The previous day saw me hit the road big time as I rode from Yellowstone right up to St. Mary’s - a little town on the eastern entrance to the Glacier NP. My plan was to drive up the Road to the Sun over Logan’s pass. Unfortunately the road was closed due to all the snow that had to be cleared only to then have to do roadworks it in the few months that were left to do it in.
I was really keen to see Lake McDonald so I did a big detour round the park. The surroundings there was astonishing and reminded me a lot of Slovenia’s lake Bohinj.
Took a boat ride on the lake and chilled in the surroundings. I also wasn’t very up for any more riding. I think the cold night camping took its toll. Nothing compared with the morning in Silver Gate where there was frost on my bike. Unfortunately the night in the St Mary’s campsite was also very very cold. I think the temperatures fell to about 5°C.
The following night I staid in a basic campsite at Logan State Park at Middle Thompson Lake in Montana. As a treat the night before went to a local bar (saloon) about 5 miles down the road. On the way saw a guy walking on the side of the road but wasn’t apparently hitch-hiking. After passing him I did recall seeing a car not far behind the guy so I did fear he might have broken down. Now this was in the middle of nowhere and I might have been in the altruistic mood of helping your fellow human being. There seems to be a code like that among bikers. Quite a few times when I stopped at the side of the road I quickly had another biker slowing down and enquiring if I am OK and if I need assistance. Its like the bikers have their own Green Flag going for them :-)
Coming back to the non-hitch-hiking guy. I felt bad passing him and absolutely no memories from maaaany US horror films about picking up strange people on the road came in to my mind as I decided to do a U-turn and try to find what was going on. The guy indeed had a car breakdown and needed to use the phone. The problem wasn’t that I had luggage on my bike - I didn’t, but I was not used to driving pillion drivers and had to quickly scramble through my memories of my training in Motorcycling training Wales in Swansea. The guy was also a little, how shall I be politically correct …. well, he was fat. Just as I got him on the back seat - still not expecting my head to be chopped off at this moment - tried to start the engine and nilch, nada, nothing. Just as I realised I had the emergency cut off switch accidentally engaged another driver pulled up and offered to take the guy to the nearest phone. Haven’t heard of any mysterious missing people in Montana or brutal murders but the whole notion only came to me as I was tucking in to my dinner.
As I was doing that a rather scary thing happened; probably something that happens all the time in the middle-off-nowhere Montana but was darn well weird for the likes of me living in the UK. A man casually walks into the saloon, just as I was enjoying my tea and had a nice big gun, holstered to his waist. He had a brief exchange with the staff at the bar and then left. Didn’t look like he was law enforcement so freaked me out a lot. And no, did not take a photo oh him but was tempted.
When I checked on Google maps in 2021 it looks like the place now closed permanently.