smoky, however, I entered another mountain range south of Great Falls and met up with the Missouri River. Here it was clear and beautiful, not the "Muddy Mo" I crossed many times between Omaha and Iowa. There was a rare viewpoint turnout on the freeway, so I stopped and took a couple pictures.

The Missouri River before it gets muddy

Other than crossing the Missouri several times, the rest of the ride into Bozeman to visit an uncle I hadn’t seen in many years was uneventful, but catching up with family members is great.

Today’s ride was 295 miles, just over 2000 since I left home

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