After Le Grande we ran the last 150 miles into Kennewick to see our friends, it was nice to sleep in the same bed for a few days. We still have a lot of paperwork to organize as we left with a lot of loose ends to be tied up. We had 2.5 days to concentrate on that as our friends were at work. Of course as you tie up one loose end something else arises, but hopefully that will get less as time goes on. My advice to anyone planning something like this is to double the time you think you need to prepare.
We spent a week in WA including 3 days up the mountains in a little town called Plain. The fall colors were just starting, it is nice to see but a reminder that cold weather will soon be here. I keep thinking of the two flocks of geese I saw in Provo flying south. That was in the middle of September, I hope it is not the sign of a hard winter.
We hit the road again last Friday taking the 12, it is a very nice road though the wheat country of WA. The weather was perfect, a beautiful warm fall day. I was hoping that we might get lucky and get to Montana without any weather issues but it was not to be. It was cloudy and chilly when we left Lewiston and started across the Idaho panhandle. That section is completely different than WA. It follows the river nearly all the way across the state, unfortunately the valley is steep and what little sun there was never made it to the bottom. What a great road for motorcycles; 120 plus miles of sweeping curves, I missed my old bikes. We meet 4 others from CA, including one who is heading to Argentina on his Guzzi in a few weeks. They were having a great time even with the cold and wet sections they confirmed how good it was. It might be great bike road but it was hard work at times with the ‘car. We got over Lolo pass without any major problems and arrived in Missoula cold and tired but thankful we had dodged all the rain showers. After a nice dinner with a lot of hot soup we finally warmed up and returned to the motel for a good night sleep.
With Helana only about 120 miles away we were hopeful we would beat the weather. We decided to take the freeway to save time and avoid the weather on the mountains as much as possible. It worked until we were less than 30 miles away. First the temperature dropped like a rock and it started to rain which quickly turn to hail. After a few minutes it got better and the sky began to clear. The visor unfogged itself and I was thinking happier thoughts. As we climbed to the last pass the weather changed again as it does in the mountains. Now it was snow and I instantly fogged up again.My hands were so cold I couldn’t feel them and the only way to see was open the visor. Now my face was freezing and then pants started to leak in the worst possible place. It is hard to convince yourself that you are having fun when you are freezing, you can’t see were you are going, your pants are leaking and you are on a 8% downgrade. I don’t even know what the pass was called but I know I will ever forget it. At the bottom sunshine again and only 6 miles to Helana. We got a motel and finally thawed out again but now just heard it is going to snow tomorrow and will be cold Tuesday. Oh what fun we are having.