While i'm getting my life back together, please look at a fine selection of my photos:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bigfork MT to Jackson Hole Woming.

I left bigfork with a hangover. The weather was cold, rainy and grey.

Somewhere between Bigfork and Helena i stopped to warm up a bit and have lunch. I had a terrible day, really. But that's ok. I approach life these days with a motto: Evering is a consequence of my own choices. This saves a lot of time whining and makes me realise i have to deal with whatever situation i put myself in. I decide to drink, so i have to deal with a hangover ;-)

When i got back to my bike a V-Strom was parked aside. Ofcourse we had a chat. That's what bikers do. As it turned out, we headed the same way, to Yellowstone, and we decide to ride togetherto Bozeman.

Unexpected weather changes ;-)
Winter starts early this year. For a while i was affraid that my 'planning' caused me to end up in very cold weather. but it seems that my timing is ok, but the weather is off.

Makes nice pictures though.

We drove off in rain and cold. To get to Bozeman we needed to cross the Mac Donald pass between Avon and Helena. As such not very special, if it wasn't for the rain, cold and snow! It was damn cold up there! and this was only at 2000 mtr. altitude.

Things are a bit different in Montana. It's flat...

They call this state Big sky Montana. Not without reason:

We entered Bozeman pretty late in the evening and it was raining and cold. We shared a hotelroom. Still pretty expensive, $35 each, buth worth it.

A few days in the states shows that compared to Canada fuel and food is cheap, but hotels and campsites quite expensive. You can have a proper meal for about $15 incl. tax and tip, but without beer ;-)

I really needed an oilchange and Thad, my riding buddy, needed a new rear tire. I checked for bikeshops around on the internet and i found one really appealing. It was called "The Bike Shack". Good guyes, although the mechanic looked for the oildrainplug at the wrong side of the bike...not very confidence inspiring. After i explained how to change the oil, everything went well. I had to pay for the labor though.

It was sunny, reasonably warm and at 11:00am we were ready to go. Destination Yellowstone park and Beartooth pass, elevation 3300 meter.

Entrance of Yellowstone.

Beartooth Pass, elevation 3300m. Cold!!

Next destination was a nice, cheap hotel in Cody. Way to cold to camp out here...

The next day we drove around Yellostone and Great Teton national parks. Very pretty, look at my pictures, and ended in Jockson Hole. The morning That left i was having coffee in a Bageljoint. I met a guy there, Matt. and i ended up at his couch for a few nights. I had a few good days hanging out in Jackson and enjoying the local beers, bars and art galleries. It's always fun to see the local scene next to the touristy stuff. No pictures unfortunately. Thanks for letting me use your bicycle Zack!!

That Wolff, my riding buddy, was trying to make it to Salt Lake for bikeraces, and i wasn't in a hurry, so we split there. He was a professional racer and faith brought us together a couple of days later. He proudly showed his awards. Not bad ey?

He invited me to his house in Woodbury park, near LA.

A couple we met a few times in the park. Traveled through central america for a while on bikes. Mind the dog, it stayed in the tankbag and loved it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Finally made it to the US of A!!

I made it to the US! Finally. People i met on the road start loosing their faith in me actually ending in Terra del Fuego. At the current speed it will take me forever. That's ok though.

Passed three months (what! already three months!?! uhm...that went by really quickly) learned me that traveling is all about serendipity. Planning doesn't work well with this concept. I like serendipity more than planning. It causes all sorts of unexpected things to happen. So far all positive, luckily. Planning causes you to ignore or skip opportunities thrown in your face while chasing your timetable. And that's no fun at all, is it?

Surprisingly enough I appear to function very well in the current lifestyle i choose. And i like who i am here, on the road, outside the daily work routine, stress and secure environment. Actually, i can be a really cool guy! Although, just as at home, there's up's and downs. Downs are forgotten more easily though. It goes by a short conversation, a glance at the beautiful stars at night, or listening to good music during a boring stretch from A to B. Life seems so much easier on the road...

Anyway. I left Nelson after a few rainy days and was really eager to cross the border with the US.
In Creston i drove past the Kokanee beer brewery and realized that 1) i like that beer! and 2) i was lacking a bit on cultural activities lately.

So serendipitous (is that an existing word?) as i am, i recognized this win-win situation and turned around.

Brewing is not all that diffucult, really ;-)

It does require a bit of plumbing though.

I left the brewery, drove a few miles and saw a sign "Riders Range Biker campground". It was 14:00 and decided to go check it out..

The weather was good, people friendly and beer cold. And i wasn't going anywhere (again...) after three beers i got from the campsite owners. ;-)

I totally forgot to make a picture of the proud owners. They were friendly people with lovely dogs.

Next day was an early day. I went to Waterton National park and stayed a night and went the day after to Glacier national park and stayed a night there. See my USA MT ans WY photoalbum for all pictures. Very nice environment, but not special. From Glacier nationa park headed to Bozeman, a town just above Yellowstone. I skipped breakfast and went. Around 10:00am i stopped in Bigfork to have breakfast. I tried a burget and fries instead of oatmeal for a change, and actually liked it! ;-)

As usual when i stop, people start talking to me and before i knew it i said yes to their invitation to join a biker BBQ party. Goodbye planning, hello serendipity! I followed them and it looked good! Old harleys, old bikers, all sorts of good food cookin' and I had my first beer at 11:00.

The couple who invited me, (i think...) Tammy and Curly.
Great couple.

It was an awesome party with a group of friends riding for years. They didn't took themselves all too serious and just want to have a great time. I heard some stories from the old days though.
(I'll keep them for myself for now).

Lots of people showed up, not only bikers, but friends, family etc. They sure know how to have a good BBQ here. People brought all sorts of homemade food.

Real good Music in the evening:

The guy on the right was phenomenal. Very talented guitar player and a voice like the singer of Nickleback. Awesome. The old guys to the left played the blues.

Needles to say that the next morning the hangover was terrible. I should have stayed away from the Tequilla.. It was worth it though!