Day 15: July 7, 2000
Miles City, MT to Moses Lake, WA
(814 miles)

I started the day in Miles City, so I think it is appropriate that I had my highest Miles day of the Four Corners Tour. I was falling behind even my revised schedule, and I was concerned about my ability to complete the Four Corners in time to pick up Carla in Spokane on Sunday, so I got on the road at 6:00 AM and did the Iron Butt thing all day. I am now 300 miles from the fourth corner in Blaine, Washington, and I'm planning an early start again tomorrow.

Because I fell behind schedule and because I had an unrealistic trip plan for this part of the country, I was forced to change my route, and pass up some of the sightseeing I had planned to do. I also had planned to be ahead of schedule by the time I got to the northwest, and I was not, so that contributed to the change of route as well.

Today, I took I-94 and I-90, and passed through most of Montana, part of Idaho, and part of Washington. A pleasant surprise was I-90 from Missoula, Montana, along the St. Regis River, over Lookout Pass, and then into Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Very beautiful scenery, and a great twisty road (for a freeway).

This morning, I went through Billings, Montana, where the Wing Ding is being held (see Day 14). I have never seen so many Gold Wings. And at least every other one is pulling a trailer. You'll remember that when I was in Key West I mentioned that I felt like Gulliver when he visited Lilliput because the ST1100 was so much bigger than the scores of scooters on the streets. Well, today the Gulliver theme continued, as my "little" ST1100 was in the land of the Giants (1500cc Gold Wings with trailers the size of doghouses). (And a couple of them actually had dogs in their dog houses!) There's evidently something about Gold Wings and trailers. There were Wings pulling trailers, Wings on trailers, Wings in trailers, Wings with trailer problems, a Wing with a crashed trailer, more trailers than I could handle.

I have always had this problem with the Gold Wing/trailer setup. A guy buys a Gold Wing, packs his stuff in it, and takes a trip or two. Then one day, he thinks to himself: I am not bringing enough of my crap with me on these trips, so I better buy myself a trailer. I have been fascinated with that thought process, how a rational person thinks he needs that much stuff on a motorcycle trip. So last night at the motel in Miles City, I asked a Gold Wing/trailer owner about how he came to that decision point, and he cleared it all up for me. He bought the trailer the same day he bought the Wing! It's a package deal! He decided that he wanted to take trips with his wife and all of their camping stuff and all of their clothing stuff and laundry detergent and food and everything! Now I understand! It's a lifestyle thing! Some day I might come to that same decision myself! Thank you very much!

My good friend Bill Englander has added an index to the web site he set up for these trip reports, check it out at:

www.englander.com/ironbuttrick/ (Note: site no longer available)

Thanks, Bill!

If was ever to do this daily trip report thing again, I would rig up a tape recorder on the bike with a microphone in my helmet because while I'm riding, I think of the best stuff to put in these reports, but when I get in the hotel at night, I'm usually tired, and my trip reports aren't nearly as good as the ones I compose on the bike. But my sentences are longer!

At this point I'm writing just to keep myself awake, so I think I'll close with this: I saw another great placard in the back window of a little Ford Fiesta being towed behind a Winnebago today. It said "Please be patient, I'm pushing a huge motor home!" lol (as Allison and Randy would say).

Good Night!

=====
Rick Brookes
ST1100, VFR750F, Hawk NT650GT
1998: 50cc Quest
1999: Bun Burner Gold
Summer 2000: BBG 3000, Four Corners Tour

Road Writes * Photos * Documentation * The Map
© COPYRIGHT 2000, Richard R. Brookes, Peter H. Baumann