The following map segment shows my route of nearly 430 miles across Montana with Brian Larson from Lacrosse, Wisconsin on his Triumph Tiger 1050 motorcycle. Since there are not many paved roads across eastern Montana, we initially rode from Glendive westward on Hwy-200S to Hwy-200 near Circle, MT and continued to the turnoff to the north on Hwy-24, passing along the eastern side of Fort Peck Lake, which feeds the Missouri River. At Glasgow, MT we resumed our journey westward along US-2 until we reached Shelby, MT.
The terrain in eastern Montana is mostly flat prairie with scarcely anything in the way of geological formations, since it was at the bottom of a large sea eons ago. Occasionally I was surprised to see something unusual along our route. This next photo shows one such small formation that would probably be ignored in other areas with larger formations.
For much of the trip across Montana, we traveled for many miles without seeing any other traffic. I took these next two photos to show the incredible isolation in this region of the country. The first photo shows the view ahead and the other is an over-the-shoulder photo with Brian following a short distance behind me. Fortunately we did not have a breakdown or other mishap. I don’t recall if I was getting an cellphone service.
When we reached the junction of Hwy-200 and Hwy-24, we found a rest area with facilities and welcomed the opportunity to take a break for a few minutes. While there I took this next photo of Brian with his motorcycle. We also met some other tourists and chatted with them for a bit.
Along the eastern side of the very large Fort Peck Lake, we passed through another area with some geological formations to break up the monotony, as shown in this next photo.
Just before Noon MDT, we reached the northern end of Fort Peck Lake and stopped at an overlook to check out the view and to take some photos. This panoramic photo shows a portion of the lake towards the southwest from the overlook. At the right, structures for the dam can be seen. Beyond the dam is the small town of Fort Peck.
While at the overlook, I asked Brian to take my photo too.
After leaving the lake, we continued westward along US-2 toward our destination in Shelby. As we approached the small town of Chester, MT, located about 45 miles east of Shelby, we saw an approaching thunderstorm with flashes of lightning. When we reached Chester around 4:40 MDT, I spotted a nice rest area sponsored by the local Lions chapter and pulled in. After some discussion with Brian about whether to wait out the storm or ride through it, we opted for the prudent action of waiting for the storm to pass by. As we waited, a young couple from Saskatchewan riding a Harley pulled in and joined us in the shelter. The storm moved through quickly with wind, rain and some lightning, so that we were able to resume our journey after a delay of only 30 minutes.
We pulled into the Comfort Inn in Shelby just before 6 PM MDT. Nearby within easy walking distance was a restaurant recommended by the desk clerk. On our way there we coincidentally met that same Canadian couple again. Although the restaurant wasn’t fancy and there wasn’t enough staff for the number of customers, the food tasted good as we were both pretty hungry by that time.
Our room in the Comfort Inn was perhaps the best hotel room thus far during my tour, and at an especially reasonable price since Brian and I split the cost. We both had a good night’s rest and a very good hot breakfast the next morning.
That concludes my travelogue update for August 5th. The next day, Brian and I continued to Glacier National Park where we parted company as planned. It was nice to have his companionship for about a day and a half and look forward to meeting up with him again in the future. More about the next day’s journey in my next installment.