Day 5 - Issaquah, WA to Saint Regis, MT

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June 23rd 2017
Published: June 24th 2017
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Greetings from St. Regis, Montana! I meant to stop in Idaho. I really did. It just didn't happen. In my defense, the riding was good and the day started off weird...

Early this morning as I was having my coffee in the motel parking lot in Issaquah and looking over the bike for today's ride, an older gentleman in an Army sweatshirt approached me. "That your bike?" he demanded. I said that it was. He then said "I was very unhappy to see it there this morning." "Why?" I replied. He then proceeded to tell me about a friend of his who crashed and died on the exact same bike. Creepy, yes? Then he went on to tell me about all the other people he has known, or even heard about who have crashed and died on motorcycles. When his little rant was over, he told me to have a great day and disappeared back into his room. What the hell?

Folks, don't do this to people who ride. We all know the dangers and there's a pretty solid chance that we know more people who have been hurt or killed while riding than you do. Sometimes we are the ones who were hurt. 13 years ago, I was riding my old Kawasaki police bike to work. In a canyon near my home, a woman in a blue car (that's all I saw), crossed the center line of the road. I had to leave the road to avoid hitting her head on. I headed off into the brush at 40 mph and struck a K Rail head on that was buried in the roadside brush, going over the handlebars and through the windshield. The fun wasn't over yet! I then continued flying, now upside down, and struck yet another concealed K Rail with my back. From that day forward, my back has been completely numb from my shoulder to my hip on my right side. The jacket that I still wear today (literally), I was wearing that day and it bears the scars of that accident. (See picture below. This was taken tonight and the scars look fresh.) I broke some bones, coughed up quite a bit of blood the next day and didn't feel "right" for about a year. So, yeah. You don't have to tell me about bikes being dangerous. In fact, I'd just as soon you keep your mouth shut and not put that particular hoodoo on me, ok? Oh, how did I respond to that accident? I got a bigger bike, that's how.

Anyway, I got out of Issaquah at about 8:00 am and began making my way East on I-90. 90 is a great riding road, as freeways go, with lot's of twists and bends as well as many changes in elevation to keep things interesting. At the summit of Snoqualmie Pass, I stopped for breakfast at the Summit Pancake House. Get the "Special" omelet. It rocks! After breakfast, the scenery began to change. No more of Western Washington's lush greenness. Now it was being replaced by treeless plains.

As I was nearing the eastern edge of Washington state, I was ready for a stretch break and I happened to see a sign reading "Wild Horse Monument Next Right." Cool! There are pictures below from the monument. I can't tell you anything about the monument itself since some vandal has taken it upon him or herself to pry out the plaques and replace them with graffiti. Sad. This is why we can't have nice things.

Soon enough, I found myself in Idaho. Idaho quickly brought back the green with dense pine forests and grassy hills leading to some of the most amazing lake views that I have ever seen. Couer d'Alene was spectacular. I suddenly wanted to stop riding and go waterskiing instead. However, I lack a boat, so onward I went.

I'm not sure if the part of Idaho that I crossed could rightly be referred to as a "panhandle" but that's essentially what it is. Suddenly, I found myself in Montana. I was not supposed to be in Montana yet! I have to be in Billings in two days... and it's only 400 miles away. Oops. When I set my itinerary for these kind of trips, it is never with the idea that I MUST reach a given destination on a given day. Rather, it is to remind me to stop. I get way into my own head when I'm riding and will frequently be surprised to see that I have crossed a state border at some point. This happened to me last year as well. "Huh, I'm in Illinois. Wait, why am I in Illinois? WAIT, HOW LONG HAVE I BEEN IN ILLINOIS???)

Tomorrow's plan is to do some laundry and a little bike maintenance (the spring on my stoplight switch broke today and one of my saddlebags needs stitching), grab some food and ride to Bozeman, MT, where I swear by all that is holy, I shall have a steak!

Let's see if I can stick to the plan and not end up in North Dakota...

See you on the road,


Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


24th June 2017

Day 5 turned out pretty good.
You rode a little further than you thought you were going to, however, overall you had a good day. Tomorrow it is time for laundry, some bike maintenance and see more of the scenery of Montana. Have a great ride tomorrow.

Tot: 2.918s; Tpl: 0.056s; cc: 13; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0386s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb