#HOGWild17: Day 15 – Jackson Hole to Rock Springs, Wyoming

“Drama Momma.”

That’s what Mizz Caller NameCaller called me just now. Can you believe it? I guess that’s what happens once she’s all hopped up on MSG.

Where’d the MSG come from you ask? Right across the parking lot from our hotel in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Yeah, I know eating at a parking lot sushi place isn’t advisable, but neither is calling me drama momma. She may not be so okay later, but that’s the risk of a high-flying bestselling author. I had rice.

This morning was tough. I passed out on top of the bed while fighting a headache last night. I woke up early because there was work to do, and someone had the TV blaring Forensic Files. I think she’s up to no good.

For some odd reason, Leah was too wired from the surge experience yesterday and didn’t go to sleep until 4:00 am.

It was supposed to be a quick shot from Jackson Hole over to Rock Springs, so we hung out in Jackson for a bit. Of course we stopped at the Jackson Hole Harley Davidson and then had lunch at the Silver Dollar in the Wort Hotel. The staff was super nice at both places and made us happy we stayed a bit.

I’ve always heard of this resort town, and it does live up to the hype. We loved seeing all of walkers and cyclists. Although, the one thing that creeped us out were the two huge antler arches.

Yes, there are two of those. But to be honest, there were also horses and a real buggy downtown. Obviously, there were no antler bearing animals.

What started out as another day of gorgeous Big Sky sunshine and Leah’s back-of-the-bike selfies, turned into a guessing game of rain or shine.

In the mountains the rain drops actually looked like wifts of ice that floated out of the sky. Until they pierced your skin of course.

PS: My biker beard is completely off the chain. I’ll admit that I used Leah’s razor this morning to trim back what she calls my, “ISIS hair” that encroaches my cheek bones. I got no issues with low-T.

Looking at the hugeness of the glorious mountains surrounding you is intimidating enough, but add this dominant sky, and you’ve got a mixed bag of slicker suit or no slicker suit.

The highways are so sweeping and enjoyable, but wet roads and by-passing 18-wheeler spray is zero fun. It had also turned cool, so we opted for the plastic capsules with helmet communications.

While Leah has a naturally foxy bod, I’m sure the endowment in this pic below is wind enhanced. Her expression may tell a different story.

In all fairness, the rain wasn’t long-lasting, but the views will remain with us. How amazing is this country? The terrain changes so often and is distinctive to the places and people. Despite the expansive geography, mountain country has such an intimate feel. The people are some of the best we’ve met.

There were so many white water rafting companies operating in the area thanks to the Snake River, which rumbled alongside the highway and through the mountains. We’d gone rafting last year in Colorado, and were so in awe of the folks in the boats. The rafting picture is from last year, but we’re ready to go at it again very soon.

Snake River is 1,078 miles long. That’s a long way to raft, but hey, who’s up to give it a shot?

The pics weren’t as clear as we wished. Seems Leah was preoccupied with her inflated….rain suit. But, look what we did see after it cleared up a bit. As always, pics cannot do justice to the brilliance of the colors.

And if this beautiful rainbow wasn’t cool enough, we caught this bridge in the middle of nowhere. Maybe we’re a little road-punchy, but there are so many little things that amaze us. It was fun driving through it. I guess about as much fun as it’ll be to see what parking lot sushi will do to drama momma.

On a personal note, while fancy pants plays with the remote control, I was a little caught by the emotion when I began typing day 15.

We knew this trip would affect us. It’s like any significant life experience, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Each day has been a wonderful experience. We started praying together last year, but each morning’s prayer during this adventure has taken our faith to a new depth. I think it’s the isolated intimacy of working together to overcome the challenges of the last weeks.

It’s always a challenge to add the unknown and watch the way people react. I know exactly how Leah reacts. With kindness, patience and humility. I’m hoping to get there one day soon!!

Until then, I’m waiting on the sushi effect!

It’s Steamboat Springs, Colorado on tomorrow’s menu. We both love the state and are anxious to get there for the experience. It’s not ski season, but the place is still pretty cool.

Though I’m sure it isn’t as great as Whitefish, but this isn’t a competition. Right?

See y’all tomorrow,

Scott & Leah

 

 

 

#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

 

#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

 

#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

 

 

#HOGWild17: Day 10 – Glacier National Park

Day 10!

And boy was it incredible!

Since it’s my day to do the blog, I’d like to go back and correct Scott’s post from yesterday where he said I’d wait for real food right outside of Great Falls. What actually happened was that Zippy McImpatient hopped on the bike and hauled out of town because he was ready to get on the road, and then he was ready to eat shortly after. But alas, Zippy had missed his chance for a hot meal, and we had to drive 40 miles until we found a Subway. Just to set the record straight.

Now, onto Day 10…

We’re staying in the incredible resort town of Whitefish, Montana. We’re already looking at real estate, because this place is amazing. There’s a view everywhere you look.

Whitefish

For some reason, we went to bed around four o’clock this morning. And for some other unexplainable reason, Scott was awake at eight. I told him to go back to sleep or he had to go outside with the bears. He went back to sleep.

The plan for the day was to go out with our friends, John and Kristen, so they could show us around Whitefish and take us to Glacier National Park. I can’t even put into words how beautiful this area is.

The pictures don’t do it justice, and there was just a point where I stopped taking pictures so I could soak it all in.

Cold Shower

But first, we had to get ready for John and Kristen to pick us up. Which was a lot harder than it should have been. The cabin we’re staying in has technology out the wazoo.

From the lights to the fireplace to the bathtub, shower, and sound system, it’s all programmed on an ipad. The only problem was Scott and I didn’t get the memo about how to work the shower.

It has about sixteen jets, eight choices for light colors, five choices for what kind of massaging the shower heads can perform, and if you stand in just the right position, it does things that are illegal in most southern states.

We got the water and lights turned on, but setting the temperature was a mystery.

I lucked out and managed to take a hot shower yesterday, but by the time Scott got in it was on Max Cold and there was no warming it up.

This morning (more like afternoon because we slept late), we both had the same problem and the water was freezing. We called maintenance, but he seemed just as confused by the technology as we did.

The maintenance man stayed for a while and puttered around a bit, and then I think he left to go have a snack before coming back. While he was gone, I got lucky and turned on the water and it was a hundred and seven degrees.

I yelled at Scott to strip off his clothes and get in the shower. There was no telling how much time we had with the hot water.

He moves pretty fast when he wants to, so we jumped in and started soaping up. I told him to stop crying about how hot it was. Hot is always better than cold. By the time I was shampooed up, the temperature had dropped to a hundred degrees.

I kept yelling at Scott to scrub faster, but the temp was down to ninety. It was every man for himself at this point. I finished up and left him in the shower as the water got even colder. All I remember after that point was a bunch of screaming from inside the shower.

Hot Time

Kristen and John picked us up and listened politely to our shower drama, even though we were running about half an hour behind schedule. And then we headed to Glacier National Park.

I’ve never seen anything like it. I have a few “favorite” places we’ve been to in this country, and this place has moved near the top. It might even take the top spot.

I decided to stake my claim while we were there.

Scott decided to still take pictures with me even though I left him in the frigid shower. He’s a good egg.

Sun Road

We took Going to the Sun Road all the way to the top of Glacier National Park. As awesome as it would have been to take the motorcycle on the road, it also would’ve been a little scary.

Scott is convinced that bears are going to jump out and swipe a paw at him. He says he’s prepared to duck so the bear gets me instead. Anyway, we were grateful for John and Kristen’s car.

The views never got old. 

This is the actual background, you guys. Not a green screen. It’s hard to believe it’s real.

Good Burger / Bad Potty

Once we came back down the mountain, we were pretty hungry, so we headed into town and went to a place called Bulldogs.

The food was delicious. Our advice is to order the stuffed pretzels and stay out of the bathrooms. There’s stuff on the walls in there you don’t want your kids seeing. There are better ways to get an anatomy lesson. But the bacon burger was amazing.

Scott stopped by a table of bikers on our way out and discovered they’d driven all that way from Fort Worth and were heading back the way we’d come.

We Love It

I think the greatness of Whitefish is no longer a secret. Or maybe it never was a secret and we’re just late to the party. But we love it, and I don’t think we’re ready to get back on the road tomorrow.

John and Kristen took us to see their beautiful home, and they get to see those gorgeous mountain views from just about every window in their house.

I got a lot of new ideas for things I want to do to our house when we get back home. I’m sure that excites Scott to no end. But he’s a trooper, and as long as I get it all done and present a finished product to him he’s usually cool with it.

Hopefully, Scott won’t read this and he’ll just be surprised. He loves surprises. Almost as much as he loves hugs.

We enjoyed more conversation, and then we realized it was after nine o’clock. Time is deceptive here since it doesn’t get dark until almost eleven. Scott decided he needed ice cream at this point, so we all went to Dairy Queen and got Blizzards before heading back to our cabin.

Cabin Fever

Now, we’re snuggled in on the sofa, watching Forensic Files, and replaying the day. The sights we saw today just have to be seen in person. There’s nothing like it. You guys should come visit. We might know of a place you can stay if we end up buying property here.

Tomorrow, we’re supposed to head south and prepare to ride Beartooth Scenic Highway. Oh! And we have a couple’s massage scheduled in the morning, so that will be awesome, even though Scott always falls asleep during a deep tissue massage. I don’t know how he does it.

We’ll see y’all tomorrow for Day 11!

Leah and Scott

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#HOGWild17: Day 9 – Whitefish, Montana

I’m pooped.

It’s day 9 and I’m a whipped pup. But the beauty of this state of exhaustion is I’m not tired of being on the bike or on the road. We’ve just been nonstop since July 1st, so our stay in Whitefish, Montana comes at the perfect time. To be honest, Leah had scheduled a break period earlier, but I wanted to push forward to cover more ground.

We left Great Falls, Montana around noon after another good night sleep. Leah and I are used to living out of hotels, but we both have trouble adjusting to the whimpy pillows found in most places. At this point, we’d sleep on a log and snooze all night.

I wish there was news about another feisty older waitress at our favorite Cracker Barrel, but resources were scarce between Great Falls and Whitefish. There was a wonderful lesson learned by Leah about resources. I’d stopped for gas right outside of Great Falls and asked her if she wanted to grab something to eat. She snarked and said she’d wait for real food.

Guess what? Over 40 miles through highways and hay bales, we found a Subway in Conrad. I guess next time it’s better to eat what they got than hope for what doesn’t exist. Of course, she still has a saddle bag full of beef jerky. I knew she didn’t feed it to the sweet donkey back at Custer State Park.

An observation I’ve made over the miles is that highway warning signs can be horrifying. Elk crossings, free range roaming animals and beware of bear are just a few signs you don’t want to see while on a motorcycle. Even the picture on the deer crossing signs is a giant 10-point buck.

Although it was 106 degrees, we found slices of shade as we rode through Glacier National Park. The beauty of this area is unrivaled. As much as we adored the park area, once we hit Whitefish, we fell in love.

With as many places as we visit, there are just a few locations that we say immediately, “We’d live here.” Deadwood was one, and Whitefish is the other.

At our cabin, the welcome guy was explaining what buttons activated the fireplace, hot tub and 16 shower head human car wash, but I knew Leah was thinking the same thing as I was. Let’s buy one. Sure enough, by the time the old guy left, she’d googled real estate in Whitefish.

We have friends who live here full-time and I’ve a life-long friend who just bought a condo downtown as an investment property. Seems like a no-brainer as long as we’re out of here by winter.

Speaking of friends, we met them for supper and enjoyed speaking with people not dressed in leather and sunburned. Leah claims she went hiking before supper, but we simply walked to the restaurant. I gave her a C for creativity. It’s funny wearing regular shoes. We both said our feet feel floppy without the weight of biker boots.

I had Alaskan salmon which was incredible. I’d spent a few weeks in Alaska a few years back, and went crazy for fresh salmon and halibut. Leah had more red meat. A lot of red meat, but I was afraid to photograph her in front of company.

We returned to our cabin and decided to stock up on groceries so we’d not have to get on the bike all day tomorrow unless we just get the bug. We’re going to sightsee with our friends.

The rest of our night was spent outside watching a giant round moon rising and then around the fireplace watching TV. It feels incredible doing nothing particular.

Today wasn’t the longest ride, but the days in Big Sky country are super bright and sunny. We’re using sunscreen and covering up as much as we can, but the 100 plus degree days make too much cover a difficulty. I think we’re both a bit “tanned” and kinda ready for a sun break.

As we near the halfway point, I have to say that we’re still loving our time together. The hours of silence on the road has allowed for lots of praying and meditation. It’s incredibly liberating to stop worrying about so many things, and only focusing on what truly matters.

We really appreciate you coming along and love your comments here and on Facebook.

Scott & Leah

 

#HOGWild17: Day 8 – Great Falls, Montana

Huh?

It’s day 8! I think.

I don’t know what time it was when we got up this morning, but the sun was pretty high up in the sky. it’s all blurry in my memory, but I know I slept like a baby and Scott’s lip was swollen when I woke up. Sometimes these things happen. Also, this is my blog post so I can retell the day how I want to.

Once we’d prayed, showered, dressed, and taken full advantage of late checkout, we headed to Beartooth Harley-Davidson. I have to say, this might be my favorite HD yet. Before Scott tells you I “shopped” again, I’ll confess that I bought a couple of shirts. But so did he, so I’m not taking the heat all by myself!

 

Bears Everywhere

Beartooth HD was filled with bears. Scott was scared of the big one and wouldn’t stand too close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping at HD was pretty taxing, and since it was past lunchtime at this point, we mosied down the street to the Cracker Barrel. Yes, the same Cracker Barrel we ate at last night. There’s only two in the whole state of Montana, so we wanted to take advantage.

Stay Golden

I saw this sexy man on my way into the Cracker Barrel and he bought me a meatloaf lunch, so I’d say I started the day off “winning.” Also, I’m digging the cut-off shirt. It reminds me of The Outsiders. What do you think?

The meatloaf really was delicious.

Montana is really big. And really hot. Like…super hot. We left Texas thinking we’d come north and spend a cool month of July cruising the highways. Well…we’re cruising. But today it was 106 degrees, so we haven’t experienced cool yet. Montana is gorgeous. And the roads are long. There are stretches of hundreds of miles with nothing but highway and hay bales.

But there’s a reason they call it Big Sky. Pictures don’t do it justice.

Road Life

Also, the wind was brutal. At one of our gas station stops to refuel and guzzle some water, Scott had to hold down my hair so we could take a selfie. It didn’t work.

I think motorcycle living has changed us. We’re not sure what day it is or where we are most of the time. Scott and his jeans are one with the road, and my headbands are covering growing gray roots. Our bodies are patchwork quilts of various and unusual tan lines. But the journey has been incredible as we approach the middle half of our trip.

We got to Great Falls, Montana late in the afternoon and were greeted with this beautiful sight.

By the time we got to the hotel, we were hot and thirsty. I think Scott is planning something nefarious in this picture. We talked about putting on our swimsuits and getting into the pool to cool off, but we ended up facetiming the kids. Then Scott decided to work out because he’s an overachiever, and I decided to lay on the bed in my underwear and eat Bugles because I’m on vacation.

NightLife

We eventually drummed up enough energy to head to dinner. The lady at the front desk recommended a place called Jakers Bar & Grill. It was delicious. And I could’ve eaten a dozen of their rolls by myself.

This is what greeted us on the way back to the hotel.

The entire day can be summed up in one word…gorgeous. This country is so beautiful, and we’re so blessed to see God’s creation and meet some incredible people who are on journeys of their own.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Whitefish to stay for a couple of days and rest up, and also meet with our friends John and Kristen. We’re looking forward to beautiful scenery and great company.

See you tomorrow!

Leah and Scott

#HOGWild17: Day 7 – Billings, Montana

Looks like I get the honors on day 7. It’s not like I just motored all day. But I’m not complaining, because I get to tell my version of today’s events. The truth may bend, but it’ll never be broken.

Mail Call

Before we did anything, I insisted we mail dirty and newly bought clothes back home. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you the bike was to the brink of busting open, thanks to her shopping sprees.

The lady at the Post Office was nice, but surprised we’d amassed so many clothes in just 6 days. I just shrugged and pointed at her.

Joy

We’re both feeling the groove of the road. We’ve gotten into a good routine for loading and unloading the bike, navigating, and doing the little things that might not be an important part of the trip, but sure add to the joy. During this morning’s prayers, the word joy was placed on my heart.

If biking from Deadwood, South Dakota through Wyoming and along a thin black ribbon across Montana counts as joy, then oh boy, did we have joy!!

Deadwood has stolen our hearts and imaginations. I’m pretty sure this town is going to end up in one of our next novels. We spent the morning there, and left after a visit to the Deadwood Harley Davidson. We met a very nice lady who told us a bit about the town’s history.

We also had a great lunch at Maverick Steakhouse. I had one grilled chicken breast and my beautiful wife had….well, a lot. I made a comment and she said she wasn’t going to apologize. Not pictured are the “side” salad, mac-n-cheese and possibly dessert.It takes a good sense of humor, flexibility and a sense of situational awareness while travelling. This can also apply while driving across town, but especially on the road.

Strange

The things you see once leaving your comfort area can be funny. We live in Dallas and are used to city life. Nowhere, USA isn’t Dallas, or actually, any other place we’ve seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I can say is at least the flies weren’t in our food, and this realtor must be crazy…crazy like a fox.

Do-Do-Do-Do-Do

Speaking of crazy, we went to see Devil’s Tower. It’s pretty odd, but also a testament to the wonder of this world. I mean really, besides being featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it’s a marvel. Though there was no Richard Dreyfuss or aliens. Here’s a nostalgic clip.

Someone suggested we walk the base of the tower. Have you seen how big that sucker is? No way were we walking it. We drove by and took a selfie. It’s that big hill in the background. 

After this excitement, we began the drive to Wyoming and then Montana. This area is called Big Sky. The scenery is unbelievable. We went hundreds of miles with only farmland and livestock.

Dude Chat

We did find a lonely gas station where I met a guy from Florida. He seemed less than happy to have taxied his 14 year old daughter and wife all the way to see Old Faithful.

I asked, “Was it worth it?”

He said, “You’re not heading there are ya?”

I lied, “No, of course not.”

He huffed, “It was less than impressive.”

I felt bad, “Actually, my wife wants to go.”

He handed me the gas nozzle, “Good luck with that.”

I felt like we’d shared a Bro Moment. I didn’t tell Leah I’d thrown her under the bus. Again.

So after I cat-walked the bike across the gravel parking lot like a primadonna, we hit the endless black ribbon across Montana’s Big Sky until we came to Billings. This was my view for most of the ride. I guess that fly strip didn’t catch all of the bugs after all.

The actual view was incredibly beautiful as I sit above the height of the windshield, but I leave the photography to my-copilot.

Working It

I’ll happily admit that a wife is genius at motivating husbands when properly enticed. After my mojo had been blown with the news we had another 260 miles to get to Billings, Montana, Leah tapped my shoulder and whispered those oh so sweet words.

“They have a Cracker Barrel.”

With that news, I would’ve put her on my back and run the distance. We both enjoyed a fantastic late night breakfast menu. It was worth the long day ride.

Well, it’s another night of resting sore booties and trying to remember everything that happened today. We can’t even recall what it was like when we first left home. It seems like so long ago. A friend said after a few days, you’d become one with the road.

I was suspicious of that, but beyond the esoteric contemplation, it’s the truth. You stop having to work at it as it becomes very natural. The ebb and flow of being out on the open road has a rhythm of it’s own. I even found that Leah was feeling frisky while on the bike, or just tried to bug me by doing what drives me nuts. It’s all fun.

Zen

People are different, and those also travelling respond to you very differently than those who are not. I can’t say I blame the others. After a week baking in the sun and wind, I look kinda…crazy (notice the goggle white rings.)

Well, I’ll wrap this up before my love decides to start reading over my shoulder. Day 8 is a shorter run to Great Falls to see what, I have no idea. I’m guessing waterfalls.

See you all tomorrow,

Scott & Leah