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Trans-Canada - Day 17

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Start Location: Hardin, MT
Ending Location: Missoula, MT
Miles Today: 404
Trip Miles: 5485
States Visited: 11
Provinces Visited: 5
Low Temp: 68° F
High Temp: 85° F
Min Elevation: 2910'
Max Elevation: 6409'

Route Map:

As usual when you're in Montana, we started the day in Montana and ended the day in Montana. This is one big state. We left to clear skies and comfortable temperatures and had the same all day. We were even able to wear our leathers all day without dying or getting heat stroke.

The speed limits in Montana are 75 on I-90 but we generally only go 70 and even at that, our gas mileage is terrible. I'm not sure why but there seems to be a breakpoint around 60-65 miles per hour. If we go over that our mileage drops from the low 40s to only about 35-36 miles per hour. Besides that the faster you go the harder it is to watch any scenery. You don't generally think of Montana as being scenic but it is pretty nice - especially the western half. We have been through Montana both east to west and north to south on numerous roads and few are any better than I-90.

We stopped a little early today so that we get to church and still found that there were not too many extra rooms in the area. Apparently the "Griz" were playing at home today and there were lots of people in town for the game.

We didn't see anything particularly interesting on the road today. There were a number of other bikes but probably still not as many as we saw up in Canada. The bike continues to run great. I have been checking the air in the new tire just to make sure it is okay and it's been fine. About the only thing I have to do is check the oil and the air and wash the bugs off the windshield in the evening. We pick up a lot of dead bugs along the way and, if I didn't try to get the majority off every night, it would be terrible by the time we got home.

We have been up in the air about what to do tomorrow. One option is to just drive straight home. It's 499 miles apparently from Missoula to Everett and, especially with gaining another hour, we could easily make that in a day. The other option, and probably the one we are leaning towards, is to turn off I-90 and pick up route 12 which goes through Lolo Pass and then winds down and across Idaho. We have taken this route several times before - in both directions - and it is one of our favorites. If we do that we will probably stop for the night either in the Tri Cities or Yakima and then come the rest of the way home Monday. The final decision may just depend on the weather forecast. We'll see.