Neither of us slept well so we were up fairly early and on the road by 7:30 am. Fortunately the roads in Montana are much better than in North Dakota. So while not comfortable, the ride was much more tolerable.
We traveled west to Bozeman, MT where we cut south on US-191 to West Yellowstone. As we hit the edge of Bozeman, there was a sign that read "Road Closed".
Road closed where? This road? Closed 10 miles ahead? 20? 100? Closed for an hour? A day? A month?
There was no additional information. Because so many times we've seen signs posted that are absolute lies (anyone ever see "Road Work" posted when there is no road work?), we decide to proceed.
Another 10 miles down the road, there is a sign "Incident Ahead". What does that mean? However we begin to realize we are the only people on this road. We proceed a little further while discussing our options. Finally we decide that although we'd like to get to the actual road closure to get more information (and bitch about the lack of info provided by the signs), it's better to find an alternate route. We turn around and head the 15 or so miles back to Bozeman.
My GPS suggested another route a bit to the east. It's only about 40 miles out of our way and since it was still early, we decide to press on. Our goal is to get to Idaho Falls tonight and we're still a good 200 miles away.
About 30 miles down the alternate route the traffic is stopped on the two lane highway. You guessed it. "Road Closed". "Accident Ahead". These people drive like idiots! We saw it on the way to Ten Mile Lake. Road side crosses on every turn. Because of the proximity to Yellowstone, there's lots of tourists. One type is the old geezer driving his giant RV at 45 mph with no idea where he is going. The other is the stressed out city dweller in his SUV that wants to drive 80 mph because the speed limit is 70 mph. And in between you have the locals and the other tourists that might like to go faster but understand the dangerous road conditions and just fall in line until a passing lane presents itself.
So the geezer is at the head of the line. Then there's 15-20 "moderates" lined up. Finally at the back of that line is the stressed out city dweller that thinks he's more important than everybody else and is going to pass. He starts out a bit cautiously passing one, and then maybe two at a time. But with each pass, he gets bolder and braver passing more cars with less space each time. Finally he screws up and there's a head on collision. We were in three near misses ourselves that day.
So anyway, this particular accident was a big rig and car which resulted in lumber spilled all over the highway. The good part was that we were only delayed about an hour.
As we proceeded the rest of the way through Montana toward Idaho, one car passed me on the two lane highway to let me know there was something wrong behind. The road was narrow without shoulders but up ahead there was an access driveway to a rancher's field so I was able to get off the road there.
This time it was a tire on the boat trailer. The tire was in shreds but couldn't have blown out too far back because the wheel was still in good enough shape. I got out my tools and changed another one.
At least the boat trailer tires are much easier to change than the fifith wheel tires. Being a 13 inch wheel, it's much lighter and smaller. I don't have to crawl under the trailer to jack it up. The spare is mounted on the front of the trailer and is easily accessible. And finally, there's only 5 lug nuts instead of 8. I was done in about 30 minutes and we were on our way.
Luckily the rest of the trip to Idaho Falls was uneventful. We stayed at the Targhee Inn & RV Park just south of town off of I-15. The park is a basic dump but it worked. We wouldn't have even had to pay if we weren't honest. When we arrived that evening, a sign on the office said to just get a spot as "I'm gone". When Denise went to pay the next morning, the gal was totally unaware we were in the park.
Anyway, more booze, a few phone calls, and finally to bed. We just want to get home.
Comments, Praise, Complaints?