Big state, big skies…


Heading into North Dakota this morning, rode from Great Falls, MT to Sidney, MT. Hard to find campsites out here, only ones I saw were in the middle of tiny towns, the town parks allow camping, but solo in a small town on a Saturday night…I think not.

Hopefully tonight I can find a nice place to stay for a few days. I am traveling in a southern loop of the Jet Stream, which means gloriously cool weather, 20 degrees below normal…this means the 70-80’s. Ahhhhhhhhh.

I put the wings on the engine at the first gas stop, about an hour later I stopped, popped a beer, had wings and an orange with a few horses accompanying me. No, they didn’t get any!

Montana Picnic

The western side of MT is very pretty, 3-5k’ passes, rivers, valleys, etc. The cool of the rivers and shaded sides of passes contrast with the blasting heat of valleys and sunny slopes.

Eastern side is rolling hills, ruler straight roads.

Click below for full shot.


time to saddle up and see what North Dakota dishes out.


The Saint Joe

what a great river, and campgrounds.

got into Turner Flat campground about noon on Tuesday, stayed until Friday morning. Norm Hedd from Seattle came over in his Jeep, so we had a ride, too. This really helps when packing ice, beer, and wood. I had a 12 pack, one bag of ice, and two bundles of wood on the BMW, it would have been a great photo if I had not been in such a hurry to unload it!


Norm gave me some great tips on flyfishing, as well as some tools, a Ty-Rite fly holder, some retractable rings, and a book on the bugs in a river and how to tell what might be biting.

Norm got two cutthroat trout, I got one. This is a catch and release river, so I was as gentle as I could be and let it go.

very peaceful nights, wind blowing through the trees….

butterflies flitting by while swinging in the hammock


I rode off on Friday morning, up river. The last song on the iPod shuffle play was “Hey Joe” by Hendrix…

“Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that fly pole in your hand”?


Think Different


Trout Slayer


Twilight Zone

this town is strange…

no non-whites, other than american indians

the people are wonderful, mind…every single one of them.

but i am a white male.

lip deep in trump country

Beem me out, Spock!

Mad Dog Down!

It sounds like a bad movie, and it is, in a way….except I am in it!

We rode up from Pendleton on Thursday, easy day of about 240 miles, fun roads, perfect weather. My GPS routed me a nice short cut from Clarkston north, I lost Dave doing the turns it told me to do, so I had to go back, find him, convince him to trust my GPS, and then we were off. He stayed behind me all the way to St. Maries, ID after that.

As soon as we got to St. Maries, our victualling stop, he pulled out from the stop sign, cut in at the handicapped ramp on the corner, and nailed a curb at an angle. DOWN like that. He hit very hard, didn’t even move for awhile. We got the bike up, police and ambulance were there in a few minutes, we checked his neck, got him rolled over, and out of his jacket. Poor guy was sweltering in there.

After getting him into the hospital, getting a CAT scan of his brain, he mentioned ankle pain. We got the boot off and it was pretty obvious it was not right.

He is ok, he had a bad concussion with the associated bleeding on the brain, confusion, and memory loss that can cause, 4 cracked ribs, a fractured ankle, and a heck of a shiner. His gear prevented worse injuries.

Doc said to fly him home, so Doug will escort him back, I will get a U-haul van, put both bikes in it, and drive to Michigan.

I will restart the tour from there.

I think we need to get Dave a U-haul cap and sticker for his saddlebags, this is the second U-haul for him this trip, his stator went out in AK.

The Adventure Continues!


Mt. Shasta


Break spot, somewhere in Oregon


A Dog with Dave at the Dawg House


He’s a speck on the road in that photo


Gorgeous sunset coming into Pendleton


The Snake River, Clarkston, ID on the left, Lewiston, WA on the right.


The intersection.

Why is there a curb behind the sidewalk? Dave has been here a dozen times before, we think he used to ride into that gas station this way previously, and just never saw the new curb.

I am sure he would enjoy get-well cards, send to:

David Wells, 207 Oakland Street, Holly, MI 48442

Romper Road…Hwy 96!

Well, that was fun!

We blitzed out of Mendocino about 12:15, good traffic north on Hwy 1, and The Lizard was fairly clear, so a fast trip to Hwy 101.

101 was the usual summer slug fest, but we gobbled them up eventually.

6pm found us in Willow Creek, after a lovely lunch at HumBrews in Arcata. The tourons on Hwy 299 had no chance, we passed constantly.

Dave has radar 🙂

Hwy 96 was soooooooo much fun we just did the whole damn thing. The lighting was perfect, the sweepers all swept, the river chuckling along below us as we ate up those miles.

Dave has Clearwater LED lights, of course, so between us we lit the night. Now you know why I have to “Be Like Dave”

He found us a nice dive in Yreka, $45 for the night, a very cute pink shower that is FANTASTIC, and very comfy beds.

Today we haul ass into northeastern Oregon after breakfast in Montague at The Dutchman. Our route is bending us through Bend, appropriately.

I have apparently forgotten my USB cable, or it is buried somewhere, and I also forgot all my maps. Drrrrr.

However, my GPS foooookin’ rocks, it routes at least 5 times faster than the old one, and also informs me that we may be seeing thunderstorms this afternoon!

Buen Camino!

Feet up, 11am!


I think we made it. I have to vacuum and mop, run a few errands in town….and….


We Ride!

The final load out….finished packing at 11:30 last night. Still need to load the bathroom bag….

Final Loadout

One more GahDamn call to Garmin

Ok, I lied

THREE more GAHDAMN calls to Garmin.

fsck me sideways

but, now that I have Robins ear, at Garmin’s Marine and Aviation Division, I have NEXRAD satellite radar on my GPS, so PissOnYou, storms.

ok, not you, the one in front of me….

And, I have XM radio, in it’s full spectrum

Howard Stern to NPR.

what a lovely way to cross TX

The Bag

The Bag






The Bag…basically house & bedroom.
Clothes, tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, chair, table, pillow, quick rain fly for emergencies. It’s big enough to contain overflow, too.

I am riding with Dave Wells, who’s done this crossing dozens of times, and it is turning out that I am going Be Like Dave.

Garmin sorted out

I have NEVER installed a Garmin mapping product without at least 1-3 calls to tech support. Thank the Goddess that Garmin has good techs.
I could not get my GPSmap 276c, tried and true for 10 years, to work with my laptop.

Soooooo….through modern technology and eBay…
I bought a new/old Garmin GPSmap 478, which got me the latest maps for free as the free upgrade with a 478, WIN!

I sold the 276c on eBay for enough to pay for the 478, AND a XM weather satellite/radio antenna. The 478 can hold the whole country map installed, the 276c can only hold chunks, the 478 has XM radio and can display satellite weather maps, with the right antenna and the XM service.

This was about two weeks of work, but all is well.

Baby’s got New Shoes!

Put the new tires on for the road trip, new Metzler Sahara 3 for the front, new Metzler ME88 Marathon for the rear.
This is a street touring rear tire, good for 10k miles, hopefully.
The front is the standard for my bike, a 21″ enduro tire.
I ‘might’ be able to pull off the whole loop on the same tires, but the desert eats tires, I will be homeward bound, and hauling assinski.

I think installing another set out there somewhere might be in order.

Miles of Smiles