We woke up in Montana on the third morning to decent, but cold, weather. Cold enough we still put our rain gear on to keep the wind out. But it wasn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows, there were storm cells and black clouds on the radar for the day ahead.
Most of the photos from this leg are already in another post; here:
And here is the route we took on day 3:
The roads may look straight and boring, and maybe some stretches were, but that made them no less beautiful. Temps were hovering around 50F most of the day and we kept getting lucky and missing most rain. A few drops here and there but otherwise largely dry.
Maybe an hour before we made it to Dillon, we hit hail. We were lucky though and only had it for a few minutes, and nothing bigger than Skittles. But my crazy father is an old school Harley guy and doesn’t wear a helmet (despite my protests)! He said it hurt like a bitch but still kept riding and just shrugged it off!
At one point after the first stint of hail we came upon a quarter mile long stretch of road that had drifts and mounds of hail piled up six inches deep! In Dillon we chatted with a couple, coincidentally from MN, who came upon that hail when it was finishing up! They had to stop on the side of the road and wait for cars to blaze a trail through hail drifts on the road! Two people on a fully loaded BMW K1600? Can’t blame them, the risk of dumping it would’ve been extremely high!
We got lucky for a while and actually had sun basically from Dillon to Ennis! Woohoo!
But another small bit of hail after Ennis.
Then holy crap the stretch of 287 along the Madison river... I could retire in an area like that! So beautiful the way the river had wound it’s way over time, carving a nice little canyon for itself in this picturesque mountain valley with meadows surrounding it. But you’ll just have to take my word for it. Or don’t, I don’t want word of this secret place getting out!
After that we had sun all the way through to old faithful. And got downright hot sitting outside in West Yellowstone having a snack! Speaking of West Yellowstone, wow, that town is packed and much more developed than I ever would’ve guessed.
Then through Yellowstone we went, obviously skipping much of it due to time constraints. But some is better than none!
Do you remember the motorcycle crash we happened upon in Idaho? Well there was a couple there in a Tacoma that we chatted with while the road was closed. Turns out they too the same path as us! We ran into and chatted with them some more in Yellowstone!
We didn’t stay long in Yellowstone because black clouds started rolling in while we were at the main lodge. We didn’t get so lucky this time, rode in 40 degree rain all the way to Jackson lake lodge in the Tetons.
Bigger disappointment? Traffic signs warning of bear and moose crossings but not encountering any wildlife near the road at all.)
The weather from old faithful to Jackson lake lodge was, how do I put this? Well, it was pure shit. 36F and rain. Our rain gear did it’s job and kept us mostly dry, but we were still frozen upon getting to our room. I must’ve spent half an hour in a hot shower trying to get my blood flowing again!
We ate at the lodge too. Not a cheap place to stay or to eat, but none of it was a disappointment. W after eating, we put our few wet items near the heater in the room and then were out like kids on a car ride, and so concluded day 3.
Links to previous posts for anyone who missed them: