Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Motorcycle Road Trip

Join us on a little pictorial journey of our recent motorcycle and move our friend to Montana road trip.

Riding to Bend, Oregon the first day. We're not actually on the wrong side of the road... Tj shot this looking back toward California.

The Gorge of the Rogue River was a great (and cool) stop on a very hot day.
On the second day of the ride we lingered over a barbecue lunch at a proudly re-opened saloon and rib joint in Vale, Oregon. This town is in a very green, lush corridor along the Malheur River in otherwise very arid country, as the mural accurately depicts. Going east, we were almost in Idaho. Coming west, the pioneers on the Oregon trail must have taken comfort in the abundant water, but kept going, looking for fortunes in the goldfields, or flatter, more fertile soils, or simply, further west.

One of many rivers we followed in Idaho, probably the Payette.

One of countless barns. Tj LOVES barns.

From the Sawtoothsto the Bittteroots to the actual Rockies, the rock is different than I'm used to. Older-looking, and crumbling in long talus slopes to the banks of clear-flowing rivers or to the points on the slopes where trees and other vegetation could gain a toe-hold.

The sky was as fresh as the landscape.

Stanley, Idaho with the craggy Sawtooth Mountains in the background, was a post-card come to life. Click here for a live web cam shot of this beautiful area.

From Stanley, the Salmon River flowed north into ominous, nearly Lunar hills. The historical markers and storyboards along the route told of many Nez Perce and U.S. cavalry battles. I consider myself patriotic, but in this matter, I think Custer and others lived up to the worst meaning of cavalier.

Ahhh, MONTANA! I have long yearned to see this part of our country, and was not disappointed. (Though I must admit that Tj was disturbed by the development along the road. Especially in the Missoula area.) The Bitterroot valley, Flathead River, Flathead lake, are gorgeous! Farms and wetlands mingle in the valley floors, gently rising to the timber, and then to the rugged slopes and peaks and glaciers above. The valleys are narrow enough that the peaks and ridges do not seem distant, but close, and familiar. And even the valley floor is high enough that the sky seems near, and yes, BIG!
Going-to-the-sun road in Glacier National Park is under reconstruction. This, and a cold rain convinced us to leave the motorcycles in camp and ride in the back of our friends truck for the tour.
Our view, over the edge of the precipice, was spectacular. It was also, because of the clouds, a bit like learning all about the elephant from only one of the blind guys.

I was THERE, and can't grasp from the photos the immense beauty and scale.

Did I mention that the mountains look different... and don't even get me started on the grizzlies!

The day after visiting Glacier we got some sad news from home and jumped on a jet for the return trip. So for us...and you...this is the end of the journey.


  1. I love the pictures and am a enthusiastic fan of road trips. I wish Daddylove, TweeterPea and I could have joined you. I hope the sad news is not unbearable and will keep you both in my prayers.

  2. Breath taking beauty! You saw some amazing places--thanks for sharing.

  3. Beautiful pictures. I have always wanted to visit Montana. My farrier and his wife recently got married there.

    I hope your sad news is no longer sad....prayers here.

  4. I love the barns too!! That is such a beautiful place!! Amazing shots!! I bet it was a really fun bike trip.

  5. We can't thank all of you enough for all of your encouraging comments. Our motorcycle trip passed many beautiful sites and we met many friendly fellow Americans. We also thank you for all the prayers. Our friends whose son passed away are coping as well as can be expected. Mark and I are as well. Thanks again. Blessings to all of you.

  6. Great, great pictures. As you know, we were supposed to be in Montana about the same time you were, but, alas, it was not meant to be.

    Some day, though, we'll get there.

    Thanks for sharing.


  7. Wonderful pictures to take me away from this dry, hot valley for a few moments. Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Beautiful photos of your trip! We have never visited that part of the country. Sorry for your friends and their loss, we will keep them in our prayers.

  9. Howdy, so you were in my neck of the woods!! It is so fun to read your comments and look at your pictures. And I second your thoughts on Custer and on the very rapid growth of the valley. (We live smack dab in the middle of the Bitterroot, up in the mountains) All the sprawl makes me sad. Funny that you think the sky looks big, born and raised here I forget the vastness, though my NY husband reminds me often. What a great ride you guys had. And a perfect year-no smoke from forest fires!!! You guys saw some of my favorite parts of MT. If you didn't ride hwy12 out of Lolo and into Idaho, put that on a to-do list. Simply amazing.
    Sorry to hear your trip was cut short.
    Mountain Loin aka Trisha

  10. Actually Mountain Loin we did ride over Lolo pass on 12.Absolutely beautiful. We received the news about the death of our good friend's son and couldn't find a flight out of Kalispell, so we spent the day riding to Lewiston, ID and flew out the next day. We really weren't in the mood to take photos and it was raining heavily.


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