Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Today was great. We slept in a little, had breakfast at the hotel, and got out to the machines about 10am. It was about 14 degrees outside and sunny. A beautiful day for a ride.
We had to refuel the machines, so we headed back to the rental company to refuel. That done, we asked for directions for some trails headed north out of town. It happened that those trails started right across from the rental place, so we took off, looking for more adventures.
The trails were very good; much smoother (no washboard effect for a long time). We had one potential destination in mind—a place called Einos. We were told that it was a restaurant where you cook your own food! I had never heard of that concept, but it sounded pretty interesting. It was on the highway to Boseman. So, we tore off in that direction.
We went through an area near a big lake, and saw probably hundreds of Moose tracks through the deep snow. At least we think they were Moose tracks. They were about 2 feet wide and just meandered though the woods. Some tracks were much narrower; we figured they were done by deer or something with much smaller feet. But, alas, we saw no Moose, deer, or any other critters. But it was a beautiful ride.
After a while, the trail meandered out to the highway, crossed the highway, and continued north. Several miles further, we spotted Einos on the other side of the highway. So, we crossed and pulled into the parking lot.
After disembarking the machines, we walked up to the door to see if it was open. Being 11:00am on a Sunday, we weren’t sure if it would indeed be open. As we approached the door, an old, rough-looking guy opened the door and welcomed us inside. We were the only ones there other than the operator.
So, we asked if we could get a meal, and he said yes, indeed we could. Then he proceeded to show us various things about the place. He was very unique in that each time he told us about some feature of the restaurant, he would do a bird whistle! He told us about the menu and whistled, then the bar, then how the food operation. After each item, a whistle. I couldn’t keep from laughing, but tried to hide it from him.
The décor was interesting as well. It had large windows with a great view of the mountains in the area. It had high ceilings and big beams to hold up the ceiling. On the beams were dollar bills with various things written on them. On the top beams were hung women’s underclothes—bras, panties, and other assorted pieces of clothing. Interesting….. And the final unique touch to Einos was in tbe men's bathroom. Most urinals are attached to a wall. Not in Einos--the urinal was attached to a shower stall, complete with a floor drain. Not sure what that means, but it was unique...
We ordered a beer (Alaskan Amber, a good one) and decided on the Teriyaki Chicken. The options included sautéed onions, a salad, or cheesey potatoes. We decided on the cheesey potatoes and we wanted onions. We also got bread.
He led us to the kitchen. It had two grills under a stainless steel commercial exhaust system. He showed us where the utensils and pan for sautéed onions. That was pretty wild—us cooking the onions and chicken. The owner, Jean, did the potatoes.
So, we put the onions and the chicken on and cooked them while he told us about the history of the place and other interesting things about the area. At one point he mentioned that he might want to relocate to NC and asked if he could get a job as a waiter on the coast! So, we told him about the towns on our coast and how they differed as the food cooked. All of this was almost surreal!
The food cooked, and we took it to a table and he brought the potatoes and we ate. VERY GOOD! The potatoes, in particular, were terrific. Topped off with garlic toast (which we also cooked), it was a meal fit for a king!
We finished, paid, and went back outside to the machines. He had told us about the Big Sky trail that went on north for another 9 miles and then became ungroomed for 15 miles and then picked up as groomed for another 30 or so milers. We decided to do the trail until it was no longer groomed.
The trail was great! It wound through the woods, some fairly level, and one place so steep for a long time that I did not think I would get to the top. The track kept spinning and the sled was barely moving. But it did get to the top, and all was well.
Just beyond the steep place, it began to snow as we climbed in elevation. It got colder and darker as we proceeded, but had no problems. When the groomed trail ended, the area just opened up for freestyle riding. Since our machines were not designed for freestyle riding, we turned around and started back.
The trip back was good and uneventful. One thing I wanted to do was to run fast, to see what it was like. So, several times I lagged behind Clay to get some space between us, and then put down the hammer until I got scared or got too close and needed to slow down. Using the GPS, the fastest I went was 52.3mph. Not fast, but it felt like I was flying. With the machine wanting to follow other tracks, it jumped around like a jitterbug. It felt like it feels when you’re in a speedboat going really fast on choppy waters. For entry-level machines like we had, that was fast enough.
The trail ended in town and we decided to get a picture of us and the machines at the Yellowstone National Park sign, so we went there and did that.
Then we rode through town to the trailhead running south of town. We had been there the day before, but weren’t ready to turn in the machines yet. So, we took off to ride some trails we had not ridden earlier.
We went down several and time was waning when I looked at the odometer and discovered that we had ridden 72 miles. The problem with that is the gas tank has sufficient capacity to go 80-100 miles, according to the rental people. So, rather than finish a fine trail, we made a U-turn and headed back. Going back we rode much slower to maximize our gas.
Back at the rental place, the odometer read 84 miles. So, we made it!