Day 11 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Gardiner to Great Falls 226 Miles)

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Day 11 Ride Map

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Leaving Gardiner Montana

Today is day 11 of my 5000+ mile, 17 day motorcycle ride…  Larry T., Larry A. and myself have ridden together for 10 days seeing some of the most scenic parts of the western US. On day 5 we turned onto US-89 just north of Prescott, AZ. Today we continue riding up US-89 to Great Falls, MT from Gardiner, MT. Larry A’s old Air Force buddy lives near there so we will be spending a couple of days in the area.

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Rolling down US-89 North of Gardiner Montana

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Waiting on road construction North of Gardiner Montana

Our ride up US-89 from Gardiner, MT is another scenic one. Most notably, US-89 follows the rushing waters of the Yellowstone River north into the perfectly named Paradise Valley. Riding through Paradise Valley we see beautiful views of the Absaroka and Gallatin Mountain ranges in the distance. At Livingston we stopped for a bite to eat. That breakfast at the motel didn’t go very far.  Once back on the road we hopped on I-90 a short distance before continuing north on US-89. We leave behind the Yellowstone River and pick up the Shields River as our companion. We ride through a valley between the Bridger and Crazy Mountain ranges to White Sulphur Springs. I am really enjoying the small towns, scenic farms and ranches we are seeing.

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Yellowstone River north of Gardiner on US-89

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Riding north on US-89 to Livingston, Montana

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Stretching our legs in Wilsall Montana

We stopped in Wilsall to stretch our legs, re-hydrate, grab a snack and visit with some of the locals at the Wilsall Bar & Café. We love talking to the locals about our ride and their experiences riding. Today was another one of those days… The girl at the checkout shared stories of her uncle giving her motorcycle rides when she was younger. I left her with one of my cards and told her to checkout this blog. Hopefully she will read this about herself and leave us a comment. We love hearing from the people we have met on our rides. At Wilsall we leave the Shields River behind. From here on to Great Falls we meet many scenic creeks that follow US-89.

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Rolling up US-89 to White Sulphur Springs Montana

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Rolling up US-89 heading to Great Falls Montana

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Rolling thru Lewis and Clark National Forest on US-89

North of White Sulphur Springs we ride into the Lewis and Clark National Forrest. The valley begins to narrow until we are in The Little Belt Mountains. The road begins winding its way through the pine-covered mountains for the next 50 miles. The terrain then flattens and becomes more hilly and the trees more sparse and eventually become non-existent. The closer we get to Great Falls the flatter the terrain gets. Riding into Great Falls we ride past Malmstrom AFB, Larry A’s home for several years while in the Air Force.

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Rolling up US-89 to Great falls Montana

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Heading to Great Falls Montana on US-89

I had planned to get gas at White Sulphur Springs. I didn’t realize my mistake until we were many miles past White Sulphur Springs. We still had about half a tank of gas and decided to ride on. We thought we could make it all the way to Great Falls. About 20 miles from Great Falls we hit road construction with some stop and go traffic. The road was rough gravel for what seemed miles. We were getting really low on gas and starting to wonder if we were going to make it to Great Falls. Long story short, we did make it to Great Falls, but had to ride a lot further until we found a gas station. Larry T. and I had a little (very little) gas left but Larry A. probably wouldn’t have made it another 100 feet. He was literally running on fumes… Note to self… Don’t chance it again…

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Ranch land near Great Falls Montana on US-89

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More ranch land near Great Falls Montana on US-89

After checking into the motel, Larry T. and I kicked back and took it easy. Larry A. decided to ride to Augusta and visit his old Air Force buddy. Larry A. and his friend spent their time catching up and talking about all those good old days in the Air Force…

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Ranch near Great Falls Montana on US-89

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Almost there…

Tomorrow will be an easy day. Larry A. will be showing us some of the sights around Great Falls before riding to Augusta with him. Come follow along and enjoy the ride over the next 6 days… I hope we see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…

If you liked this ride post, you may checkout the other post from this ride below…

Hera are other rides you may like too…

I hope we see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…

2 responses to “Day 11 of My 5000+ Mile, 17 Day Motorcycle Ride (Gardiner to Great Falls 226 Miles)

  1. Love the small towns and scenic farms and ranches – one of my favorite parts of the trip!

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