Glacier National Park

Trip Start Jul 07, 2008
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Trip End Aug 09, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Montana
Monday, July 21, 2008

Oowwww. I think one of the hand-dipped onion rings embolized from my intestinal tract and shot straight to my brain, causing yet another stroke. Or at least that's what it felt like - I woke up in the middle of the night with a migraine (only my second one ever), pounding pain in the middle of my forehead and really bad nausea. I was wishing for either the ibuprofen to kick in quickly or to die, either would have been fine. As it was, I lived but didn't manage to get on the road until 11am.

The ride to Glacier National Park was fine - more desert scenery (temperatures around 32c, better than the 38C yesterday) which slowly changed to forest as I got closer to the Rockies. I passed into Montana in the early afternoon (and lost an hour due to time change) - I have to say, I LOVE this state! The highway is only 2 lanes (one lane each way) and twisty and still the speed limit was 70mph (112kph!). That means you can safely do 120kph on essentially back country roads and not get a ticket. Sweet!

I got to Glacier National Park around 4pm, very pumped to ride the Going To The Sun Road over Logan Pass. The road started beautifully - it winds along McDonald Lake and Creek, excellent pavement, trees growing right up to the road in some spots. Traffic was light and the gentle sweeping corners were great to breeze through at a leisurely pace. Soon the climb began toward the pass, and that's when the fun stopped...

They are doing a ton of road work, with 3 spots down to one lane. This caused the traffic to back up to where there was easily 40 - 50 cars waiting for their turn to sssllllooooowwwwlllyyyy climb the road which, by the way, was dirt, gravel and mud for about 12km - really bumpy and dusty. So, what promised to be a great road of nice hairins and switchbacks was a real pain in the ass. The scenery, at least, was breathtaking but there were few oppotunities for pictures as the road is too narrow in most spots to stop. The places where I could have stopped would have meant waiting for another 20 minutes for the parade of cars to go by so I could pull back out again.

The ride down the mountain on the far side of Logan Pass was great. For some reason, there was barely any traffic and the road there is in great condition. I actually turned the engine off, left it in neutral, and coasted down the hill for 14km, reaching speeds of 80kph! I even passed 3 cars and 2 motorbikes that way. They must have thought I had some new stealth bike...

I will continue on in the next segment of today's blog.
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