#HOGWild17: Day 12 – Helena, Montana

Day 12!

I don’t even know what’s happened the past couple of days. We’re high on mountain air and delicious food.

Apparently, riding a motorcycle for ten days in the heat fries the circuits in the brain, and then you end up looking at condos and putting in an offer.

This is a shot of the living area. Scott wanted to stretch out across the couch to make the scene look more homey, but I talked him out of it. I told him the picture of him laid out on the massage table was enough for a twenty-one day trip.

So…that’s what we did today. Just a normal day in Whitefish, Montana, which we’ve never been to before, but fell in love with immediately. I think it’s easier to justify this because we travel so much and have seen a lot of incredible places in this country.

And this is one of our favorites. That says something. Now everyone needs to come to Whitefish. We have a place for you that sleeps up to 8!

And the balcony has a fire pit and TV.

And it has a pretty awesome view too!

Condo-buying takes a while, so we didn’t actually leave Whitefish until five o’clock this afternoon. But because Scott learned his lesson a few days ago when we left town and then discovered there weren’t restaurants for a couple of hundred miles, I suggested we eat something before heading out. He readily agreed.

Our realtor suggested a place called Loula’s. It’s in the basement of a corner building in downtown Whitefish. And it was awesome. If y’all know me, you know pie is my favorite dessert. I adore pie. And Loula’s is famous for their pies.

You can buy them by the slice or the whole pie. I was tempted to get the whole pie and just eat it on the back of the motorcycle, but Judgey McJudgerson would’ve written about it in tomorrow night’s blog post.

After we had pie and signed a billion papers, we finally left Whitefish. We were sad to go, but we’re supposed to be back home in another ten days so we can catch a flight.

I know, we’re crazy. But we have to get back to work, though I’m not going to think about that right now.

Our realtor also suggested we head to Helena instead of Butte, which was our original plan. He’s a motorcycle guy too, and said the drive was gorgeous. He wasn’t lying.

But first, we had to stop at Glacier Harley-Davidson. It was on the way, and Scott was able to add to his shirt collection, even though he doesn’t shop.

The ride truly was spectacular on the way to Helena. And we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

This was the view on one side of the highway.

And this was the view of the other side.

 

It was like that the whole way, which is why y’all need to come visit Montana. It took right at four hours to reach Helena, and we checked into the hotel.

This is the part where Scott wants to write a guest paragraph in this post, because he’s got some drama, but I told him it’d be better if I just laid out the cold hard facts.

When we checked into the hotel, there was a tray of iced tea cookies sitting on the counter for hotel guests. The guy checking us in, we’ll call him Ryan (actually, that’s his real name, we don’t keep secrets here) told us he was very tired and the end of the day had caught up with him.

Scott couldn’t pick out Ryan in a lineup, but he could pick out one of those tea cookies.

After we checked in and unloaded the bike, Scott went to go park it, thinking he’d just get a cookie once he came back inside. Unfortunately, within the span of five minutes, the tray of tea cookies disappeared.

And no one was behind the counter. Scott scouted around for stray crumbs, but someone had cleaned that counter like it was the week after a crime scene and the apartment needed to be rented.

We checked into our room, where we discovered our room is connected to the hotel pool. Literally. We just walk out our door and if we’re not careful we’ll fall into the water.

That excited Scott to no end until he saw the pool closed at ten and people weren’t going to be belly flopping outside our French doors.

We changed clothes for dinner, and then we walked back by the counter. The culprits had reappeared. You know Scott, he’s all about confrontation. Actually, he hates confrontation. Unless it has to do with missing cookies. 

Ryan was talking on the phone, but his eyes were shifty and he was sweating. Scott zeroed in on the woman and asked point blank where the cookies were.

She cracked under the pressure and threw Ryan under the bus, confessing that he ate the rest of them. I guess the stress of the end of the day got to him. But that didn’t leave Scott with any cookies.

I got to hear about Ryan and his cookie eating as we walked down the block to the restaurant on the corner, and Scott mentioned something about Ryan eating six cookies and the kind of person who does such a thing.

He also told the hostess all about Ryan. I think she was traumatized because we had to wait for a table.

This was me waiting. The chair was giant, and I felt like Lily Tomlin.

By the time we got back to the hotel room it was after ten-thirty and still light outside. Our times are totally thrown off. Tombstone was on the TV when we got in.

Scott’s never seen it. I know. It’s a crime. And he seemed a little scared when I told him, “I’m coming after you. And I’m bringing hell with me.” After an uncomfortable pause, I explained that was a line from the movie.

We’re heading to Red Lodge, Montana tomorrow, where we’ll do all the necessary preparations for riding Beartooth Pass. There aren’t really any preparations other than visiting another HD store and looking for a Cracker Barrel.

See you tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

 

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#HOGWild17: Day 11 – Whitefish, Montana

You know how you go to Montana and end up buying property? No? Is that just us?

Our schedule has changed. We ended up staying an extra night in Whitefish, Montana because we love it, and because we needed an extra day to rest.

We got up this morning (yes, before noon), and went to the spa for a couple’s massage. By the time we finished, we were limp like noodles and asked the front desk to add another night to our stay.

I’m not sure if staying another day away from the bike was wise, but it sure was nice to wear loafers instead of heavy leather boots, and shorts instead of jeans. But we hear the call of the wild howling our names to return to the endless black ribbon across America.

I had Leah take a pic in front of the woods so we at least looked like we’d been in nature today. Not sure where the handshake came in but at least it’s an action shot. You can see how thrilled she was doing this.

So once the “luxury” cabin was offered for another night thanks to a shower that didn’t work, a washer/dryer that didn’t work, and the half roll of toilet paper they blessed us with from day 1 ran out, we settled in for a day of shopping.

We met a very nice realtor who told Leah how to find him downtown. His description of himself was that he was wearing shorts and was very handsome. When we found Trini, he was wearing shorts. We wanted a place up this way, and he was the guy to find it.

Talk about a small world. One of my childhood friends bought a place in Whitefish. The condo we want is adjacent to his. After living on the west side of town as kids, and then not seeing each other almost 30 years, we may end up as neighbors in Montana.

You can tell we’re a little excited about this find. We also have friends who live in Whitefish full-time, so that’s another plus. And, it’ll be a great place to vacation with the kids. Trust me, we don’t take God’s blessings for granted.

Once we left Trini, and his shorts, we headed back to the cabin to get our clothes cleaned. They said set them out under the patio. We grabbed amazing pizza at Ciao Mambo, where people line up every night before the doors open for supper-only service. It was worth the wait.

I can tell you that upon returning home, the big bag of clothes was gone. So we’ll either have freshly laundered clothes by 9:00am tomorrow or some bear is ballin’ in Sturgis 2017 Harley Davidson shirts and a slightly tattered bandana. Either way, the bear wins.

Tomorrow after signing a few papers, we mount up on what I call “Trusty Dusty,” and ride out to Butte, Montana. This is a big state. Not as big as Texas, but almost. It’ll be a good welcome back to the saddle before crossing the Grand Tetons and the Rockies into Steamboat, Colorado in the next few days.

I took my girl for an actual walk after supper and we enjoyed a Huckleberry dessert and sweet tea. Why can’t everywhere have sweet tea like we do in the south?

As I’m posting these pictures, it’s funny I never noticed how white my beard was. I told Leah that July was my caveman month and I wasn’t shaving. When the wind parts it during rides is when you know it needs some tender, grooming care.

So as Leah has offered everyone who wants to visit, and by visit, she means, rent the condo up here, here’s a cozy room waiting for you just down the road from the best snow skiing in America.

See you all tomorrow from the road.

Scott & Leah