Day Five


"Whizmo Takes A Pass"

September 9, 2002

Helena, MT -
Dillon, MT

323 miles

4:57 riding time

7 Passes Today
14 Passes To Date


Manly Marc, the Harley Rider

One of the most delightful aspects of doing this thing we do is the unpredictable nature of each day's events.  We never know exactly what's going to happen, but we approach each day open to anything.  And every day has been great.

You remember a couple of days ago when we met the "Manly Harley Rider" on Day 2.  Whizmo gave him a card, suggesting that he check out our website when he had a chance.  Imagine our surprise when we received email from none other than Mr. Manly Harley Rider, aka Marc Duffy.  Here's a clip from his first email to us:

Frankly, when you guys gave me your card in Kamiah today I thought "what's the catch?".  When and how much money will these guys ask for? Remarkably, after looking at your website, it simply looks like you like riding bikes as much as I do.

Of course, it was very cool to find someone else on The Road, also riding great distances, with a computer, who thinks we're not total compulsive fools.  Marc wrote us from South Dakota to provide his amusing and enlightening perspective on the value of earplugs:

This happened to me today in Mission, SD.  I got off the bike, filled up with gas and walked in the store telling the lady that I had taken $2 worth of gas. It was actually $3.46 but I only gave her $3 because I couldn't hear what she was saying. So, I saved $0.46 because she was too scared to stop me when I kept walking out the door. [Editor's Note:  How could she possibly stop a "Manly Harley Rider" like Marc?]  I only realized it later down the road and didn't turn back. My $77 investment in custom swimming earplugs paid off handsomely today.

Silver City Diane

And yesterday at the Silver City Saloon, we met Diane and then, taking a flyer that she might visit our website, asked her online to explain the origin of the shoes on the ceiling in the Silver City Saloon.  Sure enough, Diane checked out our site as well, and here was her explanation via email:

As for the shoes on the ceiling. The previous owners (Al and Cheryl Potter) had a "dance troupe" that dressed in old west costume and performed skits or dances at the saloon and around town - they were called the "Alouettes" .  As they "retired" or moved on ... their shoes and nicknames were put on the ceiling tiles in a memorial type deal. As for the ranch brands, they're from ranches throughout the state and as it became known that "Silver City" was branding their ceiling tiles and the bar itself they started bringing in their irons and asking to have their brand added.

Kyle the Pizza Guy

But not everyone we hand our precious W&G cards to shows up in the email queue.  For example, last night while Whizmo was trying his darndest to think of more "Dos" to go along with his multitudes of "Don'ts", Gizmo here got hungry and tired of waiting, so he (that would be ME) ordered a pizza to be delivered (no anchovies) to room 313 of the Hampton Inn.  Half an hour later, here's Kyle the pizza delivery guy.  We gave him our spiel and a card, but we haven't heard from him.  Yet.  C'mon Kyle, we're waiting ....

Anyway, on with the show.


We woke up to another fabulous Montana September morning.  Given our altitude and the advancing season, it was cold as we headed up to the first target of the day, Elk Park Pass.  One of the great features about my K1200LT is the thermometer - you can tell exactly how cold you are.  Those of you who have been along for our annual whine-fests know that we've dealt with some serious cold and wet issues over the years, but as we get smarter about how we outfit ourselves, every year gets better as we add thermal underwear and heated clothing.  I am now riding with electric clothing, heated grips, and a heated seat.  At 30 degrees, the only thing that was really cold was my feet - I guess it's time for heated socks!  In order to get these pass shots, we set the camera on one of the bikes, aim it, set a 10-second timer, then run like hell to get in the shot.  It works pretty well.  However, an ER visit during this trip is a distinct possibility.

A cold morning ... The coldest temps yet ...  ... to bag Elk Park Pass


Gratuitous imagery, just sort of stuck in the middle of today's report

When Whiz proposed The Great Divide tour, one thing we discussed was whether we might "discover" an "unknown" paved pass and "name it".  Well, of course, there aren't really any unknown passes, because after all, they are all paved, and most every US map shows where the Divide runs.  But Whizmo is persistent, and after studying the maps with his magnifying glass he found a pass that didn't seem to be named.  We couldn't leave that situation unresolved!  With the able assistance of Mr. Gino Barone of Barone Crystal in Seattle, we had some elegant plaques made that were unveiled in yesterday's report.  Today was the day - finally, this pass has a name - Whizmo Pass!  (We'd tell you where it is, but we may have a contest idea here, so stay tuned.)

The Road to Whizmo Pass Whizmo and his very own Pass

One more for the log

Somewhere in the back of our minds, there's this niggling thought that we're going to get a call from the BLM, some guy with a deep Montana drawl asking, "Uhm, could I speak to Mr. Whizmo please?  It's about his pass ..."

P.S. - Whizmo has updated the pass table to include pictures for all the divide passes crossed to date.  Take a look.

P.S.S. - Mike Paull gave us a nice "Iron Butt" picture for yesterday's report.  Thanks Mike!

Update on Contest #3 - Music From The Road

We're pleased to report that we had a single contestant who aced this contest, with a winning entry only 4:45 after the contest opened.  Congratulations to Dan Newell!  We had a three-way tie for second among Chris Banks, Glenda Revelle and Joe Ozinski, who each missed the artist on '(Ghost) Riders in the Sky' - Vaughn Monroe.  Tom Grove came in third place, missing the 'Ghost Riders' artist and the absolutely correct and proper name of the Beach Boys tune.  Well done!  Thanks to our winners and everyone who entered.  Here are the correct answers:

  Title Artist
1 Hit The Road, Jack Ray Charles
2 Every Day is a Winding Road Sheryl Crow
3 King of the Road Roger Miller
4 Little Honda Beach Boys
5 Ride Like the Wind Christopher Cross
6 (Ghost) Riders in the Sky Vaughn Monroe
7 Magic Carpet Ride Steppenwolf
8 The Long and Winding Road Beatles

OK, it's time for Contest #4 ... Caption That Crazy Photo!  Take a close look at the image below, seen yesterday near Simms, Montana (just west of Great Falls) and give us your best and most amusing caption.  The judges will review all of the entries, probably after visiting the bar, so make it something we can understand in an impaired state.  Well-structured entries will include words expanding on the initials on the side of the object - the top row letters are:  "S R V"; the bottom row is "AF".  Click here to send us your entry!

Your amusing caption here!