I pray the day is finding you well.
I have been to Helena and back.
After my bike blew up, Chuck and I had some decisions to make. We decided to go two-up on his bike, which meant that we had to scale down and ship all the items that we deemed unnecessary home. Lone Wolf Harley graciously agreed to do this for us. I was very grateful for this, but it still meant that we had decisions to make.
Do we just go home?
Do we continue on?
If we continue on where do we go?
Our trip was up in the air.
We decided to go to Missoula, Montana, stay the night, and decide whether to continue beyond that. In all honesty we were thinking we would ride down through Idaho, a ride that we have down before, hit the southern end of Idaho, and then ride home.
A much shorter ride, but a ride nonetheless.
We took off for Missoula.
When we got to Missoula we went to a hotel to check in, but...they were booked up.
We quickly found out that there were no rooms available anywhere.
In fact, we quickly found out that there were no rooms available anywhere in the area for 100 miles.
There was a marathon going on in Missoula, a big event that filled all the rooms even in the surrounding towns.
There was a "Testicle Festival" going on in Butte, Montana, which filled up every room in Butte and the surrounding towns. I am giving Butte the benefit of the doubt, thinking that it has something to do with cattle and the leavings of the neutering process that turns bulls into steers. I am hoping that is what it is. I do not know for sure. Either way, a Testicle Festival does not intrigue me, and for the life of me I do not know why it would be such a big draw that all Butte's hotel rooms would be filled up because of it. To be honest it sounds a little off-putting.
We finally found a hotel room in Helena, Montana. We booked the room and headed for Helena.
It was 6:40 pm when we left Missoula. I was still grieving the loss of my bike, I was emotionally drained. Chuck was tired. It had been a full day already.
On the ride to Helena, a pickup truck went passed us and kicked up a rock, which broke out the headlight on Chuck's bike. This was the cherry on the cake of our day.
Needless to say Chuck was not happy.
There we were on the side of the highway. I was looking at the broken headlight and Chuck was doing an indian dance and chanting.
I am not sure what he was chanting, I do not speak indian. Chuck is not Native American, but I am assuming it was an indian headlight dance he was doing. His face was really red at the time.
We rolled into Helena around 8:30 pm.
We were tired, frustrated, and pretty rung out.
I checked in.
This is when I find out that there was a State championship softball tournament going on, a rodeo, and an antique auto show going on.
When I called the hotel from Missoula, I got the second-to-the-last room available in the whole town.
Was our luck changing?
We put our stuff in our room and went to dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
We sat down and looked over the menu.
Everything was fine at this point.
We both ordered the chicken fried steak meal with baked potato. The meal comes with a choice of salad or soup. Our waitress suggested their taco soup saying, "It is really good." We followed her advice.
Then Chuck asked an innocent question, "How about an appetizer?"
It had been a day and evidently we were stress eating. I said, "Sure."
Chuck order the Jalapeño poppers and I ordered the chicken wings.
This was our mistake.
The meal went like this:
First came a bread plate, with hot bread and a huge bowl of celery and carrots.
We ate the bread and veggies.
Then came the poppers.
We ate the poppers.
Then came the wings.
We ate wings.
Then came the taco soup (complete with Frito chips in the soup).
We ate the soup.
Then came the platter-size plate of Chicken Fried steak, baked potato, and corn.
Not to be deterred, we dug into our platters.
I got halfway through my plate when I hit the wall. My stomach looked like I was hiding a basketball. My temperature started to rise. I began to feel bad.
I was in Helena.
The cook came out to see us. He had never had anyone order that much food from him before and he was concerned, and a little amused.
I went back to the room and laid down. Needless to say, I did not sleep well that night.
The next morning I felt much better and was in a much better place.
Chuck looked at me and said, "We are halfway through Montana, why not go to Duluth?"
I said, "Why not?"
We are on our way to see Lake Superior, two up on a bike. Seeing country we have not seen, meeting people we never would have met. I get to see more of God's creation and spend more time listening to Him.
We never would have made this decision if we would have found a room in Missoula.
We never would have made this decision if there had not been a marathon, rodeo...and Testicle Festival...going on. These things forced us to go farther than we had planned just to put a roof over our heads for a night.
I am starting to decompress.
I am starting to relax.
I am starting to fill up again.
As I go through the road trip of life, I cannot see God's plan as I look through the windshield of life. It is only when I glance in the rearview mirror that I get to see a glimpse of what He is doing. I cannot spend a lot of time looking in the mirror without risking running into a tree, so I am forced to look forward and live in the mystery of what He is up to.
I am glad I have a rearview mirror. It gives me moments of perspective.
I am in Him and He is in me.
It is a good place to be.