Montana Road Trip 2007


 The Plan

July was quickly drawing to a close and I realized summer would not be here much longer.  Time to use up my one week of vacation.  I've gone on a multi-day motorcycle ride somewhere every summer since 2001 and each trip gets a little longer and a little more interesting.  I kicked around a couple different ideas before taking the advice of a friend to visit Glacier National Park in Montana (thanks Neil!).  It’s a beautiful place and the ride up would involve lots of fun roads.  I've never been there so why not?


A map of the Western United States

My eventual destination - Glacier National Park in Northwestern Montana.

A week before I was to leave I sat down to plan out my route.  In choosing the roads to take I attempted to follow this criteria:


  • No interstates
  • The twistier the road, the better
  • No duplication – I didn’t want to double-back over any ground I’d already covered this trip
  • The more desolate the better.


Thankfully this was pretty easy to follow. There are a number of national parks between here and Glacier and I did my best to route through most of them.  I did utilize interstates for the very beginning of the trip just to speed my departure out of the Bay Area and Sacramento.  Although there was a particular route that I laid out, the entire trip was flexible.  I planned on 5 days but I had a total of 8 if needed.  I made zero reservations.  Wherever I ended up near sundown is where I would stay.  Although this creates some pressure at times, it also eliminates it in others.  Getting to a small town after dark only to find out that there are no rooms sucks, but being able to alter my route freely and go at my own pace more than made up for it.


After altering the route slightly based on the advice I received from some friends, I programmed everything into my GPS unit and packed everything I could stuff into a small duffel bag.  I'm not sure why I felt so optimistic but I decided not to pack rain gear or cold weather gear.  The forecast for the West looked good if a little warm all week so I took a gamble.  I took one more gamble and picked up a new Dainese Bluetooth headset-equipped helmet just before leaving town.  Thankfully this worked really well and created no issues for me on the trip.


My motorcycle packed and ready to go

GPS unit mounted on the handlebars, new Dainese helmet, and 8 days' worth of luggage in my duffel bag.


Next: Day 1