Boondocking the Nation: 17 Days, 8300mi, 1 Motel
Rest Day in Helena
I sincerely enjoy the soundest sleep of the trip and wake around 7 for coffee. We go out for an AM breakfast at a neat local earthy café.
I treat them to a breakfast. My uncle has Huevos Rancheros and my aunt, Oatmeal, while I enjoy a huge whole wheat pancake.
After our filling breakfast, we drive to the nearby motorcycle shop and I buy an oil filter before returning home for more coffee and conversation. Around noon, they drop me off downtown and I walk around taking many photos and exploring some of the local shops along the pedestrian mall.
I saw my first bear!
Never seen Ramen like that :scratch
The Cathedral is impressive and built with gold rush money.
A stop at the library has me chatting with the librarians hosting coffee and cookies in the lobby in exchange for completing a survey. A young woman my age overheads and begins asking me a few questions. It turns out she is a local news reporter for CBS and asks to interview me for her blog. I go outside the library where she attaches a microphone to my sweater and begins her 10 minute interview about me, my trip and my goals. I regrettably fail to take a picture of her, perhaps out of respect or shyness, and we exchange cards before bidding goodbye. I drink my coffee and hike to the historic fire tower overlooking town for some more photos.
After exploring more shops, I meet my uncle and aunt then continue to the outdoor patio of a Mediterranean restaurant for lunch.
I enjoy a delicious cup of seafood chowder and share half of my aunt’s succulent chicken sandwich.
After lunch, we get oil then go over to the ranch of a family friend outside of the north end of Helena. Darryl has two horses, many acres and an antique and new Mustang in the garage parked beside four wheelers and a BMW R1150RT with less than 10k mi. He offers me space and tools allowing me to accomplish my oil change in less than an hour. At 5’600 mi into the trip, I am a bit late on my service interval and the black used oil reflects that.
We enjoy a beer on the patio overlooking his ranch and Helena in the distance.
His kind wife, Carina, invites us to stay for burgers and we spend the evening relaxing telling stories and swapping advice on riding and local sights.
Darryl gives me a map and nice route for tomorrows trip to Yellowstone then follows it up with a slideshow presentation on his 60” HD TV of a recent trip. After many thanks and handshakes, I leave a cloud of dust riding 60mph into the darkness of the sage lined dirt road back to town. I use the washer and dryer to do a much needed load of laundry…mmmm clean clothes! I retire to bed around midnight then poke around the internet on my phone until 1:00AM before falling asleep.