Since half our party had driven to Spokane, I drove over to meet them all at breakfast. The place we decided to meet is called the Old European.
Much to my surprise and delight, the Old European specialized in Aebleskivers. For those of you who haven't made a trek to Solvang (Or Scandinavia) lately, Aebleskivers are a spherical pancake, usually served with jam and often filled with fillings like blueberry. My friends the Hammers serve them with maple syrup, which is quite all right with me!
After breakfast we all headed out to our motorcycles. From left to right we have Jim, Ann's friend Bill, Paul and Jill, me, Ann, Rick and Suzanne.
Here we are, off on the road! All eight of us!
I never did get a good picture of Ann's friend Bill. Bill was a pretty cool guy, and a retired airline pilot for Alaska Airlines. He looked a lot like the character actor, Don S. Davis, most famous for his role on Stargate SG-1.
As I show you the beautiful Idaho and Montana countryside, let me talk a little about what its like to ride with such a large group. Specifically, what it was like after all the wives arrived.
On the positive side, they are all very cool women. And unlike when men ride alone, we actually stop often enough that you don't get really tired or sore. Also, we actually stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
On the negative side, they are all early risers. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I'm hardly functional before 11:00am, and usually am not awake until at least 9:00am. I feel that if God intended for us to be up early, our livers would dispense caffeine as needed! Well in this group, anything after 8:00am is sleeping in. Sleeping in? I'm only getting to the good dreams by 8:00am!
The other negative is that we stop, a lot! Now I know I just said that taking more breaks was a good thing. It truly is. But we stopped three times in ninty minutes today! Just a wee bit too often. Like most things in life, I'm sure we'll find a happy medium. As luck will have it, probably when the trip is over. ;)
As you can see, Idaho is okay, but not overly exciting.
Bill swerves off and heads for home, and we once again enter Montana. By my last count, we've not entered this state five times during this trip.
As we head towards Kootenai National Forest, we get stalled by this big stone wall for about fifteen minutes. They were doing some sort of blasting, and they thought people should be driving underneath until they were done. Kind of a cool texture, don't you think?
We make a stop in Libby, Montana, the "City of Eagles". You can see from the huge iron eagle sculptures, they really take this City of Eagles thing seriously.
We have a quick lunch, consisting mostly of convenience store food, and head into Kootenai National Forest.
The road was fast and curvy, which didn't allow for a lot of pictures. However, it was the high point of the day. I don't know which were more interesting, the rock formations, or the huge lake.
We end the day in Whitefish, Montana. It's compared a lot to Vail Colorado because of its affluence and ski area. In fact, its ski area is the tenth largest in the United States.
After checking into the "Duck Inn, Bed and Breakfast" we head to McGarry's restaurant. Rick, Ann and I take a cab because we know we're going to be having a drink or two along the way.
We have a delightful dinner, and afterwards Rick, Ann and I head into town for a couple of drinks. Rick was telling me his philosophy of management, and not to get into a lot of work related stuff, but he made me think about my own management style, and helped me crystalize what's important. There are some perks to hanging out with highly successful people. Sometimes their clue rubs off!
Well its time to head to bed. Tomorrow morning we're getting up at ungodly hours to head into Glacier National Park.
Park good. Riding good. Getting up early, bad!