Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lead South Dakota to Missoula Montana

Slammer got away at 5:02 this morning according to VSP, heading to see his sister in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Clark, Rhonda, Matt and his girlfriend were Nebraska bound by 5:45. We were packing up when I saw that something had happened to the Wing Trevor was riding. Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies.

It was clear but quite cool and so we set out at 6:45 wearing some of our cold weather gear. We rode to Deadwood and then the GPS sent us to Spearfish on US 85. This was a new road to us, the very thing we look for whenever we get a chance. The highway ended at I-90 where we turned west.

Before we got to the Wyoming border, I was running downgrade when I spotted a fairly large white-tail standing in the median pointing at my lane, so I got on the binders and slowed right down. The deer moved across in front of us but I waited another moment to make sure it didn't change its mind. Slammer quite rightly observed a few days ago that when you meet a deer, neither you nor the deer has any idea what it is going to do. We were pleased most of the day to see large qualities of the more intelligent antelope and fewer scatterbrained deer (except for many carcasses on the side of the road).

In Wyoming, we stopped at Gillette (Energy Capital of the USA) for gas and breakfast. Then we slid by Buffalo and Sheridan (Cowboy Capital of the USA) with the Bighorn Mountains to our left.

Near Garryowen (anyone remember the 7th Cavalry's theme), Nebraska, we could see the Custer battlefield site to our right along with all the buildings of the Visitor Center. Without the zoom, it is hard to make them out. The Little Bighorn River was right beside us and there was a significant native presence. I found later that today was the last of three days of re-enactment of the battle, but we didn't have time to hang around and wait for it.

I screwed up with my gas stop in Bozeman. I had selected a station to give me a mileage and then went to it when we got there. Unfortunately, this one was 2.5 miles off the Interstate and the temperatures were getting ever hotter. I do believe I found one cause of the elevated temperatures since it has been occurring when I have the main Baker Air-Wings open. I think this may be altering the flow of air through the radiators.

Butte, Montana is a significant mining town. The copper pits dominate the landscape both in Butte and in the outlying areas. Missoula, on the other hand, is a pretty city with many trees. The temperature hit 37C (98F) as we hit town and stopped for fuel. Although we were aiming for St. Regis, where Sherm got to yesterday, we decided to knock off here in Missoula after 690 miles. The Super 8 here is nice with a strong WiFi signal and flat screen TV's.

For supper, we went across the street to the Montana Club. This is a family restaurant with good food and reasonable prices. In the interest of cutting back, Sandy had a Caesar salad and I had a chef salad. No dessert. The only complaint I had was with the parents of a young child who thought it was cute when their little demon shrieked. This encouraged more shrieking. Are these people so self-involved that they think the rest of the world finds this behaviour acceptable? I turned off my ears as a personal solution to the problem.

Tomorrow, we will head to Spokane, proceed north to Osoyoos, BC and then follow Highway 3 to Hope and 1 on to West Vancouver. It looks to me like 638 miles. It might be faster, road-wise, to stay on I-90 to I-5, but it will be Canada Day Eve and I am banking on a better border crossing farther away from the built-up areas. We'll see how this works out.

No comments: