#HOGWild17: Day 14 – Beartooth Pass & Yellowstone

Day 14 was a bear! Literally. But I’ll get to that in a second.

First of all, I have to give mad props to my better half for his motorcycle skills today. We were on the bike close to nine hours, going through crazy elevations, roads that dropped off straight down a mountain, and wildlife throwing themselves in front of the bike.

So good job, Hot Stuff McHusband. I’ll slap you on the butt later in congratulations once I can move again.

Okay, I have to start all the way at the beginning. We spent the night at Red Lodge last night, and I tossed and turned all night.

Scott slept like a baby (the kind of babies that sleep all night instead of the ones that wake you up to feed them). And for some reason he set his alarm at eight-thirty. I pretended I didn’t hear it and rolled back over to go back to sleep.

But Scott’s the kind of person that when he’s up, he feels everyone should be up, so he said, “Choppie,” and shoved my shoulder a couple of times (Choppie is his pet name for me, in case you’re wondering who Choppie is). I stayed silent.

Then he pulled out the big guns. He likes to watch videos of people acting like idiots and then the police intervene, so he turned it up super loud. I don’t know how the cops do it. I would’ve punched the idiot in the face. But it did the job, and I was finally awake. My blood pressure was up as well.

The only thing we could do at this point is our prayer time. After the way Scott woke me up, I figure he needed some Jesus. And I needed some Jesus too, because I do not like being woken up, and Scott was not starting off the day on my good side.

I prayed for an attitude adjustment because I knew we had a long way to go on the bike. The Lord worked miracles because I was ready to roll by the time we said Amen.

We stopped at Subway for lunch and I told Scott about my weird dream he interrupted. It started with me giving birth, and Scott delivering the baby. He is a doctor, but I’m not sure an anthropologist was what I needed at the moment.

We had a girl, in case you’re wondering, and as soon as she was born we wrapped her up and put her in the sidecar of the motorcycle.

I was not looking forward to getting on a motorcycle, because I’d just given birth. It’s no wonder I didn’t sleep well last night.

Anyway…at this point, we had to go into hiding, so we rode the motorcycle down to the train tracks, where we were going to live with the hobos. For some reason, everyone was wearing overalls. And the best part was as soon as we arrived they all started singing.

I don’t know about you guys, but I frequently have dreams that are musicals. I wish I could remember the songs, but they were awesome. Take my word for it.

One of the hobos gave the baby a cool headband with a flower on it, and then Scott woke me up.

Why were we on the run? Why was everyone in overalls? Why didn’t we name the baby?

This was Scott’s expression.

I figure listening was the least he could do after he woke me up.

It was a busy morning, but we finally said goodbye to Red Lodge and headed to Beartooth Pass.

The thing about Beartooth Pass is that it tricks you. You think you’re at the top, and that it’s impossible to go higher, but somehow the mountain grows right in front of you.

And you keep going…

And going…

Until you finally reach the top.

Yes, you read that right. The elevation was 10,947. It feels like the top of the world. And the way down isn’t half bad either.

Once Scott worked his mad skills and got us through Beartooth Pass, we headed into Yellowstone National Park. Neither of us had ever been before, so it was a really cool experience.

And the pictures never do justice to the views.

And this was the first of many wildlife making an appearance in front of the bike.

And then there was this guy who had a couple of miles of traffic behind him. His buddies were in our lane, making sure both sides were blocked. Those bison are real characters. But they make delicious hamburgers.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Scott and I were dressed exactly alike today. Once, when we were in Las Vegas, we saw a couple in their seventies wearing matching rhinestone quilted jackets.

Scott said, “That’s going to be us one day.” We’re not quite to the rhinestone quilted jacket phase, but this is pretty close. We have matching shirts, chaps, jackets, and rain gear.

We’re just like Donny and Marie, but not creepy, because we’re married instead of brother and sister.

After we left Yellowstone, we headed straight into Grand Teton National Park. The weather turned decidedly colder, and the rain fell in big fat drops that didn’t feel too good when they pelted us in the face.

I guess the bear that ran across the road in front of us didn’t care for being cold or rained on either. I would’ve gotten a picture, but that sucker moved fast. I’m glad he wasn’t coming toward us!

The Tetons were majestic in every way. This is most definitely God’s country.

It got pretty chilly, but I had this sexy guy to snuggle up next to on the bike.

Seriously, this is so beautiful it looks fake. But it’s not. And it’s even better in person.

After we made it through the Tetons, we headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It’s a cool little ski resort town, surrounded by mountains, with a ton of restaurants and boutique shops.

I didn’t take any pictures of Jackson Hole, because I was just too tired by the time we rolled in at nine o’clock. And we hadn’t eaten dinner either, so we ate at Snake River Brewery.

Scott got his revenge on the Bison blocking the road by ordering the Bison burger.

Watching the sun set behind the mountains is one of those snapshots in life that’ll stay with me forever.

Tomorrow, we’re headed to Rock Springs. It’s an easy day of riding, which is good because we’ve got some work to catch up on.

We also have late check out at the hotel tomorrow, so I’m hoping Scott sleeps later than I do, so I can wake him up in equal measure.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

See you tomorrow,

Leah and Scott

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#HOGWild17: Day 13 – Red Lodge, Montana

Oh, the joy of having a windowless hotel room.

I was so cozy after a rough ride into Helena, Montana that I heard Leah say, “It’s one thirty-four.” I jumped up out of bed and into a pitch black space. How could we have slept so late?

It was a dream, and while Snoozy Suzy pounded sand next to me, I checked the clock. It was ten o’clock and time to get going. We’ve followed so many of the great suggestions before the trip, except the one about hitting the road early. We don’t do early.

I had a feeling that the hotel staff was out to get me following my exposing them for hogging the plate of iced tea cookies. A resounding knock at the door signalled the staff was trying to get us. In reality, it was after checkout and they wanted us out. I still think it was motivated by the cookie caper.

Yeah, I’m a bit hung up on it. But then, my bride started growling like she does around noon, and guess what wasn’t an option? Tea cookies. So we hurriedly loaded the bike and I blasted over to Wendy’s.

It was a long ride over to Red Lodge, Montana. Endless miles of rolling hills surrounded by majestic mountains and crystal blue lakes. Although this is day 13, it’s only our second day back after the Whitefish multi-day detour. I can tell you that Big Sky country is still super sunny, and after we eclipsed the 200 mile mark, my hiney hurt.

I kept pulling off for gas and Gatorade. I’d buy more time by asking Leah to clean the windshield. I don’t need it to see through, but I thought it was cute having her scrub so hard while I chugged my drink. Don’t tell her though, I’m hoping to keep her going once we get home.

Like I said, we put lots of miles down today, but had such an amazing time being together. We met a great group of bikers during a gas stop in Big Timber, Montana. These folks were also heading into Red Lodge for the giant bike rally.

We knew nothing about this until late last night while I was researching the area. Imagine that. Us stuck smack dab in the middle of an old-fashioned Harley Davidson rodeo rally and street party. One of the guys was a retired Sheriff’s Deputy and the other guy had possibly the best old-Western handlebar mustache ever.

I love meeting people. These were some of those people. I always scan the pins and patches on their leather vests for signs of friendly or outlaw. Most folks we’ve met bare a cross or witness fish showing their belief in Jesus Christ. We enjoyed talking with them and tried to plan a meet up in Red Lodge.

After my Wendy’s and windshield pics, I was restricted to Fig Newtons. It was worth it though!

Once inside the convenience store for the convenience of air condition, Leah had a super surprise. Her latest novel, Gone To Dust was right there on the shelf.

She’s a writer, big deal you say. Yes, it really is a big deal. We see her books at Target, WalMart, Barnes & Noble and all of the big distribution site. But to see her books in Big Timber, Montana shows her widespread appeal.

One of the things she does that I think is so nice, is wherever she finds her books on shelves, she signs them (after asking the manager of course.) The unknowing reader who buys the book gets an original autograph. Pretty cool surprise I’d say.

I just realized that this day’s post is mostly about Snoozy Suzy or as I also call her, Snacky McSnack. It’s okay, because she pretty much keeps things rolling. She’s been the photographer and navigator the entire time.

It’s been great having her pick out a better route or a scenic byway on the fly. We’ve seen more than we expected.

And I’ve discovered she not only enjoys taking pics of scenery and wildlife, but she also enjoys photographing the “wildlife” when he’s not looking. I think my roadtrip beard has gone completely off the tracks. As for her, she thinks she’s being cute with the camera. I guess she kinda is.

When she captures actual scenery it’s still so hard to grab the true beauty of what we’re getting to see. Growing up in south Louisiana, and now in Dallas, seeing hills is exciting.

Being surrounded by mountains is absolutely stunning. This is the heartland of America. You get a grasp of big agriculture out here and begin to understand how unsung our farmers and ranchers actually are. Leah’s 21 ounce steaks and vegetable sides don’t just appear on the table.

We made it to Red Lodge and cruised real slow down main street so my Vance & Hines pipes cracked and rumbled a greeting to the hundreds of bikes lining the street.

The Beartooth Rally is ramping up, and it felt like riding through a welcome banner made of leather and chrome.

This is a very cool town, and although I suspect it’ll be run over by rowdiness for the next four days, it still looks like a great place to visit.

After unloading, we walked the main street to a great place called Foster and Logan’s. Immediately upon entering, I saw the giant LSU flag.

It made me a little homesick, but made me smile because Louisiana people are happy to go everywhere for any reason and always leave the places a little better than they found it.

Day 14 is going to be a bear (I’m being nice) thanks to a monster ride across Beartooth Pass and then several hours to Yellowstone before bedding down in Jackson Hole, Jackson, Wyoming.

Beartooth is rated as one of the greatest motorcycle paths in America. We’ll climb to an elevation of almost 11,000 feet while managing hairpin turns and steep switchbacks. Am I a little concerned? Not as long as Leah sits still and the good Lord blesses us.

See you tomorrow,

Scott & Leah