Dy 8 and 9′s Route (Aug 24th and 25th): Seattle – Omak – Missoula – Hamilton, Montana
Text by : Praveer Kochhar
This morning was different. It was not like those other days when you would get up and just rush for breakfast and it was already late to push off for the ride. This morning we woke up at Tom and Terrys house and I specially got up really early walked out and saw the sunrise. Though I came back and slept again but it was just exactly what I needed. A break from the routine and I got up extremely fresh. Now it was all falling in place, the body and the mind had finally been rested and the rest of the tough part of the trip was looking easy.
We planned to set off on the ride and to our surprise Tom and Terry were also riding with us. Tom would be riding his 1993 Ducati Elefant (which is like the grandmother of the Multistrada). And Terry would be on her 2003 matte black Ducati Monster. We had planned to ride across the cascades to the city of Omak. The ride was not that long so we decided to take it easy. And after a leisurely home made breakfast it was time to set off with 3 bikes and a car. The route was simple as we had to take a ferry ride across from Bainbridge Island (where Tom’s place was) to cross Seattle and then ride for almost 200 miles to our destination.
Seattle is famous for being one of the wettest cities in America and to our surprise the day was bright, sunny and cool. Best recipes for a ride into the hills. And as we got off the ferry with me in the car, Sunny on the Diavel and Tom and Terry on their Ducatis we rode calmly through the interstate before we got to a gas station to refill. Here, Terry wanted to test ride the AMG and I was raring to get a piece of the Monster. And both our wishes came true and we swapped. Now it was time to take on the twisties. We started off slowly and cautiously when we came upon a group of Harley riders who were doing 45-50 miles on a road with the limit at 65. And Tom decided to overtake them and we followed suit. And then was unleashed some of our most amazing rides so far. Tom and Sunny lead the way and experienced what riding in the US could really be. We shot some great pictures on the couple of mountain passes enroute and also took the opportunity to take some shots of the car and the bike with Tom and Terry to help drive the vehicles for us. (Pick up the Anniversary issue of the xBhp mag to check the best of them!).
We ended up at our hotel a little late in the evening and decided a long but fun day was over and now it was time to look forward to the grueling part of the roadtrip.
OF HIGHWAYS AND BREAK NECK DISTANCES
Now after saying a million thanks to Tom and Terry for their great company, hospitality and help it was time to look ahead at the really grueling part of the trip. We started off a little late around 1130 and had to cover around 800 kms today. The idea was to reach Salmon and small town in the middle of one of the many National Parks of America. And hence cover almost half the distance to Salt Lake City.
So we started on riding through Omak and when through two of less popular and less populated states in the United States Idaho and then to Montana. The ride was nothing but Interstate highways. I covered almost 350 kms in less than 3 hours. The idea today was to cover distance as there weren’t many picturesque places enroute. And try to get to Salmon, but usually the plans have to be changed enroute as it got a little late and we actually lost 1 hour in the day to the Time Zone change. Suddenly when we were on course to reach Salmon but 8pm we realized that the time had changed from 6 to 7pm and that the sun would set. And at this time of the year to ride through a National Park is not safe at night as there are Deer migrations taking place and they actually run across the road so it was decided to take a motel at a place just 60 miles before Salmon called Hamilton.
The next day would have surprises for us that we weren’t prepared for. So keep watching this space.