Saturday, September 02, 2006
Day 4 – Red Lodge, Beartooth, Chief Joseph, and France.
Amy, Don, and I got up early, met at the bikes at 7, and headed off to Red Lodge and the infamous Beartooth highway. The reason for going to Red Lodge, besides its obvious proximity to the Beartooth, is that a nice old couple we met in the Grand Tetons a few years ago were from Red Lodge and just raved about what a nice place it is. We have to agree.
Funny newspaper headlines though:
We got there and had breakfast at the “World Famous Red Lodge Café.” The food was tasty, and the waitress sassy.
Afterwards, we wandered the town to buy trinkets. The proprietor of one store told to be careful not to “hook a peg” on any turns, as it would cause us to go off a cliff, and three people had recently died doing just such a thing. Now I’m not the most knowledgeable motorcyclist in the world, but I do know that scraping a footpeg on a bike won’t “hook” or cause any sort of a crash, but will cause some riders to loose composure, straighten up early, and go wide in a turn. I suspect that it was that, and not “hooking a peg,” that caused the crashes.
Anyway, the Beartooth was pretty spectacular. The road itself wasn’t much to write home about, just eleven switchback (hairpin) turns climbing to almost eleven thousand feet. But the views! It’s a loooong way down.
Funny how you can find Texas, no matter where you go:
The animules were very cool too:
We kept hearing some fierce scolding coming from up in a tree, and I couldn’t find the bird doing it … until:
After the Beartooth, we continued to Cooke City for lunch. We met a nice ex-pat Brit named Gareth on a BMW sportbike, and chatted with him while waiting for lunch…
After lunch, we returned to Billings via the Chief Joseph highway; a beautiful piece of road with some excellent scenery as well.
While stopped at a bridge/overlook, I heard a familiar voice nearby. It turned out to be the nice couple from Montreal that we camped next to back at the Bear Butte campground in Sturgis! Small world! Anyway, France and Stan were happy to see that we’d found Amy in Billings, and were enjoying the ride.
On the way home, we passed through “Belfry,” home of the Bats…