In this year, my seventh season of motorcycle touring with my tent and sleeping bag, my wanderlust is drawing me back to Montana. It seems I left my heart in that state when I first rode west of the Rockies there in 2015. Riding east of the Rockies in 2017 perpetuated the love story and included a life-changing experience which eventually required me to acknowledge that one’s dreams can arrive too late in life to become reality. But admitting that you have become just too damn old to do everything you can dream of doing is necessary in order to claim the delights that await in what you can actually still do. That had been my task since riding through Wisdom, MT, in 2017, on my way home with a healing leg injury and a still-injured ego that would take much longer to find equilibrium. So in 2019 I revisited my favorite places and people on both sides of the Montana Rockies, knowing that I would make new memories to cherish, and that dreams, as dear as they may be, cannot be counted upon to satisfy nearly as fully as each day actually in the saddle.
Gallery 1 – Day 1
Gallery 2 – Hwy 3 and Beyond
Hwy 3, Idaho
Gallery 3 – A Dirt Ride that Wasn’t
I had chosen to ride off the mountain from Dickey Lake via a little-traveled road, the only town along which was Trego. When I pulled up at the town's 1-stop shop, I began chuckling. The sign for one door said "Open" while the other said "Closed"...and on the "Open" door was a small sign saying "Please use other door." Oh well, I didn't really want to go in anyway.
Gallery 4 – Glacier National Park and the Eastern Front
Going to the Sun
Gallery 5 – A Lake and a Land of “Hills”
Sweet Grass Hills - Haystack Butte - 4717 ft
As I passed the base of Mt Royal, where the terrain flattened, Haystack Butte popped into view. It looked so lonely out there, but I didn't take time to visit it because the sky to the west had quickly turned so dark that I could see the light from Kate's headlamp on the road. A wind began blowing enough rain from that cloud to worry me, so I pushed on toward Chester at a quickened pace---30 mph. I stayed ahead of the storm for sixty-some miles, until I reached the home of friends in Havre. I was unloading my bike there when the storm caught up and totally soaked me in less than 5 minutes.
Gallery 6 – North to South – From Friend to Friend
Hwy 2, The Hi-Line
Havre is a memorable place for me, not only because I have some wonderful friends there, but also because of its diverse landscape. From Havre you can see these cliffs (above which are badlands), mountains, and many miles of almost flat ranch-land, depending on which direction you look. I watched the train in this photo for several minutes without seeing anything other than the oil tanks roll by.