August 6, 2014 -- My heroes, Ara and Spirit. They found me on a lonely dark highway 287 North West, near Ennis Montana. Late, around 10pm under a beautiful clear full moon with millions of stars. That moon was our saviour by lighting our path through 4 miles of gravel road to the campsite. Oh, how much I love that moon as it is a wonderful resource during night motorcycle riding.
Shelter was needed. Exhaustion and dehydration were taking a toll. The flashlight and the full moon were of some help while setting up the tent, but still a challenge fighting the wind in the dark. Adventure riders know to avoid setting camp at night. Master Ara and Spirit were so happy with my visit. I was delighted to be with them. Master Ara shared his dinner while Spirit looked at me as if he wanted some too. Dinner was accompanied with much delight and appreciation of a new friendship evolving. Spirit was tired, snored a bit while we chatted.
Tent was up, not secured to the ground, but the winds finally calmed down. Cowboys screaming in the distance. Heard gun shots and screaming people nearby. Mind was racing, could not shut down, tossed and turned on air mattress wondering if the gun shots were coming to hurt me while alone in a tent. The flow of the beautiful river was ever so present to aid in my comfort of relaxing. My mind was still humming from the long 500 plus mile ride that day, amazing how wind noise will affect you for hours after. Clutch hand was in so much pain as a result of tourist traffic in Yellowstone Park. Inch by inch that day through the park felt like an eternity as the clutch needed to be used constantly while my rain gear soaked the rain. The comfort of the air mattress in the tent was ever so welcomed. Finally, 3am, brain shuts down, a few hours of sleep.
Beautiful sunrise, 5:45 am, quiet. Master Ara and Spirit still sleeping, cool crisp dry morning. Brewed a cup of coffee, trying desperately not to wake the boys. The bunnies, birds, ducks, caribou, bees and mountain peaks at the distance, all prevalent on that morning welcoming my existence. Fresh caribou scat and tracks all over the fields. They shared their home with us visitors during the night. No shower facilities, only the raging Madison River. Very cold water, not a place for a swim as the current was strong. Camping in the wild provides the luxury of skipping the shower once in a while.
Few hours later, Master Ara wakes up to brew his coffee. Spirit still snoring. Spirit finally up and ready to play under the watchful eye of Daddy, who I call "Master Ara" for the purposes of this blog post. The vastness of unfamiliar acres of fields demands a careful watch on Spirit. Not a place for a lost dog following caribou scent or chasing wild bunnies.
Following the sidecar into town. Spirit looking at Master Ara while ears were flapping in joy. The Master's hand reaches over to Spirit with a loving rub on his head. Spirit reciprocates with a kiss on his hand. The sidecar tilts upwards at times into the air with Spirit in it during tight corners giving the illusion that Spirit was flying high. He does fly high, but only in pure ecstasy with pleasure while soaking new smells and fresh air. Miles and miles of spectacular scenery following the motorcycle with the sidecar and my new friends. On another dirt road with heavy gravel uphill onto a bridge. My bike handled the conditions as if it was designed for off-road. No heavy load as it was left at camp.
Please enjoy this amazing video as shared by Ara with Spirit on the side car while they were riding on Gravely Range Road in Montana. It gives a general idea of the beautiful roads less traveled this area provides for motorcyclists. Click on this link to view.
Back on endless roads of asphalt towards the small town called Ennis. The temptation to perform a few tricks while riding were quickly discouraged by Master Ara. He enjoys simple riding allowing no opportunity of an accident. Slow but sure. Spirit's ears still flapping in the air loving the experience. In town, first order of business, US Post Office and ask locals for best place to have lunch. Spirit always the main attraction under the loving care of the shade of a beautiful tree. Master Ara always ensuring Spirit has enough water in his side car while he waits guarding his beloved home, a BMW motorcycle with his URAL side car. We walk out of the Post Office to find Spirit surrounded by strangers. Spirit always very happy as the main attraction sharing his main Pit Bull characteristic - LOVE.