As I was saying, This Motel 6 was about as sketchy as sketchy can get. Sure the inside was remodeled to the new and “improved” Motel 6 standards, but cleanliness was not a thing. And, randomly, there was a hair tie wrapped around the shower head. EEEEW! It turns out, that hair-tie was holding back a bit of a water leak. We discovered this after Travis removed said hair-tie thinking it was mine. Oooops.
Anyways, note to self, avoid Motel 6 in Billings. Now, on to bigger and better things, not that it gets much bigger than Montana. Next stop Idaho. We had a bit of unfinished business to attend to in Ketchum. Then, an amazing ride to take through the rest of the state.
Oh What A Night…
We rolled into Ketchum ID around 5 in the afternoon. It was a rather warm 93 degrees out and we were ready for showers, dinner, and possibly a cocktail. After a circle or two around a few blocks, we located our hotel. This is one of those towns that is surrounded by the most splendid scenery, but, filled with tiny streets and cluttered with buildings all piled together. Not the most appealing place, but a gateway to The Sawtooth Scenic Byway which is where we wanted to be.
We opted to walk to dinner since we had spent the day in the van. A few blocks and a couple missed turns later we found ourselves at Grumpy’s. What a fun and neat little establishment. Spectacular burgers and enormous tap beers, just what the doctor ordered. The menu is limited but quite great and the decor is typical of a western mountain ski town. All kinds of fun signs and sayings to keep you busy gawking around.
Nowhere To Be And All Night To Get There
Our next stop was going to be the hotel. But, we happened by a restaurant/wine bar that seemed to be calling our names. You really can’t beat a summer night hand in hand stroll down a quiet side street. We meandered our way in and up to the bar deciding an after dinner snack and some wine never hurt anybody. We weren’t exactly dressed for the white table cloth atmosphere. However, we’ve never been known to care much about fitting in anyway. So, there we sat in our road-tripping clothes amidst the local fine diners.
As it turns out, the crab cakes were phenomenal and the wine seemed to pour quite freely. Probably best to get back to the hotel before we turn into pumpkins. We made our get away with a bottle of wine in hand and arrived at the hotel as the sun was setting. Welcomed by A splendid mountain view we settled into our room. I’ll leave the questionable details out and just say that the bed was quite inviting.
After getting well acquainted with our home for the night we decided to get some laundry done while we had the chance. After plunking some quarters in the guest laundry machines we headed for the pool and hot tub. Who doesn’t love a good swim after a long warm day on the road?!
The hot tub was the perfect temp for relaxing and soaking with a lovely dixie cup of wine. Cheers to us and the next chapter of our adventures! Somewhere between the end of the wine bottle and dawn, we managed to get laundry done and catch a few winks.
Everyday Is A Great Day For A Ride
The sun was up and we were plotting our course for the day ahead. After a fantastic hotel breakfast and some coffee, it was time to load up the van and unload the trailer. We had to get the van to Whitefish MT before leaving it behind. And, it was going to be a gorgeous day in the Idaho mountains. So, I hopped on the BMW, Travis jumped behind the wheel of the van, and away we rolled.
Galena Summit was more than spectacular on two wheels with breathtaking views growing better with every mile. We rolled along until coming to some natural hot springs divided by the road. It was a brisk morning and there were a few people sitting in the steaming pools. What a fantastic find. We took a bit of a break there and then I took the lead in our little convoy.
Round And Round We Go
The curves seemed to get better by the minute and the BMW handled them like a pro. After several miles, I decided I should probably make sure the van was still behind me. I pulled over for a few minutes and soon saw Travis rounding the curves. Off I went again, most likely disobeying all recommended speed limits but hey, who has time to look at speedometers?!
All too soon the first tank of fuel had dwindled away and it was time for a bathroom break. We were just over the border into Montana, somewhere in the Bitterroot Valley, when I spotted a gas station/restaurant/general store/antique shop…that also had VHS and CD’s for sale. The Sula Country Store and Resort. You know one of those places you can’t help but stop to explore.
I picked us up some lunch and odds and ends for the trip and we changed driving positions. Travis rolled away on two wheels and I manned the van. The roads continued to impress. The Sawtooth Scenic Byway was magnificent and Highway 93 continued the trend.
Insert Chick Flick Moment Here
Caution; mushy girl stuff in the next few sentences. Ladies, read on and get the warm fuzzies. Gents, you can probably scroll to the next paragraph to keep your man cards. – Travis rolled by mile marker 323 which, for those of you who have been following us along, know is an important number in our world. March 23rd, 323, was an astounding day in our lives when we were on a dirt bike expedition in Murray KY. Let’s just say we felt the connection, among other things, that day and we simply knew our lives would never be the same. There was magic in the mud and perma-grins on our faces. This was the day we knew we were undoubtedly meant to be together for life. And, Life has been nothing but magnificent ever since.
A tank of fuel and hundreds of curves later, we were at our next gas stop. This round we decided both of us would ride in the van and the BMW would take its place back in the trailer. The riding would be more fun the following day with both of us on two wheels. Soon enough we found ourselves in Whitefish MT. Our final stop before venturing off on two wheels for the next two weeks.
The two of us could barely contain ourselves for the night knowing our epic adventure was beginning in the morning. Our friends in MT made us a lovely dinner and we sat overlooking the mountains on the deck all night chatting away. An excellent evening and a good nights sleep, the next thing we knew the birds were chirping and the sun was shining.
Our plan was to ride through Glacier National Park and then roll on into British Columbia. Well, as with the previous days of our trip, expect the unexpected and roll with it. Glacier, unfortunately, was on fire and closed down. Okie Dokie, rerouting… Not a huge deal but a tad disappointing all the same.
A few cups of coffee and several mapquest inquiries later, we were on the bikes and riding north. Which was exactly the wrong direction. Yes, that’s right, we took the wrong right-hand turn. No big deal we just got to see a little more of the area than we had planned on. Next, we found our way to the right right-hand turn and were now officially off on our epic adventure.
Canada here we come. Stay tuned for the Canadian Rockies and our adventures through wild fires.