Almost a year since last year's ride, David and enjoyed a Mexican meal and a Scottish ale at Bogart's in Red Lodge -- this time with Daniel. We camped in the back yard of the Alpine motel, a very accommodating place just a few blocks from the downtown strip of gift shops, restaurants, pubs, souvenir dealers and outfitters. The cut-rate camping fee included breakfast.
I spent some time at the local Ace Hardware, picking up some camping essentials, and Daniel and I bought caps to protect our delicate skulls when unhelmeted.
We met Chris and Dale, two Harley riders from Hawaii who were staying at the local hotel. Everyone agreed to meet after breakfast and ride the Beartooth again -- from east to west this time. We passed Chris and Dale amidst the bison-strewn valleys and didn't see them again.
|On the Yellowstone side of the Beartooth near Cooke City, the distinctive spire rises above the valley.|
|F/8 and be there: instant postcard!|
|As Montana Hwy. 2 got closer to the fire, we noticed the smoke made the sun glow red overhead.|
|Daniel and I stopped for gasoline and a drink at a general store/casino as the fire colored the sky. "It's not really as close as it seems," the cashier said.|
|An elk read the paper over Daniel's shoulder.|
|The local news was disturbing, but the fire reports from Colorado Springs and Boulder were even more alarming.|
|The flags on the Ovando town square showed the force of the front.|
|A family enjoying a vacation outing on ATV four-wheelers joined us in the restaurant for lunch, then bundled up in plastic and took off as soon as the wind tapered off.|