Trip to Montana on 1988 BMW R100GS Motorcycle- June 2018

Day 8 -  Departure day


Monday morning was clear but with heavy dewfall and my tent being in the shade I had to take 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 Georgetown Lake 
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.

Georgetown Lake

    I stopped for fuel in Anaconda and passed thru town without seeing either a Subway or McDonald’s. So I made another pass and
    found McDonald’s for lunch.

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.

I crossed the ridge and descended into the Madison river valley near Ennis and into summer tourist madness. 
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 symbol 
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. 

So 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.


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Last Modified: 7/2/2018