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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A Glacier Experience - Day 5
Day 5 – Wednesday, June 27 – Bozeman MT to Whitefish MT
As usual, Ronnie was up before all
of us. He drank his coffee and tooled
around until we got moving. Once we were
up, most of us enjoyed the free banana bread, which meant no McDonalds –
wOOt! Although, Ronnie did manage to
find a McDonalds for Theresa’s morning ritual diet coke.
Dead Battery - Oops!
We started the morning with Ronnie
and Theresa finding a CVS to get a prescription filled and to head to Walmart
for Kathy to get some rain gear, since there were chances of rain in the
forecast. We agreed to meet at Walmart
before heading out of town, which was a good thing, since I left my ignition on
while Kathy was inside. It drained the
battery and rendered the Ultra Classic useless.
We attempted to push start it, to no avail. A kind gentleman, Mel, happened upon us and
asked us if we needed a jump-start. Mel
was from a town near Bozeman, but headed to Washington for a funeral. Ronnie had jumpers for the battery tender
that I attempted to use, but there wasn’t enough current going through to get
the bike started. So, I took the seat
off and did it the old fashion way. We
ended up with Ronnie, Mel, another guy, and myself hovering over the bike as we
got it started. The ladies, Kathy and
Theresa, were back watching, taking photos, and laughing… Once we got the bike started, I asked Mel and
the other guy what I owed them. Mel
piped up, “a hundred pounds of twenty dollar bills!” We all laughed and shook hands as I humbly
thanked them and wished them well.
Davidson in Belgrade was our next stop. Of course, to get a shot glass – as well as
to potentially buy a battery for the bike.
I ended up with two shot glasses from that location, since I couldn’t
decide which one I liked more. Kathy and
I also procured a t-shirt each, and one for Skylee. Ronnie and Theresa just laugh when we go to
the HD stores, but I think they are secretly jealous, since Honda dealers don’t
sell collectable shot glasses and cool designed t-shirts. :)
We headed a little more west on
I-80, then made the turn on to 287 north towards Helena. Once on 287, I noticed a sign that said
roadwork ahead, motorcycles advised to choose a different route. We proceeded, with some skepticism. We found the reason why motorcycles were not
advised on the route once we got a little to far to turn around… it was packed gravel, for around 4
miles. That was not fun, but we managed.
We arrived in Helena Montana right
around lunchtime. Ronnie was challenged
to find a place on his gps, since his is newer and mine is a few years old and
most of the locations on my map are outdated. We landed at Motherlode, a
sports bar, restaurant, and casino. The
server was very nice and the food was excellent. Ronnie and Kathy each had the homemade
chicken pot pie. Theresa had chili. I had a Philly cheesesteak.
Once meals were eaten, we headed
back on the road. 287 turns to 12 Hwy in
Townsend, a few miles prior to Helena.
Taking 12 out of Helena to 141 to 200 to 83 was the plan, so we could
end up on the west side of Glacier National Park for the night. We had around 90 miles on the current tank of
gas, so I didn’t really even consider gassing up. Neither did Ronnie. We were only on 12 for a little bit and
around the Helena National Forest, there were construction crews laying down
chip seal. Great.
Cell Phone Pic - Gas - Casino - Glad We Made It!
As we traveled a little further, we
noticed that there were not many towns around. No towns imply no gas
stations. Things were getting a little
edgy, since none of us wanted to walk.
We continued to use our gps’s to attempt to locate a gas station near,
when we happened across a Conoco gas station – and casino – at the intersection
of 200 and 83 hwys. I would say we barely
made it, since I had 4.8 gallons delivered out of 5.0 possible. Ronnie had 4.9
gallons, but I think he has more room available. 83 Hwy was most excellent and
is highly suggested, especially with a full tank of gas.
We arrived near some civilization
by driving through Kalispell to Whitefish.
We began our usual ritual once again by arriving at a local watering
hole to search out a place to rest for the evening. The Bulldog Saloon
was the choice. This is the dive of the
town, if that is what you are looking for.
A sassy bartender stating there was no table service (as she came over
to get our order) and bathrooms that adorned photos out of adult
Cell Phone Pic of Whitefish MT
We decided on the Cheap Sleep motel, since once again, we
were in a ski resort town. The motel
reminded me a little of my days in boot camp, since the walls were made of
cinder block. Though it was an average
day of riding, mileage-wise, we were all pretty beat so we just walked next
door to Pizza Hut for dinner. This was
one of our few chain dinner stops on the trip.
We continued to hear about the heat
wave back in Kansas City, as well as the Fort Collins fire and now the Colorado
Springs fire. Decided to call it a night so we could be fresh for Glacier
National Park’s Going to the Sun Road the next day.