No bears last night!
We rented a cabin in Mack’s Inn (yes, that is the town name). It had 3 beds, and we all slept wonderfully. Our friends from Canada got a much earlier start than we did, however they came back after an hour to tell us that part of the trail had been closed off and that we should take a detour. It was really nice of them to go out of their way to do this for us.
Once we got out of “Town”, and off the highway, we started down a dirt and sand road. As you can see in the video, the sand was tough to ride in. I dropped my Ducati (while I was nearly stopped), and Todd wiggled his way safely (sort of) through it. We ended up travelling 65 miles on this road without seeing another person or vehicle. Although this has been common, it still amazes us every day. Today we even went through a National Wildlife Preserve, which you would think would attract some visitors. I guess having Yellowstone Park 40 minutes away is some tough competition for a National Wildlife Preserve.
Once we travelled our 65 miles of dirt and sand, we got on Interstate 15, and headed North about 10 miles into a town called Lima. We did not tell Chaka to meet us here, but we wanted to stop for gas anyway. As we came down the exit ramp, we saw a bunch of other Great Divide bikes in the parking lot enjoying a late breakfast.
As we were waiting in the parking lot, a trucker lady came over to chat us up. Once she realized we were all spoken for, she went in to the restaurant, which was a shame, because she had a very nice truck
The 10 bikes left the restaurant at roughly the same time. We choose not to get gas as it did not seem like it was too far to the next stop, and there was a line at the gas station. We rode through a beautiful canyon
As we cut through this canyon, we saw 4 fly fisherman. Todd and I are both starting to understand the three reasons why people fly fish. Location, Location, Location. Over the next 100 dirt miles, we only saw 1 other vehicle on the road. In our haste to get in front of another set of bikers and out of their dust, we forgot to watch the map. We made a wrong turn that took us hours to recover from. This time that we were lost, we got to cross this creek, even though the sign warned us against the impending peril
We found the real Continental Divide Trail, and we ended up at a quarry on top of the world
It was another beautiful spot, and we would have never been there had we not been so lost. It was a wonderful ride, and the guys working on top of the world helped us with directions to where we were going.
We made the next town, and our scheduled meeting with Chaka and Big Red. He was the first thing we saw as we entered the town. He is really getting good at this! He said we were behind the other bikes, and that they were all stopping near him to put their rain gear on since you could see a big storm approaching. We made a quick decision to push to Grant even though we were running low on fuel. Chaka said he would take the roads and meet us there. We started out on dirt road for about 45 minutes, and then we got onto pavement. This road was empty, and curvy. I sat behind Todd to get this video of our ride.
Once we descended the mountain pass in the National Forest, we came upon a small building with a gas pump. Todd was running very low on fuel, so he decided to pay the $4.50 per gallon and to get 2 gallons so we could ride into town. We pushed forward. Soon enough, a U.S. Forest Service employee was in the road telling us to pull over. He told us that there were 400 acres of field on fire, and the road was closed down so the firemen could work. We got some video of the 3 helicopters dumping water on the fire, and we talked to the USFS guy for a while. He was from Iowa, and he is in charge of recreation in the Helena National Forest. He agreed that he had a really cool job!
Finally, they let us through. Of course I stopped for a minute to take in all the devastation.
We finally made it to Chaka, and decided to get another hotel room for the night. This turned out to be a very wise call as it rained quite a bit later on. We ate a good meal, met the hotel operators, played some pool, and shared stories with the 6 other Great Divide riders that were staying here. And although there was no phone service in town, there was Wifi at the hotel , so we were able to make FaceTime calls with our Iphones. Isn’t technology grand? One of the cyclists staying in the hotel was from Denmark, and another was from England, even though they were not travelling together. Amazing that suddenly we were seeing other riders on bikes and motorcycles, and also from different countries. It was a nice night to have a roof over our heads, and be sleeping in a bed again.