All the stars lined up and the sky opened to reveal a epic land trip. My goal in this US visit was to rid myself of all the junk in my storage unit and sell the two motorcycles that have sat idle for five years. I also intended in doing one last long bike trip. When the boys in Oregon started rehabilitating the Furthur bus the plot thickened.

After a screening process i have been given the honor of partaking in the 50 year anniversary ride of Ken Kesey’s famous bus and namesake to my boat, Furthur. As spots were coveted i took the one offered, from Madison Wisconsin to Bridgeport Conneticut. The week ride ends at the Gather of the Vibes Music Festival. Putting the cherry on the top, we will be invited to a “commitment ceremony” of a couple on the bus, with none other than hippy icon Wavy Gravy as the officiator.

I considered flying to the bus but went for the kill two birds approach and incorporated my desired long motorcycle ride. So off across this beautiful country i ride. I began at the Pacific Coast at Ocean Shores visiting my sister making this a true Sea to Shining Sea ride.

More things fell into place as i contacted my good friend and riding companion, Howie, who was heading across the North Cascade Highway to an Alchy Angels camp out. i rode with the AA’s a few years before i left the shores of the US so a great chance to see more old friends. We crossed the pass on a hot 85 degree day, and summated White Pass with little traffic and warm blue skies.

I bid my old biker friends farewell and headed across little used and windy Highway 20 east bound as the temp rose in the 90’s. I crossed the state line into Idaho and the first life i saw was a large bear sitting by the road. First stop is the home of my maternal grandmother, Sandpoint Idaho, on the shores of scenic Lake Pend Oreille. Hot and dusty i pulled into a nice hotel along with about 50 other bikes. Good meal and a long hot tub and good as new.

One of the benefits of solo travel is the chance to meet new people. I met an amazing woman in hot tub, she tours the world golfing. She had played in every state in the Union and many countries. Yet another person making her dream her story.

As we were packing up the bikes a group invited me to join them for part of the ride, ok i said glad for the company. There is something inherently cool about roaring down the road in a pack of motorcycles pipes a roaring. After a while i Split from the group as out paths differed thanking them for the ride. Back along i took full enjoyment in the hot sun and the famous Montana attitude about speed limits, made evident when doing 85 mph i glanced in my mirror to see a line of cars tailgating me! I stopped for breakfast at a local dinner in a small town. As i had not seen the state line, i asked the buxom, big haired waitress, “excuse me mam, what state are we in?” . “You are in Montana now” she said with a big country smile as she served a massive platter of food to me.

I managed to stay off the freeway most of the day, taking older state highways. I made it to Butte Montana that night and then up again and down the road. i hit some high mountain rain just after i had passed a small hot springs resort. Not being either brave nor stupid i spun the bike around the freshly wet pavement and back to the hot springs until the rain subsided.

The stop took some time off my plan and it got colder so i decided to hold up just outside the Yellowstone Park boundary. i was not the only one with this idea as the streets and most hotels were full. Found a room only to the harsh reality of the tourist pricing, over $200. My idea of finding cheap lodging in rural Montana has not played out well i am sad to say.

Rising to an unexpected clear blue sky, i packed up the bike and entered the famous Yellowstone National Park. After paying the twenty dollar entrance fee i fell in line with the cars and headed east across the center of th park. I wound around the park road gaping at the incredible terrain. Soon i saw many cars pulled off the road and an army of camera armed people heading off the road. I pulled up on the bike and asked a chap what there was to see. The Eastern European said there were “two adult male steers” in the woods, hum i thought, “steers”. i peeked around and saw a very large multi pointed set of elk antlers. The visitor was excited when i told him the “steer” was an elk. Later i saw a Grizzly Bear with the same sort of Paparazzi.

The spiritual highlight of the trip was to stand were the great Chief Joseph stood on his epic trek. i envisioned the 750 members of the Nez Perce tribe, embattled and weary as they passed by with the Calvary close behind. This bit of history has always captured my interest and my heart ached as the image of these brave people came forth.

I climbed a long windy mountain pass at 8,300 ft and crossed the Great Divide. It is all downhill from here!!

2 thoughts on “SEA TO SHINING SEA, LEG 1”

  1. Joseph Jenkins


    Wow Brian…good stuff…I love bikes, boats, and babe (1), and you are truly ridin da wave…Keep it up please…safe travels.Cap JoePalm Beach Gardens, Fl

    Sent from my iPad
    On Jul 15, 2014, at 11:57 PM, Furthur Adventure wrote:

  2. Awesome update on your motorcycle trip through WA, ID and Montana. What a great time of year to being doing this. Thanks for always keeping us posted on your life’s pleasures. Keep that smile and keep your bike rolling down that trail!
    Enjoy every minute of your trip!!

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