Virginia City — My expectations for today were admittedly low as I just knew I was in for a lot of boring interstate driving. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m predicting that today will end up ranking near the top of great driving days on this trip.
It’s probably been twenty years since I’ve been east of CDA on I-90; it was like seeing this scenery for the first time, and it was nothing short of spectacular! As the trip progressed from rugged mountains to open forests and valleys, not once did I find that there wasn’t something interesting to look at (well, except for the gas stop at Costco in Missoula). If I didn’t have a more distant destination in mind I think I could have played around in Western Montana for quite some time.
Click on the pictures for a larger image. Even enlarged, it’s hard to capture the scale of the scenery in a picture.
The Garmin provided me with the icing on the cake. It routed me off of I-90 in Butte and put me on Montana Highway 2, which is a twisty two lane road more suited to a motorcycle or sports car than an RV.
The truck did great. It really doesn’t seem to roll much in the twisties. I’m just glad I wasn’t towing something or I’d been cursing the Garmin! I’m also glad that I had the road to myself; it was a steep climb, which at the peak approached 6800 feet according to my altimeter. This next picture was taken on that road. The early fall colors are typical of what I witnessed all day long.
From HW 2 I turned onto HW 41. These last two pictures were taken as I drove along this valley. I could probably see 100 miles.
As for the check-engine light. It finally went out only to come back on again when the engine was under a bit more strain. Lee could be right about the transmission. It might also be the EGR valve — I’m sure I’m blowing out a bit of carbon 8-).
Miles Today: 372
Total Miles: 712
Avg Miles/Day: 354