Paul’s Ride

Excerpts from LDR member Paul Brand:

I am back from my adventure. I rode from Idaho to North Dakota to see my aunt on her 90th birthday and to see if I am as much of a motorcycle rider as I think I am.

I left a little after 5 am on Thursday May 21. I had been checking the weather forecast and it was looking like I could have some cold air to ride through for the first part of the trip. There was a hard frost outside. I wanted to make the trip on my 2007 Harley XL883 Sportster – stock except for a Sundowner seat and mid-height sissy bar and rear shelf.

Rode to town. Found a gas station where the attendant would sign as a witness. Gassed up and went inside for the paperwork. So far, so good.

Then I hit the road. Went up over 4th of July pass and the temperature kept dropping. The air was in the 20’s. Kept moving my fingers to try to keep the blood flowing. I pressed on with determination to make it to Wallace, only 48 miles or so from the start. Up on the hill to Montana, it was still very cold. Kept finding rest areas with hand blow dryers to warm up my fingers. Back on the road to Missoula. The air was warmer, and hit road construction on the way. Lots of wind. Further on, made it to Butte. Things were feeling better now. Gassed up and headed for the Continental Divide. Bike purred right up the grade. Everything working good.

Then stopped at Wheat Montana for lunch and gas. Lots more wind. By the time I rode to Billings, the sun was shining but moderately cool. Pushed on to Glendive. At this rate, I felt I would make it to North Dakota before dark. Crossed into North Dakota and about 20 miles west of Dickinson it started to rain. Road construction made it slow but slower is better in the rain.

I get through the road construction and crossed the Missouri River. Last leg up to Minot. First 40 miles are relatively quiet then the rain begins to pick up. The full-face helmet is working good and the gauntlet gloves are doing their part too. Slow and steady gets me there safe.

I’m wondering who will be open at 2:00 am to witness the end of the ride. I headed to the truck stop where I asked the attendant to sign for me. We do the paperwork and I head over to my mom’s house to find a spot to sleep. It is just past midnight Pacific, so I don’t feel overly exhausted. It has been a good ride.

LDR Member
Paul Brand

pauls mc ride