Before leaving home I made the decision to not change out the tires figuring I could get at least another 1000 miles out of them so I'd buy new ones somewhere along the way. Good thinking sport. This morning I decided it was time to get serious about them and started surfing the 'net to see where the nearest BMW dealer was located. Turns out they're in Missoula where I spent yesterday, now a mere 225 miles behind me and the next one is in Sturgis, SD, only 500 miles ahead. Presuming you want to go to Sturgis that is. Ugh. The annual gathering of the loud-pipes-saves-lives tribe is beginning to swarm and I usually run the opposite direction full speed when that happens. However I need tires so the reservation lady at my Comfort digs set up a night in Billings followed by a 2nd night in Sturgis which works well with my Friday morning appointment at the beemer dealership. After that's done I can amscray in any direction I please.
It took her a fair amount of time to get things in order but once done I set out in a more or less easterly direction towards Billings. Lunch pangs began to dig at me and I pulled off the highway into the little town of Judith Gap. It's a friendly little place populated with rancher type people who were also in the mood for mid-day eats.
I arrived just a few minutes ahead of the herd and scored a table in what must be the social center of town, the Basin Trading Post, a deli-antiques emporium. It was that or one of the cowboy bars across the street. I can do biker bars but cowboy bars I don't know about. I had the special, Sloppy Joe sandwich with potato soup & coffee, eight bucks thank you very much. Turned out they're a cash only place which after spotting two bucks for a tip left me with a whole dollar. Won't get far on that I expect.
|I love towns that have two grain elevators right down town|
|The barber shop was piping out cowboy music. You gotta like that. Hey, it's Montana.|
|And a wagon full of posies. What's not to like?|
Moccasin was the next point of interest, another small town dying, no wait, dead but not everyone's giving it up yet.I rode through the gravel streets, shot some pics and provided directions to the post office for a couple of tourists. Maybe I look local. Or maybe the sidecar rig gives me the look of authority, even wisdom. Maybe I've been riding in the sun too long...
|Main street Moccasin, MT.|
|Pretty fancy building at one time. A school perhaps? Bank? Hotel?|
|I'm lovin' the paint scheme on that 5th-wheel|
|Lean baby, lean|
|I know where the post office is. Just ask me.|
So onward and upward to the next attraction, this one a bit off the road and although the memorial sentiment was understandable the artifact thingy seemed a bit odd to me.
|Nice that local kids take care of it but why the chain link fence?|
|Maybe they're worried that someone will steal the pointed thingies - there's two of them.|
I encountered two lengthy construction zones today, both several miles long. I was grateful for the warm sunshine, they'd have been miserable in the rain. Like Alaska for instance.
|Long bumpy stretches of wash board construction|
Road stops were infrequent but I did encounter a few. Delays were usually not very long, maybe 20 mins..
|The worker bees flagged me to the head of the line, much to the delight of everyone who'd passed me. Har de har.|
|Nice lady worker bee, thanks very much! It was nice not having to eat tons of dust|
|Wow....are you people serious?|
|Hey Mom, can we go to Ryegate's for the festival? Please?|
|So tell me people, is it a spectator sport?|
Lavina's experiencing a bit of revived interest or at least people are redecorating the few buildings that line the highway. I'm glad they are, otherwise they'll soon look the same as Moccasin and that would be sad.
Keep the faith.