Big Timber – Lewistown – Canadian Border – Fort Peck
The ride was 431 miles with about 7.5 hours of ride time.
Tuesday July 23, 2013
We got up and started packing around 6:00, we were ready to get a start on the day that was going to take us the the Canadian border.
After riding back into Big Timber we started north on US 191. My expectation was for lots of empty flat countryside. Boy was I wrong. The views were not as spectacular as the last few days, but much better than I’m used to seeing. In Harlowton we stopped at a local store for some supplies. We asked the clerk the best place in town to eat and she sent us to a place on the edge of town, it was closed. This was the second time on this trip we had been recommended a restaurant that was out of business.
We stopped at the McDonalds in Lewistown for breakfast. I bought a one gallon gas can to make sure my thirsty bike would make the next town. It was 135 mile leg without a town or gas station and I wanted to make sure I didn’t run out of gas.
About 49 miles out of Lewistown we saw a sign that told motorcycles to seek an alternate route because of road repair. We talked briefly about what to do and then pressed on US 191. In New Mexico they will detour you to muddy rutted roads for miles without warning. My imagination went wild with how bad it was going to be if they wanted us to reroute. When we finally got to the area with the road work, it was 30 feet of hard gravel. I felt relieved and a little cheated.
In Malta we gased up and talked with some other riders headed for Glacier National Park. We only had 60 more miles to go, I felt excited and ready to get riding on this last leg.
When we reached the border Chuck crossed into Canada and on his way back asked if we could go to the border for pictures. We weren’t going to cross into Canada because my daughter doesn’t have a passport. The crossing guard allowed us to ride to the middle of no mans land for some pictures.
On the sixty miles back to Malta I couldn’t stop smiling. We did it, we rode from one border to the other just using US 191.
When we got to our next camp we broke out some apple cider and had a toast to our cross country ride.
After setting up our camp we went to Park Grove for dinner. It was a small bar and the only place for miles. The food was passable and the service was great.
The food was so cheap at this place Chuck got two plates of food for his dinner. After our meal we rode to the nearest fuel ( 9 miles north) , so we could fill up for the next day ride. It was going to be 135 miles before we found a gas station in the direction we were headed.
After gassing up, we came back to camp, showered and got into the tents to avoid the bugs.
This was a great day, we did what I’m guessing few people have done. We crossed the United States using only US 191. This highway passes through deserts, forests, plains and more cities than I can remember. US 191 took us over several mountain passes and past many lakes both large and small. Most of US 191 passes through remote empty country and when you find a town, it’s usually very small.