Saturday, December 27, 2008

We've Heard There's A Bar In Daniel...

Danield Wyoming Purple Trees - Sturgis Stories 99

We pushed the bikes a bit farther to where the Bentanite ended and the pavement began again, resting for a moment and still shaking our heads. Deciding we were once again ready to push forward--Daniel, Bonderaunt and then Jackson for the night--knowing that we were, as seems to be the theme, behind schedule and needing to make up time. Mike was lead bike, ready to roll; he drops the gear in to neutral, and hits the starter, there's an odd sound coming from the bike as his Road King tries to turn over. You can almost hear the pressure building just prior to the bang and splat of bentanite being shot from his exhaust pipes to the pavement. We all hoped that this was his bikes way of spitting out the bad shit it had just gone through and getting on to the good.

Ready and started we roll towards Daniel, curve after curve, running the foothills of western Wyoming. The passing country side is beautiful; lush green meadows, rolling tree filled hills, the mountains in the distance. All viewed through a fine mist just so mother nature could remind us who was in charge of this ride. As the miles passed I noticed our push to make up time was being taken at a more cautious pace. The 75 mph or more that we'd pushed in the past now hovered near a leisurely 55 mph.

Soon enough we saw the signs for Daniel. Entrances to small towns on back roads are hardly ever marked by mile count down signs you'll see on the interstates. The sure sign that life is approaching is the reduction in speed sign. First the notice - reduce speed ahead, then the 55 mph, 45 mph and finally the town... 25 - 35 mph. Daniel was 25 mph through the center of town. A pace just fast enough to carry you through but slow enough to stop and patronize a local pub should you so desire. We so desired.

Daniel, Wyoming is a small ranching community - a blink and you'll miss it marker along the western Wyoming highways. On this day Daniel was our haven from the storms both figurative and literally. We rolled in and spotted the only bar in town. Slowing our motorcycles to a near stop we pulled up across the street from the bar (right in front of the purple trees) parked and scrapped our road worn, muddied bodies from our saddles. We were a motley looking bunch. Stained with mud, wet from the rain, weathered and leathered. We walked up and pulled open the weather worn old screen door, it made the creaking sound you would expect from a door in it's condition, and walked in to the dimly lit smokey room.

I'm sure the ranchers and locals all were wondering what the cat had just dug up but my wonderment was only a passing thought, Beers all around please, it's been a long hard day and we're only half way there.

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