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Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days
Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days
A 30 Day 12,000 Mile Cross-Country Odyssey
Published by JimmieS
Washington to Montana

DAY 3 - Kennewick, Washington to Kalispell, Montana

Kennewick is the most populated of three towns located on the banks of the Columbia River, just south of the confluence of the Yakima and Walla Walla Rivers, so you can imagine the rather bewildering number of bridges and highways there. On Monday morning we had a little bit of trouble getting out of town because of a missed turn. The GPS was also convinced we were on the wrong road, so we got a late start. This was the day we were going to ride up US-12 through the Lolo Pass and into Kalispell, Montana. So we knew we were in for a long day and getting a late start was a little stressful. I told Lynda "Come on, honey -- it's an adventure!" I'm glad she remembered to bring a road atlas with her or we might have wound up in Canada!

We took a shortcut to pick up WA-124 and were very surprised to see vineyards and wineries along the way. I always thought Washington was way too wet to support a wine industry - but I guess the southeastern part is dry and warm enough.

We rode WA-124 for quite a while -- the Lewis and Clark trail – named for our "First" American Explorers.

Over the next couple of days we couldn't believe how much territory these two intrepid explorers covered in their travels with Sacagawea, their Indian guide. We eventually hooked up with US-12 in Delany, Washington and rode along the beautiful Lochsa River through the Clearwater and Lolo National Forests.

Sometimes it's about the ride, sometimes the road, sometimes the destination. Today it was the road. The scenery along US-12 was really beautiful.

The Lochsa River is a very popular summer whitewater rafting destination, boasting some 63 rapids in a 57-mile stretch, more than half of which are class IV and V. We were lucky and caught this group just as they were heading off.

We picked up US-93 just outside of Missoula and rode hard up and around Flathead Lake to our third night’s lodging in Kalispell, Montana. Flathead is an enormous lake (188 square miles) just south of Kalispell. This was one of the first of many vistas where we both said, "The camera just can't capture what the eye sees." It is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi.

28 miles long and up to 15 miles across!

We arrived in Kalispell at 6:30pm, got checked into our motel and immediately gave into our hunger and chowed down on a couple of excellent steaks at the Bulldog Steakhouse. If you’re ever in the area we heartily recommend it. Keep your eye out for some of their more exotic specials. After the very filling meal we went back to the room and crashed. Great day! The scenery is getting better and better as we head east. Tomorrow: Glacier National Park and the "Going to the Sun Road".

The day’s route…

DAY 4 - Kalispell, Montana to Bozeman, Montana

When I woke up on the 27th of June, 2006 I knew two things. The first was that today's scenery would blow Lynda's socks off, and the second was that she would get a taste of just how big our country is and how big a state Montana is. We left Kalispell at 7:30am and headed on up US-93 to Glacier National Park where we were happily buying our National Parks Pass by 8:30am at the western entrance. The park did not disappoint. I don't think I've ever heard so many exclamations of "Awesome" - "Look over / up there" - and of course my favorite "Stop - I gotta take a picture of this".

President William Howard Taft signed the bill creating Glacier National Park on May 11, 1910. Major William Logan was the park’s first superintendent and he supervised the construction of the Going to the Sun Road, which was funded in 1916. Construction began in 1920 and the road was completed 13 years later. Today there are over 700 miles of roads and trails within the park’s boundaries.

Here's Lynda enjoying the view…

While we Californians are so very lucky to have so many great scenic and riding roads (and, of course, our own crown jewel in Yosemite), I would have to say that Glacier National Park is absolutely another crown jewel in our National Park system. The camera just cannot capture what the eye sees.

The White Pine Boring Beetles were all over the ground at the Logan Pass Visitor Center -- ugly little critter!

There are 22 species of fish in the 250 lakes and streams that fall within the roughly 1 million acres of this National Park. This is bear territory, one of the 60 species of mammals and 200 species of birds.

We left the park at the eastern entrance and took US-89 on a high speed run down to US-287, connecting onto I-15 and finally riding into Bozeman, where we spent the night. The weather today was beautiful.

I'm going to close this page out and start another one to post up a couple of panoramic images of the park.

The day’s route…

<<  <    Next Page: Panoramics (Page 3 of 18)    >  >>
By Helmetdance on 09-01-2006, 02:05 PM
Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

Wow! Great story Jim and looks like I have the honor of making the first comment. Your trip has enable me to re-live my August 2004 and August 2005 trips. You and I have stopped at so many of the same places all over the country that next time I read your story I'm going to have to count them. You and Lynda obviously had a terrific time. I bet it was really tough to pull in the driveway and close such a great trip, yet so rewarding to look back and enjoy the memories.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to share this story with the rest of us and congratulations on returning home safely from an epic journey of a lifetime!
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By Dep on 09-01-2006, 02:37 PM
Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

Wow...what a great trip! I hope to be able to do the same thing one day, just travel across the whole country. Come on retirement!

Thanks for sharing the ride with us. I'm looking forward to reading your wife's comments on your website.

Ride Safely,
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By BlackST on 09-01-2006, 08:47 PM
Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

Great!!!! Fabulous!!!

Thank you for sharing!!!
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By ogmike on 09-02-2006, 05:59 PM
Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

Excellent trip thanks for sharing
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By JimmieS on 09-02-2006, 09:10 PM
Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

Hi Mark, Dep, BlackSt, and U2 Mike,

Thanks a LOT for the comments. When Gary told me that they were going to pubish my article I was so Jazzed! It's so hard to believe that we spent thirty days on the road seeing and missing so much. We both want to do it again "Right Now", but know that we'll have to wait a while before that happens. I feel very honored to be amongst a select few in this part of Pashnit to have our journey documented and residing next to Marks, Kimbers, Papa Kens - etc. etc. Thanks again you'all are great!

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By Sbyllek on 09-04-2006, 11:03 AM
Clapping2 Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

What a great telling of your incredible journey.
It has been a dream of mine for years to do just what you two did...
Some day hubby and I will...
In the meantime, thanx for sharing your experience and making the wait just a little bit harder!!
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By olseng2002 on 09-06-2006, 01:59 PM
Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

Jim it was great reading your adventure and thank for the help with mine. Sturgis was a blast and I can't remember most of it but the stories sound the same. It's not about the Desitnation, but the Journey to get there. Few Have heard but my Harley broke down in Winnamuka NV where I was forced to buy the only bike in town.'06 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600. There was no way I was going home early. By the way If there is anyone interestted in the bike it is for sale. Thanks again for the story
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By Orson on 09-22-2006, 11:07 PM
Icon7 Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

Holy moley!

That's a trip and a half!

No...that's TWO trips and a half!

Thanks for posting all those pictures
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By Papa-Ken on 09-28-2006, 02:14 PM
Re: Metamorphosis: Skeptic to Motorcycle Momma in 30 Days

What a trip and followed with an article to describe your adventure. You can be very proud of this article Jimmie as it will bring happiness to many that read and ride along on your tour.

Thanks for sharing it with us........Ken
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