When my kids were young, we went on a vacation with my brother Steve and his wife Hana in N. Carolina near the Smokey Mountain park. Steve announced to all of us that he found a “moderate” hike suitable for all including the 4 kids ranging from 6 to 12 years of age.
Thanks to Steve, I just arrived one mile from Yellowstone in Gardiner MT. My brother arrived in Missoula around 10 am at the Red Lion hotel where I was staying.. Man was I excited. It was so great to see him. After 6 weeks and somewhere around 2800 biked miles, my ride home had arrived.
As I have mentioned, my trip is coming to an end. This is bittersweet as they say. Due to the virus, this trip did not go as planned and can’t deliver what I envisioned during the planning stages.
Last night I told Jane during our nightly chat that she so looks forward to that I planned to stay in Whitefish another day. Just chill, visit bike shop, and eat ice cream.
What would you do with a day off and your camp is one mile from the entrance to Glacier National Park next to the Rockies? I know, that’s what I did as well. Go for a bike ride!
Not just any bike ride but the most epic experience for that moment. Not many get the chance to ride the Going-to-the-Sun (GS) Road and for a short time each spring, this road is open only to cyclists. The road is typically open to vehicles in late June once they have cleared the road of snow and snow avalanches. They use huge front loaders to put this packed winter snow into trucks and then haul it out.
More like a scare. A big scare but also a big rescue. Thanks to an angel…Carol!
After a day off, I launched west on the last push to Glacier. Glad I left early, as the wind and rain increased through the day. The first 30 miles went at a normal pace. I stopped at a small bar/restaurant in Rudyard where the owner treated me great and set me up with some vegetable soup.
Once I left, the wind was waiting. The road had a narrow shoulder with a rumble strip right down the middle. The wind pushed me from the north while I rode west meaning the wind kept pushing me into the rumble strip. Eventually I choosers to ride in the road and dash onto the shoulder whenever traffic approached. It was hard to keep bike from moving 2-3 ft at times from gusts.
After getting sick on my bike yesterday, dealing with construction zone hell, 2 days off in 5 weeks, it was time to take a day to recover. No riding today. Rest, plan, and recover.
I stayed at the Siesta motel which is one of those places built in 1950, renovated never, and owner lives in one of the units. Yep – 60 bucks a night. But it was located one block from Albertson grocery store and next to Char’s breakfast place and Domino’s pizza as well. I could walk everywhere including the post office where I sent more stuff home. Mailed a water filter I never used, my tripod used 3 times, and a card to Jane.
Speaking of Jane, I thought she should write today’s blog but discovered she is too busy having fun with 2 of her 3 sisters from Michigan visiting. So I have decided to write this blog from her perspective the best I can.
In case your wondering, yes I had a headwind all day. It also rained on and off as well. Cold start to ride at 50 degrees in Malta as I left the Maltana motel.
I left Circle, MT, with the intent to ride 55 miles to Wolf Point. I was excited about Wolf Point as it appeared to be a bigger town and might be a good place to hang out for a night.
The ride from Circle to WP is on Hwy 13 going straight north. The wind had changed and was blowing from the east and blowing haphazardly at 25 to 30 mph. Those that bike know a crosswind is no treat. Also Hwy 13 is very hilly – including a climb to 3,300 ft.