Saturday, July 4th, evening. We have never ridden this much. The roads are just too inviting not to. Yesterday was one of the worse weathered ride we had ever done. Rain, hail, cold, wind, it was all there on special order it seems like. Over 200 miles of it as the day put the riding gear to test. Left boot leaks, gloves? forget it, soaked. The next hardware store will see me buying these huge rubber gloves and that will be it. Might scare some… I have spend too many years searching. Everything else did great, including Spirit’s cover while himself tucked in the nose of the sidecar at times, generally not a problem while moving forward. The rear motorcycle tire handled superbly when I was passing in the wet the gutsy tourists (I am being kind) parked in the middle of the road to take pictures. That is a situation that will never end.
The downfall? Unable to take a single photo while traveling to the Grand Village Campground in Yellowstone and back to see my Friends Mr Cob and his wife, Mr Cob, the legendary Ural sidecar rider. The frustration only came while on our way back, this time with heated jacket and gloves witnessing probably the most beautiful sunset Yellowstone Lake has ever seen. We did stop, I still see it, my wet hands would have never gone back into the gloves once taken out, bad scenario. I read often about this sort of situation, where and when one should enjoy what is present within their moment without a camera as basically we were, due to weather that day. I love riding… I have always called it “my drug of choice”, I love photography, but sometimes the riding needs to take over and let the mind flow freely with the winds while tuned into every aspect surrounding us.
Sunday, July 5th, daytime. We are vegetating today! Slept late, the body is tired from also yesterday’s ride, another ride, a good tired, it was a good work out. Riding in the dry all day even tough threatened at the end but hard to believe untouched, we made this incredible loop starting in Cody with Chief Joseph Highway, Bear’s Tooth Pass and on coming back through 72. It was too short, or maybe was too quick, riding again took over and I promised myself, as I know we will be camping not too far starting tomorrow, to come back and savor it with all my senses.
What country this is! What road! How much did it take to built this one? Who’s idea was it to defy all elements? How many man hours, research? it was just incredible to say the least. The road is the highest elevation Highway in the Northern Rockies and provides dramatic and breathtaking views, no description will give it any justice. One needs to experience it, ride it a couple times, drive it exchanging drivers to fully enjoy it at least on the one go around. I have been loving the weather here, cool and even cold as my recent experience in Valley of Fire will always remain in mind. No complain… we can dress up but we cannot dress down.
We stopped at a look out where other motorcyclists where parked, it reminded me of the old times on the East Coast when that is all we did on weekends! Ride hard and chat about it. A couple from Germany with relatives here to borrow their bikes also arrived, of course Spirit is always the Star and he knows it too posing for the cameras. He loves his car, he still glances at me often while we ride catching himself maybe enjoying it too much, sits back a bit, not for long as quickly his head is forward off the windshield. He was leaning again in the curves yesterday, I guess a natural instinct as I myself watch him often from the corner of my eye…
Not many thoughts today, wondering how Montana will be and it’s surroundings even though we will come south again for some overnighters or day rides, specially Grand Teton. When we left Utah I felt as the red rocks had saturated me and my mind. Today as I yet have to feel “at home” here, no offense to anyone, I am thinking back how comfortable those past areas were. I cannot put my finger on it. Is it the weather? The crowd? Not finding a camping spot suited for us? The unknown? which actually is a space I always look forward to? I just don’t know as the magic I feel has been left behind somehow. It could just be a preference with the multitude shapes and colors of all those red rocks we have been in company with.
I am actually lying to myself writing as there are not many thoughts. The thoughts are of the moment present which I am doing well at. It is like a transformation of the mind today being able to be here now and it might be that I have been bouncing so much that it is tired of it for now. It is as all is so calm, has been that way all day, a gentleness of Life draping the hours passing. It happens at times, whish it was more often, I will take what I can get.
I wanted to stop for a long time by the snow yesterday. Let Spirit run on it as to me snow in July is an event! The weather was turning at 11,000 feet, I did not feel like going through the day’s before repeat. So we only stopped a couple times, let the curves take us to Red Lodge and stay ahead of the storm. I think the storms are every day, except today.
We stopped very briefly in Red Lodge and treated myself to a… double bacon Cheeseburger! So I might live a few minutes less now, but what a treat it was. Amazing as cooking Five Star Cuisine all my Life and suddenly this incredibly good tasting grease dripping Cheeseburger could taste so good. Back on the road, still ahead of the storm we then took 308 and 72 back to Cody.
And this was the amazing ride back. The wind pushing us sideways in incredible bursts did not let me off fourth gear and barely could reach 50mph. I had to take a photo of this front awaiting us, a few drops of rain on the lens included, but once ahead it all parted for us to move untouched by it. The miracle of the day sparing us this time considering it was only a few miles ahead of us.
We are moving on tomorrow morning, I am excited about it, we are almost to the Canadian border, only about 300 miles… the one with the hard name to spell… Saskatchewan. I think I got it right, I am not too good at spelling. Till then, be well… always.
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Ara & Spirit