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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Tetons/Yellowstone RV Trip Day 11: Bozeman KOA to North Fork Village

The Bozeman KOA provides breakfast as part of the package, so we got up in time to eat the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. It was reasonable, and even the coffee didn't taste like water. Then the windshield guys showed up and replaced the windshield in a surprisingly short amount of time. Then it was time to visit Carl Strong, with whom I'd made an appointment the day before.
Carl worked in a workshop behind his home, and it was all laid out so he could produce a new frame every week. I'm still riding the replacement frame he made for me after the first one broke. The geometry is the best I've ever ridden, and I never get on the bike without thinking about what a great ride it is. It was nice to see the birthplace of my ride, and Carl and I chatted about cycling and the state of the industry a little bit, and I tried to convince him that touring without support in the European Alps is the thing to do.

I picked Carl's brain about where to go next. Like Douglas Wiegley, he suggested the Sawtooth Mountains since Glacier National Park was way too far to go. He provided several strong suggestions, including to gas up before entering the Wise river valley, which proved to be valuable advice. He also suggested visiting the Montana State University's Museum of the Rockies before leaving Bozeman, which we did.

It's a good thing we did, since my wife called while I was at the museum asking me to perform a series of transactions which involved fetching documents, finding a notary, signing it, and then sending those documents back via Fedex, which would have been much harder to do anywhere else. I felt like an RPG character on a fetch quest walking around in the 90 degree heat, but the flip side of that was that everywhere I went, everyone was very sympathetic and bent over backwards to help me. Even the notary public waived her customary fee when she saw my condition.

After that, it was time to go, and we did exactly as Carl Strong suggested, gassing up the RV at the precise gas station he told us to before heading into the Wise river valley. Along the way, we got to see the Big Hole National Battlefield, which depicted the war between the Nez Perce and the USA.

Then it was a long drive, but the place was beautiful and the road anything but boring. It was even more fun sitting in an AC cab than outside in the heat, so we only stopped at 5:00pm at the North Fork village campground which had nice river access and full hookups.

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