was clear but with heavy dewfall and my tent being in the shade I had
some time to dry my gear.
Meantime even our host departed to go to work leaving me the last man standing.
|Ready to go. Thanks for a great gathering!|
When I was ready to go I shut his garage door and headed for Skalkaho Pass (to the south of Hamilton).
Weather was clear and pleasant. The
road starts as
pavement but turns
to dirt. It was
actually kind of cold in the shade
under the trees compared to the ride down US 93 to get to the road. But the dirt was only damp with a few small puddles.
(not like what I found on LaBarge creek road).
|This is about as bad as it got on Skalkaho Pass|
Soon I was over the top descending
the other side and on my way to
Anaconda MT. Joined
MT 1 and passed
which is a large lake that appears to be a resort kind of place with houses around much of the shore and many docks and boats.
From there I jumped on I-90 for the
short jaunt to MT
2. There were
several exits with names
such as “Harrison Ave” (which, in
post-incident research says it’s MT 2) but the signs didn’t give a route number so I kept on. And on. And on. My Butler Maps
showed route number but it was a bit late. So seeing that I can catch back onto the route a little later I rolled over Homestake Pass
at speed enjoying the view. (I’ve been over Homestake many times going to/from Seattle) I exited at Pipestone then travelled along
the road paralleling the interstate and connected to MT 2 and turn southwest then found MT 41 heading south. Down thru Silver Star
and Twin Bridges to find MT 287.
|Heading for Twin Bridges|
The area of Alder MT was clearly worked over by gold dredging as there are heaps and piles of river gravel in the river bottom. Looks much like the area of Breckenridge CO. Then Virginia City is a tourist destination mimicking an old west town with old buildings and old mining equipment.
|One lame view of Virgina City. Lots more to see here than in the picture.|
crossed the ridge and
descended into the Madison river valley near Ennis and into summer
The Madison is a big deal fishing destination. (I’ve fished it too).
|Madison River valley (top), Henry's Lake (bottom)|
I refueled and then rolled south down
US 287 to MT 87 to US
20. My plan was to finish at the campground
on the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway.
Unfortunately, when I got there, the Madison/Yellowstone proximity made itself felt as a full campground. I considered trying one of the
two-track roads off the pavement and doing a dispersed camp but…. Decided against. So I kept on going south. Two more campgrounds
at Warm River were also full. I rode into Ashton for more fuel. At the gas pump was a young river guide who admired my bike. I asked him
about campgrounds further south. I couldn’t hear clearly thru my earplugs but he said something about down near Driggs at the bridge.
So 40 miles onward I went. Farnum, Drummond, France, Lamont, Felt and Tetonia went by.
|Heading for Driggs|
I found no indication of camps near
any of the bridges I
found at Driggs. So I went on to Victor. My map showed a campground
on the NW side of Victor but I saw nothing as I came into town. I searched around a bit then finally went into a gas station and asked.
The lady said there was a KOA in one direction and “Mike Harris” in another. I left town and saw an RV park (not showing a KOA sign).
It looked like RV and cabins and not much like tent camping. I tried the other direction out of town about 5 miles and found nothing.
I went back
to ask again – maybe I was confused about directions?
She stated Mike Harris was about 7 miles out
just before the road
climbed steeply. OK. I found it. Apparently full with empty sites showing ‘Reserved’ but a note said the campground hosts resided 2.5 miles
further west at the Trail Creek campground. So I rolled into Trail Creek and seemed to find the same problem – occupied or Reserved sites but!
A nice lady asked me what I needed and I said “A tent site, a picnic table to unload gear to, and a pit toilet.” She said she would put me in
site #10 – the best one in the place for a tent. I removed my helmet and earplugs and we talked a bit. She’s one of the campground hosts and
said she could ALWAYS find a place for a motorcyclist even if it was on her front lawn. Yay! Even though my site and the adjacent one were
marked as reserved, no one showed up to occupy. So I had a nice spot though it was a bit close to the road where hill climbing loads start to
be applied to vehicles. At least there was signage stating no compression braking for trucks thru that area.
|Trail Creek camp. I pitched beyond the motorcycle. The ground was kind of lumpy but I was happy to have a spot!|
The night was pretty cool compared to Steve’s front yard but I was comfortable.
Last Modified: 7/2/2018