Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm Glad I'm Canadian ... 'Cause Kilometers Seem To Pass By Almost Twice As Fast As Miles ...

This morning I dragged, doing everything possible to keep from getting underway because, once again, it was a very chilly 6.1C (that's 43F). Finally, by 9:30 I forced myself to abandon my coffee at the local McD's in Dillon and headed up State Highway 41 on my way to Miles City. By then, the temperature was reasonable.

The jagged peaks of the Rockies are quickly turning to rounded foothills.
Scenes from Montana State Hwy #41

Twin Bridges Volunteer Fire Department (Do you think Randy is in there?)
This is what happens when I get off the beaten path - I don't get anywhere. When I've got the space, I seem to pull over every 10 km to snap a picture. I spent a little time on the road practising my slow speed maneuvers behind a highway line painter along with a gathering group of travellers, then passed through Twin Bridges where one of the bridges was under construction. Finally, I hit the interstate. Having planned a lengthy ride, I needed to make some time on the super slab. With this crazy mountain/foothill weather, it didn't heat up til late in the afternoon when it hit around 87 and I had to strip to my knickers at a rest stop once again (not too bad considering much of the rest of the country is in the choke hold of a killer heatwave).

I met a couple from Ontario (Windsor) - I spotted the familiar maple leaf on the back of her Rocket Jacket from across the parking lot at a gas station and then ran into them later on again in the day at a rest stop where we had a chance to chat. They are heading home from a trip to Victoria, riding two up on a Kawasaki.

Montana's Big Sky
I'm so glad I am Canadian today and I can mark distance in kilometers. Kilometers seem to pass by almost twice as quickly as miles (smirk). Even at that it seemed to take forever for the ' time to arrival' counter to move from 33 km to 30km and then to 29km. Finally, Dan announced, in his classic James Bondish voice, "In 1.5 kilometers take exit 138 on right, then turn left ... arriving at Motel 6 on right!" After having battled increasingly strong cross gusts for most of the afternoon I was ready to stop. (650.5 km)

Montana's big skies were clear and friendly today ... but I'm afraid that North Dakota isn't looking so hospitable for tomorrow. My short ride to Bismark may end up being even shorter than planned as I head straight across "tornado alley," with severe storm warnings in effect. (Memories of last year, hey, I already know the tornado protocol at the KOA, Bismark)


  1. Karen:

    take it easy in Tornado country, we don't get them here so I can't be of any help. Better to sit it out another day if necessary

    I am sitting here on the chilly Oregon coast with no cold weather clothes, wishing you were here giving me pointers

    ride safely
    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. Bob - at the KOA, it's easy, it's called a Kabin (or a cabin by any other name.) I'm lucky, the strong winds blew the serious weather south just enough. Keep safe, and warm. We'll have to buy new arctic sleeping bags eh (and heated underwear)?

  2. You funny Canadians and your numbers.... If it were 6° here, my bike would be tucked away for a long winters nap! and if it were 43° there, you'd better be inside with air conditioning!!!
    The nice thing about those cool mountain mornings in the summer, it wont be long after the sun starts to shine and the temps will rise.


    1. Ah, but Erik - listen to how impressive your trip sounds in Canadian. You travelled 5,598.908 km. (Way better than 3,479 miles ;)

  3. Darn those crosswinds. They are so tiring. Sounds like you made pretty good mileage for the day though.

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for stopping to take them. We have a habit of not stopping very often when on the move home.

    1. Trobairitz, I have to remind myself to stop ... if I don't stop, how will I remember in years to come (of course Richard has me terrified that all these pictures will disappear as the technology deteriorates). What will I talk about when I'm 90!

  4. Wow. I'm impressed with the sustained high mileages (kilometreages?) you get every day. Even in my prime, oh so long ago, a couple of 400K days in a row and I was toast. But you're on your way home and as they say, "when the horse smells the barn....". You'll be home soon; meantime, ride safe.

    1. Canajun, I cheat and stay at a hotel either leading into or ending those long days, that helps. And when Garmin Dan says it's a 6 hour trip I know it will take me 9 cause I stop often for gas and breaks. You are right, I am smelling home, it's somewhere past the horrible weather belt isn't it?

  5. I am glad that you take the time and stop every so often. Otherwise I wouldn't know who the areas look like that you were going through...

    I am honestly impressed as you are racking up the mileage (what is that word in Canadian?), we were completely done after our longest day trip which was 3km short of 600km.

  6. It is beautiful - and amazing how the landscape changes so dramatically across the country, every day has a new look.
    As for mileagle - we Canadians can just call it racking up the Ks. I mix in some short days with the long days, that helps (today will be a real short day just around 300 km.)