Sunday, December 30, 2007

2004 Motorcycle Adventure: Day 6

Photos - September 2 2004

I wake up to the sound of rain around 5am. Uh-oh, the weather has finally changed like everyone was warning me. So I decide to sleep in. A few hours later it has stopped raining and some clear blue sky is making its way over the mountain. Breakfast, pack, and leave. The road from Yellowstone to Cody is quite pretty and little traffic at 10am, which is good because the roads are still quite wet, so spray is a problem, but the skies have developed into a promising-looking partly cloudy.

The Chief Joseph Highway is quite beautiful, winding and twisting its way up the mountain. The GPZ ticks over 20,000 miles. I pass two bicyclists taking two weeks to ride the area. One is really cooking up the mountain and the other is stopped for a break, having a really hard time. Dead Indian pass is really something to see. Do not miss this road if you're in the area.

The promising looking sky turns not-so-promising as I see sections of rain induced by the mountains. The rain is hard enough to be not-fun, so I pull in a quiet campground and stand by a stream just watching the rain come down in my waterproof suit. The sun was still shining and I could see the pockets of rain just falling down, all the way down, being blown by the wind.

If I thought Chief Joseph was great, the Beartooth Highway is even better. Magnificent. I pass into Montana at the top and they have posted a 70mph(!) speed limit sign. I like this state already. Windy, really windy. Couple on a BMW and Harley were complaining about the wind blowing them all around. I ask them if it is because of the big barn-door windshields they have attached to the forks. No, of course not. Whatever! The GPZ has little problems slicing through the wind. Cold too. A guy could have frozen to death up there I do think.

I work my way down, down, down the pass, must have been almost 3000ft down, then into Red Lodge, and it hasn't warmed up very much at all! I start working my way east, having run out of time to go to Glacier and see Chuck, but I'll hit up the Black Hills on the way home. I have to plug in the heated vest to keep warm. A bank sign says 51deg. Forecast high for today is 57deg and scattered showers. Chilly Willy.

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