Montana Outdoors

April 28, 2008

A GoldWing day

Filed under: Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: — montucky @ 6:29 pm

With warmer temperatures now and most of the snow off the roads, it again becomes ‘Wing time and so today the bike was on the road again for its 27th summer and believe me, the pilot’s seat never felt better! It was a short ride of only a hundred miles today, just for checking everything out and getting used to handling the big bike again.

The weather was great along the Clark Fork and the temperature finally reached the 70’s for the first time in seven months.


I would have ridden a little longer but I discovered that the road was closed. This is a minor highway that crosses a fairly low pass into the Idaho panhandle, and although the pass is only about 4,800 feet high, it receives a lot of snow. When they say the road is closed up there, they really mean it! Here is what it was like at about 3,900 feet, 3 or 4 miles short of the pass. You can imagine what Going to the Sun road in Glacier is like now!

Thompson Pass

While these machines were about to be worked hard to get the road open,


thousands of these little guys were starting their short summer lives in the high country. I was surprised to see them in an area where there was still 5 feet of snow on the ground.

Cold country butterfly

The ‘Wing seemed to like the cooler temperatures near the pass, but maybe I could have used a jacket. There’s a lot of beautiful scenery to see from Montana’s highways and no better way to see that part of the state than from a big bike!


Gold Wing


  1. We haven’t had snow on the ground for quite some time now so it’s hard to imagine the depth of snow in your part of the country had you not used your bike as a reference. Nice touch!

    I know what a different “perspective” you get when viewing the scenery in an “open” vehicle of some kind, I used to own a Jeep CJ7. It came with a “hard top” but I soon changed that! Really nice bike, I’ll bet that was a nice ride.

    I’ve heard about those “road size snowblowers” out your way, my father served in the army in Colorado and Alaska. Looks like they do a much better job than our snowplows.

    PS: Sadly, I see that Alaska Outdoor Adventures has deleted the blog! Too bad, I enjoy “touring” the country via blogs!


    Comment by Janet Wilkins — April 29, 2008 @ 8:18 am

  2. Yes it’s great to tour in an open vehicle! The only problem here is that even in the summer it gets down to about 40 at night and that’s a bit cold first thing in the morning.

    Those snowblowers are great for deep snow. This particular road is not an important one and so the equipment that sent up there isn’t the best they have. This blower is actually smaller than some that they have. I was surprised to see the road grader equipped like that though. That’s unusual.

    I was sad to see the Alaska Outdoor blog gone too. I liked that one and have no idea why.


    Comment by montucky — April 29, 2008 @ 8:29 am

  3. What a great place to go for a ride. The scenery and an open vehicle really makes the ride enjoyable.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — April 29, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  4. It sure is. Just about any place in this part of the state is very scenic. I prefer the trails into the high country, but there’s a lot to see and enjoy from the highways too.


    Comment by montucky — April 29, 2008 @ 9:44 am

  5. These guys are work horses aren’t they Terry, 27 years it looks brand new, you have taken great care of it. Hope you enjoy riding it this summer !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — April 29, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

  6. I love to ride when the weather is at least half way decent. With today’s gas prices, the economy of the bike is pretty welcome too!


    Comment by montucky — April 29, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

  7. Great idea – I’ve been thinking either I get a bike or a horse (I think your type of horse makes for easier riding!) These are great shots. Your little butterfly is a really pretty shot. 🙂 (Hard to believe that you still have that much snow in the passes but honestly… I took some shots off of Bisbee last night and the mt. tops are still really covered as well. Makes for a good landscape shots tho!)


    Comment by aullori — April 30, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  8. I’ve even been thinking about getting a pedal type bike too for short trips to town (it’s only7 miles on the back road). The Wing is great for longer trips (at 44mpg).

    I have mixed emotions about the snow: it bothers me that I can;t get into the high country, but it sure is beautiful and much needed.


    Comment by montucky — April 30, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

  9. Cool bike – Hondas are indestructable, at least based on my efforts as a young man to destroy a NX250. I’ve been thinking of getting a (motor)bike again myself. Those old BMW boxer-engine R75s are really sweet, not too expensive, and perfect for SF streets and cruising our ample network of back roads, which from my years of road bicycling, I know quite well. Guess I’ll have to re-add a moto endorsement to my license first…. I’d love a Gold Wing, but it’s been waaaaay too long since I’ve ridden to start w/something that large & heavy.

    I’d highly recommend getting a bicycle for town trips – a 14-mile round trip would be a great short workout, and there’s nothing quite as satisfying as getting around on human power, as you know well from all of the great hikes you do.


    Comment by Adam R. Paul — May 2, 2008 @ 8:22 am

  10. You’re wise for sure to get used to riding again on a lighter bike, and a Wing isn’t much fun in an urban area anyway: it’s made for the open road.

    Yes, I think the bike is a good idea for exercise and economy. When I was a kid growing up in Missoula I would bike to my fishing spots, often as far as 20 miles away. No reason I can’t now, and with gas prices going where they are I might have to add a horse for winter trips.


    Comment by montucky — May 2, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

  11. my husband got a Suzuki Boulevard a couple years ago. It has really helped our budget not buying gas for two cars. But he loves to take it out for a ride. He and my daughter love those long rides! but they’ve not seen any snow! 🙂


    Comment by silken — May 2, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

  12. Silken,

    They just haven’t ridden far enough to the north! The bike really does help the budget. The old Wing gets 44 mpg and as your husband knows, it’s fun too! When my daughter was still at home she used to love riding with me too. She relaxed so well that I hardly knew she was on the back seat. My son also used to ride with me.


    Comment by montucky — May 2, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

  13. my son and I are not too good riders. but my daughter, as you said, he hardly knows she’s there. she knows just how to sit, lean, etc and loves the fast speeds! and now she loved her scuba class! she is more adventuresome than I’ve given her credit for! 🙂


    Comment by silken — May 2, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

  14. Your daughter sounds so much like mine was at her age! You will find her fascinating as the years go by, as I have found mine!


    Comment by montucky — May 2, 2008 @ 10:23 pm

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