We are on our way home. We left West Yellowstone at about 9:30 on a clear beautiful day, The temperature was in the 50’s but at this elevation the cold has far less effect on you.
We headed to Bozeman where we would go to the KTM dealer to pick up the new windshield I had ordered. One of the casualties of our Colorado adventure. Bill and I installed the new windshield in about 10 minutes and we headed West out of Bozeman.
We turned North at the town of Big Timber on US 191 to Eddies Corner were SR 200 would take us through 3 states.
The temperature was now up to 97 Degrees and the winds were out of the South and blowing us all over. We would go through cuts in the hills where the wind would be blowing us one way when we entered and when we came out the other side it would blow us the other way. We used the whole lane on this 2 lane road. With no shoulder to speak off we stayed off of the edge. Traffic was very light which made for easy traveling. We would pass oncoming vehicles every 5 or 10 miles and sometimes less often then that. The speed limit is 70 and cruised about 72 to 74 miles per hour.
The terrain has changed today from mountains and an elevation of 8,500 Ft at West Yellowstone to high desert and under 3000 Ft. We have come down a mile and the temperature has gone up almost 50 degrees
After drinking much water and driving about 400 miles we were at Jordon, Montana where we checked into the only motel, the next one is 82 miles away. We are still 159 mile from the North Dakota state line. 1 ½ days and 559 miles of riding will get us out of Montana.
Our dinner was at the local ranchers bar across the street called the Ranchers Bar & Café. After a quick meal we were back to the motel.
Thursday was a ride from the High desert to the grass lands and our route took us through the Little Missouri National Grassland and another change in the scenery all with much better temperatures then yesterday.
We ended the day in Carrington, North Dakota at the Chieftain Inn a nice older motel and conference center. With a sports bar and restaurant in the facility there was no driving for our meal. The motel had many exhibits of Indian arrow heads, tools, headdresses and ceremonial dress. The food was good and we were to bed early.
Friday was a cooler and cloudy day. We drove out of the clouds as we entered Minnesota but we were soon back into them. The temperature never went above 67 deg. Which made for great riding.
Just before we entered Minnesota we drove into what the policeman that stopped us said was an industrial zone. We were going 55 and the speed dropped to 40. The officer said I could see you were looking at everything you were passing and not paying attention to your speed. He let us go with a warning. A close call.
The lakes area in the center of Minnesota is a very nice area to ride through. Many lakes and forests to drive past on roads that were very good. SR 200 in Minnesota was a continuation of the route we started on 2 days earlier in Montana and it is a great road for travel on a motorcycle. Little traffic and good road. In Minnesota the traffic got heavier and when we turned onto US 2. 60 miles out of Duluth it increased even more.
I followed the GPS route into town and as we got close to the hotel it wound us through some neighborhood streets but we ended up at the right place.
Our destination for the night was the Fitger’s Hotel on the shores of Lake Superior in downtown Duluth. A great place to stay with views of the lake, a microbrewery, 3 restaurants, wine shop and some clothing stores all housed in an old brewery. A great spot with very nice rooms.
Bill and I went to the Microbrew for food an a beer. I had the fish Taco’s and Bill had the Cobb salad and both were good.
Now to bed. It looks like cold and rain tomorrow.
Its Saturday and we are were going to try to make it to St Ignace for the night, about 418 miles. We headed West out of Duluth on US 2 and by the time we got to Wakefield and were turning off of US 2 onto SR28 we decided that Marquette was a closer destination and that getting out of the rain would be a good plan. As we approached Marquette the rain subsided and the sky partially cleared.
We checked into the Landmark Hotel in Downtown Marquette and were unpacking the bike to go to our room when I noticed a radiator leak. A nut I had put on the back side of the radiator guard to hold some plastic mud protection had rubbed against the bottom of the radiator core and had worn a hole in the tube. It was leaking.
After checking in Bill and I went down to check out my bike and see about repairing it. I took of the shrouding necessary to get to the radiator fill cap. The bike had not overheated but was very low on radiator fluid. After removing the fastener that had caused the problem I took Bills bike to Auto Zone the only parts store in the area open on a Saturday after 5 pm. I bought some stop leak and went back to put it in the bike. It worked, after filling the bike with stop leak and radiator fluid and running it for 10 minutes the leak was sealed. Were ready for tomorrow.
Bill went to the bar on the ground floor for a beer and I went to the room to clean up before getting a beer. I walked on the elevator, pushed the floor button, the door closed and then nothing. I pushed the alarm button, waited, there appeared to be no response. I called the hotel on my cell phone and got somebody at the front desk. The response was OH and she hug up. Great response to a customer stuck in your hotels elevator. 20 minutes later I was out and the attitude was oh well. No sorry or we apologize for your inconvenience, nothing. In addition we were in the worst room I have ever had here and this is my 6th time here. Cheap and small.
I went to the bar for a beer and the bartender mentioned that the elevator problem has happen before. Lets not fix it lets just keep hitting the breaker when it fails. What a joke. We looked at the menu saw changes had been made to the menu and the items we liked to order had been removed. We headed down the road to the Vierling Restaurant and Marquette Harbor Brewery for beer and dinner. They had good beer and the meal was great. The Landmark may be off of our list for Hotels in Marquette.
We headed up the hill to the Landmark and went to the bar at the top of the hotel for nightcaps. The drinks were good and we soon headed to our room off to get some sleep.
It was raining the next day when we got up. We waited for a pause in the rain before we headed off for home. The rain held off for our ride and we were making good time. After crossing the bridge we did not stop until we were home. Marquette to home in 6 ½ hours. The increase of the speed limit to 65 mph on US 2 and the increase of the limit on the expressway to 75 helped decrease the time of our trip home.
The journey is over and we will post more later.