Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Lincoln to Melrose, Montana
After a north woods breakfast we parted company with BJ and rode directly into the mountains south of town. The first part of the day was in the Helena National Forest on some challenging roads. Some were more like jeep roads and we forded three or four creeks and had to go through the woods several times to get around downed trees that blocked the road. There were many fire roads criss-crossed each other and we had a hard time navigating the proper route. I will brag a little and say that between Jonathan and I we always managed to find the correct road. There must have been a lot of mining in this area during the later part of the 1800’s as there were many abandoned log cabins that were rotting and being reclaimed by the forest.
During the second part of the day we had to abandon the continental divide route as the roads became to rouh for our bikes and more gated roads were forecast by our map. We rode on Interstate 15 will we picked up Montana Highway 43 and headed towards the town of Wise River along the Big Hole River where we were to meet BJ at 4 pm. About halfway to our rendezvous we saw BJ parked along side the road, sow e stopped and found out there was one motel at our destination and they didn’t accept pets. Before we left the area we stopped at a very upscale fishing camp to see if they might have a cabin available. They didn’t but we got a tour of the resort. It cost $675 per day per person to stay there. That of course included everything but a tip. If you liked to fly fish this was the place to be.
We rode down the Interstate 15 frontage road and found a room in Melrose. The town consisted of one motel, two bars and a gas station, plus a lot of vacant buildings and homes. While we were sitting on the porch in front of our room enjoying a terrific view of the mountains we heard a sound well known during my youth – the Good Humor Ice Cream bells. Would you believe that in the middle of nowhere there would be an ice cream truck?