09:00 hrs I stepped out to start my bike and head out to Crystal Park Montana.
09:01 I stepped back inside to look for my eye drops
09:10 still looking for eye drops, gave up, leaving now on bike. Ray is here and tired of waiting.
09:12 go around the block and grab ear plugs out of the house
09:13 back on the road
And it would go well, thankfully I stopped and put in the quilted liner into my riding jacket, thinking it would be cool going over the divide into the Big Hole valley, I would be right, it was a bit frosty.
We traveled along, enjoying the amazing scenery of South Western Montana, heading to Crystal Park for the morning. This was a place I had always wanted to visit, and even though I had spent a summer doing mine reclamation only 10 miles away, I had never gotten the chance to visit the park.
A Cow Moose would jump in front of me, I would brake so as not to excite her and get a taste of her big hooves. Ray pulled up wondering what I was doing, he apparently did not see the moose. I held up my fingers and he correctly Identified four, we moved on.
We stopped a couple times for me to take my usual menagerie of pictures, the photo of Ray says it all.
I would stop about 45 minutes from the park, my vented riding gloves were not helping keep my hands warm, I really wanted to be able to grip the controls so a pair without venting was in order.
I set my helmet on my seat and going to the tail bag I would dig out my other gloves, and at that moment my helmet tried for its escape, it would roll down the bank, looking for freedom. That freedom was not to be, not being a round object it would wobble and turn straight into a tree. Thus saving me from having to repel down the cliff to retrieve the safety device.
We moved on again taking in the scenery, not much moved on the roads except a couple towing their child behind their bikes.
As they heard me coming up they crowded the side of the road, meanwhile I was digging in my jacket pocket for my camera. They would give me a frightened glance as I coasted up, no hands, trying to get a picture, bike wobbling from lack of speed.
Its ok, they lived, and we moved on.
Enjoying the copious amounts of curves I would drive past Ray in a drive way, looking at me as I tooled by, I assumed he was merely waiting for me to catch up as I had stopped a mile back on the road to take a picture of the curves.
10 miles later after I would stop half way down the other side of the pass, whipping snott from my face of joy Ray would tool up and inform me we missed the turn.
"Oh just back on top of the pass"? I would ask
"No ten miles back, where I was sitting looking at you" nothing new there, he spent quit a bit of time looking thru his helmet wondering what the hell I was up to.
"I just wanted to do these curves a second time, you got a problem with that?"
His eyes lit up and we tore out after enjoying another amazing view
I found the turn no problem, it was right next to the big stack of wood next to the road, just as Ray had described it, in my defense the sign was partially covered by a tree branch.
People of quick thinking will note that I was coming from the opposite direction initially, yea well there was a branch over that sign too.
The park was not at all what I expected, there were holes everywhere, and I wondered if this was what a hillside looked like after a carpet bombing.
People would be digging in chest deep holes, you would think they were looking for gold with this much effort.
I did not bring a shovel, or any tools, I really did not know anything about this place, and I honestly thought it was a private park. It was not, so I would end up finding a child's toy bucket of some sort to do a little scooping.
I thought I was all cool with my little pile of Crystals, I soon found out why they were sitting on top of the ground, they were to small. but alas I would find a couple nice ones to bring home, along with the rest.
My attempt at becoming a radio receiver was at least partially successful.
I have to admit that I did get some of the crystal fever, we spent about an hour kicking dirt up looking for crystals that may be laying on the surface. I did a bit of tunneling myself, but my little plastic bucket did not work for crap so that was that.
By the time we reached wise river my stomach was growling so loud I could hear it over the thumper motor.
The cheeseburger was not just good, but damn good, crystal digging had worked up an appetite so to be fair, cardboard at this point would have tasted good.
We would then merely head back home, taking I 15 back to avoid the potholes on the Big Hole highway.
People think that Montana is all trees and mountains, that is not true, I took this picture to prove otherwise.
My glove however was not cooperating and infuriated it had not been in any pictures so far, it made a point to be in this one. Ok well several others as well, it is a bit of a Ham.
Although I have to say I enjoyed the dream of the busload of cheerleaders broken down alongside the highway.
Meh, or not, but Im home, another wonderful day, so happy to have had this experience again.