The Pilgrimage: Day 5
Reluctantly left my cozy cabin at Glacier Mist RV Park, in Cut Bank and headed south. Note to the wise, don’t drive over the Tiber Dam on the east end of Lake Elwell (outside Shelby) because holy hell giant. loose. terrible. gravel.
The weather was really nice though, the sun was out, no clouds, it was beautiful.
Made my way down to Fort Benton and gawked at their pretty buildings, while people gawked at me walking around in bulky motorcycle pants with like 3 cameras in my hands.
Then scooted my way over to the Carter Ferry! Lazarus and I got to ride our first Ferry! I was gleeful and the old man running it just didn’t understand how exciting it was.
I ran over my first snake almost immediately after getting off the ferry. Then I made the mistake of listening to the old man’s directions about how to get back to the main road so I got turned around on a couple gravel farm roads, but hey I found lots of wheat and more than a few abandoned buildings like this.
I eventually found the main road and ended up in Belt, MT.
I was watching the sun go down, and stopped into the gas station to ask if they knew anywhere near to camp. The lil’ old gal behind the counter told me, “oh just go down to the park/baseball field and camp down there, I saw them baseball boys camp there, so I know you can do it."
So, I did as I was told and camped in the Belt City Park. The PoPo didn’t bother me or anything! Winning.
The Pilgrimage: Day 6
Left Belt, MT failry early for me, and made my way over to Lewistown with the goal to visit Gilt Edge and Maiden (ghost towns) in the Judith Mountains before moving on to Zortman.
The Judith Mountains had a different plan for me. I think they might be cursed.
I got lost.
Evidently I did pass Gilt Edge and didn’t know it because it was literally three falling down buildings with no marker. So, then I went up to Camp Maiden (which no it is not the Maiden I was looking for) the “back way” according to locals.
It was rough going, and I dropped the bike in a pile of tree limbs. Took everything off the bike, picked it up and kept going up the mountain -trying to find the route that spits out the other side of the mountains to the highway.
I went the wrong way again.
I ended up at the very top ridge of Judith Peak where the road ends. The wind was blowing so hard that when I stood near the edge the wind literally held me up.
It was so strong it knocked me over on the bike three times.
After picking the bike up and putting everything back on for the fourth time, she wouldn’t start, and I ran the battery dead trying to get her to start.
I walked for an hour down the mountain before I found someone to help me jump the bike. It was another half hour drive back up a waterboarded, loose gravel road back to my bike. When we got out the wind had gotten so strong, that the poor kid that gave me a ride had to hold up the hood of his truck otherwise the wind would slam it shut.
We went down the mountain to find a tow truck to bring my baby down off the mountain, because the wind was so strong there was no way for me work on the bike. I took the keys, my tank bag, my helmet and my jacket, but left everything else on the bike. Including my motorcycle pants.
This is when I met Martin.
He’s pretty much the one man show at Hanser’s Towing in Lewistown. He is also the most hard working, friendly, and generous man ever.
We started up the mountain to get the bike around 8, determined that it would be too dark to get the bike down the mountain and decided we’d get it the next morning.
When I mentioned that all of my camping stuff was still on the bike and I had no where to stay, he let me stay at the tow shop in the sleeper on a big rig.It was pretty much awesome.