USA 4 Corners Tour Daily Trip Report - 8/22/05

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AUGUST 2005
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22nd

Minot, ND
to Cut Bank, MT

580 miles / 11 hours, 17 minutes

Arrived at motel room for 2nd day in a row, during the daylight. I going be spoiled if this keeps up. I got an assist with the change of time zones from Central to Mountain. The best part of the Montana roads is towards the western side of the state as they start to change in elevation. They just become more fun to ride on when they stop being "straight as an arrow". The temperature range was comfortable from 50 to 94 degrees.

I had a coyote & 3 deer run out in front of me, but not at the same time. Deer are cute to look at, but according to insurance statistics each year, there are more than 1.5 million crashes involving deer, causing an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damages, 150 lives lost, and more than 10,000 injuries. Hitting one on a motorcycle is not fun!

Tim gave me good advice about watching out for deer. Watch out for the last straggler. Deer usually come out in small groups, with the Mama Bambi coming out first, then her offspring following. The first deer may have a clear path to cross but the one's behind her may not have such a good opening to cross the roadway. Another tip is to aim for the rear of the deer, because they will usually dart forward and not backward.

I saw the largest "Wide Load" that I have ever seen today. I got on the CB radio and the lead escort said it was a coal hopper for loading railway cars. It was 21 feet wide! Most standard semi's carry trailers that are 96 inches wide or 8 feet across. I didn't dare stop to get a picture or I was afraid that my little motorcycle would be wiped out as he passed by, not to mention getting stuck behind him would slow me down way too much.

Cumulative motorcycle return waves today: 368

map of Minot, ND to Cut Bank, MT

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