Love, Loss, and Living
Riding injured changed everything, but though for days I felt as if I had forgotten how to ride and was constantly afraid, I didn’t give up. I did, however, reroute to avoid several gravel roads I had planned to ride. It wasn’t just a matter of how unnerved the crash had left me; I could no longer stand on the pegs, and on a top-heavy bike like the V-Strom, doing so is a critical strategy for stability.
I’m glad that I kept going. The Montana I saw during the last three weeks of my tour was quite different from the mountainous areas through which I had been riding. And I loved it all!
The White Buffalo, Havre, Rocky Boy Reservation
I left Valier and rode to Havre with my right leg throbbing. I had been invited to stay a night with friends of a friend, and when they heard about my crash, they insisted that I stay another night so they could show me the area in their car. I glimpsed this painting as we drove along Beaver Creek Road, and they backed up and parked so I could photograph it. They had driven that road often but had never noticed it. The Chippewa and Cree on the reservation consider the white buffalo sacred, and spotting it that day felt like a healing omen. I still feel that magic when I look at this photo.