Butte, MT to Grangeville, ID
I slept good, then ate breakfast in the adjoining Perkins restaurant. I had fueled up the day before so I was on the highway by 7:50 AM.
It was a 120 mile slog on I-90 once again to get to Missoula where I turned west on highway 12 to Lolo. I gassed up there, alongside two guys from Alberta, Canada riding Suzukis. One was a DL100 and the other was a Bandit. I smiled at them but they ignored me. I ate a snack, then continued on 12 up and over Lolo Pass.
I had to go around some really slow cars, all with Idaho license plates, then over the pass and down the other side. The road surface at the top of the pass was rough, but it smoothed out soon enough. The sun was out and it was a pleasant riding temperature, so the rest of the ride was very comfortable.
I stopped at the small Apgar campground to eat an energy bar and drink some water, then continued on. The 50 mph speed limit on highway 12 in Idaho is needlessly slow. The road is in great shape, the curves seldom get below a posted 40 mph, and the sight lines are more than adequate. I guess they just hate speed in Idaho.
Just past Lowell a group of six BMW riders come up behind me and soon they zoomed past, all with Alberta license plates. They all rode a different model of BMW, with a big R1200GS leading the pack. They were going at least 20 mph over the limit and were passing car after car over a solid no-passing line. I tried to keep up with them for a little while but their aggressive pace was a bit more than I wanted to risk from a speeding ticket standpoint.
Eventually they pulled off into a small park and I rode past and into Grangeville. I stopped at the first gas station and filled up my tank, and after coming back outside from a bio break, I saw the Alberta BMW Club pull into the station. They stopped, one rider got off her bike, they smiled at each other, then mounted up and took off again without getting any gas at all. I had no clue what that was about.
I checked into the Super 8 in Grangeville, a place I’ve stayed at before. The staff is very friendly and the value is excellent. I ran a load of laundry and after a shower, I walked to Palenques a few blocks away for a great dinner of Mexican food.
Back in my room, The Weather channel had that nasty warning tone, then a red ticker across the bottom saying there were dangerous thunderstorms in the area with quarter-sized hail and possible tornadoes. I went to the front desk to see if there was room for me to park my bike under the front overhang, but it was filled with Harley baggers. I left my bike exposed in the regular parking lot and took my chances. The storms apparently stayed 60 miles away in Washington state and avoided Grangeville altogether.