Four Corners Tour – Ride Day 19 – Tour Day 16 – August 2, 2015 – Sunday
Start Time: 6:22 AM MDT
Stop Time: 4:32 PM MDT
Start Location: Whitefish, MT
Stop Location: Bozeman, MT
Lodging: Bozeman KOA
Breakfast: Campsite (bagel with cream cheese)
Lunch: The BBQ Pit (pork sandwich, corn on the cob)
Dinner: Campsite (PB&J on flour tortilla, peach)
Miles Traveled Today: 410
Weather: 48-98, Light overcast until lunch, then Clear and Sunny the rest of the day
Route: US-2, MT-35, MT-83, MT-200, MT-141, US-12, US-287, I-90, MT-85.
Got another early start today to beat the Glacier National Park traffic (it worked too). Got to watch the sunrise on my way to the park.
Ran up on this place on the road that runs in front of the West entrance to the park. Don’t know anything about this ministry, but it looks like they are doing a great job in Montana (saw signs with the same layout in front of homes and businesses for up to 100 miles from this place).
When I reached the park entrance, there was a Ranger changing out some things on the sign, which said the park did not open until 8:00 AM.
I told her I really did not want to wait an hour to get in, and she pointed ahead and said there was a self pay station just ahead. When I told her I had a national park pass, she waved me on in.
In just a few minutes, I was turning onto Going-to-the-Sun highway. For the first few miles, it’s really nothing special, but then, it gets real special.
Not only is it a sexy road, the scenery is spectacular. I pretty much had the run of the road on the way up, so my early start paid off, and as I came back down, I could see what I would have had to endure had I left an hour later.
I’m really hoping that I am capturing some good video of all these roads. My good friend Lynn Ray loaned me his GoPro for the trip, but I’m a complete GoPro virgin, so I’m not even sure I’m using it correctly.
I have noticed that the preview screen on my phone is working intermittently. The weird thing is the timer is running even when the preview screen is paused. Just hoping it’s all working like it is supposed to.
I bring that up so I can mention my tether. The first day of the trip, I had the GoPro mounted on the fairing right out front, which was really making me nervous (I’ll remind you that it is borrowed), and I have little to no faith in suction cups.
So, once I got to my dad’s house in Florida, I got some nylon string and made myself a tether.
This turned out to be a very good decision. While I was riding the Pacific Coast Highway, it fell off.
When I got to a stopping place, I jumped off the bike and when I saw that my tether had worked, all the other folks driving that particular portion of the Pacific Coast Highway were blessed by a full out Holy Dance.
I digress often, but hopefully it’s somewhat entertaining. So back to today’s ride. I could feel that familiar rumbling in my belly, so started looking for a good place to stop, eat and take a nap (really liking having a few hours to spare, although I have not had many days like today).
This place popped up on the horizon, so I pulled in.
Turned out to be a good decision. The Bar-B-Q was great, and had some good conversation with a few of their other patrons.
My next gas stop brought floods of fond memories of my maternal grandfather, an awesome man with a mean kick. Can’t tell you how many kick-in-the-pants I got from him, but I deserved every one of them.
My grandfather had a Sinclair station at some point in time (I’m thinking it was in Birmingham, Alabama). I have not seen a Sinclair station in a very long time.
Later in the day, about 45 minutes northwest of Bozeman, Montana, I ran up on this field full of Stallions, and then this single Mare.
Shortly after I arrived at my campground, I asked where I might find a good place to give my bug gutts covered mare a bath.
They directed me a mile up the road to a really great car wash (I’ve never seen a do-it-yourself car wash that takes a credit card). After about 30 minutes, maybe more, Sweet Baby JIL, the Aspen Camper and the Yeti cooler were sparkling clean (well, clean might be more appropriate than sparkling clean).
Thank you Lord for another great day with me on top of the mare. Didn’t really see many other drivers today (compared to riding I-75 in the southeast, or I-5 in the west), but everyone was respectful of me and my little part of the highway.
Tomorrow I’m off to Yellowstone and to ride Bear Tooth Pass. Yee Haa.
If your camping, it’s always good to have a light that will also run off of batteries while you’re setting up or breaking camp. Also comes in real handy when you find out your campsite does not have power.
Today will include my first product review:
I have had my Garmin Zumo 590 for well over a year now, and I have to say the 590 is far superior for a motorcyclist to any of the inexpensive auto units. I love that it is waterproof (hated the whole Baggie thing over the GPS when it rained routine). I really love the Bluetooth capability, allowing me to take and make phone calls, and the thing really is brighter than all other GPS units.
I also love the mount, and that you can quickly detach and store the unit when leaving the bike unattended.
You know if there are pros to a product that there will inevitably be a con or two. The TPM (Tire Pressure Monitors) units available with this unit stink. They eat the weird batteries Garmin chose to use like candy.
I think the problem is two fold. First, the batteries are so obscure, hardly anyone has them, and if they do, you never know how old they are. I purchased 2 new batteries at a Radio Shack yesterday to replace what where new batteries when I left Nashville on 07/07/2015, and today, the back tire battery is dead (I usually get at least a couple weeks).
So I’m thinking that the batteries are so weird that when I find them, I’m buying really old batteries. Second, I think the units eat batteries for breakfast.
Based on my personal experience, I would highly recommend the GPS unit, but not the TPM’s.
Awesome to see just a glimpse of God’s handi-work! That part of the country is some of my favorite (topographicaly speaking) in all the world! Looks like you could not have better weather! We were in Yellowstone in May this year for several days (close to freezing at night!) and just went to the Smokies this weekend, and will go next, just to get a reprieve from the mugginess here on the coast!
It is something to behold Jay. It has been in the high 40’s to mid 50’s most every night since Southern California.
Thanks Drawspots, really enjoying my tour so far.