In 2005 we planned to spend a night in Baker, Montana. We didn't. It was the location of the start of our 49 State ride to Hyder, Alaska. A problem with Voni's bike back then delayed our arrival at Baker by one day. Since weather was threatening from the west and our route was east, we didn't delay our start and spent just two hours in Baker.
We spent last night in Baker, Montana. We are going to spend tonight in Baker, Montana too. We left Melanie's house in Ankeny, Iowa after watching it rain and thunderstorm there several days in a row. Since Ankeny we have not encountered any rain. That appears to be because it has been too windy to rain. First it was so windy in Iowa that we almost turned around and went back. But we turned north instead of west instead. This gave us a tail wind. Voni's motorcycle computer said she was getting 109 miles per gallon for a while. We BOTH wound up about 80 mpg for that tank. We stopped when it was time to turn west again and the south winds hadn't dropped. Crosswinds of 35 or 40, gusting to 55 is not particularly fun on a light-weight motorcycle.
So far we have gone north when I planned to go west, and west when I planned to go north, and for a while south when I was trying to go west due to dire warnings about "avoid this road" and "seek alternate route" on large flashing DOT message signs. The last two times we ignored such warnings we regretted it so didn't ignore the signs this time.
So we are in Baker, Montana.
And the forecast for tomorrow is clear, sunny, warm, and winds about 10 mpg compared to today which is cool and winds 30 to 40, gusting maybe to 50 in eastern Montana. So we are staying in Baker, Montana tonight too. Besides, U.S. 12 which we had planned to take west from Forsyth is under water from flooding at two locations. Montana DOT says the road is open but has water flowing over the road. It might be open for trucks and cars but we are not sure about the wisdom of calling it open for motorcycles. But that is tomorrow. Today we explore the sights and sounds of metropolitan Baker, Montana.
Since leaving home on May 9 we have spent some time at Mike's in Lawrence and at Melanie's in Ankeny. We attended track and field day at Noah's and Brody's school, and picked them up with the motorcycles their last day of school. We rode half-way to Gina's BMW in Iowa City for their open house but bailed on the trip when Voni's electric jacket stopped heating in the 40 degree rain. But we did go to Gina's mid-week to say hello and buy some stuff. Then we headed south to Kansas City for the Engle Motors spring open house where Paul received his 700,000 mile award from BMW. Some workshop time at Mike's in Lawrence solved a minor oil seepage/gasket problem on Voni's bike and we are spending two nights in Baker, Montana.
We're headed to Canada and maybe Hyder, Alaska. Then, Seattle, suburban Los Angeles, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania, British Columbia again, and New Mexico form the backbone of the plan. There are a few firm dates on the schedule but most of the plan is loose. Which is why we are not in Wyoming and are spending two nights in Baker, Montana.
Because we can.
45 years ago, we promised each other to love honor and cherish.